Strachan quoted in USA Today article on same-sex marriage protests January 17, 2013

Same-sex couples are touring southern states in protest of strict marriage laws, according to a USA Today article, Jan. 16, 2013.

The article mentions Strachan, assistant professor of church history and Christian theology at Boyce College and executive director of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, in response to the protests from same-sex couples.

The WE DO campaign sends same-sex couples into government offices located in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South and North Carolina and Virginia, where they request marriage licenses. These states all have marriage laws forbidding same-sex unions.

"These advocates are putting these government workers in a difficult position," Strachan said. "The workers involved do not need to feel any shame about denying these initiatives."

The full article is available online at the USA Today website: here.

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Accreditation teams on campus in March 2013 January 14, 2013

As part of its periodic evaluation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary will host teams from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and from the Commission on Accrediting of The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, in March 2013. Those interested may submit  substantive comments related to the quality of the seminary or its academic programs in writing to the Office of the President, 2825 Lexington Road, Louisville, KY, 40280.

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Strachan named executive director of CBMW January 7, 2013

The Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood (CBMW) named Boyce college professor Owen Strachan as its new executive director, Jan 7., 2013.

"Owen is an exceptionally gifted theologian and scholar who brings a gospel-gravity to his cultural commentary," said Dan DeWitt, dean of Boyce College. "His appointment at the CBMW will greatly serve the church in continuing to understand what's at stake in protecting and nurturing biblical gender roles."

The council, which consists of men and women within the evangelical community from a spectrum of professional and ministerial backgrounds, considers the Bible's teaching about "the complementary differences" between the genders as "essential for obedience to Scripture and for the health of the family and the church," and thus seeks to promote a "complementarian" vision for gender roles as normative for the evangelical church. The Danvers Statement, a doctrinal statement produced at a CBMW meeting in Danvers, Mass., in 1987 and published in its current form in 1988, presents the theological affirmations of the council.

Strachan, who is assistant professor of theology and church history at Southern Seminary's undergraduate school, succeeds Randy Stinson, dean of the School of Church Ministries at the seminary, as CBMW's day-to-day leadership role. Strachan will continue his teaching ministry at the college.

"I am thrilled to work for CBMW as executive director," he said. "Under the instruction and mentorship of complementarian leaders like Bruce Ware, Al Mohler and Mark Dever, God enabled me to see the beauty and wisdom of biblical gender roles. With many thousands of other young evangelicals gripped by the gospel, I love God's design for men and women. I'm excited to promote this design at CBMW through an ambitious slate of events and initiatives in coming days. CBMW will continue to aid local churches in the formation of God-glorifying families even as we engage the broader cultural discussion of marriage, homosexuality and human flourishing. We are ideally positioned for such engagement, because in a world struggling to find balance on the shifting sand of opinion, we stand on the solid rock of God's truth."

Russell D. Moore, chairman of the board for CBMW and dean of the School of Theology at Southern, said in a news release by the organization, “Owen Strachan is a bright and energetic young thinker, brimming with wise ideas about the next stage of CBMW’s mission. I’m excited about the road-map he’s laid out for us and look forward to the future.”

In the same release, Ligon Duncan, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Miss., and president of the CBMW, also commented on Strachan's appointment: "At this strategic moment, I am especially enthusiastic and grateful to have the privilege of working alongside Owen Strachan, a dynamic young scholar, in promoting the Bible’s vision for manhood and womanhood in the home and church.”

In October of last year, Strachan participated in a popular radio debate with egalitarian author Rachel Held Evans. And then in November, Strachan delivered a lecture at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., about evangelical cultural engagement.

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Adoption a pro-life issue for evangelicals, Moore tells RNS January 2, 2013

Southern Seminary's Russell D. Moore says adoption calls evangelical Christians to "shelter the vulnerable," in an interview published by the Religion News Service (RNS), Dec. 31, 2012. Moore, senior vice president for academic administration and dean of the School of Theology, talks with an editor from RNS, Adelle Banks, about adoption as a "pro-life policy for evangelicals."

