Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Responsive Reading Recited at the Southern Seminary Sesquicentennial Service

(Yesterday The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary celebrated its sesquicentennial with a special service of thanksgiving to God for His blessings upon this Seminary. This thanksgiving service included Bible readings, appropriate hymns- such as "O God, Our Help in Ages Past" and "Soldiers of Christ in Truth Arrayed," a presentation to Dr. Greg Wills for writing an official history of the seminary, and an account of the Seminary's history- with special focus on God's faithfulness to the Seminary- by Dr. Al Mohler. Also included was the following responsive reading, composed for this occasion. Mark Dever led the responsive reading: I'm not sure whether he also composed it, or if it was someone else, as the author was unannounced. UPDATE: I saw Mark Dever at the SBTS campus LifeWay store this morning, and he told me that Dr. Mohler composed the responsive reading.)

We gather to celebrate the faithfulness of God that is demonstrated in the founding of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1859 and its preservation until this day.

It is right and good to give praise to the Lord for this day and for the legacy of faithfulness that links past, present, and future in the secure purposes of Almighty God.

We celebrate the vision of the founders, who saw the need for a theological seminary that would serve the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention. We are thankful for their commitment to scholarly excellence and learning for the sake of Christ and His kingdom.

In this light we commit ourselves anew to their vision, affirming that our commitment to scholarship is a commitment to discipleship. May those who learn and teach in this school love God with heart and mind and strength.

We celebrate the convictions upon which this school was established, and claim these as our own, affirming the doctrines of our faith without hesitation or mental reservation and standing with boldness in the declaration of Christian truth.

In this generation, we are required to affirm anew our commitment to the faith once for all delivered to the saints and to stand with our churches in the propagation and defense of these doctrines. We affirm the unqualified truthfulness of the Bible even as we affirm the trustworthiness of Almighty God.

We reflect upon the name of this school, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and celebrate the identity of this school as an institution serving the Southern Baptist Convention and its churches. From its inception, this school was to find its identity in a confessional covenant with these churches and this denomination.

With gratitude we affirm the mission of this Seminary as a servant of the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention. We humbly accept this charge even as it is handed to us by those who came before us.

We return to the historic founding of the Seminary in order to remember the rock from which we are hewn, the story that expresses the glory of God in our calling, and the vision for establishing Gospel churches that would take the saving message of Christ to all the nations.

With eagerness we return to our founding in order to be more faithful in the present. We reflect on the legacy we now celebrate in order to be reminded of the great charge that is now assigned to the generation of the living. May Southern Seminary serve so that our churches are built up in the faith, so that our preachers proclaim the Word with power and faithfulness, and so that the nations will rejoice in the name of Jesus.

May the Lord keep, preserve, and lead The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary into ever greater faithfulness until Jesus comes, to the everlasting glory of the one true God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.



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