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SBC DIGEST: GuideStone update; Rod Masteller dies; SWBTS names book of the year

December update with GuideStone’s David Spika

David Spika joined Jonathan Howe Monday (Dec. 14) to talk about the financial impact of the COVID-19 vaccine and the upcoming Biden administration.

Longtime pastor, mentor Rod Masteller dies

By Will Hall/Baptist Message

DALLAS (BP) – Rod Masteller, 75, retired 13-year pastor of Summer Grove Baptist Church in Shreveport, La., died Dec. 13 in Dallas due to complications from COVID-19.

Masteller was a pastor for nearly 50 years, leading of congregations in Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, and he served in several denominational roles at the state and national levels.

Those who knew him said his leadership and service were shaped by his deep love of God’s Word as well as his passion for pouring himself into the discipleship of others. He also was known for his deep unending love of family.

Rodney Gage, pastor of ReThink Life Church, Orlando, Fla., said that family was near and dear to his father-in-law.

“He loved his daughters, his sons-in-law and his grandchildren,” Gage said. “He had saved for years to fulfill his dream to take his entire family on an all-expense paid trip to Israel. He wanted it to serve as a legacy trip to mark our lives forever by walking where Jesus walked. He fulfilled that dream in November of 2019. It was truly the trip of a lifetime we will never forget.

“His life, ministry and love for others were shaped by Philippians 3:10,” Gage said. “He wanted others to know Jesus and to grow as His disciples with a deep love for His Word.”

Gage also said Masteller was devoted to disciple-making, mentoring scores of businessmen and young pastors.

One of his protégés, Nathan Lorick, now serves as the executive director of the Colorado Baptist General Convention.

Lorick expressed sadness for the loss of a close mentor, but was thankful for Masteller’s ministry and friendship — even during the last few days.

“Rod took a chance on a 17-year-old who had more passion than he did wisdom, and he shepherded me in my walk with Christ and in ministry,” Lorick said. “He was the greatest encourager. When I would text him at the hospital to find out how he was doing, his messages back to me were about me. Even in his final days he was seeking to mentor and encourage me.

“He was one of the godliest men I have ever known. His heart beat for the holiness of God.”

Jimmy Draper, a two-term president of the Southern Baptist Convention and a past president of LifeWay Christian Resources, described Masteller as a close friend and a fellow leader in the Southern Baptist Convention.

“He and I shared many experiences over the years and had a lot of great discussions about our denomination and the churches of the SBC,” Draper said. “He was a people person who poured his life into younger ministers.

“He was a dynamic preacher of the Gospel and has remained busy in preaching even since retiring,” Draper continued. “He has left a remarkable legacy of faithfulness that will long endure beyond his actual lifetime. He served well and finished strong!”

Read the full story here.

First SWJT Book of the Year Awards announced

By Alex Sibley/SWBTS

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) – Carl R. Trueman’s The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution (Crossway) has been named the “Book of the Year” in the first annual Book of the Year Awards, sponsored by the Southwestern Journal of Theology (SWJT) and selected by the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) faculty. Thirty-seven books from 14 different publishers have been recognized, including two faculty-authored texts and four titles with faculty contributions.

“The new Book of the Year Awards contest is further evidence of our determination to be leaders in theological scholarship through our academic journal, the Southwestern Journal of Theology, in addition to the scholarly work of our faculty across the full range of the theological disciplines,” said Adam W. Greenway, SWBTS president. “The book awards also demonstrate our engagement with the best in theological scholarship in the evangelical world. I congratulate Dr. David Dockery for his leadership of SWJT and this contest, as well as all the winners.”

David S. Dockery, distinguished professor of theology and editor of the Southwestern Journal of Theology, said he is “deeply grateful” for the “thoughtful and engaging responses” from faculty members of all five schools of Southwestern Seminary in selecting these award recipients.

“Scholars from every discipline participated, offering their evaluations of key 2020 publications,” Dockery said. “In keeping with the mission of the seminary, the books have been selected with a focus on volumes that will serve the church well in the days to come.”

Dockery adds that the seminary faculty is “truly thankful for those who serve in the Christian publishing field, who have helped to produce these outstanding books.”

Read the full story here.

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