Page 1

Every Christian,

A Missionary Southeastern in Guyana





pg. 16

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

short period of time they were able to sense the heartbeat and passion of Southeastern. Last words are meant to be lasting words. They con-

any school, and thankfully we passed with flying colors.

vey what matters most to the person speaking them. As

The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) reaf-

Jesus prepared to return to His Father, He looked at

firmed us in June and the Southern Association of Col-

those who followed Him then and would follow Him

leges and Schools (SACS) reaffirmed us in December.

later and said, “Go, make disciples of all the nations”

Our staff and faculty are to be commended for a stellar

(Matt. 28:19-20). This was the passion of our Savior.

job. They are simply the best!

This will remain the passion of Southeastern.

When the visiting teams from ATS and SACS were

I have recently begun my tenth year at this school. It

preparing to leave, they conducted the required “exit

seems like I arrived yesterday. This year we will pass

interview.” There was nothing extraordinary or unusu-

the 3,000 mark in students with another year of record

al about the interview with perhaps one exception. Af-

enrollment. We will send out another large army of in-

ter expressing their gratitude for the gracious hospital-

ternational missionaries and North American church

ity they had received, the two chairmen of the

planters. We will continue to train up a new generation

committees looked at me and said (I paraphrase but not

of expository preachers, biblical counselors, personal

much), “We have never been on a campus where every-

evangelists and faithful pastors who worship King Je-

one knew from top to bottom what the mission of the

sus, love His church and have a passion for the lost. This

school is like this school does.” I looked at them with a

is what being a Great Commission Seminary is all about.

smile and simply asked, “So what is the mission of

It is who we are today. By God’s grace and for His glory

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary?” They re-

it is who we will be as long as I am here and, I pray,

turned the smile and responded, “You are a Great Com-

until Jesus comes again. Southeastern is a great place

mission Seminary.” I must tell you those words encour-

to serve. Southeastern is a great school to support.

aged and warmed my heart. The ATS and SACS teams

Thank you for standing with us. You are making an eter-

were only on our campus for a few days, and yet in that

nal difference.

Daniel L. Akin President









SPRING 2013 >





























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 from Around Southeastern



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


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





Southeastern Facutly Works










































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



























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



John Piper in Chapel >












See the full message at >

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 appearing 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 respond 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.”


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?”



See the full message at
















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
























































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. | | 919.761.2352






estled against the northwestern bend of

portunity to ask local church planters valu-

Lake Ontario, the city of Toronto is home

able questions such as the contextualization

to more than two million people, and it boasts

of the gospel and the struggles of internation-

itself as one of North America’s most vibrant

al church planting. Additionally, these stu-

regions — the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

dents took advantage of engaging the citizens

The GTA is the cultural, entertainment and

of a highly influential North American city.

financial capital of the nation. The city is also the seat of the Ontario government. Concerning the population growth, in 1814,

After arriving in Toronto early Saturday morning, the Southeastern team trekked through the streets of downtown. After a cou-

the “Town of York” (Toronto) grew abundant-

ple of hours, the team rested in front of the

ly from 720 citizens to 30,775 in 1851! The city

Church of the Holy Trinity. Noticing a few ad-

became more and more multicultural after

vertisement signs in the front entrance, a few

1945 due to the large influx of immigrants. By

team members decided to take a look inside

2001, 152 languages and dialects were spoken

the sanctuary. Upon entering through the front

in Toronto itself. According to that year’s cen-

doors, the members noticed a band just behind

sus, more than half of Toronto’s 2.5 million

the altar as well as a few cameras filming the

residents were born outside of Canada and a

band. After finishing the song, the lead singer,

million people belonged to visible minorities.

showing unease in her mannerisms and facial

From March 23rd-30th, a team of ten from

expressions, said, “Uh, I kind of feel awkward

Southeastern traveled to Toronto to build re-

playing this song in a church but here it goes.”

lationships, explore the lostness of metro To-

This event captures a snapshot of the culture

ronto and learn how to engage the city more

of this great North American city. The picture

deeply. During the week, students had the op-

is one that portrays a city where secular cul-



ture has transgressed onto the sacred, slowly

To reiterate, many Toronto citizens are

suffocating the gospel and Christ’s church. A

searching for a community to accept them. So

small tour of the city of Toronto would testify

the desire to be “masters of their own fate” and

to a society embracing progressive culture via

the hope for communal relationships together

various forms such as the arts and architec-

cause a few tensions. The first is an individual-


ism that is self-seeking. In talking to many

Most Torontonians are people who are seek-

Torontonians, the Southeastern team noticed

ing their own fate as well as communal rela-

that people were not attracted to a “public

tionships. For many Torontonians, they want

faith,” one that is beyond personal experiences

to be the “master of their own fates,” especial-

and feelings. On the flip side, these individuals

ly their own religions. This, the team found,

want communal relationships — they desire

makes for a very personal religion/spirituality

friendships and community. But most of the

lacking authority and guidance.

people conversed with want relationships that

Because of these characteristics, church

lack accountability. The equation could pos-

planters through the North American Mis-

sibly equal a form of tolerance — relationships

sions Board (NAMB) are trying to reach them,

without responsibility.

and the primary model utilized is relational

A foundational statement to Torontonians is

evangelism. In larger cities like Toronto, pam- “strength in diversity.” Thus, diversity that


phlets, brochures and papers are passed out

does not cause conflict is the life to be lived

on nearly every corner. Hence, deep and last-

and the zealous belief to be believed. But with

ing relationships with people will not happen

this motto comes the exaltation of tolerance,

when someone hands them a gospel tract or

where relative truths triumph and morality is

invitation to a church. The common response

relegated to the individual’s choice(s). No room

to such hospitable acts is to receive it with a

is left for a God who is absolute, holy and wor-

smile and quickly discard it.

thy of worship.


