We meet as a community of faith and learning each Tuesday during the semester to worship God in Andrew Gerow Hodges Chapel. Each semester we focus our chapel services on a specific theme. The Spring 2021 theme is, "The Sinews of Scripture: Leading Doctrines of the Bible."
In seminaries today, we usually teach students to preach "expository" sermons, which follow the flow of a passage we select from the Bible, interpreting it in relation to its context in history and helping listeners understand what the passage would have meant to those who heard it originally. This is a very good method of expounding the Word of God, one that schools like ours will inculcate for years to come.
But in early Protestant history, many teachers of preaching encouraged students to deliver what we call "doctrinal" sermons, which take a doctrine from the passage that is read to the people, reinforce that doctrine from other parts of the Bible, and apply that doctrine to the lives of those who listen. This is also a good way to teach the Word of God, one we might well recover in our churches today as a supplement to verse-by-verse biblical exposition—especially at times when church leaders want to show people how the Bible coheres, or hangs together, around its main themes, doctrines, or sinews.
In chapel this spring, we are "going old school" and showing people how to preach good doctrinal sermons. We will still be delivering substantial exegesis, explaining Scripture in detail in a manner that is driven and controlled by Scripture itself. We will not fall prey to the sins of "topical" preachers, who twist bits of Scripture to fit their own, worldly agendas. But rather than preach biblical paragraphs verse by verse, we will choose major doctrines, or teachings, of the Bible, begin with crucial texts in which those doctrines are laid out, and then reinforce those texts and the doctrines they commend with reference to other passages of Scripture—just enough to make it clear that these doctrines pervade both the Old and New Testaments, functioning as sinews of Scripture.
Our prayer is that this series will inform the Beeson family about the main teachings of Scripture, show them how our doctrines have come from the Bible, explain to them the ways in which these doctrines are practical, and model how to apply Bible doctrine to our lives.
All services take place at 11 a.m. in Andrew Gerow Hodges Chapel.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, no outside guests will be allowed on campus at this time. Faculty, staff and students can attend on a first come, first served basis until the chapel reaches 71 occupants. Overflow rooms will be available in N-101 and S-001. The service will be livestreamed on beesondivinity.com/live or YouTube.com/BeesonDivinity.
The Rev. Dr. Gary Fenton will give the Opening Convocation address entitled, "The Answer to the Big Question," based on Gen. 1:1 and John 1:14-18.
The Rev. Thomas Wilder, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Collegeville, Alabama, will give the sermon. This service is part of Beeson's African American Ministry Emphasis Month.
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Beavers will give a sermon on Matt. 28:5-6 entitled, "The God of Resurrection." This service is part of Beeson's African American Ministry Emphasis Month.
Dr. Jared E. Alcántara, associate professor of preaching and holder of the Paul W. Powell Endowed Chair in Preaching at Baylor University's George W. Truett Theological Seminary, will deliver a sermon entitled, Preaching God in the Wild, as part of Beeson's William E. Conger Biblical Preaching Lectures.
Dr. Michael Pasquarello will give a sermon entitled, "A Holy and Happy People," on Matt. 5:1-11.
Dr. Douglas Webster will give a sermon on Eph. 1:3-14.
Dr. Thomas Fuller will give a sermon entitled, "The Community of the Called," on Mark 1:14-20; 2:13-14; 3:13-19.
Dr. Christopher Seitz, senior research professor at Wycliffe College of the University of Toronto, will give the sermon as part of Beeson's annual Biblical Studies Lectures.
Kristen Padilla will give the sermon.
Dr. Lionel Young III, executive vice president of Global Action, will give a sermon on Acts 2:1-21, In Our Own Tongues: Acts 2 and the First Era of World Christianity, as part of Beeson's annual World Christianity Focus Week.
The James Earl Massey Student Preacher Award winner, which will be announced later this spring, will give the sermon.
The Rev. Dr. Ralph D. West, senior past or The Church Without Walls in Houston, Texas, will give the sermon.