Semester Retrospective: Fall 2007

Another one in the books. How did it go? This post is an open forum to discuss everything related to the Fall 2007 at Southern Seminary.

  1. Professor: Who was your favorite professor this semester? Only nominate professors you actually had this Semester.
  2. Chapel: What was your favorite SBTS chapel message this semester?
  3. Buzz: What created the loudest buzz this semester? This can be a theological topic or an event.
  4. Epiphany: What was your biggest ah-haÂť moment this semester? Did you learn something that will change your life or impact forever change your ministry?
  5. Classes: What was your most demanding & least demanding classes this semester?
  6. Books: What was your favorite book(s) you read this semester?
  7. In Sum: How would you characterize this semester for future students. Complete the sentence, “That was the semester that _____________________________.” I’m looking for campus wide significance here.
  8. Blogging: What student, alumni and faculty blogs did you read the most often this semester?
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11 Responses to Semester Retrospective: Fall 2007

  1. Tony Kummer says:

    1. Best Prof – Allison for Systematic 2

    2. Chapel – Did not attend since I was Monday only this semester.

    3. Buzz – Football. Every year I am amazed that you people from the real South get so juiced about your teams.

    4. Epiphany – Learning objectives. Who knew you should be able to test what you teach!

    5. Classes- Most demanding was Allison for Systematic 2. We had several five page papers, a book reflection, term paper, and 4 essay final exam. Highly recommended for you Theo bloggers. Least demanding was Bible Teaching class with Richardson. It was very helpful and the work load was exactly what I am doing for church anyway.

    6. Books – Manly Dominion. We read this for a men’s group at church, but Dr. Stinson uses it for his leadership class.

    7. This was the semester I started podcasting.

    8. I actually read all the blogs when editing the well said feed for SAS. I became a big fan of Diary of a Seminary Student.

  2. Rich Clark says:

    Prof: I really enjoyed Alison’s Systematic 3 class myself.

    Chapel: I have to say it’s a tie between Eric Redond’s “Answering the call to the Undesirable Setting” and David Prince’s “When the Glory of God Becomes an Idol.” Both of those just destroyed me.

    Buzz: Um, unfortunately certain anonymous bloggers. It wasn’t a good buzz.

    Epiphany: The importance of living life with eyes wide open, including when we engage in pop-culture. God can use culture, particularly the more meaningful film, television, books and music to sanctify us.

    Classes: My most and least demanding class was Dr. Nettles Church History I. Only two tests and a few short papers, but those tests were killers.

    Book: Reel Spirituality, the first decent treatment on the subject of Theology and Film. Not perfect, but an interesting read.

    That was the semester that Dr. Mohler made the bold step of both encouraging blogging and holding them accountable.

    Blogs: SAS of course, Dr. York, Third Avenue Baptist Church, and the blogs of all the members (turns out there are a lot!), to name a few.

  3. Todd Young says:

    1. Prof: I see a pattern. Allison, Doctrine of Humanity and Sin

    2. Chapel: I really appreciated Eric Rdmond’s sermon, and I thought Michael Youssef’s sermon was memorable.

    3. Buzz: The subject of politics was a common topic this fall. I wonder why?

    4. Epiphany: Preaching class and getting to put the things I have learned into practice caused me to have much more confidence and desire to proclaim the Word of God.

    5. Classes: Well, since I had only two, I would have to rank Dr. A’s class as more demanding, but Dr. Vogel’s preaching class was filled with work.

    6. Book: Three books this semester made my “highly recommended” list: Body, Soul & Life Everlasting by Cooper, Not the Way It’s Supposed To Be by Plantinga, and Between Two Worlds by Stott.

    7. In Sum: This was the semester I really started preaching about humanity and sin. 🙂 Just kidding, but this was the semester I really started preaching, and not just trying to preach.

    8. I started reading Prodigal Jon’s blog. I also became a more consistent blogger this semester.

    Thanks for the questions, Tony! It’s nice to plug in my thoughts about the semester with things wrapping up, and it’s also cool to see the personal stuff about the other bloggers here.

