FROM THE HILL: Naylor reflects on service in India, Aniol discusses gratitude in worship

| Jan 7, 2021

“From the Hill” is a regular series highlighting the work of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s faculty. Check back here regularly to find articles, blogs, podcasts, interviews, and more.

FIRST-PERSON: When are the 12 days of Christmas?” (article on Baptist Press), by Scott Aniol, associate professor of church music and worship, worship doctoral studies director

  • “With a preparatory period of longing complete, the joyous celebration of Christmas can fill our hearts with a delight and thankfulness made even more stark against the backdrop of longing. The darkness turns to light, lament becomes praise, and longing changes to reality.”

FIRST-PERSON: Which advent is in view in ‘Joy to the World’?” (article on Baptist Press), by Scott Aniol

  • “One of the most popular Advent/Christmas hymns, even among unbelievers, is ‘Joy to the World,’ written by British pastor Isaac Watts (1674-1748). You can’t walk in many malls or eat at many restaurants during the month of December without hearing this song. An interesting question raised about this hymn, however, is whether it refers to the first or second advent of Christ.”

Why Gratitude is Key to Worshiping Our Creator” (article for The Federalist), by Scott Aniol

  • “The affections of our hearts are central to true worship. Yet while praise, joy, contrition, and love are all important affections for worship, I believe gratitude is the most important worship affection. Here’s why.”

A Look at Notable 2020 Publications” (article on Christianity Today), by David S. Dockery, distinguished professor of theology, editor of the Southwestern Journal of Theology, special consultant to the president, and theologian-in-residence at the B.H. Carroll Center for Baptist Heritage and Mission

  • “While the list of quality books published in recent months is lengthy, here are a few noteworthy suggestions, beginning with books apropos for any year, but which seem to be especially timely this year as people struggle with fear, loss, suffering, and death.”

ESSAY: The future of Christian higher education” (article on, by David S. Dockery

  • “As we look at Christian higher education in North America at this moment, we see a landscape characterized by challenge and change. In this article, we want to take a look at some of these challenges and opportunities as we think about the future of Christian higher education, broadly understood to include gap-year programs, Bible colleges, Christian liberal arts colleges, Christian comprehensive universities, as well as seminaries and divinity schools.”

Culture Friday – Top cultural news of 2020,” Katie J. McCoy(assistant professor of theology in women’s studies), interviewed on “The World and Everything in It”

  • “[I]f we were to look at this spiritually and see this through spiritual eyes, we would hopefully welcome the disruption of what we are trusting in … and we would become the church that Jesus intended us to be, that we would cling to the values of loving God and loving our neighbor, that we would continue to focus on what is important and enduring. And I would love to see us become and continue to grow in becoming that type of church in the community.”

“Pornhub’s steps inadequate, SBC leaders say”(article on Baptist Press), by Tom Strode, interviewing Katie J. McCoy

  • “Pornhub’s executives can hardly plead ignorance that this material was on their platform. That makes them complicit in distributing child pornography, of which I’m sure they are aware.”

To India and Back: A Journey of Faith and Obedience,” Rebekah Naylor(distinguished professor of missions), interviewed on Woman’s Missionary Union podcast, “On the Journey Conversations”

  • Dr. Rebekah Naylor said God impressed upon her a love of medicine and of missions at a young age. In 1973, she was appointed as a surgeon in Bangalore, India. Decades later … she continues to serve with IMB and as a professor, mentoring students and encouraging them to integrate their faith and profession, wherever God leads. 

Face-to-face evangelism fading amid COVID-19 pandemic” (article in The Washington Times), by Christopher Vondracek, interviewing Matt Queen, associate dean of the Roy J. Fish School of Evangelism and Missions, associate professor of evangelism, L.R. Scarborough Chair of Evangelism

  • “At Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Matt Queen is the associate dean of the Roy J. Fish School of Evangelism and Missions. He said students in an introductory evangelism class reach out to friends and strangers alike via text messaging, social chat platforms and other media in ‘trying to find hope’ in the midst of a pandemic.”

How to Equip Students in Evangelism,” Matt Queen, interview with the North American Mission Board 

  • Dr. Matt Queen, evangelism professor from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, joins Johnny Hunt and Kevin Ezell to provide insight on what preparing seminary students for evangelism looks like and why it’s vital to building strong cultures of evangelism in Southern Baptist churches.

“Cross-Cultural Evangelism”(article for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention), by Dean Sieberhagen, associate professor of Islamic studies and director of the Islamic studies program

  • “Cross-cultural evangelism cannot just touch the surface but must penetrate deep into all the levels of culture so that when a people are saved in any culture it is transforming all aspects of their lives.”

‘The Word of God will win’: Book of Martyrs ignites faith among millions of Christians, including Pilgrims,” (article in The Pathway), by Ben Hawkins, interviewing Malcolm B. Yarnell III, research professor of theology

  • “It was through the struggle for the true faith against religious tyranny that the Separatists and Pilgrim fathers became convinced their travails were providentially ordained by God. Foxe taught them that, though the road may be sometimes tortuous, the Word of God will win. If one will stay faithful to God’s Word, God will make sure to accomplish his purpose in our lives.”