During a gathering at Trinity Life, Mike Sea-

true life that believers live.

man, a Toronto church planter and Southeast-

On the Toronto Church Planting website, it

ern graduate, discussed the third value of their

states that Toronto is extremely unchurched

church plant: truth. In this open conversation

and the population itself is incredibly diverse.

setting, Seaman said that he wanted everyone

Church planters are coveted for the spread of

to assume something before he began the les-

the gospel to penetrate this prominent, mod-

son and it was this: “All truth is God’s truth.”

ern city.

As a church, he noted, “We’re truth seekers

In light of these characteristics, Toronto

who value clarity and the communication of

church planters are building relationships

truth in all forms, whether its truth in the sci-

with Torontonians and inviting them to the

ence world, the business world, the sports

true life of Jesus. With a number of world-

world, etc.” Seaman’s hope is to shepherd Trin-

views, cultures and religions prevalent in To-

ity Life to live and speak Christ’s gospel in

ronto, much labor is expected from these ser-

whatever area they may be involved. Like most, if not all, North American cities,

vants and echoing Paul, they believe this is the fight worth fighting.

Toronto falls into the category where truth is

Even though the city of Toronto is greatly

seen as merely relative and not absolute. With

secular, the hope of the gospel is marching

the gospel and truth being mutually exclusive,

forth. One of the desires for Daniel Yang, fel-

said Seaman. Rather than bashing people over

low pastor at Trinity Life, and Mike Seaman is

the heads with the gospel, Seaman proposed,

to see the city of Toronto transformed by the

“If we are thinking about truth properly, we are

gospel so that it can exalt Christ through its

going to embody it properly. And the commu-

many evident cultures — a reality envisioned

nity around us will be witnesses to the true life

in Revelation 5 where a multitude of tribes and

we are embodying.” This embodiment opens

languages and peoples and nations singing

the door for deeper conversations about the

praises to Christ, the sacrificed Lamb.




See more pictures from the trip at




Every Christian,

A Missionary Southeastern in Guyana Story by Michael McEwen Photos by Kelly Jo

Planes, Trams & Automobiles As the 757 Boeing Delta flight made its final

Georgetown is located on the mouth of the De-

descent into the Georgetown International Air-

merara River fronting the Atlantic Ocean,

port, some of the members of the Guyana Mis-

where nearly 90% of the population resides.

sions Team began to wake up from the over-

Georgetown, originally called Stabroek, was an

night red-eye; other team members were

ideal location for European presence in the Ca-

already awake in anticipation or alert primar-

ribbean for both trade and military endeavors;

ily due to firm seats and uncomfortable pos-

thus, the city is protected by seawalls, and like

tures. After the plane rested onto the airport

veins in the body, canals interweave in, out and

runway, the team unloaded and stepped into

through the city of Georgetown.

the stifling, equator air of this South American

With the hour car ride into downtown

city, which was a slight temperature change

Georgetown, the team caught glimpses of why

from the November New York air the night be-

locals call Guyana the Country of Six People,


composed of Africans, Amerindians, Chinese,

The city of Georgetown is erected and pep-

East Indians, Europeans and Portuguese.

pered with Dutch and Victorian architecture.

(Approximately 50% of the people are of East

St. George’s Cathedral, an internationally fa-

Indian descent and about 30% are of African

mous Anglican cathedral, stands 143 feet in

descent. 5% percent are Native Amerindians

height and was completed in 1899. Due to its

and about 10% are of mixed background).

founding by early Dutch and English colonists,

Aggregated villages and communities com-


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

missio dei: the god on mission

past colonial governments. Due to its rich resources, the

Missio Dei, says Christopher Wright, is the radical en-

Dutch, English, French, and Spanish battled and fought

counter with the living God and the “unavoidable out-

for many years to possess it. But it was the Dutch who

come” of “witnessing mission” because of this encounter.

gained preeminence in power and established Stabroek

Missions, then, is to be seen in light of God’s purpose for

(Georgetown). During the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815),

the entire creation, his election of Israel and their holy

the British occupied the Dutch colony and renamed the

role, the centrality of Jesus, and God’s calling of the

capital in 1812 “Georgetown” in honor of King George III.

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

STORIES in the classroom with the Great Commission mindset.

thority delivered to him at his resurrection, he is not

Whether the student is in Philosophy, Theology, Herme-

given “some” or “a lot” of governing, cosmic authority; his

neutics, or History of Ideas, the Great Commission under-

kingship reigns over “all” things in heaven and earth. The

girds and precedes the professor’s lessons. Not only does

individuals of the Guyana team put hands and feet to the

it precede Southeastern’s classes, it is, more importantly,

Resurrected Christ’s commission. They understood Jesus’

the aim. The students are equipped to be sent and to serve

emphasis of the word “all.”

wherever the Lord calls them.

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

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 Southeast-

messenger gives good news of Jesus’ resurrection, and

ern team, preached from Ephesians 2:1-10 and Paul’s in-

after the women leave the tomb they are greeted by the

vitation for God’s people to see where they were without

Resurrected Galilean. Hearing about this miraculous

Christ, their current status in Christ, and the call for them

event from the women, the disciples meet Jesus in Galilee.

to walk in the ways of Christ. The Guyana Team was en-

He then commands them, “As you go, make disciples of all

couraged by the Georgetown church to minister well to

nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son,

the Guyanese people throughout the week.

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 Guya-

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

nese people. The adjective “all” in Matthew’s Gospel does

Georgetown, Dr. Ant Greenham, Associate Professor of

not refer to “some” or even “most.” It is comprehensive in

Missions and Islamic Studies, taught leaders and pastors

breadth, width, height, and depth. In the verses directly

of local churches how to better read the Bible, a field called

preceding the Great Commission, Jesus spoke of “all” au-

hermeneutics. Dr. Greenham taught the pastors that the



key to unlocking the meaning of the Bible is Jesus himself,

AM, they worked nonstop without lunch breaks. “As Christ

and beginning with the Gospel of Luke, Dr. Greenham

took care of both spiritual and physical needs in his min-

invited the attendees to read the entire Scriptures in light

istry,” said Dr. Burnham, “we are trying to imitate Christ

of the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. These teaching sessions, which spread among the Guyanese landscape, were coordinated and designed to in-

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.

struct, 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


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.”


