‘Southwestern Seminary is here,
and we care,’ Greenway tells BGCT
By Alex Sibley
WACO, Texas (BP) — “You are welcome home,” President Adam W. Greenway told Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary alumni and friends at the annual meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) Nov. 18 in Waco.
“I want you to know that our right hand of fellowship is extended to you,” he continued, assuring listeners that Southwestern Seminary is “going to be finding ways to cooperate rather than separate.”
“Because, candidly,” he said, “the urgency of the moment we find ourselves in demands that we come together now, unlike any time in our past. Because, candidly, the challenges we face are unlike anything we’ve ever faced in our past. We don’t have time to figure out and to fuss about and to fight over the stupid stuff. We just don’t. It’s time for us to be found faithful, that the Lord might make us fruitful for His Kingdom’s service.”
In addition to Greenway’s address, alumni officers were elected: Ryan Buck, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Mason, president; Garet Robinson, pastor of adult ministries at University Baptist Church in Houston, vice president; and Jason Martin, senior pastor of First Baptist Church Port Neches, secretary. As Buck explained, these elections signified the formalization of this alumni gathering, and the officers will work with the seminary and promote the annual event in the coming years.
During his address, Greenway acknowledged that, particularly in the last 25 years, the relationship between Southwestern Seminary and the BGCT has been strained, and that deep wounds exist.
“When Southwestern Seminary and Texas Baptists are at our best, the bonds are indissoluble,” he said. “When we’re not at our best, the wounds go far, far, far deeper.”
But Greenway urged the seminary and the convention to unite for the mission of reaching Texas with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“We’re about doing everything we can to make it as impossible, humanly speaking, for anybody to die in Texas and go into a Christ-less eternity,” Greenway said. “There are millions of people in Texas who care little about the things that we can fuss, fight and fixate over; they need to hear God loves them, Christ died for them, and if they will turn from their sin and trust Jesus, they will be saved. And if they don’t hear it from us, who are they going to hear it from?”
Greenway further shared that, at Southwestern Seminary, “it is a new day, and we’re charting a new course.” This “new course,” he explained, is a return to the founding vision of B.H. Carroll, which Greenway has termed the “big-tent” vision, built on the four pegs of a high view Scripture, confessional fidelity, the Great Commission, and cooperation.
“I realize that we have not always lived up to the promise and the potential of what ought to characterize what I believe is the crown jewel seminary of Southern Baptists,” Greenway said. “I want you to hear from the bottom of my heart, for any way in which we have failed, I am sorry. I wish I could change the past; I can’t. I wish I could undo some things; I can’t. But since Feb. 27 of this year, as the ninth president of the seminary, I and our administration have been working very diligently to set right what’s been left undone.”
In the spirit of the fourth peg of cooperation, Greenway asked alumni and friends at the luncheon to pray for Southwestern Seminary and to reach out when questions arise concerning happenings at the institution.
“It’s important to me to do what I can to say, ‘Southwestern Seminary is here, and we care,'” Greenway said. “More than that, I pray that we will once again earn your trust and your respect and be the place where you will feel comfortable and confident that, as God raises up men and women under your ministry influence who are thinking about theological education, you’d be able to say to them, ‘You need to come to my seminary — to Southwestern Seminary. Come home to the dome.'”
The luncheon also featured a word from Jonathan Howe, vice president of communications for the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. He thanked those gathered for their giving to the Cooperative Program, noting that, historically, Texas Baptists have contributed more than $2.5 billion to SBC missions and ministries.
“What you do, what I do, what this convention does, what Baptist Press does, what Dr. Greenway does at Southwestern — none of it would be possible without you and the gifts that you give to the Cooperative Program, and we thank you for that,” Howe said.
Korean pastor Daniel Lee teaches,
preaches at Midwestern Seminary
By T. Patrick Hudson
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) — Noted Korean pastor, Daniel Dong-Won Lee, encouraged chapel attendees at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MBTS) to love the lost and to maintain a focus on international missions during his sermon on Nov. 12.
