FROM THE HILL: Ross discusses spiritual revival, Kerns explains how to share the Gospel with Mormons

| Aug 21, 2020

“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.

“This book gathers the work of scholars working in the areas of historical, systematic, and analytic theology, church history, psychology, and biology. It contains papers presented at the inaugural conference of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Gateway Seminary (JEC West). Bringing together some of the leading authorities as well as up-and-coming Edwards scholars working today, this collection advances the questions of regeneration, revival, and creation in fresh new ways.”

  • “FIRST-PERSON: A tribute to J. I. Packer” (article in Baptist Press), by David S. Dockery, distinguished professor of theology, theologian-in-residence of the B.H. Carroll Center for Baptist Heritage and Mission, special consultant to the president, editor of the Southwestern Journal of Theology

“Two decades ago, the Christianity Today readership named J.I. Packer and C.S. Lewis the two most influential Christian writers of the 20th century. Now at the time of his homegoing, we offer heartfelt gratitude to God not only for his extraordinary writings, but for his inspirational life and far-reaching influence.”

“The entire Christian life is lived in light of the tension between what we already are in Christ and what we hope ultimately to be some day.”

“First and foremost, as is the case when sharing with a member of any alternate faith tradition, it is of fundamental importance for the Christian to know Christianity well and to be able to use the Bible easily. Memorizing, and being able to recite, Scripture is extremely important because the gospel is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16), not our clever arguments.”

“The question of identity and self-worth is a deep, soul-level longing that every human being has. God has put eternity in our hearts. He has put these deep, spiritual longings for significance. We all want to live a significant life. So anytime you see a woman struggling with issues of her identity and her self-worth, these are very genuine, valid things. Not to dismiss, but to begin with as a starting point.”

  • Gospel Conversations in a Covid-19 WorldMatt Queen (associate dean of the Rooy J. Fish School of Evangelism and Missions, L.R. Scarborough Chair of Evangelism, associate professor of evangelism) interviewed by the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana

In this interview, Queen shares ideas and strategies for engaging in personal evangelism despite the limitations of the global pandemic.

“In the power of the Spirit, we can see the declining graph of student baptisms begin to move upward. We can see far more students graduate from high school with a deep love for Jesus, the local church, and the Great Commission. All of that can happen. But it won’t happen unless we make some significant changes in how we do ministry. Teenagers can accelerate the decline of the SBC. Or, in the power of the Spirit, they can spark renewal in our churches and Kingdom impact in the culture.”

“I believe transformed adults do pray for revival. But they need to stay open to the possibility that the earliest moments of that revival might appear among the young—especially since that has been God’s patterns in the awakenings of history.”

  • “Pastors, Watch Your Doctrine” (article on 9Marks), by Gregory A. Wills, research professor of church history and Baptist heritage, director of the B.H. Carroll Center for Baptist Heritage and Mission

“As social upheaval advances throughout the world, pastors will feel pressured to evaluate their teaching by its apparent usefulness according the needs of the hour. We will be tempted to evaluate our doctrine not on the basis of its truthfulness but its utility. We may even judge that the old doctrines are not useful because they no longer seem relevant to the needs of our hearers. But no crisis can alter God’s truth or God’s commands. His word does not change or fade according to time and circumstance.”

“We have been asked to address the question of whether women may fulfill the office of teaching theology within the setting of a Southern Baptist Convention seminary, but the answer one adopts is bound together with how women are received as teachers in the local churches. The question of how women may function as public teachers may not be answered through a simplistic, non-canonical, and non-contextual appeal to a particular prooftext, nor is the issue explicitly addressed within the official confessional documents of the various Southern Baptist seminaries.”

“As a student and pastor, I first gravitated toward Packer’s view of inerrancy. Later, I grew in my appreciation for Packer’s theological legacy, especially his thorough integration of theology with worship. Because worship and theology may not be sundered, he warned against human images made by hand or by mind.”