“Towers” hosts free writing seminar, Sept. 21 September 5, 2012

Southern Seminary's Office of Communications invites all students, faculty and members of the Southern Seminary community to attend the “Towers” writing seminar, Friday, Sept. 21, from 9 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., in Honeycutt 246.

Jeff Robinson will help attendees hone academic, Web and popular writing, with a particular emphasis on journalism.

Robinson has won more than 20 awards for writing and journalism excellence in his 20-plus years of experience. He served as an editor and reporter for several newspapers in the southeast, his writings appear in USA TodayThe New York Times and Baseball America, and he was the director of news and information for Southern Seminary from 2000 until 2010. At present, Robinson is co-writing a book about John Calvin with SBTS church history professor Michael A.G. Haykin, due out from Crossway. He is now elder of preaching and pastoral vision at Philadelphia Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala.

Communications will provide lunch for those who RSVP by Tuesday, Sept. 18. To RSVP, email towers@sbts.edu or call (502) 897-4000. Those who do not RSVP may still attend.

Schedule as follows:

  • “This Is My Father’s World”: Christian news writing in a fallen world, the WORLD Magazine approach to biblically focused journalism (9-9:45 a.m.);
  • Journalism 101: the “formula” for clear, concise news writing contrasted with feature writing and in light of common fallacies (10-10:45 a.m.);
  • Nuts and Bolts: Crucial Aspects of News Writing: writing leads, conducting an interview and meeting deadlines (11-11:45 a.m.);
  • “I Hear Your Voice Calling”: feature writing and developing one’s “voice” or style for accepted journalistic practice (1-1:45 p.m.);
  • Don’t Waste Your Journalism: encouragement as to how news writing will make one a better student and gospel minister, with Q&A (2-2:45 p.m.)
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September “Towers” urges missional living in Louisville September 4, 2012

The September “Towers” is now on stands and online.

The cover text for this “Towers” issue, “rooted progress,” borders on oxymoronic. Rooted things stay still. Progress, well, progresses. And that’s the point: seminary culture is a transient culture, and so sometimes it becomes easy for students to lose focus on the community around them during their seminary years. We want to encourage these transients to continue progressing through studies, but, at the same time, put down roots in the city of Louisville, Ky. Toward that end, Don Whitney talks to Josh Hayes about students investing in a local church and being intentional in evangelism and Douglas Renfro proposes that students seeking to minister overseas can experience international missions locally.

Inside the September issue, you’ll find an interview with Timothy Paul Jones talking about his new DVD series, Church History Made Easy. And the "History Highlight" column looks at Southern Seminary's move from South Carolina to Louisville.

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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Mohler comments on Romney’s faith at NPR August 30, 2012

A recent article by National Public Radio, Aug. 29, included an interview from R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary.

The article, "The Risks And Rewards Of Romney's Faith Story," features various opinions about how the Republican presidential candidate's Mormon faith will affect the election.

"When it comes to the importance of family and the centrality of marriage, the responsibility to reward industry and to reward thrift and to reward the moral virtues, yes, there's a great deal in common," Mohler says regarding the shared values of Romney's faith with evangelical Christianity.

The full article is available online at NPR's website (click here).

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Patterson urges SBTS students to hold fast to inerrancy, signs copies of new commentary August 28, 2012

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.

After chapel, Patterson signed copies of his latest commentary, Revelation in The New American Commentary series, at Lifeway Campus Store on Southern’s campus.

Patterson’s sermon is available here. Patterson’s previous sermons at Southern Seminary are also available online at The Boyce Digital Library (here).

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Moore discusses student loans, seminary education at The Wall Street Journal August 24, 2012

The Wall Street Journal published an editorial, Aug. 24, written by Southern Seminary's Russell D. Moore, dean of the School of Theology and senior vice president for academic administration.

The article, "Student-Loan Debt and the Future of Seminaries," discusses affordable seminary options for churches and future pastors. Read Moore's featured editorial by clicking here.

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Mohler writes about Helen Gurley Brown, sexual revolution at The Atlantic August 23, 2012

Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. published an essay about Helen Gurley Brown and her contribution to the sexual revolution at The Atlantic website, Aug. 23. Brown, an author and longtime editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, died Aug. 13.

In his essay, “Why the Sexual Revolution Needed a Sexual Revolutionary,” Mohler credits Brown as a major player in the onset of the U.S. sexual revolution of the 1960s.

“When Brown's Sex and the Single Girl hit the bookstores in 1962, it lit a firestorm of controversy,” he writes. “... [She] dared to scandalize the nation, virtually inventing the ‘single girl’ as a cultural category. Brown urged young women to see themselves as empowered by sex, money, and men — but without any need for the traditional commitment to marriage.”

The sexual revolution, according to Mohler, was not an accident. Rather, like any revolution, the actions of an aggregate of individuals contribute to a culture shift over time. In the case of Brown, her persistently provocative writings significantly affected an entire generation.

“Since 1960 we have experienced a moral revolution that has transformed every dimension of American life, and the death of Helen Gurley Brown is a reminder that the sexual revolution did not happen by accident,” Mohler writes. “Like all revolutions, this one required moral revolutionaries.”

