Southern Seminary Magazine 89.1: Eternal Truth in Changing Times

In an age when fundamental truths are increasingly under attack, pastors don't need less theological training, they need more. That's why the faculty members of Southern Seminary are committed to teaching biblical truth that equips the called for faithful ministry. Everything we are, everything we do, everything we teach, is based upon the knowledge that God’s Word is truth—inerrant, inspired, infallible, totally true and trustworthy. The theme of this issue of Southern Seminary Magazine is eternal truth, unchanged and unchanging in changing times.

In an age when fundamental truths are increasingly under attack, pastors don't need less theological training, they need more. That's why the faculty members of Southern Seminary are committed to teaching biblical truth that equips the called for faithful ministry. Everything we are, everything we do, everything we teach, is based upon the knowledge that God’s Word is truth—inerrant, inspired, infallible, totally true and trustworthy. The theme of this issue of Southern Seminary Magazine is eternal truth, unchanged and unchanging in changing times.


You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

V<br />

N<br />





Onward<br />


President, The <strong>Southern</strong> Baptist Theological <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong><br />

In chang<strong>in</strong>g times, we stand on eternal truth. In an age when fundamental truths<br />

are <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>gly under attack, pastors don’t need less theological tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g—they need<br />

more. That’s why the faculty members of <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> are committed to teach<strong>in</strong>g<br />

biblical truth that equips the called for faithful m<strong>in</strong>istry.<br />

T<br />

he experience of commencement<br />

at <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> and Boyce<br />

College is always glorious, but this<br />

year’s commencements were a stunn<strong>in</strong>g<br />

display of God’s promise. In a s<strong>in</strong>gle day,<br />

we graduated almost 700 students <strong>in</strong> two<br />

great outdoor ceremonies that drew thousands<br />

of family members and friends onto<br />

the sem<strong>in</strong>ary lawn. God gave us a spectacular<br />

day and the theme was unrestra<strong>in</strong>ed<br />

joy. We saw all these graduates, arrayed <strong>in</strong><br />

their regalia, ready to go out <strong>in</strong>to the pulpits,<br />

<strong>in</strong>to the mission fields, <strong>in</strong>to the work<br />

of the Lord.<br />

As our sem<strong>in</strong>ary hymn declares, they are<br />

“soldiers of Christ, <strong>in</strong> truth arrayed.” They<br />

jo<strong>in</strong> the long l<strong>in</strong>e of faithfulness that came<br />

before them.<br />

A day like that means more than usual for<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong>, maybe more than ever.<br />

After more than a year of determ<strong>in</strong>ed struggle,<br />

by God’s grace we came through the <strong>in</strong>ternational<br />

crisis, had a full program of on-campus<br />

classes and did what <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> and<br />

Boyce College exist to do—raise up the next<br />

generation of Christian preachers, pastors,<br />

leaders, and servants who follow the call of<br />

Christ to assignments all over the globe.<br />

How was this possible? God did it, of<br />

course. How can we ever express adequate<br />

gratitude to God for his grace and mercy<br />

and provision <strong>in</strong> the past year? God did it<br />

through his people. <strong>Southern</strong> Baptists gave<br />

faithfully through the Cooperative Program.<br />

Friends of this sacred school gave us<br />

the support we needed to see this task done.<br />

Students came from all over the world to<br />

learn the truths of God’s Word. Faculty<br />

members were determ<strong>in</strong>ed to teach, and<br />

bravely they did. Key leaders on this campus<br />

just got the job done, day after day.<br />

So, what now? We stay at the task, with a<br />

commitment deeper than ever, hearts even<br />

more full of joy, and a world ever greater<br />

<strong>in</strong> need. Soon, we will welcome hundreds<br />

of new students to the campus and to the<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> and Boyce College<br />

family. If you want to be encouraged, just<br />

come to the campus and walk on the sem<strong>in</strong>ary<br />

lawn and see the students and their<br />

families and share the joy. Just talk to the<br />

students. You will meet some of the most<br />

dedicated young people you can imag<strong>in</strong>e,<br />

drawn from all across the United States<br />

and from more than 70 nations of the<br />

world. You will see teenagers just beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g<br />

their college adventure and young<br />

sem<strong>in</strong>ary couples push<strong>in</strong>g strollers. You<br />

will see the future of Christian m<strong>in</strong>istry<br />

and service right before your eyes. You<br />

will see the promise of God.<br />

Everyth<strong>in</strong>g we are, everyth<strong>in</strong>g we do,<br />

everyth<strong>in</strong>g we teach, is based upon the<br />

knowledge that God’s Word is truth – <strong>in</strong>errant,<br />

<strong>in</strong>spired, <strong>in</strong>fallible, totally true<br />

and trustworthy. The theme of this issue<br />

of <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> <strong>Magaz<strong>in</strong>e</strong> is truthtruth<br />

unchanged and unchang<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Where do we go from here? Onward.<br />

Onward, then, ye people,<br />

jo<strong>in</strong> our happy throng,<br />

Blend with ours your voices,<br />

<strong>in</strong> the triumph song;<br />

Glory, laud, and honor,<br />

unto Christ the K<strong>in</strong>g;<br />

This through countless ages men and<br />

angels s<strong>in</strong>g.<br />




@TheSBTS<br />

@SBTS<br />



28<br />

34 39<br />

SPRING 2021. Vol. 89, No. 1.<br />

Copyright © 2021<br />

The <strong>Southern</strong> Baptist<br />

Theological <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong><br />



President Mohler’s new book takes<br />

a deep dive <strong>in</strong>to the profound<br />

cultural issues the church is fac<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>in</strong> 2021 and beyond.<br />


I'VE LOST MY<br />

HEBREW...<br />

NOW WHAT!<br />

A student works hard to learn the<br />

biblical languages <strong>in</strong> sem<strong>in</strong>ary then<br />

beg<strong>in</strong>s to forget them out <strong>in</strong> the<br />

m<strong>in</strong>istry. How should he reta<strong>in</strong> such<br />

useful knowledge?<br />





Hard questions made her search for<br />

answers. <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> taught her that<br />

God’s Word is able to provide them.<br />


<strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> <strong>Magaz<strong>in</strong>e</strong> Staff:<br />

Vice President of Institutional Advancement:<br />

Edward A. He<strong>in</strong>ze<br />

Director of Communications: Jeff Rob<strong>in</strong>son<br />

Creative Director: Stuart Hunt<br />

Production Manager: Evan Sams<br />

Manag<strong>in</strong>g Editor: Jared Kennedy<br />

Feature Illustrations: John Zurowski<br />

Cover and Graphic Design: John Zurowski,<br />

Benjam<strong>in</strong> Aho<br />

Photographers: David Ward, Stuart Hunt,<br />

Sydney Zurowski<br />

Contribut<strong>in</strong>g Writers: R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Jeff<br />

Rob<strong>in</strong>son, Andrew T. Walker, Travis Hearne,<br />

Forrest Strickland, Jared Kennedy<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> <strong>Magaz<strong>in</strong>e</strong> is published<br />

6<br />

biannually by The <strong>Southern</strong> Baptist Theological<br />

<strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong>, 2825 Lex<strong>in</strong>gton Road, Louisville, KY<br />

40280. The magaz<strong>in</strong>e is distributed digitally<br />

at equip.sbts.edu/magaz<strong>in</strong>e. If you would like<br />

to request a hard copy, please reach out by<br />

email<strong>in</strong>g communications@sbts.edu.<br />




The church must draw from deep<br />

MAIL: The <strong>Southern</strong> Baptist Theological<br />

<strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong>, 2825 Lex<strong>in</strong>gton Road, Louisville,<br />

KY 40280<br />

ONLINE: www.sbts.edu<br />

EMAIL: communications@sbts.edu<br />

CALL: 1 (800) 626-5525, ext. 4000<br />

spr<strong>in</strong>gs of truth even as it lives as<br />

a moral m<strong>in</strong>ority <strong>in</strong> a hostile world.<br />


4 10 16<br />








Distance students can now get degrees<br />

onl<strong>in</strong>e <strong>in</strong> seven different areas from<br />

biblical counsel<strong>in</strong>g to worship.<br />



SBTS not only coped with the pandemic, but<br />

thrived f<strong>in</strong>ancially and numerically. <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong><br />

officials quickly put together a plan that<br />

steadied the school for the duration.<br />


If one doesn't possess the freedom to<br />

act out one's most primary beliefs, one<br />

is not free <strong>in</strong> even the most basic sense<br />

of the word.<br />


1<br />

From the President: Onward<br />

14<br />

Remember<strong>in</strong>g Nick Challies.<br />

19<br />

Peter Gentry Retir<strong>in</strong>g After 22 Years<br />

of Faithful Service<br />

20<br />

An Academic Center With a<br />

Missionary Heart<br />

22<br />

Deep Personal Convictions About<br />

Corporate Worship.<br />

24<br />

25<br />

Faculty Profiles: Paul Ak<strong>in</strong> and Tyler Flatt<br />

33<br />

The Glory of God at the Heart of<br />

Paul<strong>in</strong>e Theology<br />

36<br />

The Holy Spirit: Cultivat<strong>in</strong>g Depen-<br />

Podcasts: Feeds for Your Soul<br />

dance and Calm<strong>in</strong>g Fears<br />






Mak<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Theological<br />

Education<br />

Accessible<br />

SBTS Offer<strong>in</strong>g Seven MDiv Degrees<br />

Entirely Onl<strong>in</strong>e<br />


Rather than be<strong>in</strong>g oriented toward generalists<br />

<strong>in</strong> m<strong>in</strong>istry, these onl<strong>in</strong>e degrees are oriented<br />

toward the specialist with a narrower m<strong>in</strong>istry<br />

focus:<br />

• WORSHIP LEADERSHIP. This degree is for<br />

the worship pastor or music m<strong>in</strong>ister who is already<br />

deeply rooted <strong>in</strong> the local church, already<br />

work<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> vocational m<strong>in</strong>istry.<br />

• ISLAMIC STUDIES. This degree is for those<br />

who are already serv<strong>in</strong>g on the mission field—<br />

or who plan to serve <strong>in</strong> a similar venue <strong>in</strong> the<br />

future—<strong>in</strong> regions or countries that are heavily<br />

populated by adherents to Islam. There are<br />

currently 1.8 billion people worldwide who<br />

adhere to Islam, so this degree is especially vital<br />

for missions and evangelism. This program<br />

<strong>in</strong>cludes two classes <strong>in</strong> Arabic. Most classes <strong>in</strong><br />

this program are taught by Ayman Ibrahim, a<br />

world class scholar <strong>in</strong> Islamic studies.<br />

• BIBLICAL COUNSELING. This program <strong>in</strong>cludes<br />

the practicum, which is done through<br />

distance learn<strong>in</strong>g and not on campus as <strong>in</strong> the<br />

past.<br />

T<br />

he Billy Graham School of Missions,<br />

Evangelism and M<strong>in</strong>istry at The<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> Baptist Theological <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong><br />

is offer<strong>in</strong>g MDiv and MA degrees <strong>in</strong><br />

three key areas that are fully onl<strong>in</strong>e. SBTS<br />

now offers seven MDiv degrees fully onl<strong>in</strong>e.<br />

Paul Ak<strong>in</strong>, dean of the Graham School, said<br />

SBTS wants to enable those already work<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong><br />

m<strong>in</strong>istry to stay <strong>in</strong> their current position while<br />

pursu<strong>in</strong>g a master of div<strong>in</strong>ity.<br />

“We want to make sure we are mak<strong>in</strong>g theological<br />

education as accessible as possible to as<br />

many people as possible,” he said.<br />

“There are so many pastors and church<br />

leaders that are serv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> different k<strong>in</strong>ds<br />

of roles that don’t allow them to pick up<br />

and move to Louisville to campus, so we’re<br />

always th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g through how to deliver<br />

high-quality theological education to as<br />

many people as possible.”<br />

“We want to<br />

make sure we<br />

are mak<strong>in</strong>g<br />

theological<br />

education as<br />

accessible as<br />

possible to as<br />

many people<br />

as possible.”<br />

These three degrees are available both as<br />

a master of div<strong>in</strong>ity, which entails 88-plus<br />

hours of credit, or as a master of arts, which<br />

is 54 hours. The new degrees now mean SBTS<br />

has seven MDiv degrees that are fully onl<strong>in</strong>e.<br />

The other four onl<strong>in</strong>e MDiv degrees <strong>in</strong>clude<br />

biblical and theological studies, christian<br />

m<strong>in</strong>istry, great commission studies, and<br />

apologetics.<br />

Ak<strong>in</strong> said, “We are <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>gly f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g<br />

people who have already found their<br />

dream job <strong>in</strong> a local church, and they don’t<br />

want to leave to go to sem<strong>in</strong>ary. They already<br />

have the job they would want after<br />

sem<strong>in</strong>ary, realize they need more tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g<br />

or equipp<strong>in</strong>g, but can’t pack up and move<br />

their family. These are the onl<strong>in</strong>e degrees<br />

for that person.”<br />

For full <strong>in</strong>formation or to apply for<br />

any of these seven degrees, please visit<br />

www.sbts.edu/onl<strong>in</strong>e/mdiv/.<br />

4<br />





An Oasis<br />

of <strong>Truth</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong> a Secular<br />

Wasteland<br />


T<br />

he greatest question of our time," offered<br />

historian Will Durant, "is not communism<br />

versus <strong>in</strong>dividualism, not Europe<br />

versus America, not even East versus the West;<br />

it is whether men can live without God." That<br />

question, it now appears, will be answered <strong>in</strong><br />

our own time.<br />

For centuries the Christian church has been<br />

the center of Western civilization. Western culture,<br />

government, law, and society were based<br />

on explicitly Christian pr<strong>in</strong>ciples. Concern for<br />

the <strong>in</strong>dividual, a commitment to human rights,<br />

and respect for the good, the beautiful, and the<br />

true—all of these grew out of Christian convictions<br />

and the <strong>in</strong>fluence of revealed religion.<br />

All of these, we now hasten to add, are under<br />

serious attack. The very notion of right<br />

and wrong is now discarded by large sectors<br />

of American society. Where it is not discarded,<br />

it is often debased. Tak<strong>in</strong>g a page out of Alice <strong>in</strong><br />

Wonderland, modern secularists simply declare<br />

wrong, right, and right, wrong.<br />

Quaker theologian D. Elton Trueblood once<br />

described America as a “cut flower civilization.”<br />

Our culture, he argued, is cut off from its Christian<br />

roots like a flower cut at the stem. Though<br />

the flower will hold its beauty for a time, it is<br />

dest<strong>in</strong>ed to wither and die.<br />

When Trueblood spoke those words over<br />

two decades ago, the flower could still be seen<br />

with some color and signs of life. But the<br />






blossom has long s<strong>in</strong>ce lost its vitality,<br />

and it is time for the fallen petals to be acknowledged.<br />

"When God is dead," argued Dostoyevsky,<br />

"anyth<strong>in</strong>g is permissible." The permissiveness<br />

of modern American society can scarcely be<br />

exaggerated, but it can be traced directly to<br />

the fact that modern men and women act as if<br />

God does not exist or is powerless to accomplish<br />

his will.<br />

The Christian church now f<strong>in</strong>ds itself fac<strong>in</strong>g<br />

a new reality. The church no longer represents<br />

the central core of Western culture.<br />

Though outposts of Christian <strong>in</strong>fluence rema<strong>in</strong>,<br />

these are exceptions rather than the<br />

rule. For the most part, the church has been<br />

displaced by the reign of secularism.<br />

The daily newspaper br<strong>in</strong>gs a constant<br />

barrage which confirms the current state of<br />

American society. This age is not the first to<br />

see unspeakable horror and evil, but it is the<br />

first to deny any consistent basis for identify<strong>in</strong>g<br />

evil as evil or good as good.<br />

The Church Must Be the Church<br />

The faithful church is, for the most part, tolerated<br />

as one voice <strong>in</strong> the public arena, but<br />

only so long as it does not attempt to exercise<br />

any credible <strong>in</strong>fluence on the state of affairs.<br />

Should the church speak forcefully to an issue<br />

of public debate, it is castigated as coercive<br />

and out of date.<br />

“Deep spr<strong>in</strong>gs of<br />

permanent truth<br />

will reveal the<br />

church to be a<br />

life-giv<strong>in</strong>g oasis<br />

amidst America's<br />

moral desert.”<br />

How does the church th<strong>in</strong>k of itself as it<br />

faces this new reality? Dur<strong>in</strong>g the 1980s, it was<br />

possible to th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>in</strong> ambitious terms about<br />

the church as the vanguard of a moral majority.<br />

That confidence has been seriously shaken<br />

by the events of the past decade.<br />

Little progress toward the re-establishment<br />

of a moral center of gravity can be detected.<br />

Instead, the culture has moved swiftly<br />

toward a more complete abandonment of<br />

all moral conviction. The confess<strong>in</strong>g church<br />

must now be will<strong>in</strong>g to be a moral m<strong>in</strong>ority,<br />

if that is what the times demands. The church<br />

has no right to follow the secular siren call toward<br />

moral revisionism and politically correct<br />

positions on the issues of the day.<br />

Whatever the issue, the church must speak<br />

as the church—that is, as the community of<br />

fallen but redeemed, who stand under div<strong>in</strong>e<br />

authority. The concern of the church is not to<br />

know its own m<strong>in</strong>d, but to know and follow<br />

the m<strong>in</strong>d of God. The church’s convictions<br />

must not emerge from the ashes of our own<br />

fallen wisdom, but from the authoritative<br />

Word of God which reveals the wisdom of<br />

God and His commands.<br />

The church, <strong>in</strong> short, must hold fast to the<br />

unfail<strong>in</strong>g truth of God and his Word.<br />

The Heretical Imperative<br />

Peter Berger, who before his death was one of<br />

the most <strong>in</strong>fluential sociologists of our day, argued<br />

that the “heretical imperative” of the modern<br />

era is the imperative to choose. In Berger’s<br />

analysis, <strong>in</strong> the premodern era one did not need<br />

to choose one’s beliefs.<br />

Instead, <strong>in</strong> the West, virtually everyone was<br />

born and baptized <strong>in</strong>to the Roman Catholic<br />

church. In other words, identity was externally<br />

fixed for <strong>in</strong>dividuals. In the modern secular<br />

world, however, this is no longer the case.<br />

Choice is endemic <strong>in</strong> every area of life — we<br />

simply cannot avoid it. As a result, Berger concludes<br />

that <strong>in</strong> the modern age we must take responsibility<br />

for our identity. It is no longer given;<br />

it is self-determ<strong>in</strong>ed.<br />

In our culture, people who th<strong>in</strong>k themselves<br />

autonomous will claim the right to<br />

def<strong>in</strong>e all mean<strong>in</strong>g for themselves. Any truth<br />

claim they reject or resist is simply ruled out<br />

of bounds by society at large. We will make<br />

our own world of mean<strong>in</strong>g and dare anyone<br />

to violate our autonomy.<br />

This is why evangelism is often perceived<br />

as <strong>in</strong>sensitive or even threaten<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> our<br />

culture. Evangelism demands that we press<br />

the authority of Scripture and the claims of<br />

Christ on s<strong>in</strong>ners as we <strong>in</strong>vite them to the free<br />

gift of salvation provided through Christ’s<br />

aton<strong>in</strong>g work.<br />

Will We Serve Lesser Gods?<br />

The American church is faced with a new situation.<br />

This new context is as current as the<br />

morn<strong>in</strong>g newspaper and as old as those first<br />

Christian churches <strong>in</strong> Cor<strong>in</strong>th, Ephesus, Laodicea,<br />

and Rome. Eternity will record whether or<br />

not the American church is will<strong>in</strong>g to submit<br />

only to the authority of God; or whether the<br />

church will forfeit its call<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> order to serve<br />

lesser gods.<br />

The church must awaken to its status as a<br />

moral m<strong>in</strong>ority and hold fast to the gospel we<br />

have been entrusted to preach. In so do<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

the deep spr<strong>in</strong>gs of permanent truth will reveal<br />

the church to be a life-giv<strong>in</strong>g oasis amidst<br />

America’s moral desert. Given our present<br />

predicament, we are headed <strong>in</strong>to a period<br />

when the acids of modernity will require the<br />

greatest level of conviction and the most stupendous<br />

level of clarity—a clarity that we will<br />

only have as we attest to the truth of God and<br />

his revelation.<br />

In the end, the issue is always truth—truth<br />

revealed, truth obeyed, truth received, truth<br />

proclaimed. In an age of pervasive uncerta<strong>in</strong>ty<br />

and unstead<strong>in</strong>ess, the church must rema<strong>in</strong><br />

committed to God’s truth.<br />

We will be <strong>in</strong> this battle until the end of time.<br />

“The confess<strong>in</strong>g<br />

church must now<br />

be will<strong>in</strong>g to be a<br />

moral m<strong>in</strong>ority, if<br />

that is what the<br />

times demand.”<br />





Resilient In a<br />

Time of Crisis<br />

SBTS Rema<strong>in</strong>s Ahead of the Curve and Hits<br />

Record Enrollment Dur<strong>in</strong>g COVID Response<br />


T<br />

hanks to the commitment of the<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> community and<br />

the Lord’s favor, SBTS and Boyce<br />

classrooms rema<strong>in</strong>ed open through the fall<br />

and spr<strong>in</strong>g semesters—reach<strong>in</strong>g record enrollment<br />

for fall (3,323) w<strong>in</strong>ter (1,511) and<br />

spr<strong>in</strong>g (3,225).<br />

While more than 1,300 American colleges<br />

and universities shifted to onl<strong>in</strong>e or hybrid<br />

classrooms <strong>in</strong> the fall—and with 65 percent<br />

of colleges report<strong>in</strong>g decl<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g enrollment—<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> stayed ahead of COVID-19 and<br />

completed a healthy academic year.<br />

Higher education faced a crisis. But <strong>Southern</strong>’s<br />

mission to tra<strong>in</strong> Christian m<strong>in</strong>isters endured.<br />