  4. Brother Hank says:

    1. Favorite Professor: Dr. Nettles for Church History I – Between his therapeutic humming, and his ‘originally sourced’ teaching style, Nettles is quite the prof, pastor, and overall man of God.
    2. Chapel: David Miller and his message “Christ and the Church” spoke to me more than any other message all semester. Oh for a heart to echo his refrain: “I shall live and die by the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ!”
    3. Buzz: Plantiga was quite ‘buzzy’.
    4. Epiphany: I realized that there is no one “right way” to go to seminary. Married, single, young, old, experienced, or still wet behind the ears – you won’t find yourself alone here. Similarly, I realized that seminary is not a vacuum- life, ministry, and the world goes on while you are here = viewing it as half-way point to where you want to go is missing out on tremendous blessing of such a place as Southern.
    5. Classes: By far, the class that stretched me the most was my Christian Ethics in Marriage, Infertility, & Assisted Reproductive Technologies class. The manner in which this course interacts with questions on birth control and pro-life issues is undeniable.
    6. Books: Begotten or Made? – Oliver O’Donovan, Fabricated Man – Paul Ramsey, God’s Greater Glory – Bruce Ware
    7. In Sum: This was the semester I was gripped by a love for Christ’s Church, and a love for the souls of the lost.
    8. Blogging: Brandon Rogers is a baller at “Larger Needle” with his amazing photography and focus on justification, and it looks like Drew Dixon wrecks some shop at “Elect Exiles” with his Mohler-esque news commentaries.

  5. 1. Dr. Whitney

    2. I can’t pick just one chapel service. However, I would say Dr. Scroggins and Dr. Rainer had the most immediate impact as I ended up writing a letter to my grandparents offering and asking for forgiveness.

    3. I would have to say the anonymous letter to Dr. Mohler and Dr. Patterson. Personally, it was the stir that was caused by mine and my wife’s views on birth control and family planning.

    4. Rereading books that I read in my undergrad studies and seeing that many of my convictions were rooted in the Puritans and I didn’t really know it. The other is “ah-ha” moment was reflecting each week on the chapel services—I think the messages impacted me and my life more because of this.

    5. Most demanding—Personal Spiritual Disciplines. Least demanding—Church History I

    6. Quest for Godliness, George Muller, Pilgrim’s Progress, Knowing God

    7. This was the semester that I learned to trust in God completely. Moving to Louisville with my family (wife and 2.5 kids) and finding out we had no income at all 10 days later, letting some friends live with us during this time (for two months), and seeing God in all the trials and joys, was definitely an answer to my prayer as I left Rockport Baptist Church in Arnold, MO: I asked that they would pray that I would seek God Himself and not just facts about God.

    8. I read a lot of different blogs. The two that standout are Lawn Gospel and This Blog Chose You—I have become friends with both of those guys.

  6. I am a senior at Missouri Baptist University, but keep a close eye on Southern as it is my hope to begin classes there Fall of 09. So, I should like to answer these questions from an undergrad/outside perspective if I may.

    1. Professor: In my Discipleship and Evangelism class, I was privileged to hear 2 sermons by Dr. Whitney. (audio from his appearance at the Midwest Founder’s Conference.)

    2. Chapel: I have downloaded and listened to EVERY Chapel message for the last 2 years. This semester specifically, I give 2 top picks: 1. Dr. Patterson’s 3 “Mullin’s Lectures” on “Preaching.” and 2. Dr. Moore’s “Thunderous” sermon during Heritage Week.

    3. Buzz: Of course, the Anonymous Professor letter *rolls eyes* But even worse, Burleson’s irrelevant commentary on the whole thing. *Points Finger* “Bad Luter!” 🙂 My other ah-ha moment was reading of the IMB censure of Wade Burleson….o wait, that was my HA-HA moment. My bad.

