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Serve the ‘children of light,’ Mohler tells grads

[SLIDESHOW=40235,40236,40237]LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) — God calls ministers of the Gospel to affirm the church and serve its members faithfully, R. Albert Mohler Jr. said in the commencement address to graduates of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

During commencement exercises on the seminary lawn, 297 master’s and doctorate students received their degrees May 14. A week earlier, 107 Boyce College graduates received certificate, associate and bachelor’s degrees in a commencement that marked the first time a child of a Southern Seminary president, Christopher Mohler, graduated from the institution.

R. Albert Mohler Jr., in an address from 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 titled “Children of the Day,” said ministers are called to serve the “children of light” who are destined for salvation and to preach with urgency “knowing that the day of the Lord is coming.”

The identity of the church as “children of light,” their destiny of salvation and the urgency of preaching frame the calling of pastoral ministry and missions, Mohler said.

“The children of the day know the eschatological urgency that comes from knowing that the day of the Lord is coming, that the time is short and that this age will end,” Mohler said. “If this is true for all the children of the day, it is certainly most consciously true of those who are called as ministers for the children of the day. The times and the seasons cry out the urgency of our calling — most of all, the urgency of the preaching of the Gospel.”

Mohler called the graduates to remember the prayers of the church as they continue in their Gospel service.

“Take your place in line and fulfill your ministry with eyes wide open, knowing your destiny in Christ,” he charged the graduates. “Go into the world of darkness as brave children of the day.”

During the commencement, Mohler presented the annual Findley B. and Louvenia Edge Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence to Gregg R. Allison, professor of Christian theology. He has taught at Southern since 2003 and is the author of several books, including the popular “Historical Theology” and the recent “Roman Catholic Theology: An Evangelical Assessment.” Allison, an elder at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, and his wife Nora have three adult children.

Mohler also presented the Josephine S. and James L. Baggott Outstanding Graduate Award to Corbin T. Hobbs, a master of divinity graduate from Rogers, Ark. Hobbs and his wife Allie are members at Sojourn.

Also among the graduates: Ben Dockery, son of Trinity International University President David S. Dockery, who earned a doctor of philosophy degree from the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry, and Justin Taylor, senior vice president and publisher of books for Crossway, who earned a doctor of philosophy from the school of theology.

Mohler’s entire address will be available in audio and video at the SBTS resources page. A complete manuscript of the address, “‘Children of the Day,” is available at www.albertmohler.com.

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  • S. Craig Sanders