ST LOUIS (BP)–The 15-year anniversary of the adoption of the Peace Committee Report passed with little fanfare at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting.
Its conclusions, though, must never be forgotten, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. told some 450 people gathered at the school’s alumni and friends luncheon June 12.
The 2002 convention returned to the very city in which messengers to the 1987 convention adopted the Peace Committee Report, which was put together in order to study the issues behind the inner-denominational controversy.
The committee unanimously reported that the source of the controversy was primarily theological. Specifically, it stated that the primary source of the controversy was “the Bible; more specifically, the ways in which the Bible is viewed.”
“I want the Baptists who gather together in St. Louis in 2002 to remember the lessons learned in 1987,” said Mohler, seminary president since 1993. “When we come back here we’re reminded of something of the cost that was required for Southern Seminary to relearn these lessons.
“It is a reminder to me of the cost of what it will take for Southern Seminary to maintain this course in years to come.”
Outgoing SBC President James Merritt — a two-time Southern Seminary graduate — also spoke, saying that, “What has happened at this seminary is nothing short of a miracle of God.”
The June 15 issue of World magazine includes an article by Mohler analyzing the Peace Committee Report and summarizing the convention’s strong stands on doctrinal and social issues.
Speaking at the luncheon, Mohler said the Peace Committee’s findings must never be forgotten because Southern Baptists must remain grounded upon the inerrancy and authority of Scripture.
“As that report was adopted, it did not settle all of the issues,” Mohler said. “It defined the issues. It took some years for the issues to be settled.”
Seminaries, Mohler said, help mold future pastors. As an example he paraphrased a section from author Michael Rose’s book, “Goodbye, Good Men: How Liberals Brought Corruption into the Catholic Church.”
“He said one thing in this book that certainly should capture our attention,” Mohler said. “He said those who control the seminaries control the future, for whatever happens in the seminaries determines the future of the churches and denominations of America.”
Because of that responsibility, he added, Southern’s faculty and trustees have an “incredible stewardship” to fulfill.
“We want to remember the lessons that were learned,” Mohler said. “We want to make certain that what we teach is directly from the Scripture, that what we teach clarifies the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and fortifies those who are learning.
“In a day that so many denominations are moving steadily to the left … Southern Seminary has to stay planted firmly on the foundation that we have received.”
Southern, Mohler said, will always be accountable to Southern Baptists.
“Brothers and sisters, hold your alma mater accountable,” he said. “Make certain that you know that what is taking place on our campus is honoring to God, is edifying to the church, [and] is consistent with God’s Word.”