SBTS Hispanic Program Adds Doctor of Ministry Degree February 20, 2023
Southern Seminary is now offering a fully Spanish online DMin degree with cohorts starting once a year.
SBTS Provost Paul Akin said the new degree will build upon the success of Southern’s Online Hispanic Program (OHP), which has equipped ministers across the Spanish-speaking world since 2016.
“The Spanish DMin is held to the highest standard of academic rigor,” Akin said. “At the same time, it is tailored for pastors and church leaders. The online format gives Hispanic pastors and church leaders an opportunity to immediately apply what they are learning in their local context.”
Southern has a history of leading efforts in Spanish theological education and is one of the few institutions accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) approved to offer MA and MDiv degrees fully in Spanish. As OHP enrollment increased, so did the demand for post-graduate education.
Roberto Carrera, director of the Online Hispanic Program, and Felipe Castro, director of Hispanic Initiatives, saw the need to offer the DMin. Carrera was previously named Director of OHP in 2021.
Understanding Small Details Can Enhance Your Bible Reading, Scholar Says in Annual Gheens Lectures February 10, 2023
Six surprising details will forever change your Bible reading, Peter Williams told the Southern Seminary community during the 2023 Gheens Lectures, held February 8–9 in Heritage Hall.
English New Testament readers often take these six details for granted: question marks, capital letters, quotation marks, paragraphing, verse division, and punctuation. But Williams said these markings are additions to the Greek text. While sometimes helpful, these translation decisions can distract readers from the author’s original meaning.
“Question marks weren’t used consistently until the fifth century and the original letters weren’t upper or lowercase,” Williams said. “For centuries, Christians read their Bible’s fine without punctuation and speech marks. Some of the useful marks in our Bibles went from optional and helpful to now binding our interpretation.”
Williams serves as principal of Tyndale House at Cambridge in England and is one of the leading Bible scholars in evangelicalism. The topic of the lecture series was “Surprising Aspects of Jesus’s Teaching.” He is a member of the translation committee for the ESV Bible.
Moral truth is attractive and leads to human flourishing, Robert George and Albert Mohler said during a discussion in the Bookstore at Southern. George serves as McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and is one of the world’s most respected voices within American social conservatism.
George delivered a lecture on natural law and the crisis of Western morality, then joined Mohler for a conversation on social conservatism. Andrew T. Walker, professor of ethics at SBTS, led the discussion. The lecture was sponsored by the Carl F. H. Henry Institute for Evangelical Engagement.
“We are in a new intellectual context,” Mohler said. “When the liberals of the last century claimed to save Christian morality from Christian theology, they lost both. For SBTS, we are proud to be cobelligerents against evil with Dr. George. But more than that, we are proud to be co-thinkers.”
George and Mohler discussed the state of contemporary conservatism; For George and Mohler, true conservatism differs from blood-and-soil nationalism and popular expressions of neo-conservatism.
Without the Word of God, Our Curriculum Would Be a Vapor, Mohler Says in Spring Convocation Address February 2, 2023
The foundation for Southern Seminary’s curriculum by which it trains ministers may be boiled down to one truth, President Albert Mohler said Thursday in his annual spring convocation address: God has spoken.
Speaking on Isaiah 40:1-5 Mohler said that the most important truth humans can know is that “the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” The existence of the self-revealing God is the irreducible foundation for the entire Christian faith. Thus, those truths undergird every class and every program in Southern Seminary’s curriculum. Convocation service was held Thursday after it was postponed Tuesday due to inclement weather.
“In the college and seminary, we are unashamedly and unabashedly committed to the faith once for all delivered to the saints,” Mohler said. “And we only know what it (the faith) is because he is there, and he is not silent. We only have a clue what Christianity is because he is there, and he is not silent. We have no way to know what is right belief and what is wrong belief except for this: he is there, and he is not silent.
The apologetic landscape has changed and defending Christian morals is one of the chief tasks today, Timothy Paul Jones, professor of apologetics and family ministry at SBTS, said in Southern’s annual Faculty Address.
