Spend Your Weekend at SEBTS Feb 4-5: Come Hear Danny Akin, Al Mohler, Michael Green, J. Budziszewski, and Bruce Little

Conversing with the Culture (Feb 4-5, 2011)

We at Between the Times would like to invite you to this year’s 20/20 conference, “Conversing with the Culture,” on Southeastern’s campus Feb 4-5, 2011. This year’s conference centers on how to speak Christian truth to a culture that isn’t listening, and features plenary sessions by Danny Akin (SEBTS), Al Mohler (Southern Seminary), Michael Green (Oxford), J. Budziszewski (University of Texas-Austin), and Bruce Little (SEBTS), in addition to 24 breakout sessions. Matt Papa will be leading worship.

The annual 20/20 conference is designed for undergrad and grad students around the country, many of whom sit in classrooms where their professors are militantly opposed to the Christian faith and teach their courses in a manner reflective of that opposition. For many of these students, the brightest and most persuasive people they know are professors (literature, philosophy, biology, etc.) who are militantly opposed to the Christian faith and teach their courses in a manner reflective of that opposition. For this reason, the 20/20 conference seeks to expose university students (as well as exceptional high school students) to intelligent men and women who will speak about the important matters of life, and will do so from within an explicitly Christian framework.

This year’s 20/20 conference deals with a host of theological, ethical, cultural, and apologetic issues that arise for Christian students living in a 21st century American context. The breakout speakers who will address these issues include Bruce Ashford, Heath Thomas, John Hammett, Ken Keathley, Steve McKinion, Andy Davis, Nathan Finn, Micah Fries, Tim Brister, J. Budziszewski, Dennis Darville, Amber Lehman, Dan Heimbach, Scott Hildreth, Donnie McDaniel, Greg Welty, Ed Gravely, and Jeremy Evans.

The conference begins Friday evening and concludes late Saturday afternoon. In one 24-hour period, you will be exposed to hours of riveting discussion on important issues, coupled time to hang out with 1300 other students. The registration fee is a mere $35; please attend and bring a group! To register for the conference, click here.

Below is a sketch of the plenary and breakout sessions:

Plenary Speakers

Danny Akin (Fri night)

Al Mohler (Fri night)

J. Budziszewski (Sat morn)

Michael Green (Sat aft)

Bruce Little (Sat eve)

The Gospel: How to Understand, Speak, and Live the Gospel

What is the message of the whole Bible, in 45 minutes or less (Bruce Ashford)?

What is “the gospel” and how do I live a gospel-centered life (Heath Thomas)?

Why do I need to be immersed in the life off a gospel-centered church (John Hammett)?

What about those persons who have never heard the gospel (Ken Keathley)?

How do I read the Bible (OT and NT) in a Christ-centered and gospel-centered manner (Steve McKinion)?

How will Scripture memory transform my life, and how can I get started memorizing Scripture (Andy Davis)?

How do I discern God’s “calling” on my life (Nathan Finn)?

Conversing: How to Speak the Gospel into a Culture That Isn’t Listening

How can I answer skeptical questions in a way that is winsome and persuasive (Jamie Dew)?

How do I speak about reality and truth in a pluralistic society (Bruce Little)?

How do I tweet for Jesus? Using Twitter, Facebook, and blogs for the sake of the gospel (Micah Fries & Tim Brister)?

Culture: How to Understand and Speak to Important Issues in our Socio-Cultural Context

Q&A Session with J. Budziszewski

Does God care about human culture (arts, sciences, public square, etc.) (Dennis Darville)?

How can I use Scripture, science, and reason to speak to the issue of abortion (Amber Lehman)?

How do I answer questions about same sex marriage (Dan Heimbach)?

How should I think about modern warfare and torture (Dan Heimbach)?

Why follow Jesus rather than Muhammad (Scott Hildreth)?

Should Christians care about the environment (Donnie McDaniel)?

Reason: Using Sanctified Reason to Speak the Gospel

Why should I believe God exists and how can I demonstrate this to an unbeliever (Greg Welty)?

Why does God allow suffering in the world (Bruce Little)?

Why should I trust the Bible (Ed Gravely)?