See more pictures from the trip at




2Center for Faith and Culture

320/20 Collegiate Conference

On December 5th, Shane & Shane and

Nancy Pearcey, author of Total Truth

Phil Wickham performed in Binkley

and Saving Leonardo, was an invited

giate Conference featured speakers

Chapel for Southeastern’s Christmas

guest of the Center for Faith and Cul-

Daniel Akin, Bruce Ashford, C.J. Mah-

Concert. Shane & Shane are on staff at a

ture late last fall. Pearcey presented to

aney and Darrin Patrick. This year’s

church in Dallas where they lead worship

faculty and students the importance of

theme, Gospel and Mission, examined

each month. Phil Wickham is also a

Francis Schaeffer’s legacy for Chris-

the centrality of the gospel in the

Southeastern’s annual 20/20 Colle-

Christian music vocalist/songwriter and

tians today. In the spring, Andy Crouch,

Church’s mission to the broken world.

guitarist from California. Teaming up,

author of Culture Making, contended

Approximately 700 people attended the

Shane & Shane and Wickham performed

for a new kind of conversation about

2013 20/20 Conference held on South-

for a sold out crowd, leading them in tra-

power, one rooted in the biblical narra-

eastern’s campus. The attendees were

ditional Christmas songs as well as their

tive. In March, author of The Juvenil-

taught how the exaltation of God and

own compositions. Additionally, Atlanta-

ization of American Christianity, Tom

the atonement of Christ relate to the

based Christian rapper, Sho Baraka per-

Bergler spoke on the origin and evolu-

Church’s call to saturate the world with

formed a free concert this spring. Sho’s

tion of the juvenilization of Christian-

the good news.

View the sessions at

lyrics promote a picture of salvation as

ity in the American landscape, and also

well as the importance of relationships,

provided constructive responses to

education and social justice.

these changes.

Get more from the CFC at













4Truth and College


5Global Missions Week


6Taiwan Missions Trip

On March 21, The College at South-

Tom Elliff, president of the Interna-

From March 21-30, Professors Jamie

eastern hosted its third high school day

tional Mission Board, spoke at a special

Dew and Benjamin Quinn took a group

called Truth and College: How the Bible

chapel service on Wednesday during

of ten students and one of Southeast-

Informs All of Life. Growing to 160 stu-

Global Missions Week. Global Missions

ern’s trustees to Taipei, Taiwan. While

dents, Dennis Darville, Nathan Finn

Week is a three-day event where South-

in Taiwan, the Southeastern team

and George Robinson taught the attend-

eastern College and Seminary students

worked with University students, shar-

ees about how they can thrive as Chris-

can learn more about serving as mission-

ing Christianity and the story of Jesus’

tians in college. Through these three

aries. Representatives from the Interna-

death and resurrection. While the Uni-

speakers, the students were informed of

tional Mission Board and North Ameri-

versity students are eager to learn about

the entire biblical narrative, missions

can Mission Board visit to inform the

Christianity and are very open to trust-

and their identity as ambassadors for

campus body about serving internation-

ing Christ, this is a very long process for

Christ in college. In the breakout ses-

ally and nationally. Additionally, mis-

them as the story of Christianity pres-

sions, the high school students learned

sionaries visit classes to explain their

ents a fundamentally different world-

how they could be prepared for what-

work in more detail. Other events such as

view from their Taiwanese perspective.

ever vocation they may be passionate for

the Taste of the Nations and coffee and

Quinn said, “This is what we’re all about

such as business, art, education, science,

dinner socials took place so that students

as a Great Commission Seminary, and it

economics and many others.

could experience other cultures and

is a joy to see our students flushing out

learn from current missionaries.

what they’ve learned in the classroom while doing missions.”



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

reproduced in his 2008 publication, Five Who Changed the

brates the ministry of missionary Adoniram Judson and the

World. Akin’s message illustrates the truths of Romans 8:28-

birth of American missionary enterprise. The accomplished

39 and how God demonstrated His faithfulness throughout

contributors to this work capture not only the remarkable

the entire lives of the Judson family. Akin’s sermon exempli-

story and lessons of God’s gracious and sovereign work

fies the aforementioned purpose of this book: to capture the

through the lives of these humble servants, but also forecast

essence of Judson’s faithful obedience to the Gospel and how

how this story may cultivate a renewed desire among its read-

Christians may find in his life a great witness of faith in the

ers for the global proclamation of the Gospel. The book is bio-

millennia-old cloud surrounding them.

graphical, prescriptive and very encouraging.

This book is of great value to both those in vocational as

Of particular note and praise, Nathan Finn’s chapter on the

well as lay ministry. The contributors to this book illustrate

missional work of Judson in Burma highlights the biblically-

vividly Judson’s challenges, demonstrating how the mission-

grounded passion of the Judson’s to see the Gospel take hold

ary is of great encouragement and witness to those actively

of the lives of the Burmese. Finn helpfully highlights their

engaged in evangelism. This work is not only an encourage-

contextual investment and perseverance in waiting for God

ment and resource for individuals in local or international

to awaken the lost. Further this chapter grippingly recounts

missions; it is a great counterpoint to any person ministering

the hardships, loss, and sufferings which the Judson’s faith-

in a context where the Prosperity Gospel holds influence. Jud-

fully endured in their mission to obey the call of God. Finn

son’s struggles and sufferings are a keen reminder of the cost

amply demonstrates why Judson is worthy of the commenda-

of discipleship, and that wealth, health, poverty or illness is

tion which history has afforded him as well as of our own

not an indicator of God’s favor. Instead, as this work exempli-


fies, the true disciple of Christ may expect hardship and trib-

Also, this work includes the powerful sermon given by Dan-


$ 24

iel Akin at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and

and Thought, edited by Jason Duesing, examines and cele-

ulation in service of the King.

The Cost of Your Alumni Association Membership, or One Latte a Month.