Previous generations asked, “Is Christianity true?” but a primary question being asked of the faith today is, “Is it good?”
“Apologetics is no longer limited to scholars and theologians,” said Jones. “Cultural and social changes have turned apologetics into an unavoidable consequence of living publicly as a Christian. Pursuing the Christian way of life will inevitably require a defense of this way of being in the world—not merely for apologists, but for all of us.”
Jones said the Christian ethic is no longer assumed as a positive good for society. The current cultural climate is similar to the one in which the second-century church lived; we can glean much wisdom from those early Christians, he said.
“This is not the first time Christians have faced the charge that their faith is immoral,” said Jones. “My goal is to consider the ways second-century Christian apologetics might inform what we do in our churches and classrooms in the 21st century.”
Jones observed three truths from second-century apologetics that may benefit current churches.
- Christians practiced radical civil good without bowing to the civic gods.
Second-century Christians posed a threat to the social order because their monotheism opposed the reigning civic religion of that day. Jones applied this principle to the 21st century where Christian values clash with the dominant secular morality.
One Year Later, Mayfield Coming Back after Devastating Tornado December 13, 2022
Until Jesus returns, December 10, 2021, will live in infamy for citizens of Mayfield, Kentucky.
That night, “the Beast” tore through town.
Just before 9:30 that evening, one of the strongest tornadoes to hit the United States in the past decade—a storm so ferocious it moved one National Weather meteorologist to nickname it “the Beast”—roared through the center of downtown Mayfield. What the nocturnal beast left in its wake was hard to fathom: 1,300 homes and businesses severely damaged or completely destroyed, nine late-shift workers killed at a candle factory on the outskirts of Mayfield and 24 total killed in Mayfield/Graves County.
Within about a 90-minute span, the marauding twister obliterated the city of Mayfield and then smashed through smaller western Kentucky towns of Benton, Princeton, Dawson Springs (site of 14 deaths), and Bremen. Its winds reached nearly 200 mph, the surreal damage left behind ranked the tornado at an EF4 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. All told, “the Beast,” spent more than three hours on the ground, traveled 165 miles, and took 58 lives.
Wes Fowler, pastor of First Baptist Church of Mayfield, hunkered down with his family and another staff member in the church as the storm leveled his hometown and his home church. You may read his account here.
Graduates Will Impact the 22nd Century, Mohler Tells Record Class of Fall SBTS Graduates December 12, 2022
If Jesus tarries, the latest graduates of Southern Seminary will have ministries that will impact this century but will also reverberate into the 22nd century, President Albert Mohler said Friday morning at the seminary’s fall commencement.
“These graduates graduating right now, if the Lord grants them a normal tenure of ministry, that will bring many of them right up to the brink of the 22nd century,” Moher said. “It’s a pretty amazing thing. We’re celebrating all of that today.
“We are celebrating these graduates, but we are worshiping the one, true, living God. He has done this.”
SBTS graduated 275 students in its 230th commencement with 180 graduates walking the stage to receive their diplomas, both record numbers for fall graduation. Southern’s commencement presented a powerful picture of the global work of the gospel, with graduates from numerous countries including Colombia, Argentina, the People’s Republic of China, Nigeria, the Dominican Republic, Korea, Chile, and South Africa, among others.
Drawing on Mary’s Magnificat in Luke 1, particularly verse 48 (“for he who is mighty has done great things for me”), Mohler said it is important to see that the focus of the graduates’ work is the future. Today’s graduates will impact tomorrow and will carry out gospel work for decades into the future in local churches and on the mission fields of the world.
In her first year as Boyce Volleyball Head Coach, Jackie Wells won the Division II Mideast Region Coach of the Year award. Wells and the Bulldogs will compete in the program’s first national tournament this Thursday in Kissimmee, Florida.
“I am humbled and thankful,” Wells said. “This award is a testament to the accomplishments of the entire Boyce Volleyball Program and the years of dedication from the coaches and players who have poured into it over the past seven seasons.”
