SBTS alum, former dean edit book on Broadus

Communications Staff — August 28, 2008

SBTS alum, former dean edit book on Broadus—The life and legacy of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s second president shows Southern Baptists an example of biblical faithfulness and careful thinking, according to a new book edited by David S. Dockery and Roger D. Duke.

John A. Broadus: A Living Legacy (B&H Academic) features chapters by 10 Southern Baptist scholars examining various aspects of Broadus’ life and work. A founding professor at Southern, Broadus served as the seminary’s president from 1889-1895.

Dockery, former vice president for academic administration and dean of the School of Theology at Southern, serves as president of Union University in Jackson, Tenn. Duke, a 1995 master of divinity graduate, is assistant professor of religion and communication at Baptist College of Health Services in Memphis, Tenn., and adjunct professor of Christian studies at Union.

“A Living Legacy approaches the study of Broadus as one ‘mighty in the Scriptures,’ for he has long been recognized as such by preachers and New Testament scholars alike,” Dockery and Duke write in the preface. “This work also takes a look at Southern Baptists’ premier nineteenth-century scholar from the vantage point of churchman, institution builder, and denomination statesman.”

Because some aspects of Broadus’ life and work overlap, chapters treat some of the same subjects from different angles, the editors write, adding that the book introduces readers to Broadus’ classic works on preaching and the New Testament.

Contributors to the book include Thomas J. Nettles, professor of historical theology at Southern; Richard Melick, professor of New Testament and director of the Ph.D. program at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary; and Timothy George, founding dean of Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Ala., and former dean of Southern’s School of Theology.

Dockery contributed a chapter entitled “Mighty in the Scriptures: John A. Broadus and His Influence on A.T. Robertson and Southern Baptist Life.” Duke’s chapter deals with Broadus’ classic work on preaching and is entitled “John A. Broadus, Rhetoric, and A Treatise on the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons.”

Though a number of articles during the twentieth century dealt with Broadus, Dockery and Duke argue the time has come for a new work introducing Christians to Broadus the preacher and scholar.

“The volume that you hold in your hand introduces us to Broadus in all of those areas and more,” they write. “Broadus serves as a model for us today as author, teacher, preacher, scholar, seminary leader, and denominational statesman.”

Study of Broadus will particularly help the Southern Baptist Convention as it seeks to establish a renewed platform for cooperation in the days ahead, the editors say.

“As Southern Baptists seek to reestablish a new consensus to move forward in the twenty-first century, Broadus is an example of balance, careful thinking, biblical faithfulness, and denominational statesmanship (Titus 2:7),” they write. “We trust that in God’s good providence a new generation will both learn from and about Broadus.”

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