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Colleagues, students honor Patterson with Festschrift

ORLANDO, Fla. (BP)–As Paige Patterson stepped down from his second consecutive year as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, his colleagues and students debuted a Festschrift in his honor as the SBC met in Orlando, June 13-14.

The Festschrift, a volume of writings by different authors presented as a tribute to a scholar, is titled Here I Stand: Essays in Honor of Dr. Paige Patterson.

Stephen R. Prescott, one of Patterson’s students at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C., where Patterson has been president since 1992, is the creative force behind the book.

“Dr. Patterson has been an inspiration and example to all of his students,” said Prescott, adjunct professor for Southeastern College at Wake Forest. “Most of us would not be where we are today without him.”

Explaining a Festschrift as “a tribute to the esteem of a lifelong scholar,” Prescott said the book “is appropriate at this time now that he has stepped down as president of the Southern Baptist Convention.”

Here I Stand is a collection of 24 essays, “deliberately a blend of students and colleagues” from across the SBC, about half of whom are young scholars personally taught by Patterson and who are currently in their first teaching positions, Prescott said.

The foreword is by Judge Paul Pressler of Houston, Texas, who together with Patterson is considered an architect of the conservative resurgence in the SBC.

Prescott, who completed the master of divinity degree at SEBTS in 1996 and is currently in the dissertation stage of his doctoral work, took his ideas for the Festschrift to two SEBTS professors, David Alan Black and N. Allan Moseley. Black, professor of New Testament and Greek, and Moseley, vice president for student services, not only agreed the project was worthy, but also joined in with Prescott to become the book’s editorial team.

“The quality of the contributors is outstanding,” said Charles Welty of Davidson Press, Yorba Linda, Calif., publisher of the book. “I am very pleased with this book.”

Among the 24 essays are:

— “A Troubled Conscience for the 21st Century” by Carl F. H. Henry

— “Ministers for the 21st Century” by James Draper

— “Pinnock’s Pilgrimage” by Kenneth D. Keathley

— “Was Article XVII Really Necessary?” by Peter Schemm

— “Christian Men and Women in Dialogue” by Rhonda Harrington Kelley

— “Private Hells, Public Warfare” by Keith Harper

— “Politically Incorrect Witnessing” by L. Russ Bush III

The book debuted June 14 during a special ceremony at the annual SEBTS luncheon for alumni and friends of the seminary.

“A Festschrift is a unique book, a celebration in writing. It is very rare and very few people are deserving of a Festschrift,” Black said in presenting this book to Patterson. “We present this not at the end of [Patterson’s] career, but in midstream of what only can be called an amazing career. This book is a very small and inadequate token of the esteem with which your colleagues and students hold you all around the world.”

The book is accompanied by a CD (compact disc), which includes:

— a video presentation featuring a tribute to Patterson

— an essay by Patterson on the history of the reformation of the SBC

— the entire text of the International Standard Version of the New Testament, edited by David Alan Black

— the full book text

All proceeds above cost go to the SEBTS endowment fund. Here I Stand: Essays in Honor of Dr. Paige Patterson is available at LifeWay Christian bookstores and Southeastern Seminary.

The book is listed as ISBN #1-891833-58-8. Photo available upon request from Southeastern Seminary’s Office of Public Relations.

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  • Debbie Moore