Last year SBTS President Albert Mohler<br />

said: “We are fac<strong>in</strong>g a challenge that is without<br />

precedent for anyone liv<strong>in</strong>g. It is tak<strong>in</strong>g a toll<br />

on our hearts, even as we understand the very<br />

same sense of seriousness and gravity that falls<br />

upon our churches, our state conventions, and<br />

our common work together. We certa<strong>in</strong>ly did<br />

not choose to experience this challenge, but<br />

the Lord has called us to faithfulness—even <strong>in</strong><br />

the midst of this crisis—and to serve <strong>Southern</strong><br />

Baptists with everyth<strong>in</strong>g we have and everyth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

we are as we look to the future.”<br />

Test<strong>in</strong>g Was Key to Stay<strong>in</strong>g Healthy<br />

Brent Small, associate vice president of Human<br />

Resources, said test<strong>in</strong>g was central to<br />

success. Immediately after students were<br />

sent home dur<strong>in</strong>g the 2020 spr<strong>in</strong>g semester,<br />

Small and the rest of the staff got to work.<br />

“If we’re go<strong>in</strong>g to rema<strong>in</strong> open,” Small<br />

said, “we’re go<strong>in</strong>g to have to test.”<br />

Due to the fast action of Small and others,<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> acquired a rapid test<strong>in</strong>g mach<strong>in</strong>e<br />

and put it to good use. Hav<strong>in</strong>g a test<strong>in</strong>g mach<strong>in</strong>e,<br />

however, was not enough.<br />

“Once we had the equipment, we had to come<br />

up with a way to schedule, track, and adm<strong>in</strong>ister<br />

the test<strong>in</strong>g.” Small said. “We also needed a<br />

plan to care for anyone who tested positive.”<br />

Campus Technology and the Hagan Cl<strong>in</strong>ic<br />

were <strong>in</strong>dispensable to the operation as<br />

well. A plan was implemented to randomly<br />

test 15 percent of the population per week.<br />

Along with test<strong>in</strong>g, classrooms were fitted<br />

with plexiglass shields and desks were<br />

spread out for social distanc<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

With the students com<strong>in</strong>g soon, all employees<br />

were tested with zero positives. As<br />

fall approached and the test<strong>in</strong>g began, there<br />

were zero reentry cases and zero spread <strong>in</strong><br />

the dorms. <strong>Southern</strong> performed more than<br />

4,000 tests with only 32 positives. Classrooms<br />

rema<strong>in</strong>ed open.<br />

On July 31, 2020 shortly before classes<br />

were set to resume, Mohler addressed the<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> community: “We have never been<br />

more prayerful or careful <strong>in</strong> prepar<strong>in</strong>g for a<br />

new academic year.”<br />

To stress the responsibility of <strong>in</strong>dividual<br />

community members toward one another,<br />

SBTS added a l<strong>in</strong>e to the school covenant urg<strong>in</strong>g<br />

adherence to the COVID regulations.<br />

Mohler added, “The covenant is a rem<strong>in</strong>der<br />

of the fact that we owe one another every<br />

effort to protect one another.”<br />

Without the dedication and service to one<br />

another, <strong>Southern</strong>’s fall and spr<strong>in</strong>g semesters<br />

could have looked different. But love for<br />

neighbor and the desire to provide the f<strong>in</strong>est<br />

Christian education triumphed.<br />

“Everyone took it seriously.” Small said,<br />

“It was a lot of hard work on the cl<strong>in</strong>ic, tech,<br />

and the students. But it was the Lord’s favor<br />

<strong>in</strong> the end.”<br />

Tuition Reductions and the Path to Record<br />

Enrollment<br />

Poll<strong>in</strong>g shows 67 percent of colleges and universities<br />

reported decreased revenue from tuition<br />

and student hous<strong>in</strong>g dur<strong>in</strong>g the pandemic. But<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> preemptively acted by lower<strong>in</strong>g tuition<br />

15 percent and elim<strong>in</strong>at<strong>in</strong>g the $250 onl<strong>in</strong>e class<br />

fee. SBTS and Boyce College went on to reach full<br />

enrollment for the fall and spr<strong>in</strong>g semesters.<br />

The decisions came from a meet<strong>in</strong>g of the<br />

SBTS Board of Trustees on April 20, 2020.<br />

In a virtual meet<strong>in</strong>g, the board approved a<br />

revised budget which cut tuition.<br />

F<strong>in</strong>ancial board chairman Rick Staab says<br />

the actions were unanimously supported and<br />

required “quick and decisive action.”<br />

“Under Dr. Mohler’s leadership the entire<br />

adm<strong>in</strong>istration has taken bold steps to reduce<br />

costs, consolidate operations and revise<br />

the annual budget.” Staab said “<strong>in</strong> an effort<br />

to position the <strong>in</strong>stitution for whatever the<br />

near future may demand. The f<strong>in</strong>ancial board<br />

is unanimous <strong>in</strong> its support of Dr. Mohler<br />


“Higher<br />

education<br />

faced a crisis.<br />

But <strong>Southern</strong>’s<br />

mission to<br />

tra<strong>in</strong> Christian<br />

m<strong>in</strong>isters<br />

endured.”<br />




and his staff, and we affirm the appropriateness<br />

and effectiveness of the actions taken to<br />

position the sem<strong>in</strong>ary for the future recovery<br />

of normal operations.”<br />

Lower<strong>in</strong>g tuition, while American f<strong>in</strong>ancial<br />

problems persist, is a step towards<br />

fulfill<strong>in</strong>g <strong>Southern</strong>’s mission of provid<strong>in</strong>g<br />

accessible theological tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Baptist press reported that SBTS and<br />

Boyce College reached a total enrollment<br />

of approximately 5,500 students for the<br />

2019-20 academic year. The 2020-21 year<br />

numbered 8,059.<br />

Provost Matthew Hall said, "Christian<br />

higher education and theological education<br />

were already experienc<strong>in</strong>g seismic<br />

shifts before the COVID-19 pandemic, but<br />

those have only accelerated. In the past year<br />

we have seen scores of <strong>in</strong>stitutions buckle<br />

under the pressures of dim<strong>in</strong>ish<strong>in</strong>g enrollment<br />

and unsusta<strong>in</strong>able bus<strong>in</strong>ess models.<br />

“That makes what God has done here at<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> and Boyce College all<br />

the more extraord<strong>in</strong>ary. Our great ambition<br />

is to see this record number of students ever<br />

more faithful to Christ, more confident <strong>in</strong><br />

the power of his Word, and more committed<br />

to the Great Commission."<br />

Mohler added that <strong>Southern</strong>’s enrollment<br />

success is due <strong>in</strong> part to a commitment<br />

to onl<strong>in</strong>e education. With all of the<br />

major degree programs available onl<strong>in</strong>e—<br />

<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g over 100 courses—<strong>Southern</strong> was<br />

ahead of the game as <strong>in</strong>stitutions across<br />

America moved to distance learn<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

“Now we know why that <strong>in</strong>vestment was<br />

so important. . . . The same faculty that<br />

draws students to the campus draws students<br />

onl<strong>in</strong>e,” Mohler told Baptist Press.<br />

“Our students are experienc<strong>in</strong>g economic<br />

stress and the goal is to pass along all possible<br />

sav<strong>in</strong>gs to the students.”<br />

Lowered tuition and more accessible<br />

distance learn<strong>in</strong>g are just a couple steps<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> has taken to renew a commitment<br />

to theological education dur<strong>in</strong>g the<br />

uncerta<strong>in</strong> times. Cont<strong>in</strong>ued full enrollment<br />

demonstrates the success <strong>Southern</strong>’s<br />

measures have generated.<br />

“Our determ<strong>in</strong>ation is to act responsibly<br />

now, so that <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> cont<strong>in</strong>ues<br />

to lead the <strong>Southern</strong> Baptist Convention,<br />

fulfill<strong>in</strong>g the mission given to us s<strong>in</strong>ce 1859<br />

and emerg<strong>in</strong>g from this challenge even<br />

more faithful than we began,” Mohler said.<br />

But through all the necessary changes,<br />

some th<strong>in</strong>gs rema<strong>in</strong>ed the same, and SBTS<br />

cont<strong>in</strong>ued to send graduates out <strong>in</strong>to various<br />

fields of service.<br />

Graduated More Than 500<br />

In <strong>Southern</strong>’s 227th commencement <strong>in</strong> May,<br />

232 students received degrees from the sem<strong>in</strong>ary<br />

and 236 graduated <strong>in</strong> the fall, both numbers<br />

an <strong>in</strong>crease from the previous year.<br />

In words addressed personally to the fall<br />

graduates, Mohler po<strong>in</strong>ted them to Luke 2:15–<br />

20, which he described as the first preach<strong>in</strong>g<br />

of the gospel—a fact that’s often overlooked,<br />

but one that well illustrates the God-called<br />

steward’s most fundamental mission.<br />

“They made known the say<strong>in</strong>g that had<br />

been told them concern<strong>in</strong>g this child, the<br />

say<strong>in</strong>g that the angels had given them,”<br />

Mohler said.<br />

“We need to do exactly what those shepherds<br />

did. That’s really the task of Christian<br />

m<strong>in</strong>istry, that’s really the task of Christian<br />

proclamation—to make known the say<strong>in</strong>g we<br />

have received. It’s not just one say<strong>in</strong>g, it’s not<br />

just the angelic declaration of the identity of<br />

the baby <strong>in</strong> the manger, it is beyond that; it<br />

is the entirety of all that is revealed <strong>in</strong> God’s<br />

Word.<br />

“You’re go<strong>in</strong>g to preach and teach the<br />

Word of God. You’re go<strong>in</strong>g to share the<br />

gospel of Jesus Christ. You’re go<strong>in</strong>g to be<br />

heralds of the gospel. You’re go<strong>in</strong>g to be<br />

stewards of the mysteries of Christ. Whatever<br />

your m<strong>in</strong>istry, wherever the Lord may<br />

take you, you’re basically go<strong>in</strong>g to be imitators<br />

of these shepherds.”<br />

Touch the Heartbeat<br />

of the City<br />


A city’s skyl<strong>in</strong>e, no matter how iconic,<br />

isn’t the heartbeat of a city: the people are.<br />

Every one of those hearts needs Jesus.<br />

The new DM<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong> Urban M<strong>in</strong>istry from<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> is designed for men<br />

and women called to plant and revitalize<br />

churches <strong>in</strong> urban sett<strong>in</strong>gs anywhere <strong>in</strong><br />

America and around the world.<br />

Cities need strong churches. City churches<br />

need strong leaders. And strong leaders<br />

need the DM<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong> Urban M<strong>in</strong>istry from<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong>.<br />

Learn more at SBTS.EDU/URBAN.<br />

12<br />



NEWS<br />


NEWS<br />

Boyce College Community Remembers<br />

Nick Challies as a Young Man “Liv<strong>in</strong>g<br />

and Breath<strong>in</strong>g for God”<br />


Mohler Elected President<br />

of the Evangelical<br />

Theological Society<br />


F<br />

riends, family, and faculty members<br />

gathered November 6, 2020, on the<br />

lawn at <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> to remember<br />

the life of 20-year-old Nick Challies<br />

who died suddenly three days earlier.<br />

Nick Challies was the son of noted evangelical<br />

blogger and author, Tim Challies.<br />

Challies, a Boyce College junior and Toronto,<br />

Canada, native, collapsed suddenly<br />

while play<strong>in</strong>g a game with his sister, fiancée,<br />

and other students at a park near <strong>Southern</strong><br />

<strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong>’s campus. Efforts by emergency<br />

personnel to revive him were unsuccessful.<br />

Testimony after testimony described<br />

Nick Challies as a young man who worked<br />

tirelessly to build strong relationships, prioritized<br />

others, and lived every moment all<br />

out for the glory of his Savior. Nick grew up<br />

<strong>in</strong> church and was saved at age 13. He came<br />

to Boyce College and <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> <strong>in</strong><br />

2018 after sens<strong>in</strong>g a div<strong>in</strong>e call to pastoral<br />

m<strong>in</strong>istry.<br />

“He came home after his first semester here<br />

and he was a different person,” said Michaela<br />

Challies, Nick’s sister. “He was a person who<br />

was liv<strong>in</strong>g and breath<strong>in</strong>g for God . . . I know<br />

that I’ll th<strong>in</strong>k about the th<strong>in</strong>gs he never got to<br />

do, but then I’ll th<strong>in</strong>k about what he’s do<strong>in</strong>g<br />

right now, what he’s wanted to do s<strong>in</strong>ce he<br />

was 13 years old—he’s liv<strong>in</strong>g with the Lord.”<br />

While at the sem<strong>in</strong>ary, Nick met his fiancée,<br />

Ryn Conley, and his sister, Abigail,<br />

jo<strong>in</strong>ed him this year as a freshman student<br />

at Boyce. He had made numerous friends<br />

and had become a leader among students.<br />

“All the pieces were fall<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>to place that<br />

would position Nick for many years of<br />

faithful m<strong>in</strong>istry,” Mohler said.<br />

“Every s<strong>in</strong>gle student is a gift,” Mohler<br />

said. “Every s<strong>in</strong>gle student is a stewardship.<br />

Every s<strong>in</strong>gle student is a test: are we really<br />

who we say we are? Do we really teach what<br />

we say we teach? Do we really serve whom<br />

we say we serve? Every student becomes<br />

proof of what an <strong>in</strong>stitution really is and<br />

what it really believes, who it really serves.<br />

In the brief time <strong>in</strong> which he was with us,<br />

Nick Challies affirmed that we are who we<br />

say we are and we’re the k<strong>in</strong>d of school that<br />

would draw the k<strong>in</strong>d of student that Nick<br />

Challies was.”<br />

S<br />

outhern <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> President Albert<br />

Mohler was elected president<br />

of the Evangelical Theological Society<br />

(ETS) <strong>in</strong> November dur<strong>in</strong>g the organization’s<br />

72nd annual meet<strong>in</strong>g. Due to<br />

the pandemic, the meet<strong>in</strong>g of evangelical<br />

scholars met virtually. The meet<strong>in</strong>g was<br />

orig<strong>in</strong>ally scheduled to meet <strong>in</strong> Providence,<br />

Rhode Island.<br />

Previously, Mohler had served as vice<br />

president of ETS, hav<strong>in</strong>g been elected to<br />

that office dur<strong>in</strong>g the 2018 annual meet<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>in</strong> Denver, Colorado.<br />

“I am deeply honored to serve as president<br />

of the Evangelical Theological Society,”<br />

Mohler said. “As a young evangelical, I came<br />

to respect and admire this society for its identity<br />

as a society of evangelical theologians<br />

that would demonstrate the highest quality<br />

of theological and biblical scholarship.<br />

“Formed by men of the stature of Carl<br />

F. H. Henry and others, this has been the<br />

central po<strong>in</strong>t of scholarly conversation for<br />

evangelicals <strong>in</strong> the United States for well<br />

over half a century. I’ve been pleased to<br />

serve as an officer of the society and I’m<br />

now very honored to be its president.”<br />

“It is vital that ETS<br />

cont<strong>in</strong>ue to promote<br />

scholarship built<br />

upon the <strong>in</strong>errancy<br />

of Scripture and a<br />

commitment to<br />

biblical orthodoxy.”<br />

Mohler is the third member of the<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> faculty to serve as<br />

ETS president <strong>in</strong> the past 11 years. Bruce<br />

Ware, T. Rupert and Lucille Coleman<br />

Professor of Christian Theology, served<br />

<strong>in</strong> that role <strong>in</strong> 2009 and Tom Schre<strong>in</strong>er,<br />

James Buchanan Harrison Professor of<br />

New Testament, was elected <strong>in</strong> 2014. Gregg<br />

Allison, professor of christian theology, is<br />

the current secretary of ETS.<br />

“<strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> has had a deep and<br />

abid<strong>in</strong>g commitment to ETS and leadership<br />

roles <strong>in</strong> the society as seen by the fact<br />

that several of our faculty members have<br />

also served as president and each annual<br />

meet<strong>in</strong>g sees dozens of our faculty and<br />

students present<strong>in</strong>g important papers def<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g<br />

and defend<strong>in</strong>g conservative evangelical<br />

scholarship,” Mohler said.<br />

“Serv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> ETS leadership is an important<br />

stewardship because of the way<br />

the society helps frame the conversation<br />

among conservative evangelicals. It is vital<br />

that ETS cont<strong>in</strong>ue to promote scholarship<br />

built upon the <strong>in</strong>errancy of Scripture<br />

and a commitment to biblical orthodoxy.”<br />





Religious Liberty<br />

Made Me a Baptist<br />


I<br />

am a little embarrassed to admit this<br />

consider<strong>in</strong>g I am a professor at a Baptist<br />

sem<strong>in</strong>ary, but I came to be a passionate<br />

Baptist not because I thought baptism<br />

by immersion was the most compell<strong>in</strong>g<br />

foundation but because Baptist ecclesiology<br />

was the natural outcome of what I understood<br />

to be the correct theory and practice<br />

of religious liberty. That may sound confus<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

so let me unpack it.<br />

I grew up <strong>in</strong> central Ill<strong>in</strong>ois go<strong>in</strong>g to a<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> Baptist church. If you grew up outside<br />

the geographic South, you may have attended<br />

a <strong>Southern</strong> Baptist church without<br />

any real sense of it feel<strong>in</strong>g explicitly Baptist.<br />

That is because <strong>in</strong> the North, at least <strong>in</strong> my experience,<br />

we did not understand ourselves as<br />

Baptist as much as just Bible-believ<strong>in</strong>g Christians.<br />

I remember go<strong>in</strong>g to the church we went<br />

to because, well, they believed the Bible without<br />

qualify<strong>in</strong>g it a thousand times over with<br />

nuance and deference to our cultured despisers.<br />

In other words, they were not theological<br />

moderates or liberals. If you would have asked<br />

me as a teen if I were a Baptist, I would have<br />

answered yes, but only because I understood<br />

that I was not Catholic.<br />

Feel<strong>in</strong>g a call to m<strong>in</strong>istry, I went to a Baptist<br />

college <strong>in</strong> southwest Missouri (Southwest<br />

Baptist University). Upon graduation, I went to<br />

the sem<strong>in</strong>ary where I now teach, The <strong>Southern</strong><br />

