Gospel of reconciliation is what lost world needs, Akin says

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)--In a convocation message to a Binkley Chapel audience that included a record number of new students, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President Daniel Akin reminded listeners that a war-torn, violence-saturated world needs a peace that can only be found in the reconciling work of Jesus Christ.

Citing the millions of human deaths that have occurred from such atrocities as abortion and genocide in the past century, Akin said the world in which young ministers of the Gospel find themselves is one that has lost its moral conscience.

"Today our world and our nation are fractured and broken," Akin said in his Aug. 24 message. "How did we get where we are today? Men have forgotten God. That's how all of this happened."

Akin's chapel message was the first of the new school year at Southeastern, which celebrated a new crop of more than 500 new college and seminary students.

Akin preached from 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 that God's Word offers hope to those dead in their sins.

"While some would say that our hope is found on Capitol Hill, I am convinced more than ever that our hope is in Calvary's hill," Akin said. "What we need is testified to by an empty tomb and a risen Savior, God's Son, Jesus Christ. There will never be any lasting peace until there's peace between man and God through the reconciling work of His Son, Jesus."

Akin detailed several characteristics of one who has become a new creation in Christ, having been reconciled to God through Him.

"Knowing that Jesus Christ loves me changes the way I live my life," he said. "He's not going to be the vice president or runner-up in my life. Christ is now everything, and everything else pales in comparison to what Christ means in my life."

Akin also said that a significant charge has been given to those who have been made new in Christ, that of serving as ministers of reconciliation and ambassadors for Christ. Because of that, believers should go out into a lost world with passion and fervency, taking the Good News of Jesus to sinners desperately in need of His reconciling work on their behalf.

Southeastern also welcomed four new elected faculty members who signed the Abstract of Principles and the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, formalizing a covenant between themselves and the seminary that they will teach according to the core doctrines of the Christian faith and traditional Baptist principles.

Those professors signing the two documents were:

Bruce R. Ashford, assistant professor of philosophy and history of ideas; L. Scott Kellum, assistant professor of New Testament and Greek; Russell S. Woodbridge, assistant professor of theology and church history; and Bradley D. Reynolds, assistant professor of Christian education.

In addition, David R. Beck, professor of New Testament and Greek, received the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, given annually to an outstanding member of the Southeastern faculty.


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