August 27, 2014
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FROM THE SEMINARIES: MBTS, SBTS
Posted on Jun 2, 2014 | by Staff

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EDITOR'S NOTE: "From the Seminaries" includes news releases of interest from Southern Baptist seminaries.

Today's From the Seminaries includes items from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Midwestern adds scholar Christian George as curator of Spurgeon Library, professor

By Tim Sweetman

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (MBTS) -- Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Jason Allen announced Dr. Christian George will join the faculty on June 1, as curator of the school's C.H. Spurgeon Library and as assistant professor of Historical Theology.

Having previously served since 2011 as the Jewell and Joe L. Huitt assistant professor of Religious Education at Oklahoma Baptist University, George will oversee the seminary's 7,000-volume C.H. Spurgeon Library as well as undertake the duties of molding the next generation of gospel preachers and ministers for the church through teaching historical theology.

"Dr. George, without question, is one of the brightest minds in the Southern Baptist Convention, and he has distinguished himself as one of this generation's leading scholars," Allen said. "He has given sterling service to Oklahoma Baptist University and brings significant expertise and in-depth research about the life and ministry of Charles Spurgeon to Midwestern Seminary. We are thrilled to have Christian George joining our faculty and overseeing the Spurgeon Library."

Allen added, "Bringing in Dr. George as curator of the Spurgeon Library is the first of several major developments associated with the Spurgeon Collection. Later this year, more major announcements concerning the Spurgeon Library will be made."

George shared his thoughts on joining the faculty at Midwestern Seminary, saying, "God is building something significant for his kingdom at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has assembled a world-class team, a God-fearing and trustworthy president, a faithful and capable administration, an outstanding and well-published faculty, and also a student body that seeks to magnify Christ by edifying his church."

He added, "I consider it a true privilege and a deep joy to be able to use the gifts that God has given me to serve this community as a faculty member and also as curator of the Spurgeon Library."

Of his philosophy for the classroom George said, "I believe in providence, not accidents; and as a professor, I live in the belief that God has brought each and every student to this seminary for a reason. My goal is to equip students to discover that reason, help them develop and craft that reason, and then encourage them to use that reason to change the world for Jesus Christ."

Receiving his Ph.D. in Theology from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, George also served for three years as a doctoral tutor. George received his Master of Divinity degree from Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Ala., and his bachelor's degree from Samford University.

The author of several books, George has written "Sex, Sushi, & Salvation, Godology," and "Sacred Travels." He has contributed to the Journal of Theological Studies, Theology in Scotland, and Perichoresis Journal of Theology, and also to popular theological magazines such as Conversations and Modern Reformation. His work has been featured in Christianity Today, The Christian Century, and Preaching, and he has been interviewed on Moody Broadcasting Radio and other syndicated shows in the United States and throughout the world. He has served as a peer reviewer for InterVarsity Press and a consultant for Faith and Culture Books for Zondervan Publishing House.

George has presented papers at various conferences including the Society for the Study of Theology in Utrecht, The Netherlands; the History of Scotland Forum in Edinburgh; the Interdisciplinarity in Theology and Religion Conference in Durham, England; and the Sale di Lettura at the University of Rome, Italy. He regularly preaches and speaks throughout North America and Europe in churches, at spiritual retreats, at youth and college camps, and in university chapel services. George's passion for world evangelism has taken him to more than 30 countries for short-term mission work.

The incoming faculty member is also heavily involved in Southern Baptist life. He has spent time as a messenger to the SBC, as a member of the Teller's Committee, and currently serves as a member of the Worship and Spirituality Commission of the Baptist World Alliance. He has participated in BWA meetings in South Korea, Sweden, Germany, Canada and England, and regularly writes Bible study curriculum for LifeWay Christian Resources.

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Strachan to lead Southern's Henry Institute

By RuthAnne Irvin

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) -- Owen Strachan will lead the Carl F.H. Henry Institute for Evangelical Engagement at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, President R. Albert Mohler Jr. announced last month.

"Owen Strachan is one of the finest young scholars and leaders serving the church today," Mohler said. "He is also a veteran observer of the culture and a faithful theologian of the church. That is a powerful combination, and that explains why Owen Strachan is now the right leader for the Henry Institute. I look forward to seeing what Owen will do with this strategic platform and research center. Carl Henry would be very proud of this appointment."

The Henry Institute, established in 1998, takes its name in honor of the life and work of Carl F. H. Henry, who is widely regarded as the most important 20th century evangelical theologian.

The institute is "a think tank, an intellectual gathering place sympathetic to the plight of modern evangelicalism and interested in the renewal of the evangelical movement through biblical doctrine anchored in confessional faith," Strachan, assistant professor of Christian theology and church history at Boyce College, said. The mission of the institute is to "equip modern Christians to understand their times and engage them from a historically attuned and theologically informed perspective," he added.

Henry's connections to Southern Seminary go back to when current seminary president R. Albert Mohler Jr. was a student, Strachan said, noting the close friendship between the two.

"While Mohler was a SBTS student in the 1980s, Henry influenced his theology and ministry in profound ways, a connection that is vitally felt on the seminary's campus today through Mohler's own theological program and sense of ecclesial mission," he said.

Strachan said he plans to feature materials and opportunities that reflect the institute's mission to produce "theological resources on a wide range of questions in order to help churches engage the culture."

"I am thrilled to lead the Henry Institute in a time of momentous cultural change," Strachan said. "I want to lead the Henry Institute in such a way as to help the church to identify and respond to worldview challenges from non-Christian sources on the one hand and biblical and confessional challenges from professing Christians on the other. We will do so not simply by recognizing what is at hand, but by anticipating what is to come."

Imitating Henry's "broad theological program, the institute will address such topics as theology proper, the doctrine of revelation, the question of epistemology, worldview issues, and cultural developments, always grounding its ministry to church and culture in the cross of Christ," he said.

Strachan, who was named recently president of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, said the Henry Institute also plans to host events for the Southern Seminary community and for a broader evangelical audience.

One of the initiatives sponsored by the Henry Institute is the Commonweal Project. The project, funded in part by the Kern Family Foundation, equips "students to understand basic principles of economics, business and entrepreneurship, the biblical and theological principles that ground and shape a theology of work, and how the intersection of faith, work and economics relates to ministry in the church and through the church to the community," Strachan said.

In order to accomplish these goals, Strachan said, the Kern Family Foundation will sponsor talks, film discussion nights, an economics conference and workshops.

The Commonweal Project will host its first conference, Thrive -- The Hard Work of Human Flourishing, Sept. 26, 2014. Speakers will cover topics on faith, work and human flourishing.

More information about the Henry Institute is available at henryinstitute.org.
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