The Great Commission Magazine of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary: Spring 2013
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission.
A Missionary Southeastern in Guyana pg. 16 Every Christian, SP R I NG 20 13 A Letter from the President > > > > > > > > > > > > > @DannyAkin The Great Commission Remains Our Passion > > > > > > > > > > > > > In the spring of last year Southeastern welcomed to our campus our two accrediting agencies for our ten year reaffirmation. Needless to say, this is a big deal for any school, and thankfully we passed with flying colors. The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) reaffirmed us in June and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) reaffirmed us in December. Our staff and faculty are to be commended for a stellar job. They are simply the best! When the visiting teams from ATS and SACS were preparing to leave, they conducted the required “exit interview.” There was nothing extraordinary or unusual about the interview with perhaps one exception. After expressing their gratitude for the gracious hospitality they had received, the two chairmen of the committees looked at me and said (I paraphrase but not much), “We have never been on a campus where everyone knew from top to bottom what the mission of the school is like this school does.” I looked at them with a smile and simply asked, “So what is the mission of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary?” They returned the smile and responded, “You are a Great Commission Seminary.” I must tell you those words encouraged and warmed my heart. The ATS and SACS teams were only on our campus for a few days, and yet in that short period of time they were able to sense the heartbeat and passion of Southeastern. Last words are meant to be lasting words. They convey what matters most to the person speaking them. As Jesus prepared to return to His Father, He looked at those who followed Him then and would follow Him later and said, “Go, make disciples of all the nations” (Matt. 28:19-20). This was the passion of our Savior. This will remain the passion of Southeastern. I have recently begun my tenth year at this school. It seems like I arrived yesterday. This year we will pass the 3,000 mark in students with another year of record enrollment. We will send out another large army of international missionaries and North American church planters. We will continue to train up a new generation of expository preachers, biblical counselors, personal evangelists and faithful pastors who worship King Je sus, love His church and have a passion for the lost. This is what being a Great Commission Seminary is all about. It is who we are today. By God’s grace and for His glory it is who we will be as long as I am here and, I pray, until Jesus comes again. Southeastern is a great place to serve. Southeastern is a great school to support. Thank you for standing with us. You are making an eternal difference. Daniel L. Akin President CONTENTS > > > > > > > > SPRING 2013 > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > STORIES 6 7 8 10 16 John Piper in Chapel: Piper Invites Pastors to Saturate their Preaching with the Word of God Ed Stetzer in Chapel: Stetzer Calls for Kingdom People to Love the World and Serve the King Board of Visitors and Trustees Gather To Hear about Those Being Sent Church Planting/Planting the Gospel: Southeastern in Toronto, Michael McEwen Every Christian a Missionary: Southeastern in Guyana, Michael McEwen EVENTS 22 Events from Around Southeastern BOOK REVIEWS Southeastern Facutly Works 24 25 26 Adoniram Judson: A Bicentennial Appreciation of the Pioneer American Missionary, Edited by Jason G. Duesing, Reviewed by Patrick Carter Edwards. True North: Christ, The Gospel, and Creation Care Mark Liederbach and Seth Bible, Reviewed by Jonathan Six God and Evil: The Case for God in a World Filled with Pain Edited by Chad Meister and James K. Dew Jr., Reviewed by Michael McEwen TOPICS 28 33 34 36 Why I Believe Children Who Die Go to Heaven, Daniel Akin Teaching Theology from a Great Commission Perspective, Bruce Ashford Theology and Evangelism in the Local Church, Chuck Lawless What Does It Mean for an Elder to be “Able to Teach”? A Proposal, Nathan Finn > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > SPOTLIGHTS 39 40 41 42 44 The Center for Great Commission Studies Scott Hildreth, Director Alumni Development/Denominational Relations Jonathan Six, Director The College at Southeastern Jamie Dew, Dean of the College Global Theological Initiative John Ewart, Associate Vice President of Project Development Financial Development Daniel Palmer, Director > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Spring 2013 Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Wake Forest, NC Daniel L. Akin President Bruce R. Ashford Provost Ryan R. Hutchinson Executive Vice President for Operations Alumni Staff Jonathan Six, Director Rebecca Taylor Communications Staff Kenneth Bonnett, Director Parker Griffin Rachel Linder Michael McEwen Bailey Shoemaker Ryan Thomas To inform us of address changes or if you would like to receive the magazine, please contact us at 919-761-2203 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20). Southeastern is an institution of higher learning and a Cooperative Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention. Support comes through the gifts of the Cooperative Program and the individual friends of the seminary who provide assistance through wills, estates and trusts. The Great Commission Magazine of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (ISSN 2327-154X) is published by Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary P.O. Box 1889 Wake Forest, NC 27588 www.sebts.edu STORIES @JohnPiper John Piper in Chapel > > > > > > > > > > > > > See the full message at bit.ly/103t3km Piper Invites Pastors to Saturate their Preaching with the Word of God > > > > > > > > > > > > > Vocational elder at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN, John Piper spoke on April 21st at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary on the prominent and essential role of preaching in worship. Piper asked the attendees, “Why does preaching have a prominent place in the church today? And is there biblical warrant for this?” The Word of God is preeminent because Scripture affirms its preeminence. Piper said, “God has chosen to reveal himself as the Word and by the Word. First, God was the Word before anything existed as the Gospel of John states, ‘In the beginning was the Word.’ “Second, God reveals himself by the Word (1 Sam 3:21). If worship is a seeing and a savoring of the ap pearing of the glory of God, then the Word is to be central.” Piper stated that 2 Timothy 3:16-4:5 affirms that the Word of God is breathed out by God. He then said that worship is the response of the mind and heart to God’s work in the world. “His works are done by his Word,” Piper said. “If we are to see a work of God, we should know that the work is brought about by the Word. For instance, in Jesus’ life and ministry, sins are forgiven by his word. The dead are raised by his word. The sick are healed by his word. “The Word created life and therefore, wherever there is worship and response to God’s Word, it is first because of God’s mighty Word.” Piper said to the attendees that an essential compo - nent of the Word is that it penetrates the heart and the soul. Something powerful happens when the Word of God is accepted and trusted. “The Word of God is to be both seen and savored. We are to mentally assent to God’s Word, and our hearts are to re spond and love his truth. These two constitute true worship.” Preaching has historical precedence as well. Piper highlighted texts such as Nehemiah 8 and Luke 4. In Nehemiah, said Piper, Ezra blessed the Lord and the Israelites worship in response to the reading of the Word. Additionally, the priests are helping the people understand the instructions from the Word. In Luke 4, Piper illustrated, Jesus travels to the synagogue in Nazareth on the Sabbath. After arriving, he reads from Isaiah and says, ‘Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’ “As these two texts show,” said Piper, “there is a history of people gathered for worship, the Word read and someone opening the Word for the people to be affected by it. Worship is both a right knowing and a right feeling in response to the Word of God. Without right knowing, we have emotionalism. Without right feeling, we have intellectualism.” Piper concluded, “Preaching is something more than explaining the Bible. Preaching is a valiant form of communication that is in accord with its eternal worth. All vital, Christ-exalting and authentic communion with the living God is to be saturated with the Word of God, and this is essential in preaching.” 6 sebts.edu STORIES Ed Stetzer in Chapel > > > > > > > > > > > > > Stetzer Calls for Kingdom People to Love the World and Serve the King > > > > > > > > > > > > > Ed Stetzer, President of LifeWay Research and LifeWay’s Missiologist in Residence, spoke in Binkley Chapel on March 14th. Entitled, “The Subversive Kingdom,” Stetzer preached from Matthew 4 and the necessity of God’s people to be kingdom ambassadors and revolutionaries. Stetzer is Visiting Professor of Research and Missiology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Visiting Research Professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also serves on the Church Services Team at the International Mission Board. Drawing from Matthew 4:12-17, Stetzer opened, “The Jewish people somewhat knew what the King and kingdom would look like. God had been promising to build a kingdom throughout the Old Testament, and as it develops, we get a fuller and fuller picture of the kingdom. “Yet, in the New Testament, the kingdom comes in a way most didn’t expect. They anticipated a governmental overthrow of the Romans, a full establishment of peace in a time of evil. In verse 23, Jesus comes to establish the kingdom through healing and the bringing of miracles. The kingdom came when the King came.” Stetzer said that when the church sees God as sovereign ruler over all things, they have a good understanding of the reign of God. Showing how the world is in rebellion in Ephesians 2, Stetzer said that God has always ruled from heaven’s throne despite this rebellion. Stetzer said, “Inaugurated eschatology is the word we use to describe that something has begun but isn’t completely finished. Jesus says, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come’ and the Bible teaches that the ‘kingdom is here’ (Matt 12:28; Rom 14:17), yet the kingdom is not fully here.” Stetzer noted that the church is to live as ambassadors of the King and the kingdom. “In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul reminds us that we’re representatives of the kingdom not of this world. So, don’t be surprised when lost people act like lost people. In the midst of worldly rebellion, the church is the Rebellion against the rebellion.” In closing, Stetzer said that Jesus begins this passage in Matthew 4 with a call to repentance. “We repent because we have been in rebellion. We repent and keep repenting. Repentance calls us to the