Popular articles of 2016

TheologicalMatters.com provides a range of helpful articles written by Southwestern faculty addressing topics such as preaching, ethics, apologetics, current events, church history, marriage, family, ministry and more. Below, you’ll find excerpts from some of our most popular articles within the year 2016. Search the blog to read the full articles and share them with friends, family and church members.

– Less traditional student ministry might mean more disciples

By Richard Ross | Professor of Student Ministry

If student pastors were to stop doing about two-thirds of what they are doing, we might begin producing more disciples. Why? Because if they stop doing some things, then they will have time to do other things that offer even more promise. I have much confidence in the student pastors as leaders, but the time has come for their workweeks to change. Read more here.

– What if this is the end of freedom in America?

By Malcolm Yarnell  | Research Professor of Systematic Theology

A quick review of recent news headlines in the United States reveals an increasing number of incidents where governmental executives, legislators and judges have borrowed from the intolerant presuppositions of secular progressivism to restrict the religious liberties of believers. These incidents are strong signs of not just a lack of respect for the “first freedom,” but of an insidious, incipient hostility toward believers in traditional religion.

… The evidence indicates something has shifted in American culture: intolerance toward religious believers, and in particular toward evangelical Christians, is on the rise. And this intolerance is being manifested in all three branches of government and at the local, state and federal levels. One need not be a prophet to read a cultural swell building against believers in Jesus Christ. Read more here.

– Is extending an invitation really relevant for today?

Denny Autrey | Dean, J. Dalton Havard School for Theological Studies

The contemporary pulpit of the 21st century has become silent. Not in regard to story-telling, pithy sayings, anecdotes, and illustrative pictures of everyday life, but with regard to any concrete explanation of the text of Scripture. In some cases, the use of Scripture in the preaching event has become non-existent. Thus, is there really a need for extending an invitation at the conclusion of the contemporary sermon?

… What the contemporary pulpit requires is a return to the semantic understanding of the biblical text communicated in a relevant fashion that engages the hearer. The proper approach to text-driven preaching mandates a response that cannot be avoided. Read more here.

– The Bible, the preacher, and the presenting issue

Steven Smith | Vice President for Student Services

As any counselor will tell you, the real issue is most often not the presenting issue. The presenting issue seems to be strategies for preaching and evangelism in the local church setting. But the real issue is a global confidence in the Word of God.

Should we assume that believers trust Scripture when we preach? Of course not. We, therefore, reason with them. We argue for the text. However, in assuming they do not believe it, should we concede that is it unbelievable? Of course not. Read more here.

– An appeal to pastors—Please call out the called

Charles Patrick | Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Communications

Pastor, you are the greatest influencer for a man or woman who is sensitive to God’s call. There are approximately 7,300 students in the six seminaries from 46,500 churches. This is roughly one student per six churches being sent to be equipped. Imagine the cohort of church planters, missionaries, pastors, children’s ministers, music ministers, etc. that could be raised and equipped if each of the 46,500 churches committed to sending at least one student. We’d instantly have a sixfold increase in students being equipped and deployed around the globe. The harvest is there if churches will send the laborers. Read more here.

To stay up to date on Theological Matters articles, click here to subscribe and receive the newest content.