Southern Seminary will host a new worship conference, June 17-19, 2013

Southern Seminary will host the Think: Worship conference, June 17-19, 2013

Leading churches in corporate worship is no small task. Church leaders must think seriously about every aspect of worship because people’s views of God is at stake in every worship service.

To equip pastors and worship leaders for this ministry, Southern Seminary will host the Think: Worship conference, June 17-19, 2013.

Speakers for the event include,

  • Matt Boswell, pastor of ministries and worship at Providence Church;
  • Michael Card, songwriter and author;
  • Mike Cosper, pastor of worship and arts at Sojourn Community Church;
  • Mike Harland, director of LifeWay Worship;
  • Bob Kauflin, director of Sovereign Grace Music; and
  • Donald S. Whitney, senior associate dean and professor of biblical spirituality at Southern Seminary.

Harold Best, emeritus dean and professor of music at Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, will make a special appearance at Think: Worship. And Southern Seminary’s Norton Hall Band and Sojourn Music of Sojourn Community Church in Louisville will lead corporate worship times during the conference.

Conference rates for early registration, which ends April 30, range from $200 to $250. Rates increase to $300 on May 1, and registration closes on June 10. Registration is available at the Southern Seminary Office of Event Productions Web page: www.sbts.edu/events

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February “Towers” previews spring semester

The February “Towers” is now on stands and online.

GPS navigation systems — they’re a little 2003, I know — gained popularity for good reason: among all the possible destinations around you, it’s easy either to get lost or miss something important — an exit ramp, for example. Then these little machines came along and kept us on our routes and (hopefully) prevented our missing those sneaky exits.

You can think of this first “Towers” of the new semester as your GPS, helping you navigate all the activities and happenings at Southern Seminary this spring. Inside you’ll find everything from cheeseburger recommendations to missions trip opportunities to lecture schedules. Later in this issue, we take a look at a student reaching out to the community of Newtown, Conn.

Also, we offer an interview with Southern Seminary professor Bruce A. Ware about his new book, The Man Christ Jesus; Boyce College remembers Shelby-Tyler Smith, a student who died last December; and the February Southern Story column features Jeff Walters, one of the seminary's newest faculty members.

Southern Seminary Resources publishes “Towers,” Southern Seminary Magazine and other seminary publications digitally as well as physically. Check out the Resources page for an improved online reading experience.

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Strachan quoted in USA Today article on same-sex marriage protests

Same-sex couples are touring southern states in protest of strict marriage laws, according to a USA Today article, Jan. 16, 2013.

The article mentions Strachan, assistant professor of church history and Christian theology at Boyce College and executive director of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, in response to the protests from same-sex couples.

The WE DO campaign sends same-sex couples into government offices located in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South and North Carolina and Virginia, where they request marriage licenses. These states all have marriage laws forbidding same-sex unions.

"These advocates are putting these government workers in a difficult position," Strachan said. "The workers involved do not need to feel any shame about denying these initiatives."

The full article is available online at the USA Today website: here.

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Accreditation teams on campus in March 2013

As part of its periodic evaluation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary will host teams from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and from the Commission on Accrediting of The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, in March 2013. Those interested may submit  substantive comments related to the quality of the seminary or its academic programs in writing to the Office of the President, 2825 Lexington Road, Louisville, KY, 40280.

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Strachan named executive director of CBMW

The Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood (CBMW) named Boyce college professor Owen Strachan as its new executive director, Jan 7., 2013.

"Owen is an exceptionally gifted theologian and scholar who brings a gospel-gravity to his cultural commentary," said Dan DeWitt, dean of Boyce College. "His appointment at the CBMW will greatly serve the church in continuing to understand what's at stake in protecting and nurturing biblical gender roles."

The council, which consists of men and women within the evangelical community from a spectrum of professional and ministerial backgrounds, considers the Bible's teaching about "the complementary differences" between the genders as "essential for obedience to Scripture and for the health of the family and the church," and thus seeks to promote a "complementarian" vision for gender roles as normative for the evangelical church. The Danvers Statement, a doctrinal statement produced at a CBMW meeting in Danvers, Mass., in 1987 and published in its current form in 1988, presents the theological affirmations of the council.

Strachan, who is assistant professor of theology and church history at Southern Seminary's undergraduate school, succeeds Randy Stinson, dean of the School of Church Ministries at the seminary, as CBMW's day-to-day leadership role. Strachan will continue his teaching ministry at the college.

"I am thrilled to work for CBMW as executive director," he said. "Under the instruction and mentorship of complementarian leaders like Bruce Ware, Al Mohler and Mark Dever, God enabled me to see the beauty and wisdom of biblical gender roles. With many thousands of other young evangelicals gripped by the gospel, I love God's design for men and women. I'm excited to promote this design at CBMW through an ambitious slate of events and initiatives in coming days. CBMW will continue to aid local churches in the formation of God-glorifying families even as we engage the broader cultural discussion of marriage, homosexuality and human flourishing. We are ideally positioned for such engagement, because in a world struggling to find balance on the shifting sand of opinion, we stand on the solid rock of God's truth."