King and the kingdom. We are to show the love of Jesus to the hurting and to share the gospel with the lost. I know Jesus wins because I’ve read the end of the book. But many, many people are hurting and lost, so what will we do?” @edstetzer See the full message at bit.ly/10b0xeX sebts.edu 7 STORIES > > > > > > > > > > > > > Board of Visitors and Trustees Gather To Hear about Those Being Sent > > > > > > > > > > > > > From Sunday evening to Tuesday afternoon, April is through Christ alone. Man cannot be saved by any 14-16, the Board of Visitors and Board of Trustees gath- other name under heaven. Second, across the globe ered at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary for people do not know the name of Christ. A lost person their biannual meeting. During these three days, mem- could leave his or her home, walk for weeks and never bers from the Boards conversed with current students, meet a Christian or see a church. Third, we as Chrisprayed for the seminary and made important decisions tians in America, have plenty of money and resources that will shape the school’s future. but will we do what is necessary to preach Christ with On Monday, Daniel Akin, Southeastern’s president, our lips and proclaim him with our lives?” provided an update concerning the status of SouthThe Board of Trustees on Tuesday voted and afeastern. He said, “As of right now, enrollment is at firmed a pivotal moment in Southeastern’s education 2,999. Once we get that one student, it will be the first history: a completely online Master of Divinity (M. time we have ever passed the 3,000 mark at Southeast- Div.). While in the past, distance-learning students ern. Our on-campus enrollment is stronger than it has could take a maximum of forty-two hours of online ever been.” credits toward their M.Div. requirements. The remainAkin also spoke about Southeastern’s Massive Open ing credit hours had to be met with on-campus visits. Online Course (MOOC). MOOC began spring 2013 and With this new online M.Div. approved, these requireit has become a popular new way students can view ments are no longer in effect. The individual in Calilectures from top-ranked universities for free. The fornia, Montana or Florida can procure an entire M. MOOC student receives the same information, re - Div. without leaving his or her home. sources and content as the student who physically atIn Tuesday’s chapel, alongside missionary Nik Riptends the Southeastern campus. Akin said, “Our first ken’s message, nineteen missionary units from Southclass we offer is biblical interpretation or what we call eastern were being commissioned. A “unit” can consist here at Southeastern, ‘hermeneutics.’ We expected of an individual or an entire family. Sharing both the maybe 500 individuals to sign up. The official count triumphant stories and the hardships of being a mistoday is 2,634 students and our plan is to continue add- sionary, Ripken said, “Whether you are crossing the ing more classes in the future.” street or the ocean, the content of the Bible must meet On Monday night, Southeastern hosted a “Great the context of the world. Our lives must match up to Commission Banquet,” where attendees heard from the Great Commission of Jesus to teach and make disBruce Ashford, Provost of Southeastern, Chuck Law- ciples of all nations.” less, Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern, Scott Akin closed the chapel inviting the nineteen units Hildreth, Director of the Center for Great Commission being commissioned to gather at the front of Binkley Studies at Southeastern, Nik Ripken, full-time inter- Chapel. Akin then urged faculty, staff and students to national missionary, and Daniel Akin, who moderated come and lay hands on these commissioned missionarthe event. This banquet helped the attendees under- ies to pray over them. Akin said before the prayer, stand the depths of Southeastern’s heart for missions. “Like these future missionaries, may we all be willing Summarizing the banquet discussion, Ashford said, to die in taking up our cross in love so that the gospel “There exist three truths for Christians. First, salvation light may go forth to the ends of the earth.” > > > > > > > > > > > > > Listen to Nik Ripken’s message at bit.ly/171KeHA 8 sebts.edu > > > > > > > > > > > > > STORIES > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > The Board of Visitors is a society of Great Commission Christians reaching the ends of the earth by equipping gospel-ready champions for Christ. Join them today. Celebrate forever. www.sebts.edu/bov | email@example.com | 919.761.2352 sebts.edu 9 STORIES 10 sebts.edu STORIES N estled against the northwestern bend of Lake Ontario, the city of Toronto is home portunity to ask local church planters valuable questions such as the contextualization of the gospel and the struggles of international church planting. Additionally, these students took advantage of engaging the citizens of a highly influential North American city. After arriving in Toronto early Saturday morning, the Southeastern team trekked through the streets of downtown. After a couple of hours, the team rested in front of the Church of the Holy Trinity. Noticing a few advertisement signs in the front entrance, a few team members decided to take a look inside the sanctuary. Upon entering through the front doors, the members noticed a band just behind the altar as well as a few cameras filming the band. After finishing the song, the lead singer, showing unease in her mannerisms and facial expressions, said, “Uh, I kind of feel awkward playing this song in a church but here it goes.” This event captures a snapshot of the culture of this great North American city. The picture is one that portrays a city where secular cul- to more than two million people, and it boasts itself as one of North America’s most vibrant regions — the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The GTA is the cultural, entertainment and financial capital of the nation. The city is also the seat of the Ontario government. Concerning the population growth, in 1814, the “Town of York” (Toronto) grew abundantly from 720 citizens to 30,775 in 1851! The city became more and more multicultural after 1945 due to the large influx of immigrants. By 2001, 152 languages and dialects were spoken in Toronto itself. According to that year’s census, more than half of Toronto’s 2.5 million residents were born outside of Canada and a million people belonged to visible minorities. From March 23rd-30th, a team of ten from Southeastern traveled to Toronto to build re lationships, explore the lostness of metro To ronto and learn how to engage the city more deeply. During the week, students had the op - sebts.edu 11 STORIES ture has transgressed onto the sacred, slowly suffocating the gospel and Christ’s church. A small tour of the city of Toronto would testify to a society embracing progressive culture via various forms such as the arts and architecture. Most Torontonians are people who are seeking their own fate as well as communal relationships. For many Torontonians, they want to be the “master of their own fates,” especially their own religions. This, the team found, makes for a very personal religion/spirituality lacking authority and guidance. Because of these characteristics, church planters through the North American Mis sions Board (NAMB) are trying to reach them, and the primary model utilized is relational phlets, brochures and papers are passed out on nearly every corner. Hence, deep and lasting relationships with people will not happen when someone hands them a gospel tract or invitation to a church. The common response to such hospitable acts is to receive it with a smile and quickly discard it. To reiterate, many Toronto citizens are searching for a community to accept them. So the desire to be “masters of their own fate” and the hope for communal relationships together cause a few tensions. The first is an individualism that is self-seeking. In talking to many Torontonians, the Southeastern team noticed that people were not attracted to a “public faith,” one that is beyond personal experiences and feelings. On the flip side, these individuals want communal relationships — they desire friendships and community. But most of the people conversed with want relationships that lack accountability. The equation could pos sibly equal a form of tolerance — relationships without responsibility. A foundational statement to Torontonians is does not cause conflict is the life to be lived and the zealous belief to be believed. But with this motto comes the exaltation of tolerance, where relative truths triumph and morality is relegated to the individual’s choice(s). No room is left for a God who is absolute, holy and worthy of worship. evangelism. In larger cities like Toronto, pam- “strength in diversity.” Thus, diversity that 12 sebts.edu STORIES During a gathering at Trinity Life, Mike Seaman, a Toronto church planter and Southeastern graduate, discussed the third value of their church plant: truth. In this open conversation setting, Seaman said that he wanted everyone to assume something before he began the lesson and it was this: “All truth is God’s truth.” As a church, he noted, “We’re truth seekers who value clarity and the communication of truth in all forms, whether its truth in the science world, the business world, the sports world, etc.” Seaman’s hope is to shepherd Trinity Life to live and speak Christ’s gospel in whatever area they may be involved. Like most, if not all, North American cities, Toronto falls into the category where truth is seen as merely relative and not absolute. With the gospel and truth being mutually exclusive, said Seaman. Rather than bashing people over the heads with the gospel, Seaman proposed, “If we are thinking about truth properly, we are going to embody it properly. And the community around us will be witnesses to the true life we are embodying.” This embodiment opens the door for deeper conversations about the true life that believers live. On the Toronto Church Planting website, it states that Toronto is extremely unchurched and the population itself is incredibly diverse. Church planters are coveted for the spread of the gospel to penetrate this prominent, modern city. In light of these characteristics, Toronto church planters are building relationships with Torontonians and inviting them to the true life of Jesus. With a number of worldviews, cultures and religions prevalent in To ronto, much labor is expected from these servants and echoing Paul, they believe this is the fight worth fighting. Even though the city of Toronto is greatly secular, the hope of the gospel is marching forth. One of the desires for Daniel Yang, fellow pastor at Trinity Life, and Mike Seaman is to see the city of Toronto transformed by the gospel so that it can exalt Christ through its many evident cultures — a reality envisioned in Revelation 5 where a multitude of tribes and languages and peoples and nations singing praises to Christ, the sacrificed Lamb. sebts.edu 13 STORIES 14 sebts.edu See more pictures from the trip at bit.ly/11yGET1 STORIES 16 sebts.edu STORIES A Missionary Southeastern in Guyana Story by Michael McEwen Photos by Kelly Jo Every Christian, Planes, Trams & Automobiles As the 757 Boeing Delta flight made its final descent into the Georgetown International Airport, some of the members of the Guyana Missions Team began to wake up from the overnight red-eye; other team members were already awake in anticipation or alert primarily due to firm seats and uncomfortable postures. After the plane rested onto the airport runway, the team unloaded and stepped into the stifling, equator air of this South American city, which was a slight temperature change from the November New York air the night before. The city of Georgetown is erected and pep pered with Dutch and Victorian architecture. St. Georgeâ€™s Cathedral, an internationally famous Anglican cathedral, stands 143 feet in height and was completed in 1899. Due to its founding by early Dutch and English colonists, Georgetown is located on the mouth of the Demerara River fronting the Atlantic Ocean, where nearly 90% of the population resides. Georgetown, originally called Stabroek, was an ideal location for European presence in the Caribbean for both trade and military endeavors; thus, the city is protected by seawalls, and like veins in the body, canals interweave in, out and through the city of Georgetown. With the hour car ride into downtown Georgetown, the team caught glimpses of why locals call Guyana the Country of Six People, composed of Africans, Amerindians, Chinese, East Indians, Europeans and Portuguese. (Approximately 50% of the people are of East Indian descent and about 30% are of African descent. 