dr. danny akin and the future of the SBC

Posted on April 16, 2009

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As long as I have known him, Dr. Danny Akin (President of SEBTS in North Carolina) has never backed down from a good fight.  What’s more, he refuses to fight about things that don’t matter.  Today at SEBTS chapel, he laid down the gauntlet and unleashed a very compelling message on how the SBC should go about pursuing a “Great Commission Resurgence.”  I encourage every Southern Baptist to listen to or watch the audio/video as it becomes available on Southeastern’s website.  In the meantime, I have posted below his main points as well as some absolutely incredible quotes from this timely message.  You can see the manuscript in its entirety here.

  1. We must commit ourselves to the total and absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of our lives. (Col. 3:16-17, 23-24)
  2. We must be gospel centered in all our endeavors for the glory of God. (Rom. 1:16)
  3. We must take our stand on the firm foundation of the inerrant and infallible Word of God affirming it’s sufficiency in all matters. (Matt 5:17-18; John 10:35; 17:17; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
  4. We must devote ourselves to a radical pursuit of the Great Commission in the context of obeying the Great Commandments. (Matt.28:16-20; 22:37-40)
  5. We must affirm the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as a healthy and sufficient guide for building a theological consensus for partnership in the gospel, refusing to be sidetracked by theological agendas that distract us from our Lord’s Commission. (1 Tim. 6:3-4)
  6. We must dedicate ourselves to a passionate pursuit of the Great Commission of the  Lord Jesus across our nation and to all nations answering the call to go, disciple,  baptize and teach all that the Lord commanded. (Matt 28:16-20; Acts 1:8; Rom. 1:5;  15:20)
  7. We must covenant to build gospel saturated homes that see children as a gift from God and as our first and primary mission field. (Deut. 6:1-9; Psalm 127; 128; Eph. 6:4)
  8. We must recognize the need to rethink our Convention structure and identity so that we maximize our energy and resources for the fulfilling of the Great Commission. (1 Cor. 10:31)
  9. We must see the necessity for pastors to be faithful Bible preachers who teach us both the content of the Scriptures and the theology embedded in the Scriptures. (2 Tim. 4:1-5)
  10. We must encourage pastors to see themselves as the head of a gospel missions agency who will lead the way in calling out the called for international assignments but also equip and train all their people to see themselves as missionaries for Jesus regardless of where they live. (Eph. 4:11-16)
  11. We must pledge ourselves to a renewed cooperation that is gospel centered and built around a biblical and theological core and not methodological consensus or agreement. (Phil. 2:1-5; 4:2-9)
  12. We must accept our constant need to humble ourselves and repent of pride, arrogance, jealousy, hatred, contentions, lying, selfish ambitions, laziness, complacency, idolatries and other sins of the flesh; pleading with our Lord to do what only He can do in us and through us and all for His glory. (Gal. 5:22-26; James 4:1-10)

When the world thinks of us, they should think first, “those are the folks in love with Jesus. They are the people obsessed with Jesus. There is a people that talk and act and serve and love like Jesus. Southern Baptists are Jesus people!”

In addition, we have become bloated and bureaucratic. It is easier to move some things thru the Federal government than the Southern Baptist Convention. Overlap and duplication in our associations, state and national conventions is strangling us! If folks in the pew knew how much of their giving stayed in there state they would revolt and call for a revolution . . . . The rally cry of the Conservative Resurgence was we will not give our monies to liberal institutions. Now the cry of the Great Commission Resurgence is we will not give our money to bloated bureaucracies.

We need to kill and bury all sacred cows; we need to start talking publicly about what so many are whispering privately. Nothing less than a new vision and a new paradigm for effective and efficient cooperation will inspire a new generation to get on board and stay on board.

The local church is to be ground zero for the missio dei. Here is the “spiritual outpost” for the invasion of enemy territory as we reclaim lost ground for its rightful owner King Jesus. A new vision that I pray will grip the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention is, “every church a church planting church!”

Finally, we desperately need the heart of Jesus.  We need the eyes of Jesus.  If we can get to that, we will have what we need to move forward as a mighty Great Commission army going forth to do battle for the Captain of our Salvation and the Savior of Souls.  If not, we will find ourselves on the sidelines playing silly and meaningless games while God’s mighty army moves on without us.  Brothers and sisters, I have found the army I want to fight with. It’s called the church. I have found the Commander-in-Chief I want to serve.  His name is Jesus. I have found the enemy I want to destroy.  It is Satan, sin, death and hell.  Will you join me?  There is victory for the taking!

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