New SBTS Press title highlights the place of truth in key theological disciplines
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary today released a volume highlighting the place of truth in key theological disciplines ranging from systematic theology to biblical counseling. The book, Truths You Can Trust, contains thirteen chapters written by professors at Southern Seminary, each emphasizing the seminary’s commitment to biblical fidelity in every area of theology and life.
In his introduction to Truths You Can Trust, R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the seminary, writes the seminary stands in “a legacy of truth,” and it intends to remain firm in its central convictions.
“Nothing could be more dangerous than a theological seminary that is not clearly and explicitly and continually always grounded in truth,” Mohler writes. “The absolute determination of Southern Seminary is that we will continue to deliver a theological education of the highest quality and highest caliber of conviction – without any compromise whatsoever in doctrine or substance.”
In his chapter, James M. Hamilton Jr., Professor of Biblical Theology at Southern Seminary, offers seven applicable truths from the discipline of biblical theology, including reading the Bible on its own terms and interpreting it as literature.
“To understand the Bible, we have to be able to read literature, to know how authors show rather than tell, and to reflect on what they’re telling in the showing,” writes Hamilton in his chapter, “Truths You Can Trust from Biblical Theology.”
“We must keep reading the Bible with open hearts, active minds, and prayerful souls.”
The discipline of reading the Bible as one cohesive narrative, writes Hamilton, ultimately fuels gospel work.
“As we engage in the task of biblical theology, we do this for the sake of accomplishing the Great Commission. Jesus told his followers to go make disciples, teaching them to obey all he had commanded (Matt. 28:18–20). To do this, we must embrace the way that Jesus interpreted the Bible, which is to say, we must do biblical theology.
This focus on the Bible, writes Thomas R. Scheiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Professor of Biblical Theology, means students of the Scriptures meditate and reflect on who Christ is and what he has done for his people. Schreiner expanded on this point in his chapter, “Truths You Can Trust from the New Testament.”
“Faith is fundamental and primary for a right relation with God or for receiving eternal life,” Schreiner writes. “Those who have truly come to know Jesus Christ keep his commandments and show by their love for their fellow believers that they are truly born again.”
The seminary aims to train all students to be those who rightly handle the word of truth wherever God has called them, writes Hershael W. York, dean of the School of Theology, but training future generations of gospel preachers remains at the heart of the seminary’s mission. In his chapter, “Truths You Can Trust for Pastoral Ministry,” York argues that Scripture is sufficient for all shepherds of God’s people.
“You may need to learn some things in addition to the Word … but you will never go beyond the Word of God,” York writes. “The more you saturate your people with the Scriptures, the more they will grow in every aspect of life and family.”
The theology taught in the seminary’s classrooms is not something the seminary has invented, according to Michael A. G. Haykin, Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality. Rather, the goal of every professor is to help students understand how the convictions of the seminary have been passed down through generations of the history of God’s church.
“The study of church history informs us about our predecessors in the faith, those who have helped shape our Christian communities and thus make us what we are,” writes Haykin in his chapter, titled “Truths You Can Trust from Church History. “Such study builds humility into our lives.”
Truths You Can Trust is to intended to help readers become sanctified by the truth of the Bible, according to Mohler, referencing the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus Christ.
“I pray that as you read this book,” he writes, “you will experience the answer to Jesus’ prayer: ‘Sanctify the in the truth; your word is truth’ (John 17:17).”