5% percent are Native Amerindians and about 10% are of mixed background). Aggregated villages and communities com- sebts.edu 17 STORIES prise the northern region of the country, and most locals visually display their religious affiliation. Hindu homes, for instance, cast many colorful flags — called jhandis — in their front yards for religious ceremonies, symbols of faith and ways to illustrate pride in being Hindu (28% of Guyanese population). Several Hindu temples can also be seen along the East Bank Public Road. Muslim, primarily Sunni, mosques are more remote in the country, likely due to its 7% representation. Christian churches — roughly 57% of the population — claim much of the Guyanese religious landscape, with many being Charismatic (17%), Roman Catholic (8%) and Anglican (7%). Guyana’s natural resources are its timber, bauxite, gold and diamonds, and sugar cane, which were enriched by past colonial governments. Due to its rich resources, the Dutch, English, French, and Spanish battled and fought for many years to possess it. But it was the Dutch who gained preeminence in power and established Stabroek (Georgetown). During the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815), the British occupied the Dutch colony and renamed the capital in 1812 “Georgetown” in honor of King George III. missio dei: the god on mission Missio Dei, says Christopher Wright, is the radical encounter with the living God and the “unavoidable outcome” of “witnessing mission” because of this encounter. Missions, then, is to be seen in light of God’s purpose for the entire creation, his election of Israel and their holy role, the centrality of Jesus, and God’s calling of the church to be redemptive agents to the ends of the earth. Christopher Wright emphasizes, Israel knew the identity of the true and living God: YHWH…The disciples now know the true identity of the crucified and risen Jesus; therefore they are entrusted with bearing witness to that to the ends of the earth. The church’s mission flows from the identity of God and his Christ. When you know who God is, when you know who Jesus is, witnessing mission is the unavoidable outcome (Mission of God, 66-67). Evangelicals committed to the spreading of the gospel of Christ recognize the authority of the Triune God, his authoritative Word and the authority of Jesus’ Great Commission to his followers. In other words, missio Dei is an invitation for God’s redeemed people to be active participants in his salvific mission. God is on mission and his Church is a “called-out” agent cooperating with the holy, sovereign God in proclaiming the good news of Jesus, the crucified and risen Christ. Southeastern acknowledges these truths and attempts to equip students to live them out missionally, whether it is in their local neighborhood or the international mission field. Every corner of God’s earth is a mission field for Southeastern, and the training for these areas begins in the classroom. “Every classroom, a Great Commission classroom” is the motto of President Daniel Akin. The student is cultivated 18 sebts.edu STORIES in the classroom with the Great Commission mindset. Whether the student is in Philosophy, Theology, Herme neutics, or History of Ideas, the Great Commission undergirds and precedes the professor’s lessons. Not only does it precede Southeastern’s classes, it is, more importantly, the aim. The students are equipped to be sent and to serve wherever the Lord calls them. thority delivered to him at his resurrection, he is not given “some” or “a lot” of governing, cosmic authority; his kingship reigns over “all” things in heaven and earth. The individuals of the Guyana team put hands and feet to the Resurrected Christ’s commission. They understood Jesus’ emphasis of the word “all.” On the first night in Georgetown, the Guyana Team traveled to a nearby church, Winner’s Cathedral, for a time of fellowship. The team was cordially welcomed by the congregation and the Prime Minister of Guyana, the Honorable Samuel Hines as well as Bishop Juan Edghill. The church congregation prayed over the team as well as served them a traditional Guyanese meal. Mark Vasconcellos, one of the leaders of the Southeastern team, preached from Ephesians 2:1-10 and Paul’s invitation for God’s people to see where they were without Christ, their current status in Christ, and the call for them to walk in the ways of Christ. The Guyana Team was encouraged by the Georgetown church to minister well to the Guyanese people throughout the week. On Monday morning, the Guyana Team split up into their designated ministries, a few teaching teams traveled to different areas in Guyana and a medical/dental team that cared for the local families of Georgetown. In one of the morning teaching sessions in the city of Georgetown, Dr. Ant Greenham, Associate Professor of Missions and Islamic Studies, taught leaders and pastors of local churches how to better read the Bible, a field called hermeneutics. Dr. Greenham taught the pastors that the The Mission in Guyana Matthew’s Gospel ends with Mary Magdalene and another Mary visiting the tomb of the recently crucified Jesus of Nazareth. As they arrive to the guarded tomb, an angel of the Lord descends from heaven causing an earthquake, which frightens the Roman guards. The angelic messenger gives good news of Jesus’ resurrection, and after the women leave the tomb they are greeted by the Resurrected Galilean. Hearing about this miraculous event from the women, the disciples meet Jesus in Galilee. He then commands them, “As you go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” As commissioned ambassadors of the King, the team members embraced this earnest and weighty call to go to Guyana and to speak and embody the gospel to the Guyanese people. The adjective “all” in Matthew’s Gospel does not refer to “some” or even “most.” It is comprehensive in breadth, width, height, and depth. In the verses directly preceding the Great Commission, Jesus spoke of “all” au- sebts.edu 19 STORIES key to unlocking the meaning of the Bible is Jesus himself, and beginning with the Gospel of Luke, Dr. Greenham invited the attendees to read the entire Scriptures in light of the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. These teaching sessions, which spread among the Guyanese landscape, were coordinated and designed to instruct, equip and encourage pastors/leaders to read God’s Word more richly and deeply in order that they might minister to their congregations and the local communities. Throughout the entire week, the Dental/Medical team cared for children and teenagers at North Rumfeldt Multilateral School in Georgetown. The team of three — Dr. Charles Burnham, Melissa Marshburn and Heather Simmons — was accompanied by a few local dentists and hygienists. The Dental team treated well over a hundred students from North Rumfeldt during the first two days of the trip. Waiting to be seen by Dr. Burnham, the children were ornamented in colorful uniforms — the girls with matching hair bows and pleated skirts and the boys in khaki slacks and three-buttoned white polos. Two members of the children’s ministry team — Ryan and Lynette Hale — played games, colored with and ministered to the children as a means of calming the children’s jittery nerves. A number of procedures took place, such as extractions, a few surgeries and many cleanings by the dental team. From the moment the team arrived at the school at 9:00 AM, they worked nonstop without lunch breaks. “As Christ took care of both spiritual and physical needs in his ministry,” said Dr. Burnham, “we are trying to imitate Christ in Guyana via the dental ministry.” The team also worked at the East Bank of Demerara on Wednesday and a hospital in Berbice, Guyana on Thursday. Southeastern’s Identity and Mission Because these team members were obedient to Christ’s commission, hundreds of people heard and witnessed the gospel. Christopher Wright states, “God did not say, ‘If you obey me and keep my covenant, I will save you and you will be my people.’ He already had and they already were. No, obedience to the covenant was not a condition of salvation but a condition of their mission.” Likewise, Southeastern acknowledges the intertwining of identity in Christ and missional activity, and thus, Southeastern equips obedient and missional believers to serve the God who is on a redemptive global mission. So if you were to visit Southeastern, you would hear the 19th century preacher Charles Spurgeon’s words echoing through its halls: “Every Christian here is either a missionary or an impostor.” 20 sebts.edu STORIES See more pictures from the trip at bit.ly/Y1A7BW sebts.edu 21 EVENTS 1Concerts On December 5th, Shane & Shane and Phil Wickham performed in Binkley Chapel for Southeastern’s Christmas Concert. Shane & Shane are on staff at a church in Dallas where they lead worship each month. Phil Wickham is also a Christian music vocalist/songwriter and guitarist from California. Teaming up, Shane & Shane and Wickham performed for a sold out crowd, leading them in traditional Christmas songs as well as their own compositions. Additionally, Atlantabased Christian rapper, Sho Baraka performed a free concert this spring. Sho’s lyrics promote a picture of salvation as well as the importance of relationships, education and social justice. 2 Center for Faith and Culture Nancy Pearcey, author of Total Truth and Saving Leonardo, was an invited guest of the Center for Faith and Culture late last fall. Pearcey presented to faculty and students the importance of Francis Schaeffer’s legacy for Chris tians today. In the spring, Andy Crouch, author of Culture Making, contended for a new kind of conversation about power, one rooted in the biblical narrative. In March, author of The Juvenilization of American Christianity, Tom Bergler spoke on the origin and evolution of the juvenilization of Christianity in the American landscape, and also provided constructive responses to these changes. 