Although contemporary culture embraces the revision of core beliefs in the name of progress, the Christian church should be marked by faithfulness to the settled Word of the Lord, said Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. during the Aug. 23 fall convocation.
“While everything may be appearing to change around us — and far more so apparently in 2016 than in 1979 or in 1859, the reality is ‘the grass withers and the flower fades, but the Word of the Lord endures forever,’” Mohler said.
In an address titled, “Forever, O Lord, Thy Word is Settled in Heaven: The Unchanging Word in an Age of Mega-Change,” Mohler drew from Psalm 119:89 to demonstrate the stable nature of biblical revelation in the face of a transitory cultural view of truth.
Mohler said the contemporary view of change is driven by an aggressive, secular ideological commitment to the malleable nature of truth and the resolute nature of Christian theology is at stake. Christians must reject the cultural celebration of change and strive for steadfast adherence to the timeless truth bestowed by Jesus Christ himself and guarded by generations of faithful believers.
The seminary installed three academic chairs during the fall convocation: Randy L. Stinson, senior vice president for academic administration and provost, as Basil Manly Jr. Professor of Church Leadership; Gregory A. Wills, dean of the School of Theology, as David T. Porter Professor of Church History; and Daniel M. Gurtner (pictured), Ernest and Mildred Hogan Professor of New Testament.
In his address, Mohler referenced a sermon W.A. Criswell preached on Southern’s campus for the Heart of America Bible Conference in November 1979. The message, “All Scripture was Given by Inspiration,” can be found on the SBTS library website at library.sbts.edu
AUDIO AND VIDEO
of convocation are available online at sbts.edu/resources
“Our God seeks, shelters, serves, and showers the refugee with his grace.”
— David Platt, Great Commission Summit
“In your interactions with people, you can either inspire them to adore God and forget you, or adore you and forget God.”
— Jeremy Pierre, Sept. 15 chapel message
“The longings that you have for justice and righteousness ultimately come true in Jesus Christ.”
— Russel Moore, Driven By Truth Conference
“[Being in outer space] just deepens a comprehension, the observation of what we know through Scripture about the amazing creative work of God.”
— Jeff Williams, NASA astronaut, AUG. 31 chapel interview
“Don’t be embarrassed to serve your local churches in obscurity.”
— Randy Stinson, SBTS orientation, Aug. 11
“Christianity is not a moment of faith, but a life of faith.”
— Shannon Hurley, D3 Youth Conference
“Three, two, one…” Fireworks lit up the night sky for 10 minutes as a voice recording of astronauts and a reading of Genesis 1 capped the 2016 Fall Festival, “The Heavens Declare,” which featured a space theme. Young imaginations were fueled as a record 7,500 guests entered the lawn through a space port. One of the tallest attractions was a mini replica of the Saturn 1B Rocket located in Alabama. NASA astronaut Jeff Williams prerecorded a welcome video from the International Space Station, and encouraged attendees to give God glory for all of his creation. Guests enjoyed free “space food” like Moon Pies, Capri-Sun drinks, and walking tacos, and took a trip on several zero-gravity carnival rides.
— Annie corser
Photos by Ali Marsh
Although experts once said only seminaries adopting a secularized message would survive, that has not been the case, Mohler said, pointing to the fact that for the first time in its history Southern Seminary’s enrollment had exceeded 5,000 students in the 2015-2016 academic year.
The annual meeting also included the election of Bellevue Baptist Church pastor Steve Gaines as SBC president and a historic resolution repudiating the display of the Confederate Battle Flag.
— ANDREW J.W. SMITH
Trustees elected to the faculty, effective Aug. 1, C. Berry Driver Jr., professor of church history, and Michael S. Wilder, J. M. Frost Associate Professor of Leadership and Discipleship.
Driver has taught since 2014 at Southern when he was appointed librarian of the James P. Boyce Centennial Library. Wilder has taught at Southern since 2006 and serves as associate vice president for Doctoral Studies.
Trustees also elected two faculty members to endowed chairs: Randy L. Stinson, senior vice president for academic administration and provost, as Basil Manly Jr. Professor of Leadership and Family Ministry, and Gregory A. Wills, dean of the School of Theology, as David T. Porter Professor of Church History. Trustees designated Daniel M. Gurtner as Ernest and Mildred Hogan Professor of New Testament.
— S. CRAIG SANDERS
Gospel ministers must proclaim God’s Word with the urgency of eternal consequences, said SBTS President R. Albert Mohler Jr. in his May 20 address to 284 master’s and doctoral students who received their degrees during the institution’s 216th commencement exercises.
In an address from 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 titled “That the Word of the Lord May Speed Ahead,” Mohler said ministers protect and proclaim the good news of Jesus with the hope that it would “speed ahead” in anticipation of the Day of the Lord.
Mohler told the graduates they “represent the hopes and dreams of Christians down through the ages” and urged them “to receive this charge and to serve faithfully—planting and watering in the fields of ministry and taking care how we build upon the foundation laid before us.”
Outstanding Graduate Award
Andrés Vera, a Master of Divinity graduate from Toronto, Canada, earned the Josephine S. and James L. Baggott Outstanding Graduate Award. His wife, Courtney, received her Master of Arts degree.
