Optional page text here. The Beast's Lair: Some Of The Most Important Words You Will Hear At Southern Seminary

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Some Of The Most Important Words You Will Hear At Southern Seminary

will be spoken by a Roman Catholic.

I will give all of my readers who know anything about Southern Baptist and Seminary life 3 guesses to name the person who said that. It was none other than Dr. Al Mohler.

At the end of chapel on Thursday, after a thought provoking message by Dr. Moore, Dr. Mohler moved to the pulpit and asked everyone to sit down. We knew something was going on. For the next 3 minutes, Dr. Mohler addressed concerns he had about an email conversation that had been forwarded to him over the last week. The emails were a dialogue between disgrunteld seminarians about the use of preachers in the two weekly on-campus chapels who did not "believe all that Southern Baptists believe." In a very compassioante method, Dr. Mohler laid the smack down.

After raising the question to those in chapel attendance as to why we have these kind of chapel speakers, he said "because we desperately need to hear from them." Mohler then went on to bring up Dr. Robert George, Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program of American Ideas and Institutions at Princeton University, who would be delivering the Norton Lecture Series on embryo ethics, marriage and family, and democracy. Mohler then said, "Dr. George is a Roman Catholic, and what he says will be some of the most important words you will hear at Southern Seminary this semester."



Blogger Mike Ruffin said...

The troubling thing in your post is that there are students at SBTS (I hope not too many) who don't want to hear preachers in chapel who do not "believe all that Southern Baptists believe." First of all, what is it that "all Southern Baptists believe"? Are they talking about the BFM? If so, which version (1925, 1963, 2000)? And whose interpretation of which version? Second, do they really want to be that insulated from the larger Christian thought world? Do they really think that only Southern Baptists are right about everything? Seminary is about affirming the faith, to be sure, but it also about being stretched and challenged.

February 04, 2007 8:51 AM  
Blogger The Beast said...

I agree entirely with your comments.

February 04, 2007 10:09 AM  
Blogger Tim Kuehn said...

It's one thing to have speakers from other denominations, beliefs, and lines of thought present lectures and participate in debates.

It's another thing to have these people lead times of worship and meditation. Those times should be set apart for people who believe, practice, and teach doctrine that's "orthodox" to your beliefs.

Now if your "chapel" times are another word for academic gatherings - that's fine. If they're times of worship, etc. then having people who believe other than you do shouldn't be "fine" - they belong in other places in the academic experience.

February 04, 2007 10:37 PM  
Blogger Tom Wilkinson said...


I have been reading your blog for many months and have not felt compelled to respond until this post.

Your seminary president has made the wise choice on this issue. Al Mohler is not an individual with whom I will frequently find myself in agreement but this scenario is the exception. Mike Ruffin has made good points but I will add one more. Orthodoxy in our pulpits is not and must not be misconstrued as checking off every point and subpoint on the Baptist Faith and Message. Can a Lutheran, Methodist or Presbyterian offer a word from the Lord from a "Baptist" pulpit? To answer "no" is to place more emphasis and importance on the denomination than on the Scripture. Yes, I believe we should be cautious and careful on who we invite to preach in our churches, but certainly not based on denomiation or "exact thought" on every issue. Besides, if you were to try and find two Southern Baptist preachers who agree on everything even in Baptist life or the BFM, you would be searching for a good while. That is an encouraging bit of news from Southern.

For whatever it is worth, I would very much enjoy hearing more about your experiences and thoughts on seminary life at Southern.

February 05, 2007 12:24 AM  
Blogger The Beast said...


Thanks for reading and posting. Feel free to comment any time. I think your remarks are right on.

February 05, 2007 2:10 PM  
Blogger Kelly Klages said...

I can understand the observation about the lack of agreement between various SB preachers on doctrinal matters, having experienced it myself, and taking into consideration the lack of confessionalism inherent in the system. What, then, *does* constitute "orthodoxy in the pulpit"?

February 06, 2007 1:37 AM  

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