Banks asks Moore a number or questions, ranging from the biblical metaphor of adoption to the connection between pro-life and pro-adoption movements to challenges for adoptive parents. Concerning adoption as a calling for evangelicals, he states that care for orphans flows both from the Christian commitment to help the "least of these," and from the evangelical doctrine of adoption, in which God brings spiritual orphans into his family. Moore answers two related questions:

Q: Are you suggesting that evangelical churches specifically or churches in general be more involved?

A: At the level of the common good, this is something that all people should be concerned about. But it’s consistent for evangelical Christians to be pro-orphan.

Q: Adoption has been a growing issue for evangelical churches in the last decade. How are they doing, and how much further do they have to go to meet your goals?

A: What most churches want, when they start to think about this issue, is a preprogrammed initiative, a set of instructions. I don’t think this issue works that way. It has to be organic. It has to be flexible. It has to create a culture within a congregation.

It will be congregational cultures that start to change with the inclusion of the families who are adopting and fostering and caring for orphans. I think that’s a long-term project over a generation, not something short-term.

The full interview, "Why adoption is a 'pro-life' policy for evangelicals" is available at the RNS website (here).

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In light of Connecticut shooting, Mohler offers special edition of The Briefing December 14, 2012

In light of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., early Dec. 14, R. Albert Mohler Jr. recorded a special edition episode of his daily podcast, The Briefing. Mohler is the president of Southern Seminary.

In this episode, Mohler reacts to the shooting and addresses questions like, "How should Christians respond to such horrible events?", "How should Christians speak and pray regarding this tragedy?" and more. He also interviews Joey Newton, pastor-teacher of Newtown Bible Church in Newtown.

The special edition of The Briefing is available here.

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Mohler featured in New York Times editorial

An opinion editorial published in The New York Times, Dec. 13, 2012, referenced R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary, concerning the use of extra-biblical traditions in the Christmas story.

According to the editorial, "Hark! The Herald Angels Didn’t Sing," the use of imagination and elaboration in the Christmas story is dividing Christians over whether such additions are helpful in knowing God.

T. M. Luhrmann writes: "The pope and Albert Mohler are concerned that Christians get God right. They fear that congregants in these experientially oriented churches will imagine God in a way that inadvertently violates Scripture and leads them astray (God might become wholly loving, for example, and not at all judgmental)."

The full article is available at The New York Times website, here.

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Moore addresses ARTs in USA Today article December 12, 2012

In a USA TODAY article posted Dec. 9, Russell D. Moore offers comments about the use of artificial reproductive technologies, particularly by same-sex couples. USA TODAY religion reporter Cathy Lynn Gorssman writes about the complexity of current parenthood questions, suggesting that terms like "father" and "mother" may soon take multiple new meanings.

Moore, who is dean of the School of Theology and senior vice president for academic administration at Southern Seminary, "strongly opposes artificial reproductive technologies and same-sex couples' reliance on them to create families," writes Grossman. Moore says:

Treatments that seek to correct the causes of infertility are praiseworthy, but once science and technology re-engineer the meaning of procreation itself, it's gone too far. I'm concerned about the confusion and lack of well-being of a child, who from the beginning, has no father or no mother.

The full article, "Who's Mom? Legally, biologically, it's no easy answer," is available at the USA TODAY website.

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Mohler comments on conservative politics at BBC News

An article by BBC News Magazine, Dec. 11, featured comments from R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary, regarding the changing role of evangelicals in American politics.

"Evangelicals may well have to learn how to live in a minority position against the larger society moving in a different direction," Mohler said regarding the perceived shift in American politics.

The article, "US evangelicals question Republican ties," also includes responses from  notable evangelicals Rick Warren and Jonathan Merritt. The full article is available online at the BBC website: here.

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Dec-Jan “Towers” looks at the church calendar, to the year ahead December 3, 2012

The December-January “Towers” is now on stands and online.