SBTS President R. Albert Mohler Jr. called the Hispanic Initiatives a “great opportunity and a great responsibility” to form ministry partnerships in the Spanish-speaking world.
As part of the Hispanic Initiatives, Southern Seminary has appointed Miguel Núñez and Juan Sanchez to the faculty. Núñez, senior pastor of Iglesia Bautista Internacional (IBI) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, will serve as associate professor of pastoral leadership and lead strategist for Latin America. Sanchez, senior pastor of High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin, Texas, will serve as assistant professor of Christian theology and lead strategist for North America. Núñez and Sanchez will teach courses on the Louisville campus.
The initiative also includes offering all online Spanish master’s-level courses for $250 per class. For more information on the program, visit sbts.edu/hispanos.
— SBTS Communications
“The goal in parenting when God has given you children to steward, is your faithfulness unto God’s glory, all because of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Stuart Scott, executive director and founder of One-Eighty Counseling & Education.
Topics focused on “Confident Parenting” with counseling experts Tedd Tripp, author of the popular child-rearing book Shepherding a Child’s Heart; Heath Lambert, executive director of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC); and Scott, who also serves as professor of biblical counseling in the graduate school at The Master’s College.
— Annie Corser
A total of 4,177 students are enrolled at Southern Seminary and Boyce College for the Fall 2016 semester.
The North American Coalition for Christian Admissions Professionals recently awarded Southern Seminary’s admissions team for going above and beyond in their service toward prospective students and families. Southern was selected for the award out of 360 seminaries and universities considered for recognition.
Boyce College added a women’s volleyball team to its athletic program and began competition this fall in NCCAA Division II Mideast, winning its first two games in region play. Volleyball is the third sport offered at Boyce and the first for women.
The volleyball team is coached by Alexis Ammon, who was a four-year starter in volleyball at Samford University. Last year, Ammon was an assistant volleyball coach at the Christian Academy of Indiana, where she helped lead them to a state championship. — Robert Chapman
Those interested in joining the volleyball team can fill out the recruiting form at boycebulldogs.com/recruitme.
A seasoned pastor with more than 30 years experience serving in local churches will now step into the role of shepherding Boyce College students as the associate dean of student life. Jeff Hunter began his new role June 1 after moving with his wife, Stephanie, from Alabama.
Hunter expressed his gifting as being a pastor, and that this role, while different, will incorporate the same pastoral care to the students at Boyce as he would his church congregation.
“I’ve kind of come off the frontline to get some of these young men and women ready for the frontlines, and I delight in that,” he said. “More than anything I want our students to be great church members and great citizens.”
— Annie Corser
“We do have confidence that the education invested in them through Boyce College will prepare them whatever the job description may be as they move now into the future,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary and Boyce College, during the commencement ceremony.
Mohler charged the graduates to take a stand for the gospel so the world will recognize the hope within them. He explained this commissioning sends the graduates out to take their place in a “long line of faithfulness.”
“Show [your faith] to the world in order that they will see Jesus and desire him. … In so doing, you will serve the Lord Jesus Christ, you will bring honor upon this institution, who rightly honors you today, and you will show all Christians how to fulfill this job description given to us all,” Mohler said.
— Annie Corser
The three-day event, March 29-31, 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.
David Platt, president of the International Mission Board, challenged Christians to view the refugee crisis through the lens of God’s posture of mercy and compassion to the foreigner demonstrated in the story of Ruth. Additionally, in a series of “GO Talks” talks sponsored by the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam, SBTS and Boyce College professors encouraged students to care for Muslim refugees by adopting families and understanding the complexities of Islamic culture.
— Andrew J.W. Smith
“The most important apologetic that we can offer the world is an apologetic of love,” SBTS President R. Albert Mohler Jr. said. “If our apologetic is rooted in anything other than love it will destroy our credibility, because no one is shouted, shamed, humiliated, embarrassed into the Kingdom of Christ.”
Speakers included Mohler; Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; and Greg Thornbury, president of The King’s College in New York City.
— robert chapman
Audio and video of the conference are available online at sbts.edu/resources.
Speakers included Heath Lambert, executive director of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors; Jeremy Pierre, dean of students at Southern Seminary; Edward T. Welch, counselor and faculty member at Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation; and Stuart Scott, professor of biblical counseling at The Master’s College. Breakout session topics included prayer strategies, psychiatric medication, common mistakes, and how the church can care for depressed members.
— Annie corser
Audio and video from Counsel the Word are available online at sbts.edu/resources.
Williams, commander for Expedition 48, had previously spoken on the SBTS campus and regularly listened to Mohler’s podcast “The Briefing” in orbit. He returned from orbit after his 172-day mission on Sept. 6 with an American record of 534 cumulative days in space. Williams spoke for 15 minutes from 250 miles above the earth on the ISS. The space station orbits the earth entirely every 90 minutes.
“When I look out the window and I see this, all of the elements are what you would imagine you would see with a creative work by an infinite God,” Williams said.
— Andrew J.W. Smith
A video of the interview is available online at Southern Seminary’s YouTube page.