Mohler thanks messengers for entrusting convictional students to SBTS

Communications Staff — June 16, 2010

Deep conviction and a passion for upholding truth and the Gospel makes it a privilege to train the current generation of students R. Albert Mohler Jr. said Tuesday in his Southern Baptist Theological Seminary report at the Southern Baptist Convention.

Mohler told messengers that the importance of theological education today is “almost unprecedented” in light of the decline of theological fidelity in other mainline denominations. He thanked messengers for the quality of students they send from their churches to Southern Seminary.

“There is a generation coming that is ready for deployment and eager to serve,” he said. “As you see the generation coming you do not see a diminishment of conviction; instead you see a surge of conviction. You see a younger generation coming that has been tested as by fire. They have been raised in a postmodern world where they have had to define themselves as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ against all of the ideological trends this culture presents them. They are fervent, dedicated and deeply convictional believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and out of your churches they are being called.”

Southern Baptist seminaries are facing challenges with the current economic state, Mohler said, but not a crisis because of the Cooperative Program.

“You are undergirding the theological education of those young ministers and missionaries and it is making the crucial difference,” he said.

Mohler said that while such financial support is critical, the students that the churches of the SBC send to Southern Seminary are a far greater prize.

“You entrust us with that most precious commodity: young persons called from your churches for ministry,” he said. “I want you to know what delight I find, and we find as faculty, in the students that you send us. I want to tell you that they are coming with a great love for the local church that we only hope to deepen and enrich and with a great concern for the mission fields that we wish to fuel.”

Mohler thanked messengers for the stewardship of training and of truth that they entrust to Southern Seminary, a trust the seminary labors to honor.

“You have entrusted us with a stewardship of training,” he said. “Without any embarrassment I use the word training. Yes, we are about education and preparation, but we are about training ministers for real life service in local churches and the mission fields of the world.

“You have entrusted us with a stewardship of truth and a stewardship of truth extends to everything we do. It is the foundation of where we stand and the theology that we teach.”

Mohler reminded messengers that 10 years ago in Orlando, they led the SBC to take a clear stand on biblical truth through the adoption of the Baptist Faith & Message 2000.

“It was in this place at that time that Southern Baptists came together and said, ‘we are going to make clear where we stand theologically,'” he said. “‘We are going to make concrete and clear the convictions on which we stand and the convictions that are binding on all who would teach in our seminaries.'”

Mohler noted that the adoption of the BF&M 2000 was a landmark decision as a denomination voted to make its theological convictions more, and not less, clear.

“It was important 10 years ago: it is far more important now,” he said. “Ten years later the students are coming. They are enrolling in their seminaries not in spite of what this convention stands for, but because of what this convention stands for.”

Mohler said it is a privilege and a mark of God’s faithfulness that Southern Seminary is able to continue to provide theological education and training more than 150 years after its founding.

“As we look through 150-plus years we see many dangers, toils and snares, but thanks be to God that we are here together in 2010,” he said. “The Lord – to the glory of His name and for the health of His church – has preserved your seminaries.”

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