Monday, September 11, 2017
NEW ORLEANS -- Chuck Kelley, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary president, marked the start of the academic year by referencing a moment every teacher knows -- when a student asks, "Is this going to be on the test?"
Kelley pointed to Mark 10:32-45 to say Jesus had a similar experience as He traveled toward Jerusalem, telling His disciples He would face arrest, flogging and death. Jesus explained that all of His ministry and the reason for the incarnation was about to reach fruition, Kelley noted.
But then James and John ask a question, Kelley said.
"There was a complete disengagement between what Jesus was saying as compared to what their expectations were," Kelley said of the disciples' request for a place of honor in the coming Kingdom. "Jesus answered them, 'You don't even know what you're asking.'"
Kelley pointed to Jesus' "remarkable statement" in verse 45 contrasting Gentile rulers and those in God's Kingdom. "One wields power and authority; the other engages in service," Kelley said.
If God's Son came to serve rather than being ministered to, Kelley said, then believers must commit to serving others. He pointed to the year's emphasis of servant leadership, one of NOBTS' core values, and challenged the convocation audience to live lives of service.
"Servant leadership is necessary," Kelley said. "It is costly, very costly. And it is ultimately the whole point of the Kingdom of God."
Faculty members marking anniversaries NOBTS were recognized by Kelley during the convocation.
Steve Lemke, professor of philosophy and ethics and recently named provost emeritus and vice president of institutional assessment, was honored for 20 years of service, while Donna Peavey, professor of Christian education, was recognized for 15 years of service.
Noted for 10 years of service were Rex Butler, professor of church history and patristics; Mike Edens, professor of theology and Islamic studies; Dennis Phelps, professor of preaching; Jake Roudkovski, professor of evangelism and pastoral leadership; and Mark Tolbert, professor of preaching and pastoral ministry.
The first faculty member to be appointed to the new position of distinguished research professor also was announced.
Bill Day, retiring after 16 years of service, was named distinguished research professor occupying the Gurney Chair of Evangelism and Church Health. Day will continue in his role as associate director of the Leavell Center for Evangelism and Church Health.
New faculty members signed the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 and continued the tradition of signing the NOBTS Articles of Religious Belief, a document drafted by the NOBTS faculty soon after the seminary's founding nearly 100 years ago and prior to the first Southern Baptist Convention Baptist Faith and Message in 1925
Signing the two documents were Jeff Audirsch, associate professor of biblical studies in Leavell College; Delio DelRio, assistant professor of New Testament and Greek; Adam Hughes, assistant professor of expository preaching; and Jamie Killion, associate professor of voice and conducting.