3 20/20 Collegiate Conference Southeastern’s annual 20/20 Colle giate Conference featured speakers Daniel Akin, Bruce Ashford, C.J. Mahaney and Darrin Patrick. This year’s theme, Gospel and Mission, examined the centrality of the gospel in the Church’s mission to the broken world. Approximately 700 people attended the 2013 20/20 Conference held on Southeastern’s campus. The attendees were taught how the exaltation of God and the atonement of Christ relate to the Church’s call to saturate the world with the good news. View the sessions at bit.ly/YNqmXT Get more from the CFC at sebts.edu/faithandculture 1 3 3 1 1 3 22 sebts.edu EVENTS 3 5 5 3 3 5 4 Truth and College On March 21, The College at Southeastern hosted its third high school day called Truth and College: How the Bible Informs All of Life. Growing to 160 students, Dennis Darville, Nathan Finn and George Robinson taught the attendees about how they can thrive as Christians in college. Through these three speakers, the students were informed of the entire biblical narrative, missions and their identity as ambassadors for Christ in college. In the breakout sessions, the high school students learned how they could be prepared for whatever vocation they may be passionate for such as business, art, education, science, economics and many others. 5 Global Missions Week Tom Elliff, president of the International Mission Board, spoke at a special chapel service on Wednesday during Global Missions Week. Global Missions Week is a three-day event where Southeastern College and Seminary students can learn more about serving as missionaries. Representatives from the International Mission Board and North American Mission Board visit to inform the campus body about serving internationally and nationally. Additionally, missionaries visit classes to explain their work in more detail. Other events such as the Taste of the Nations and coffee and dinner socials took place so that students could experience other cultures and learn from current missionaries. 6 Taiwan Missions Trip From March 21-30, Professors Jamie Dew and Benjamin Quinn took a group of ten students and one of Southeastern’s trustees to Taipei, Taiwan. While in Taiwan, the Southeastern team worked with University students, sharing Christianity and the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. While the University students are eager to learn about Christianity and are very open to trusting Christ, this is a very long process for them as the story of Christianity presents a fundamentally different worldview from their Taiwanese perspective. Quinn said, “This is what we’re all about as a Great Commission Seminary, and it is a joy to see our students flushing out what they’ve learned in the classroom while doing missions.” sebts.edu 23 BOOK REVIEWS Southeastern Faculty Works Adoniram Judson: A Bicentennial Appreciation of the Pioneer American Missionary Edited by Jason G. Duesing Reviewed by Patrick Carter Edwards. Adoniram Judson in the B&H series Studies in Baptist Life and Thought, edited by Jason Duesing, examines and cele brates the ministry of missionary Adoniram Judson and the birth of American missionary enterprise. The accomplished contributors to this work capture not only the remarkable story and lessons of God’s gracious and sovereign work through the lives of these humble servants, but also forecast how this story may cultivate a renewed desire among its readers for the global proclamation of the Gospel. The book is bio graphical, prescriptive and very encouraging. Of particular note and praise, Nathan Finn’s chapter on the missional work of Judson in Burma highlights the biblicallygrounded passion of the Judson’s to see the Gospel take hold of the lives of the Burmese. Finn helpfully highlights their contextual investment and perseverance in waiting for God to awaken the lost. Further this chapter grippingly recounts the hardships, loss, and sufferings which the Judson’s faithfully endured in their mission to obey the call of God. Finn amply demonstrates why Judson is worthy of the commendation which history has afforded him as well as of our own emulation. Also, this work includes the powerful sermon given by Dan- iel Akin at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and reproduced in his 2008 publication, Five Who Changed the World. Akin’s message illustrates the truths of Romans 8:2839 and how God demonstrated His faithfulness throughout the entire lives of the Judson family. Akin’s sermon exemplifies the aforementioned purpose of this book: to capture the essence of Judson’s faithful obedience to the Gospel and how Christians may find in his life a great witness of faith in the millennia-old cloud surrounding them. This book is of great value to both those in vocational as well as lay ministry. The contributors to this book illustrate vividly Judson’s challenges, demonstrating how the missionary is of great encouragement and witness to those actively engaged in evangelism. This work is not only an encourage ment and resource for individuals in local or international missions; it is a great counterpoint to any person ministering in a context where the Prosperity Gospel holds influence. Judson’s struggles and sufferings are a keen reminder of the cost of discipleship, and that wealth, health, poverty or illness is not an indicator of God’s favor. Instead, as this work exemplifies, the true disciple of Christ may expect hardship and trib ulation in service of the King. $ 24 sebts.edu 4 The Cost of Your Alumni Association Membership, or One Latte a Month. sebts.edu/alumni Southeastern Faculty Works BOOK REVIEWS True North: Christ, The Gospel, and Creation Care Mark Liederbach and Seth Bible Reviewed by Jonathan Six Rarely have I heard a pastor preach on caring for God’s creation. All too often pastors are at a loss as to how to ap proach such issues as the environment, pollution and/or cre ation care. Invariably what results is a neglect of such issues or a misrepresentation of the biblical text in order to make a case for or against creation care. True North: Christ, the Gospel, and Creation Care is a new publication from B&H Academic, written by Mark Liederbach and Seth Bible. This book at its core explains how the Christian faith can and should speak to issues of environmental ethics and creation care. The authors desire to serve their readers by 1) modeling a solid commitment to the infallible and inerrant Scriptures, historically orthodox theology, and biblically informed reasoning and 2) to provide a framework for practicing creation care that is “distinctively Christian” (3). Liederbach and Bible begin with making a biblical and theological argument that is then applied to the care of the creation. Due to this structure the book might be more viewed as a theology text rather than a book about the environment. The book highlights a number of important aspects of the Christian faith. First, the authors begin with God being the ground of morality. They argue that God himself is “True North” and is therefore central to all of ethics and especially care for creation. Second, the authors note the role of Christ as Creator, who creates and sustains this creation, explaining the importance of the “goodness” of the creation. Third, Liederbach and Bible expound on how humanity has a specific task as “ImageBearers” to worship and obey God and to exercise dominion over his good creation. Fourth, they argue that in spite of the goodness of the creation, Adam and Eve’s sin results in judg- ment upon mankind which has significant ramifications for all of the creation. Thus, the entire creation, especially humanity is awaiting redemption in Christ, Jesus the Lord, whose atoning work is the ground of all redemption. Finally, redemption and reconciliation are not in its final stages. Believers wait in anticipation for the return of Christ and restoration of all things. This anticipation of restoration and the full establishment of God’s kingdom shapes how the believer lives in God’s created order. Thus, the believer lives as one who is restored and exercising dominion over the creation. This work provides a few very helpful thoughts. First, as the authors have shown, creation care and environmental ethics are rightly understood as a biblical and theological category, not scientific. Second, True North demonstrates the sufficiency of Scripture to speak to an area of life that is often neglected. Third, the authors place creation care within the scope of God’s redemption. They rightly understand that while humanity might be the focal point of God’s work, re demption flows as far as the curse is found. Thus, the authors rightly explain how Jesus’ redemption extends to the entire ty of the creation. This work, while dealing with a topic that is often not discussed by Evangelical Christians, should be viewed as a tool to assist the church to think biblically and theologically sound about creation and environmental issues. The pastor will find this work to be a great tool for broadening his thought with regard to the creation narrative, theology and the practice of creation care. I, without reservation, believe this work to be an asset to its readers, to those who are looking to be challenged theologically and shaped ethically. sebts.edu 25 BOOK REVIEWS Southeastern Faculty Works God and Evil: The Case for God in a World Filled with Pain Edited by Chad Meister and James K. Dew Jr. Reviewed by Michael McEwen My mentor and pastor stays bombarded with hospital visits, counseling sessions and honest inquiries pertaining to the goodness of God. Evil and the consequences of evil incessantly interrupt his recreational plans and restful Sundays. You do not have to convince my pastor of the reality of evil and suffering, he is surrounded by it. Recognizing the profundity and profanity of evil, editors and contributors Chad Meister and Southeastern professor James lem of evil. Their goal is “to provide reasonable answers to these kinds of questions (about evil) and to present various ways evangelical Christians have wrestled with the issues” (9). In four parts, the editors develop a working definition of evil, some reasons why God might permit evil in His world, relevant themes related to evil, and contemporary issues in the problem of evil. Associate Professor of History of Ideas and Philosophy and Dean of the College at Southeastern, James K. Dew Jr. intro duces in his chapter — “The Logical Problem of Evil” — three major categories in the topic of the problem of evil: the evidential problem of evil, the religious problem of evil and the logical problem of evil. The focus of Dew’s chapter “centers on an alleged inconsistency between the ideas of God’s existence and the existence of evil itself” (27). In response, Dew examines whether there is indeed an inconsistency or contradiction between God’s existence and the existence of evil. First, Dew provides a brief history of major figures — David