Southeastern Faculty Works


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-

ment upon mankind which has significant ramifications for all of the creation. Thus, the entire creation, especially hu-

proach such issues as the environment, pollution and/or cre-

manity is awaiting redemption in Christ, Jesus the Lord,

ation care. Invariably what results is a neglect of such issues

whose atoning work is the ground of all redemption.

or a misrepresentation of the biblical text in order to make a

Finally, redemption and reconciliation are not in its final

case for or against creation care. True North: Christ, the Gos-

stages. Believers wait in anticipation for the return of Christ

pel, and Creation Care is a new publication from B&H Aca-

and restoration of all things. This anticipation of restoration

demic, written by Mark Liederbach and Seth Bible. This book

and the full establishment of God’s kingdom shapes how the

at its core explains how the Christian faith can and should

believer lives in God’s created order. Thus, the believer lives

speak to issues of environmental ethics and creation care.

as one who is restored and exercising dominion over the cre-

The authors desire to serve their readers by 1) modeling a


solid commitment to the infallible and inerrant Scriptures,

This work provides a few very helpful thoughts. First, as

historically orthodox theology, and biblically informed rea-

the authors have shown, creation care and environmental

soning and 2) to provide a framework for practicing creation

ethics are rightly understood as a biblical and theological

care that is “distinctively Christian” (3).

category, not scientific. Second, True North demonstrates the

Liederbach and Bible begin with making a biblical and

sufficiency of Scripture to speak to an area of life that is often

theological argument that is then applied to the care of the

neglected. Third, the authors place creation care within the

creation. Due to this structure the book might be more viewed

scope of God’s redemption. They rightly understand that

as a theology text rather than a book about the environment.

while humanity might be the focal point of God’s work, re-

The book highlights a number of important aspects of the

demption flows as far as the curse is found. Thus, the authors

Christian faith. First, the authors begin with God being the

rightly explain how Jesus’ redemption extends to the entire-

ground of morality. They argue that God himself is “True

ty of the creation.

North” and is therefore central to all of ethics and especially care for creation.

This work, while dealing with a topic that is often not discussed by Evangelical Christians, should be viewed as a tool

Second, the authors note the role of Christ as Creator, who

to assist the church to think biblically and theologically sound

creates and sustains this creation, explaining the importance

about creation and environmental issues. The pastor will find

of the “goodness” of the creation. Third, Liederbach and Bible

this work to be a great tool for broadening his thought with

expound on how humanity has a specific task as “Image-

regard to the creation narrative, theology and the practice of

Bearers” to worship and obey God and to exercise dominion

creation care. I, without reservation, believe this work to be

over his good creation. Fourth, they argue that in spite of the

an asset to its readers, to those who are looking to be chal-

goodness of the creation, Adam and Eve’s sin results in judg-

lenged theologically and shaped ethically.



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,

point in the chapter, Dew states that in order for the logical

counseling sessions and honest inquiries pertaining to the

problem of evil to be true, it must be necessarily true not pos-

goodness of God. Evil and the consequences of evil incessant-

sibly true. Hence, “the classical theistic set does not contain an

ly interrupt his recreational plans and restful Sundays. You do

explicit or implicit contradiction. Thus, the logical problem of

not have to convince my pastor of the reality of evil and suffer-

evil fails to disprove God’s existence” (37).

ing, he is surrounded by it.

Another contributor from Southeastern is Bruce Little. Dr.

Recognizing the profundity and profanity of evil, editors and

Little is the Senior Professor of Philosophy and Director of the

contributors Chad Meister and Southeastern professor James

Francis A. Schaeffer Collection at Southeastern. In his chapter,

K. Dew Jr. examine distinctive topics and debates in the prob- “God and Gratuitous Evil,” Little states that gratuitous evil is lem of evil. Their goal is “to provide reasonable answers to

evil that “has no purpose in the sense that the purpose would

these kinds of questions (about evil) and to present various

explain why it was allowed by God” (38). Throughout this chap-

ways evangelical Christians have wrestled with the issues” (9).

ter, Little investigates gratuitous evil in contrast to the oft-

In four parts, the editors develop a working definition of evil,

professed greater-good theodicy. Individuals who hold to a

some reasons why God might permit evil in His world, relevant

greater-good theodicy often affirm it as that which “God allows

themes related to evil, and contemporary issues in the problem

into this world only that evil from which he can bring about a

of evil.

greater good or prevent a worse evil (38), and thus, “God su-

Associate Professor of History of Ideas and Philosophy and

pervises every potential event of evil/suffering so that only

Dean of the College at Southeastern, James K. Dew Jr. intro-

those evils that can be used for God’s good purposes are actu-

duces in his chapter — “The Logical Problem of Evil” — three

alized” (39).

major categories in the topic of the problem of evil: the evidential problem of evil, the religious problem of evil and the logical

by asking whether or not gratuitous evil is a possibility. He then

problem of evil. The focus of Dew’s chapter “centers on an al-

affirms its possibility primarily due to two realities: libertarian

leged inconsistency between the ideas of God’s existence and

free will and God’s created order. Little states, “God allows us

the existence of evil itself” (27).

to make real choices with real consequences because he re-

In response, Dew examines whether there is indeed an inconsistency or contradiction between God’s existence and the


In the next section, Little arrives at the climax of his chapter

spects his own created order. This makes gratuitous evil a real possibility without denying the moral perfections of God” (46).

existence of evil. First, Dew provides a brief history of major

Pastors, deacons, leaders and laity would greatly benefit

figures — David Hume, H.J. McCloskey and J.L. Mackie — who

from Meister’s and Dew’s God and Evil. Due to the existence

affirm some form of the logical problem of evil. Dew notes sec-

of sin, evil and pain confronting ministry and the Church’s

ondly that philosophers like Hume, McCloskey, Mackie and

mission, this book provides helpful analysis and robust discus-

others draw serious flawed conclusions when advocating for

sions not on a mere “concept,” but an existential phenomenon

the logical problem of evil. Making his last and most important

touching and destroying every strata of God’s created order.




