FROM THE HILL: Wills discusses church autonomy, Shirley answers discipleship questions, Darling comments on Disney boycott



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

Southern Baptists may cheer DeSantis’ war on Disney but don’t expect a boycott” (article on Religion News Service), featuring comments from Dan Darling, director of the Land Center for Cultural Engagement; assistant professor of faith and culture, Texas Baptist College

  • “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last week signed a bill that aims to strip Disney of its self-governing authority in and around Walt Disney World in Orlando. The new law, which goes into effect next year, is aimed at punishing the entertainment giant for denouncing a new Florida law that restricts classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity through the third grade.”

“FIRST-PERSON: Will Roe go? The leak at the edge of history” (article on Baptist Press), written by Dan Darling, director of the Land Center for Cultural Engagement; assistant professor of faith and culture, Texas Baptist College

  • “Last night, an unprecedented leak of the first draft of a Supreme Court decision was leaked to Politico, signaling that the Supreme Court, 49 years later, is poised to repeal Roe v. Wade. If this draft, and the at least five votes voting to allow the states to regulate and ban abortion holds, then we are witnessing history on two levels.”

Local church autonomy makes cooperation stronger, say Southern Baptist leaders” (article on Baptist Press), featuring comments from Gregory Wills, dean of the School of Theology

  • “Gregory Wills, the dean of the school of theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, says Southern Baptists have historically understood the authority of the local church in connection to its responsibilities to fulfill the commands of Christ given to the church.”

“Into Theology 46: Augustine on Friendship with Coleman Ford” (podcast on The Gospel Coalition), interviewing Coleman Ford, assistant professor of Christian formation; director of professional doctoral studies

  • “We asked Dr. Coleman Ford to talk to us for a special episode on Augustine and friendship. While we dip our feet into the Confessions, we primarily talk about what friendship is like and how Augustine understood it. This episode is for anyone but especially those who yearn for deeper and better friendships.”

The Collected Writings of James Leo Garrett Jr., 1950-2015: Volume Five Theology, Part II, and Twentieth-Century Christian Leaders” (book published by WIPF and Stock Publishers), forward written by W. Madison Grace II, associate professor of theology; director of the Oxford Study Program

  • “James Leo Garrett Jr., has been called “the last of the gentlemen theologians” and “the dean of Southern Baptist theologians.” In The Collected Writings of James Leo Garrett Jr., 1950-2015, the reader will find a truly dazzling collection of works that clearly evince the meticulous scholarship, the even-handed treatment, the biblical fidelity, the wide historical breadth, and the honest sincerity that have made the work and person of James Leo Garrett Jr. so esteemed and revered among so many for so long. Volume 5 contains general theological considerations as well as a number of Garrett’s reflections on twentieth-century Christian leaders. Spanning sixty-five years and touching on topics from Baptist history, theology, ecclesiology, church history and biography, religious liberty, Roman Catholicism, and the Christian life, The Collected Writings of James Leo Garrett Jr., 1950-2015 will inform and inspire readers regardless of their religious or denominational affiliations.”

“Episode 40-Talk with Dr. Chris Shirley on what is a disciple and how do we make them?” (podcast episode on To Learn, Love, Lead), interviewing Chris Shirley, associate dean of the Jack D. Terry School of Educational Ministries; professor of educational ministries; Jack D. and Barbara Terry Chair of Religious Education

  • “I got a chance to reconnect with a former professor of mine on the topic of discipleship. He outlines 3 characteristics of a disciple and identifies a few methods on how to facilitate discipleship in the local church.”