FROM THE SEMINARIES: 400 SBTS volunteers engage in community service; MBTS releases scholarship-themed journal

by SBC Seminary Staff, posted Friday, May 05, 2017 (4 months ago)

In today's From the Seminaries:

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

1937 Project: SBTS volunteers provide hope & Gospel conversations

By Annie Corser

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) -- Despite inclement weather, 400 volunteers from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and its undergraduate Boyce College participated in the fifth annual 1937 Project, April 22. The event commemorates the seminary's relief efforts in the Great Flood of 1937 when the Ohio River rose to more than 50 feet, creating one of the worst floods in American history.

Kevin Jones, assistant professor of teacher education at Boyce College, vacuums the sanctuary of No More Limits Church, which meets in a century-old church building in the west Louisville neighborhood of Shawnee.
Photo by Emil Handke/SBTS
"The phrase that keeps coming to mind [about the 1937 Project] is 'the favor of the Lord,'" Jeremy Pierre, dean of students and associate professor of biblical counseling, wrote in a Student Life e-newsletter.

Seminary volunteers made contact with neighborhood residents and city workers, engaging in numerous Gospel conversations, Pierre said. "One person even professed Christ as Lord and is seeking fellowship at a great neighborhood church," he said, noting, "This is the wonder of serving."

Volunteers logged about 1,200 community engagement hours, the seminary's student life office reported. The mayor's office assigned the seminarians two specific projects -- Smoketown Neighborhood Cleanup and Shawnee Neighborhood Cleanup -- where about 300 people disbursed to pick up trash and share the love of Christ with residents. Seminary volunteers also worked at such locations as the Louisville Rescue Mission, Oxmoor Lodge Retirement Home and Scarlet Hope.

As part of the cleanup in the Shawnee neighborhood, Boyce professor Kevin Jones led a group to work on a century-old church building that recently became the home of No More Limits Church pastored by Emery Scott Lee. Affected by water damage and years of vandalism, the church was almost destroyed, Jones said. Despite the damage, Lee still had hope.

Lee's vision "is that the church will become a beacon of light in the Shawnee neighborhood," Jones said. "His hope is that his church will be a place where the Gospel will be fully displayed."

Jones said praying for one another there was "probably the highlight of our time spent."

"Pastor Lee prayed for our institution, volunteers and the body of Christ. In turn, I prayed specifically for him, his church, his family and the community," Jones said. "Myself and the other volunteers with our team look forward to a continued relationship with Pastor Lee. The goal is to make a continued difference, not an annual event. We will meet with him this summer to strategize ways for collaboration."

The 1937 Project joins with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's Give A Day week of service. Fischer spoke to volunteers during the morning rally before they were sent out to various project sites. The mayor encouraged volunteers and remarked how Southern Seminary has been part of accomplishing his plans for making Louisville a compassionate city.

"In all the craziness of the weather that morning, Mayor Greg Fischer expressed privately how shocked he was at the incredible turnout," Pierre wrote.

The 1937 Project was part of Southern Seminary's first-ever Giving Days, a four-day initiative April 20-23 to support the mission of the seminary, providing students, alumni, donors and faculty the opportunity to tell their stories, support the institution financially and serve the community of Louisville.

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Midwestern journal features 'Scholarship for the Church'

By T. Patrick Hudson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) -- Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has released its Spring 2017 issue of the Midwestern Journal of Theology, titled "Scholarship for the Church," featuring works by several of the seminary's doctoral students.

Among the topics addressed in the journal: the transformation and thinking of Augustine; Spurgeon's stance on slavery; ethnically-diverse church membership; and the concept of familial covenants.

Midwestern President Jason Allen described the new edition of the journal as "a particularly rewarding one. To offer our readers a glimpse into the types of scholars that God is raising up, and who are being educated and mentored here at Midwestern Seminary, should be deeply encouraging."

The coming generation of students is "extremely bright academically," Allen said, "but even more crucial is their heart for ministry. They truly love the Word of God and are desiring to serve him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength."

Noting that the essays are derived from seminars in which the doctoral students have participated, Allen added that readers are able to see the level of instruction they are receiving from Midwestern's faculty. "All told, I am confident that this edition of the MJT shows this institution's dedication to scholarship for the church," Allen said.

Included in the journal:

-- Jenny-Lyn de Klerk's essay on the transformation and thinking of Augustine, "From Pride to Humility: An Evaluation of Augustine's Break with Neo-Platonism in Light of his Conception of the Ideal Man before and after his Conversion." de Klerk is a Ph.D. student in historical theology from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

-- Nathan Rose's examination of Charles Spurgeon's stance on slavery, and the opposition in some quarters that this position caused him, in the essay "Spurgeon and the Slavery Controversy of 1860: A Critical Analysis of the Anthropology of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, as it Relates Specifically to his Stance on Slavery." Rose is a Ph.D. student in historical theology from Liberty, Mo.

-- Daniel Slavich's essay, "In Church as it is in Heaven: An Argument for Regenerate and Ethnically Diverse Local Church Membership," which presents an argument for membership of the local church not just being regenerate but also ethnically-diverse. Slavich is a Ph.D. student in theology from Lighthouse Point, Fla.

-- Madison Trammel's essay, "A Defense of Ignatius of Antioch's Martyrdom and View of Redemption," setting forth a defense for Ignatius, who may have seemed a little too keen to suffer as a Christian leader in the early church. Trammel is a Ph.D. student in historical theology from Glendora, Calif.

-- Camden Pulliam's essay outlining the concept of familial covenants in two Old Testament accounts, titled "A Biblical-Theological Analysis of Familial Language within the Covenants of Genesis 17 and 2 Samuel 7."

Pulliam is a Ph.D. student in theology from Kansas City, Mo.

-- Chad McDonald's essay, "Time Management and the Pastor," which provides applicable aspects of time management as seen from a church pastor's perspective. McDonald is a doctor of ministry in leadership student from Olathe, Kan.

The journal also includes a number of book reviews, several of which also were written by Midwestern doctoral students.

Midwestern Provost Jason Duesing said the journal reflects "the self-discipline and high caliber of the students studying at Midwestern. Many scholars of the future are studying at Midwestern, and it is a joy to showcase just a sample of their work."

The Midwestern Journal of Theology is available in print for subscribers. To subscribe, contact the seminary's academic office at 816-414-3745 or kfreeman@mbts.edu. Additionally, the issue can be viewed in its entirety at no cost at www.mbts.edu/journal.

Annie Courser is a writer for Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; T. Patrick Hudson is special assistant to the president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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