Baptist Theological <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong>. At both <strong>in</strong>stitutions,<br />

I took Baptist history classes and became<br />

aware of our history and our theological dist<strong>in</strong>ctives,<br />

which I appreciated at the time but<br />

still did not feel overly zealous about.<br />

Com<strong>in</strong>g of Age<br />

This was not the fault of the professors. In fact,<br />

look<strong>in</strong>g back, I recall that my two Baptist history<br />

classes were well taught, and the professors<br />

were passionate about their subject. Perhaps<br />

ow<strong>in</strong>g to my general immaturity, ideas<br />

like regenerate church membership, believer’s<br />

baptism, baptism by immersion, congregational<br />

authority, local church autonomy, and<br />

religious liberty did not really animate me.<br />

That does not mean I disagreed with them; I<br />

agreed with them because they seemed biblical.<br />

But ecclesiology was not front and center<br />

<strong>in</strong> my earlier theological angst. Questions<br />

about Calv<strong>in</strong>ism, <strong>in</strong>errancy, and the emergent<br />

church were front and center.<br />

It was not until I “came of age” that my first<br />

“If one does not possess<br />

the freedom to act on<br />

one’s most primary<br />

beliefs, one is not free<br />

<strong>in</strong> even the most basic<br />

sense of the word.”<br />

jobs, <strong>in</strong>cidentally, led me <strong>in</strong> a more fervently<br />

Baptist direction. My first jobs out of sem<strong>in</strong>ary<br />

were for th<strong>in</strong>k tank and advocacy organizations<br />

that focused on social conservative causes<br />

like the sanctity of life, marriage, and, well,<br />

religious liberty. Of course, I had heard of the<br />

issue, but at the time, I did not understand its<br />

urgency. What is now a token issue of concern<br />

for Christians was not so a decade ago. In 2008<br />

to 2010, there was a different cultural climate.<br />

Many of the religious-liberty challenges<br />

we are encounter<strong>in</strong>g now were predicted, at<br />

the time, by documents like the Manhattan<br />

Declaration. This jo<strong>in</strong>t document of Catholic<br />

and Protestant lum<strong>in</strong>aries declared <strong>in</strong><br />

somber tones that were the government to<br />

cont<strong>in</strong>ue its leftward lurch, a reassertion of<br />

religious-liberty rights would be necessary, as<br />

would the possibility of civil disobedience. I<br />

knew I was tread<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> deep, turbulent waters.<br />

I recall that as I was gett<strong>in</strong>g my feet beneath<br />

me careerwise, I was hav<strong>in</strong>g to play catch-up<br />

on an issue that I was told was fundamental<br />

but was now threatened.<br />

So I got to work <strong>in</strong> both Kentucky’s capital<br />

and our nation’s capital on, among other th<strong>in</strong>gs,<br />

religious liberty. I was largely unfamiliar with it,<br />

aside from what little I had learned <strong>in</strong> my Baptist<br />

history classes. It certa<strong>in</strong>ly was not, at the time,<br />

the top-tier pillar or foundation to my public<br />

theology as it is now. I argued for it because, well,<br />

my job required me to.<br />

My work required me to read on the<br />

subject, and that is what I did. The heavy<br />

read<strong>in</strong>g load <strong>in</strong> religious-liberty theory did not<br />

<strong>in</strong>itially conv<strong>in</strong>ce me of religious liberty’s importance<br />

as much as my immersion <strong>in</strong>to the advocacy<br />

world of social conservatism, which<br />


Liberty for All: Defend<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Everyone’s Religious Freedom<br />

<strong>in</strong> a Pluralistic Age<br />

Andrew T. Walker<br />

(Brazos Press 2021, $39.99)<br />

In this profoundly timely work,<br />

Walker argues for a robust<br />

Christian ethic of religious<br />

liberty that helps the church<br />

defend religious freedom<br />

for everyone <strong>in</strong> a pluralistic<br />

society. "Whether explicitly<br />

religious or not," says Walker,<br />

"every person is striv<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

make sense of his or her life.<br />

The Christian foundations of<br />

religious freedom provide a<br />

framework for how Christians<br />

can navigate deep religious<br />

differences <strong>in</strong> a secular age.<br />

As we practice religious liberty<br />

for our neighbors, we can<br />

f<strong>in</strong>d civility and commonality<br />

amid disagreement, further<br />

the church's engagement<br />

<strong>in</strong> the public square, and<br />

become the strongest<br />

defenders of religious liberty<br />

for all." The book beg<strong>in</strong>s with a<br />

foreword by noted Pr<strong>in</strong>ceton<br />

scholar Robert P. George.<br />

16<br />






necessarily and rightly treated religious liberty<br />

as a lifeblood issue. Because I was enamored<br />

of the <strong>in</strong>tersection of first pr<strong>in</strong>ciples, theology,<br />

and political philosophy, religious liberty afforded<br />

me the opportunity to merge topics I<br />

was already passionate about but on which my<br />

<strong>in</strong>choate understand<strong>in</strong>g still needed tun<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Limited or Coercive<br />

As I would learn, the posture a state takes<br />

toward religion is one of the most decisive<br />

<strong>in</strong>dicators of whether it will be broadly<br />

pluralistic and limited or tyrannical and<br />

coercive. I would also learn that unless you<br />

have the requisite liberties to act on your<br />

convictions, you cannot do much of anyth<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

whether worship <strong>in</strong> your church or<br />

advocate <strong>in</strong> the public square. If one does<br />

not possess the freedom to act on one’s most<br />

primary beliefs, one is not free <strong>in</strong> even the<br />

most basic sense of the word.<br />

The idea that persons are endowed with<br />

self-constitut<strong>in</strong>g capacities that endear<br />

them to religion made more and more sense.<br />

If religion <strong>in</strong>forms morality, then morality<br />

<strong>in</strong> public life h<strong>in</strong>ges on the doctr<strong>in</strong>e of religious<br />

liberty. Life, I came to understand,<br />

entails various types of liberties (speech,<br />

association, religion) <strong>in</strong> order for it to be authentic,<br />

mean<strong>in</strong>gful, and worthwhile. The<br />

presence of these liberties determ<strong>in</strong>es what<br />

type of life someone will have <strong>in</strong> their community.<br />

In short, religious liberty is deeply<br />

<strong>in</strong>tertw<strong>in</strong>ed with human flourish<strong>in</strong>g and<br />

the common good.<br />

All of these questions about religion<br />

and society led to a flood of first-pr<strong>in</strong>ciple<br />

questions, among them the follow<strong>in</strong>g:<br />

• How does one understand what truth is?<br />

• How does an <strong>in</strong>dividual come to grasp religious<br />

claims?<br />

• What posture should the state take toward<br />

religion?<br />

• How is one’s quest to understand truth<br />

related to their personhood?<br />

• What is the relationship between moral<br />

obligation and religious foundation?<br />

• What are one’s obligations to the state? To<br />

God?<br />

• What are the jurisdictions and responsibilities<br />

of the state?<br />

• What are the jurisdictions and responsibilities<br />

of the church?<br />

• Who gets to decide who is right and wrong<br />

about such matters as religion and morality?<br />

• What is the relationship between religious<br />

liberty and other liberties?<br />

Baptist's and Freedom<br />

When I began to answer these questions,<br />

I was led to a dist<strong>in</strong>ctly Baptist ecclesiology.<br />

It was <strong>in</strong> the Baptist tradition, which<br />

had helped birth religious liberty <strong>in</strong> North<br />

America through the likes of Roger Williams<br />

and John Leland, that I saw the pr<strong>in</strong>ciples<br />

of religious liberty most fulsomely applied.<br />

How so? Because the questions above<br />

are best answered <strong>in</strong> light of key Baptist<br />

ecclesiastical dist<strong>in</strong>ctives that focus on the<br />

<strong>in</strong>dividual and the associations they form<br />

<strong>in</strong> life.<br />

Based on both natural law and overlapp<strong>in</strong>g<br />

similarities with pr<strong>in</strong>ciples that emerge from<br />

Scripture, like widen<strong>in</strong>g concentric circles,<br />

religious liberty is based on an understand<strong>in</strong>g<br />

of (1) <strong>in</strong>dividual assent, (2) group association,<br />

and (3) <strong>in</strong>stitutional dist<strong>in</strong>ction. These<br />

are reflected <strong>in</strong> the practices of <strong>in</strong>dividual<br />

conversion and regenerate church membership,<br />

which entail a dist<strong>in</strong>ction between<br />

membership <strong>in</strong> the church and membership<br />

<strong>in</strong> society and between the <strong>in</strong>stitution of the<br />

gathered church and the <strong>in</strong>stitution of the<br />

state.<br />

I do not believe other ecclesiastical arrangements<br />

are hostile to religious liberty.<br />

I am thankful for godly Presbyterians, Lutherans,<br />

and others who stand for religious<br />

liberty. However, a rightly ordered account<br />

of religious liberty bears the richest fruit<br />

with<strong>in</strong> a Baptist ecclesiology.<br />

Religious liberty implies a recognition<br />

that <strong>in</strong>dividuals make conscientious decisions<br />

to participate <strong>in</strong> group associations<br />

that have different requirements and different<br />

call<strong>in</strong>gs than the rest of society and<br />

the state. In my view, these truths lead one<br />

<strong>in</strong>side the walls of a Baptist church.<br />

Editors’ note: This article is excerpted from Andrew<br />

Walker’s new book, Liberty for All: Defend<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Everyone’s Religious Freedom <strong>in</strong> a Pluralistic Age.<br />

Used by permission of Baker Publish<strong>in</strong>g Group,<br />

www.bakerpublish<strong>in</strong>ggroup.com<br />

N<br />

ext fall, for the first time s<strong>in</strong>ce 1999,<br />

masters-level students at <strong>Southern</strong><br />

<strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> won’t be able to take Peter<br />

Gentry’s Hebrew class.<br />

Dr. Gentry is retir<strong>in</strong>g from teach<strong>in</strong>g after<br />

22 years of teach<strong>in</strong>g the Old Testament, Hebrew<br />

and Greek grammar and morphology<br />

(word forms), various exegesis classes, and<br />

more at the sem<strong>in</strong>ary.<br />

The bookshelves and stacks of books that<br />

populate the floor space <strong>in</strong> his office like<br />

a dense forest bespeak of a life given to research,<br />

study, and teach<strong>in</strong>g the biblical languages.<br />

A popular question to ask Gentry is<br />

“How many languages do you know,” a question<br />

he’s never answered.<br />

“Right now, I’m work<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> a dozen languages,”<br />

he said, laugh<strong>in</strong>g. “Count<strong>in</strong>g them would<br />

be someth<strong>in</strong>g like David tak<strong>in</strong>g the census.”<br />

“If You Have No<br />

Morphology, You<br />

Have No Theology”<br />

Peter Gentry Retir<strong>in</strong>g After 22 Years of Faithful Service<br />


He po<strong>in</strong>ts to the various sections of books<br />

on the shelves and floor: there are sections<br />

of Hebrew, Aramaic, Phoenician, Akkadian,<br />

Syriac, Babylonian, the Targums, the Lat<strong>in</strong><br />

Vulgate, the Dead Sea Scrolls and others.<br />

There are also dozens of books on topics<br />

rang<strong>in</strong>g from medieval Judaism to geography,<br />

plants, and animals of the Ancient Near<br />

East, scores of commentaries, lexicons, and<br />

an entire bank of works on the church fathers<br />

and systematic theology.<br />

Gentry has taught virtually every subject<br />

with<strong>in</strong> the realm of biblical and theological<br />

studies, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g both Hebrew and Greek at<br />

the doctoral level. It’s difficult to isolate one<br />

favorite class he’s taught.<br />

“I’ve always been a big believer <strong>in</strong> the importance<br />

of the biblical languages,” he said.<br />

“The course that I enjoyed teach<strong>in</strong>g most<br />

was probably beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g Hebrew. . . . It was<br />

always my desire to drive students back to<br />

the sources—the great cry of the Reformation,<br />

ad fontes—giv<strong>in</strong>g them skills to access<br />

the sources for themselves.”<br />

Gentry jo<strong>in</strong>ed the SBTS faculty before the<br />

1999 fall semester. In addition to teach<strong>in</strong>g<br />

hundreds of students at SBTS, he has written<br />

several books, and has perennially worked<br />

on scholarly projects <strong>in</strong> biblical languages,<br />

<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g direct<strong>in</strong>g the Hexapla Project—republish<strong>in</strong>g<br />

critical editions of early fragments<br />

of the Greek Septuag<strong>in</strong>t under the auspices of<br />

the International Organization for Septuag<strong>in</strong>t<br />

and Cognate Studies. He edited Ecclesiastes<br />

for the Gött<strong>in</strong>gen Septuag<strong>in</strong>t Series and is<br />

currently work<strong>in</strong>g on the edition of Proverbs<br />

and also writ<strong>in</strong>g a commentary on Isaiah.<br />

Dur<strong>in</strong>g his years as <strong>Southern</strong>, Gentry<br />

wrote or co-wrote several important books,<br />

<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g K<strong>in</strong>gdom through Covenant: A<br />

Biblical-Theological Understand<strong>in</strong>g of the<br />

Covenants, a work he wrote with close friend<br />

and SBTS colleague Stephen J. Wellum.<br />

Crossway published an abridgement of that<br />

work <strong>in</strong> 2015, God’s K<strong>in</strong>gdom through God’s<br />

Covenants: A Concise Biblical Theology.<br />

Prior to his com<strong>in</strong>g to SBTS, Gentry<br />

served on the faculty of Toronto Baptist<br />

<strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> and Bible College for 15 years and<br />

taught at the University of Toronto, Heritage<br />

Theological <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong>, and Tyndale Theological<br />

<strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong>.<br />

A native of Canada, Gentry grew up <strong>in</strong><br />

both the Philipp<strong>in</strong>es and <strong>Southern</strong> Quebec,<br />

where his father pastored churches for<br />

nearly four decades. Gentry’s father attended<br />

Dallas Theological <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> and led a<br />

Brethren church then was called to a Baptist<br />

church. Grow<strong>in</strong>g up the son of a pastor<br />

shaped Gentry as a churchman which has<br />

been central to his life and m<strong>in</strong>istry.<br />

Professor Gentry and his family were members<br />

of Highview Baptist Church for several<br />

years and now belong to Frankl<strong>in</strong> Street Baptist<br />

Church where Gentry teaches a Sunday<br />

school class he was <strong>in</strong>strumental <strong>in</strong> found<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

While he is retir<strong>in</strong>g from full-time classroom<br />

work at SBTS, Gentry is by no means<br />

retir<strong>in</strong>g from m<strong>in</strong>istry. He hopes to cont<strong>in</strong>ue<br />

participat<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> PhD sem<strong>in</strong>ars at SBTS<br />

and will also teach classes as a visit<strong>in</strong>g professor<br />

at Phoenix <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong>.<br />

18<br />





An Academic Center<br />

with a Missionary Heart<br />

Jenk<strong>in</strong>s Center Go<strong>in</strong>g Strong <strong>in</strong> Equipp<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Students and Laypersons to Engage Islam<br />


C<br />

OVID-19 has done noth<strong>in</strong>g to quarant<strong>in</strong>e<br />

the urgency of the m<strong>in</strong>istry of<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong>’s Jenk<strong>in</strong>s Center<br />

for the Christian Understand<strong>in</strong>g of Islam.<br />

Ayman S. Ibrahim, PhD, the Bill and Connie<br />

Jenk<strong>in</strong>s Chair and associate professor<br />

of Islamic studies, serves as director of the<br />

Jenk<strong>in</strong>s Center which cont<strong>in</strong>ues to help<br />

equip students and other Christians to understand<br />

Islam and to engage Muslims with<br />

the good news of Jesus Christ.<br />

“Our goal is to help the church to learn<br />

how to connect with Muslims and how<br />

to understand different aspects of Islam<br />

and how Islam is presented and practiced<br />

worldwide <strong>in</strong> different ways,” Ibrahim said.<br />

“We’ve developed our unique way of<br />

m<strong>in</strong>istry here <strong>in</strong> terms of writ<strong>in</strong>g—we write<br />

a lot of pieces, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g articles, book reviews,<br />

blog posts, and we also write books.<br />

Every book I publish is supported by the<br />

center. Although we’ve had to adjust to not<br />

travel<strong>in</strong>g here and abroad, we’ve not backed<br />

off the m<strong>in</strong>istry over the past year at all.”<br />

Ibrahim began with the Jenk<strong>in</strong>s Center<br />

<strong>in</strong> July of 2015, a few months after it was established.<br />

In that time, he has tra<strong>in</strong>ed dozens<br />

of students and written many articles<br />

on Islam and now serves on the committee<br />

on Islam for the Evangelical Theological<br />

Society (ETS). He gave a plenary address<br />

at the ETS annual meet<strong>in</strong>g last fall and last<br />

November published an important book on<br />

Islam through Baker, A Concise Guide to the<br />

Quran: Answer<strong>in</strong>g Thirty Critical Questions.<br />

The book sold nearly 1,000 copies with<strong>in</strong><br />

the first two months and has opened doors<br />

to Ibrahim for <strong>in</strong>terviews about Christianity<br />

and Islam with several media outlets.<br />

Ibrahim describes the Jenk<strong>in</strong>s Center<br />

as “an academic center with a missionary<br />

heart.” In addition to academic lectures and<br />

events designed to br<strong>in</strong>g experts on Islam<br />

to campus, the Jenk<strong>in</strong>s Center exposes students<br />

to Islam by travel<strong>in</strong>g to heavily Muslim<br />

regions <strong>in</strong> the U.S. and abroad. Ibrahim<br />

looks forward to those trips resum<strong>in</strong>g after<br />

COVID-19 is fully under control.<br />

“Our goal is to help the<br />

church to learn how to<br />

connect with Muslims<br />

and how to understand<br />

different aspects of<br />

Islam and how Islam is<br />

presented and practiced<br />

worldwide <strong>in</strong> different<br />

ways.”<br />

Ibrahim said the number of children<br />

born <strong>in</strong>to Muslim families <strong>in</strong> America is<br />

grow<strong>in</strong>g, but the number of converts to<br />

Islam is not. The latest studies show that<br />

roughly the same number of Muslims are<br />

de-convert<strong>in</strong>g from the faith as non-adherents<br />

are convert<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> America. In<br />

other places like eastern Iran and Muslim-dom<strong>in</strong>ated<br />

Algeria, conversions to<br />

Christ are on the rise.<br />

He encourages students to read the Quran,<br />

but with some guidance from his new<br />

book.<br />

“The Quran is a very disconnected text,”<br />

he said “It is very hard to follow. I th<strong>in</strong>k<br />

it’s very valuable for Christians to read the<br />

Quran just to know the text that Muslims<br />

revere and to value the Bible we have. The<br />

more you go through the Quran, the more<br />

value you will have for the Bible.<br />

“The Bible was written over millennia,<br />

but from Genesis all the way to Revelation,<br />

there is unity even though there is diversity<br />

<strong>in</strong> the writ<strong>in</strong>g. But the Quran is very different.<br />

