“He is intellectually the most eminent of conservative theologians. I would say he’s been the professor and I’ve been the student.” So said Billy Graham reflecting upon the influence of Carl F. H. Henry (1913-2003). Like Philipp Melanchthon to Martin Luther, or Andrew Fuller to William Carey, with the passing of time the figures in history that built the theological infrastructure to support and defend an evangelical movement often fade from popular memory. Graham, Luther, Carey we know, but names like Carl F. H. Henry are not readily in view. Although unknown, Henry is not forgotten. Gregory Alan Thornbury’s latest work is quickly becoming one of the books to read this year. This is a welcomed and needed volume, for the perceptive Thornbury observes, “So it seems as though there may still be enough of us left who believe that Carl Henry, a key to evangelicalism’s past, may in fact be a cipher to its future.” What is it then that made Henry so effective in his day and thus worth reviewing now? Carl Trueman believes that one part of what made Henry remarkable was his “unerring ability to see the big picture, to focus on issues of real substance, and to communicate the significance of these issues to the theological public.” Henry saw this big picture first in his younger days as a journalist. Read More »
“He keeps the grand end in view.” After arriving in India in September 1796, John Fountain used these words to describe his first impressions of William Carey (1761-1834). A missionary pioneer, organizer, catalyst, survivor, and inspiration, Carey lived 73 full years and changed the modern world. J. H. Kane argues that Carey’s missions tract, An Enquiry, was “a landmark in Christian history and deserves a place alongside Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses.” Carey’s nephew attributed much of Carey’s fruitful longevity to “invincible patience in labour, and uninterrupted constancy.” Carey would not agree with these assessments. In his words, if one were to “give me credit for being a plodder, he will describe me justly. Anything beyond this will be too much. I can plod.” Read More »
The Cacophony of Silence: Rising Global neo-Pentecostalism, World Christianity, and the Southern Baptist Convention
It had already been a long journey and I still had a long set of flights out of Nigeria routing back to the United States. During my visit to the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary in Ogobomso, I met many fine folk. They are indeed doing a tremendous job of engaging lost people with the good news in the midst of horrific conflict posed to the whole nation, and the world, from a violent stream of Islam known as Boko Haram. One of the institution’s administrators accompanied me back to Lagos, Nigeria to fly out. Read More »
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on Baptist Press. For more on Adoniram Judson’s life, read “Adoniram Judson: A Bicentennial Appreciation of the Pioneer American Missionary,” edited by Jason G. Duesing, assistant professor of historical theology vice president for strategic initiatives at Southwestern Seminary.
Adoniram Judson underwent a series of conversions on his journey to the mission field. Read More »
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on Baptist Press, and is adapted from Paige Patterson’s introduction to “Adoniram Judson: A Bicentennial Appreciation of the Pioneer American Missionary,” edited by Jason G. Duesing, assistant professor of historical theology vice president for strategic initiatives at Southwestern Seminary.
My appreciation for the life of Adoniram Judson began in 1957 when my dad, Thomas Armour Patterson, a missionary-hearted pastor, placed a book in my hands and urged that I read it carefully. Read More »
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on Baptist Press alongside an article by Ken Fentress, senior pastor of Montrose Baptist Church in Rockville, Md. Fentress and Patterson, at the four-month point since Southern Baptists embraced “Great Commission Baptists” as an informal name, reflect on the new descriptor. Fentress and Patterson were members of the task force appointed by then-SBC President Bryant Wright to study the possibility of an SBC name change. And both men addressed the SBC Executive Committee’s February 2012 meeting when the task force recommended the option of Southern Baptists being known as “Great Commission Baptists,” which subsequently was approved by messengers at the SBC’s June 19-20 annual meeting in New Orleans. Read More »
During his lifetime, Dr. Roy J. Fish pointed scores of people to Jesus Christ and to heaven. On Sept. 10, 2012, Jesus Christ and scores of people welcomed Dr. Fish to heaven. If any, very few people possess the accomplishments in the field of evangelism, as well as the consensus of admiration and respect, attributed to Dr. Fish during his life and ministry. Read More »
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on the blog SBC Today.
The release of “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation,” has engendered a Convention-wide discussion and made nation-wide news. Tongues have been wagging and fingers have been pecking computer keyboards ceaselessly these past few weeks. The Statement has received both acclaim and criticism. In reflecting on the tsunami of words, and as a conversation partner along with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, I have asked the Lord to help me be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. I hope the following thoughts will be helpful as we continue the conversation in the days ahead. By way of brief personal background, I have served the local church for 26 years, 21 of those years as a senior pastor of two churches. I have served two theological institutions in the classroom since 1985. In addition, I served on the Board of Trustees at one of our SBC Seminaries for 12 years. In the interests of full disclosure, I am a signatory of the document. Read More »
In response to the IMB’s request to adopt an people group, Southwestern has selected the Antandroy of Madagascar. How will Southwestern engage the Antandroy? We’re glad you asked. In partnership with the International Mission Board (IMB), Southwestern is developing a multi-tiered approach to support the missionary endeavors currently in progress as well as to provide fresh “boots on the ground” to reach the Antandroy. Read More »
In late 2007, I was asked by the editors of SBC Today to address the relationship between Calvinists and non-Calvinists in the Southern Baptist Convention. The following article was the result and I repost it today as it represents my thoughts and hopes on the matter. While some have lugubrious prognostications as to the current discussion bringing about the demise of our Baptist Zion, I am actually encouraged by it and believe that most of the dialogue is helping to strengthen our theological understanding and shared commitment to reach the 7 billion people on the face of the globe with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Read More »