ORLANDO, Fla. (SWBTS) -- Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is training students to rediscover God's holiness and orient their lives around it, President Paige Patterson told messengers during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, June 15. Following a brief video about the seminary, Patterson expressed gratitude to Southern Baptists for their support of their six seminaries, which all rank in the top 15 largest seminaries in the world.
Patterson recounted the Old Testament story from Leviticus 10 of Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, who offered "strange fire before God" and died. God was teaching His people to distinguish between what is holy and what is unholy. Patterson assured messengers that Southwestern is committed to teaching students to understand the doctrine of the holiness of God.
"You see, you can do anything you want to organizationally, and ultimately it will still fail unless people come away with a concept of the holiness of God," Patterson said. A true understanding of God's holiness, he said, recognizes that God is completely unlike anything else, that he owns everything, and that people must approach him properly.
"Southwestern Seminary believes deeply that the doctrine of the holiness of God has largely been lost in this day in which we live," Patterson said. "And so, therefore, we are committed to rediscovering what it means that God is holy and training an entire generation of preachers and missionaries—who will reflect that in their preaching; who will reflect that in their witnessing; who will reflect that in their missionary spirit and their willingness to go to the ends of the earth."
Patterson praised faculty members at Southwestern who travel with students to foreign countries as well as areas in Fort Worth to evangelize and plant churches. He told the story of being unable to locate one of the professors about an important matter only to discover that the professor had led a man down the street to Christ and had been discipling him everyday.
"Well, that was one kind of discovery you love to make, isn't it?" Patterson said.