It is very scattered. It will make you appreciate<br />

the Bible even more.”<br />

If a Christian has a Muslim neighbor<br />

and wants to engage him, where is the best<br />

place to start? Ibrahim said it’s important<br />

not to shr<strong>in</strong>k back from discuss<strong>in</strong>g religion<br />

with them.<br />

“Befriend them, and before you leave the<br />

first meet<strong>in</strong>g ask them a religious question,”<br />

he said. “Usually, Americans are reluctant<br />

to speak of politics and religion, but Muslims<br />

are open to talk<strong>in</strong>g about religion immediately.<br />

If you don’t talk about religion<br />

with<strong>in</strong> two m<strong>in</strong>utes, they will talk about it.<br />

They’ll <strong>in</strong>vite you to (embrace) Islam.<br />

“Ask<strong>in</strong>g questions is always the greatest<br />

philosophy for <strong>in</strong>teract<strong>in</strong>g with Muslims<br />

because you don’t appear like you are attack<strong>in</strong>g<br />

them. Ask questions that are mean<strong>in</strong>gful<br />

like, ‘Are you religious?’ or ‘What do<br />

you know about the life of Mohammed?’<br />

Present the image of Jesus <strong>in</strong> your lov<strong>in</strong>g<br />

heart and <strong>in</strong> your lov<strong>in</strong>g attitude. Don’t<br />

leave the first meet<strong>in</strong>g without plant<strong>in</strong>g a<br />

seed. Maybe you ask a question that would<br />

help you present the gospel at the next<br />

meet<strong>in</strong>g or to cont<strong>in</strong>ue the conversation.”<br />

A Concise Guide to the<br />

Quran: Answer<strong>in</strong>g Thirty<br />

Critical Questions<br />

Ayman S. Ibrahim<br />

(Baker 2020, $22.99)<br />

What is so unique about<br />

Islam's scripture, the<br />

Quran? Who wrote it,<br />

and when? Can we trust<br />

its statements to be from<br />

Muhammad? Why was it<br />

written <strong>in</strong> Arabic? Does<br />

it command Muslims to<br />

fight Christians? Why<br />

is it so important for<br />

Christians to know what<br />

Muslims believe? Dr.<br />

Ibrahim frames this vital<br />

discussion by answer<strong>in</strong>g<br />

30 questions.<br />


SBTS.EDU<br />




Deep Personal<br />

Convictions about<br />

Corporate Worship<br />

An <strong>in</strong>terview with Matthew Westerholm<br />


<strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> Adds Three<br />

Professors to Faculty<br />


In the fall of 2020, President R. Albert Mohler Jr. appo<strong>in</strong>ted three new professors<br />

to the faculty of The <strong>Southern</strong> Baptist Theological <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong>.<br />

M<br />

atthew Westerholm has seen it all <strong>in</strong><br />

church music. And God has used all<br />

the encounters of his years <strong>in</strong> music<br />

m<strong>in</strong>istry to shape his God-centered, Christ-exalt<strong>in</strong>g<br />

views of corporate worship today.<br />

In this <strong>in</strong>terview, Westerholm, discusses how<br />

God has grown him as a church leader. Westerholm<br />

serves as associate professor of church<br />

music and worship and is executive director for<br />

the Institute for Biblical Worship at SBTS.<br />

When did you first become <strong>in</strong>terested <strong>in</strong> music?<br />

Who were the strong musical <strong>in</strong>fluences <strong>in</strong> your<br />

life early on?<br />

Music has always mystified me. It probably<br />

began stand<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> church on Sunday morn<strong>in</strong>g<br />

between a dad who sang tenor and a mom who<br />

sang alto. I’d listen and wonder, “What is this<br />

magic harmony th<strong>in</strong>g that I'm hear<strong>in</strong>g?”<br />

Then, <strong>in</strong> high school, our youth worship<br />

leader discipled me and also dropped me <strong>in</strong>to<br />

the deep end with piano. Instead of mak<strong>in</strong>g<br />

chord charts, he would photocopy the overheads<br />

and put them <strong>in</strong> front of me. In rehearsal,<br />

he’d call out the chords as he sang “Holy,<br />

Holy, Holy” or “We Bow Down” by Twila Paris,<br />

and I’d try to write them down furiously. He<br />

helped me learn to hear and see music.<br />

I also had a great band director <strong>in</strong> high<br />

school. He was Roman Catholic, but he respected<br />

my faith. He could see the way Christian<br />

faith motivated excellence <strong>in</strong> music, and<br />

he pushed me. He let me take an <strong>in</strong>dependent<br />

study where he sent me <strong>in</strong> a room with a keyboard<br />

and a sequencer and let me explore.<br />

You know, “Here’s a sandbox. Go make some<br />

castles.” Hav<strong>in</strong>g him encourage my creativity<br />

was super important.<br />

When did you sense a call to church music?<br />

I went to Tr<strong>in</strong>ity College <strong>in</strong> Chicago as a music<br />

performance major. While I was there, I got<br />

hired by some churches <strong>in</strong> the Chicagoland<br />

area to play piano for their new contemporary<br />

worship services. I did that <strong>in</strong>itially to help pay<br />

my way through school. But <strong>in</strong> the process, I<br />

met worship team members who were more<br />

excited about sneak<strong>in</strong>g a Metallica riff <strong>in</strong>to the<br />

prelude than they were about the glory of God.<br />

I also met worship pastors who had a dysfunctional<br />

relationship with their senior pastor.<br />

So, dur<strong>in</strong>g the sermon, the band would go<br />

back to the “green room” <strong>in</strong>stead of sitt<strong>in</strong>g under<br />

the Word. It broke my heart <strong>in</strong> a profound<br />

way. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. I talked<br />

to an amaz<strong>in</strong>g and wise young lady—who is<br />

now my wife—and she had me figured out. She<br />

said, “This is what you should do with your<br />

life. You should do church music.” The Lord<br />

used her and those circumstances to open me<br />

up to his call and also to give me deep personal<br />

convictions about corporate worship.<br />

In your time as a worship pastor, what are some<br />

of the pitfalls you’ve seen churches fall <strong>in</strong>to?<br />

In my early days <strong>in</strong> m<strong>in</strong>istry, I served <strong>in</strong> a<br />

very attractional, franchise-style, multi-site<br />

church. That environment shaped my heart<br />

<strong>in</strong> ways I didn't like. In that context, it was<br />

assumed that we should be do<strong>in</strong>g identical<br />

services at all of our church’s locations. I was<br />

design<strong>in</strong>g services that could be put <strong>in</strong> a box<br />

and sent anywhere: Just open it up, and do a<br />

service that will bless God's people. Design<strong>in</strong>g<br />

those services seemed like a personal honor.<br />

But, over time, I began to see this was the opposite<br />

of what I wanted to do. Through that<br />

experience, I discovered I’m a Baptist. I believe<br />

<strong>in</strong> the autonomy of the local church, and the<br />

importance of contextualized m<strong>in</strong>istry.<br />

You serve as the executive director of the Institute<br />

for Biblical Worship. What are your hopes<br />

and dreams for the Institute?<br />

The Institute for Biblical Worship is the outward<br />

fac<strong>in</strong>g arm of our Department of Biblical Worship.<br />

Our plan is for the Institute to be a place<br />

where local church leaders go when they’re look<strong>in</strong>g<br />

for reviews of new church music or when<br />

they’re ask<strong>in</strong>g questions about corporate worship.<br />

Worship leaders have questions: Is it okay to<br />

use music from a different theological tradition?<br />

Should we employ more liturgical practices?<br />

More revivalist practices? The Institute won’t<br />

prescribe what your church should do; we don’t<br />

want to commend a particular system of practices<br />

or a particular ethos for every service.<br />

As a Baptist, I believe biblical worship is a<br />

call to contextualized worship. We obviously<br />

must <strong>in</strong>clude what the Bible commands<br />

for our worship services, and we must do so<br />

with great joy. But the Bible also prescribes<br />

and describes a great variety <strong>in</strong> local church<br />

practice. I believe it’s the Institute’s job to<br />

help local church leaders navigate that variety<br />

by provid<strong>in</strong>g the best th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g and the<br />

best conversation on these subjects.<br />

Scott Connell<br />

was appo<strong>in</strong>ted as professor of church music<br />

and worship. He also serves as pastor of<br />

worship and communications at historic<br />

First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida.<br />

Connell is a face familiar to the <strong>Southern</strong><br />

<strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> family, hav<strong>in</strong>g obta<strong>in</strong>ed a PhD <strong>in</strong><br />

christian worship at <strong>Southern</strong> and serv<strong>in</strong>g<br />

as associate professor of music and worship<br />

leadership for eight years at the sem<strong>in</strong>ary.<br />

Scott and his wife, Mary, have seven children.<br />

“I am really glad that Scott Connell is rejo<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g<br />

the <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> music and biblical<br />

worship faculty. He is a f<strong>in</strong>e professor, an excellent<br />

musician, and a skilled m<strong>in</strong>ister and worship<br />

leader. His experience <strong>in</strong> the local church<br />

is <strong>in</strong>valuable, and his heart for m<strong>in</strong>istry and<br />

music is <strong>in</strong>fectious,” said Mohler.<br />

Bradley Green<br />

was appo<strong>in</strong>ted to serve as professor of philosophy<br />

and theology. Green holds an MDiv<br />

from <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> and a PhD from<br />

Baylor University and is the author of several<br />

books, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g August<strong>in</strong>e of Hippo:<br />

His Life and Impact (Christian Focus, 2020),<br />

Covenant and Commandment: Works, Obedience,<br />

and Faithfulness <strong>in</strong> the Christian Life<br />

(IVP Academic, 2014).<br />

Green will also cont<strong>in</strong>ue as professor of theological<br />

studies at Union University <strong>in</strong> Jackson,<br />

Tennessee, where he’s served s<strong>in</strong>ce 1998. Green<br />

and his wife, Dianne, helped found August<strong>in</strong>e<br />

School, a Christian liberal arts school <strong>in</strong> Jackson.<br />

The Greens have three children.<br />

Mohler said, “Brad Green comb<strong>in</strong>es a<br />

first-rate Christian m<strong>in</strong>d with years of proven<br />

experience <strong>in</strong> the classroom. He is a true<br />

Christian scholar and professor who sees his<br />

teach<strong>in</strong>g role as m<strong>in</strong>istry. His scholarship is<br />

a great gift to the church.”<br />

John Henderson<br />

(PhD, University of North Texas) was appo<strong>in</strong>ted<br />

as associate professor of biblical<br />

counsel<strong>in</strong>g. He also currently serves as<br />

an associate pastor at University Baptist<br />

Church <strong>in</strong> Fayetteville, Arkansas, primarily<br />

oversee<strong>in</strong>g the counsel<strong>in</strong>g, equipp<strong>in</strong>g, and<br />

family m<strong>in</strong>istries.<br />

Previously, John served as associate<br />

pastor at Del Ray Baptist Church <strong>in</strong> Alexandria,<br />

Virg<strong>in</strong>ia as well as a counsel<strong>in</strong>g<br />

pastor at Denton Bible Church <strong>in</strong> Denton,<br />

Texas. He is a board member of the Biblical<br />

Counsel<strong>in</strong>g Coalition and also serves on the<br />

board of the Association of Biblical Counselors.<br />

He is author of Catch<strong>in</strong>g Foxes: A<br />

Gospel-Guided Journey to Marriage (P&R,<br />

2018), a book for marriage preparation. John<br />

and his wife, Ruth, have five children.<br />

22<br />





Feeds for Your Soul<br />

Four podcasts with thousands of listeners orig<strong>in</strong>ate from SBTS and extend the sem<strong>in</strong>ary’s m<strong>in</strong>istry<br />

to thousands beyond the sem<strong>in</strong>ary—encourag<strong>in</strong>g pastors, missionaries, and church planters, as<br />

well as laypeople.<br />


The Brief<strong>in</strong>g is SBTS President Albert Mohler’s daily podcast. Last September, the program celebrated 10<br />

years of analyz<strong>in</strong>g daily events <strong>in</strong> the news from a Christian perspective.<br />

The Brief<strong>in</strong>g’s audience is significant: at least 80,000 listeners per day and 400,000 downloads per<br />

week. The decision to move from a one-hour radio show to a 25-m<strong>in</strong>ute podcast was motivated ma<strong>in</strong>ly<br />

by the medium’s flexibility both for host and listeners. “The Brief<strong>in</strong>g is <strong>in</strong>tended to be where endur<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Christian truth and the headl<strong>in</strong>es collide, where biblical truth and matters of cultural urgency <strong>in</strong>tersect,”<br />

Mohler said. “And that’s what makes it fun. I get to talk about—and help Christians th<strong>in</strong>k about—<br />

the most important issues of the day. That keeps me at it.”<br />

Faculty Profile: Paul Ak<strong>in</strong><br />



The Amazon to Himalayas podcast was launched <strong>in</strong> October 2020 and produces new episodes on a<br />

weekly basis dur<strong>in</strong>g the fall and spr<strong>in</strong>g semesters, tak<strong>in</strong>g breaks <strong>in</strong> w<strong>in</strong>ter and summer.<br />

Paul Ak<strong>in</strong>, dean of the Billy Graham School of Evangelism, Missions and M<strong>in</strong>istry, hosts the program.<br />

Each episode features a conversation with a missionary who shares how God is at work <strong>in</strong> their particular<br />

missional context. Amazon to the Himalayas has featured guests from all over the globe <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Kenya, Brazil, Middle East, Europe, North America, South America, and all over Asia. “I have heard from<br />

many missionaries that they have been encouraged to hear what the Lord is do<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> other parts of the<br />

world,” Ak<strong>in</strong> said. “They are often isolated and unaware and this provides a way for them to hear encourag<strong>in</strong>g<br />

th<strong>in</strong>gs that are happen<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> other parts if the world.”<br />


Aimed at encourag<strong>in</strong>g church planters <strong>in</strong> an urban context, The Urban M<strong>in</strong>istry Podcast launched <strong>in</strong><br />

2019 with two dozen episodes.<br />

Each episode features a m<strong>in</strong>ister serv<strong>in</strong>g faithfully <strong>in</strong> an urban context, sometimes <strong>in</strong>ternationally,<br />

sometimes here <strong>in</strong> the United States. Timothy Paul Jones, C. Edw<strong>in</strong> Gheens professor of Christian M<strong>in</strong>istry<br />

and director of the Dehoney Center for Urban M<strong>in</strong>istry, hosts each episode. “Many listeners are also<br />

serv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> church revitalization,” Jones said. “I want people to love the locations where God has placed<br />

them, whether that’s <strong>in</strong> the city, <strong>in</strong> a small town, or <strong>in</strong> a rural context. I hope that God works through their<br />

renewed love of their context to equip listeners to share the gospel more effectively wherever they are.”<br />


Pastor Well is a podcast by a veteran pastor-theologian aimed at pastors at all stages of the m<strong>in</strong>istry.<br />

Hershael York, dean of the School of Theology and professor of preach<strong>in</strong>g at SBTS and longtime pastor<br />

of the Buck Run Baptist Church <strong>in</strong> Frankfort, Kentucky, hosts the program.<br />

Pastor Well launched <strong>in</strong> May of 2019 and recently wrapped up its third season. In each episode, York<br />

<strong>in</strong>terviews well-known and lesser-known figures <strong>in</strong> m<strong>in</strong>istry from across the evangelical world and the<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> Baptist Convention. Recent episodes have featured Steve Ga<strong>in</strong>es, Johnny Hunt, Ray Ortlund,<br />

Michael Reeves, and Christopher Ash.<br />

C<br />

om<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> to serve<br />

as dean of the Billy Graham School of<br />

Missions, Evangelism and M<strong>in</strong>istry<br />

was a homecom<strong>in</strong>g for Paul Ak<strong>in</strong>.<br />

Ak<strong>in</strong> first moved to Louisville at age 12<br />

when his father, Danny Ak<strong>in</strong>, was elected<br />

dean of the School of Theology at SBTS,<br />

where he rema<strong>in</strong>ed for eight years.<br />

“I have fond memories of this time and of<br />

grow<strong>in</strong>g up around SBTS <strong>in</strong> the Louisville<br />

area,” he said. “We were new to Louisville, the<br />

Mohler s were so gracious and welcom<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

us. Our families would get together and enjoy<br />

meals. There may have even been a water balloon<br />

fight between the four Ak<strong>in</strong> brothers and<br />

Dr. Mohler. Louisville and SBTS have always<br />

felt like home, and I’m so grateful to be back.”<br />

Ak<strong>in</strong>’s world was turned upside down<br />

dur<strong>in</strong>g his freshman year <strong>in</strong> college on a mission<br />

trip to Southeast Asia. There, he met a<br />

fellow student who had never heard of Jesus<br />

Christ. Grow<strong>in</strong>g up <strong>in</strong> America, particularly<br />

<strong>in</strong> the realm of the <strong>Southern</strong> Baptist Convention,<br />

made it difficult to believe there was a<br />

person out there who hadn’t heard of Jesus or<br />

his death on the cross.<br />

“God used that experience to change the<br />

course and trajectory of my life,” Ak<strong>in</strong> said.<br />

“Fast-forward a few years and my family<br />

(wife, and six-month-old son) moved to East<br />

Africa and later to the Middle East to live and<br />

work among Muslim people. God had put a<br />

special burden on my heart for Muslims, and<br />

we committed to serve for a m<strong>in</strong>imum of two<br />

years with the IMB, shar<strong>in</strong>g the gospel and<br />

try<strong>in</strong>g to make disciples among Muslims <strong>in</strong><br />

Africa and the Middle East.<br />

“Follow<strong>in</strong>g this time liv<strong>in</strong>g overseas, I<br />

spent the next decade of my life tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g,<br />

send<strong>in</strong>g, and serv<strong>in</strong>g alongside missionaries<br />

all over the world through the local church,<br />

the International Mission Board, and now<br />

through <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong>. Regardless<br />

of my location or vocation, <strong>in</strong>volvement <strong>in</strong><br />

missions and the Great Commission is central<br />

to who I am <strong>in</strong> Christ.”<br />

In God’s good providence, Ak<strong>in</strong> shares a<br />

birthday with one of his missionary heroes,<br />

Jim Elliot. Both were born on October 8.<br />

Ak<strong>in</strong> also considers Billy Graham to be one<br />

of his heroes, both for the sort of man the late<br />

evangelist was and for his love for lost souls.<br />

“It’s almost surreal to be called to serve as<br />

dean of the school named for him, the school<br />

that’s part of the sem<strong>in</strong>ary around which I<br />

spent many of my formative years.<br />

“I am extremely humbled and excited to be<br />

serv<strong>in</strong>g as dean of the Billy Graham School,”<br />

Ak<strong>in</strong> said. “I have always considered Dr. Graham<br />

a hero and example of what it means to<br />

be a Christian man. His passion for personal<br />

evangelism and the Great Commission is<br />

what I have always admired most. To be entrusted<br />

to carry on that legacy here at SBTS<br />

and to champion the Great Commission<br />

from this position is humbl<strong>in</strong>g but also very<br />

excit<strong>in</strong>g, and I want to serve the Lord faithfully<br />

<strong>in</strong> this role.”<br />

Ak<strong>in</strong> has been dean a relatively short<br />

time, but he has already been helped as a<br />

young leader by <strong>Southern</strong>’s renowned veteran<br />

faculty.<br />

“Our faculty have served all over the globe<br />

as pastors, missionaries, and church leaders,”<br />

he said. “God is br<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g students to us from<br />

all over the world. By God’s grace, our reach,<br />

focus, and footpr<strong>in</strong>t is truly global <strong>in</strong> scope.<br />

