Exploring Hope Podcast: Why is Literature Important?

On this episode of Exploring Hope Podcast, Dr. Dew sits down with Dr. Matt Mullins, professor of English here at SEBTS, and they spend some time discussing the importance of literature. For centuries, literature has been among the greatest of the accomplishments of the arts and humanities and served to teach us much about the world, history, the human condition, and, particularly, our own selves. Tune in as Dr. Mullins explains the impact and import of literature and gives us some tips for diving into the vast world of literature that mankind has written!

 

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In Case You Missed It

At The Intersect Project, Dr. Jim Shaddix discusses the role preaching plays in cultural engagement and cultural formation.

In a rapidly changing culture, more and more Christians are discussing the importance of cultural engagement. Yet what role does preaching play in cultural engagement and cultural formation? To help us answer these questions, we turned to Jim Shaddix.

 

Dr. Shaddix is the W. A. Criswell Chair of Expository Preaching at Southeastern Seminary. In addition, he is an accomplished preacher and author. Here’s part one of our conversation.

 

At The Peoples Next Door, Keelan Cook writes to the church: “This is your time…and place.

We have all seen that well-intentioned pastor or speaker on a video in our Facebook jazzed about how this is the biggest moment in the history of the world. The face changes, but the message does not. This is our time, and we must seize it. Carpe diem!

 

If every day is the most important, then no day winds up being important. Too much sensationalism and it is eventually overlooked. But that is not the purpose of today’s post.

 

In his substantial work on the doctrine of the church, Gregg Allison makes a really important point and I want to tease out some of its implications.

 

Carrie Kelly posted an article at The Intersect Project discussing five things we can learn from St. Patrick.

During the 5th century, St. Patrick of Ireland bravely engaged a barbaric culture for the sake of Christ, and his legacy changed the course of history, not only for that society but arguably for the entire Western world.

 

Captured by Irish raiders at his father’s country villa at age 15, Patrick spent 6 years watching his master’s livestock for long isolated days on end, spending much of his time in prayer and communion with God. Finally escaping, he made his way back to his home in England only to have a dream of the Irish calling him back to the land of his captors to share the good news of a God who loved them. By the end of his life of ministry, numerous churches and monasteries had been set up all over Ireland and “countless number” had been baptized into the Church.

 

How could one man have had such an impact — and what can we gain from his example? Here are five lessons you can learn from St. Patrick of Ireland.

 

Jeff Crawford posted an article earlier this week discussing how to leave a church well. Dr. Crawford writes:

This past Sunday I had to opportunity to preach one more time to my beloved family of believers at Cross Church. In two weeks I will begin serving as the Senior Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN.

 

Thirteen years of my ministry career, over the course of two separate tenures, have been through Cross Church and under the leadership of my friend, mentor, and brother in Christ, Dr. Ronnie Floyd.  This second tenure spanned four years, with me serving as co-founder of the Cross Church School of Ministry and Teaching Pastor. I have raised my four children in connection with Cross Church and all four were baptized there. As I reflected over the last 20 years of connection and 13 years of ministry with this dear church, I found my thoughts and emotions running deep. So many connections. So many people we love. So many ups and downs, joys and tears, and celebrations. So much life lived with the best staff, lay people, and Pastor for which a man could hope.

 

At his personal blog, Dr. Chuck Lawless shared twelve random questions for church leaders to consider.

I talk with a lot of church leaders, and the conversations often wander into many varied directions. If you’re a church leader, take some time today to think about these random questions.

The Professor’s Bookshelf: Dr. Scott Hildreth

This series at Between the Times highlights Southeastern faculty members as they share about books which they are enjoying now, books which have shaped them personally, and books they consistently recommend to others.

This week, we interview Dr. Scott Hildreth.

Dr. Hildreth is Assistant Professor of Global Studies and is the Director of the Center for the Great Commission Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

What are some books you are reading right now?

I am reading Apostolicity by John Flett for the Southeastern Seminary journal, Southeastern Theological Review. I am also reading several books on the missions in the Reformation in preparation for our upcoming trip to Germany for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. For fun, I am reading G.K. Chesterton’s mystery novels about “Father Brown.”

What are some of the books which have had the largest impact on your life, thinking, or teaching?

The first time I read Michael Green’s Evangelism in the Early Church I was challenged in the idea of the importance contextualization in missions and this has become a major point of my research, writing, and teaching.

I have also been impacted by reading biographies of missionaries such as: William Carey, Hudson Taylor, and Jim Elliot, for example. These stories allow me to see how God uses different people and be encouraged by their faith

On the teaching front, Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman shapes my thinking. I see my classroom (and students) as those that will carry the faith forward and it is a disciple making process.

What are some of your favorite works of fiction?

One book that haunts me is John Grisham’s A Time to KillIt exposes the racial inequities in our country and also accidental racism in me.

I like C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series because of the insight into real life walking with God.

I am a huge mystery/thriller fan. Many of the books are not necessarily recommendations, but I enjoy the stories and I also enjoy watching authors struggle with evil and good through these novels.

Are there any books which you re-read on a regular basis and why?

One book that I read regularly is Eugene Peterson’s Under the Unpredictable PlantI do this because I am always challenged by his understanding of spiritual formation and the role ministry plays in growing in godliness.

I also come back to, though not regularly, Desiring God by John Piper, Knowledge of the Holy and The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer, Knowing God by J.I. Packer, and other books that feed my soul with deep thoughts about God and spirituality.

What is one book which you would recommend to a church member and why?

Other than the books listed above, I would recommend all church members read Prayer: The Cry for the Kingdom  by Stanley Grenz. This book completely transformed my understanding of prayer. It is a theological discussion of a very mystical discipline.

What is one book which you would recommend to a seminary student to read beyond what they might encounter in class and why?

I wish all my students would read Elements of Style and How to Read a Book  (Ha Ha Ha!  Just kidding – kind of)!

Seriously, I love John Piper’s Brothers We are Not Professionals. Though it is written to pastors, I think all staff members and even laypersons can benefit from his insights on ministry.