Editorial: Celebrating God’s Faithfulness To Southern Seminary -- By: Stephen J. Wellum

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 13:1 (Spring 2009)
Article: Editorial: Celebrating God’s Faithfulness To Southern Seminary
Author: Stephen J. Wellum

Editorial: Celebrating God’s Faithfulness To Southern Seminary

Stephen J. Wellum

Stephen J. Wellum is Professor of Christian Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Wellum received his Ph.D. degree in theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and has also taught theology at the Associated Canadian Theological Schools and Northwest Baptist Theological College and Seminary in Canada. He has contributed to several publications and a collection of essays on theology and worldview issues.

One of the most beloved hymns of the past century is “Great is Thy Faithfulness” written by Thomas Chisholm. It is such a loved hymn because it expresses so well the biblical truth that the Triune God of Scripture is one who is true to his character, unchanging in his promises, and completely faithful to his people. Despite our lack of faithfulness and our propensity to go our own way, even as the people of God, our God never fails, for he is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8). It is because of the Lord’s great love, compassion, and faithfulness that we are not consumed (Lam 3:22-24). From Genesis to Revelation, our God is presented as the promise-maker and the promise-keeper, and coupled with the fact that he is also the sovereign Lord over the universe whose plans and purposes cannot be thwarted, we, then, as his people, may have hope, confidence, and full-assurance that he is and will always remain faithful to what he has promised. In fact, it is due to these great truths that the people of God throughout the ages have been able to rest in God’s promises, despite appearances to the contrary, to believe and to know that the kingdom of God will never fail even though things can sometimes look bleak, that the gates of hell cannot prevail against the church even though Satan’s rage is great, and that nothing in all of creation can separate the child of God from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:28-39).

Now what the people of God have rested in and celebrated throughout history, namely, God’s incredible love, faithfulness, and commitment to his promises, we at Southern Seminary specifically take time to celebrate this year, since 2009 marks the 150th anniversary—the sesquicentennial—of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Begun in the fall of 1859 in Greenville, South Carolina, under the excellent leadership and godly vision of James P. Boyce, Southern Seminary was founded as the flagship seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention with the goal of preparing God-called individuals for more excellent gospel ministry. It was Boyce’s

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