“As a result, this school is uniquely poised<br />

and positioned to <strong>in</strong>fluence the cause of the<br />

Great Commission for decades to come. I<br />

want to lead this school to love the Word of<br />

God, cherish the gospel of God, prioritize<br />

lost people, and to actively engage <strong>in</strong> God’s<br />

mission of redemption here and around the<br />

world. It is this task and endeavor that I give<br />

my time, energy, and resources to accomplish,<br />

with the Lord’s help.”<br />

24<br />




Faculty Profile: Tyler Flatt<br />

T<br />

he only th<strong>in</strong>g Tyler Flatt enjoys more<br />

than teach<strong>in</strong>g is learn<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Flatt, who has served as assistant<br />

professor of humanities at Boyce College s<strong>in</strong>ce<br />

late 2016, and program coord<strong>in</strong>ator for Humanities<br />

s<strong>in</strong>ce 2019, looks forward to the eschaton<br />

because there he’ll have unlimited time<br />

to learn.<br />

“I love to learn about the world around me,<br />

and I'm look<strong>in</strong>g forward to the day <strong>in</strong> heaven<br />

when time will never be short, when I can<br />

learn all about the worlds and the universe<br />

that God has made,” he said.<br />

“I look forward to tak<strong>in</strong>g delight every day <strong>in</strong><br />

all of the th<strong>in</strong>gs he's made and the way that he's<br />

made them. Learn<strong>in</strong>g about the world around<br />

me is endlessly reward<strong>in</strong>g. And <strong>in</strong> the midst of<br />

these difficult times, I have had a little bit more<br />

time to do some learn<strong>in</strong>g on different subjects,<br />

which has been a consolation <strong>in</strong> strange days.”<br />

Perhaps Flatt's favorite time <strong>in</strong> world history<br />

is the classical period, an epoch that<br />

produced some of the most profound literature<br />

<strong>in</strong> human history.<br />

Flatt is a native of Ontario, Canada, and<br />

holds a PhD from Harvard University and<br />

a MA from the University of Toronto. Flatt’s<br />

passion is teach<strong>in</strong>g the classical tradition <strong>in</strong><br />

general and Great Books I and II <strong>in</strong> particular.<br />

The seeds of his love for the classical period<br />

and classical education were sown <strong>in</strong> an encounter<br />

with Greek mythology at a young age.<br />

“I remember as a kid, I had a book of Greek<br />

and Roman mythology, and I th<strong>in</strong>k there was<br />

some Norse mythology <strong>in</strong> there too. I grew<br />

fasc<strong>in</strong>ated by those stories, many of which are<br />

not necessarily true or good or beautiful, but<br />


they got me <strong>in</strong>terested <strong>in</strong> how the Greeks and<br />

Romans looked at the world, and then I started<br />

learn<strong>in</strong>g about their history. Then when I<br />

was <strong>in</strong> high school, I started gett<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>to classical<br />

literature—at first <strong>in</strong> English translation.<br />

“From the history I got <strong>in</strong>to the literature<br />

and philosophy and once that happened, I<br />

just said, ‘I don’t want to always be rely<strong>in</strong>g on<br />

translations. I would love to encounter these<br />

authors <strong>in</strong> the orig<strong>in</strong>al.’”<br />

His mother taught chemistry at the University<br />

of Waterloo, which is <strong>in</strong> his hometown.<br />

S<strong>in</strong>ce it had a strong Classics Department,<br />

the choice was simple for undergrad<br />

studies and that began the journey that<br />

brought him to Boyce today.<br />

Flatt grew up <strong>in</strong> a Christian home and was<br />

converted to Christ at age seven. While <strong>in</strong><br />

high school, a desire to learn theology began<br />

to germ<strong>in</strong>ate <strong>in</strong> his heart and m<strong>in</strong>d. He became<br />

absorbed <strong>in</strong> the Scriptures and began<br />

to read authors like John Calv<strong>in</strong>, Mart<strong>in</strong> Luther,<br />

and John Owen.<br />

And through the <strong>in</strong>fluence of a family<br />

friend who was a professor, Flatt knew what<br />

he wanted to spend his life do<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

“For lots of people, it takes them a long time<br />

to figure out what they're supposed to do,”<br />

he said. “But for me, I'm not a well-rounded<br />

person. I'm one of those po<strong>in</strong>ty people where<br />

the gifts and opportunities that God has given<br />

me are all k<strong>in</strong>d of concentrated <strong>in</strong> some<br />

very specific areas, and so from a young age<br />

it was clear to me that I wanted to grow really<br />

deeply <strong>in</strong> knowledge, and I wanted to help<br />

other people grow <strong>in</strong> knowledge too.”<br />

He hopes to see students recover the tradition<br />

of develop<strong>in</strong>g the Christian m<strong>in</strong>d and<br />

us<strong>in</strong>g the classics broadly <strong>in</strong> their m<strong>in</strong>istries.<br />

In partnership with Rob Plummer and the<br />

Daily Dose Team, he has established the Daily<br />

Dose of Lat<strong>in</strong>, available by YouTube subscription,<br />

<strong>in</strong> which he walks viewers through<br />

a book of the Vulgate. Together with Melissa<br />

Tucker, he’s also helped to develop the Classical<br />

Education M<strong>in</strong>or at Boyce, which aims at<br />

equipp<strong>in</strong>g teachers with a thorough knowledge<br />

of classical pedagogy to serve <strong>in</strong> the<br />

grow<strong>in</strong>g number of classical schools.<br />

“I like to ask students who are skeptical of the<br />

‘pagan classics’ a provocative question: ‘I want<br />

you to name for me a s<strong>in</strong>gle major Christian<br />

th<strong>in</strong>ker or theologian born before 1950 who was<br />

not steeped <strong>in</strong> the classical tradition,’” he said.<br />

“And nobody can because there are none.<br />

“Whether you start at the early end with<br />

Tertullian, or Cyprian, or Clement of Alexandria,<br />

or even as recently <strong>in</strong> our own time<br />

as C. S. Lewis, all of these great th<strong>in</strong>kers on<br />

whom we rely <strong>in</strong> the Christian tradition<br />

were steeped <strong>in</strong> classical literature. And<br />

that's because they found it extremely useful,<br />

not only for understand<strong>in</strong>g the world<br />

around them, but also for becom<strong>in</strong>g better<br />

and more sensitive readers of Scripture.<br />

“Regardless of what m<strong>in</strong>istry our students<br />

at Boyce may be engaged <strong>in</strong>, a classically-<strong>in</strong>spired<br />

education is go<strong>in</strong>g to equip them to<br />

communicate persuasively and powerfully.<br />

Gett<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> touch with the literature, philosophy,<br />

and history of the classical tradition<br />

will endow them with a treasure-house of<br />

time-tested wisdom and good sense about<br />

the world and about humanity.”<br />

26<br />



BOOKS<br />

SBTS.EDU<br />

BOOKS<br />

Cultural Shifts,<br />

Political Regimes, and<br />

the Constant Need for<br />

Biblical Teach<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Mohler talks about The Gather<strong>in</strong>g Storm<br />


O<br />

ver the last hundred years, a cultural, moral,<br />

and political shift has taken place <strong>in</strong> Western<br />

society that has led to broad devalu<strong>in</strong>g and<br />

rejection of Christian truth claims both privately<br />

and <strong>in</strong> the public square. The place of Christian convictions<br />

have gradually eroded, and this erosion will<br />

have tectonic effects on modern society. Evidence<br />

for how this shift has reshaped and will cont<strong>in</strong>ue to<br />

reshape modern society is available for all to see, if<br />

people will only look, argues R. Albert Mohler Jr. <strong>in</strong><br />

his newest work, The Gather<strong>in</strong>g Storm.<br />

The Gather<strong>in</strong>g Storm addresses questions like worldview,<br />

western civilization, marriage and the family, gender and<br />

sexuality, as well as other topics. These are issues you have<br />

spoken about publically <strong>in</strong> some way for over thirty years.<br />

Why this book now?<br />

In every generation, Christians have been called upon to<br />

understand our responsibility for the particular cultural<br />

moment and context with<strong>in</strong> which we f<strong>in</strong>d ourselves.<br />

This has been true throughout the history of Christianity.<br />

But when we look back at church history, there have<br />

been times when there was a particular urgency about<br />

ask<strong>in</strong>g the question of our responsibility, because the<br />

culture had experienced such a massive transformation.<br />

It’s not just the transformation of the culture <strong>in</strong> the big<br />

tectonic plates of economics and politics, but also at the<br />

deeper level of morality and even the understand<strong>in</strong>g of<br />

reality and the consumption of truth. There are times <strong>in</strong><br />

which it seems all of these th<strong>in</strong>gs are com<strong>in</strong>g together,<br />

and that's exactly what characterizes our time.<br />

I have self-consciously borrowed the title, The Gather<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Storm, from W<strong>in</strong>ston Churchill, who is one of my<br />

heroes of history. Churchill largely stood alone dur<strong>in</strong>g<br />

the 1930’s, as he saw the storm of war gather<strong>in</strong>g. Others<br />

denied that Churchill had even seen clouds, but history<br />

proved him horrify<strong>in</strong>gly right. When Churchill wrote<br />

his history of the second World War, he entitled the first<br />

of those six volumes, The Gather<strong>in</strong>g Storm. Like Churchill,<br />

Christians need to see and understand the gather<strong>in</strong>g<br />

storm <strong>in</strong> our own day, and then we need to step <strong>in</strong>to<br />

the next responsibility, which is th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g seriously and<br />

biblically about what the times will require of us.<br />

Secularization has the effect of erod<strong>in</strong>g truth claims over<br />

long periods of time—even <strong>in</strong> the church. What can a Christian<br />

do to ensure their own faithfulness and defend aga<strong>in</strong>st<br />

secularization erod<strong>in</strong>g their own convictions?<br />

Our beliefs are contam<strong>in</strong>ated unless we do two th<strong>in</strong>gs,<br />

and these two th<strong>in</strong>gs are paramount. First, we must turn<br />

to the Bible so that the liv<strong>in</strong>g, breath<strong>in</strong>g, and <strong>in</strong>fallible<br />

Word of God will cleanse us of cognitive contam<strong>in</strong>ation.<br />

We cannot expect that our th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g will be biblical<br />

unless we are immersed <strong>in</strong> the Scriptures, unless our<br />

The Gather<strong>in</strong>g Storm:<br />

Secularism, Culture, and<br />

the Church<br />

R. Albert Mohler Jr.<br />

(Thomas Nelson 2020, $18.99)<br />

A storm is com<strong>in</strong>g. Western<br />

civilization and the Christian<br />

church stand at a moment of<br />

great danger. The storm is a<br />

battle of ideas that will determ<strong>in</strong>e<br />

the future of Western<br />

civilization and the soul of the<br />

Christian church. The forces<br />

we must fight are ideologies,<br />

policies, and worldviews that<br />

are deeply established among<br />

<strong>in</strong>tellectual elites, the political<br />

class, and our schools. More<br />

menac<strong>in</strong>gly, these ideas have<br />

also <strong>in</strong>vaded the Christian<br />

church. From threats to religious<br />

liberty and redef<strong>in</strong>itions<br />

of marriage and family to<br />

attacks on the sacredness<br />

and dignity of human life, the<br />

perils faced by the West and<br />

the church are unprecedented.<br />

How should Christians<br />

respond to this challenge?<br />

th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g is predicated upon the truthfulness of God’s Word.<br />

We must hear God speak, obey him, and have our m<strong>in</strong>ds filled<br />

with the cognition that comes from the Bible.<br />

Second, we must be deeply <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> the life of a local<br />

church. As it meets together <strong>in</strong> worship and shares the gift<br />

of Christian fellowship together, a local church practices<br />

communal cognitive detox. That is part of what we’re do<strong>in</strong>g<br />

when we gather for worship. We do renew our m<strong>in</strong>ds with the<br />

songs we s<strong>in</strong>g. If the songs we s<strong>in</strong>g are robustly biblical, then<br />

we are fulfill<strong>in</strong>g what Paul exhorted the Colossians to do: We<br />

are encourag<strong>in</strong>g and cognitively correct<strong>in</strong>g one another with<br />

psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Then, by our prayer, we<br />

are cleans<strong>in</strong>g our th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g and beliefs. Of course, the same is<br />

true when we sit under the preach<strong>in</strong>g of God’s Word.<br />

When we participate <strong>in</strong> a healthy local church, our m<strong>in</strong>ds<br />

are transformed by the k<strong>in</strong>d of constructive brotherly and<br />

sisterly Christian conversation that can only come <strong>in</strong> fellowship<br />

there. Sometimes we have to say, “What do we exactly<br />

mean,” or, “What you said is almost right, but maybe we<br />

can learn to put that <strong>in</strong> a way that's even more biblical.”<br />

In our time—especially <strong>in</strong> the West—historic Christian convictions<br />

are both disapproved of and also <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>gly seen as<br />

hostile to the status quo. What precursors from history might<br />

encourage Christians today?<br />

My ultimate confidence <strong>in</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g The Gather<strong>in</strong>g Storm is<br />

that Jesus Christ is Lord, and thus no storm will mean the<br />

end of Christianity, the end of the church, or the end of truth.<br />

Nevertheless, a gather<strong>in</strong>g storm can represent a real and an<br />

unavoidable challenge for us. Through its twenty centuries<br />

of existence the church has had to face all k<strong>in</strong>ds of storms.<br />

When you th<strong>in</strong>k about our particular cultural moment, we<br />

are be<strong>in</strong>g told that we are on the wrong side of history, that<br />

we hold positions that cause human suffer<strong>in</strong>g and unhapp<strong>in</strong>ess<br />

rather than human flourish<strong>in</strong>g. But we must recognize<br />

this: Christianity was born <strong>in</strong>to a hostile culture.<br />

Christianity first emerged <strong>in</strong> the first century <strong>in</strong> the context<br />

of the Roman Empire. Throughout the next three centuries<br />

after Christianity emerged, Roman emperors came<br />

to the conclusion that Christianity was a subversive threat<br />

to the flourish<strong>in</strong>g of the empire. Emperor after emperor<br />

sought to do everyth<strong>in</strong>g with<strong>in</strong><br />

his power to make clear that<br />

“We are not without<br />

the confidence<br />

that we are on the<br />

right side of history,<br />

because we are<br />

on the right side of<br />

eschatology.”<br />

Christianity was on the wrong<br />

side of history. Yet, we know<br />

it was the Roman Empire that<br />

fell, not Christianity.<br />

For the Christian Church<br />

dur<strong>in</strong>g those centuries of persecution,<br />

it was horrify<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong><br />

so many ways. Persecution<br />

required the church to work<br />

out, with fear and trembl<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

its theology based upon the<br />

Bible. But that persecution<br />

created an environment for<br />

an <strong>in</strong>credibly powerful gospel<br />

witness to the Roman Empire.<br />

So much so that the Roman<br />

Empire, <strong>in</strong> its last years, tried to get on the right side of the<br />

church, believ<strong>in</strong>g, all of a sudden, that the church was on<br />

the right side of history.<br />

God is sovereign over the times, as he is sovereign over<br />

all th<strong>in</strong>gs. We are not <strong>in</strong> this time by accident, but we’re also<br />

not <strong>in</strong> this time without the lordship of Jesus Christ, the<br />

power of the holy Scriptures, the sav<strong>in</strong>g truth of the gospel,<br />

the reality of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, remember<strong>in</strong>g<br />

that Christ said, “upon this rock, I will build my<br />

church and the gates of hell shall not prevail aga<strong>in</strong>st it.” We<br />

are not without the confidence that we are on the right side<br />

of history, because we are on the right side of eschatology.<br />

28<br />



BOOKS<br />

BOOKS<br />

The Published Works of<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> Faculty<br />

and Alumni <strong>in</strong> 2020-21<br />

The faculty and alumni of <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> are widely<br />

published and respected as leaders <strong>in</strong> evangelical scholarship<br />

and m<strong>in</strong>istry. Here is a sampl<strong>in</strong>g of their prolific output<br />

over the past year.<br />

Embodied: Liv<strong>in</strong>g as Whole People <strong>in</strong><br />

a Fractured World<br />

Gregg R. Allison<br />

(Baker Books 2021, $19.99)<br />

The Person of Christ: An<br />

Introduction<br />

Stephen J. Wellum<br />

(Crossway 2021, $18.99)<br />

Character Matters:<br />

Shepherd<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> the<br />

Fruit of the Spirit<br />

Aaron Menikoff<br />

(Moody Publishers 2020, $14.99)<br />

The Gather<strong>in</strong>g Storm: Secularism,<br />

Culture, and the Church<br />

R. Albert Mohler Jr.<br />

(Thomas Nelson 2020, $24.29)<br />

The Child is Father of the Man<br />

Tom Nettles<br />

(Christian Focus 2021, $14.99)<br />

The Church: An Introduction (Short<br />

Studies <strong>in</strong> Systematic Theology)<br />

Gregg R. Allison<br />

(Crossway 2021, $14.99)<br />

Jesus the Great Philosopher:<br />

Rediscover<strong>in</strong>g the Wisdom Needed<br />

for the Good Life<br />

Jonathan T. Penn<strong>in</strong>gton<br />

(Brazos Press 2020, $18.99)<br />

Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory <strong>in</strong><br />

Christ: A Paul<strong>in</strong>e Theology, 2nd<br />

edition<br />

Thomas R. Schre<strong>in</strong>er<br />

Small Preach<strong>in</strong>g: 25 Little<br />

Th<strong>in</strong>gs You Can Do Now to<br />

Make You a Better Preacher<br />

Jonathan T. Penn<strong>in</strong>gton<br />

(Lexham Press 2021, $18.99)<br />

Tam<strong>in</strong>g the Tongue:<br />

How the Gospel<br />

Transforms Our Talk<br />

Jeff Rob<strong>in</strong>son<br />

(IVP Academic 2020, $50.00)<br />

(The Gospel Coalition 2021, $12.99)<br />

The Holy Spirit (Theology for the<br />

People of God)<br />

Gregg R. Allison and Andreas J. Kostenberger<br />

(B&H Academic 2020, $44.99)<br />

Hebrew for Life: Strategies for<br />

Learn<strong>in</strong>g, Reta<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g, and Reviv<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Biblical Hebrew<br />

Robert L. Plummer, Adam J. Howell, and<br />

Benjam<strong>in</strong> L. Merkle<br />

Liberty for All: Defend<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Everyone’s Religious Freedom <strong>in</strong> a<br />

Pluralistic Age<br />

Andrew T. Walker<br />

(Brazos Press 2021, $19.99)<br />

40 Questions about Biblical<br />

Theology<br />

Oren R. Mart<strong>in</strong>, Jason S. DeRouchie,<br />

and Andrew David Naselli<br />

(Kregel 2020, $27.99)<br />

(Baker Academic 2020, $22.99)<br />

A Way with Words: Us<strong>in</strong>g Our Onl<strong>in</strong>e<br />

Conversations for Good<br />

Daniel Darl<strong>in</strong>g<br />

(B&H Books 2020, $17.99)<br />

Deep Discipleship: How the Church<br />

Can Make Whole Disciples of Jesus<br />

J. T. English<br />

(B&H Books 2020, $22.99)<br />

A Concise Guide to the<br />

Quran: Answer<strong>in</strong>g Thirty<br />

Critical Questions<br />

Ayman S. Ibrahim<br />

(Baker 2020, $22.99)<br />

Nehemiah: A Pastoral and<br />

Exegetical Commentary<br />

Terry Betts<br />

(Lexham Press 2020, $28.99)<br />

30<br />



BOOKS<br />

Introduc<strong>in</strong>g <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong>’s<br />

