The 2020 fall semester is a precious gift from God, Mohler says in 2020 convocation address

Communications Staff — August 27, 2020

Why should seminary education remain a priority during a pandemic? Because difficult times don’t change the mission of institutions like Southern Seminary, but make it all the more urgent, President R. Albert Mohler Jr. said Tuesday morning, August 25, in fall 2020 convocation address for The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Preaching from Psalm 91:1-6 and illustrating with C. S. Lewis’s 1939 sermon “Learning in War-Time,” preached at Oxford University at the outset of World War II, Mohler said neither war nor pandemic changes the fact that Southern is called to teach and learn and send out graduates to preach the gospel in a dangerous, fallen world. Until Jesus returns, there will never be a time that will allow Christians to teach and learn in peace and safety.

“We will never be surrounded by anything less than deadly dangers. And we are preparing those who will serve Christ in the church and in the world by sending them out into a world which is even more dangerous.”

Drawing on Lewis’s sermon, Mohler outlined three dangers students face during crises such as a war or pandemic: excitement, frustration, and fear. Students must resist all three, especially fear.

“We can resist fear, not because we are stronger than COVID-19 or because we’re stronger than fear. We’re not strong. We’d better recognize that. But we are sheltered by the Most High God. This new academic term comes under the shadow of the Almighty. It’s where we’ve always been, and it’s really important that we understand it now.”

Mohler pointed out that the 2020 academic year is fragile and uncertain. That Southern has been able to come back to meet in person at all is a precious gift from God.

“I want to welcome you to this academic year at Boyce College and Southern Seminary,” he said. “I never knew I could be so happy and thankful about the beginning of a new term. I had no idea I would deliver this address with a full heart but to an empty room. But right now, I’ll take a full heart over a full room. And right now, I seize with you the opportunity to enjoy, appreciate, and be found faithful in this academic year we had no right to expect, but is now God’s gift to us.

“Christ is sufficient. We begin this year in the shelter of the Most High and in the shadow of the Almighty. And the one thing we know is that all will be well.”

Listen to the entire message here.

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