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SBC DIGEST: Lawless named SEBTS dean; Boyce prof to lead counselors' organization; Patterson on Revelation commentary

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) -- Chuck Lawless has been named dean of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary's graduate school, effective Nov. 1.

Lawless will leave his position with the International Mission Board as vice president of global theological advance. He joined the IMB as a consultant in 2008 after serving as dean of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary's Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism in Louisville, Ky., and as vice president for academic programming and director of professional doctoral studies there. Before being named dean of the missions school in 2005, Lawless had been a professor of evangelism and church growth at Southern since 1996. He previously pastored two Ohio churches.


Lawless holds Ph.D. and M.Div. degrees from Southern Seminary and an undergraduate degree from Cumberland College (now the University of the Cumberlands) in Kentucky.

Southeastern President Daniel Akin said, "I have known Chuck for almost 20 years. He is one of the most godly men I have ever met. He is a wonderful man of God with excellent skills as an administrator, missionary, teacher and writer. He has a real passion for the nations and the Gospel. I believe he will bring enormous experience and expertise to Southeastern."

The IMB, in a statement to Baptist Press, said it and Southeastern intend for Lawless to continue in a limited capacity to be involved in global theological advance, including assistance in the training of missionaries.

Lawless is the author of several works, including "Membership Matters," "Spiritual Warfare," "Discipled Warriors," "Making Disciples through Mentoring" and "Putting on the Armor."

BOYCE PROF TO LEAD COUNSELORS' ORGANIZATION -- Heath Lambert, assistant professor of biblical counseling at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary's undergraduate Boyce College, has been elected as executive director of the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors.

NANC announced Oct. 2 that its board had unanimously elected Lambert to lead what the organization describes as a "fellowship of Christian pastors and laymen who have banded together to promote excellence in biblical counseling." Founded in 1976, NANC describes itself as the largest organization of biblical counselors in the world, working to train and certify biblical counselors and biblical counseling training centers.


Nouthetic counseling -- a term used synonymously with "biblical counseling" -- is an approach to Christian counseling that contends for the sufficiency of the Scriptures to address and meet the needs of suffering and sinful people.

"I am deeply honored to be asked by NANC to serve in such a significant way," said Lambert, who also has served at Crossing Church in Louisville, Ky., as pastor of biblical living. "I am excited about advancing a vision of biblical counseling, now not only in my teaching ministry at Boyce and Southern, but also in bringing leadership to such an important network of biblical counselors across the globe." Lambert and his wife Lauren have three children.

Southern President R. Albert Mohler Jr. said Lambert's election "underlines the deep commitment of Southern Seminary and Boyce College to biblical counseling and to leadership in this important movement."

Boyce dean Dan DeWitt said, "I'm thrilled for the Lamberts, for NANC and for the students of Boyce College and Southern Seminary. This is an absolute affirmation of Heath's leadership and of the caliber of the program he has created here. This represents a strategic and symbiotic partnership that will provide exceptional opportunities for advancing the gospel through the equipping of biblical counselors."


More information about NANC is available at the organization's website,

PATTERSON REFLECTS ON REVELATION COMMENTARY -- Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has released a video of Paige Patterson reflecting on the Revelation commentary released by B&H Academic on Sept. 1 as part of the New American Commentary series.

In the video, Patterson, president of the Fort Worth, Texas, seminary, fields such questions as "What is unique about your approach to Revelation?"

Patterson's answer: "Actually, I would suppose that there is not anything that unique about it except for the fact that my particular viewpoint is not popular today. Almost the entire world has gone away from the pretribulation, premillennial view … that Christ returns prior to the tribulation, and then, taking away His church, He returns again at the conclusion of the tribulation to establish a kingdom. So perhaps, the commentary is unique in that regard.

"There are other features of it that people will find. I do not know that a commentary has ever been written by a committed hunter. … Anybody that has ever read the book of the Revelation knows that it is full of the appearance of animals. As I read the various other commentators, I concluded that they must never have seen an animal. At least, they must not have experienced one very closely. And, so we have corrected some of the false starts that I think are present in other commentaries regarding animals. ...


"One of the most unique things about the commentary … is that I take chapter 12 to be definitive. What you do with chapter 12 determines what you will do not only with chapter 12, but the entire book. … It ends up affecting your entire hermeneutical approach to the Bible. So we have in chapter 12 a radiant woman. If we identify her correctly, we have an index to what the entire book of Revelation is all about."

To watch the video interview, go to In their own words. To read a partial transcript of the video, go to Patterson video transcript. For an earlier Baptist Press story on Patterson's Revelation commentary, go to Patterson's Revelation volume gets SBC preview.

Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston from reports by Michael McEwen of Southeastern Baptist Theological, Aaron Cline Hanbury of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Benjamin Hawkins of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook ( ) and in your email (

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press

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