SBTS annual collegiate conference focuses on the identity of Christ

Communications Staff — March 3, 2005

Who is the real Jesus Christ?

Did He actually claim to be God? What did Jesus think about Scripture and is He really the only way to salvation? Also, if Jesus loved the church, must I also love it?

These are among the questions a number of professors from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary addressed Feb. 18-19 during the school’s fifth annual “Give Me an Answer” Collegiate Conference.

The event drew nearly 1,300 attendees from 19 different states, setting a new attendance record. Attendees included students and ministers from more than 80 different institutions including churches, campus ministries, church-based college ministries, and the Christian Medical and Dental Association, among others.

The purpose of the conference is to promote God-honoring, Bible-centered worldview thinking on contemporary issues facing the church. The 2005 conference dealt with the question that Christ posed for Peter in the Gospels: “Who do you say that I am?”

“Our hope is simply to get God-centered, Christ-exalting, life-changing truth out as far reachingly as possible and allow it to do its work,” said Scott Davis, director of admissions for Southern Seminary.

“It was a busy weekend—but worth every minute of our effort. Jesus was lifted high and the students who attended learned how to love and serve Him better.”

The conference consisted of three general sessions featuring Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Theology School Dean Russell D. Moore along with 19 elective seminars. Each elective dealt with a different issue regarding Christ, ranging from His treatment of women to “Why was Jesus a man?” and “How would Jesus grow His church?”

Attendee Nicholas Webb, a student at College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo., said the conference aided his understanding of the practical importance of knowing Christ.

“This conference in particular has really helped to see the importance of knowing Christ and how to apply Him in a worldview,” Webb said. “It is so important to have Christ at the forefront of everything that we do so we know what to look for and how to apologetically interact with the world.”

Megan Manzi, a student at the University of Evansville in Indiana, said the conference was spiritually uplifting.

“It helps me coming here because it refreshes me and reminds me of what I do know,” she said. “It just refreshes me and strengthens me to tell them (unbelievers) the truth and to be more bold.”

The conference also presented a unique ministry opportunity. In conjunction with the international ministry of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, conference planners invited international students—many of whom were unbelievers—from local colleges to attend the event for free.

International students were then paired with seminary students who accompanied them throughout the weekend, making sure they understood what was being taught, answering questions, and simply acting as campus guides for them, Davis said.

“The ministry leaders have indicated that that was a tremendous event for these students,” Davis said. “The students were confronted with truth, the leaders had time to build relationships since the program was taken care of for them, and many Gospel bridges were built in their lives. We hope to hear of an evangelistic harvest from this event.”

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