Archive for the ‘Southern Seminary’ Category

Today is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany which is the beginning of the trajectory that led to the Reformation.

One of the important thing that came out of the Reformation is the recovery of the Gospel.  From the Reformation we also get the five Solas.  During the Fall 2015 Theology Conference at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary the five Solas was the topic that was discussed from some of evangelicalism’s finest scholars as they unpack for us the meaning and significance of each of these themes.  From these lectures they have also partnered with the publishers Zondervan to released “The 5 Solas Series.”  You might want to check out my review of one of the volume, Faith Alone: The Doctrine of Justification by Thomas Schreiner.

Here are the videos:



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Here’s a doctoral dissertation that Southern Seminary has made available titled “A Worldview Analysis of Sam Harris’ Philosophical Naturalism in The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values.”  It is a critique of atheist Sam Harris one of the “New Atheists.”  The dissertation was written by Mike Blackaby and was completed on December 23rd, 2016.

Here’s an abstract:


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People are not always easy to deal with.  This sermon is titled “How to Deal with Mean People.”  This message is delivered by David O. Dykes, Pastor of Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas.  It was delivered at the chapel for Southern Seminary and the sermon is based upon Romans 12:17-21.  It’s more of an encouragement with the insight and experience of an older preacher than a detailed exegetical sermon.  But it’s worthwhile!


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Here’s a doctoral dissertation that Southern Seminary has made available titled “Preaching to Provoke a Worldview Change: Tim Keller’s Use of Presuppositional Apologetics in Preaching.”  It was written by Travis Allen Freeman in 2011.

Here’s an abstract:


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I am thankful that Southern Seminary makes the Doctoral dissertation available online for free in electronic format as a PDF.

An interesting doctoral dissertation in apologetics is titled “A Christian Worldview Apologetic Engagement with Advaita Vedanta Hinduism.”  It was written by Pradeep Tilak in 2013.  I found it fascinating since there’s a need for more Christian apologetics dealing with Eastern religions.

Here’s is the abstract of the dissertation with description of the chapters:

This dissertation applies the principles of Worldview apologetics to engage Advaita Vedanta Hinduism with the biblical responses of Christianity.

Chapter 1 introduces the biblical mandate for apologetics, reviewing the contemporary apologetic scene. It highlights methodological principles in Worldview apologetics.

Chapter 2 introduces Vedanta Hinduism through the teachings of Sankara, Ramanuja, and Madhva.

Chapter 3 examines Christian rapprochement and antithesis with Vedanta Hinduism. The apologist applies Worldview apologetics in understanding the access points and biblical dividing lines.

Chapter 4 commences the apologetic engagement with proof. The Advaitin presents the monistic worldview and the ultimate reality, otherwise known as Brahman. The foundational Christian worldview is represented with the scriptures, God, man, and his salvation in Jesus Christ.

Chapter 5 addresses the offense part of apologetics. The adherents of each worldview contrast their viewpoints against the viewpoint of the other system. Vedanta’s monism, impersonal reality, inclusivity, and rationality are contrasted with Christianity’s historic self-revelation of God to man.

Chapter 6 handles apologetic defense through the lens of experience, epistemology, and correspondence with reality. The Hindu worldview has transcending experience, supra-rational epistemology, and deep coherence. The Christian admits a transitory universe, which has no existence as a contingent creation, apart from God.

Chapter 7 reviews Worldview apologetic practice under metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. These deal with the ontology of reality in its manifestations and our understanding of the truth. It concludes with how we live out this knowledge today.

Chapter 8 addresses the personal, rather than technical tone of apologetics. Kierkegaard’s engagement of the stubborn will helps us understand the radical nature of convictions. After presenting the Gospel worldview, the Vedanta position is shown to be impossible from those very paths that the Hindu trusts.

Chapter 9 culminates the study of Gospel-centered apologetics. The Gospel forms the core of the apologetic encounter, in content and methodology. This dissertation opens the venue for more sound arguments to be built around the Gospel and to tear down false worldviews.

Chapter 10 makes final recommendations on practical Christian apologetics to Hindus. A biblically self-aware approach is commended to honor God in the defense of the faith.

To access the PDF click HERE.

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A doctrine of Scripture that has been under-utilized in apologetics has been the historic belief in the self-attestation of Scripture.  There is a Doctoral Dissertation on the topic: “The Self-Attestation of Scripture as the Proper Ground for Systematic Theology” by Matthew Scott Wireman.  Dr. Wiseman completed this thesis in 2012 through Southern Seminary, best known with its president Al Mohler.

Southern Seminary and Dr. Wireman has made the dissertation available as a PDF.  You can download it by clicking HERE.

