SBC Today would like to introduce to you Dr. David Allen. Dr. Allen serves Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as Dean of the School of Theology, Professor of Preaching, Director of the Center for Expository Preaching, and George W. Truett Chair of Ministry. His positions are many and his focus is simple–preach the Word. Dr. Allen served for twenty-one years as Senior Pastor of two local churches. His experience in local church ministry is one of exemplary service. He proceeds in his teaching as a scholar with a pastor’s heart.
Dr. Allen presented this message at the First Baptist Jacksonville Pastor’s Conference. His command of the text and his grasp on theology is what makes this message so relevant. Dr. Allen certainly gives a prophetic voice to the issues facing the SBC in today’s environment.
While most of us are laboring away in colder climes, Tim Rogers is enjoying himself in the Sunshine State. He’s attending the annual Pastor’s Conference at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, and on Saturday he was able to sit down with Southwestern Seminary president Dr. Paige Patterson.
Dr. Patterson talks about the New Baptist Covenant Celebration, the lawsuit brought against the seminary by former professor Dr. Sherri Klouda, and his vision for the future of Southwestern Seminary.
The interview runs about 20 minutes. You can listen to the interview directly from this page, you can download it by following the instructions below, or you can access it along with all of our other interviews by visiting our “Interviews” resource page. Check back later in the week for more interviews from the conference.
It seems that some people are concerned about our new habit of wearing cowboy hats during academic ceremonies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The complaint is that wearing a cowboy hat is somehow undignified and inappropriate.
Please realize that the mortarboard that most modern academics wear as a hat actually derives from the medieval Roman Catholic priesthood. You see, in the Middle Ages, every university student was also a cleric, in the lower orders of the Roman priesthood. The biretta/mortarboard identified one as part of the lower Roman clergy, and the birettas became more colorful as one rose higher in ecclesiastical rank (for instance, purple for bishops, scarlet for cardinals).
Please realize that the long colorful cowls that we wear over our robes are actually hats, too. Yes, the cowl and the robe with the long sleeves were originally part of a monk’s habit. You see, in the Middle Ages, not only was every university student a cleric, but most were simultaneously under monastic vows. The cowl was used to cover one’s head in the cold and damp weather in Europe, and the long sleeves were handy for carrying such things as writing paraphernalia and one’s lunch.
Now, honestly, what is more relevant and dignified in a Texas free church setting: A cowboy’s hat, reflecting our ministry to and identification with our people? Or, a priest’s biretta, indicating we are ontologically superior to our people? Is it not part of our Baptist Reformation heritage to alter mere trappings as we see fit? We are neither in Roman orders nor under Roman custom. We are Southern Baptists, and as free churchmen, we are free to reform our customs and habits as we deem fit.
We are Southern Baptists in Modern Texas, not Roman Catholics in Medieval Europe, and we will wear common cowboy hats rather than exalted sacerdotal birettas, in honor of our great free churches and in order to identify with our great people.