    4. Epiphany: I finally let go of all my anti-Calvinistic tenancies and fully embrace ALL of “7-Points of Piperism.”

    5. Classes: I am taking 19 hours–including Baby Greek–’nuff said.

    6. Books: 1. How to Read…/Fee; Spiritual Disciplines…(both)/Whitney; Hidden Smile…, Let the Nations…/Piper; Pilgrim’s Progress/Bunyan. These were my fav’s.

    7. In Sum: I am eagerly awaiting the answer to this question from all who DO go to Southern.

    8. Most Viewed Blog: Said at Southern of Course. 🙂

  7. Hey Kevin,

    I just graduated from MoBap last year. If you are in Doc’s BabyGreek class right now–I was the guy who interrupted his class this past Wed. with my kids and wife.

    If you are planning on coming down to Southern and I can do anything to help you, please let me know. My email address is You also might know John Parker (he preached in chapel this past Thursday at MoBap)–he is one of my best friends. He, too, is planning on coming down to Southern as well.

    Again, if there is anything I can do to help, don’t hesistate to ask. God bless, brother.

    Terry Delaney

  8. Scott says:

    1. Professor: Steve Wellum

    2. Chapel: It actually hasn’t happened yet. It is scheduled for Friday, December 7 at 10:00am — Graduation!

    3. Buzz:

    4. Epiphany: Realizing that some people DON’T care that much about football. That was really bizarre finding out some people can function without this blessed game. Weird! On a more serious note…Ministry happens everywhere to everyone and not just to the deacon/elder board to affect budgetary issues for increased stature.

    5. Classes: Sys Theo I. Well, it was my ONLY class this semester.
    6. Books: The Word in the World

    7. In Sum: “That was the semester that brought closure to my ‘formal’ education. Now its time to continue the education beyond the books, and the lectures, and the exams, and classrooms and keep learning beyond seminary.
    8. Blogging: The ever changing list on my newly discovered skills of Google Reader.

  9. 1. Proff: Dr. Allison (systematic II)

    2. Chapel:

    3. Buzz: The Q&A times with Dr. Plantinga were buzzy; an ongoing debate/dialogue over open or closed communion has been a buzz for certain students who are a member of Immanuel Baptist Church; the other buzzy stuff I can’t really talk about.

    4. Epiphany: When I realized that our “faith” in scripture in grounded upon science—the science of history, since we ultimately depend on our data about how Greek and Hebrew words are used in history in a certain cultural context. We assume our historical sciences can be trusted in order for the statement “I believe the Bible is the ultimate authority” to have any meaning. This assumption is epistemologically foundational. Trust in the Bible demands trust in the accuracy of human science.

    5. My Systematic II class was most demanding because of the reading assignments. My Intro to Biblical Counseling with Dr. Scott class was the least demanding.

    6. Faithful Feelings by Matthew Elliott. A virtual catologue of hermeneutical fallacies that interpreters who are guilty of downplaying the emotion elements of the biblical text are guilty of.

    7. This was the semester that I began to …. it’s too personal to mention.

    8. This semester I began to read blogs from “The Society for the Advancement of Ecclesial Theology,” but I didn’t really read any Seminarian blogs consistently, just hopped around every now and then. Most of my friends who used to blog have fallen of the face of the blogosphere with the rest of those who have and will not endure to the end. However, now that I have stumbled upon “,” after doing a google search for “N.T. Wright’s Response to Piper,” (great interview by the way, I tried to listen to it while I went to sleep, but it got me so pumped I ended up staying up half the night—-you guys asked him some good questions), I will probably be a regular reader of this blog. I never knew you guys existed till I did that google search on Wright.

  10. Doug Smith says:

    Professor: Who was your favorite professor this semester? Only nominate professors you actually had this Semester.

    Dr. Robert Plummer

    Chapel: What was your favorite SBTS chapel message this semester?

    Russell Moore, “I Want to Be in That Thunder” (10-9-2007; I am an Internet only student, but listened regularly to chapel messages via .mp3 download throughout the semester) – he helped me better understand how Isaiah 6 points to Christ. His implications for evangelism were stellar. Eric Redmond (10-25-07) gave me some important things to consider about future ministry.

