R. Albert Mohler Jr. argued that the exclusivity of the gospel is not an apologetic burden, but rather life-giving good news, during a general session at the 2014 Together for the Gospel conference, April 8-10.
The biennial conference for pastors and church leaders brought together more than 7,500 men and women from all 50 states and 29 different countries to consider various aspects of evangelism. More than 60 percent of those in attendance were younger than 40 years old. And of all attendees, more than 3,100 of them identified as Southern Baptists. In addition, more than 27,000 digital devices — computers, smart phones and tablets — streamed the conference online from 100 different countries.
Mohler, who is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, called his sermon, “The Open Door is the Only Door: The Singularity of Christ and the Integrity of the Gospel.”
“We come to celebrate and declare the great fact that we are unashamed of the gospel and to point to Christ as the door of salvation and to pray, with the apostle Paul, for an open door for the proclamation of the gospel,” he said.
Ten students from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary spent a week of their spring break on the streets in Detroit, Mich., evangelizing, ministering to the homeless and sharing the gospel with Muslims in the community.
The seminary’s Bevin Center for Missions Mobilization sent the team to struggling Detroit neighborhoods, March 29 - April 6, to partner with the North American Mission Board’s urban ministry program, helping local church plants and evangelism in the area.
The Detroit team is one of 11 mission trips the Bevin Center for Missions Mobilization at Southern Seminary and the school’s D3 youth camp will send during the spring and into late summer. With about 70 participants total, teams will work in domestic locations, including Maine, Connecticut, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Utah, and internationally in southern France, central and south Asia, Uganda and Brazil during the summer break.
Mark T. Coppenger, professor of Christian philosophy and director of the seminary's Nashville, Tenn., extension center, led the Detroit trip. He said mission trips are “transformative for the short-termers. But, having served as a church planter in a ‘pioneer area,’ I can assure you that volunteers can be a great encouragement to the saints who live there and are doing their best to be salt and light in the community,” noting the importance of mission trips for urban church plants.
At the beginning of the week, students spent one Sunday ministering at Victory Fellowship Baptist Church whose pastor, Darryl Gaddy, is the moderator for the Greater Detroit Baptist Association.
They also worked with Matt Vroman, pastor of Eastside Community Church. The group helped him canvass the neighborhood in which he ministers through flyer distribution, inviting families to the church. On their final Sunday in the city, the group drove Eastside’s church van to pick up people for the morning worship service. Coppenger preached and the students led the service.
A new book’s “exceedingly dangerous” assertions that homosexual orientation and gay marriage are consistent with a high view of the Bible is refuted by President R. Albert Mohler Jr. and four of his colleagues at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in an e-book, published today.
God and the Gay Christian? A Response to Matthew Vines released this morning, the same day as the official release of Vines’ volume, God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships, which has garnered significant attention in the days leading up to its release.
Vines, a 24-year-old former Harvard student, weaves his personal biography of growing up as an evangelical Christian and “coming out” as a homosexual to his parents and now former home church. In the process, Vines left Harvard in order to study the Bible’s claims about homosexuality, which later resulted in the publishing of his book.
“Not every book deserves a response, but some books seem to appear at a time and context in which response is absolutely necessary,” Mohler told Southern Seminary News. “The kind of argument that is presented by Matthew Vines, if not confronted, can lead many people to believe that his case is persuasive and that his treatment of the Bible is legitimate. I think that it’s very important that evangelicals be reminded that the church has not misunderstood Scripture for 2,000 years.”
Published by SBTS Press, God and the Gay Christian? is a 100-page critique of Vines, edited by Mohler, who also contributes a chapter. Other contributors are: James M. Hamilton Jr., professor of biblical theology; Denny Burk, professor of biblical studies; Owen Strachan, assistant professor of Christian theology and church history; and Heath Lambert, assistant professor of biblical counseling. Burk, Strachan and Lambert teach primarily for Boyce College, the undergraduate school of Southern Seminary.
In order to continue to “attract and retain a first-class academic faculty,” said President R. Albert Mohler Jr., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s board of trustees approved updates to faculty employment policies and unified the graduate and undergraduate faculties during its April 14-15 meeting.
Trustees also approved promotions, designations to academic chairs and sabbatical leaves for certain faculty, elected new officers and approved a $40.572 million budget for the 2014-2015 academic year, a 5.87 percent increase from the current year.
All actions of the board were unanimous.
Under new employment policies, all elected faculty will serve under a “simple academic instructional contract” rather than a tenure-based contract. Faculty will be eligible for contract terms of between one and nine years. The new policy is effective immediately and applies to all current faculty.