During his week-long stay in Kansas City, Lee — who is pastor emeritus of Global Mission Church in Bundang, South Korea — also taught a doctoral seminar and was honored by MBTS president Jason Allen as a Spurgeon Fellow.
While preaching in the chapel that bears his name, Lee taught from Luke 15, explaining that this was the passage God used to call him into ministry.
Of the Scripture from Luke, Lee related that verses 25-32 — the familiar story of the “Prodigal Son” — express the truths that believers are to love the lost and are commanded by God to reach the lost with the message of the gospel.
“Isn’t the reason why God orders the church community to be his witness is to find the lost?” Lee asked. “There are so many things for the church to do, but the most important command is still to share the gospel. I pray that churches in the USA will never forget the priority of this command.”
In loving the lost and proclaiming the gospel, Lee exhorted the attendees to look to the ends of the earth in carrying out these commands.
“I challenge you today, all of you dear students and seminarians, do not focus only on America,” Lee said. “Lift your eyes to see the entire global village, the village that God loves so much. See that the field is white for harvest. Who will respond like Isaiah did? ‘Here I am, Lord. Send me.'”
In addition to Lee preaching in chapel, the service’s worship time was highlighted by traditional Korean cultural music. Ok Hee Chun, a master of Gugak, which is a Korean traditional music style, sang songs and demonstrated Korean traditional rhythm on the janggu and buk, which are ceremonial drums.
To view Lee’s message in full, visit https://www.mbts.edu/2019/11/chapel-with-dr-daniel-lee/.
Lee, who has served as distinguished professor of Korean Studies at Midwestern Seminary for nine years, also taught a Korean doctoral seminar on Christian Leadership during his stay in Kansas City.
Of his time on campus, Lee said he is grateful for the opportunity to serve Korean students in the classroom. He added that the partnership existing between Midwestern Seminary and Global Mission Church is of significant Kingdom value.
“Seminary is a place to learn God’s Word, and church is a place to practice God’s Word,” Lee said. “These two places must cooperate together for the Kingdom of God. In this sense, the solid relationship between Midwestern Seminary and Global Mission Church shows an exemplary model of this process for the Kingdom of God.”
Lee added that Midwestern Seminary has been valuable to Korean and other international students because it offers courses where students can learn in their native language which, in turn, greatly assists with their ministry calling.
“The Great Commission is Jesus Christ’s commandment that is to be spread to all the nations and tribes,” Lee said. “As Jesus is the Word of God itself, the Gospel of Jesus should be spread out through the human tongues. In this sense, it is missiological and incarnational that the language programs at Midwestern are designed to teach in their mother tongues.”
Additionally, during a luncheon held in Lee’s honor on Nov. 14, Allen inducted Lee as a Spurgeon Fellow.
Conferring the honor of Spurgeon Fellow upon Lee, Allen further recognized him “for his ongoing leadership in equipping church leaders, for his commitment to the expository preaching of God’s Word, and for his service to the broader evangelical community.”
Allen also expressed his gratefulness for the partnership Midwestern Seminary has developed with Global Mission Church over the past decade.
“This relationship has been fruitful for the cause of the gospel in that thousands of students from across Korea have studied at Midwestern Seminary in their heart language and, thus, have been sent as pastors and ministry leaders back to Korea and around the world,” Allen said.
“Dr. Lee has been instrumental throughout this relationship — providing insight, leadership, and commendation of Midwestern Seminary’s degree programs toward those considering theological education. We are also grateful to him for his warm and generous hospitality when leaders from our institution visit Korea, and we look forward to holding the first For the Church Worldwide Conference at Global Mission Church on April 20, 2020.”
To learn more about the Asian Studies Program at Midwestern Seminary, visit https://www.mbts.edu/degrees/asian-studies/.