Phillip Landgrave, who died September 24 at age 86, left behind a legacy of faithfulness to his family and energetic service at Southern Seminary and in a host of local churches in Louisville and across the South.
Southern Seminary President Albert Mohler remembers him for his work as a composer and the tremendous level of energy he brought to ministry.
“Phil Landgrave was a whirlwind of energy and composition,” Mohler said. “He composed more than 500 published works of church music. He contributed hymns to the Baptist Hymnal and many other works. He was a devoted servant of Christ and a master teacher.
“To know him was to know a fury of creativity and a tremendously gifted musician. He invested his long teaching ministry at Southern Seminary and left an indelible mark on hundreds of students.”
Landgrave was survived by his wife, Gloria, three children, and eight grandchildren. His son, Kevin, died suddenly earlier this year from a brain aneurysm. The Landgraves were married for nearly 62 years—their 62nd anniversary would’ve been today—October 4.
Born in Marion, Indiana, Landgrave began part-time on faculty at SBTS in 1964 before moving to faculty full-time the next year as associate professor of church music. Landgrave served on Southern’s faculty as V. V. Cooke Professor of Church Music for 35 years. He retired in 2000 and continued as a senior professor until 2013.
“I can only imagine how many Christians walk around with spiritual songs ringing in their minds, without knowing that it was Phil Landgrave who wrote that tune,” Mohler said. “Friends and family remembered Landgrave waking up in the middle of the night with a tune in his mind, and writing down the tune before it left him.”
WORLD, a noted bi-weekly Christian news magazine, recently announced that SBTS President R. Albert Mohler Jr. and professor Andrew T. Walker will team up to manage a new conservative commentary on pressing current issues, WORLD Opinions, which launched today.
Mohler was named opinion editor and Walker will serve as managing editor. Mohler believes now is the time to present uncompromising Christian conviction.
“We are living in a great battle of ideas.” Mohler said. “What we need is one place with authoritative, respectful, thoughtful, unequivocally Christian and conservative opinion, from a range of voices who share that commitment.”
WORLD Opinions comes bundled with a subscription to WORLD Magazine and will feature columns from some of today’s leading voices. It will be part of WORLD’s digital platform.
Walker, who serves as associate professor of Christian ethics and apologetics at SBTS, is thrilled for the opportunity to connect the theological convictions of readers to a well-articulated political conviction.
“As managing editor, I will be providing thought leadership to the overall project, making sure that WORLD Opinions is occupying the right theological and intellectual lanes in its content, tone, and direction,” he said.
A Commitment to the Biblical Languages Helps Guard the Faith, Plummer says in Faculty Address September 29, 2021
A commitment to learning Greek and Hebrew—the original biblical languages—helps preserve orthodoxy in the local church, Rob Plummer said Sept. 22 in the annual Faculty Address at Southern Seminary.
In an age when evangelical institutions are cutting language requirements, Plummer gave five reasons why the languages are necessary and then pointed to four modern challenges. Plummer serves as the Collin and Evelyn Aikman Professor of Biblical Studies. The entire address may be viewed here.
“Because we at Southern Seminary value the breathed-out inerrant Word of God as the final authority for our Christian beliefs and practices, we must be students of the original languages,” Plummer said.
Plummer argued that neglecting the original languages is one of the first steps institutions take toward embracing liberalism.
“A rejection of biblical authority goes hand in hand with the removal of the biblical languages from a seminary’s curriculum. In these days of catastrophic moral and cultural decline, if we are not lured by the never-changing Scripture, we will soon look no different than the culture around us.”
Now more than ever, preachers, teachers, and students need confidence in handling God’s Word. Plummer emphasized that training ministers to rightly divide the Word of truth in the original Greek and Hebrew is the best way to prepare the next generation of Christian leaders.
SBTS Mourns Loss of Beloved Church Music Professor September 27, 2021
The Southern Seminary community is mourning the loss of professor Gregory B. Brewton, who died early Monday morning after a sudden medical crisis.
Brewton had served as the Carolyn King Ragan Professor of Church Music and Worship since 2002 and was head of the Department of Biblical Worship. He taught students at Boyce College and Southern Seminary for almost twenty years. He was 65.
Southern Seminary president Albert Mohler said that Brewton was “one of the most faithful, kind, committed, and gifted teachers of his generation and he shaped hundreds of worship leaders and musicians in the service of the church.”
Mohler also reflected on Brewton’s arrival at Southern Seminary.
“We were looking for a gifted musician and worship leader who shared our theological convictions and would add strength to our church worship program. We found all that and more in Greg Brewton. He was always ready to help and to lead. He was loved far beyond Southern Seminary through his leadership of Doxology.”
Doxology is a vocal ensemble that often sings in chapel services and campus events, and is known through choral tours and recordings of beloved Christian hymns.
The Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam at Southern Seminary hosted its annual Academic Lecture Series August 27–28 with keynote speaker Gabriel Said Reynolds (PhD, Yale University). Two sessions were held at Southern Seminary and featured a total audience of over 200 students, pastors, and community members.
Ayman Ibrahim, professor of Islamic studies at SBTS and Director of the Jenkins Center, knows the lectures will serve to advance the gospel in the Muslim world.
