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Russ Bush sees ‘crisis point’ in confusion over doctrine

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–“I really feel like we’re at a crisis point,” L. Russ Bush told students at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said of the confusion over doctrines of the Christian faith prevalent today.

Bush, director of the new L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and distinguished professor of philosophy of religion at the North Carolina campus, read from 1 John 2, recounting the apostle’s discussion on the nature of Christian faith and doctrine.

Assessing the idea of universal atonement, that Christ died for all whether they choose to receive Him or not, Bush noted that Christians should not be concerned with picking out “the elect” when evangelizing, but should instead share the Good News with all, impartially.

“Obedience is key,” Bush said, encouraging students and staff at the Kansas City, Mo., campus to love one another and turn away from things of the world.

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Such obedience and love, Bush said, will result in darkness passing away and the light of Jesus Christ transforming cultures, such as the Naga people in India. Once a tribe of headhunters, Bush said the Gospel has nearly saturated Nagaland. Some 90 percent of the populace have a faith in Christ, he said, and churches are actively sending their own missionaries into virtually closed countries.

Urging the chapel audience to have compassion on those lost in darkness and hatred, Bush noted that everyone will die and, while this causes despair among those without hope, “those who love the Father and understand the Gospel have the hope of salvation.”

He concluded by singing the old hymn “I’m Going Home” and stating that no one –- not Hindus, not secularists, not Muslims — except Christians can sing those words “my heavenly home is bright and fair.”

At the close of the message, Midwestern’s academic dean, Thorvald Madsen II, led in a special time of prayer for Bush and his wife Cynthia. Bush has been battling cancer for the past year.

Midwestern President R. Philip Roberts presented Bush with a framed page from the Gutenberg Bible featuring the first chapter of John in thanks and appreciation for his service to Southern Baptists.

“Dr. Bush is a giant among Southern Baptists,” Roberts said. “His service to Christ in calling for a return to fidelity to the Bible has done an immeasurable service for us. We were honored by his presence with us.”
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