Why I Believe Children Who Die Go to Heaven by Daniel Akin

Few things in life are more tragic and heartbreaking

to trust Christ. Calvin taught the certain election of

than the death of a baby or small child. For parents the

some infants to salvation and was open to the possibil-

grief can be overwhelming. For the minister to stand

ity that all infants who die are saved. Zwingli, B.B. Warf-

over a small, white casket and provide comfort and sup-

ield and Charles Hodge all taught that God saves all who

port seems to ask for more than he can deliver. It is

die in infancy. This perspective has basically become


the dominant view of the Church in the 20th and 21st

Many console themselves with the thought that at least the child is now in a better place. Some believe

century. I believe there are good reasons biblically and theo-

small children who die become angels. This is a quite

logically for believing that God saves all who die and

popular perspective. They are certain these precious

who do not reach a stage of moral understanding and

little ones are in heaven with God.

accountability. Scripture may not speak to this issue

However, it is important for us both to ask and answer

directly, but there is sufficient evidence that would lead

some important questions if we can. Do those who die

us to affirm that God receives into heaven all who have

in infancy go to heaven? How do we know? What evi-

died in infancy. Some evidence is stronger than others,

dence is there to support such a conclusion? Sentimen-

but cumulatively they marshal strong support for infant

talism, emotional hopes and wants are not sufficient for

salvation. I will note six of them.

those who live under the authority of the Word of God.

First, the grace, goodness and mercy of God would

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


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.


support the position that God saves all infants who die.

and does not do it that sin is reckoned. Infants are in-

This is the strongest argument and perhaps the decisive

capable of such decisions and actions.

one. God is love (1 John 4:8) and desires that all be saved

Fourth, Jesus affirmed that the kingdom of God be-

(1 Tim. 2:4). God is love and His concern for children is

longed to little children (Luke 18:15-17). In the passage

evident in Matthew 18:14 where Jesus says, “Your Fa-

he is stating that saving faith is a childlike faith, but He

ther in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones

also seems to be affirming the reality of children popu-

should be lost.”

lating heaven.

Second, when the baby boy who was born to David

Fifth, Scripture affirms that the number of saved

and Bathsheba died (2 Sam. 12:15-18), David did two

souls is very great (Rev. 7:9). Since most of the world

significant things: (1) He confessed his confidence that

has been and is still non-Christian, might it be that the

he would see the child again and, (2) he comforted his

untold multitude who have died prematurely or in in-

wife Bathsheba (vv. 23-24). David could have done

fancy comprise a majority of those in heaven?

those two things only if he was confident that his little

Sixth, some in Scripture are said to be chosen or

son was with God. Any other explanation does not do

sanctified from the womb (1 Sam. 1:8-2:21; Jer. 1:5;

justice to the text.

Luke 1:15). This certainly affirms the salvation of some

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

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



are saved it is because of His sovereign grace and abounding mercy.

This article is a slightly revised version of a


and me several years ago. I am indebted to

On September 29, 1861, the great Baptist pastor, Charles Spurgeon, preached a message entitled “Infant

similar one written by R. Albert Mohler, Jr. his careful theological insights. Scan below to read the full article.

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.


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Danny Akin | Thabiti Anyabwile | Mark Dever | John Folmar | J.D. Greear | Peter Williams


September 27-28, 2013



by Bruce Ashford Recently, President Akin challenged the faculty of

other worldviews, religions and philosophies. We will

Southeastern Seminary with making every classroom a

try to show how each doctrine subverts its counterpart

“Great Commission classroom.” This challenge may seem

in the New Atheism, postmodern Perspectivalism, East-

to be easily met in a course on missions or evangelism,

ern religions, Islam and even Southern Fried Religion.

but what about courses in theology, philosophy, or

Further, we will discuss how each doctrine affects

church history? What could it possibly mean for a theol-

ministry and mission. Christian Scripture and its atten-

ogy course to be a “Great Commission course”? Should

dant evangelical doctrine provide the starting point,

the professor wear a Mao shirt or some lederhosen to

trajectory and parameters for our ministry models,

class, in order to demonstrate his cross-cultural aware-

strategies and methods. Indeed, for the past three de-

ness? Should he subliminally whisper the names of un-

cades the churches of the SBC have declared that the

reached people groups every time he teaches on the

Scriptures are ipsissima verba Dei, the very words of

Trinity, the Incarnation, or on building a revelational

God. What we have declared, however, is not always con-

epistemology? (If you are left wondering, the answer to

sistent with what we have done. Therefore, we want 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

be careful not to (unintentionally or unconsciously) ignore the centrality of Scripture even in “practical” matters of ministry and mission.

level, and therefore have the opportunity to reflect on

Finally, we emphasize that the Great Commission is

teaching theology missionally. The thread of mission is

not concerned merely or exclusively with international

woven deeply into the plot of the biblical narrative. It

missions. From the Great Commission, we learn that our

begins with the nature of God, continues with his call

Lord commands us to make disciples (discipleship is far-

for Israel to be a blessing to the nations, and culminates

ranging, including teaching, modeling, rebuking, ex-

in his sending of the Messiah, whose incarnation, cru-

horting etc.) of all the nations (including this nation, the

cifixion, and resurrection provide for the salvation of the

USA), baptizing them in the name of the Triune God

nations who will dwell with him forever on a new cre-

(and immersing them in the life of the redeemed com-

ation. Since Christian Scripture has the concept of mis-

munity), teaching them all things that he has command-

sion at its heart, Christian theology will also have the

ed us (the entirety of Christian Scripture), and trusting

concept of mission centrally located.

that he will be with us always (it is he who is the orga-

But in addition to the “central location” of this concept

nizer, energizer and director of our commission).

within the biblical narrative and therefore within Chris-

In a nutshell, every classroom at SEBTS should be a

tian theology, the theology classroom can also be a

“Great Commission classroom” because every page of

“Great Commission classroom” in its pedagogical strat-

Scripture and every locus of doctrine relates in some

egy. For each of the loci of doctrine (God, Christ, Spirit,

way to the charge given to us above. Christian Theology

revelation, man, salvation, church and end times), we

is the most exciting thing that a person could possibly

will begin by treating the doctrine exegetically, histori-

study, and one of the exciting things about it is that it

cally and systematically. After having shown the coher-

not only drives us to ministry and mission, but shapes

ence of the doctrine as well as its relation to other doc-

the same ministry and mission. At its heart, theology

trines, we will also discuss the doctrine in relation to

is missional.





