SBTS Chapel – Fall 09

Just saw where the Fall Chapel schedule is posted.  Here’s a few highlights:

3 different panel discussions which is something new this year

  • Sept 3 called N.T. Wright and the Doctrine of Justification
  • Oct 22 called Southern Baptists and the Great Commission Resurgence.  (My only issue here is that the whole panel is from Highview . . . just a little one-side, no?)
  • Nov 3 called Perspectives on Mulit-site Churches.  (This one should be good w/ Dr. Mohler moderating.  From what I remember from the IX Marks journal, only Greg Gilbert would be in the opposition to multi-site.  Anyone can correct me if I am wrong.)

Faculty Preaching

  • Dr. Mohler – 7 times
  • Dr. Moore – 2 times
  • Dr. Ware, Dr. York, Dr. Hamilton, Dr. Nettles, Dr. Fuller, Mr. Jason Allen

Others to look fwd to:

  • Dr. Al Jackson on Sept 15
  • Rev Al Gilbert on Oct 20 as part of mission’s week.  He is also on the GC Task Force
  • Matt Chandler on Nov 12.  I think this may be his first time to speak in Chapel . . . This may be the most full the chapel will ever be this late in the semester.

Should be a good semester.

Give Me an Answer Conference


Today, Beth and I are headed up to Southern for the Give Me an Answer Conference.  This year’s theme is “Only One Savior?” focusing on the uniqueness of Christ in a post modern world.  Dr. Mohler and Dr. Moore are the keynote speakers with Shane & Shane leading the worship time AND providing a concert tonight!

Also, many of the professors are leading breakout sessions during the day on Saturday ranging in topics from “What about the man on the island?” to “Preparing to teach the only savior on the mission field” to “The gospel and science fiction.”

Final note, SBTS students can register today for free with their Shield ID card in the Honeycutt Center.

Baby update, end of the semester, and other ramblings . . .

We both realized yesterday that it has been awhile since we last wrote a post.  With so much going on after Thanksgiving, I thought I would just give some quick thoughts and updates . . .

  • I (Will) just completed my next to last semester.  Yep, I am going to get to graduate in May 2009!  We are both so very excited about this and are now really praying about what the Lord would have for us next.  I hope to share more about this in the future.
  • Beth is continuing to do well with the pregnancy.  Maddie moves and kicks all the time making it quite interesting for Beth when she is trying to lecture to her students.  We are about to hit the 3rd trimester; March 17th (ish) is not that far away!  We went and registered at Babies ‘R Us this week.  I am now realizing that most families give the baby its own room because of all the stuff that you accumulate.  It’s incredible . . . and overwhelming.
  • I am leaving for 2 weeks over Christmas with 2 others from our church to go back to South Asia to lead some pastor training sessions with some new churches there.  It’s been 3 years since I have last been back, and I am so excited about getting this opportunity to visit my “second home.”  We will be working with a good friend of mine there doing EV/Discipleship training, worship leading, and some women’s ministry.  I hope to be able to post updates while I am there.  Stay tuned . . .

Dr. Mohler to have surgery, forego SBC president nomination

I had just finished writing a post about Dr. Frank Cox running against Dr. Mohler and some issues there when I came across this News Announcement on Bapist Press:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, will require additional surgery after a scheduled colonoscopy Feb. 11 revealed a tumor in his colon. An initial biopsy indicated that the tumor is pre-cancerous and further tests are to be scheduled, along with surgical options.

The surgery will require that he forego nomination as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Mohler said.

Mohler, 48, underwent major abdominal surgery in late December 2006, complicated by the development of bilateral blood clots in his lungs. Doctors will take special precautions to prevent a recurrence of the blood clots with this new surgery. Specialists are consulting on the case and a decision on the date and location for the surgery is to be made in the near future. The procedure is likely to require an extensive period for recuperation and recovery.

Mohler said his time of recuperation would necessarily alter some of his plans as he gives first priority to his health and his family.

“Some have asked how this new development affects my nomination to be president of the Southern Baptist Convention in Indianapolis this June,” Mohler said. “I have decided to give my greatest attention right now to addressing this new challenge and to ministering to my wife and children. This is clearly not the right time for me to accept this nomination. I have asked my good friend Robert Jeffress not to proceed with nominating me for president of our Southern Baptist Convention this year.

“Frankly that decision is made much easier by my knowledge that there is at least one strongly conservative, committed pastor who intends to be nominated in Indianapolis,” Mohler said.

Mohler expressed gratitude to God that medical personnel found the tumor this early.

“Sometimes we take it for granted that we live in an age like this one, in which God has given us the blessing of medical technology,” Mohler said. “For most of human history, a tumor such as this one would have gone unnoticed until it was too late. I am thankful for modern medicine, but I am even more thankful that we live in a world in which our God hears us when we pray, a Father who listens to his children.”

