LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — Trustees of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary unanimously approved all recommendations in the board’s April 18 meeting, which included the election of two faculty members, the budget for the 2016-17 academic year, and a $14-million renovation plan for Fuller Hall.
In a historic measure, trustees approved the recommendation of its Financial Board for the 2016-17 budget of $48 million, an increase of 9.9 percent over the previous year.
The legacy of the Protestant Reformation must endure in the doctrine and ministry of the church, evangelical leaders said at the 2016 Together for the Gospel conference in Louisville, Kentucky, April 12-14.
Nearly 500 years after Martin Luther ignited the Protestant Reformation in 1517, 10,000 attendees from 43 different countries and 20 denominations filled most of the KFC Yum! Center to hear preaching from the biggest names in Reformed evangelicalism. Over 4,000 attendees identified as members of churches in the Southern Baptist Convention.
R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and co-founder of the T4G conference, said the Protestant Reformation radically transformed the nature of pastoral ministry, starting with Luther himself. The German monk rejected the selling of indulgences by Johann Tetzel and eventually criticized the priesthood and papacy — key ecclesiological doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — The spring issue of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s alumni magazine, which released today, marks a prominent transition for the publication, featuring expanded content on faculty and alumni while offering an innovative online version, leaders said. Southern Seminary Magazine has also changed its release schedule from quarterly to biannual and has updated its format and design beginning with the Spring 2016 issue, which opens the 84th volume in the alumni magazine’s rich history.
“The new magazine format provides us a better avenue for telling the Southern story well,” said Steve Watters, vice president for Communications. Watters noted the free online Southern Seminary Magazine, available at sbts.edu/resources/magazine, is responsive to all digital devices, contains a linked table of contents, and adapts many of the design features found in the print version.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — Evangelical leaders, professors, and pastors emphasize the importance of faithfulness in a new ministry workbook released by SBTS Press, a publishing imprint of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
In More Faithful Service, which released today, Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. highlighted the importance of faithfulness in the Christian’s life. Faithfulness is necessary for sharing the gospel, caring for people, and devotion to one’s family and the Savior, Mohler writes in the opening essay.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — The addition of two influential Latino pastors to the faculty and significant discounts for online Hispanic students are key elements of a new initiative at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary designed to serve more effectively those called to ministry in the Spanish-speaking world.
“The Lord has opened an incredible door for Southern Seminary to minister all over the globe, but in a powerful new way to form this partnership for the Hispanic Initiatives,” said Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. “The Spanish-speaking world is on Southern Seminary’s heart, and we see both a great opportunity and a great responsibility. Prosperity theology and other challenges have made significant inroads into the Hispanic world. At the same time, there is an incredible, even unprecedented openness to the gospel and we are excited to establish partnerships with pastors and churches who we see as the crucial leaders for an awakening of Christ’s church in the Spanish-speaking world.”
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary will participate in Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s Give A Day Week of service with the fourth annual 1937 Project, April 23. The mayor’s office said the outreach, which honors the seminary’s role in helping the city recover from the 1937 Great Flood, is “one of the largest, most consistent groups over the last four years.”
“The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is an integral part of our Give A Day week of service,” Fischer said. “Last year they helped over 3,000 kids participate in a toy giveaway and this year they will organize a cleanup in Shelby Park, work with the Louisville Nature Center, among many other projects. We are sending a message that Louisville is taking its place among the world’s great cities, and compassion is one of our greatest strengths! For that, I have to say to all of you — thank you. What you’ve done has been amazing and inspiring.”
The 1937 Project unites students of Southern Seminary and the city of Louisville for a day of community service. Volunteers will gather April 23 to serve in more than 20 teams across Louisville. According to seminary leaders, the outreach is designed to further its gospel witness and practically meet the needs of Louisville residents, as well as modeling Christian service for future church leaders.
In order to fulfill the Great Commission, the church must learn how to teach and make disciples of the 1.6 million Muslims around the world, doing away with cultural fear and embracing them with gospel love, said Southern Baptist leaders during the Great Commission Summit at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, March 29-31. The three-day event featured leading thinkers in the Southern Baptist Convention in engaging Islam and handling the refugee crisis, along with student-led prayer for Muslims around the world.
With millions of refugees fleeing their home countries, many of them from Muslim countries like Syria and Sudan, Christians should view the refugee crisis through the lens of God’s posture of mercy and compassion to the foreigner demonstrated in the story of Ruth, said David Platt, president of the International Mission Board, during a March 31 chapel message at Southern Seminary.
“Our God seeks, shelters, serves, and showers the refugee with his grace,” Platt said, pointing out Boaz’s response to learning that Ruth, a Moabite woman, was working in his field. Boaz’s actions in the Old Testament book did not just demonstrate godly kindness, but also functioned as a critical moment in redemptive history, building a lineage that would “lead to the quintessential kinsman redeemer, Jesus the Christ.”
Secularization requires that Christians articulate their worldview in defense of the truth, evangelical leaders said at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s inaugural Driven By Truth conference, March 18-19.
“A conference like this is important, because from this generation forward no Christian will have a non-apologetic moment, and we must learn how to live faithfully in the world,” Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. told the 200 conference attendees.
Pastors should choose love rather than discouragement when mean-spirited people criticize their ministries, said Southern Baptist leader David O. Dykes during a March 22 chapel message at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“Brothers and sisters, you’re going to encounter some mean people even in the church today. But God has called us to show forth the fruit of the Spirit; God has called us to show forth his light and his love,” said Dykes, member of the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention and two-time Southern Seminary alumnus. He is also pastor of Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — A weak view of Christ is the result of many Christians today not thinking about theological issues, said Oklahoma Baptist leader Hance Dilbeck in a chapel message at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, March 17.
“The sad thing about the church today is that we don’t think much. We don’t think much about anything. And unfortunately, we don’t think much about our Christology,” said Dilbeck, president of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. “Most of our thoughts today about the Christ are surface and shallow and sentimental.”
Dilbeck illustrated this point by describing a real-life interaction of a mother and her daughter in Oklahoma City. After seeing a bronze statue of Jesus, the young girl rightly identified the figure. While she recognized him, her knowledge of who Jesus was came out when she added, “He died on an Easter egg hunt.”