The first church I attended was a Southern Bap-

sic doctrine, even while those same members are

tist church in Ohio. That congregation gave me a

learning their theology from TV talk show hosts,

solid belief in the inerrancy of the Word of God

popular television preachers, or the latest reli-

and an undeniable passion for evangelism. It was

gious novel. Few — if any — of those sources teach

not until I began graduate education that I learned

a theology that leads to an evangelistic lifestyle.

that others questioned both commitments. Some argued that inerrancy is unsupportable and evan-


Consider these guidelines for teaching theology and evangelism in your church:

gelism is unnecessary. I realized quickly that

Do not assume your church members don’t care

standing on the Word and sharing that Word with

about beliefs. Too many church leaders give up on

others does not always happen naturally. Indi-

teaching theology before they even try. “Nobody

viduals, churches, educational institutions and

cares about theology anymore,” they think. Not

denominations alike default into theological and

only does this thinking ultimately question the

evangelistic apathy apart from an intentional plan

power of the Word, but it also denies reality. It is

to avoid this slide.

precisely because people do care about beliefs that

We who are “Bible believers” know this truth

they turn to places and people other than the

and we are quick to remind others of this fact.

church for their belief system. Where the church

What we are not so quick to acknowledge is this

fails, somebody else fills the void — and that

truth: our churches do a poor job of teaching the

somebody else is often unconcerned about biblical

very theology we claim is so important, and we do

truth and evangelism.

no better with evangelism training. We think our

Realize that attending worship and small

church members understand and believe our ba-

groups does not automatically lead to doctrinal


fidelity or evangelistic passion. Here, I am not ar-

eration with them — not replace them — in teach-

guing that preaching and Bible study are unim-

ing theology to the next generation. The home, too,

portant; indeed, good doctrinal training and

ought to be a center for evangelism. Our children

evangelistic equipping do not happen apart from

and teens are, in fact, often most connected with

preaching and teaching of the Word. I am simply

others who need to hear the gospel. Unchurched

arguing that church members do not typically

folks may be willing to visit us in our homes when

hear teaching and then automatically connect the

they would not yet join us at church. Train fami-

dots to form a biblical theology and evangelistic

lies to stand on the Word and to build evangelism

passion. Teaching good theology and raising up

into their DNA.

evangelistic church members must happen intentionally.

Be willing to start with the few. Just as Jesus did, focus on the few rather than the many. For

Include basic theology and evangelism training

example, invite a few men to join you in studying

in a required membership class. In some ways, the

theology one morning each week. Give them the

best time to teach the basics is when a person first

Bible and a basic theology textbook, and challenge

follows Christ or first joins the church — when he

them to study the week’s lesson. Equip these same

or she is most focused on a Christian commitment.

men to share their faith by telling their conversion

Capitalize on that enthusiasm by teaching early

stories. Teach them how to bridge daily conversa-

the inerrancy and authority of the Bible. Show

tions into the gospel. Take somebody with you

why the exclusivity of Christ is non-negotiable.

when you make an evangelistic visit. No congrega-

Talk about the necessity of the death of Christ.

tion will grow biblically and evangelistically until

Lead new believers to see their neighbors and co-

a few members grow first.

workers 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.

Be willing to start with the few. Just as Jesus did, focus on the few rather than the many.

Few other leaders have such a ready hearing. For that reason, we must hold group leaders accountable to holy living, sound doctrine, good teaching

Pray our seminaries will produce church lead-

and evangelistic fervor. We should not be sur-

ers with a biblical foundation and evangelistic

prised when members view doctrine as boring if

enthusiasm. Our role is to walk alongside church-

lackluster, dispassionate teachers have taught it.

es given the task of producing global Christians.

Nor should we be shocked by evangelistic apathy

We have the privilege of playing a role in training

if small group leaders themselves lost their own

the next generation of pastors and missionaries.

evangelistic fire long ago.

If we do our task well — passionately, clearly, per-

Begin in the home. Teach parents biblical doc-

sonally teaching biblical truth and modeling

trine, and then help them to teach their own chil-

evangelistic obedience — our churches will be

dren accordingly. Because Deuteronomy 6:7 and

stronger. We will accomplish this goal only when

Ephesians 6:4 demand nothing less from believ-

we go forth on our knees, undergirded by the

ing parents, our churches should work in coop-

prayers of the churches with whom we partner.




What Does It Mean for an Elder to be

“Able to Teach”? A Proposal

by Nathan Finn Like most Baptists, I would argue the biblical terms

chaser? Should any believer, male or female, be a

translated as overseer, bishop, elder, and pastor are

drunkard? Should any Christ-follower be known as a

synonyms used to describe a man who has been set

conceited, violent-tempered money-lover? It seems to

apart for the primary teaching, leading, and shepherd-

me the bulk of these expectations simply indicate a

ing office in a local congregation. For that reason, I use

pastor should be a man who is an exemplary Christian

the terms pastor and elder interchangeably.

role model with a good reputation, both within the

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

from the rest is the ability to teach. And herein lies the debate—what does it mean for an elder to be “able to

Therefore an overseer must be above reproach,


the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-con-

Some argue teaching should be equated with

trolled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not

preaching, so the ability to teach means the ability to

a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrel-

preach a sermon. This view is common among those

some, not a lover of money. He must manage his

who prefer a “single-elder” model of pastoral leader-

own household well, with all dignity keeping his

ship. It is also common among some who affirm a plu-

children submissive, for if someone does not

rality of elders, but equate that group with the church’s

know how to manage his own household, how will

salaried staff. I hear these views frequently espoused

he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent

among my fellow Southern Baptists. I readily grant that in many churches, especially

and fall into the condemnation of the devil. More-

smaller ones, the only man who is biblically qualified

over, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so

to be an elder is the solo pastor. I also resonate with

that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of

the idea that in larger churches, at least a majority of

the devil (ESV).

the paid ministerial staff needs to meet the biblical

Have you ever noticed these qualifications include,

qualifications of elder. After all, who wants a youth

for the most part, a group of expectations that ought

minister who’s a bad role model and can’t teach the

to characterize any growing Christian man? Should

Scriptures to teenagers?

any brother lack self-control and be known as a skirt-

The one qualification for eldership that stands out

the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.

convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit


church and in the wider community.

