Gordon-Conwell Blog

"A Tribute to Billy Graham" by Dr. Garth M. Rosell

February 22, 2018

A Tribute to Billy Graham


Dr. Garth M. Rosell, Senior Research Professor of Church History

It is difficult to imagine a world without Billy Graham. For the better part of a century, his has been the voice that everyone recognized; his has been the character that everyone admired; and his has been the message that gave hope to thousands around the globe. He walked among kings and presidents but he never lost the common touch. He preached to millions but never lost his own sense of humility. He enjoyed access to the rich and powerful but lived modestly in his rustic Black Mountain home. 

Like John Wesley before him, he made the entire world his parish. Billy Graham "will go down in history,"1 Martin Marty has suggested, "as the best known, most traveled, most influential, and in many ways most representative evangelical Protestant" in recent history. Dozens of new ministry initiatives and organizational structures, from Christianity Today and The Hour of Decision to The Billy Graham Pavilion at the New York World's Fair, have been inspired by his vision; scores of books and articles have flowed from his pen; numerous world leaders have sought his advice; major conferences and congresses, from Berlin and Lausanne to Amsterdam, have been held under his auspices; and (what is perhaps of greatest significance) hundreds of thousands of men, women, boys and girls have responded to the gospel invitation he has extended so faithfully at the close of every service. 

Those of us who are part of the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary community have been especially blessed by his life and ministry. Not only was he one of our principal founders but also he served faithfully for many years on our Board of Trustees and spoke at many of our most important gatherings.

"I have read," wrote Billy Graham at the end of his autobiography, Just As I Am, "that Johann Sebastian Bach ended each composition with these words: Soli Deo Gloria–'To God alone be the glory.' Those are my words as well, at the end of this project." One could hardly find a more appropriate epitaph to characterize the life and work of one of the true giants of our time.

 1 Martin E. Marty, "A Surprising Revolutionary," in Christianity Today (November 13, 1995), p. 27.

 

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Gordon-Conwell’s Long-Standing Position on Women and Ministry Preparation

February 05, 2018

Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D.

President & Coleman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics

In the light of recent public statements and social media exchanges regarding women seminary faculty, I want to clarify the longstanding position of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

In light of our multidenominational identity, Gordon-Conwell fully affirms and respects the rights of denominations and churches to set their own standards for ordination. At the same time, it has long been our position to strongly affirm both our women students who come to us to pursue theological education and our women faculty who help provide it. We believe that the privilege of teaching and studying the Word of God at seminary knows no gender distinction, and that, indeed, the perspectives of both genders are essential for the fullest understanding of biblical texts, incisive theological reflection, and healthy community.

We fully affirm and rejoice in the contribution of our women faculty. As women created in the image of God, we as a seminary community are deeply blessed by their intellectual prowess, ardent pursuit of holiness and deep witness to the love of Jesus Christ in the communal life we share together. We would be deeply impoverished without their leadership, guidance and presence among us.

While we at Gordon-Conwell recognize that there has been, is, and will continue to be, robust debate around the issue of women’s ordination to the ministry, we remain steadfast in our commitment to the women who come to us for training to the ministries for which God is calling them. Most especially, we as a seminary administration, faculty, staff and students stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our women faculty who have dedicated their lives to the training of both men and women for Christian ministry.

Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D.

President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics

 

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