“Southern Seminary is returning to the classic, traditional method of hiring faculty that has marked this institution through most of its history,” said President R. Albert Mohler Jr. “A tenure-based contract was the basis for hiring and retaining faculty from about 1960 to the present. But we have returned to making the election of faculty by the board of trustees the most important issue, and returning faculty to teaching on the basis of a simple academic instructional contract.”
Preaching from selected passages in Genesis 1-3, Platt, the pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., and bestselling author, pointedly challenged younger evangelicals’ “lack of zeal” and being “strangely quiet” about certain issues.
While younger evangelicals are rightly passionate about sexual slavery, orphans and poverty, Platt said too many avoid “contentious” issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage and sexual immorality that bring Christians into conflict with the prevailing opinions of the culture.
“Followers of Christ do not have the option of picking and choosing which social issues we are going to apply biblical truths to. … We do not have the option of choosing which battles we are going to fight and which issues we are going to flout,” he said.
Southern Baptists in Utah and other western states live at the forefront of a cultural change sweeping the nation at a rapid pace, R. Albert Mohler Jr. said Feb. 25 at First Baptist Church of Provo, Utah.
Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, spoke earlier in the day at Brigham Young University in Provo owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That evening, Russ Robinson, pastor of First Baptist Provo, invited Mohler to bring a message to area evangelicals, who travelled from as far as Winnemucca, Nev.; Twin Falls, Idaho and St. George, Utah, five hours southwest of Metro Salt Lake City.
At the conclusion of his message, Mohler answered questions from the approximately 140 people in attendance. During more than three hours at the church facility, Mohler also met with 41 pastors and church planters to dialogue further about their challenges.
“We’re watching in one generation the collapse of cultural Christianity … and it’s coming with a new velocity and a new intensity,” Mohler told the Provo congregation, noting the rapid approval of gay marriage, among other aspects of a moral revolution advancing across the world.
Una versión en español de A Guide to Expository Ministry, denominada Una guía para el ministerio expositivo, fue lanzada en la conferencia para pastores hispanos del 27 de Febrero, realizada en conjunción con la conferencia anual para pastores 9Marks.
Este libro hace un llamado a la recuperación de la predicación expositiva en la iglesia local. Además, anima a los pastores fieles y calificados a aplicar las demandas que hace este tipo de predicación a sus vidas y a su preparación. Por último, este libro provee consejos prácticos para que el pueblo de Dios sea más efectivo en su escucha de sermones, su lectura de la Biblia y como miembros de sus congregaciones.
A Spanish-language edition of A Guide to Expository Ministry debuted at the Feb. 27 Hispanic pastors’ conference, held in conjunction with the annual two-day 9Marks conference for pastors.
The book, published by SBTS Press, calls for the recovery of expository preaching in local churches. The book also encourages faithful, qualified pastors to apply the demands of this kind of preaching to their lives and to their preparation. Lastly, the book provides practical help for all of God’s people to become more effective sermon listeners, Bible readers and church members.
The Chicago Statement is the preeminent evangelical explanation and affirmation of the doctrine of inerrancy of the Scriptures. Nearly 300 evangelical scholars, including Carl F. H. Henry, J.I. Packer, Francis Schaeffer, R.C. Sproul, James Boice and others signed the statement in 1978.
In his contribution to Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy, Mohler asserts inerrancy means “the Bible, as a whole, and in its part, contains nothing but God-breathed truth,” he said. “When the Bible speaks, God speaks.”
Mohler contributed to the new Zondervan book that addresses the question of the “doctrinal rationale … and Scriptural warrant” of the term “inerrancy” as a way to define the Bible’s truthfulness.
Paul Chitwood, executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, posed the question, “How shall we respond to the gospel?” in a chapel service at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, March 11.
Preaching from Galatians 4:1-7, Chitwood, who previous was assistant professor of evangelism and church growth at Southern Seminary, encouraged believers to rejoice in the gospel, revel in the adoption secured by Christ and rest in the spirit of God’s son. Chitwood illustrated each of these points by a particular geographical location from his own personal experience.
Beginning in Gorée Island, Senegal, an island known for its slave-trading history, Chitwood invited his listeners to “rejoice” in redemption from the slaveholder of sin. Drawing from Gorée Island’s history, he highlighted the even greater slavery of sin.
“This, friends, is the gospel: to set at liberty those that are oppressed,” Chitwood said, explaining this as the image that Paul gives in Galatians 4:3. “How should we respond? Should we not respond with rejoicing that we have been set free from the slaveowner of sin?”
Moving to Galatians 4:4-5, Chitwood said that his second geographical location was Chongqing, China, with a stop en route to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Through these locations, Chitwood invited listeners to “revel” in “adoption from the orphanage of Satan.”