Hume, H.J. McCloskey and J.L. Mackie — who affirm some form of the logical problem of evil. Dew notes secondly that philosophers like Hume, McCloskey, Mackie and others draw serious flawed conclusions when advocating for the logical problem of evil. Making his last and most important point in the chapter, Dew states that in order for the logical problem of evil to be true, it must be necessarily true not possibly true. Hence, “the classical theistic set does not contain an explicit or implicit contradiction. Thus, the logical problem of evil fails to disprove God’s existence” (37). Another contributor from Southeastern is Bruce Little. Dr. Little is the Senior Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Francis A. Schaeffer Collection at Southeastern. In his chapter, evil that “has no purpose in the sense that the purpose would explain why it was allowed by God” (38). Throughout this chapter, Little investigates gratuitous evil in contrast to the oftprofessed greater-good theodicy. Individuals who hold to a greater-good theodicy often affirm it as that which “God allows into this world only that evil from which he can bring about a greater good or prevent a worse evil (38), and thus, “God supervises every potential event of evil/suffering so that only those evils that can be used for God’s good purposes are actualized” (39). In the next section, Little arrives at the climax of his chapter by asking whether or not gratuitous evil is a possibility. He then affirms its possibility primarily due to two realities: libertarian free will and God’s created order. Little states, “God allows us to make real choices with real consequences because he re spects his own created order. This makes gratuitous evil a real possibility without denying the moral perfections of God” (46). Pastors, deacons, leaders and laity would greatly benefit from Meister’s and Dew’s God and Evil. Due to the existence of sin, evil and pain confronting ministry and the Church’s mission, this book provides helpful analysis and robust discussions not on a mere “concept,” but an existential phenomenon touching and destroying every strata of God’s created order. K. Dew Jr. examine distinctive topics and debates in the prob - “God and Gratuitous Evil,” Little states that gratuitous evil is 26 sebts.edu BOOK REVIEWS sebts.edu 27 TOPICS Why I Believe Children Who Die Go to Heaven by Daniel Akin Few things in life are more tragic and heartbreaking than the death of a baby or small child. For parents the grief can be overwhelming. For the minister to stand over a small, white casket and provide comfort and support seems to ask for more than he can deliver. It is daunting. Many console themselves with the thought that at least the child is now in a better place. Some believe small children who die become angels. This is a quite popular perspective. They are certain these precious little ones are in heaven with God. However, it is important for us both to ask and answer some important questions if we can. Do those who die in infancy go to heaven? How do we know? What evidence is there to support such a conclusion? Sentimentalism, emotional hopes and wants are not sufficient for those who live under the authority of the Word of God. We must, if possible, find out what God has said. It is interesting to discover that the Church has not been of one mind on this issue. In fact, the early and medieval Church was anything but united. Some Church Fathers remained silent on the issue. Ambrose said unbaptized infants were not admitted to heaven, but have immunity from the pains of hell. Augustine basically affirmed the damnation of all unbaptized infants, but taught they would receive the mildest punishment of all. Gregory of Nyssa believed that infants who die immediately mature and are given the opportunity to trust Christ. Calvin taught the certain election of some infants to salvation and was open to the possibility that all infants who die are saved. Zwingli, B.B. Warfield and Charles Hodge all taught that God saves all who die in infancy. This perspective has basically become the dominant view of the Church in the 20th and 21st century. I believe there are good reasons biblically and theologically for believing that God saves all who die and who do not reach a stage of moral understanding and accountability. Scripture may not speak to this issue directly, but there is sufficient evidence that would lead us to affirm that God receives into heaven all who have died in infancy. Some evidence is stronger than others, but cumulatively they marshal strong support for infant salvation. I will note six of them. First, the grace, goodness and mercy of God would People go to hell because they choose in willful rebellion and unbelief to reject God and His grace. Children are incapable of this kind of conscious rejection of God. Where such rebellion and willful disobedience is absent, God is gracious to receive. 28 sebts.edu TOPICS support the position that God saves all infants who die. This is the strongest argument and perhaps the decisive one. God is love (1 John 4:8) and desires that all be saved (1 Tim. 2:4). God is love and His concern for children is evident in Matthew 18:14 where Jesus says, “Your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” Second, when the baby boy who was born to David and Bathsheba died (2 Sam. 12:15-18), David did two significant things: (1) He confessed his confidence that he would see the child again and, (2) he comforted his wife Bathsheba (vv. 23-24). David could have done those two things only if he was confident that his little son was with God. Any other explanation does not do justice to the text. Third, in James 4:17, the Bible says, “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” The Bible is clear that we are all born with a sin nature as a result of being in Adam (Rom. 5:12). This is what is called the doctrine of original sin. However, the Scriptures make a distinction between original sin and actual (or volitional) sins. While all are guilty of original sin, moral responsibility and understanding is necessary for our being accountable for actual sins (Deut. 1:39; Isa. 7:16). It is to the one who knows to do right and does not do it that sin is reckoned. Infants are incapable of such decisions and actions. Fourth, Jesus affirmed that the kingdom of God be longed to little children (Luke 18:15-17). In the passage he is stating that saving faith is a childlike faith, but He also seems to be affirming the reality of children populating heaven. Fifth, Scripture affirms that the number of saved souls is very great (Rev. 7:9). Since most of the world has been and is still non-Christian, might it be that the untold multitude who have died prematurely or in infancy comprise a majority of those in heaven? Sixth, some in Scripture are said to be chosen or sanctified from the womb (1 Sam. 1:8-2:21; Jer. 1:5; Luke 1:15). This certainly affirms the salvation of some Abraham said, “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:25). We can confidently say, “Yes, He will.” When it comes to those incapable of volitional, willful acts of sin, we can rest assured God will, indeed, do right. Precious little ones are the objects of His saving mercy and grace. infants and repudiates the view that only baptized ba- Charles Spurgeon said, “I rejoice to know that the souls of all infants, as soon as they die, speed their way to paradise. Think what a multitude there is of them.” bies are assured of heaven. Neither Samuel, Jeremiah or John the Baptist were baptized. It is important for us to remember that anyone who is saved is saved because of the grace of God and the saving work of Jesus Christ. Like all who have ever lived, except for Jesus the sinless Savior, infants need to be saved. Only Jesus can take away their sin, and if they sebts.edu 29 TOPICS are saved it is because of His sovereign grace and abounding mercy. Conclusion On September 29, 1861, the great Baptist pastor, Charles Spurgeon, preached a message entitled “Infant Salvation.” In that message he chastened some critics who had “wickedly, lyingly, and slanderously said of Calvinists that we believe that some little children perish.” Similar rumblings have been heard in some Baptist circles in our day. This is unfortunate. Spurgeon affirmed that God saved little ones without limitation and without exception. He, then, as was his manner, turned to conclude the message with an evangelistic appeal to parents who might be lost. Listen to his plea: “Many of you are parents who have children in heaven. Is it not a desirable thing that you should go there too? And yet, have I not in these galleries and in this area some, perhaps many, who have no hope hereafter? . . . Mother, unconverted mother, from the battlements of heaven your child beckons you to Paradise. Father, ungodly, impenitent father, the little eyes that once looked joyously on you, look down upon you now and the lips which had scarcely learned to call you “Father” ere they were sealed by the silence of death, may be heard as with a still, small voice, saying to you this morning, “Father, must we be forever divided by the great gulf which no man can pass?” If you wilt, think of these matters, perhaps the heart will begin to move, and the eyes may begin to flow and then may the Holy Spirit put before thine eyes the cross of the Savior . . . if thou wilt turn thine eye to Him, thou shalt live.” Little ones are precious in God’s sight. If they die, they go to heaven. Parents who have trusted Jesus, who have lost a little one, can be confident of a wonderful reunion someday. Are you hopeful of seeing again that little treasure God entrusted to you for such a short time? Jesus has made a way. Come to Him now and you will see them again. A book both Al Mohler and I would recommend concerning this important subject is Safe in the Arms of God: Truth from Heaven About the Death of a Child by John MacArthur. It is biblical, theological and pastoral in its treatment of this critical issue. bit.ly/2Yrhre This article is a slightly revised version of a similar one written by R. Albert Mohler, Jr. and me several years ago. I am indebted to his careful theological insights. Scan below to read the full article. 