Mohler: SBC seminaries remain faithful to Gospel while others are moving away

Communications Staff — June 18, 2003

PHOENIX, Ariz. – The six seminaries of the Southern Baptist Convention are moving in a direction opposite to most other theological institutions, R. Albert Mohler Jr. said Tuesday at the SBC’s annual meeting.

Mohler, president of Southern Seminary and chairman of the SBC’s Council of Seminary Presidents, told convention messengers that Southern Baptist seminaries are standing faithfully upon the Gospel because the denomination’s churches have held the schools accountable.

Many seminaries within the mainline denominations have abdicated from teaching the genuine Gospel of Scripture, Mohler said. The result has been a dwindling number of persons entering the ministry and a decreased passion for the things of God, he said. But the opposite has occurred within SBC schools during recent years.

Said Mohler, “What has taken place in your seminaries as a counter-revolution in the world of theological education is due to the sovereignty of God and by His provision through churches that simply said, ‘We will not allow that to happen, we will hold our schools responsible, we will remind our schools to whom they belong, and of the charge we have given them.’

“Brothers and sisters, I want you to know that your six schools are proud to serve the churches of the SBC.”

SBC seminaries are not only accountable to local churches through the trustee boards they elect, but are also faithful to their respective confessions of faith as well as the Baptist Faith & Message, he said.

Mohler reminded listeners that every SBC seminary professor is required to sign that school’s respective confession of faith. By doing so, the professor pledges to teach in accordance with—and not contrary to—that confession.

While the seminaries seek to build a sound doctrinal foundation beneath their students, they also teach them the practical aspects of ministry, he said. The sound teaching of God’s inspired Word in the seminaries gives Southern Baptist churches a bright future, he said.

“We are about the task of teaching real-life ministers of the Gospel,” he said.

“Your seminaries are driven by evangelism. [They] are driven by an understanding that it is our responsibility to stand on the faith once for all delivered to the saints and to make certain that we take the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth.

“If you were to look at your six seminaries and you were to line up all the theological students in the United States of America studying in accreditation institutions, you would realize that Southern Baptists have a future that is not evident in many other churches.”

A brief question and answer session followed the seminary reports. One messenger asked Mohler about doctrines that are taught at Southern Seminary. In his concluding remarks, Mohler pointed out that such theological dialogue within the SBC is evidence of a healthy denomination.

“Even in the course of this report we have discussed some doctrine and some theology,” Mohler said. “Let us see that as a sign of denominational health.

“Dying denominations don’t care. Living denominations love the Gospel because [they] love the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us learn the Gospel, study the Gospel, be grounded in the Gospel, and brothers and sisters, let us take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.”

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