Yet, I cannot help but think these two views artifi-


cially limit the eldership to paid pastors who are able

the time, the church had three pastors. In their

to preach sermons from behind a pulpit during a Sun-

church’s by-laws, it states that all elders, whether paid

day worship service. Though the New Testament is

or unpaid, must teach the entire congregation at least

clear that elders are worthy of compensation (1 Tim.

once a year. Because Kyle is the full-time lead pastor,

5:17–18), there is no mandate that all pastors must be

this means he preaches almost every week. But for

paid. There is also no indication in the New Testament

other elders, it could mean simply occasionally leading

that standing up and preaching a sermon is the only

a congregational Bible study on a Wednesday or Sun-

way to teach the Scriptures to God’s people.

day evening. The church doesn’t understand one form

Others opt for the other end of the spectrum, argu-

of Bible teaching to be superior to the other.

ing teaching is simply the ability to explain the Scrip-

I like this approach. All members are encouraged to

tures to another believer. In this model, being able to

teach the Scriptures one-on-one to those whom they

teach more or less means being able to disciple some-

are discipling. But each of the elders, none being anon-

one else. It isn’t necessary that an elder be able to

ymous, is also expected to at least occasionally teach

preach a sermon or even that he be able to teach a

the whole body. All of the elders exercise their ability

Sunday School class or small group Bible study.

to teach the Bible, though how this is done looks dif-

Hopefully, every pastor is making disciples through Bible-saturated mentoring. And yet, this seems to me

ferent for each elder. We follow this model at my own church, First Bap-

to place the teaching bar too low. Don’t we want to

tist Church of Durham. We currently have eight elders.

equip all men (and women!) in the church to make

Two of our elders are paid pastors who serve on our

disciples? Virtually any believer except very recent

church’s staff. Six of our elders are non-staff pastors

converts ought to be able to do this type of teaching on

who serve without pay; I serve as one of the non-staff

some level or another, especially with their children.

elders. Several of us are comfortable preaching, but all

I have one additional concern about this second op-

of our pastors at least occasionally expound the Scrip-

tion. As a Baptist, I’m worried this view brings us too

tures to the gathered congregation in some venue. No-

close to the distinction our Presbyterian friends make

body doubts that each of our elders are able to teach,

between “ruling” elders and “teaching” elders, a divi-

even though only some of us would probably be con-

sion I believe is biblically unwarranted. Though Bap-

sidered “preachers” by our church’s members.

tists may debate the number of elders a church should

I would encourage Baptist churches that embrace a

have, we typically agree all elders are to both lead and

plurality of elders to institute this sort of system in

teach. I want to offer a proposal that I believe strikes a

their churches. Even among those churches that choose to equate the elders with the staff, I would urge

balance between the two aforementioned polarities. I

all staff members, not just the primary preaching pas-

would argue that being able to teach means being able

tor, to periodically teach the entire congregation.

to publicly explain and apply the Scriptures to the en-

Youth ministers, worship pastors, and collegiate min-

tire congregation. This doesn’t necessarily mean all

isters should be expected to occasionally bless the

elders must possess the ability to preach a sermon. But

entire church through the ministry of the Word. This

neither is teaching defined so broadly that any trans-

will both help to grow the body and develop all elders

mission of biblical truth qualifies. All elders should be

into the Bible teachers the Lord and his church has

able to stand before the congregation and expound the

called them to be. This question will also help provide

Bible, even if some elders are uncomfortable preaching

a benchmark for assessing prospective elders—who

in a corporate worship gathering.

are godly men with a heart for shepherding and are

My friend Kyle recently led his Southern Baptist church to adopt an elder-led congregational polity. At

gifted to preach and/or teach the Scriptures to the congregation?







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.


music minor from Newark, Illinois

m arrie d t o t h e beau t i f u l

jenny Get the stories at or scan below

rocks out on the

DRUMs 38
















Spotlight On: The Center for G reat Commission Studies >













The Lewis A. Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies (CGCS) is the hub of Southeastern’s everexpanding missionary program. Our president com-

Scott Hildreth, Director to better serve and minister to the peoples that they will impact. • We have recently completed a major research

municates a compelling missionary vision, challenging

project on behalf of the North American and Inter-

every student to consider serving among unreached

national Mission Boards providing a demographic

peoples or in underserved cities. As a result, Southeast-

breakdown of the top 100 Metropolitan areas of the

ern’s missionary training is significantly more complex

US. This information will be used by mission agen-

and robust than ever.

cies and state conventions to help with missionary

Consider this:

strategy and church planting.

• The CGCS is working with almost 200 students

• Southeastern is making every effort to keep up

in our 2+ programs. These students, along with their

with new developments in missiology. Because of

families, serve on the international mission field

this, we have been involved in a yearlong conversa-

among people with little or no access to the gospel.

tion with businessmen, mission agencies, and other

Southeastern is committed to making sure that these

academic institutions about the need for developing

men and women are equipped for the task before

training for men and women who will use business

they arrive and engage in ongoing equipping as they

skills for kingdom advancement. We are in the pro-

fulfill their calling around the world.

cess of developing a new certificate designed to equip

• The College at Southeastern has about 90 students who are pursuing a missionary degree. The

kingdom entrepreneurs for this new type of missionary work.

commitment of the CGCS is to insure that these

The world is always changing and these changes

young men and women receive quality classroom

bring new opportunities for expanding God’s kingdom.

education as well as extracurricular training. This

It is the firm commitment of our Center for Great Com-

spring we will kick-off a brand new missionary train-

mission Studies to make sure that Southeastern stu-

ing society for college students focusing on develop-

dents are prepared for whatever they encounter as they

ing Christian character as well as missionary skills

seek to “make disciples of all nations.”

















