From the Dean

News items, published articles, and reading recommendations from Dean Timothy George

Page 2 of 140

The Dean Recommends: #PrayforParis - A Reaction

By Parker Windle
Nov. 13, 2015

Normally I don’t like to react. I prefer to reflect. I am going to rush through my reflection time and react this time. I am going to shoot from the hip. Don’t worry though-my aim will be true.

We have reflected. Two thousand fifteen began with Charlie Hebdo. Paris has already mourned this year. A hashtag of human empathy reigned supreme at that time. #iamcharlie. We went through it together, despite the fact that the target offended everyone. We celebrated free speech. We celebrated freedom of the press. We grabbed hands and declared liberté, égalité, fraternité. Paris went through it together.

Yet One was left out of the mourning process by the Parisians, and we need a new hashtag.


Not many like to pray anymore. Not many ever liked to pray. Praying is hard for more reasons than one. It is an abandoning of self-sufficiency. It is a declaration that empathy for the fallen and a boasting in the human spirit is not enough. Prayer is about something bigger; or rather, Someone bigger. Someone bigger is what we need right now. It is time to admit it. We need God.

I know you don’t like hearing that. We never do. God is the last place we want to go. Dumas wrote about it in his character Edmund Dantes. The Count of Monte Cristo himself would only turn to God as a last resort. Listen to Monsieur Dumas explain it to us:

"enfin il tomba du haut de son orgueil, il pria, non pas encore Dieu, mais les hommes; Dieu est le dernier recours. Le malheureux, qui devrait commencer par le Seigneur, n’en arrive a espérer en lui qu’après avoir épuisé toutes les autres espérances."

For you English speakers, who jumped through that, let me explain the situation. Only after he fell from the top of his pride to the very lowest place did our hero turn to God. God was the last option for him, and he turned to God only when he was down to his last hope. Parisians, we are in the cell with Dantes. After Charlie, we turned to each other. We turned to men. It is now time to turn to God.

No more seeking hope in men. No more blaming God for men’s evil. No more thinking that you are sufficient for what you need. No more lack of thanksgiving for the common grace that God is distributing. No more hope in kings and rulers. No more belief in the general benevolence of mankind. These things have not been successful. These things are not successful. These things will not be successful.

Instead, let the wicked man forsake his ways (and that means you and me, my Parisian friends). Let us turn to the Lord, who is slow to anger and abounding in mercy. The Lord who hears our cries and weeps for our pain. The Lord who understands our suffering, because he willingly entered into it Himself. Jesus. This is where we must turn. On a épuisé toutes les autres espérances. We have exhausted the other sources of hope. There is only One left.

And there was always only One. This only makes us realize it. We should have started with him. Now we are obliged.

So we must use a new hashtag.


Originally posted on Parker's blog here.

Parker Windle, who serves as a pastor of a church in Paris, is a Beeson graduate.

Posted by Kristen Padilla at Saturday, November 14, 2015
Share |

The Dean Recommends: Rending the Rainbow Veil

By Jean Lloyd
November 9, 2015

Recently, my dear friend Diane was lamenting the fact that there are few places for Christians who experience same-sex attraction and wish to be faithful to Christian teaching to deal openly and honestly with those issues. Our culture’s sexual floodtide is breaching many individuals’ and churches’ fidelity to truth, and now, post-Obergefell, there is mounting pressure on any traditional morality “hold-outs” to give in and affirm all sexual acts as long as they are consensual. Thus “safe spaces” for Christians like Diane and me are fewer and farther between.

“Safe space” is a phrase typically used by the LGBT community to describe an area free from “judgment,” “discrimination,” or any negative evaluation of homosexuality or alternative gender expression. When I use the term “safe space,” I too mean a space where people can openly share their experience of same-sex attraction, where others will affirm their dignity as children of God and accompany them in friendship. But I mean something very different as well. In my vision, those with same-sex attraction can take refuge in this space and trust they will be sheltered from harm precisely because there is a steadfast refusal to affirm falsehood or to encourage any behavior that is contrary to human good.

Diane and I have journeyed together for over twenty years. I remember well the summer we met as she passed through my college town for a week’s stay with mutual friends. She wore a ball cap and had her girlfriend in tow, while I wore my hair buzzed in keeping with my masculine style. Both of us were confused, wondering whether we should continue to embrace our lesbian identity with abandon, give it up for our faith, or try to have it both ways by twisting the Scriptures and suppressing the voice of conscience.

Illuminating Dangerous Waters

Those were difficult times. That summer, I had gone to a well-known Christian professor on campus and begged her to tell me—as a Christian—her thoughts on homosexuality. In a reluctant voice, she said slowly, “Well, I can’t see anything in Scripture that would condone it, but . . .” Her voice picked up speed as she listed disclaimers of how the prohibitions couldn’t possibly apply to every situation, no one can judge, and so forth. As well-meaning as I’m sure my professor was that day, she did not have the fortitude to let God’s “yes” be “yes” and “no” be “no.” Read the rest at Public Discourse.

Posted by Kristen Padilla at Thursday, November 12, 2015
Share |

The Dean Recommends: Changing the hearts of prisoners through the word of God

By Madison Gesiotto
November 6, 2015

Formerly known as “the bloodiest prison in America,” the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, La. is now an outstanding example for maximum-security prisons nationwide.

Since 1996, inmates in Angola, most of which are serving life, have been opening their hearts to God and pursuing their Bachelor of Arts degrees from inside prison walls at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Over 250 inmates have graduated since the start of this 4-year “bible college” program and the results have been undeniably incredible.

The violence rate within the Louisiana State Penitentiary walls has dropped 75 percent.

And the benefits of the program don’t stop there.

After receiving their degrees, dozens of inmates were sent as “missionaries” to other prisons across the state to help spread the word of God. Read the rest at Washington Times.

Posted by Kristen Padilla at Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Share |