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SBC DIGEST: Heimbach speaks on ‘warrior ethic’; apologetics workshops slated at LifeWay Stores; apologetics podcast produced by Mo. duo

Heimbach addresses ‘warrior ethic’ at Defense Intelligence Agency

WASHINGTON (BP) — Daniel Heimbach, senior professor of Christian ethics at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, spoke on the topic of a “warrior ethic” as a guest lecturer at the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C., Aug. 30.

An effective warrior ethic, Heimbach stated, depends on cultivating faith in a source of transcendent authority that sustains living for values greater than personal health and physical survival. He defined the warrior ethic as “a body of ethical beliefs needed to be a successful warrior.”

“In practical terms, human passions never submit to human reason, and without faith in something transcending ourselves, human reason always succumbs to human passions,” Heimbach said.

Bruce Ashford, Southeastern Seminary’s provost, attended the lecture with Heimbach.

“Dr. Heimbach spoke to an audience of intelligence officers and military leaders, arguing that the most consequential and difficult challenge military leaders face today is cultivating the warrior ethic that our soldiers need and on which America’s national security mission most depends,” Ashford said. “He urged the military to give its chaplains every opportunity possible to ground their ethic in something greater than life, which for Christians means faith in Christ, and will cause others to examine what they are living for.”

Heimbach, with nearly five decades of military and ethics experience, was the seventh lecturer in a Defense Intelligence Agency series focusing on military ethics that began in 2015.

Ashford described Heimbach as “one of America’s premiere ‘just war’ theorists, having served as a combat officer in the Navy, an adviser to President George H. W. Bush and an invited speaker at national symposia on the ethics of war and peace.”

Heimbach spoke of his ethics training at the Naval Academy, noting that while it developed programs and results, something was missing in the motivation of its actions.

“I saw a program strong on results but weak on what justifies and motivates them,” he said.

Heimbach cited historical figures such as George Washington, the country’s first president, who noted the importance of religion to guide national morality during his “Farewell Speech” in 1796. Heimbach also cited Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky, who wrote in his book “Brothers Karamazov,” that all actions are acceptable apart from God’s existence.

“I have observed that an effective warrior ethic requires faith in a source of ethical ultimacy that not only affects how service members live but affects what they will risk dying for,” Heimbach said.

The formal title of Heimbach’s lecture was “The Greatest Military Leadership Challenge of Our Day: Cultivating the Warrior Ethic Sustaining Military Power.”

Previous speakers in the DIA series were Mark Coppenger, professor of philosophy and ethics at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Carl Wilkins, former head of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency in Rwanda; Robert Wicks, clinical psychologist and professor who emphasizes spiritual practice as part of psychological healing; Jessica Buchanan, who was taken captive by Somalia land pirates and rescued by Navy SEAL Team Six; James Giordano, professor at Georgetown University in the departments of neurology and biochemistry; and Clinton Longenecker, director of the Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence at the University of Toledo in the College of Business and Innovation.


LifeWay Stores to host apologetics workshops

NASHVILLE (BP) — How are you today? What brings you in? Did you find everything you need?

Questions like these are repeated every day at LifeWay Christian Stores. But customers around the nation will be asked to examine a different kind of question on Sept. 12 — Why do you believe what you believe?

The question isn’t meant to put customers on the spot. Rather, they’ll learn how to convey a defense for their faith as they attend one of LifeWay’s apologetics workshops at stores nationwide at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday.

“In light of today’s rapid social changes, Christians need to be able to think through important issues from a theological standpoint and winsomely articulate how the Christian worldview addresses these issues,” said Andy McLean, publishing team leader for The Gospel Project for Students at LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

McLean wrote a workbook for the apologetics workshop, which will be given free to the first 75 customers at each LifeWay store on Sept. 12. Coffee, bottled water and snacks also will be provided to guests during the workshops.

McLean knows many Christians find apologetics daunting. He hopes LifeWay customers will take advantage of attending one of the free equipping events.

“Don’t let the term ‘apologetics’ intimidate you or lead you to believe it’s something only trained seminarians do,” McLean said. “1 Peter 3:15 makes it clear that all Christians should be able to explain why they believe what they do.”

LifeWay Stores will have special offers on apologetics resources for the event. CSB Apologetics Study Bibles will be 50 percent off and Lee Strobel’s “The Case for Christ” will be on sale for $5.

The workshops will cover seven strategies to help believers discuss their faith with non-believers. Attendees will learn, for example, the importance of knowing their audience, as the apostle Paul demonstrated in Acts 17:16-34. Customers also will look to Titus 3:9 to recognize how to avoid foolish debates that don’t bear fruit.

McLean hopes the workshops will help customers use apologetics as a tool for engaging in the Great Commission.

“Apologetics is a ministry to others,” he noted. “It isn’t about getting into arguments or winning debates — it’s about making much of Jesus as we lovingly and graciously present Him to those around us.”

To learn more, visit LifeWay.com/StoreEvents.


Missouri Baptist apologists launch podcast

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (BP) — Missouri Baptist Apologetics Network members Dave Van Bebber and Adam Cochrun have launched a biweekly podcast titled “T.A.G. You’re It!”

The podcast features interviews and debates about culture, current events, theology and cults from a biblical perspective.

“We wanted to do something that no other Missouri Baptist apologists were doing,” Van Bebber told The Pathway, newsjournal of the Missouri Baptist Convention. “We wanted to amplify the voice of Missouri Baptists engaged in defending the Christian faith.”

Van Bebber and Cochrun’s podcast has featured, among others, Missouri Baptist Apologists Network leader Rob Phillips; Don Hinkle, editor of The Pathway and director of public policy for the state conventon; and Andrew Walker, director of policy studies at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and author of the new book, “God and the Transgender Debate.”

Cochrun, who goes by the on-air name of Ray Ray, said the purpose of the podcast is to “edify the saints, glorify the Lord and deal with difficult questions.” In June, Cochrun debated atheist YouTuber Shawn McCormick on the podcast over the proposition “Resolved: God is immoral.”

The debate, and all other installments of “T.A.G. You’re It!” are available through iTunes and all android podcast conversion apps. The show is recorded every other Tuesday. To contact Cochrun and Van Bebber with questions, go to their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TAGYoureItPod, or email them at [email protected] or [email protected]

“T.A.G. You’re It!” is named after the acronym for the Transcendental Argument of the Existence of God (TAG), the proposition that “Without God it is impossible to prove anything.” Also, because the podcast is a back-and-forth and the hosts “tag” each other when addressing issues, the name fits what they do while playing to the acronym.

“A neat element of the podcast,” Van Bebber said, “is that the content is accessible to anyone with a smartphone or a computer at any time. That information is stored and is a useful tool for anyone wanting to learn about apologetics.”

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  • SBC Seminary, LifeWay, Pathway & BP Staff

    Complied by Baptist Press senior editor Art Toalston from reporting by Lauren Pratt of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; Aaron Wilson of LifeWay Christian Resources; and The Pathway newsjournal of the Missouri Baptist Convention.

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