In installation address, Greenway warns students about a deficient understanding of the gospel

Communications Staff — October 9, 2013

If not careful, even seminary students can hold a deficient understanding of the gospel, said Adam W. Greenway during his Oct.1 installation address as the new dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Greenway, 35, is the first dean of the school since it expanded as the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry, combining the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism, established in 1994, and the School of Church Ministries, which began in 2009. The new Graham School officially opened in August.

Seminary president R. Albert Mohler Jr. introduced Greenway, giving background to the Billy Graham School.

“The Billy Graham School will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year. It was 20 years ago that Dr. Billy Graham was present here in Louisville for the announcement of the establishment of that school as a part of my inauguration,” Mohler said. “The Lord has greatly blessed this school over the years. This is the Lord’s timing that as the Billy Graham School enters into its 20th year and as it’s aimed toward the future, Adam Greenway would be its dean.”

Greenway, associate professor of evangelism and applied apologetics, preached from 2 Corinthians 5 about “A Full Gospel Ministry.” This era may be the “golden age” for theological uncertainty and gospel compromise, he said, so students must confidently profess their beliefs about the gospel.

“If ever there was a time that we need a recovery of the gospel message, mandate and mission, it is in our day,” Greenway said.

He offered four aspects of a “full gospel ministry.” He emphasized that students who will enter ministry need to comprehend the greatness of the gospel.

First, Greenway said the gospel has a “divine origination.” Everything has its source in God, and he is the hero of the redemption story of Scripture. God delights in reconciling people to himself, Greenway said.

The gospel also involves a “divine declaration,” Greenway said, who is also the chairman of the board of trustees for LifeWay Christian Resources.

People are corrupted, and each time they sin, it is like swiping a credit card that needs to be paid, Greenway said. God would be just to charge a person’s sins to his or her account. But, he said, if God did that, humans would be doomed.

Greenway said that because of the declaration, the gospel’s third aspect is also necessary: a “divine transaction.” People need someone to pay their debt of sin, and Jesus accomplished this on the cross. Citing 2 Corinthians 5:21, he encouraged students to contemplate what it means that Christ became sin in order to reconcile sinners to God.

Greenway’s final aspect of a full gospel ministry is its “divine mission.” He pointed out the importance of obeying the Great Commission mandate of declaring the gospel. He said that too often students disconnect theology from evangelism.

Greenway said that the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry exists to help students apply theology to life, resulting in a full ministry of the gospel.

“Theology never finds its full expression until it becomes the driving force and passion that leads us to proclaim to sinners that there is salvation in Jesus Christ,” said Greenway.

He finished his address by expressing his thankfulness for the seminary and its faculty, who work together for the same goal in training students.

“I believe at Southern Seminary in general and the Billy Graham School in particular, there’s never been a greater assembling of God-called individuals who are passionate about the full range of the Great Commission: worship, evangelism, discipleship, leadership and missions,” Greenway said. “We’ve got the family together in the Billy Graham School, and we believe it is at the very heartbeat of God that our mission and mandate is to see the nations come to worship Christ.”

Mohler, at the conclusion of the service, presented Greenway with a plaque commemorating the installation.

Audio and video from Greenway’s message are available at sbts.edu/resources.

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