30 sebts.edu @DannyAkin TOPICS Thank you to our sponsors for a successful 6th annual Title Sponsor For Your Turn-Key Architectural and Engineering Design Solutions Lifeway (Brunch Sponsor) Provision (Range Sponsor) Gold Sponsors Power Secure Robling Medical, Inc. Captrust Silver Sponsors McGladrey Southern Piping Company BB&T Mortgage BB&T sebts.edu Join us for the 7th annual Southeastern Classic September 23, 2013 sebts.edu/classic 31 TOPICS Danny Akin | Thabiti Anyabwile | Mark Dever | John Folmar | J.D. Greear | Peter Williams Evangelism sebts.edu/9marks September 27-28, 2013 32 sebts.edu TOPICS by Bruce Ashford Recently, President Akin challenged the faculty of Southeastern Seminary with making every classroom a “Great Commission classroom.” This challenge may seem to be easily met in a course on missions or evangelism, but what about courses in theology, philosophy, or church history? What could it possibly mean for a theology course to be a “Great Commission course”? Should the professor wear a Mao shirt or some lederhosen to class, in order to demonstrate his cross-cultural aware ness? Should he subliminally whisper the names of unreached people groups every time he teaches on the Trinity, the Incarnation, or on building a revelational epistemology? (If you are left wondering, the answer to these last few questions is “no, not so much.”) During future semesters, I will be teaching Theology I, II, and III at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and therefore have the opportunity to reflect on teaching theology missionally. The thread of mission is woven deeply into the plot of the biblical narrative. It begins with the nature of God, continues with his call for Israel to be a blessing to the nations, and culminates in his sending of the Messiah, whose incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection provide for the salvation of the nations who will dwell with him forever on a new creation. Since Christian Scripture has the concept of mission at its heart, Christian theology will also have the concept of mission centrally located. But in addition to the “central location” of this concept within the biblical narrative and therefore within Christian theology, the theology classroom can also be a “Great Commission classroom” in its pedagogical strategy. For each of the loci of doctrine (God, Christ, Spirit, revelation, man, salvation, church and end times), we will begin by treating the doctrine exegetically, historically and systematically. After having shown the coherence of the doctrine as well as its relation to other doctrines, we will also discuss the doctrine in relation to other worldviews, religions and philosophies. We will try to show how each doctrine subverts its counterpart in the New Atheism, postmodern Perspectivalism, Eastern religions, Islam and even Southern Fried Religion. Further, we will discuss how each doctrine affects ministry and mission. Christian Scripture and its attendant evangelical doctrine provide the starting point, trajectory and parameters for our ministry models, strategies and methods. Indeed, for the past three de cades the churches of the SBC have declared that the Scriptures are ipsissima verba Dei, the very words of God. What we have declared, however, is not always consistent with what we have done. Therefore, we want to be careful not to (unintentionally or unconsciously) ignore the centrality of Scripture even in “practical” matters of ministry and mission. Finally, we emphasize that the Great Commission is not concerned merely or exclusively with international missions. From the Great Commission, we learn that our Lord commands us to make disciples (discipleship is farranging, including teaching, modeling, rebuking, exhorting etc.) of all the nations (including this nation, the USA), baptizing them in the name of the Triune God (and immersing them in the life of the redeemed community), teaching them all things that he has commanded us (the entirety of Christian Scripture), and trusting that he will be with us always (it is he who is the organizer, energizer and director of our commission). In a nutshell, every classroom at SEBTS should be a “Great Commission classroom” because every page of Scripture and every locus of doctrine relates in some way to the charge given to us above. Christian Theology is the most exciting thing that a person could possibly study, and one of the exciting things about it is that it not only drives us to ministry and mission, but shapes the same ministry and mission. At its heart, theology is missional. @BruceAshford sebts.edu 33 TOPICS THEOLOGY AND EVANGELISM IN THE LOCAL CHURCH by Chuck Lawless The first church I attended was a Southern Baptist church in Ohio. That congregation gave me a solid belief in the inerrancy of the Word of God and an undeniable passion for evangelism. It was not until I began graduate education that I learned that others questioned both commitments. Some argued that inerrancy is unsupportable and evangelism is unnecessary. I realized quickly that standing on the Word and sharing that Word with others does not always happen naturally. Individuals, churches, educational institutions and denominations alike default into theological and evangelistic apathy apart from an intentional plan to avoid this slide. We who are “Bible believers” know this truth and we are quick to remind others of this fact. What we are not so quick to acknowledge is this truth: our churches do a poor job of teaching the very theology we claim is so important, and we do no better with evangelism training. We think our church members understand and believe our basic doctrine, even while those same members are learning their theology from TV talk show hosts, popular television preachers, or the latest religious novel. Few — if any — of those sources teach a theology that leads to an evangelistic lifestyle. Consider these guidelines for teaching theology and evangelism in your church: Do not assume your church members don’t care about beliefs. Too many church leaders give up on teaching theology before they even try. “Nobody cares about theology anymore,” they think. Not only does this thinking ultimately question the power of the Word, but it also denies reality. It is precisely because people do care about beliefs that they turn to places and people other than the church for their belief system. Where the church fails, somebody else fills the void — and that somebody else is often unconcerned about biblical truth and evangelism. Realize that attending worship and small groups does not automatically lead to doctrinal 34 sebts.edu TOPICS fidelity or evangelistic passion. Here, I am not arguing that preaching and Bible study are unimportant; indeed, good doctrinal training and evangelistic equipping do not happen apart from preaching and teaching of the Word. I am simply arguing that church members do not typically hear teaching and then automatically connect the dots to form a biblical theology and evangelistic passion. Teaching good theology and raising up evangelistic church members must happen intentionally. Include basic theology and evangelism training in a required membership class. In some ways, the best time to teach the basics is when a person first follows Christ or first joins the church — when he or she is most focused on a Christian commitment. Capitalize on that enthusiasm by teaching early the inerrancy and authority of the Bible. Show why the exclusivity of Christ is non-negotiable. Talk about the necessity of the death of Christ. Lead new believers to see their neighbors and coworkers as a mission field. Show them how to tell their story of God’s grace. Lay the theological and evangelistic foundation early, and lay it well. Raise the bar for small group leaders who teach the Word. These leaders have a great opportunity — perhaps one of the best in the church — to influence lives through teaching small group members. Few other leaders have such a ready hearing. For that reason, we must hold group leaders accountable to holy living, sound doctrine, good teaching and evangelistic fervor. We should not be sur prised when members view doctrine as boring if lackluster, dispassionate teachers have taught it. Nor should we be shocked by evangelistic apathy if small group leaders themselves lost their own evangelistic fire long ago. Begin in the home. Teach parents biblical doctrine, and then help them to teach their own children accordingly. Because Deuteronomy 6:7 and Ephesians 6:4 demand nothing less from believing parents, our churches should work in coop - eration with them — not replace them — in teaching theology to the next generation. The home, too, ought to be a center for evangelism. Our children and teens are, in fact, often most connected with others who need to hear the gospel. Unchurched folks may be willing to visit us in our homes when they would not yet join us at church. Train families to stand on the Word and to build evangelism into their DNA. Be willing to start with the few. Just as Jesus did, focus on the few rather than the many. For example, invite a few men to join you in studying theology one morning each week. Give them the Bible and a basic theology textbook, and challenge them to study the week’s lesson. Equip these same men to share their faith by telling their conversion stories. Teach them how to bridge daily conversations into the gospel. Take somebody with you when you make an evangelistic visit. No congregation will grow biblically and evangelistically until a few members grow first. Be willing to start with the few. Just as Jesus did, focus on the few rather than the many. Pray our seminaries will produce church leaders with a biblical foundation and evangelistic enthusiasm. Our role is to walk alongside churches given the task of producing global Christians. We have the privilege of playing a role in training the next generation of pastors and missionaries. If we do our task well — passionately, clearly, personally teaching biblical truth and modeling evangelistic obedience — our churches will be stronger. We will accomplish this goal only when we go forth on our knees, undergirded by the prayers of the churches with whom we partner. @Clawlessjr sebts.edu 35 TOPICS “Able to Teach”? A Proposal by Nathan Finn Like most Baptists, I would argue the biblical terms translated as overseer, bishop, elder, and pastor are synonyms used to describe a man who has been set apart for the primary teaching, leading, and shepherding office in a local congregation. For that reason, I use the terms pastor and elder interchangeably. One of the most frequently cited passages related to pastoral qualifications is 1 Timothy 3:1–7: The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil (ESV). Have you ever noticed these qualifications include, for the most part, a group of expectations that ought to characterize any growing Christian man? Should any brother lack self-control and be known as a skirtchaser? Should any believer, male or female, be a drunkard? Should any Christ-follower be known as a conceited, violent-tempered money-lover? It seems to me the bulk of these expectations simply indicate a pastor should be a man who is an exemplary Christian role model with a good reputation, both within the church and in the wider community. The one qualification for eldership that stands out from the rest is the ability to teach. And herein lies the debate—what does it mean for an elder to be “able to teach”? Some argue teaching should be equated with preaching, so the ability to teach means the ability to preach a sermon. This view is common among those who prefer a “single-elder” model of pastoral leadership. It is also common among some who affirm a plurality of elders, but equate that group with the church’s salaried staff. I hear these views frequently espoused among my fellow Southern Baptists. I readily grant that in many churches, especially smaller ones, the only man who is biblically qualified to be an elder is the solo pastor. I also resonate with the idea that in larger churches, at least a majority of the paid ministerial staff needs to meet the biblical qualifications of elder. After all, who wants a youth minister who’s a bad role