He's a good man ... and thorough.
At a faculty workshop for professors of preaching at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary this week we got to spend some time listening to and conversing with the president, Dr. Paige Patterson.
Dr. Patterson presented goals for our preachers (i.e., the ones we produce at SWBTS) and the effect(s) they will have on their congregations.
- A Biblically Literate Congregation - Far too many sheep are barely surviving in their malnourished congregations.
- A Doctrinally Orthodox Congregation - People need to be taught what is essential and what is not.
- A Congregation with a Theocentric Worldview - Too many churches have adopted the culture's values and perspective instead of seeing things from God's viewpoint and persective.
- A Congregation with a New Testament Ethic - They need to have a spiritually balanced perspective (e.g., not too committed to law that they become legalistic or too focused on grace that they forget there is law AND understand the tensions that exist betwen sovereignty & responsibility, love & justice, propositional truth & experience, life & eternity, family & church, etc.).
- A Responsibly Missionary Congregation - Churches need to be concerned about individual growth (i.e., discipleship) and evangelism & mission.
Personally, I really enjoyed the conversation I got to have with him regarding the pitfalls of pragmatism for those in ministry, which he noted as his greatest concern. (In our conservative circles, the struggle is no longer for the inerrancy of Scripture, but for the sufficiency of Scripture.)
It was encouraging to have the president of the school share our same outlook as homiletics professors with regard to our approach to the biblical text and our goals for training those who will teach & preach it.
All in all, it was a great experience, especially for my first time to get to meet Dr. Patterson. I can heartily say, I'm glad he's on our side. He's a good man ... and thorough.