JACKSON, Tenn. – Sept. 26, 2008 – The life and legacy of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s second president shows Southern Baptists an example of biblical faithfulness and careful thinking, according to a new book edited by David S. Dockery and Roger D. Duke.
“John A. Broadus: A Living Legacy” (B&H Academic) features chapters by 10 Southern Baptist scholars examining various aspects of Broadus’ life and work. A founding professor at Southern, Broadus served as the seminary’s president from 1889-1895.
Dockery, former vice president for academic administration and dean of the School of Theology at Southern, is president of Union University. Duke, a 1995 Master of Divinity graduate, is assistant professor of religion and communication at Baptist College of Health Services in Memphis, Tenn., and adjunct professor of Christian studies at Union.
“‘A Living Legacy’ approaches the study of Broadus as one ‘mighty in the Scriptures,’ for he has long been recognized as such by preachers and New Testament scholars alike,” Dockery and Duke write in the preface. “This work also takes a look at Southern Baptists’ premier nineteenth-century scholar from the vantage point of churchman, institution builder, and denominational statesman.”
The editors note that because some aspects of Broadus’ life and work overlap, chapters treat some of the same subjects from different angles. They add that the book introduces readers to Broadus’ classic works on preaching and the New Testament.
Though a number of articles during the 20th century dealt with Broadus, Dockery and Duke argue the time has come for a new work introducing Christians to Broadus the preacher and scholar.
“The volume that you hold in your hand introduces us to Broadus in all of those areas and more,” they write. “Broadus serves as a model for us today as author, teacher, preacher, scholar, seminary leader, and denominational statesman."
Study of Broadus will particularly help the Southern Baptist Convention as it seeks to establish a renewed platform for cooperation in the days ahead, the editors say.
“As Southern Baptists seek to reestablish a new consensus to move forward in the twenty-first century, Broadus is an example of balance, careful thinking, biblical faithfulness, and denominational statesmanship (Titus 2:7),” they write. “We trust that in God’s good providence a new generation will both learn from and about Broadus.”
Union University Christian studies professor James Patterson wrote a chapter in the book entitled “Broadus’s Living Legacy.” Union trustee Craig Christina, pastor of First Baptist Church in Jackson, Tenn., also has a chapter, “Broadus and the Establishment of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.”
Dockery contributed a chapter entitled “Mighty in the Scriptures: John A. Broadus and His Influence on A.T. Robertson and Southern Baptist Life.” Duke’s chapter deals with Broadus’ classic work on preaching and is entitled “John A. Broadus, Rhetoric, and a Treatise on the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons.”
Other contributors include Thomas J. Nettles, professor of historical theology at SBTS; Richard Melick, professor of New Testament at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary; and Timothy George, founding dean of Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Ala.
The book is available for purchase at Amazon and at LifeWay Christian Stores.
By David Roach, Southern Seminary