Here is the description of the dissertation broken down by chapters:

This dissertation examines the Protestant doctrine of Scripture’s self-witness of divine authority. Chapter 1 examines the current evangelical milieu. The doctrine has become nearly obsolete in the discussion of systematic theology. Consequentially, wherein lies authority has been greatly misunderstood in Protestant circles.

Chapter 2 surveys the doctrine through the history of the church. Particular note is made of Augustine, John Calvin, John Owen, and Herman Bavinck. This chapter evinces the near consensus of the church that the authority for the Church is found preeminently in the Scriptures.

Chapter 3 summarizes post-conservative, Stanley J. Grenz and John R. Franke, attempts to ground theology in Scripture plus culture and tradition. This chapter does not offer a critique as much as it aims to represent post-conservatives in their own words.

Chapter 4 looks at how the Old Testament viewed itself–particularly through the ministries of Moses and the prophets. YHWH chose representatives who would speak to the covenant community and write down the stipulations and history of YHWH’s relationship with Israel for posterity.

Chapter 5 looks at the New Testament, which follows the paradigm instituted by the Old Testament. In the person and work of Jesus Christ, God’s promises find their fulfillment, which foments his commissioning of the Twelve Apostles to be his spokesmen.

Chapter 6 ties together the threads that cohere in the two testaments of Scripture. It makes explicit the claims of Scripture that God is a se, he communicates with his creation, he uses spokesmen, and his written Word is its own witness for its authority.

Chapter 7 defines the doctrine of Scripture’s self-witness and applies it to tradition, culture, and the task of apologetics. The chapter explicates the thesis of the dissertation that Scripture’s self-witness must be the ground of systematic theology.

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What is Biblical Theology

NOTE: This book was provided to me free by Crossway Publishing and Net Galley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

Here is an introductory text to the subject of Biblical theology by a professor who teaches it at Southern Seminary.  Some might ask what Biblical theology is and secondly, why is it important.

The author James Hamilton define biblical theology as “the interpretive perspective reflected in the way the biblical authors have presented their understanding of earlier Scripture, redemptive history, and the events they are describing, recounting, celebrating, or addressing in narratives, poems, proverbs, letters, and apocalypses.”  As Hamilton further explain the meaning of biblical theology he notes that biblical theology is the biblical worldview.  Those familiar with worldview and apologetics should thus start seeing its importance for the believer.

The opening page of the book beautifully makes the point of why biblical theology is vital, with the author recounting the passing away of a friend who knew the Lord.  It is a reminder that what we believe is an issue of heaven and hell and thus to know what the Bible really is about and the content of the biblical worldview is something practical and significant for life now—and for eternity.

The book is divided into three parts with the first covering the Scriptures’ “big story” that essentially capture the Bible’s one main idea.  The second part of the book looks at the symbols throughout the Bible and how they contribute in our understanding of God’s main story.  The third part of the book focuses on the church and how believers fit into the meta-narrative of Scripture.

If you know your Scripture well, part one of the book should be nothing new.  However, even if you think you are familiar with the Bible, one can still spiritually benefit from this portion of the book, since we always profit from being in God’s Word and being reminded of the Gospel.  I enjoyed the second part of the book the most, which explores “patterns,” “types,” and other symbols in the Scripture.  Here Hamilton gives plenty of types that point to the Messianic hope of the person and work of Jesus Christ.  One example that stood out to me was how the author interpreted Exodus 12:46 of the Lamb during the Exodus not to be broken, in light of Psalm 34:20 that later point towards Christ’s crucifixion.  Somehow I never saw the connection of it before even though it was before my very eyes!  I appreciated part three of the book which I saw was the author’s attempt to answer the existential question at the end of the day, “What does biblical theology have to do with me?”  If we as believers are the church, and the Bible uses various motifs and symbol to describe the church, then biblical theology tells us who we are in Christ, what our identity is, etc.

Contrary to what some may think, biblical theology as a discipline is not “right theology” in the sense that other theology or method of theology is automatically “unbiblical.”  I appreciate the author making it clear in the book that biblical theology is not opposed to systematic theology; that to engage in Biblical theology is not automatically “biblical” nor is systematic theology inherently “unbiblical.”  Here I wish Hamilton could have gone on to explore more of the possible rich relationship between systematic theology and biblical theology.  In my own life, as the result of my exposure to biblical theology it has shaped the way I teach and present systematic theology so that I’m not just “proof-texting” out of the Bible to prove a doctrine.  I now make it a point to note the flow of Scripture and how a particular verse’s redemptive historical context help demonstrate the doctrine in question and also develops the doctrine as Scripture progresses.

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

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