Wells led the Bulldogs to their best season yet, earning a number one seed in the Mideast Regional Tournament—where they lost a close match to Welch College in the championship.
Dustin Bruce, Dean of Boyce College, is proud of the team’s success.
“The Boyce Bulldogs volleyball team has modeled the disciplined pursuit of excellence we encourage our students to pursue in every area of life,” Bruce said. “We could not be more proud of their accomplishments this year and wish them well as they compete in the national tournament.”
Michael McCarty, Director of Athletics for Boyce, is thrilled at Wells’ immediate achievements on and off the court.
“Coach Wells has continued to grow our program and has done a fantastic job leading these young ladies in volleyball—but more importantly, spiritually and academically,” McCarty said. “Coach Wells deserves the Mideast Coach of the Year award as she has helped lead the volleyball team to their first winning record in team history, first one-seed at the NCCAA regional tournament, and first National tournament berth since the program launched in 2016.”
The Coach of the Year award and the Bulldog’s winning season continues a pattern of accomplishments for Wells. Attending Arlington Baptist University, she helped her team win two NCCAA DII Regional Championships and qualify for three National Championship tournaments. She was recognized as a scholar-athlete and four-time All-American by the NCCAA. In her junior and senior seasons, she won Region MVP and was named to the National All-Tournament Team.
After graduating from Arlington Baptist University, Wells moved to Louisville in 2020 to attend Southern and is currently pursuing an MA in Biblical Counseling.
“Regardless of our results in the National Tournament, I will finish out this season as a proud coach of truly amazing athletes,” Wells said. “I am thankful to play a small role in the growth of our athletic program and to represent Boyce College from the sidelines, and I am praying for the Lord to be glorified in the seasons to come."
The Bulldogs will face Bob Jones University in the NCCAA Division II National Tournament this Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in Kissimmee, Florida.
“All Preaching Is Persuasion,” Helm Says in Annual Mullins Lectures October 31, 2022
A faithful preacher’s role is to move from exegesis to persuasive exposition, to communicate biblical truth with clarity, and to bring credibility as a godly man to the pulpit, David Helm told attendees of the 2022 E.Y. Mullins Lectures, held October 26–27 at Southern Seminary.
Helm is senior pastor of Christ Church Chicago and author of numerous books, including 1 & 2 Peter and Jude, The Big Picture Story Bible, One-to-One Bible Reading, and the 9Marks volume, Expositional Preaching.
The theme of the Mullins lectures was “Persuasive Preaching.” Helm also serves as board chairman for the Charles Simeon Trust, a ministry that encourages expository preaching and conducts preaching workshops worldwide.
“The preacher, in his preparation, is always moving from the biblical text to presenting what he has learned,” Helm said. “Only after the hard work of exegesis and theological reasoning can the preacher turn to having a word for today.”
Helm said all sermons should make an argument to persuade. The preacher isn’t simply presenting information but is calling for an obedient response. To provoke a response, however, the sermon must present a persuasive argument that is clear and rational.
Fall Trustees Meeting: Board Commends Mohler’s Stance on Meaning of Pastor in BF&M 2000 October 13, 2022
At their annual fall board meeting Monday, trustees at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary unanimously adopted a resolution commending the public stance seminary President Albert Mohler took on the office of a pastor during the 2022 SBC annual meeting in Anaheim.
In June, Messengers at the SBC’s annual meeting in Anaheim, CA, considered precisely what the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 means when it refers to the office of a pastor. Mohler argued that the SBC’s confession of faith unequivocally reserves the office, function, and title of pastor to biblically qualified men.
Mohler served on the committee that drafted the BF&M 2000. On the convention floor in June, Mohler told messengers that there was no debate or confusion among BF&M 2000 committee members as to what is meant by the term “pastor:” it is an office which Scripture defines clearly in terms of qualifications and limits to men.
The trustees’ resolution commends Mohler’s stance. It concludes: “It is further resolved that this Board encourages The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary administration and faculty to continue its theological training with this stated conviction—graduating both men and women for service to the church, but with men alone reserved for the office and function, and thereby title of pastor.”