Biblical Theology is awesome

One area that I am continually going back to in my sanctification is in the “basics” of my faith in Christ. I am constantly amazed at how many blind spots I have theologically, and to be honest, much of it has to do with my lack of thinking Biblical.

This year I have determined to focus on two doctrines: What is the church and grasping the story line of salvation through both the Old and New Testaments.  So where do I start? 9780851112985

One great place to stick your nose is in Vaughn Roberts book “God’s Big Picture – Tracing the story-line of the bible”  The purpose of the book, Vaughn writes is “to give you an overview of the main storyline of the bible” (hence the title)…enabling “you to get your bearings when you land in any part of it (the bible). By the end of this book you should have the outline of the Bibles story in your mind so that, whichever part you are reading, you should know where you have come from and where you are heading.”  And from what I do know about the bible, when reading it, we are all heading to see the unfolding drama of redemptive history and God’s promise to restore His kingdom through the person and work of Christ.

I hope that this next year, many of the dark places in my mind, might have the light of God’s revelation from Scripture, illuminated with the glory of Christ.  Vaughn concludes his introduction with just that goal for all of us in mind, he writes:

“Four hundred years passed after the completion of the Old Testament before Jesus began his public ministry with the words, ‘The time has come…The Kingdom of God is near (Mark 1:15). The waiting was over; God’s king had come to establish God’s kingdom. His life, teaching, and miracles all proved that he was who he said he was: God himself in human form. He had the power to put everything right again, and he chose a very surprising way of doing it: by dying in weakness on a cross. It was by his death that Jesus dealt with the problem of sin and made it possible (I would have said secured eternally) for human beings to come back into relationship with his Father. The resurrection proved the success if Jesus’ rescue mission on the cross and announced that there is a hope for our world. Those who trust in Christ can look forward to eternal life with him”

Biblical theology unloads the glory of Christ, shinning brightly his majesty.

A Seminary for the church. A Church that has a Seminary.

The relationship between the Christian Seminary and the church has an important function in the training of men who desire to enter full or part time pastoral ministry. Within the Southern Baptist Convention, men who desire to attend Seminary or are identified as men who could benefit from it, may be entrusted to the Seminaries for further and deeper theological training. This is a trusted stewardship between the church and her formalized preparatory institutions; the Seminary. It is and continues to be a trust that is given and should be expected. That this man would be able to mature in his love of Christ, His church, and his role in helping others to demonstrate the same.

Midwestern Seminary recently hired Dr Jason Allen to serve as her 5th president and I couldn’t imagine a better man for the job. Why am I so certain? While attending a Midwestern Seminary luncheon here in Omaha, I had the privilege of receiving a collection of essays written by Dr Allen called “For the Church.” These essays were written so as to inform Midwestern on his understanding of this unique relationship between the church and the seminary. In his candidacy interview, he submitted these essays (in book form) and as it was told, the board had determined that this was the man for the job!

For the ChurchI like the board of trustee’s found these articles to be extremely encouraging and a reliably guide to the future success of Midwestern Seminary.

How can Dr. Allen be so confident in putting forth his vision of the success of this Seminary? Oddly enough, he doesn’t. That is, he has placed the success not in the Seminary’s ability to navigate the culture or to recognize trends, but in its faithfulness to the institution that will never end, the church! If a seminary is to last through the centuries, it must not attempt to rise above the church, pressing it’s values on it, but must place itself under it, being a servant of it. This agenda doesn’t just take a man with good vision, but a man with courage. And everyone must be on the same team. Dr Allen writes, “The fulcrum of doctrinal accountability for a seminary is its confessional statement, but it is only as meaningful as the integrity of the one signing it, and only as helpful as the courage and care of those charged with enforcing it.  This oversight begins with the seminary’s administration, but it encompasses the churches that own the seminary.”  If the church is called to be faithful, so then are the seminaries that exist to train men for faithful ministry in all it’s capacities. This means exercising accountability when needed. Maybe Dr Albert Mohler had that talk with Dr Allen before he left? If you’re going to be faithful to Christ, it’s not going to be without a fight. A fight within the school, the denomination, and from the world itself. The leader of this Seminary must have the courage and care to enforce the standard.

Like most endeavors that start of strong, only time will tell how faithful this Seminary will be to it’s great vision.  Time will either tell, or we will tell whether it just took a little time, and like many seminaries, this too is just like many others who now serve to be burden to Christ and His church.  With Dr. Allen’s appointment, I think we will be pleasantly surprised.

Dr. Allen was elected by the Midwestern Board of Trustees as the seminary’s fifth president on Oct. 15, 2012, becoming the youngest seminary president in the Southern Baptist Convention, and one of the youngest presidents in American higher education. He came with a renewed vision for the school, focusing its mission and vision on a seminary’s sacred calling to serve the local church. – See more at: http://www.mbts.edu/about/leadership-team/#sthash.XRC429Ia.dpuf

 

Dr. Allen was elected by the Midwestern Board of Trustees as the seminary’s fifth president on Oct. 15, 2012, becoming the youngest seminary president in the Southern Baptist Convention, and one of the youngest presidents in American higher education. He came with a renewed vision for the school, focusing its mission and vision on a seminary’s sacred calling to serve the local church. – See more at: http://www.mbts.edu/about/leadership-team/#sthash.XRC429Ia.dpuf