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SWBTS: Allen’s commentary on Hebrews released; …

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–David Allen, dean of the school of theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas, has written a New American Commentary on Hebrews arguing that Luke is the author of the New Testament epistle.

“This is the only commentary that I know of in recent days that actually argues for a particular theory of authorship, the Lukan authorship of Hebrews,” Allen said of the commentary, released by the B&H Publishing Group of LifeWay Christian Resources. “Most commentaries in their introductory material will discuss all the various theories and views, but it is fairly unusual to have a commentary argue in favor of a particular view.”

Allen, in an interview posted on Southwestern’s website, said the research and writing process for the book lasted a decade, after his initial interest in the Book of Hebrews was piqued in college during the 1970s.

The commentary includes a significant discussion on Hebrews 6:1-6, one of the “knottiest problems” of New Testament studies, Allen said. The passage refers to “those who have been once enlightened and partakers of the heavenly gift and then have fallen away” and says it is “impossible to renew them to repentance.”

Of the 671 pages of the commentary, about 50 pages are given the first six verses of the sixth chapter.

Allen said he tried to write the commentary for pastors, to show them “how one can preach through the paragraph units of Hebrews and how the paragraph units are connected by the author and the conjunctions that he uses to connect the passages and then how that affects our preaching of Hebrews.”

“I do think that Hebrews is a written sermon. I think it’s placed in writing. It may have been preached orally first, but I do think that’s significant in the impact on pastors,” he said.

The full interview, along with video clips from Allen’s comments on the book, can be accessed at http://www.swbts.edu/campusnews/story.cfm?id=7DFA9DF5-15C5-E47C-F9AEFA8EA30D1339.

PAUL’S THEOLOGY EXAMINED IN BOOK — Terry Wilder, professor of New Testament at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, has co-edited “Entrusted with the Gospel: Paul’s Theology in the Pastoral Epistles,” published by B&H Academic.

In an interview posted on Southwestern’s website, Wilder said the overarching theme of the Pastoral Epistles is the stewardship of the Gospel.

“In these letters, Paul treats Timothy and Titus as stewards of the Gospel. Paul himself is a steward, and the Lord Jesus Christ, of course, is our master,” Wilder said.

“A steward in antiquity was a chief household slave, someone who was entrusted with his master’s affairs while he was away, until he returned. And so, in a very real sense, ministers, pastors and preachers are stewards of the Gospel, and we have been entrusted with managing the household, i.e., God’s church, while the master is away, until his return.”

Wilder wrote the chapter on the Pauline authorship of the Pastoral Epistles, which he said matters because Paul was an apostle.

“[M]ost of the New Testament books that are recognized as canonical by the church were written by an apostle or someone who was authorized or approved by the apostles,” Wilder said. “These apostles carried the authority of the Lord Jesus Himself. They were divinely commissioned. They were divinely ordained men of God, whom the Lord Jesus empowered to be His representatives on the earth.”

The full interview, along with video clips from Wilder’s comments on the book, can be accessed at http://www.swbts.edu/campusnews/story.cfm?id=82C8A2EA-15C5-E47C-F9B2A546EAE8DDCD.

SEXUAL ETHICS & MUSIC MINISTRY DISCUSSED — Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s school of church music hosted a forum on sexual ethics and music ministry titled “Sex, Lies and Music.” The September session opened a series of panel discussions on ethics and music that the school intends to host each semester.

The first panel discussion featured Paige Patterson, the seminary’s president; Stephen Johnson, dean of the school of church music; and David Thye, professor of church music.

Johnson said 1,200 ministers were terminated from their church positions in 2009, and sexual misconduct was among the top 10 reasons for the terminations.

“It has become quite an issue,” Johnson said.

Patterson reminded students that the issue is important because God created sex to be an outward sign of a deeper intimacy and oneness between husband and wife. God will not bless a ministry that is defiled by sexual sin, he reminded.

“Even if nobody knows yet, your own spiritual life is decimated by it,” Patterson said. “You will never have the power of the Spirit of God [if this sin exists in your life].” He also told students that a single misdeed “reverberates through the whole community.”

Thye agreed: “I fear sin. I want to be an effective tool in the ministry,” he said, recounting times he has seen sexual sin damage the lives of ministers, their families and the members of their churches.

“It is a trust factor for all of us involved,” Thye said. “These things are not just about you. It is about our relationship with Jesus Christ. It is about our relationship as leaders in the community and leaders in the church of God.”

‘TAKING THE HILL’ KINDLES EVANGELISTIC FERVOR — Professors are witnessing a surge of evangelistic passion on the campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, following an early September emphasis on “Taking the Hill.”

After chapel, students and faculty members filled the rotunda in front of Truett Auditorium to pick up assignments for Taking the Hill, the seminary’s initiative to share the Gospel with the nearly 6,700 households within a one-mile radius of Southwestern.

During the week, students and faculty members reached out to more than 2,000 households, leaving only a few hundred houses to be visited in order to complete this semester’s campaign.

Matt Queen, assistant professor of evangelism, said he has heard various reports of how God is bringing people to faith.

“We are observing a fresh fire for evangelism on our campus this semester,” Queen said. “Historically, the contagious and spontaneous practice of evangelism among students has indicated evidence of a movement of God upon a campus. I believe we are observing the emergence of such a movement at Southwestern Seminary. More and more students are intentionally meeting together multiple times a week to pray for the lost and then evangelize them.”

David Mills, assistant professor of evangelism, shared in the excitement.

“Christlike professors and faith-filled students have gone with Christ through south Fort Worth and blazed a trail of evangelism,” Mills said. “It is growing increasingly difficult to find anyone on the campus who does not care about evangelism.

“Due to this effort, the dreams of Carroll, Scarborough, Autrey and Fish are being realized in this student body and faculty … and I cannot wait to see what will happen next. It is a great day to be a Southwesterner,” Mills said.

Groups of students and professors continue to go into the neighborhoods around the seminary to share the Gospel.
Based on reports by Keith Collier and Benjamin Hawkins of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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