Russell D. Moore, chairman of the board for CBMW and dean of the School of Theology at Southern, said in a news release by the organization, “Owen Strachan is a bright and energetic young thinker, brimming with wise ideas about the next stage of CBMW’s mission. I’m excited about the road-map he’s laid out for us and look forward to the future.”

In the same release, Ligon Duncan, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Miss., and president of the CBMW, also commented on Strachan's appointment: "At this strategic moment, I am especially enthusiastic and grateful to have the privilege of working alongside Owen Strachan, a dynamic young scholar, in promoting the Bible’s vision for manhood and womanhood in the home and church.”

In October of last year, Strachan participated in a popular radio debate with egalitarian author Rachel Held Evans. And then in November, Strachan delivered a lecture at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., about evangelical cultural engagement.

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Adoption a pro-life issue for evangelicals, Moore tells RNS

Southern Seminary's Russell D. Moore says adoption calls evangelical Christians to "shelter the vulnerable," in an interview published by the Religion News Service (RNS), Dec. 31, 2012. Moore, senior vice president for academic administration and dean of the School of Theology, talks with an editor from RNS, Adelle Banks, about adoption as a "pro-life policy for evangelicals."

Banks asks Moore a number or questions, ranging from the biblical metaphor of adoption to the connection between pro-life and pro-adoption movements to challenges for adoptive parents. Concerning adoption as a calling for evangelicals, he states that care for orphans flows both from the Christian commitment to help the "least of these," and from the evangelical doctrine of adoption, in which God brings spiritual orphans into his family. Moore answers two related questions:

Q: Are you suggesting that evangelical churches specifically or churches in general be more involved?

A: At the level of the common good, this is something that all people should be concerned about. But it’s consistent for evangelical Christians to be pro-orphan.

Q: Adoption has been a growing issue for evangelical churches in the last decade. How are they doing, and how much further do they have to go to meet your goals?

A: What most churches want, when they start to think about this issue, is a preprogrammed initiative, a set of instructions. I don’t think this issue works that way. It has to be organic. It has to be flexible. It has to create a culture within a congregation.

It will be congregational cultures that start to change with the inclusion of the families who are adopting and fostering and caring for orphans. I think that’s a long-term project over a generation, not something short-term.

The full interview, "Why adoption is a 'pro-life' policy for evangelicals" is available at the RNS website (here).

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In light of Connecticut shooting, Mohler offers special edition of The Briefing

In light of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., early Dec. 14, R. Albert Mohler Jr. recorded a special edition episode of his daily podcast, The Briefing. Mohler is the president of Southern Seminary.

In this episode, Mohler reacts to the shooting and addresses questions like, "How should Christians respond to such horrible events?", "How should Christians speak and pray regarding this tragedy?" and more. He also interviews Joey Newton, pastor-teacher of Newtown Bible Church in Newtown.

The special edition of The Briefing is available here.

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Mohler featured in New York Times editorial

An opinion editorial published in The New York Times, Dec. 13, 2012, referenced R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary, concerning the use of extra-biblical traditions in the Christmas story.

According to the editorial, "Hark! The Herald Angels Didn’t Sing," the use of imagination and elaboration in the Christmas story is dividing Christians over whether such additions are helpful in knowing God.

T. M. Luhrmann writes: "The pope and Albert Mohler are concerned that Christians get God right. They fear that congregants in these experientially oriented churches will imagine God in a way that inadvertently violates Scripture and leads them astray (God might become wholly loving, for example, and not at all judgmental)."

The full article is available at The New York Times website, here.

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Moore addresses ARTs in USA Today article

In a USA TODAY article posted Dec. 9, Russell D. Moore offers comments about the use of artificial reproductive technologies, particularly by same-sex couples. USA TODAY religion reporter Cathy Lynn Gorssman writes about the complexity of current parenthood questions, suggesting that terms like "father" and "mother" may soon take multiple new meanings.

Moore, who is dean of the School of Theology and senior vice president for academic administration at Southern Seminary, "strongly opposes artificial reproductive technologies and same-sex couples' reliance on them to create families," writes Grossman. Moore says:

Treatments that seek to correct the causes of infertility are praiseworthy, but once science and technology re-engineer the meaning of procreation itself, it's gone too far. I'm concerned about the confusion and lack of well-being of a child, who from the beginning, has no father or no mother.

The full article, "Who's Mom? Legally, biologically, it's no easy answer," is available at the USA TODAY website.

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Mohler comments on conservative politics at BBC News

An article by BBC News Magazine, Dec. 11, featured comments from R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary, regarding the changing role of evangelicals in American politics.

"Evangelicals may well have to learn how to live in a minority position against the larger society moving in a different direction," Mohler said regarding the perceived shift in American politics.

The article, "US evangelicals question Republican ties," also includes responses from  notable evangelicals Rick Warren and Jonathan Merritt. The full article is available online at the BBC website: here.

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