Long before SBC began to mean Slowly Becoming Calvinists, the greatest leaders of our convention espoused Traditional theology. Some of these leaders actually signed the Traditional Statement of 2012 while others who may not have signed it clearly embrace its doctrines. Several more could have embraced the statement if it had existed when they were alive. These are conservatives whose ministries have balanced God’s sovereignty with a robust view of man’s libertarian free will.
written by Rev. Bucky Kennedy, Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church, Vidalia, GA and Board Chairman of Brewton-Parker College
Braxton Caner was a young man who had once read that if you listed your goals you had a better than 90% chance of meeting them, versus less than 50% if you didn’t. Braxton had academic, athletic, and spiritual goals that he wrote down and pursued. At the age of 15 Braxton took his own life. It is believed that cyber-bullying may have been the cause.
The following tribute to Dr. Wayne Ward was recently written by James Leo Garrett, Jr., and read at Dr. Ward’s funeral. Dr. Garrett served alongside Dr. Ward as Professor of Christian Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1959 to 1973 and is currently Distinguished Professor of Theology, Emeritus at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. More information about Dr. Ward may be found in this Baptist Press article http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=37898 and in this First Person essay by Paige Patterson http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=37916. We appreciate Dr. Garrett for granting SBC Today permission to publish this moving tribute.
Wayne Ward’s life was marked by loyalty and fidelity from his childhood to his final years. He was committed to Jesus Christ as the only Son of God, his Lord and Savior, for by grace he had been saved, and to the total revelation of the triune God–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Wayne was loyal to his nation by serving in the danger-ridden Naval Aviation in the Pacific theater during World War II. He was loyal to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. As a young boy he met and heard President E. Y. Mullins and accompanied his attorney father to the campus so that the father could do legal work for the seminary and brought canned goods lovingly prepared by Baptist women for students and their families during the Great Depression. Before entering military service, Wayne first enrolled in the seminary. As visitor, as student, as professor, and as retiree he was for eight decades–from the Mullins era to the Mohler era–loyally bound to the institution. His doctoral dissertation, his writings, and his field of specialization, New Testament theology, demonstrated his loyalty to the Holy Scriptures. His care for and advising of students showed him to be a dedicated mentor. The object at times of criticism from certain colleagues, the recipient of administrative action reckoned by some as unjust, and the decliner of invitations to serve elsewhere, Dr. Ward loyally and graciously kept himself committed to the mission of the mother seminary of Southern Baptists–the equipping of called men and women for gospel ministry.
Wayne’s pastorates, interim pastorates, Holy Land tours, and service to overseas missionaries manifested his loyalty to the preached word and to the people of God, who were eager to hear him. His exemplary devotion to and care for his dear wife Mary Ann, especially during her years of deteriorating health, marked him as the loyal, self-giving husband.
For 53 years I have been blessed by his loyal friendship. The servant has now entered into the presence and joy of his crucified and risen Lord. Thanks be unto God!
James Leo Garrett, Jr.
May 24, 2012