SBTS exhibits strong presence at annual ETS meeting

Communications Staff — November 25, 2009

Attendees of the 61st annual national meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society Nov. 17-20 in New Orleans did not have to look far to see substantial traces of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s scholarly work.

At the year’s largest gathering of evangelical scholars, theologians and ministers, Southern Seminary faculty members and students presented 27 papers in the daily sessions, including the presidential address by Bruce A. Ware, ETS president for 2009. Ware, who serves as professor of theology at Southern, is the seminary’s first-ever faculty member to serve in ETS’s highest office.

During a reception for Ware following his presidential address, Southern President R. Albert Mohler Jr. said the seminary’s impact upon ETS continues to increase each year.

“To pick up that ETS program and see the net weight of contributors to ETS that goes beyond professors to student and alumni is deeply encouraging,” Mohler said. “Then, there is the fact that Bruce Ware, one of our own, was elected president of ETS and concluded his term with a brilliant and faithful, not only mind-stretching, but soul-enriching presidential address.”

Nineteen papers were presented by faculty members, including Mohler, Theology School Dean Russell D. Moore and numerous other professors, many of whom chaired individual ETS sessions or panels. Southern’s involvement was broad and included a number of diverse topics including systematic and biblical theology, history, ethics, culture and biblical studies. Eight students presented papers and the ETS presentation roster was also dotted with SBTS alumni.

“As a faculty member at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and president of ETS, it was deeply gratifying to observe the many papers read at this year’s 61st annual meeting by Southern faculty colleagues and doctoral students,” Ware said

“Excellent scholarship and theological leadership are both crucial to the ETS, and it encourages my heart to see Southern Seminary’s influence in the ongoing growth and development of this important Society.”

Ware delivered his presidential address on “The Man Christ Jesus,” which included an unforgettable illustration on the sinlessness and impeccability of Jesus.  Though He was both God as well as man, Jesus’ inability to sin, His impeccability, had nothing to do with the fact that He is also God, Ware said. Instead, Christ resisted sin by the power of the Holy Spirit.

“Jesus lived His life in reliance on the Spirit so that His resistance to temptation and His obedience to the will of the Father took place through, and not apart from, the empowerment provided Him as the second Adam, the seed of Abraham, the son of David,” Ware said in the address.

“Recall again Peter’s claim that God anointed Jesus ‘with the Holy Spirit and with power,’ and that he went about doing good (the moral life and obedience of Christ) as well as healing all who are oppressed by the devil (the miracles he performed), ‘for God was with Him’ (Acts 10:38).

“Although He was God, and although He was impeccable as the God-man, nevertheless He did not resist temptation and obey the Father by His divine nature but by the power of the Spirit who indwelt Him. … He knew that to rely on … His own divine nature, would be to forfeit the mission on which He was sent.  Hence, He had to fight temptation as a man, in dependence on His Father and by the power of the Spirit, and so He did, amazingly, completely without ever once yielding to any temptation.”

Ware’s address was an excerpt from an upcoming book, “The Man Christ Jesus: Reflections on the Significance of the Humanity of Christ,” due out from Crossway in 2010.

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