Scott Hildreth on 30 Days of Going

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Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday morning at Between the Times we highlight the work of Southeastern’s Lewis A. Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies. Directed by Scott Hildreth, the CGCS exists to produce students who are grounded in the scriptures, culturally sensitive, prepared to make disciples and equipped to plant churches that are healthy and reproductive. Scott and the team at the CGCS maintain a blog, Missions at Southeastern, as one part of this effort. So, every Wednesday we point you to their writing so that you might be better equipped as you and your churches go.

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This week we’re highlighting the 30 days of going campaign going on at Southeastern. As Scott recently wrote,

The purpose of this post is to extend an invitation to you too. We are asking everyone to make a commitment for the next 30 days (30 days of September) to not let one day pass you by without you speaking to someone about Christ. We know this is a heavy commitment and we also know that it will require a radical adjustment in lifestyle for you. But think of the benefit for you and for your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, etc.

 Read the full post here and get more info about #30daysofgoing.

 

 

Chuck Quarles: The Value of Christian Education to Churches

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[Editor's Note: Dr. Charles Quarles is Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Southeastern, author of numerous scholarly and popular level books on the NT, and a member of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti SocietasHe is also an experienced pastor, missionary, and theological educator, and so an able guide on the topic of Christian education. The following is part 2 of two parts on the true value of Christian education.]

In a previous post, I discussed the value of Christian education for students and parents. Churches often invest in Christian education, too. Southern Baptists contribute through the Cooperative Program to support Baptist colleges and seminaries. Increasingly churches are asking whether this is a wise investment. How much does Christian education really contribute to the mission of the church? Should churches consider decreasing or even dropping contributions to educational institutions in order to have more for local ministries or international missions?

I would argue that Christian education is a very wise investment for local churches. Christian education is of enormous value for the kingdom of God and the mission of the church. Students who attend public universities are four times more likely to stop attending church than those who attend authentic Christian colleges. Students who attend public universities are seven times more likely to stop praying consistently than students who attend authentic Christian colleges. Churches that do not encourage their youth to attend Christian colleges will likely suffer the heartbreak of seeing a sharp decline in the numbers of educated young adults that participate in church ministries.

Even if such young adults remain in the church, they may ultimately have a negative impact on the church’s health. A March 29, 2005 Washington Post article revealed that 72% of college professors view themselves as “liberal,” 84% support abortion, and 67% view homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle. (Consider how much these numbers may have increased in nine years.) One rarely sits at the feet of such instructors for four years or more without being influenced by their ideologies in overt or subtle ways. Unless the church strongly promotes Christian education, the young adults who receive this dangerous tutelage will form the primary pool of future spiritual leaders for our churches. These young adults will carry the intellectual and philosophical influences of their educational background into their Sunday school classrooms, the deacons’ meeting, and committee discussions and potentially infect others with non-Christian views.

Students who attend authentic Christian colleges typically grow in their Christian commitment at five times the rate of students who attend other schools. They have a Christian worldview and a good foundation of biblical knowledge that equips them to serve Christ through their churches as well as through their professions. One can hardly estimate the sweeping impact that a Christian physician, attorney, public school teacher, journalist, or businessman may have on the kingdom of God in a local community when these influential believers view their profession as a divine calling and mission.

One of the great concerns related to the future of several of our Southern states is the notorious “brain drain” on our population. Bright educated young professionals are abandoning struggling states in unprecedented numbers as they seek higher salaries and greater potential for advancement in other states. However, the feared brain drain can also have a devastating effect on local churches. If Christian parents and churches entrust our best and brightest students to secular universities and they are schooled in unbiblical ideologies, the church risks losing its rich intellectual tradition. The church will be poorly equipped to offer a rational defense of the Christian faith to a culture that is increasingly hostile toward our deeply cherished Christian convictions.

It may surprise many to discover that education is such a vital part of our Baptist heritage that one entire article of the Baptist Faith and Message is actually devoted to discussing the importance of this endeavor. Article XII. Education states:

Christianity is the faith of enlightenment and intelligence. In Jesus Christ abide all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. All sound learning is, therefore, a part of our Christian heritage. . . . [T]he cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence.

Christian schools prepare outstanding Christian leaders for a variety of professions in which they have unique opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Who better to share the gospel with a teacher or attorney than a respected colleague who views his vocation as his calling and seeks to use it to glorify Christ at every opportunity? Christian education is thus a helpful strategy for assisting the church in fulfilling the Great Commission. That’s why our confession insists that just as the church supports the causes of local and international missions, education “should receive along with these the liberal support of the churches.”

When our churches affirm this historic Baptist confession, we are also acknowledging the value of Christian education and pledging our commitment to support this cause with generous gifts and fervent prayers. The need has never been greater and the ministry more strategic than now.

The College at Southeastern seeks to provide the sort of high-quality Christian education about which Dr. Quarles writes. For more info on the programs, faculty, and tuition costs for The College, check out the website and/or contact admissions

 

In Case You Missed It

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Each Friday at Between the Times we point you to some of this week’s blogposts we think worth your time. Some are written by Southeastern faculty, alumni, or students. Some are from others outside Southeastern who have something to say. Either way, we want to keep you updated in case you missed it.

1) Ed Stetzer discusses (and links to) the panel discussion on salvation and mission at SBC 2014. Well worth your time (also features David Platt, Trevin Wax, and Frank Page). 

2) First Things contributor and Princeton law professor, Robert P. George, has created an online plea for the victims in Iraq. Sign the plea here.

3) Does God view the Spirit wrought good works of Christians as “filthy rags”? Michael J. Kruger says No at TGC.

4) Russell Moore, President of the ERLC, addresses the violence in Ferguson, Missouri and the quest for racial justice.

5) SEBTS PhD student and managing editor of Lifeway’s Gospel Project, Trevin Wax, also discusses Ferguson, ripping the bandages off our racial wounds.

6) Chuck Lawless, Dean of Graduate Studies at SEBTS, gives 10 reasons why bi-vocational ministry matters at thomrainer.com.