Every December, my mom used to put this felt “advent calendar” on the wall, then my siblings and I would stick little wooden figures onto it as we counted down to Christmas. It was fun. All it really taught me, though, was that 24 miniature Santas — and wreaths and reindeer — velcroed to a felt cloth lead up to the real Santa. Not exactly the advent we’re talking about in this issue of “Towers.” Unlike the felt version, local pastor Daniel Montgomery explains how the traditional church calendar — including the real advent calendar — can preach the gospel to a congregation, year after year. And, like last year, several seminary figures share their New Year's resolutions.

Inside the year-end issue, we offer an interview with Paul David Tripp about his new bookDangerous Calling; we provide an update about Diane Schreiner, the wife of New Testament professor Tom, who sustained a serious bicycle accident earlier this year; and news writer Craig Sanders profiles Jason K. Allen, a Southern Seminary alumnus and the newest SBC seminary president.

Southern Seminary Resources publishes “Towers,” Southern Seminary Magazine and other seminary publications digitally as well as physically. Check out the Resources page for an improved online reading experience.

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Tragedy, hope and theology for life: Schreiners display model of faithfulness November 26, 2012

On Aug. 17, the Schreiner family faced a tragedy. Tom Schreiner, a New Testament professor at Southern Seminary, received news that his wife, Diane, was involved in a severe bicycle accident, leaving her unconscious, with several broken bones and fractures -- and, of most urgent concern, bruising to her brain. The family knew few details about the accident, and they knew even less about its effect on Diane’s future.

During the following days, Schreiner kept an online journal through CaringBridge, in order to update friends and family about his wife’s condition following the accident. This journal also became a window into the spiritual and emotional state of Schreiner and his family.

“We don't know for sure, and in one sense it doesn't matter,” he wrote in his first entry. “God reigns over all things, and now we deal with the situation he has placed us in.”

Five days later, on Aug. 22, Schreiner wrote: “Diane woke up and was conscious. She responded to questions, squeezed my hand, gave us the peace sign when we asked, etc. We cried with joy. We know that we have a long journey, but what an astounding answer to the prayers of so many.”

Later, he wrote that Diane had the text of Isaiah 41:10 posted to a window sill. The verse reads, "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand."

Schreiner’s response to this crisis demonstrates that he and his family believe this promise in Isaiah to be true.

The process of Diane’s healing brought many unknowns, but Schreiner consistently pointed to the gospel through all the questions. In a post at the online journal, Sept. 2, Schreiner wrote:

“If sparrows don't fall to the ground apart from the Father, neither do bicycle riders. Not even the tiniest thing can happen to us apart from the Father's will. He didn't cease being her Father when she fell. …Why did it happen? The scriptures are clear: to bring glory to God. … He planned it for our good, so that we would become more like Christ and trust our Father even more.”

On Oct. 25, Tom Schreiner was scheduled to preach in Southern Seminary’s chapel. Diane progressed enough in her recovery that she was able to attend the chapel, where she received a warm greeting from seminary president R. Albert Mohler Jr. and an extended standing ovation from those in attendance. Once he stood to preach, Schreiner thanked the seminary community for prayers and support.

“I want to say thank you for the love and prayers you’ve shown Diane and me. Your love for us has been overwhelming; it has been deeply encouraging to us. I’m so grateful to Drs. Mohler and Moore; they gave me freedom to care for and minister to Diane, for which I am so grateful. We have seen the love of Christ in countless ways -- especially in prayers. Almost every day the Lord has encouraged me and my family by answering prayer. From the very beginning, it’s his will, but we’d ask, ‘Lord, encourage us with an answer to prayer’ and virtually every day, he did.”

The week after Diane’s accident, the Schreiner family prepared for a recovery time lasting as long as two years. On Nov. 19, roughly three months after the accident, however, Schreiner gave the following update:

“We are full of praise, for Diane finished her outpatient therapy today! ... That doesn’t mean that Diane is fully recovered; but she has made amazing progress since her accident.”

Back in August, the Schreiners anticipated a different fall season, but their faith in God, rooted in sound theology, prepared them for the fall that came.

“The best thing to prepare for suffering is good theology,” Schreiner wrote at CaringBridge. “Whether it is life or death, healing or disease, God is good and he rules.”

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