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FROM THE SEMINARIES: SWBTS’ Greenway, Gateway’s Iorg address students to open fall term

Greenway encourages students to trust in God in times of uncertainty

By Alex Sibley

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) — “The coronavirus pandemic did not catch God by surprise,” said President Adam W. Greenway during a fall 2020 “opening message” to the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Scarborough College community Wednesday (Aug. 26). “And if anything, I think one of the things that we are learning to do is to more fully trust Him, to rely upon Him, to cast ourselves upon Him.”

Though SWBTS’ Fort Worth campus officially reopened for the fall 2020 semester on Aug. 17, COVID-19-related safety protocols prevented the opportunity for a convocation service that traditionally begins the semester. Instead, the seminary released a video message from Greenway in which he delivered “a presidential and a pastoral word of encouragement.”

Greenway spoke from the Adrian Rogers Library in Carroll House, home of the B.H. Carroll Center for Baptist Heritage and Mission at Southwestern Seminary. Rogers’ election in 1979 as president of the Southern Baptist Convention signified the start of the Conservative Resurgence, which was based upon a high view of Scripture. His library was donated to Southwestern Seminary several years ago, Greenway explained, as a testimony to the institution’s legacy of and ongoing commitment to a high view of Scripture, confessional fidelity, the Great Commission, and cooperation—the four tent pegs of Greenway’s “big-tent” vision for the seminary.

Greenway based his message on Matthew 6:31-34, wherein Jesus exhorts His followers not to worry, but to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” assuring them that all their needs would be met.

“Everything you need is going to be provided for you,” Greenway said. “He is going to take care of you. Just make sure that you keep the main thing, the main thing: the Kingdom agenda, the Kingdom mission, the Kingdom vision.”

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Biblical perspective on racism requires discernment and courage, Iorg says

By Tyler Sanders

ONTARIO, Calif. — Submitting to the authority of God’s Word is a challenging task in a world steeped in political and social turmoil, said Jeff Iorg, president of Gateway Seminary, during his fall convocation address Wednesday (Aug. 26).

Citing the importance of functioning in a diverse ministry environment, Iorg said, “At Gateway, about 65 percent of our students are non-Anglo. We work every day in a diverse environment where people capitalize on, not divide over differences.

“We want everyone associated with or produced by Gateway Seminary to be committed to living under biblical authority and bringing a biblical worldview to bear in every life situation.”

There are several obstacles that complicate this pursuit, but one contemporary problem stands out: the conflation of social justice issues.

Iorg specifically referenced the example of the Black Lives Matter organization and its strong stance against racism in all its forms. Many Christians, Iorg included, share the organization’s opposition to racism because of the biblical conviction that every person bears the image of God. However, Black Lives Matter also has publicly stated interests in “changing how society defines gender, sexual identity, morality, and family in ways contrary to biblical Truth,” Iorg said.

“At stake is not denominational distinctions, but convictions about the foundation of God’s revelation relative to His creative order,” he added.

“On one hand, we stand against racism and support others who share our outrage,” he said. “On the other hand, we cannot simultaneously compromise our convictions about so many other issues which strike at the core of what creates healthy relationships, communities, and even countries.”

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