Mohler said Southern Seminary “would not skip a beat” during his recuperation.

“I have absolute confidence in the seminary leadership team. We will move forward with momentum,” Mohler said. “God has blessed and is blessing Southern Seminary. We do not take that for granted, and we pledge to be good stewards of that blessing, even through this time.”

Southern Seminary will release additional information as it becomes available. The Mohler family has expressed appreciation for all concern, prayer and encouragement.
Reported by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s office of communications.

Wow.  Our prayers will be with Dr. Mohler and his family during this time.  I will also be cleaning up my previous article now that Dr. Mohler is not running anymore; however, I believe a main issue is still present.

SBTS Spring 2008 Chapel Lineup

I noticed today that Southern’s Spring 2008 Chapel schedule is now online.  For my preaching class last semester, I had to listen or watch every sermon.  From that, I have developed a love for listening to sermons whether I am at work or driving back to TN.  So, while I cannot attend many, if any, of the chapel’s this year, I am excited to have some new material to listen to.

At first glance, here are some of the visiting chapel speakers that I will anticipate:

  • Feb 21 – Jon Elliff 
  • March 4, 6 – Millard Erickson
  • March 25 – Major General Douglas Carver

When it comes to faculty, you can always count on the professors to have some really good messages.  I am especially hoping that Dr. Orrick will bring his “philosophy rap” to chapel.  Now THAT would be a chapel for the ages!!

Now, while this might not be the most “all-star” chapel lineup SBTS has seen, this was the exact ‘criticism’ (see here in comments) I heard about the speakers prior to Fall 2007.  However, I think that Fall 07 was one of the best chapel semester’s that I have heard since I started seminary in 2005.  There were so many good messages and most of them were by those whose names aren’t the ones that are tossed around in casual conversations.  So, before you dog this semester . . . give it a chance.  God’s Word preached is powerful even if the name may not be.

What is the Gospel?

Driving home last night, Beth and I were listening to Dr. Don Whitney’s sermon on Mathew 25 from the Building Bridges Conference in November.  In responding to the theme of clarity of the gospel, Dr. Whitney offers this definition of The Gospel:

“The gospel in one word is Jesus.  The gospel in a phrase is the life and work of Jesus.”  He elaborates a bit more and says:

“The one true holy God who is the Creator who’s law we have broken and willingly so and earned His wrath; but nevertheless, he sent undeserving law-breakers like us His Son who lived a perfect life so that He could be a substitute for others and He died as a sacrifice for sinners on the cross.  He was raised from the dead to validate this message and all that He claimed to show that God had accepted this sacrifice.  God ascended Him to heaven and placed [Jesus] at His right hand as King overall.  If we would repent and believe in this Jesus and in His work, then He would receive us and give us eternal life.”

Why I am excited about Great Commission Week!!

This week at school is Great Commission Week and there are a number of reasons why I (and you) am excited even though I won’t be on campus much.

  1. If you haven’t heard Dr. Moore’s sermon from last week, then you need to.  This is my 3rd year here and hearing Dr. Moore stress the need and emphasis for sharing the gospel and missions during Heritage Week was very encouraging.  I was able to hear him also talk to the Foundation Board members and prospective students last week and his message never changed.  He mentioned numerous times that we are going to be a seminary that is training missionaries or pastors who are going to send out missionaries.
  2. There is such a good chapel line up this week.  In the year I worked for the IMB out of Richmond, I was able to hear both of these men preach.  First, I heard Dr. Gilbert preach at Southwestern Seminary where he spoke directly to pastors challenging them that if they are not leading there church and people to be on mission with God then they were failing as pastors.  Isn’t this what we need if we are going to reach the 1000’s of unreached people groups?  Isn’t this what we need if we are going to have enough personnel to be there to train local pastors?  Second, we will be blessed to hear Thursday from Buster Brown.  He is the pastor at East Cooper Baptist Church near Charleston, SC.  I know that he is passionate about missions.  Besides the fact that he “stole” Liz from our church here, I like what all is going on there at ECBC.  While there for a mission conference, I got to see that Buster is one of these pastors that Dr. Gilbert encouraged those preacher boys to be like.
  3. The final reason I love GCC week is that missionaries from all over come to town.  And this year, a couple that is near and dear to my heart is here.  Since they still work in South Asia, I won’t use their name, but please do drop by their booth there by Founders Cafe and say hello.  I have known them since 2000 when I was just a naive college student on a summer mission project.  They are a couple that I respect so much and feel blessed to know them.  The only “problem” is that whenever I am around them, I feel the call to go back overseas.  I guess we will see where that leads.