NEW PhD <strong>in</strong> Biblical Studies<br />

Rema<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong> the pulpit while earn<strong>in</strong>g the credentials to<br />

teach at a college or sem<strong>in</strong>ary. <strong>Southern</strong>'s hybrid class<br />

format allows students to complete their degree<br />

without relocat<strong>in</strong>g to Louisville.<br />

Learn more at SBTS.EDU/PHD<br />

N<br />

The Glory of God at<br />

the Heart of Paul<strong>in</strong>e<br />

Theology<br />

An Interview with Thomas R. Schre<strong>in</strong>er<br />

o matter what you th<strong>in</strong>k of<br />

the apostle Paul, if you are a<br />

serious teacher of the Bible,<br />

you’ll have to come to grips with<br />

him. Thomas R. Schre<strong>in</strong>er, associate<br />

dean of the School of Theology<br />

and James Buchanan Harrison<br />

Professor of New Testament Interpretation<br />

and professor of biblical<br />

theology at <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong>, has<br />

spent much of his life study<strong>in</strong>g Paul<br />

and the complexities of his theology.<br />

In the second edition of Paul, Apostle<br />

of God's Glory <strong>in</strong> Christ, which<br />

has been revised throughout to engage<br />

the latest Paul<strong>in</strong>e scholarship,<br />

Schre<strong>in</strong>er seeks to unearth Paul's<br />

worldview by observ<strong>in</strong>g what Paul<br />

actually says <strong>in</strong> his writ<strong>in</strong>gs, lay<strong>in</strong>g<br />

out the most important themes and<br />

how they are connected. Accord<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to Schre<strong>in</strong>er, “The passion of Paul's<br />

life, the foundation and capstone of<br />

his vision, and the animat<strong>in</strong>g motive<br />

of his mission was the supremacy of<br />

God <strong>in</strong> and through the Lord Jesus<br />

Christ.” While cont<strong>in</strong>u<strong>in</strong>g to return<br />

to this foundation, Schre<strong>in</strong>er explores<br />

themes such as the <strong>in</strong>clusion<br />

of the Gentiles <strong>in</strong> God’s people, the<br />


power of s<strong>in</strong>, God’s liberat<strong>in</strong>g work<br />

of grace, and the unity of the church,<br />

as well as the often-neglected topics<br />

of Paul as a missionary and his apostolic<br />

suffer<strong>in</strong>gs.<br />

What is new <strong>in</strong> the second edition?<br />

I <strong>in</strong>cluded some newer works on<br />

Paul<strong>in</strong>e theology and reconsidered<br />

every l<strong>in</strong>e as I revised it. I would<br />

say, however, that upon read<strong>in</strong>g the<br />

work aga<strong>in</strong> it is substantially the<br />

same book. I felt free to revise but<br />

for the most part I was pleased with<br />

what I wrote before.<br />

How have Paul<strong>in</strong>e studies changed<br />

s<strong>in</strong>ce the first edition? What challenges—such<br />

as the New Perspective<br />

on Paul—have arisen?<br />

The new perspective isn't new anymore!<br />

Still, I cont<strong>in</strong>ue to <strong>in</strong>teract<br />

with it, as I did <strong>in</strong> the first edition.<br />

The apocalyptic read<strong>in</strong>g of Paul has<br />

become more popular, and I <strong>in</strong>teract<br />

to some extent with this perspective.<br />

Of course, Paul<strong>in</strong>e theology<br />

has branched off <strong>in</strong> so many directions<br />

with post-colonial read<strong>in</strong>gs,<br />

fem<strong>in</strong>ist read<strong>in</strong>gs, anti-imperial<br />

read<strong>in</strong>gs, etc. My book, however,<br />

centers on an exposition of Paul’s<br />

theology from the biblical text, because<br />

I wanted to write a book on<br />

Paul<strong>in</strong>e theology that centers on<br />

what Paul himself said.<br />

What other books on Paul would you<br />

recommend that pastors and teachers<br />

who regularly preach and teach<br />

God’s Word read?<br />

I love Stephen Westerholm’s writ<strong>in</strong>gs.<br />

He writes beautifully and<br />

<strong>in</strong> a compell<strong>in</strong>g way. See his Perspectives<br />

Old and New on Paul and<br />

Justification Reconsidered. I th<strong>in</strong>k<br />

Westerholm has the best treatment<br />

of the New Perspective on Paul.<br />

I don't agree with some significant<br />

parts of James Dunn’s The<br />

Theology of Paul the Apostle, but<br />

I learned much from read<strong>in</strong>g his<br />

book. I also don't agree with N.<br />

T. Wright's take on the New Perspective,<br />

but I especially enjoyed<br />

his Climax of the Covenant. His<br />

two-volume work on Paul, Paul<br />

and the Faithfulness of God, has<br />

many good <strong>in</strong>sights but it is far too<br />

long for most readers.<br />

You're a scholar who writes <strong>in</strong> a way<br />

that’s accessible for pastors and even<br />

thoughtful laymen. How would you like<br />

to see pastors benefit from the book?<br />

I hope pastors have a better understand<strong>in</strong>g<br />

of Paul, because that would<br />

mean they would have a better understand<strong>in</strong>g<br />

of the whole Bible, and<br />

of God himself. Paul’s theology is<br />

particularly important because he<br />

reflects, <strong>in</strong> a unique and extensive<br />

manner, on the significance of the<br />

fulfillment of God’s sav<strong>in</strong>g promise<br />

<strong>in</strong> Jesus Christ. When we see the<br />

place which Paul’s writ<strong>in</strong>gs occupy<br />

<strong>in</strong> the canon of Scripture, we see why<br />

his writ<strong>in</strong>gs are so important for understand<strong>in</strong>g<br />

who God is and what he<br />

has accomplished <strong>in</strong> Jesus Christ by<br />

the power of the Holy Spirit.<br />

Paul, Apostle of God's<br />

Glory <strong>in</strong> Christ: A Paul<strong>in</strong>e<br />

Theology<br />

Thomas R. Schre<strong>in</strong>er<br />

(Baker Academic 2020, $44.99)<br />

Schre<strong>in</strong>er seeks to unearth<br />

Paul's worldview by observ<strong>in</strong>g<br />

what Paul actually says <strong>in</strong><br />

his writ<strong>in</strong>gs and lay<strong>in</strong>g out<br />

the most important themes<br />

and how they are connected.<br />

Accord<strong>in</strong>g to Schre<strong>in</strong>er, “The<br />

passion of Paul's life, the<br />

foundation and capstone of<br />

his vision, and the animat<strong>in</strong>g<br />

motive of his mission was<br />

the supremacy of God <strong>in</strong> and<br />

through the Lord Jesus Christ.”<br />

Now <strong>in</strong> its second edition, Paul,<br />

Apostle of God's Glory <strong>in</strong> Christ<br />

rema<strong>in</strong>s a sound, <strong>in</strong>sightful,<br />

and trusted exposition of Paul's<br />

theology that is well-geared to<br />

the needs of sem<strong>in</strong>ary students<br />

and work<strong>in</strong>g pastors.<br />



BOOKS<br />

SBTS.EDU<br />

BOOKS<br />

Help! I’ve Lost My Greek<br />

and Hebrew<br />

Howell and Plummer discuss strategies and<br />

motivation for reta<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g Hebrew<br />


M<br />

<strong>in</strong>isters of God’s Word are<br />

expected to know the languages<br />

<strong>in</strong> which God’s Word<br />

was orig<strong>in</strong>ally written, Hebrew and<br />

Greek, with some Aramaic. But often<br />

those who have previously studied<br />

Hebrew and Greek allow their knowledge<br />

of the languages to slip away, as<br />

the pressures of m<strong>in</strong>istry reshape priorities<br />

and commitments. In Hebrew<br />

for Life, Adam J. Howell (with Robert<br />

L. Plummer and Benjam<strong>in</strong> L. Merkle)<br />

seeks to give readers the motivation<br />

and accountability to cont<strong>in</strong>ue grow<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>in</strong> their understand<strong>in</strong>g of Hebrew.<br />

When people th<strong>in</strong>k of a textbook on<br />

the biblical languages, they stereotype<br />

it as filled with declensions,<br />

grammar rules, and worksheets.<br />

How is this book different?<br />

RPL: This book was designed as a<br />

personal tra<strong>in</strong>er for Hebrew. Everyone<br />

knows you should exercise,<br />

but most people don’t go to the gym.<br />

However, if they hire a tra<strong>in</strong>er, then<br />

they have someone who tells them,<br />

“You need to do this. You need to do<br />

that.” The tra<strong>in</strong>er encourages them<br />

not to stop when it’s difficult, and<br />

the tra<strong>in</strong>er also gives them a plan<br />

for mak<strong>in</strong>g progress. In a way, this<br />

book is a paperback personal tra<strong>in</strong>er<br />

for biblical languages.<br />

You reference the “law of the harvest”<br />

as a motivat<strong>in</strong>g factor for learn<strong>in</strong>g Hebrew.<br />

What is it and how does it drive<br />

our study?<br />

AJH: When it comes to the orig<strong>in</strong>al<br />

languages, we have to focus on the long<br />

game. In our culture, we want th<strong>in</strong>gs<br />

fast. We assume we can f<strong>in</strong>ish everyth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

we need for the languages <strong>in</strong><br />

two semesters. But understand<strong>in</strong>g the<br />

biblical languages is a lifelong journey.<br />

I'm hop<strong>in</strong>g we can conv<strong>in</strong>ce people of<br />

this. Even if you only get the m<strong>in</strong>imal<br />

semesters, there's plenty more to know,<br />

learn, and love about the orig<strong>in</strong>al languages.<br />

For most people, it will take<br />

many years to reach a level of enjoyment.<br />

So the “law of the harvest” is this:<br />

the diligent work of plant<strong>in</strong>g and water<strong>in</strong>g<br />

must happen now, and the payoff<br />

may not come until later. So, long<br />

for the harvest days when you can sit<br />

down and open up your Hebrew Old<br />

Testament and Greek New Testament<br />

and read them with love and great joy.<br />

Luther said: “If through our neglect<br />

we let the languages go, we shall lose<br />

the gospel.” Why do you th<strong>in</strong>k our perception<br />

of the orig<strong>in</strong>al languages’ importance<br />

has shifted today?<br />

AJH: I can speak to Hebrew particularly.<br />

One reason is that people are<br />

<strong>in</strong>timidated by it. I tell my students<br />

that Hebrew is more <strong>in</strong>timidat<strong>in</strong>g<br />

than it is hard. The script is entirely<br />

foreign to us, and you read it backward<br />

when compared to most of our<br />

native languages. Second, positive<br />

advances <strong>in</strong> translation techniques<br />

have led some to assume the orig<strong>in</strong>al<br />

languages are unnecessary. Thankfully,<br />

we do have good English translations,<br />

but this doesn’t cancel the<br />

value of learn<strong>in</strong>g the languages. F<strong>in</strong>ally,<br />

there’s an undercurrent <strong>in</strong> our<br />

culture: we don't want to do difficult<br />

th<strong>in</strong>gs like learn<strong>in</strong>g Hebrew.<br />

RLP: It’s a lot easier for someone to<br />

waste time on YouTube videos or<br />

spend hours skimm<strong>in</strong>g through Instagram<br />

and Facebook than it is to<br />

work on learn<strong>in</strong>g Hebrew and Greek.<br />

But when you th<strong>in</strong>k about how many<br />

thousands of hours we spend on<br />

trivial and unimportant matters, it’s<br />

shock<strong>in</strong>g. We need to be challenged<br />

by this uncomfortable truth: we do<br />

what we love. We must be careful to<br />

re<strong>in</strong>force our love for God’s Word<br />

rather than trivial th<strong>in</strong>gs.<br />

How would you encourage someone<br />

who has fallen away from study<strong>in</strong>g the<br />

orig<strong>in</strong>al languages?<br />

AJH: It can be done. A lot of people<br />

th<strong>in</strong>k they’ve fallen too far from their<br />

previous studies. Pride may even get<br />

<strong>in</strong> the way and they’ll start th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g<br />

“It’s not worth start<strong>in</strong>g with the alphabet<br />

aga<strong>in</strong>.” To that person, I would<br />

say: you can do it, and it’s worth it.<br />

RLP: See<strong>in</strong>g people successfully return<br />

can be a great motivation. I've<br />

personally seen many people come<br />

back successfully with less ability and<br />

more years on them than the person<br />

read<strong>in</strong>g this <strong>in</strong>terview. Success <strong>in</strong> return<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to the biblical languages is<br />

not a matter of raw <strong>in</strong>tellectual ability;<br />

it’s a matter of desire and strategy.<br />

Hebrew for Life gives you the strategy.<br />

If you choose to read it, you already<br />

have a desire—one the book will fan<br />

<strong>in</strong>to flames. The future is bright for<br />

the person who has enough motivation<br />

to read a book like this.<br />

Hebrew for Life:<br />

Strategies for Learn<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

Reta<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g, and Reviv<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Biblical Hebrew<br />

Robert L. Plummer, Adam<br />

J. Howell, and Benjam<strong>in</strong> L.<br />

Merkle<br />

(Baker Academic 2020, $22.99)<br />

Three experienced biblical<br />

language professors <strong>in</strong>spire<br />

readers to learn, reta<strong>in</strong>, and<br />

use Hebrew for m<strong>in</strong>istry,<br />

sett<strong>in</strong>g them on a lifelong<br />

journey of read<strong>in</strong>g and lov<strong>in</strong>g<br />

the Hebrew Bible. This highly<br />

practical volume <strong>in</strong>corporates<br />

research-tested strategies for<br />

learn<strong>in</strong>g; presents methods<br />

not usually covered <strong>in</strong> other<br />

textbooks; and surveys helpful<br />

resources for recover<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Hebrew after a long period of<br />

disuse.<br />

Today’s Churches<br />

Need the Whole<br />

Counsel of God<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> <strong>in</strong>troduces<br />

the NEW Doctor of M<strong>in</strong>istry<br />

<strong>in</strong> Old Testament Exposition<br />

Though often neglected <strong>in</strong> the pulpit, the<br />

Old Testament richly displays the glories<br />

of God <strong>in</strong> Christ, for those tra<strong>in</strong>ed to<br />

study it carefully. This concentration<br />

equips pastors toward faithful preach<strong>in</strong>g<br />

and teach<strong>in</strong>g by focus<strong>in</strong>g on particular<br />

language and exegetical skills related to<br />

the study of the Old Testament with a<br />

special emphasis on application <strong>in</strong> the<br />

local church. NOW OPEN TO MA<br />


Learn more at SBTS.EDU/OT<br />



BOOKS<br />

BOOKS<br />

Cultivat<strong>in</strong>g Dependence<br />

and Calm<strong>in</strong>g Fears<br />

An Interview with Gregg R. Allison<br />


The Holy Spirit (Theology<br />

for the People of God)<br />

Faculty books<br />

Recent titles written by the faculty of <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong><br />

Gregg R. Allison and Andreas<br />

J. Kostenberger<br />

T<br />

he Theology for the People<br />

of God series by B&H Academic<br />

comb<strong>in</strong>es biblical and<br />

systematic theology <strong>in</strong> dialogue with<br />

historical theology with application<br />

to the church and life. The series addresses<br />

the classic loci of systematic<br />

theology by pair<strong>in</strong>g a biblical scholar<br />

and a theologian. The first volume released,<br />

The Holy Spirit, pairs Andreas<br />

J. Köstenberger, research professor of<br />

New Testament at Midwestern <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong>,<br />

with <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong>’s own<br />

Gregg R. Allison, professor of christian<br />

theology.<br />

Can you expla<strong>in</strong> the outl<strong>in</strong>e of the book?<br />

Our approach <strong>in</strong> the outl<strong>in</strong>e of<br />

the book resonates deeply with<br />

my personal approach to do<strong>in</strong>g<br />

theology, that is, that our practical<br />

theology is rooted <strong>in</strong> exegetical,<br />

biblical, historical, and<br />

systematic theology <strong>in</strong> dialogue<br />

together. Andreas wrote the first<br />

half of the book, look<strong>in</strong>g at all the<br />

passages about the Holy Spirit <strong>in</strong><br />

the Old and New Testaments. It<br />

was wonderful to work with him.<br />

Then, I wrote the second half,<br />

provid<strong>in</strong>g a systematic theology<br />

of the Spirit aimed at the church.<br />

When we’re do<strong>in</strong>g systematics,<br />

we can’t just move directly from<br />

biblical to systematic theology,<br />

because, when we do the exegetical<br />

work, we already have our<br />

theology <strong>in</strong> m<strong>in</strong>d. But we have<br />

to beg<strong>in</strong> somewhere. Because we<br />

believe <strong>in</strong> the authority of the<br />

Bible, it’s both right and helpful<br />

to beg<strong>in</strong> with the text, allow<strong>in</strong>g it<br />

to correct our assumptions, then<br />

mov<strong>in</strong>g forward from there.<br />

How would you expect this book to<br />

be used profitably by students of<br />

the Bible?<br />

It’s an exhaustive work that's go<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to be helpful for any student of the<br />

Holy Spirit. Anyone who wants to<br />

look at every passage <strong>in</strong> the Bible<br />

that talks about the Holy Spirit will<br />

have Andreas’s first half; every passage<br />

is discussed. But, more importantly,<br />

we pray and hope that people<br />

who read our book would become<br />

more consciously dependent upon<br />

the Spirit, be<strong>in</strong>g filled by him and<br />

walk<strong>in</strong>g with him. We also hope<br />

that that readers of the book will<br />

have some of their fears about the<br />

Holy Spirit calmed.<br />

What other aspects of our doctr<strong>in</strong>e of<br />

the Spirit are significant for pastoral<br />

m<strong>in</strong>istry?<br />

There are three key doctr<strong>in</strong>es. First,<br />

the Spirit and the Word. Baptists are<br />

well-known as people of the book,<br />

but we’re less well-known as people<br />

who entrust ourselves to the Spirit.<br />

The reformers achieved a great balance<br />

here. We call upon pastors and<br />

Christians to regularly ask the Spirit<br />

for illum<strong>in</strong>ation so they may rightly<br />

understand the Bible and have soft<br />

hearts to respond to God’s Word.<br />

Second, the Spirit and salvation.<br />

Readers will be amazed at how every<br />

mighty act of God <strong>in</strong> sav<strong>in</strong>g us is<br />

connected <strong>in</strong> some way to the Spirit.<br />

Before we believe, the Spirit convicts<br />

us of s<strong>in</strong>. He br<strong>in</strong>gs about the work of<br />

regeneration, unites us with Christ,<br />

br<strong>in</strong>gs about our adoption, and gives<br />

us assurance; he sanctifies, guides,<br />

and ultimately will resurrect us. F<strong>in</strong>ally,<br />

the Spirit and the church. The<br />

Holy Spirit gave birth to the church<br />

when he was poured out by the Father<br />

and Son on the day of Pentecost,<br />

and it’s the Spirit who gives birth to<br />

new churches today; he directs, empowers,<br />

and pushes churches to engage<br />

as a witness to the world.<br />

(B&H Academic 2020, $44.99)<br />

Why do evangelicals tend to<br />

treat the third person of the<br />

Godhead like a member of the<br />

junior varsity team? Allison<br />

and Kostenberger take an<br />

<strong>in</strong>-depth look at the Holy Spirit<br />

from biblical, theological,<br />

and historical standpo<strong>in</strong>ts.<br />

And it also deals with various<br />

views on contemporary issues<br />

surround<strong>in</strong>g the Spirit such as<br />

the cont<strong>in</strong>uation or cessation<br />

of the so-called sign gifts, how<br />

the Spirit shapes our worship,<br />

and much more.<br />

The Child is Father of the Man<br />

Tom Nettles<br />

(Christian Focus 2021, $14.99)<br />

This book is not merely a summary<br />

of Nettles’ massive 2013 theological<br />

biography of Spurgeon. In this new<br />

work, Nettles isolates 10 key convictions<br />

that appear <strong>in</strong> Spurgeon’s life either<br />

before or immediately after his conversion,<br />

and traces them through his<br />

life as he develops <strong>in</strong>to the charm<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

