In Case You Missed It

Yesterday, Jason Deusing shared this helpful post on his personal blog on how why and how he encourages his students to write and improve their writing. Dr. Deusing writes:

As I explain on the first day of class, one of the side effects of a journey with me as professor is that, whether one hopes for it or not, I use my courses to help improve writing skills. In the ministry assignments to which most of the students in my classes will go, the ability to communicate clearly their thoughts will prove crucial for their own efforts of building trust, strengthening relationships, resolving conflicts, organizing and casting visionary leadership, and, most importantly, communicating the gospel message well (Col 4:4). For those who find themselves set apart for the ministry of the Word in preaching, the ability to convey their message in written word only helps insure they will do even better verbally.

Spence Spencer recently published an article at the Institute for Faith, Work and Economics discussing C.S. Lewis and the surprising reason we desire fulfillment at work.

When Friday afternoon arrives, sometimes we feel the sense of elation that we will cast off the bonds of our vocational labors and embark on a journey of recreation and rest.

Too soon it seems that Monday morning is looming, and we are back in the harness again for another week of toil.

In the midst of this cycle, we feel a deep longing in our souls for meaning in our weekly work beyond our paycheck and the sometimes minor progress we see.

In The Weight of Glory, a sermon preached in the Oxford University Church of St. Mary the Virgin in 1941, C. S. Lewis describes some of that deep longing and offers hope for its fulfillment.

Gavin Ortlund posted at Desiring God discussing five ways to encourage your pastor (without exalting him).

Plenty have lamented the problem of “celebrity culture” in the church, and usually that phrase brings into our minds famous pastors and leaders in the church today. But “celebrity culture” can be an equal challenge for non-famous, local ministries — and some of its most insidious effects crop up there.

The dangers of “celebrity culture” lurk anytime pastors become isolated from the normal, mutual processes of accountability and encouragement in the body of Christ — anytime leadership is characterized by Hebrews 13:17 authority without Hebrews 3:13accountability:

  • Authority: “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls.” (Hebrews 13:17)
  • Accountability: “Exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13)

How do we encourage both Hebrews 3 and Hebrews 13 dynamics in our church cultures? In other words, how do we affirm our pastors in their leadership over us without exalting them into some separate category above the sheep?

Who are the Millennials? Waylon Bailey discussed this at his blog recently.

Who are the Millennials, and what do we know about them?

The youngest adult generation in America is popularly known as the Millennials (some people call them Generation Y because the previous generation is known as Gen X).

The Millennial’s were born between 1980 and 2000. They are generally 15 to 35 years old. Other demographers would make them between the ages of 18 and 35.

What do we know about the Millennial’s? There are four very important benchmarks you need to know about the Millennial generation.

Earlier this week, Sam Storms posted a helpful blog entry discussing how forgetfulness is the fuel for idolatry.

“Take care, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make a carved image, the form of anything that the Lord your God has forbidden you” (Deut. 4:23).

Forgetfulness is the fuel for idolatry. Spiritual amnesia often leads to apostasy. This is the most important lesson for us in Deuteronomy 4:1-40. God’s concern is that his people might “forget the things” that they had seen and that the memory of their gracious deliverance might “depart” from their hearts. Thus we read here of the crucial importance of remembrance, of calling to mind again and again the history of God’s dealings with us and his faithfulness at every turn.


What Class Most Influenced You? (Part 2)

We recently asked several members of our faculty the following question:

What class from your own Seminary (or College/Graduate School) most influenced you and why?

Here are some of the responses we received:

Dr. Matthew Mullins, Assistant Professor of English and History of Ideas, Associate Dean for Academic Advising (Ph.D., University of North Carolina; Greensboro; M.A., North Carolina State University; B.A., The College at Southeastern):

Because my graduate work focused on literature and critical theory, I did not attend seminary like most of my colleagues here at SEBTS. However, during my time in college at Southeastern I took a number of classes that expanded my intellectual and spiritual horizons. In English courses with Dr. Michael Travers I was exposed to novels like Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart that were vital in determining my career path. The History of Ideas courses I took with Dr. Spencer and Dr. Ladd also had a profound influence on my development. It was in History of Ideas that I was first introduced to writers such as Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud who have been integral to my academic work, as well as to writers such as Augustine and Kierkegaard who have had lasting effects on my own spiritual life.

Dr. Mike Dodson, Assistant Professor of Church Planting and Evangelism, Associate Director for North American Church Planting for the Center for Great Commission Studies, National Missionary of the North American Mission Board (D.Miss., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, M.Div., Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary)

The first class that came to mind was an elective class on Genesis 1-11. That really helped me work through key issues on the creation versus evolution spectrum. The focus of that class continues to help me think critically about foundational issues of faith and culture.

The other class that came to mind was an independent study on the History of Christian Missions where the main assignment was reading a 7 volume series by Kenneth Latourette. This class helped me grasp the ebbs and flows of the spread of Christianity. Even though the movement of the gospel seems to ebb at times, God continues to raise up laborers who spread His glory and fame among every tribe, tongue and nation. This big picture of how the gospel continues to flow should give His servants confidence that He will see His mission through to completion.

Stay tuned for more answers from our faculty.