model and can’t teach the Scriptures to teenagers? Yet, I cannot help but think these two views artifi- What Does It Mean for an Elder to be 36 sebts.edu TOPICS cially limit the eldership to paid pastors who are able to preach sermons from behind a pulpit during a Sunday worship service. Though the New Testament is clear that elders are worthy of compensation (1 Tim. 5:17–18), there is no mandate that all pastors must be paid. There is also no indication in the New Testament that standing up and preaching a sermon is the only way to teach the Scriptures to God’s people. Others opt for the other end of the spectrum, arguing teaching is simply the ability to explain the Scriptures to another believer. In this model, being able to teach more or less means being able to disciple someone else. It isn’t necessary that an elder be able to preach a sermon or even that he be able to teach a Sunday School class or small group Bible study. Hopefully, every pastor is making disciples through Bible-saturated mentoring. And yet, this seems to me to place the teaching bar too low. Don’t we want to equip all men (and women!) in the church to make disciples? Virtually any believer except very recent converts ought to be able to do this type of teaching on some level or another, especially with their children. I have one additional concern about this second op tion. As a Baptist, I’m worried this view brings us too close to the distinction our Presbyterian friends make between “ruling” elders and “teaching” elders, a division I believe is biblically unwarranted. Though Baptists may debate the number of elders a church should have, we typically agree all elders are to both lead and teach. I want to offer a proposal that I believe strikes a balance between the two aforementioned polarities. I would argue that being able to teach means being able to publicly explain and apply the Scriptures to the entire congregation. This doesn’t necessarily mean all elders must possess the ability to preach a sermon. But neither is teaching defined so broadly that any transmission of biblical truth qualifies. All elders should be able to stand before the congregation and expound the Bible, even if some elders are uncomfortable preaching in a corporate worship gathering. My friend Kyle recently led his Southern Baptist church to adopt an elder-led congregational polity. At the time, the church had three pastors. In their church’s by-laws, it states that all elders, whether paid or unpaid, must teach the entire congregation at least once a year. Because Kyle is the full-time lead pastor, this means he preaches almost every week. But for other elders, it could mean simply occasionally leading a congregational Bible study on a Wednesday or Sunday evening. The church doesn’t understand one form of Bible teaching to be superior to the other. I like this approach. All members are encouraged to teach the Scriptures one-on-one to those whom they are discipling. But each of the elders, none being anonymous, is also expected to at least occasionally teach the whole body. All of the elders exercise their ability to teach the Bible, though how this is done looks different for each elder. We follow this model at my own church, First Baptist Church of Durham. We currently have eight elders. Two of our elders are paid pastors who serve on our church’s staff. Six of our elders are non-staff pastors who serve without pay; I serve as one of the non-staff elders. Several of us are comfortable preaching, but all of our pastors at least occasionally expound the Scrip tures to the gathered congregation in some venue. No body doubts that each of our elders are able to teach, even though only some of us would probably be considered “preachers” by our church’s members. I would encourage Baptist churches that embrace a plurality of elders to institute this sort of system in their churches. Even among those churches that choose to equate the elders with the staff, I would urge all staff members, not just the primary preaching pastor, to periodically teach the entire congregation. Youth ministers, worship pastors, and collegiate ministers should be expected to occasionally bless the entire church through the ministry of the Word. This will both help to grow the body and develop all elders into the Bible teachers the Lord and his church has called them to be. This question will also help provide a benchmark for assessing prospective elders—who are godly men with a heart for shepherding and are gifted to preach and/or teach the Scriptures to the congregation? @nathanafinn sebts.edu 37 SPOTLIGHTS meet JON â€œ My goal is to provide theologically sound discipleship & excellence in music as I serve the Church and reach the nations with the gospel of Jesus Christ. â€? music minor from Newark, Illinois college.sebts.edu m arrie d t o t h e beau t i f u l jenny Get the stories at sebts.edu/multimedia or scan below rocks out on the DRUMs 38 sebts.edu SPOTLIGHTS > > > > > > > > > > > > > @theCGCS Spotlight On: The Center for G reat Commission Studies > > > > > > > > > > > > > Scott Hildreth , Director to better serve and minister to the peoples that they will impact. • We have recently completed a major research project on behalf of the North American and International Mission Boards providing a demographic breakdown of the top 100 Metropolitan areas of the US. This information will be used by mission agencies and state conventions to help with missionary strategy and church planting. • Southeastern is making every effort to keep up with new developments in missiology. Because of this, we have been involved in a yearlong conversation with businessmen, mission agencies, and other academic institutions about the need for developing training for men and women who will use business skills for kingdom advancement. We are in the pro cess of developing a new certificate designed to equip kingdom entrepreneurs for this new type of missionary work. The world is always changing and these changes bring new opportunities for expanding God’s kingdom. It is the firm commitment of our Center for Great Commission Studies to make sure that Southeastern students are prepared for whatever they encounter as they seek to “make disciples of all nations.” The Lewis A. Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies (CGCS) is the hub of Southeastern’s everexpanding missionary program. Our president communicates a compelling missionary vision, challenging every student to consider serving among unreached peoples or in underserved cities. As a result, Southeastern’s missionary training is significantly more complex and robust than ever. Consider this: • The CGCS is working with almost 200 students in our 2+ programs. These students, along with their families, serve on the international mission field among people with little or no access to the gospel. Southeastern is committed to making sure that these men and women are equipped for the task before they arrive and engage in ongoing equipping as they fulfill their calling around the world. • The College at Southeastern has about 90 students who are pursuing a missionary degree. The commitment of the CGCS is to insure that these young men and women receive quality classroom education as well as extracurricular training. This spring we will kick-off a brand new missionary training society for college students focusing on developing Christian character as well as missionary skills sebts.edu 39 SPOTLIGHTS > > > > > > > > > > > > > @SEBTSAlumni Spotlight On: Alumni Development/ Denominational Relations > > > > > > > > > > > > > Jonathan Six , Director Over the last two months I have become aware of the importance of Southeastern’s alumni. In my brief time now as Director of Alumni Development, I understand the great support that Southeastern needs from her graduates. I have also become aware of the great need of support and resources that Southeastern can and will continue to provide. My goal is to see how we can partner together for a greater kingdom impact. There are at least three ways in which Southeastern can serve you in your current ministry context. First, resources are a key way we can help. We have great access to materials that are able to accent your studies and preparation. As an alumnus you can access much of our library’s content. Members of the Southeastern Alumni Association can gain access to Southeastern’s online research database. Of course, our faculty is always willing to engage a graduate’s questions and ministry challenges. Second, continuing education is a vital part of Southeastern’s mission. We recognize that you might find yourself in a ministry context where you need further study to more adequately minister to the people of God. Please view your alma mater as a source for continued study, whether in an additional degree program or a special certificate. Third, we can provide training for your lay leaders. Our most recent endeavor to provide training is called MOOC at Southeastern. This is a free, self-paced online class designed with laymen in mind. Visit sebts.edu/ mooc for more information. Southeastern has also created supplemental materials that can be used for small group training in the local church. These materials will be listed on the class page once you register for the course. There are also significant ways in which you can partner with Southeastern as well. Having experienced Southeastern first hand, you are our primary recruiters. It is amazing to hear the stories of how your experiences here have shaped your ministry. You have the op portunity to pass on a similar experience to those whom you recommend Southeastern. We are also grateful for your recommendation and pray you will continue to send your disciples our way. Also, as I am sure you are aware of the economic climate and the quickly shriveling Cooperative Program receipts, it is important to have the financial support of our graduates. Having served in ministry I am well aware of the financial realities for many of our graduates. Our desire is to create a giving mechanism that will allow for graduates to give back to their alma mater even if it may seem like a small gift. For just four dollars a month you can join the Southeastern Alumni Association and continue to be a vital supporter of the Great Commission work through your school. Find out more at sebts.edu/alumni. My prayer is that you will take advantage of the re sources that Southeastern can provide to you. I believe they will be tools to strengthen and encourage you. Additionally, I pray that you will genuinely consider joining the Southeastern Alumni Association; your gifts allow us to continue to keep tuition low and accomplish the task in which we are called. 