More than 700 attend annual collegiate conference at Southern Seminary

Communications Staff — February 16, 2007

LOUSIVILLE, Ky.—More than 700 college students gathered at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary February 9-10 to wrestle with the question “Does God Care About Sex?” at the school’s annual Give Me An Answer collegiate conference.

Southern professors addressed 21 questions related to the Christian worldview and sexuality ranging from “How have the arts been affected by the culture?” to “Is it a mandate for all married people to have children?” and “Should we kiss dating goodbye?” Sessions also examined gender issues such as biblical manhood and womanhood and a number of others looked at dealing biblically with sexual temptation.

Scott Davis, director of admissions for Southern Seminary, said marriage and parenting classes were among the best attended. Students attended the conference from as far away as Branson, Mo., and Washington, D.C.

“I anticipated some interest on marriage and parenting classes, but our session on ‘Reflecting God in Your Marriage’ was the first to reach full capacity,” Davis said.

“One student enjoyed the conference so much that he copied me on a an email that he sent to others from his church, commending the conference and providing a mild rebuke to them for not attending.”

Davis said the question and answer sessions that followed each elective session brought many deep questions related to sexuality and a Christian worldview.

“Usually in a Q and A session dealing with the sensitive issue of sexuality, you have someone who is going to ask a juvenile question,” he said. “What we found out was that there were very serious questions that were being asked—some dealing with very private issues. It confirmed to us how important it is to provide answers to these kinds of questions.

“I would encourage the leaders of the groups that came to make sure that they learn to develop their listening skills. There were more questions out there than we could deal with in the allotted time and these would provide fertile soil for some serious Christian thought and discipleship.”

Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Theology School Dean Russell D. Moore served as keynote speakers. Mohler opened the conference by showing students that a biblical view of sex is a crucial part of a comprehensive Christian worldview.

“The conversation we are having is one that the world does not believe we can have, and that is a conversation in which we are going to talk simultaneously about sex and the glory of God,” Mohler said. “The very fact that that sounds unusual to those who have minds attuned to the spirit of this age is a symptom of the confusion of our times.”

A part of faithfully living out and proclaiming the Gospel is discovering why God made us sexual beings, why He gave us the gift of sex and how He commands us to use this gift, Mohler said. A failure to think of differing beliefs about sex as a clash of worldviews is a lethal mistake, he said. Mohler pointed out that a person’s worldview determines how they think on every issue, including sex.

“Right now in this generation there are a couple of white hot issues that are the key touchstones of apologetic interest, and sex is right there at the center of it,” Mohler said. “Every single worldview has to answer certain questions, and every single person has a worldview…The problem is, these worldviews are greatly divergent.”

Moore, who also serves as senior vice president for academic administration at Southern, told students that sex is not a secondary issue, but is one that strikes close to the heart of the Gospel.

“Sex is a Gospel issue, it is not merely a moral issue,” Moore said. “The Scripture is not saying to you, ‘make sure you stay away from naughtiness.’ Instead, Scripture speaks of sex as something so mysterious and so powerful that there is no way that you can get it under control on your own. There is no way that you can grapple with sex to the point that you are able to remove it from before your mind and before your eyes. That is because Scripture says that sex has everything to do with spiritual warfare.”

The 2008 conference is set for Feb. 8-9. The topic is yet to be determined. Audio for the entire conference will eventually be available on the Give Me An Answer website at http://www.givemeananswer.net/2007.php

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