The Future of the Southern Baptist Convention (Pt. 3)

#3) Southern Baptists have a hopeful future is we will pursue a genuinely Word based ministry that is theological in content and on fire in delivery. (2 Tim 4:1-5)

We live in a biblically illiterate culture that increases year by year. Sadly, Southern Baptists have not been immune to this spiritual malady. Even with the gains of the Conservative Resurgence, we have not seen a wide spread revival of biblical exposition in our churches. This is both surprising and disappointing to many of us. Now, I am encouraged by what I see as a real hunger for biblical/theological exposition in the younger generation. It is ravenous. At the same time I am discouraged that so many of their models are non-Southern Baptists. Think Alistair Begg, Mark Driscoll, John MacArthur, James McDonald, and John Piper. Thankfully, I can now add to these wonderful expositors men like Andy Davis, Mark Dever, J.D. Greear, Tony Merida, James Merritt, Al Mohler, David Platt, Jimmy Scroggins, Stephen Rummage, and Jim Shaddix. This tribe must increase across our convention of churches if we are to have a healthy and fruitful future. So, what needs to happen? Six quick suggestions.

1) We need seminaries that teach an expositional model.

2) We need pastor/theologians who model exposition.

3) We need ministers of the Word who preach the whole counsel of God’s Word (book, chapter, verse, phrase, word).

4) We need preachers who value the calling of being a theologian.

5) We need men who are gospel saturated in their ministry of the Word who are faithful to proclaim Christ each and every time they stand to teach the Word of God.

6) We need in our pulpits engaging expositors who are on fire as heralds of the unsearchable riches of Christ. Nothing is more exciting than theology. Nothing is more relevant than doctrine. No one is more beautiful than Christ. To proclaim these glorious truths in a dispassionate or boring manner is inexcusable. It is, I believe, sinful. If Southern Baptists have a future it will be rooted in the Word. If Southern Baptists experience a Great Commission Resurgence it will find its life blood in the Word.

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  5Comments

  1. Bob Cleveland   •  

    6) “…. life blood…”.

    Bullseye!

  2. Dave Miller   •  

    I think this might be the most important change, in general, that we can make.

    I grew up in the home of an expositional Bible preacher, so I never knew there was another kind of preaching. I went to a Baptist seminary (pre-CR) and suffice to say, exposition of the scriptures was not a high priority in the preaching classes I took.

    I see young preachers coming to Iowa now, and many of them have a deep passion for exposition of Scripture. I find that hopeful and encouraging.

  3. Dave Miller   •  

    I just read my previous comment, and am not sure my point is clear. I am grateful for seminaries that are once again making a priority of exposition. I think that will, slowly, make a huge difference in our denomination.

  4. Bryan Rabon   •  

    Dr. Akin,
    Don’t sell yourself short. I have probably listened to you more than any other single expositor of the Word. I have even adopted the five questions that you ask of each passage as you prepare to preach. I know of several other younger Baptists that listen to your messages on a regular basis and greatly appreciate them. I often think that if I can learn to be the same kind of expositor as you are, even fractionally, then I will have been a far better preacher than I now am. I don’t say that to flatter you, but I do say it out of deep gratitude and respect. Thank you.

  5. Ian McCulloch   •  

    Hi
    I come from an open brethren assembly here in Nova Scotia where we have faced criticism in light of expositional preaching. We live and die by it. We have had people leave because we have been in Acts for 2+ years verse by verse.

    I heartily confess to you that lives are changed through this expositional method as no stone is unturned and we are saved from tickling ears. The mind of God is discovered – and He has much to say about the Son.

    Shout it loud brother. God bless you fellas down south

    Serving Jesus to the North
    Ian McCulloch

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