Patterson urges SBTS students to hold fast to inerrancy, signs copies of new commentary
Commemorating the battle fought for the inerrancy of Scripture in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Seminary, warned Southern Seminary students that they will face struggles concerning that doctrine in years to come.
"The devil knows that a quiet confidence in the certainty of God's Word is his undoing," Patterson said, during a chapel service at SBTS, Aug. 28.
The leader of the conservative resurgence celebrated that each of the SBC’s six seminaries embraces the doctrine of inerrancy. In a brief anecdote, Patterson credited men and women like the six pastors from Alabama who traveled to Los Angeles in a single Volkswagen Beetle to support the conservative movement at the SBC’s annual meeting in 1981, as the “real heroes of the conservative movement in the Southern Baptist Convention.”
Patterson, however, noted that seminary students should be concerned about the doctrine of inerrancy, so that they may be prepared for looming battles within the convention.
“I perhaps will not live to see a serious attack within the Southern Baptist Convention, but you will,” Patterson said. “And you will have to rethink these things for yourself.”
If a person denies the inerrancy of Scripture, Patterson emphasized, he or she denies the goodness and truthfulness of God. Pointing to Matthew 22, Patterson illustrated the doctrine of inerrancy through Jesus’ encounters with Jewish religious leaders.
Rooting his teaching about inerrancy in the person of Jesus as the Messiah, Patterson used discipleship as a model for believing inerrancy.
“Because Jesus believed that every single word of Scripture was divinely inspired, I’m going to believe that it is the inerrant Word of God,” he said.
Patterson closed his message exhorting Southern students to cherish the Bible.
"I believe in the inerrancy of God’s Word because in all the years I have lived, I have watched its power to transform lives.”
Upon entering chapel, students were provided a copy of Patterson’s The Southern Baptist Conservative Resurgence: The History. The Plan. The Assessment., a collection of articles about the doctrinal struggles in the 20th century.