He concludes:

She was a living contradiction, who argued that being the single girl was the ideal, but then married; and that married men were fair game for adulterous affairs, but then drew the line at her husband.

The lesson for those who, like me, believe that the sexual revolution represents a moral disaster is that such moral revolutions come like a great tidal surge, led by revolutionaries willing to scandalize mainstream culture, confident that their controversial ideas will one day move into the cultural mainstream. Helen Gurley Brown lived long enough to see it all happen, to mark the 50th anniversary of Sex and the Single Girl and to know that she had played a major role in one of the most significant cultural transformations in human history.

Mohler’s full article is available at The Atlantic website: here.

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Southern Seminary to offer course credit at 2013 The Gospel Coalition national conference August 21, 2012

Southern Seminary will partner with The Gospel Coalition (TGC) to offer up to six hours of transferable graduate or undergraduate credit available to students from Southern Seminary, Boyce College -- Southern’s undergraduate school -- or any evangelical school in conjunction with the 2013 TGC national conference in Orlando, Fla., April 8-10, 2013.

Attendees can take either New Testament 1 or an elective class about the Gospel of Luke, both taught by Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Southern, in conjunction with the TGC national conference.

They can also take Introduction to Missiology taught by Zane Pratt, dean of the Billy Graham School school of Missions and Evangelism at SBTS, in conjunction with the TGC pre-conference about World Missions,April 6-8, 2013. Registration is now available on the TGC website for these courses, which will include exclusive lectures and events featuring professors, pastors and panel discussions.

The early-bird registration rate for each class is $400. This cost does not include the registration for the TGC conference or pre-conference. To register for the class, select the “Student + Conference Class” rate when registering for the conference at The Gospel Coalition website.

For more information, including course syllabi and FAQ, visit the TGC website. Those with questions should direct them to tgc@sbts.edu

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At special forum, Frank Page discusses SBC issues, says local church is God’s plan to attack the gates of hell August 17, 2012

“The local church is God’s plan to attack the gates of hell,” said Frank Page, President of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee to a special forum, Aug. 16. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the seminary, hosted Page in a discussion of major issues in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).

Among the many issues surrounding the convention, Page emphasized that the most important issue is not doctrinal, but rather the relevance of the SBC to the 21st century. He suggested that this methodological divide in the convention could even threaten the growth of Southern Baptist churches in the future.

Page celebrated the consistent desire among Southern Baptists to promote and expand the Great Commission. “I think Southern Baptists have grown weary of slogans and programs, but believe in the power of the gospel.”

Page explained that the Executive Committee is lowering its costs so that more Cooperative Program funds go directly to missions, but noted that the CP still depends on churches giving to support missionaries who are ready to serve. Mohler and Page discussed the challenges of a generation in which there are more missionaries ready to go than the SBC has the resources to send.

Speaking directly to those in attendance, Page encouraged Southern students pursuing church planting to consider ministry in traditional church settings noting that an aging pastoral pool is making it so that some churches aren’t able to find pastors. However, he communicated clearly a vision of healthy churches planting healthy churches.

“We don’t need more churches in America, we need more healthy churches,” Page said, promoting traditional churches and church plants working alongside each other.

Concerning the issue of Calvinism, Page stated that he envisions unity in the convention in spite of differences concerning soteriology.

“I challenge the students and faculty at Southern Seminary to be sensitive to our convention and respect those who may not have the same theological positions you have,” Page said, desiring to “establish a dialogue that is Christ-like and filled with the Spirit of God.”

Page also called for unity around the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, believing it “sufficient to pull people of various soteriological beliefs together strategically and practically.”

He said he hopes the BF&M 2000 continues to promote unity rather than arguments around theological issues.

A full video of Thursday’s forum discussion with Frank Page is available at sbts.edu/resources (here).

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August “Towers” offers a guide to fall 2012 August 6, 2012

The August "Towers" is now on stands and online.

One of my favorite magazines includes a “how to” section. Take anything from achieving a great shave, to buying the right car, to conquering my summer reading list, and the “how to” tells me the best ways to do it. That’s what we want to do in this first “Towers” of the 2012-13 academic year: give you a guide to the best of the fall semester. Inside you’ll find everything from coffee shop recommendations to a campus concert schedule. We also take a look at Southern Seminary’s leaving the business of deferring maintenance.

Inside the August issue, you'll find an interview with Boyce College professor Heath Lambert talking about his new book, Counseling the Hard Cases. And seminary president R. Albert Mohler Jr. talks about the upcoming academic year.

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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Mohler to appear on CNN’s “OutFront” August 3, 2012

R. Albert Mohler Jr. is set to appear on CNN's "OutFront" with Erin Burnett, tonight at 7 p.m. Mohler, who is president of Southern Seminary, will discuss same-sex marriage and the recent controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A and its president Dan Cathy.

The controversy began when Cathy revealed to a Baptist newspaper that his views of marriage reflect those of the Christian tradition. To a different media outlet, he disclosed his concern for a generation with the “audacity to redefine what marriage is all about.”

"OutFront" airs on CNN weeknights at 7 p.m.

Earlier in the week, Mohler addressed the Chick-fil-A controversy at CNN.com's Belief Blog.

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