    Buzz: What created the loudest buzz this semester? This can be a theological topic or an event.

    From my vantage point, Trevin Wax’s interview with N. T. Wright. It looked like politics was pretty hotly discussed. Since I wasn’t on campus, I don’t know, but I wonder if Russell Moore’s suggestion to return to a common cup in communion (9-5-07 in an ‘extra’ lecture on the web) caused much discussion.

    Epiphany: What was your biggest ah-ha moment this semester? Did you learn something that will change your life or impact forever change your ministry?

    Two aha’s somewhat related, and I believe, formative for my ministry:

    1. That the Holy Spirit helps believers with understanding the text fully as well as in responding to it (especially helpful was Dr. Plummer’s paper on Luther’s theological method of prayer, meditation, and trials, derived from Psalm 119, as a Biblical hermeneutical method). I thought this was a helpful balance that avoids mysticism and a sterile academic approach (key word being sterile – I’m not against academics!).

    2. That hermeneutics needs to not only involve genres but needs to have a good foundation of the Bible’s big picture and a biblical view of the use of the OT in the NT (concerning such questions as, “can we interpret Scripture like the apostles did?”). This was hinted at in my hermeneutics class, and came to light more in correspondence and phone conversations with professors (a couple from SBTS and one from SWBTS). It resulted in me being introduced to Vaughan Roberts’ God’s Big Picture and Graeme Goldsworthy’s According to Plan (reading Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics also contributed to this). I have not come to a final conclusion on how all this works, but it has at least helped me start thinking seriously about it.

    Classes: What was your most demanding & least demanding classes this semester?

    I only took one class at SBTS, Biblical Hermeneutics. I found it helpful, it was challenging in some areas, but it was not terribly difficult (I’m not complaining!). The assignments were great. The sermon journal (where we evaluated sermons/lessons) taught me to listen in such a way that I should be able to get something even out of bad lessons/messages by trying to interpret the text properly. An assignment where we categorized the verses of Psalm 119 into prayer, meditation, and trials (and many overlapped) and applied what we found to ourselves was helpful. A presentation on the canon of Scripture and reference sheet on the KJV only controversy are great resources for future ministry.

    Books: What was your favorite book(s) you read this semester?

    The Expository Genius of John Calvin by Steve Lawson was a very refreshing and convicting read for me. I thoroughly enjoyed Give Praise to God (edited by Phil Ryken, Ligon Duncan, & Derek Thomas). Dan Doriani’s Getting the Message was a great book. I started reading J. C. Ryle’s Holiness, which is a superb work for examining one’s heart and life.

    In Sum: How would you characterize this semester for future students. Complete the sentence, “That was the semester that _____________________________.”
    I’m looking for campus wide significance here.

    I might be a little out of the loop here in terms of the proportional importance of various events, but the thing that stands out most to me is that this was the semester that Trevin Wax interviewed N. T. Wright. I’m still forming an opinion about that but the fact that a SBTS student actually sat down and asked this controversial theologian some thoughtful questions is somewhat of a ground-breaking event related to a controversy that is important because it concerns the gospel.

    Blogging: What student, alumni and faculty blogs did you read the most often this semester?

    I found the Well-Said feature helpful in seeing what was out there. I don’t think I ever read everything by any one particular writer, but there were a few blogs I kept coming back to.

    STUDENTS – I occasionally checked out Tony Kummer (Ministry to Children), Timmy Brister (Provocations and Pantings), Owen Strachan (Consumed – advice on research and preaching was especially valuable)

    ALUMNI – Jonathan Christman (The Bharat I Know)

    FACULTY – Mohler, Moore, Haykin

    While not a prof @ SBTS, Dr. Jim Hamilton (For His Renown) was often linked to on “Well Said” and I found much in the way of helpful exhortation there (especially his paper “Spiritual Formation and the New Media: Making Good Use of the Mammon of Unrighteousness”).

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