<strong>in</strong>terest<strong>in</strong>g, confident, humble, spiritual–m<strong>in</strong>ded<br />

man and pastor whose work<br />

and witness dom<strong>in</strong>ated evangelicalism<br />

<strong>in</strong> the last half of the 19th century.<br />

The Person of Christ: An Introduction<br />

Stephen J. Wellum<br />

(Crossway 2021, $18.99)<br />

A volume <strong>in</strong> the multi-volume Short<br />

Studies <strong>in</strong> Systematic Theology series,<br />

Wellum helps readers to see the falsehood<br />

of the claims that Jesus was far<br />

more than a wise philosopher, a social<br />

revolutionary, or the founder of a religion—he<br />

is very God of very God. Wellum<br />

argues for the div<strong>in</strong>ity of Jesus accord<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to the Scriptures <strong>in</strong> l<strong>in</strong>e with historic,<br />

creedal Christianity.<br />

The Church: An Introduction<br />

Gregg R. Allison<br />

(Crossway 2021, $14.99)<br />

This volume, also part of the multi-volume<br />

Short Studies <strong>in</strong> Systematic<br />

Theology series. It helps def<strong>in</strong>e the<br />

church and its mission by present<strong>in</strong>g<br />

an overview of the specific doctr<strong>in</strong>es<br />

and practices of different churches<br />

and denom<strong>in</strong>ations. Allison lays the<br />

foundation for a better understand<strong>in</strong>g<br />

of local church communities and the<br />

way they diverge from one another, but<br />

he also shows how they are ultimately<br />

united as the body of Christ and the<br />

temple of the Holy Spirit.<br />

40 Questions about Biblical<br />

Theology<br />

Oren R. Mart<strong>in</strong>, Jason S. DeRouchie, and<br />

Andrew David Naselli<br />

(Kregel 2020, $27.99)<br />

To understand what the entire Bible<br />

teaches about any given subject, we<br />

must practice biblical theology. By survey<strong>in</strong>g<br />

the whole canon of Scripture, we<br />

can best discern what God has revealed<br />

about any particular issue. But do<strong>in</strong>g so<br />

requires answer<strong>in</strong>g a number of important<br />

questions: What type of biblical<br />

theology will we choose? What overall<br />

story does the Bible tell? How should we<br />

understand the relationship between the<br />

Old and New Testaments? How does our<br />

topic fit with<strong>in</strong> salvation history? How do<br />

we apply the truths we discover?<br />




ALUMNI<br />

Confident <strong>in</strong> God’s<br />

Unchang<strong>in</strong>g Word<br />

Lenny Hartono's m<strong>in</strong>istry <strong>in</strong> the Hardest<br />

Circumstances<br />


Introduc<strong>in</strong>g the NEW Doctor of M<strong>in</strong>istry<br />

<strong>in</strong> Discipleship and Christian Education<br />

from <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong><br />

Designed for Christian educators and those lead<strong>in</strong>g<br />

m<strong>in</strong>istries to children, students, women, or adults.<br />

Open to MA and MDiv graduates<br />

Learn more at SBTS.EDU/DISCIPLESHIP<br />

L<br />

enny Hartono grew up <strong>in</strong> a small<br />

town, Tulungagung <strong>in</strong> East Java,<br />

Indonesia. She was raised by a<br />

Buddhist father and a church-go<strong>in</strong>g<br />

mother. She came to the US <strong>in</strong> 1999 to<br />

pursue a market<strong>in</strong>g degree, and the<br />

Lord saved her dur<strong>in</strong>g her junior year<br />

of college. “After sav<strong>in</strong>g me,” says Hartono,<br />

“the Lord put his desire <strong>in</strong> my<br />

heart to pray and fight for the salvation<br />

of the rest of my family. God saved my<br />

mom, my big brother, brother-<strong>in</strong>-law,<br />

little brother, and later on, my dad”<br />

After graduat<strong>in</strong>g, Lenny worked for<br />

six years <strong>in</strong> a small bus<strong>in</strong>ess <strong>in</strong> Shelbyville,<br />

Kentucky, and attended a small<br />

church <strong>in</strong> Louisville.<br />

“God used that church to grow me<br />

<strong>in</strong> my faith, <strong>in</strong> love for his Word, and <strong>in</strong><br />

love for the lost.”<br />

Hartono returned to Indonesia <strong>in</strong><br />

2010 and then spent two years <strong>in</strong> Ch<strong>in</strong>a,<br />

study<strong>in</strong>g the language and shar<strong>in</strong>g<br />

the gospel with Ch<strong>in</strong>ese people. When<br />

she returned to the States, she aga<strong>in</strong><br />

worked for the bus<strong>in</strong>ess <strong>in</strong> Shelbyville.<br />

While work<strong>in</strong>g there, a friend who<br />

was go<strong>in</strong>g through a difficult divorce<br />

approached Lenny and asked for her<br />

advice and counsel. Lenny tried to help<br />

the best she knew how, but Hartono was<br />

at a very different stage of life. Though<br />

she’d been discipled <strong>in</strong> a local church<br />

and even served overseas, she knew that<br />

counsel<strong>in</strong>g her friend through her experience<br />

alone would not suffice. Hartono<br />

knew she needed a different basis: “I<br />

told her, ‘I’m s<strong>in</strong>gle,’” says Hartono, “but<br />

I can be confident because I have the<br />

Word of God.’” God’s Word is timeless<br />

and unchang<strong>in</strong>g, and it provided exactly<br />

what her friend needed to hear. “I was<br />

so blown away that God was able to use<br />

my counsel,” Hartono said. “It was then<br />

I realized that the Word of God really<br />

does change people’s hearts regardless<br />

of what situation they are <strong>in</strong>.”<br />

While work<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> Shelbyville, Hartono<br />

had responsibility for around 150 staff<br />

people at the local bus<strong>in</strong>ess. While she was<br />

there, some of the female staff opened up<br />

to her about their life struggles.<br />

“Instead of be<strong>in</strong>g overwhelmed by<br />

their suffer<strong>in</strong>g, God began to give me<br />

his compassion toward them,” Hartono<br />

said. “I’d share truths from God’s Word,<br />

but I’d often get stuck <strong>in</strong> hard cases.”<br />

Hartono was develop<strong>in</strong>g a love for<br />

counsel<strong>in</strong>g others, but she knew that<br />

she lacked the k<strong>in</strong>d of formal tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g<br />

she’d need to be the best possible counselor.<br />

She began to pray about it, ask<strong>in</strong>g<br />

the Lord to help her f<strong>in</strong>d the tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g<br />

she needed. Through her older brother<br />

Jemmy, Hartono was <strong>in</strong>troduced<br />

to <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong>, and she began<br />

classes <strong>in</strong> the fall of 2015. Hartono’s<br />

time at <strong>Southern</strong> was transformational.<br />


38<br />




From Oregon to<br />

Louisville to the<br />

Deep South<br />

SBTS Grad Patiently Revitaliz<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Georgia Church<br />


“The Word of God<br />

really does change<br />

people’s hearts<br />

regardless of what<br />

situation they are <strong>in</strong>.”<br />

“I not only learned more about counsel<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

but I was changed. I had professors who told me<br />

that I had to change first before I could be used<br />

by God to change others,” she said.<br />

“And now, <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> has equipped<br />

me to counsel others. In the hardest cases, I<br />

can be confident because it is the Word of God<br />

that changes lives.”<br />

Hartono received her MA <strong>in</strong> biblical counsel<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>in</strong> 2019. After graduation from <strong>Southern</strong>,<br />

Hartono served for a short time as a case manager<br />

and counselor at the <strong>Southern</strong> Indiana<br />

campus of Re:Center M<strong>in</strong>istries, a gospel mission<br />

organization that reconciles homeless and<br />

hurt<strong>in</strong>g people to God, family, and community<br />

through the power of Christ and <strong>in</strong> partnership<br />

with the local church.<br />

Hartono provided counsel<strong>in</strong>g services and<br />

lead support groups and classes for people at risk<br />

of homelessness.<br />

“God’s grace enabled me to connect the counselees’<br />

felt needs with their true need for Jesus Christ;<br />

I was usually able to share the gospel with each<br />

counselee dur<strong>in</strong>g our first or second session.”<br />

In March 2020, as quarant<strong>in</strong>e restrictions due<br />

to the COVID-19 pandemic began to be put <strong>in</strong><br />

place, Hartono flew home to Indonesia earlier<br />

than she had planned. Coupled with the news<br />

of the pandemic, Hartono received unexpected<br />

news that her father had been admitted to an<br />

<strong>in</strong>tensive-care unit. Eighteen m<strong>in</strong>utes after her<br />

plane landed <strong>in</strong> her home country, Hartono’s<br />

father went home to be with the Lord.<br />

“I had not seen Dad <strong>in</strong> two years,” Hartono<br />

said, and “even though I came home much faster<br />

to see him, I only saw his dead body. It was<br />

hard to process.”<br />

Hartono has wrestled with how God can be<br />

faithful <strong>in</strong> the midst of her father’s death and her<br />

sudden transition back to Indonesia: “Th<strong>in</strong>gs<br />

have been so heavy that I’ve asked, ‘Why me,<br />

God?’” “God does not owe me an explanation,”<br />

Hartono said, “But, <strong>in</strong> his k<strong>in</strong>dness, he’s given me<br />

comfort.”<br />

She po<strong>in</strong>ted to the comfort she’s found <strong>in</strong><br />

Hebrews 4:15–16: “For we do not have a high<br />

priest who is unable to sympathize with our<br />

weaknesses, but one who has been tempted <strong>in</strong><br />

every way as we are, yet without s<strong>in</strong>. Therefore,<br />

let us approach the throne of grace with boldness,<br />

so that we may receive mercy and f<strong>in</strong>d<br />

grace to help us <strong>in</strong> time of need.”<br />

Hartono now f<strong>in</strong>ds that she needs the same good<br />

news she’s spoken to others <strong>in</strong> their hard places.<br />

“One th<strong>in</strong>g I know. In each of my suffer<strong>in</strong>gs,<br />

God’s Word rema<strong>in</strong>s unchang<strong>in</strong>g and timeless.”<br />

And Hartono is already hav<strong>in</strong>g opportunities to<br />

comfort others with the same comfort that she<br />

has received from God (2 Cor. 1:3–4).<br />

“In every conversation I’ve had about my<br />

Dad,” Hartono said, “the gospel has been proclaimed.”<br />

A<br />

aron Menikoff was uncerta<strong>in</strong><br />

about tak<strong>in</strong>g a church <strong>in</strong> Georgia,<br />

a Deep South state he was<br />

unfamiliar with, a place vastly different<br />

from his native Oregon.<br />

But after much prayer and consideration,<br />

Menikoff submitted to what<br />

he came to know was God’s will, and <strong>in</strong><br />

June of 2008 Menikoff, a two-time SBTS<br />

graduate, was elected senior pastor of<br />

Mount Vernon Baptist Church <strong>in</strong> Sandy<br />

Spr<strong>in</strong>gs, a suburb just north of Atlanta.<br />

The thought of mov<strong>in</strong>g to a region that<br />

was somewhat foreign to him was more<br />

than a bit uneasy, made worse by Menikoff’s<br />

soon realization that much of the<br />

so-called Bible Belt’s Christianity was little<br />

more than a cultural adornment.<br />

“I joked how ironic it was that my<br />

friend, Michael Lawrence who is from<br />

the South, moved to pastor H<strong>in</strong>son Baptist<br />

Church <strong>in</strong> Portland while I, be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

from Oregon, landed at Mount Vernon<br />

<strong>in</strong> Atlanta.<br />

“However, not only did I trust God’s<br />

providence <strong>in</strong> mov<strong>in</strong>g people around as<br />

he sees fit, but I also saw God’s wisdom<br />

<strong>in</strong> plac<strong>in</strong>g a man from another culture at<br />

Mount Vernon. I grew up <strong>in</strong> an unbeliev<strong>in</strong>g<br />

home <strong>in</strong> secular territory. That has<br />

given me a unique voice to speak <strong>in</strong>to a<br />

region filled with nom<strong>in</strong>al Christianity.”<br />

A Church <strong>in</strong> Decl<strong>in</strong>e<br />

Upon arrival <strong>in</strong> Atlanta, Menikoff found<br />

a church <strong>in</strong> dire need of revitalization. It<br />

wasn’t what he’d expected—the situation<br />

was far worse. And there was really<br />

no “honeymoon period” for him as several<br />

of the church members left because<br />

he didn’t view pragmatic numerical<br />

growth as the church’s lead<strong>in</strong>g priority.<br />

“When I arrived, I expected to f<strong>in</strong>d a<br />

conservative church accustomed to fairly<br />

light preach<strong>in</strong>g with little emphasis<br />

on robust theology,” he said. “I expected<br />

to f<strong>in</strong>d a church with a heart for missions<br />

and an eagerness to grow spiritually and<br />

numerically. The church had been <strong>in</strong> a<br />

season of decl<strong>in</strong>e for a number of years<br />

and wanted to see that trend reversed.<br />

“I quickly discovered the church had<br />

no mean<strong>in</strong>gful membership. The attendance<br />

on Sunday morn<strong>in</strong>g bore little<br />

resemblance to the directory. Most<br />

members said they valued a strong,<br />

Word-centered m<strong>in</strong>istry. Nonetheless,<br />

I faced some resistance to too much<br />

preach<strong>in</strong>g about the cross.<br />

“A good portion p<strong>in</strong>ned their hopes<br />

for the church’s future on an excit<strong>in</strong>g<br />

children, youth, and music m<strong>in</strong>istry<br />

to grow the church. The majority of<br />

members who left<br />




ALUMNI<br />

@SBTSAlumni<br />



<strong>in</strong> those early years didn’t appreciate my<br />

approach to these particular m<strong>in</strong>istries.”<br />

Menikoff knew it would be a long, slow slog<br />

to reach a reasonable level of spiritual health<br />

at Mount Vernon, and it <strong>in</strong>deed was. He took<br />

years preach<strong>in</strong>g and teach<strong>in</strong>g sound theology<br />

and biblical ecclesiology even on th<strong>in</strong>gs as basic<br />

as church membership, hospitality, and church<br />

polity. Over time, the church adopted the New<br />

Testament teach<strong>in</strong>g on a plurality of elders and<br />

learned how to live out the “one another” admonitions<br />

as taught <strong>in</strong> the New Testament.<br />

Other dom<strong>in</strong>oes of church health began<br />

to fall <strong>in</strong>to place: biblical evangelism, discipleship,<br />

family m<strong>in</strong>istry. Attitudes began to<br />

change as the church embraced a spirit of<br />

warm generosity toward fellow members<br />

and other churches. God raised up mature<br />

elders to assist with the m<strong>in</strong>istry and servant-hearted<br />

deacons to help serve fundamental<br />

physical needs.<br />

The first key that unlocked needed change<br />

<strong>in</strong> the church was expository preach<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

“The revitalization process took years,” he<br />

said. “It took me a while to feel comfortable<br />

preach<strong>in</strong>g week <strong>in</strong> and week out. I’m glad<br />

much of the church was patient with me as<br />

I grew <strong>in</strong> this area. Preach<strong>in</strong>g isn’t the only<br />

th<strong>in</strong>g I do, but is the most important, and I<br />

saw a robust preach<strong>in</strong>g m<strong>in</strong>istry as fundamental<br />

to our church’s future.<br />

“We didn’t unveil a special program. I simply<br />

spr<strong>in</strong>kled teach<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> these areas everywhere<br />

for the next decade. Look<strong>in</strong>g back, this<br />

allowed me to stay focused on some areas <strong>in</strong><br />

which we really needed to grow and improve.”<br />

Oregon to Capitol Hill to Louisville<br />

Menikoff’s journey to pastoral m<strong>in</strong>istry began<br />

<strong>in</strong> Wash<strong>in</strong>gton, D.C. <strong>in</strong> the mid-1990s.<br />

He came to faith <strong>in</strong> Christ soon after his<br />

senior year <strong>in</strong> high school and after graduat<strong>in</strong>g<br />

from the University of Oregon moved<br />

to D.C. for an <strong>in</strong>ternship <strong>in</strong> 1994 with the<br />

U.S. senator from Oregon.<br />

The senator attended Capitol Hill Baptist<br />

Church and Menikoff began to visit as well. His<br />

first Sunday at the church was the Sunday before<br />

a new pastor was <strong>in</strong>stalled. The new pastor<br />

was Mark Dever. Meet<strong>in</strong>g Dever turned out to<br />

be a life-chang<strong>in</strong>g providence for Menikoff.<br />

“It’s there that I first heard expositional<br />

preach<strong>in</strong>g, experienced biblical hospitality,<br />

and fell <strong>in</strong> love with the local church,” Menikoff<br />

said. “I enjoyed work<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> politics—I’d<br />

gone on staff with Senator Mark Hatfield his<br />

f<strong>in</strong>al term—but I loved the church more than<br />

work<strong>in</strong>g on the Hill. In late 1996 I went on staff<br />

as a pastoral assistant (at CHBC) before head<strong>in</strong>g<br />

off to sem<strong>in</strong>ary a few years later.<br />

Menikoff moved with his wife, Deana, moved<br />

to Louisville <strong>in</strong> 2000 and completed his MDiv<br />

at SBTS <strong>in</strong> 2003. He graduated with a PhD <strong>in</strong><br />

church history <strong>in</strong> 2008. The Menikoff family<br />

grew as Aaron and Deana had three children<br />

while <strong>in</strong> Louisville and cont<strong>in</strong>ued to grow as<br />

they adopted a fourth after mov<strong>in</strong>g to Atlanta.<br />

A M<strong>in</strong>istry Marked by Dever<br />

Dur<strong>in</strong>g his years <strong>in</strong> sem<strong>in</strong>ary, Menikoff served<br />

as an elder at Third Avenue Baptist Church<br />

and has also cont<strong>in</strong>ued to work closely with<br />

Dever and 9Marks M<strong>in</strong>istries, contribut<strong>in</strong>g<br />

articles and videos as well as speak<strong>in</strong>g at numerous<br />

9Marks events.<br />

Said Menikoff: “I remember listen<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

Alistair Begg teach on preach<strong>in</strong>g. He said, ‘Everyth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

I learned about preach<strong>in</strong>g I learned<br />

from Dick Lucas’—the great London preacher.<br />

Similarly, I could say everyth<strong>in</strong>g I learned<br />

about pastoral m<strong>in</strong>istry I learned from Mark<br />

Dever. When I read his little book Discipl<strong>in</strong>g I<br />

can honestly say he modeled for me what he<br />

wrote about <strong>in</strong> that book.<br />

“I had the privilege of be<strong>in</strong>g a member of<br />

his church before 9Marks even existed. I’m<br />

thankful for this m<strong>in</strong>istry because I know<br />

it flows out of a genu<strong>in</strong>e, faithful m<strong>in</strong>istry<br />

<strong>in</strong> a local church—one I got to be part of for<br />

so many years. I’m thankful his m<strong>in</strong>istry has<br />

expanded through 9Marks.”<br />

Writ<strong>in</strong>g, Preach<strong>in</strong>g, and Encourag<strong>in</strong>g Associationalism<br />