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

be listed on the class page once you register for the

now as Director of Alumni Development, I understand


the great support that Southeastern needs from her

There are also significant ways in which you can part-

graduates. I have also become aware of the great need

ner with Southeastern as well. Having experienced

of support and resources that Southeastern can and will

Southeastern first hand, you are our primary recruiters.

continue to provide. My goal is to see how we can part-

It is amazing to hear the stories of how your experi-

ner together for a greater kingdom impact. There are at

ences here have shaped your ministry. You have the op-

least three ways in which Southeastern can serve you

portunity to pass on a similar experience to those whom

in your current ministry context.

you recommend Southeastern. We are also grateful for

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

your recommendation and pray you will continue to send your disciples our way. Also, as I am sure you are aware of the economic

much of our library’s content. Members of the South-

climate and the quickly shriveling Cooperative Program

eastern Alumni Association can gain access to South-

receipts, it is important to have the financial support of

eastern’s online research database. Of course, our fac-

our graduates. Having served in ministry I am well

ulty is always willing to engage a graduate’s questions

aware of the financial realities for many of our gradu-

and ministry challenges.

ates. Our desire is to create a giving mechanism that

Second, continuing education is a vital part of South-

will allow for graduates to give back to their alma mater

eastern’s mission. We recognize that you might find

even if it may seem like a small gift. For just four dollars

yourself in a ministry context where you need further

a month you can join the Southeastern Alumni Asso-

study to more adequately minister to the people of God.

ciation and continue to be a vital supporter of the Great

Please view your alma mater as a source for continued

Commission work through your school. Find out more

study, whether in an additional degree program or a


special certificate. Third, we can provide training for your lay leaders.


group training in the local church. These materials will

My prayer is that you will take advantage of the resources that Southeastern can provide to you. I believe

Our most recent endeavor to provide training is called

they will be tools to strengthen and encourage you. Ad-

MOOC at Southeastern. This is a free, self-paced online

ditionally, I pray that you will genuinely consider join-

class designed with laymen in mind. Visit

ing the Southeastern Alumni Association; your gifts

mooc for more information. Southeastern has also cre-

allow us to continue to keep tuition low and accomplish

ated supplemental materials that can be used for small

the task in which we are called.
















Spotlight On: The College at Southeastern >













Jamie Dew, Dean of the College What makes the College at Southeastern so special?

Moreover, as part of our core requirements, students

For starters, at Southeastern, everything revolves

also receive training in Hermeneutics, Christian Theol-

around the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Great Com-

ogy, Old Testament, New Testament and Church History.

mission. This comes out in everything that we do and

Throughout these courses, students are pushed to think

everything that we teach. Every administrator, faculty

critically, argue persuasively and engage effectively.

member, and staff member is devoted to equipping stu-

From this General Education core, students receive a

dents for Kingdom work. This vision brings unity and

first major in Christian Studies and a robust Liberal Arts

makes Southeastern a truly incredible place to prepare

education. Yet, our core is designed so that students still

for life and service.

have plenty of extra hours to earn a second major or

What’s remarkable about our college, however, is the

minor in the discipline of their choice.

way our curriculum equips students to live missionally.

We are serious about the gospel and serious about

We offer a Liberal Arts curriculum that is deeply rooted

training students to take the gospel into all the world at

in the Christian tradition. As part of our General Educa-

the College at Southeastern. To fulfill the Great Commis-

tion requirements, all students complete a rigorous se-

sion, we will need pastors and missionaries, but we will

lection of courses that bring the Christian worldview

also need teachers, attorneys, business people, counsel-

and the Liberal Arts together. Many Liberal Arts pro-

ors and much more. We’ve designed a curriculum that

grams reference the classics and greatest thinkers, but

keeps our focus on kingdom work, yet prepares students

our program gives students the opportunity to actually

to be salt and light in any context.

read Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Virgil, Dante, Descartes, Locke, Kant, and many more, for themselves.

We are excited about all that God is doing at Southeastern. We hope you will consider joining us soon!
















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 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. Depending 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 on-


line. 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 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 leadership, 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 development through high quality theological education via the latest innovative delivery systems. Visit or call us at (919) 761-2308 to learn more about this truly global effort!

















Spotlight On: Financial Development >













Daniel Palmer, Director An Inside Look at the Southeastern Fund The Southeastern Fund provides support for the ongoing 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 accounted 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 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.


Fast Facts on the Southeastern Fund Youngest Donor

Oldest Donor

States Represented


1st Time Donors in 2012



Smallest Gift

Largest Gift

Average Support per Student

$ 2.00


$ 290

Longest Streak of Consecutive Support

25 years

Examples of Projects Made Possible by the Southeastern Fund

Replacing Steam Lines to Heat the Campus $ 250,000

Binkley Chapel Classroom Renovations $ 300,000

Media Upgrades in Binkley Chapel $ 50,000

Recent Support

The John H. Sailhamer Library $ 30,000

Wireless Internet Across Campus $ 25,000

Free Online Course by Dr. Akin $10,000

Ways to Give $ 900,355

By Mail Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary P.0. Box 1889, Wake Forest, NC 27588-1889

$1M $ 782,570 $ 800K

$ 703,732


$ 700K

Join The Board of Visitors See Our Story On Page 8

$ 600K




Appreciated Stock Call 919.761.2352 or email


Get the stories at or scan below



News Office P.O. Box 1889 Wake Forest, NC 27588-1889 (ISSN 2327-154X) (Occupant) or Resident


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 or call 919-761-2177 with any questions.

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 G...

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