Patterson: Christ, not politics, is the panacea
EDITOR'S NOTE: To watch a short convocation video, visit www.swbts.edu/videos.
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Political and social agendas will not ultimately heal the world’s problems, Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said during the seminary’s convocation chapel service, Aug. 19.
“Resolve all the social problems you want to, and life is not going to get any better,” Patterson told students. “And the reason for that is that all of politics, all of statesmanship and all of social studies attempt to address nothing more than the symptoms of the problem. The problem that lies at the heart of all of it is the problem that you have been called to address.”
This problem, Patterson said, is summed up in the book of Isaiah: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6, NKJV).
Patterson said in a world filled with individuals who believe most people are basically good, Southwestern students have been called to proclaim the sinfulness of humanity and the solution for that sinfulness: Jesus Christ, who bore the guilt of the world on the cross. At the end of his message, Patterson also challenged students to examine their own relationships with Jesus Christ.
Earlier in the convocation service, Craig Blaising, executive vice president and provost of the seminary, considered the seminary’s purpose before introducing four newly-elected faculty members to the convocation audience.
“The educational mission of Southwestern Seminary originates in the Great Commission, in which the Lord taught us to make disciples of all nations by teaching them to obey everything He has commanded them,” Blaising said. “Faithfulness to Christ and His word are the central principles of the work we do. To carry out our task, Southwestern has assembled a faculty who share a common faith in Christ and in the authority of His word. It has been so since the beginning of our institution over 100 years ago.”
The newly-elected faculty members signed the seminary’s book of confessional heritage, indicating their agreement to teach in accordance with the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. In the College at Southwestern, Donald Kim was elected to serve as assistant professor of Bible. In the School of Theology, Matthew McKellar was elected to serve as associate professor of preaching. Faculty members elected to serve in the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions were John Michael Morris, assistant professor of missions; and Matthew Queen, assistant professor of evangelism.
Blaising also introduced three newly-appointed faculty members at the beginning of the convocation chapel: Vern Charette, instructor of preaching in the School of Theology; Thomas Kiker, assistant professor of pastoral ministry in the School of Theology; John Simons, professor of music ministry and associate dean of community relations in the School of Church Music; and Terry Wilder, professor of New Testament in the School of Theology.
Archives of the fall 2010 convocation and other chapel messages can be accessed on the Chapel Archives section of Southwestern Seminary’s website: www.swbts.edu/chapelarchives