Last year Menikoff published his first book<br />

through Moody under the impr<strong>in</strong>t of 9Marks,<br />

Character Matters: Shepherd<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> the Fruit of<br />

the Spirit, a work aimed at the spiritual health<br />

of pastors. Mount Vernon’s m<strong>in</strong>istry footpr<strong>in</strong>t<br />

cont<strong>in</strong>ues to expand <strong>in</strong> Atlanta and beyond.<br />

Menikoff and the church pour <strong>in</strong>to the Greater<br />

Atlanta Baptist Network, an association of<br />

like-m<strong>in</strong>ded churches designed to encourage<br />

and equip member churches.<br />

Mount Vernon hosts a one-day conference<br />

for pastors and laymen <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> local<br />

church m<strong>in</strong>istry called Feed My Sheep.<br />

The conference will mark its 10th anniversary<br />

<strong>in</strong> 2022 and will host its first event this<br />

October for pastor’s wives.<br />

“One of my passions is help<strong>in</strong>g pastors rediscover<br />

a vision for local associations or networks,”<br />

he said. “The current conversations<br />

we are hav<strong>in</strong>g at the national level are contentious,<br />

<strong>in</strong> part, because we’ve lost the ability to<br />

relate to one another at the local level. If we<br />

th<strong>in</strong>k ‘denom<strong>in</strong>ationalism’ is what happens<br />

through national entities, we are a miss<strong>in</strong>g the<br />

biblical example of churches who genu<strong>in</strong>ely<br />

know, encourage, and equip one another.<br />

“I’m glad we can partner together nationally.<br />

However, that national partnership will fray if<br />

it is not underscored by robust local associational<br />

life. This is what we’re see<strong>in</strong>g right now.”<br />

Even as Mount Vernon cont<strong>in</strong>ues to grow,<br />

Menikoff is thankful for the path God has<br />

taken him down <strong>in</strong> m<strong>in</strong>istry <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g the<br />

eight years his family spent <strong>in</strong> Louisville.<br />

“I’m grateful for this extended season to<br />

study on campus at SBTS under great theologians<br />

and as an elder at Third Avenue Baptist<br />

Church,” he said. “Those years <strong>in</strong> school<br />

were very challeng<strong>in</strong>g, I’m not sure I could<br />

have lasted much longer! I’m really glad I<br />

had an on-campus experience. God used<br />

this season of study to help prepare me for a<br />

lifetime of learn<strong>in</strong>g and teach<strong>in</strong>g.”<br />

“The current conversations<br />

we<br />

are hav<strong>in</strong>g at the<br />

national level are<br />

contentious, <strong>in</strong> part,<br />

because we’ve lost<br />

the ability to relate<br />

to one another at the<br />

local level.”<br />

A Legacy of Wisdom and<br />

Discipleship<br />

How Dale and Mavis Smith Support <strong>Southern</strong><br />


D<br />

ale and Mavis Smith moved to Kentucky<br />

from East Tennessee 57 years<br />

ago. They came to start a feed bus<strong>in</strong>ess—one<br />

that was unique to the area at the<br />

time. Before the move, Smith purchased a<br />

large feed mill he towed around from farm to<br />

farm <strong>in</strong> the back of his truck.<br />

“We went to them, to the bigger farmers,”<br />

Smith said, “and we could gr<strong>in</strong>d around 2,400<br />

pounds of feed with all the necessary m<strong>in</strong>erals<br />

<strong>in</strong> about 20 m<strong>in</strong>utes.” Each week, Smith would<br />

run his route, visit<strong>in</strong>g the big farms <strong>in</strong> a different<br />

Central Kentucky county each day.<br />

“There was noth<strong>in</strong>g like that <strong>in</strong> Kentucky at<br />

the time; so, I went up to Pennsylvania to learn<br />

how, and then I just started do<strong>in</strong>g it.”<br />

The Smiths live <strong>in</strong> Cave City, outside of<br />

Glasgow, Kentucky. Over the nearly six decades<br />

they’ve spent <strong>in</strong> Barren County, the<br />

couple has owned three family bus<strong>in</strong>esses. It<br />

began with the feed bus<strong>in</strong>ess. Several years<br />

later they became distributors for the Ashland<br />

Oil Company. Then, <strong>in</strong> the early 1980’s, they<br />

opened a mach<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g shop. I asked Mr. Smith<br />

what was similar about the three bus<strong>in</strong>ess<br />

ventures. He told me, “They weren’t! That’s<br />

the adventure. You get to learn all of this stuff.”<br />

When talk<strong>in</strong>g to Smith, he made it clear right<br />

away that he’s an eager and humble student: “I<br />

didn’t go <strong>in</strong>to each bus<strong>in</strong>ess and tell people what<br />

to do, how their l<strong>in</strong>e of work should be done. Instead,<br />

I kept my ears open, and I learned a lot.”<br />

Smith also kept his ears open to hear from<br />

the Lord. Smith considers his relationship with<br />

God to be central to everyth<strong>in</strong>g he does <strong>in</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess:<br />

“In every decision, you first talk it over<br />

with God. Then, you do the best you can and<br />

leave the rest up to him.”<br />

Mr. Dale Smith recently celebrated his<br />

eighty-fourth birthday. At this po<strong>in</strong>t <strong>in</strong> his<br />

life, Smith has much to pass along to others.<br />

But <strong>in</strong> a recent conversation, he couldn’t stop<br />

talk<strong>in</strong>g about those who had first poured <strong>in</strong>to<br />

him. He reflected on the role of his pastors at<br />

Glasgow Baptist Church <strong>in</strong> his discipleship.<br />

The Smiths have been members there s<strong>in</strong>ce<br />

they moved to Kentucky.<br />

He remembers, too, an evangelist whose<br />

vision encouraged him to beg<strong>in</strong> support<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Christian sem<strong>in</strong>ary education. But one <strong>in</strong>dividual<br />

who stood out particularly <strong>in</strong> Mr.<br />

Smith’s m<strong>in</strong>d was Clark Madison:<br />

“One day I was approached by an older<br />

Christian gentleman; he was one of the godliest<br />

men I knew, but we were competitors <strong>in</strong> the<br />

mach<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g bus<strong>in</strong>ess <strong>in</strong> the same town. We decided<br />

to become partners.”<br />

Madison-Smith Mach<strong>in</strong>e and Tool Company,<br />

which the two founded <strong>in</strong> 1983, began <strong>in</strong> a<br />

4,000-square-foot facility, and it has earned<br />

a stellar reputation deliver<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>dustrial services<br />

such as mach<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g, weld<strong>in</strong>g, and rigg<strong>in</strong>g<br />

for more than thirty years. “We started with a<br />

little mach<strong>in</strong>e shop then we put <strong>in</strong> a factory and<br />

then we moved factories,” Smith told me. The<br />

company now boasts a 63,000-square-foot,<br />

cutt<strong>in</strong>g edge facility.<br />

Smith’s partnership with Clark Madison<br />

was a great grace, and now he and Mrs. Smith<br />

are eager to pass on the same gracious legacy<br />

to others. The Smiths first became supporters<br />

of <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> <strong>in</strong> 2013 after they sold<br />

the mach<strong>in</strong>e and tool bus<strong>in</strong>ess. They became<br />

foundation members <strong>in</strong> 2015. Part of their eager<br />

support stems from the trust the Smith’s<br />

have <strong>in</strong> <strong>Southern</strong>’s leadership, beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g with<br />

R. Albert Mohler Jr. Smith described Mohler as<br />

humble, gracious, and committed to leav<strong>in</strong>g a<br />

trustworthy legacy for the next generation.<br />

“We’re conv<strong>in</strong>ced Dr. Mohler has the sem<strong>in</strong>ary<br />

on the right track,” he said.<br />

The love they have for <strong>Southern</strong> is someth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

the Smiths share together.<br />

“The more you get to know everyone at the<br />

sem<strong>in</strong>ary, the more you love them,” Smith said,<br />

“We love those people to death up there.”<br />

42<br />





Three Fall Giv<strong>in</strong>g Campaigns<br />

Raise $1.5 Million for the<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> Fund<br />


Treasur<strong>in</strong>g the Message<br />

Remember<strong>in</strong>g the Life of Barbara Bartow<br />


S<br />

outhern <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong>’s Fall Giv<strong>in</strong>g Day,<br />

Heritage Golf Classic, and Year End<br />

Giv<strong>in</strong>g Campaign comb<strong>in</strong>ed to raise<br />

$1,560,000. The fundrais<strong>in</strong>g success came<br />

at a time when higher education was fac<strong>in</strong>g<br />

a crisis.<br />

Vice president of communications edward<br />

He<strong>in</strong>ze was thankful for the loyalty of<br />

the SBTS donor base.<br />

“Our core donor base has stood with us<br />

through this tumultuous season.” He said<br />

“They saw the unique needs of our students<br />

and <strong>in</strong>creased their f<strong>in</strong>ancial support to help<br />

ensure that economic pressures didn’t result<br />

<strong>in</strong> a decl<strong>in</strong>e <strong>in</strong> graduates.”<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> hosts three ma<strong>in</strong> giv<strong>in</strong>g day<br />

campaigns:<br />

· The Heritage Golf Classic (August 24)<br />

raised $220,000<br />

· Fall <strong>Southern</strong> Giv<strong>in</strong>g Days (September<br />

17-18) raised $567,000.00 [The previous<br />

record was $304,000 <strong>in</strong> 2018]<br />

· Year-End Giv<strong>in</strong>g Campaign (December)<br />

raised $773,000.00<br />

The comb<strong>in</strong>ed collections are designated<br />

to the <strong>Southern</strong> Fund which helps tuition<br />

rates rema<strong>in</strong> as low as possible.<br />

“We like to state that every dollar raised <strong>in</strong><br />

the <strong>Southern</strong> Fund is one less dollar our students<br />

have to pay <strong>in</strong> tuition” He<strong>in</strong>ze said “It’s<br />

a vital revenue source that has a significant<br />

impact on our students and the cost of their<br />

theological tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g.”<br />

Proclaim<strong>in</strong>g eternal truth <strong>in</strong> chang<strong>in</strong>g<br />

times has been <strong>Southern</strong>’s mission. The donor<br />

base, accord<strong>in</strong>g to He<strong>in</strong>ze, is committed<br />

to see<strong>in</strong>g SBTS tra<strong>in</strong> m<strong>in</strong>isters of the gospel<br />

to fulfill this mission.<br />

“Our donors are look<strong>in</strong>g at the culture and<br />

the need for the gospel domestically and <strong>in</strong>ternationally.<br />

In response, they have <strong>in</strong>creased<br />

their f<strong>in</strong>ancial support of our students.”<br />

Graduates from SBTS are trusted. He<strong>in</strong>ze<br />

recognizes that the biblical fidelity of <strong>Southern</strong>’s<br />

faculty give its supporters confidence.<br />

“Because they have a high regard for our<br />

faculty and the tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g provided <strong>in</strong> our<br />

classrooms—they see graduates as a highly<br />

effective way to advance the gospel to a<br />

world <strong>in</strong> need.”<br />

F<strong>in</strong>ances didn’t disrupt the progress of<br />

students. While <strong>in</strong>stitutions across the<br />

nation are struggl<strong>in</strong>g to keep their doors<br />

open, <strong>Southern</strong> is achiev<strong>in</strong>g record enrollment.<br />

Between the 15 percent tuition<br />

reduction and the <strong>in</strong>creased giv<strong>in</strong>g from<br />

the donor base, graduation numbers are<br />

projected to hold steady.<br />

“They are look<strong>in</strong>g at our commencement<br />

ceremonies each May and December<br />

with delight and hope” He<strong>in</strong>ze said. “This<br />

year, while produc<strong>in</strong>g numerous challenges,<br />

will still end with tra<strong>in</strong>ed m<strong>in</strong>isters<br />

head<strong>in</strong>g out to serve the church and advance<br />

the gospel.”<br />

P<br />

rivate and a lover of books, Miss Barbara<br />

Bartow was a servant of Christ.<br />

Scribbl<strong>in</strong>g on a scrap of paper—as<br />

she was accustomed to—she summarized<br />

the message of the Bible. The message she<br />

would treasure until be<strong>in</strong>g called home last<br />

year. Now—delight<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> the presence of<br />

her Lord— she declares the same message:<br />

“The history of the redemption of humanity<br />

and the account of a man, Jesus.<br />

God’s Son.”<br />

Miss Bartow was an only child. Her family<br />

suffered <strong>in</strong> the Great Depression, but they always<br />

prioritized faith <strong>in</strong> Christ. Her mother<br />

was a gifted church organist. Her father was<br />

a mill worker. For generations, the Bartow<br />

family worshiped at Red Clay Creek Presbyterian<br />

Church <strong>in</strong> Wilm<strong>in</strong>gton, Delaware.<br />

She avoided fancy dress and preferred a<br />

simple life. But Bartow excelled <strong>in</strong> her studies,<br />

especially history. She graduated early<br />

from high school as part of the World War<br />

II effort to advance gifted students <strong>in</strong>to the<br />

workforce. But her pursuit of knowledge<br />

was not quenched. Bartow went on to receive<br />

degrees from the Universities of Delaware<br />

(BA 1947), Pennsylvania (MA 1951),<br />

and the Drexel Institute of Technology (MS<br />

1955). A member of the academic honor society,<br />

she was break<strong>in</strong>g ground <strong>in</strong> the male<br />

dom<strong>in</strong>ated world of scholarship.<br />

After a career as a research librarian,<br />

she retired <strong>in</strong> 1996. But she didn’t acquiesce.<br />

Bartow and her lifelong friend, Jenny<br />

Spurgeon, ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong>ed a meticulously catalogued<br />

personal library. Jenny and Miss<br />

Bartow previously met as librarians at the<br />

University of Delaware. They had an <strong>in</strong>stant<br />

bond over their shared commitment<br />

to Christ. Relocat<strong>in</strong>g to Jenny’s hometown,<br />

White P<strong>in</strong>e, Tennessee, they both<br />

would end up attend<strong>in</strong>g the same church,<br />

First Baptist Church Morristown.<br />

Miss Bartow’s passion for education and<br />

the gospel will be her legacy. Upon her pass<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

she left a bequest to the James P. Boyce<br />

Cont<strong>in</strong>ental Library at the <strong>Southern</strong> Baptist<br />

Theological <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong>.<br />

Her gift was designated to supply written<br />

and digital resources for the study of church<br />

history. Initially, she only wanted to provide<br />

pr<strong>in</strong>t materials. But was eventually conv<strong>in</strong>ced<br />

of the need for digital products. Her<br />

gift was valuable at a time when the need for<br />

digital resources were at an all-time high.<br />

The 2020 COVID pandemic surged <strong>Southern</strong>’s<br />

dependence on technology.<br />

Modest, scholarly, and godly, Barbara<br />

Bartow’s legacy will be carried on through<br />

the students at Boyce and SBTS. As m<strong>in</strong>isters<br />

take the gospel to the ends of the<br />

earth, they will be <strong>in</strong>debted to her gracious<br />

contribution, and will cont<strong>in</strong>ue Bartow’s<br />

chief aim—proclaim<strong>in</strong>g the message of the<br />

redemption of humanity. And exalt<strong>in</strong>g Jesus<br />

Christ, God’s Son.<br />

44<br />




E<br />

Gratitude for God’s Unchang<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Grace <strong>in</strong> Ever-Chang<strong>in</strong>g <strong>Times</strong><br />

very challenge <strong>in</strong> a Christian’s life<br />

must be met with God-honor<strong>in</strong>g resolve.<br />

Dur<strong>in</strong>g this past year we’ve<br />

faced our share of challenges <strong>in</strong> susta<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>Southern</strong>’s mission, but we’ve rema<strong>in</strong>ed<br />

faithful, steadfast, and engaged <strong>in</strong> our call<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

What is that call<strong>in</strong>g? To equip the students<br />

whom God entrusts to us to be biblically<br />

faithful pastors, missionaries, and<br />

Christian leaders both at home and abroad.<br />

Every organization has a bottom-l<strong>in</strong>e<br />

objective it pursues each year. For some<br />

it’s grow<strong>in</strong>g profits and maximiz<strong>in</strong>g shareholder<br />

wealth; for others it’s <strong>in</strong>vention and<br />

the development of new technology or a<br />

better way. Here at <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong>,<br />

graduates are our bottom l<strong>in</strong>e. Indeed, we<br />

believe the world needs our graduates—eager<br />

students tra<strong>in</strong>ed by our devoted faculty<br />

<strong>in</strong> unchang<strong>in</strong>g truth that pours out of an<br />

ancient book authored by God. We truly<br />

believe what we s<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> our sem<strong>in</strong>ary hymn<br />

at each commencement:<br />


Soldiers of Christ, <strong>in</strong> truth arrayed,<br />

A world <strong>in</strong> ru<strong>in</strong>s needs your aid:<br />

A world by s<strong>in</strong> destroyed and dead;<br />

A world for which the Savior bled.<br />

In the economic uncerta<strong>in</strong>ty of the past<br />

year, we were resolved to guard aga<strong>in</strong>st a<br />

reduction <strong>in</strong> the pipel<strong>in</strong>e of gospel ambassadors<br />

be<strong>in</strong>g sent out to advance the cause<br />

of Christ. So determ<strong>in</strong>ed were we to susta<strong>in</strong><br />

graduate numbers that we implemented a<br />

15 percent tuition reduction for the 2020-21<br />

academic year to help our students stay the<br />

course and progress <strong>in</strong> their tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> a<br />

lean economy. This resulted <strong>in</strong> commencement<br />

exercises <strong>in</strong> which we celebrated the<br />

send<strong>in</strong>g out of 829 graduates.<br />

It’s hard to imag<strong>in</strong>e an <strong>in</strong>stitution reduc<strong>in</strong>g<br />

its revenue not suffer<strong>in</strong>g fiscal harm as<br />

a result. But we have a story we are eager to<br />

tell, one of God’s provision and protection<br />

dur<strong>in</strong>g these uncerta<strong>in</strong> days. It’s true that<br />

we committed ourselves to extreme fiscal<br />

discipl<strong>in</strong>e and a reduction of operat<strong>in</strong>g expenses,<br />

but that wasn’t enough to carry us<br />

through the last year.<br />

<strong>Truth</strong> is, we needed students—and God<br />

sent them <strong>in</strong> record numbers. Over the past<br />

academic year, we enrolled more students<br />

and sold more class hours than <strong>in</strong> any previous<br />

year <strong>in</strong> SBTS history.<br />

<strong>Truth</strong> is, we needed <strong>Southern</strong> Baptists to<br />

cont<strong>in</strong>ue to support us through generous<br />

Cooperative Program giv<strong>in</strong>g—and they did.<br />

We marvel at the susta<strong>in</strong>ed faithfulness of<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> Baptists who have helped us keep<br />

tuition rates affordable.<br />

<strong>Truth</strong> is, we needed the long-stand<strong>in</strong>g<br />

patrons of <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong> to stand<br />

<strong>in</strong> the gap and help us undergird our students<br />

f<strong>in</strong>ancially—and they were more<br />

than generous. With their support we’ve<br />

susta<strong>in</strong>ed enrollment and graduated the<br />

students God has called to m<strong>in</strong>istry <strong>in</strong><br />

local churches and mission fields around<br />

the world.<br />

Every dollar given to the<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> Fund is one less dollar<br />

that a student will have to pay <strong>in</strong><br />

tuition. You play a vital role <strong>in</strong><br />

referr<strong>in</strong>g donors and giv<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

support the thousands of<br />

<strong>Southern</strong> students that are<br />

com<strong>in</strong>g beh<strong>in</strong>d them.<br />

Learn more about support<strong>in</strong>g<br />

students at <strong>Southern</strong> <strong>Sem<strong>in</strong>ary</strong><br />

and Boyce College by visit<strong>in</strong>g<br />


46<br />



Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!