Prayer for the Young, Restless, Reformed

Lord willing, our family will travel from Houston to Louisville at the end of next week, departing Houston on August 1. We are headed to what some have called “Camelot,” which I think captures the spirit of the place (even if I don’t agree with what those who called it that meant–they were partial to the pre-1993 era at SBTS, and they said something like, “once there was a Camelot” [google that if you want to see what I mean]).

So this morning I finally got around to Collin Hansen’s chapter about Southern Seminary in his book, Young, Restless, Reformed. It’s a fascinating chapter. Anyone interested in where things are in the SBC should read it. Hansen doesn’t call it Camelot, he calls it “Ground Zero.” I’ll let you read the chapter to find out why.

One thing that stands out to me about those of us who hope to be a part of a rising generation that is more biblical and less pragmatic, more thelogical and less programmed. That one thing is that we desperately need to feel and walk in the humility and love that should accompany our theology. In this regard I appreciate D. A. Carson’s words on the back cover of Hansen’s book, words that inform the prayer that ends this post. Carson writes, “It is time for quiet gratitude to God and earnest intercessory prayer that what has begun well will flourish beyond all human expectation.”

Amen. Quiet gratitude. Earnest prayer. And, as one elderly SBC pastor whose name I do not know once said to me: “preach the word and love the people; love the people and preach the word.”

As we prepare to leave Houston, I am unspeakably encouraged at the young men who will continue in the work here, young men whom it has been my privilege to know and serve, young men who are now pastoring churches. There are some older men, too, who have been at the school, and whose enthusiasm for the Bible and its teaching has been a joy to see. I’m encouraged by these guys who are shepherding flocks in the power of God’s word and prayer, men whose names are known to God, even if they are not known to the conferences, blogs, and publishing houses.

For these men, and for those whom we go to serve at SBTS, this prayer is offered. We want to see God work in power as we preach his word and rely on his Spirit to move. We long to see the fruit that cannot be credited to human power, so we want to rely on God’s word and Spirit so that he gets the glory instead of the glory going to cool buildings, billboards, and the same marketing techniques that sell coca cola and Starbucks. May our humble confidence in the sovereign God yield him the glory due his name:

These Students, Lord, are yours to bless.
Make them mighty warriors;
For our own frailty, we confess,
That all glory may be yours

Come, we pray, and in our weakness,
Set forth Thine awesome power.
You are our God. In you we rest.
Your name is our strong tower.

We come to you through Christ our Lord,
Who ever lives and reigns
With Thee and the Holy Spirit.
One nature, three persons, Lord.

Thine be the glory forever,
World without end, Amen.

8 replies on “Prayer for the Young, Restless, Reformed”

  1. Dr. Hamilton, I have never met you personally, but I have been consistently encouraged by your blog. As a SWBTS student, I’m sad to see you leave, but I am thrilled at what lies ahead of you in Louisville. I pray that you continue to exemplify what it means to be a sound biblical theologian with a pastor’s heart, and a pastor rooted in sound biblical theology. I’m praying that that example will be reproduced in countless future pastor/scholars in the years to come.

  2. I am currently an Internet student via SBTS. I googled the phrase you mentioned in your post and browsed one of the results. It was a great reminder of one of the reasons I chose SBTS – because it has the right enemies. It is not only important that one teaches the truth, but when one has enemies such as the folks referring to the former status as Camelot, that is a good sign. Those individuals articulated very clearly why a major reform was needed! Machen was truly right in Christianity and Liberalism when he said that liberalism is another religion altogether. What a shame that liberalism was once being propagated at a school established for the truth and funded by God’s people. And what a blessing that God was merciful and things changed. What a great reminder and what a sober warning! May the Lord bless your labors and the ministry of the seminary. I hope I get an opportunity to take a class with you some day.

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