What is the relationship of theology and science (Ken Keathley)?

Why should I believe that Christianity is true (or that anything at all is true) (Jeremy Evans)?

The Story of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1950-2010 (Part Four)

Author’s note: This year marks the sixtieth anniversary of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. This is the final of four posts commemorating that history.

Every Classroom a Great Commission Classroom, 2004-Present

In January 2004, Daniel L. Akin was elected the sixth president of Southeastern Seminary. Akin, a professor of both theology and preaching, previously served as Southeastern’s dean of students from 1992-1996 before serving eight years as the academic vice president at Southern Seminary. Akin furthered Southeastern’s theological renewal by requiring all professors to sign the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy and the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in addition to the school’s two confessions of faith. In February 2005, Southeastern hosted its first annual 20/20 Collegiate Conference, an event that annually draws over 1000 college students. Also in 2005, Southeastern adopted a new campus master plan and completed construction on a new building to house the facilities and campus housing departments. That fall, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Southeastern sent several student teams to do construction work and outreach in the Gulf Coast and on the campus of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary; total gifts and labor amounted to over $750,000. In 2006, Southeastern furthered its longstanding commitment to missions and evangelism by adopting a new institutional mission statement: Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20). The seminary’s informal motto became “every classroom a Great Commission classroom.”

In recent years, Southeastern has continued to educate students and develop creative new initiatives. In 2006, Southeastern established the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture in honor of longtime academic vice president Bush, who passed away in 2008 following a bout with cancer. Southeastern also began cultivating a number of international partnerships dedicated to helping provide theological education to pastors and other church leaders in the Majority World. In 2008, the seminary opened Patterson Hall, a classroom and office building named in honor of Paige and Dorothy Patterson. Patterson Hall houses the Center for Faith and Culture, The College at Southeastern, and the school’s doctoral programs. Also in 2008, Southeastern launched an official faculty blog titled “Between the Times” (http://www.betweenthetimes.com). During Akin’s tenure, Southeastern has added two additional endowed chairs: the Richard and Gina Headrick Chair of World and Missions (2007), occupied by Bruce Ashford, and the Johnny Hunt Chair of Biblical Preaching (2010), presently held by Greg Heisler. In 2009, Southeastern entered into an ongoing partnership with 9Marks Ministries to host a series of annual conferences promoting gospel renewal and local church health. After a twenty-five year run, Faith and Mission was disbanded in 2008 and was replaced in 2010 with a new refereed scholarly journal titled Southeastern Theological Review.

During Akin’s tenure, non-residential education opportunities have been significantly expanded to include online, extension, and hybrid course offerings in almost every degree program. Akin has also announced an initiative for Southeastern to partner with at least one hundred local church “equipping centers” by the year 2015. Students will be able to receive a significant portion of their seminary education through local church internships and creative course delivery systems. In part because of Southeastern’s Great Commission priorities, the seminary has been at the forefront of advocating a Great Commission Resurgence in the SBC. This movement, championed by Akin and recent SBC president and Southeastern alumnus Johnny Hunt, intends to build upon the theological renaissance of the previous generation by prioritizing evangelism and church planting among unreached people groups in foreign nations and underserved regions in North America.

As of fall 2010, Southeastern Seminary has a total enrollment of almost 2700 students. Thousands of Southeastern graduates serve as pastors and other staff in Southern Baptist churches and other types of congregations. Approximately five hundred Southeastern students and graduates currently serve as foreign missionaries, the vast majority through the International Mission Board. Dozens of graduates serve as North American church planters in urban centers such as Boston, Chicago, Tampa, Atlanta, Richmond, and Nashville, as well as underserved rural areas in the Midwest and New England. Almost one hundred students have been awarded the Doctor of Philosophy and now serve in seminaries, colleges, pastorates, and denominational leadership positions all over the world. Hundreds of Southeastern students participate annually in short-term mission trips sponsored by the seminary or local churches. Numerous Southeastern professors regularly lead mission trips or teach short-term in overseas settings. God has been very gracious to Southeastern. Should the Lord tarry, it is our hope for sixty more years of “equipping students to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission.”