“We were astonished at the turnout,” he said. “The Academic Lectures serve our vision to establish a scholarly Christian understanding of the many strands of Islam. Our mission is to equip students, pastors, and missionaries with an awareness of the Muslim world, in all of its diversity, to boldly and respectfully proclaim the gospel to our Muslim neighbors to the ends of the earth.”
The event highlighted current controversies in Quranic scholarship.
To engage advanced issues, the center invites Christian experts on Islam to participate in the annual lecture series. Reynold’s specializes in Quranic studies and Muslim-Christian relations.
He addressed whether there is a “Meccan” and a “Medinan” Quran, and then discussed the similarities and dissimilarities between Allah and the God of the Christian Bible.
The 18th annual Heritage Classic Golf Tournament—held Monday, August 23 at Big Spring Country Club—raised $253,000 for SBTS and Boyce students.
The tournament included 116 golfers, most of whom were SBTS donors, and the money was directly applied to the Southern Fund to underwrite tuition costs for students studying at Southern Seminary and Boyce College. SBTS President R. Albert Mohler Jr. said the day of golf will have a lasting effect in helping the gospel advance through theological education.
“It means a lot that we can have golf played to the glory of God,” Mohler said. “It will make a difference on the mission field and in the pulpits of our churches and places we will never go, places we’ll never see. That is absolutely glorious. What a great way to spend a day.”
The event culminated during the closing ceremony when Timothy Babatunde (SBTS) and Joel Warren, a Boyce College student who is also working toward an MDiv at SBTS through the school’s seminary track, each received the $5,000 Rick Bordas Memorial Scholarship.
SBTS Dedicates New Bookstore and Coffee Shop August 27, 2021
Marking a new milestone, the Southern Seminary community dedicated both The Bookstore at Southern and Scholars’ Coffee on Tuesday morning.
“This is the fulfillment of a lot of hopes and dreams,” SBTS President Albert Mohler said. “We are a people of books, and that goes all the way back to Ecclesiastes where [the author] is talking about so many books. That’s because where you find Christians, you find disciples, you find scholars, you find readers, and readers need books. This is a great day for Southern Seminary for which we are very thankful.”
Construction originally began on the new bookstore in February of 2020 but was interrupted for a year by the pandemic. Work resumed this past February. During construction, the campus bookstore was housed in a small room above Founders Cafe. Scholars’ Coffee is attached to the bookstore and offers a wide variety of desserts, coffee, and other drinks.
The new bookstore is spacious with 2,600 linear feet for bookshelf space and includes a wide selection of used books in addition to dozens of new titles and hundreds of works on theology, church history, preaching, ministry, and numerous other categories pertinent to theological education and the historic Christian faith. The Bookstore also offers a wide variety of SBTS and Boyce College apparel.
“While anyone is welcome to come shop in our store, we want The Bookstore at Southern to excel at serving the Southern Seminary community,” said bookstore manager Jacob Percy.
“This means we will continue to prioritize rich, theological books that aid in the sharpening of the Christian mind and the development of future church leaders. The Bookstore at Southern now has an extensive, and ever-growing section of used books that make some of the great works of theology, biblical studies, and church history of the past available to our customers. We hope this will encourage people from all over to come and visit the store for a one-of-a-kind experience.”
The battle of ideas is not a matter of intellectual strength but is most fundamentally a spiritual war in which our very souls are at stake, SBTS President R. Albert Mohler Jr. told students and faculty gathered Tuesday morning for fall convocation at Alumni Memorial Chapel.
Southern’s convocation marked the return of in-person chapel for the first time since March of 2020 when twice-weekly services were interrupted by the pandemic. As in the past, SBTS will hold chapel worship services on Tuesday and Thursday each week throughout the fall semester.
“By the grace of God, we are here, and we give him thanks for this incredible privilege,” Mohler said. Mohler preached to a packed chapel from Philippians 4:8-9, “Think on These Things: How to Keep Your Soul While Expanding Your Mind.”
“We’re in a battle of ideas and that becomes ever more apparent to us,” he said. “(Southern Seminary) was born into a battle of ideas in 1859. Throughout its history, it’s been part of that battle of ideas—sometimes even central to that battle of ideas.
The Alumni Academy Greek and Hebrew for Life Conference July 30-31 at Southern Seminary gave over 200 participants the chance to retain or revive their biblical language skills.
The event was co-sponsored by Daily Dose of Greek and Hebrew and featured an audience of alumni, current students, and many attendees outside of SBTS who were drawn to campus by the Daily Dose ministry.
Rob Plummer, Collin and Evelyn Aikman Professor of Biblical Studies at SBTS and host of Daily Dose of Greek, is excited to see Christians desiring to know God’s Word better. Alumni Academy was last held on campus in January of 2019.
SBTS Hires New Director for Hispanic Online Program July 23, 2021
Roberto Carrera has been named director for Online Hispanic Program (OHP) at Southern Seminary. Southern serves an increasingly global and diverse network of churches—making OHP a critical avenue for delivering theological education to Hispanic leaders.
SBTS President Albert Mohler said the Hispanic program is important to the seminary’s mission, particularly since the destructive weeds of prosperity theology have grown widely across the spiritual landscape of the Spanish-speaking world.