40 sebts.edu SPOTLIGHTS > > > > > > > > > > > > > @JamieKDew Spotlight On: The College at Southeastern > > > > > > > > > > > > > Jamie Dew, Dean of the College What makes the College at Southeastern so special? For starters, at Southeastern, everything revolves around the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Great Commission. This comes out in everything that we do and everything that we teach. Every administrator, faculty member, and staff member is devoted to equipping students for Kingdom work. This vision brings unity and makes Southeastern a truly incredible place to prepare for life and service. Whatâ€™s remarkable about our college, however, is the way our curriculum equips students to live missionally. We offer a Liberal Arts curriculum that is deeply rooted in the Christian tradition. As part of our General Education requirements, all students complete a rigorous selection of courses that bring the Christian worldview and the Liberal Arts together. Many Liberal Arts pro grams reference the classics and greatest thinkers, but our program gives students the opportunity to actually read Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Virgil, Dante, Descartes, Locke, Kant, and many more, for themselves. Moreover, as part of our core requirements, students also receive training in Hermeneutics, Christian Theology, Old Testament, New Testament and Church History. Throughout these courses, students are pushed to think critically, argue persuasively and engage effectively. From this General Education core, students receive a first major in Christian Studies and a robust Liberal Arts education. Yet, our core is designed so that students still have plenty of extra hours to earn a second major or minor in the discipline of their choice. We are serious about the gospel and serious about training students to take the gospel into all the world at the College at Southeastern. To fulfill the Great Commission, we will need pastors and missionaries, but we will also need teachers, attorneys, business people, counselors and much more. Weâ€™ve designed a curriculum that keeps our focus on kingdom work, yet prepares students to be salt and light in any context. We are excited about all that God is doing at Southeastern. We hope you will consider joining us soon! sebts.edu 41 SPOTLIGHTS > > > > > > > > > > > > > Spotlight On: Global Theological Initiative > > > > > > > > > > > > > John Ewart , Associate Vice President of Project Development An Initiative for the Nations The Global Theological Initiative is a missiologically driven effort to serve a global community of leaders and learners through the joint efforts of the equip Network, Distance Learning, Special Partnerships/Projects, and the Center for Great Commission Studies (for an update on the CGCS, see the separate article in this edition). Through the combined work of these offices, Southeastern is influencing thousands across the US states and on five continents. The equip Network is serving local churches and para-church organizations with internship programs to provide practical theological training in ministry context. There are currently over 190 equip Network churches from North Carolina to Colorado, Massachusetts to Florida and many states in between. The equip Network offers three levels of participation: Partner, Member and Center. For more information about each category, visit sebts.edu/equip. We are actively seeking more Member churches. These have leadership with the appropriate academic and ministry qualifications to co-teach a limited number of practical ministry courses in pastoral and/or church planting training with a Southeastern professor in coordination with our Distance Learning Office. De pending on the requirements, length of internship, and qualifications of the leader, students at Member churches can earn up to 18 hours of Southeastern credit. Interested? Contact the equip Office today! Along with our normal rotation of online, hybrid and extension center courses, the Distance Learning Office is breaking new ground in theological education by offering our first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). MOOC courses are self-paced, free and completely online. We are currently offering Dr. Akin’s Hermeneutics (“how-to-read-and-interpret-the-Bible”) in this format. Students enrolled in the Hermeneutics MOOC receive the same information, resources and content as the on campus version of the course, but do not pay tuition or receive academic transcript credit. After completing the MOOC, students have the option to enroll as a regular Southeastern student, complete additional assignments and pay tuition, in order to seek to receive undergraduate or graduate level course credit for the class. For more information, and to enroll in the free MOOC, visit sebts.edu/mooc. Through our Special Partnerships and Projects, Southeastern is actively training ministers on five continents. Examples include training staff and missionaries for the International and National Mission Boards of the Brazilian Baptist Convention; house church leadership training in the Vietnamese Baptist Bible Institute; and ethnic urban church planter training with the Rebuild Initiative in Atlanta. Also, watch for our certificate program featuring fully accredited online certificates in worship leader ship, biblical counseling and ministry leadership. Additional certificate-level training will be developed to provide continuing education for leaders in the field as well as supplemental training for those yet to seek a full degree. The Global Theological Initiative at Southeastern seeks to provide discipleship and leadership develop ment through high quality theological education via the latest innovative delivery systems. Visit sebts.edu/equip or call us at (919) 761-2308 to learn more about this truly global effort! 42 sebts.edu SPOTLIGHTS sebts.edu 43 SPOTLIGHTS > > > > > > > > > > > > > Spotlight On: Financial Development > > > > > > > > > > > > > Daniel Palmer, Director An Inside Look at the Southeastern Fund The Southeastern Fund provides support for the ongo ing operational needs at Southeastern. It is an increasingly critical portion of our budget, allowing us to keep tuition affordable in order that students can graduate without the burden of high educational debt and depart to serve wherever God calls. The strategy is working. Our graduates are taking bold risks for the sake of Christ and the gospel. They are planting churches in Washington, Boston, New York, Miami and Denver. They are serving in some of the world’s most challenging contexts. Graduates are reaching the ends of the earth in Jesus’ name, and the Southeastern Fund is no small part of this global gospel advance. Whenever you support the Southeastern Fund, you are expressing confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ and what He can accomplish as He works in every facet of The College at Southeastern and Southeastern Seminary — the faculty, the staff, the students, the library, the campus…everything! One of the most common objections to supporting the Southeastern Fund goes something like this, “My small gift does not really matter,” or “I will give when I can make a more meaningful gift.” Last year, the smallest gift to the Southeastern Fund came from the piggy bank of a seven-year-old girl. There is nothing small or insignificant about the heart of a girl who wants Christ to be glorified among the nations through the ongoing work of preparing pastors and missionaries. In God’s economy, this gift of $2 was perhaps the largest gift we received in 2012. Supporting the Southeastern Fund is a way for every alumnus and any follower of Christ to directly take part in the work Christ is accomplishing through Southeastern. In the last fiscal year, 437 alumni, friends, Trustees, faculty, students, staff, churches and businesses ac counted for $900,000 in gifts to the Southeastern Fund. Support came from donors in twenty-three different states ranging from the coasts of North Carolina to the coasts of California. Support came from donors who are between seven and ninety-nine years old. Support came from churches of less than 100 members and greater than 5,000 members. Support came from young pastors earning less than $35,000 per year and businessmen earning significantly more. The Southeastern Fund is a national effort for every Southern Baptist who is eager for Christ to continue doing great things through students being prepared for a lifetime of faithful and effective service for King Jesus. The importance of the Southeastern Fund is seen in the difference it is making. In recent years, God has worked through the generous giving of hundreds of ministry partners to help us push back against the economic headwinds facing our country, stay on track with the work of training gospel-ready champions for Christ and make a number of critical improvements to the campus. In reflecting on his service as a Trustee at Southeastern, Mr. Henry Williamson observes, “Over the last five years, what I have witnessed is this: the real margin of excellence in sending Great Commission people into both the churches in this country and on foreign missions comes through private giving.” The Southeastern Fund is at the very core of the Great Commission strategy for the Southeastern Baptist Convention’s Great Commission Seminary. Every Christmas, Easter and beginning of the academic year in August, Dr. Akin writes a letter asking people to support the Southeastern Fund. Our prayer is that the 437 people who gave last year would be joined by the nearly 13,000 receiving this magazine. Private support is already making a tremendous difference as we equip students. Imagine what we could accomplish if we all joined together to support this great work. Of course, you do not have to wait for the mail. You may visit sebts.edu/give to make a one-time gift or set up a weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual gift. Or, we are always pleased to receive checks at SEBTS, P.O. BOX 1889, Wake Forest, NC 27588-1889. Thank you for being a part of the Southeastern family, and thank you for prayerfully considering the Southeastern Fund. 44 sebts.edu SPOTLIGHTS Fast Facts on the Southeastern Fund Youngest Donor Oldest Donor States Represented 1st Time Donors in 2012 99 23 Average Support per Student 175 Longest Streak of Consecutive Support Smallest Gift Largest Gift $ 2.00 $140k $ 290 25 years Examples of P ojects Made Possible by the Southeastern Fund Binkley Chapel Classroom Renovations $ 300,000 Replacing Steam Lines to Heat the Campus $ 250,000 Media Upgrades in Binkley Chapel $ 50,000 The John H. Sailhamer Library $ 30,000 Wireless Internet Across Campus $ 25,000 Free Online Course by Dr. Akin $10,000 Recent Support $ 900,355 $1M $ 782,570 $ 800K $ 703,732 Ways to Give By Mail Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary P.0. Box 1889, Wake Forest, NC 27588-1889 $ 700K Online at SEBTS.EDU/GIVE Join The Board of Visitors See Our Story On Page 8 $ 600K 2010 2011 2012 Appreciated Stock Call 919.761.2352 or email firstname.lastname@example.org sebts.edu 45 Get the stories at sebts.edu/multimedia or scan below sebts.edu 46 sebts.edu sebts.edu 47 News Office P.O. Box 1889 Wake Forest, NC 27588-1889 (ISSN 2327-154X) (Occupant) or Resident NON-PROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE PAID PERMIT #1854 RALEIGH, NC SEBTS Alumni & Friends Luncheon at the Southern Baptist Convention Celebrating the Past, Looking to the Future Wednesday, June 12, 2013 12:00 - 2:00pm | George R. Brown Convention Center | Grand Ballroom A $20 per person, $10 for kids 12 and under, $60 max for families of 4 or more Go to sebts.edu/alumni/events/ or call 919-761-2177 with any questions.