So, if any students read this, get involved in missions week!  Go hear Dr. Moore talk about Islam.  Dress up in a international dress on Thursday.  Sit down and talk with the missionaries over coffee.  Are there some mid-terms this week?  Sure, but what’s a few points difference when you could take some time to hear how God can use you around the world?  Bid on something in the Silent Auction to support the mission trips.  Just do something!  Don’t let this week go by and miss this great opportunity.

Chapel – Dr. Moore – Heritage Week

Dr. Moore“I Want to Be in That Thunder – Why We Can’t Hear the Great Commission” (John 12:16-43)

Why is evangelism something that seems to be just another program?
Why is it we implore guilt when we talk about the need to soul win?  Why is it the same as the dentist telling us we need to floss?

But in Acts and Romans, we see evangelism growing organically in light of the understanding of the cross and the Great Commission.

Why is it that our churches are so dead when it comes to EV and Missions?

If the Great Commission is going to be more than a slogan, then we must hear what Jesus is saying to us when he points us to the cross.

1. Jesus is calling us to another kind of Fear

  • We are scared of the Great Commission.  We assume that most are scared of giving up everything, but most are not going to face an Islamic terrorist.  The fear that we have is similar to what we see right here with the Pharisees in the way that their fear is threatened as people follow Jesus.
  • The Pharisees are afraid of being turned out of the synagogue, the living of a normal predictable life.
  • There is a sense of personal threat and embarrassment.  This can be deadly.
  • The Pharisees were losing their position of authority as people followed Jesus.
  • Don’t we have the same fear, embarrassment and awkwardness?  Are we afraid of being odd?
  • But we are being told to have some fear.  Jesus himself is afraid.
  • Jesus is deeply fearful and troubled here.  He does not fear Pilote or Herod, but here he is deeply troubled because he understands something that we forget: Fear him who is able to cast both body and soul into hell.
  • We are so ineffective at EV because to us, hell is just a theological category

2. Jesus calls us to another kind of Power

  • The voice that the Pharisees have been longing to hear they think is thunder.
  • All of this to fulfill Scripture in Isaiah.
  • When the condemnation of God falls, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is the ministry of revealing.
  • This power is a power that we do not see nor recognize.  And neither to do we.  We might explain the Roman Road forward and backward, but it is the power of God to save.
  • We can sit around and talk about the power, but we will only see the power in the Holy Spirit.
  • We can see the power of the Cross, when the sinner confesses Jesus as Lord.

3. John calls us to see through Jesus another kind of Glory

  • Those not willing to confess Christ love the glory of man more than God.
  • Could it be that our EV invitations are not successful often because of our motivations?  The motivation to show off our success?
  • When Isaiah is seeing the Glory filling the temple, he is seeing Jesus Christ.
  • God will glorify his name by lifting Christ up.  Isaiah speaks of God as high and lifted up.  But John shows this “high and lifted up” on the cross.  The glory of God is seen in a crucified Christ.
  • Could it be that we are so dead in EV because we are clamoring for the glory of man instead of people who see and recognize the glory of God in a cross?

Dr. Moore is asking every student in the School of Theology to be involved in a Great Commission Group which seeks to hold each one accountable to share the gospel once a week.

Chapel Message – Dr. York – 9/18

John 11:1-16

Beginning in John 11, all the events occupy under 2 weeks.  This is the happening that precipitates the crucifixion of Jesus.  Within this narrative, there is a view of the darkside of grace.

We never know when the delays of life will bring deliverance, but we also never know when God is going to allow things in our lives that are exactly the opposite of what we want.

John 11 tells us that there are very dark days out there.  In His purpose and plan, he doesn’t always respond as we ask.  If you are going to have light during these times, there are truths that we must take from this passage.

  1. To trust God’s actions, we must first be certain of His love.
    – We cannot possibly comprehend why God would allow things in our lives so that we do not rely on ourselves, but this drives us into His arms.
    – We can’t judge His love by His actions nor His actions by His love.  The only action that we need to know and trust in is the action of the cross.  It’s the cross that proves we can know God’s love in-spite of what we are feeling at that moment.
  2. To trust God’s delays, we must first understand His character.
    – Nahum 1:7 – “The Lord is good, a stronghold in a day of distress. . . ”
    – We only get angry with God when we think that we belong here.
    – This world is not our home.
  3. To trust God’s timing, we must first walk in His Word.
    – Jesus purposely lets Lazarus die.  Jesus understands that the death of our body is not really death.
    – In light of His Word, we can see that He has 12 hours in the day.
    – Are we troubled that Jesus used Lazarus’ death to make a point?  It will only trouble you if you have a man-centered view.  The purpose of his death is the Glory of God.
    – One of these days, our lifeless dead bodies are going to be buried in the ground.  And the trumpets will sound, the Lord will come, and raise us from the dead just like He did to Lazarus.

If my joy is rooted in my comfort, then my joy cannot last.

If my joy is rooted in His glory, then my joy cannot leave.