Thursday, April 16, 2009

Akin: Axioms for a Great Commission Resurgence

In a much-anticipated message at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Danny Akin today unveiled 12 "Axioms for a Great Commission Resurgence." Dr. Akin, more than anyone else, has been outspoken in his call for such a resurgence. His leadership in doing so has met with mixed response ranging from condescending, dismissive scoffing to enthusiastic support.

One question that has been raised is, what exactly is meant by "Great Commission Resurgence" (GCR)? Dr. Akin begins to answer that question today in his address. Obviously, no Christian will position himself against the the great commission. That leads some to feel justified is decrying the need for a great commission resurgence. But that attitude was common when the Conservative Resurgence earnestly began within the SBC in 1979. "Everyone believes the Bible, so why is this issue being raised?" That was the question then. Now it goes like this, "We never stopped believing in the great commission, so what's the point in calling for this resurgence?"

The axioms that Dr. Akin outlined help give definition to the GCR vision. Notice how gospel-centered it is:
  • "We must be gospel centered in all our endeavors for the glory of God" (II)
  • "...building a theological consensus for partnership in the gospel" (V)
  • "We must covenant to build gospel saturated homes" (VII)
  • "We must encourage pastors to see themselves as the head of a gospel missions agency" (X)
  • "We must pledge ourselves to a renewed cooperation that is gospel centered" (XI)
If this vision begins to shape the mission of Southern Baptist churches then the future of the association known as the Southern Baptist Convention will be much healthier than many would ever have imagined. If such a vision does not win the day then I fear that the SBC, as a convention, will continue down the path of increasing irrelevance.

Audio and video recordings of Dr. Akin's message will soon be posted here. Following are the axioms as reposted from Between the Times.

Axioms for a Great Commission Resurgence
Acts 1:4-8
By: Daniel L. Akin, President
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, NC
April 16, 2009

I. We must commit ourselves to the total and absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of our lives (Col 3:16, 17, 23-24).

II. We must be gospel centered in all our endeavors for the glory of God (Rom 1:16).

III. We must take our stand on the firm foundation of the inerrant and infallible Word of God affirming it's sufficiency in all matters (Matt 5:17-18; John 10:35; 17:17; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

IV. We must devote ourselves to a radical pursuit of the Great Commission in the context of obeying the Great Commandments (Matt 28:16-20; 22:37-40).

V. We must affirm the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as a healthy and sufficient guide for building a theological consensus for partnership in the gospel, refusing to be sidetracked by theological agendas that distract us from our Lord's Commission (1 Tim 6:3-4).

VI. We must dedicate ourselves to a passionate pursuit of the Great Commission of the Lord Jesus across our nation and to all nations answering the call to go, disciple, baptize and teach all that the Lord commanded (Matt 28:16-20; Acts 1:8; Rom 1:5; 15:20).

VII. We must covenant to build gospel saturated homes that see children as a gift from God and as our first and primary mission field (Deut 6:1-9; Psalm 127; 128; Eph 6:4).

VIII. We must recognize the need to rethink our Convention structure and identity so that we maximize our energy and resources for the fulfilling of the Great Commission (1 Cor 10:31).

IX. We must see the necessity for pastors to be faithful Bible preachers who teach us both the content of the Scriptures and the theology embedded in the Scriptures (2 Tim 4:1-5).

X. We must encourage pastors to see themselves as the head of a gospel missions agency who will lead the way in calling out the called for international assignments but also equip and train all their people to see themselves as missionaries for Jesus regardless of where they live (Eph 4:11-16).

XI. We must pledge ourselves to a renewed cooperation that is gospel centered and built around a biblical and theological core and not methodological consensus or agreement (Phil 2:1-5; 4:2-9).

XII. We must accept our constant need to humble ourselves and repent of pride, arrogance, jealousy, hatred, contentions, lying, selfish ambitions, laziness, complacency, idolatries and other sins of the flesh; pleading with our Lord to do what only He can do in us and through us and all for His glory (Gal 5:22-26; James 4:1-10).

19 comments:

David McCrory said...

The need has not been greater in some time for a great reformation and revivial in Christ's church - and particularly among the Baptist. May it please our Lord to grant such to this generation of His people who are seeking His hand.

Aaron Turner said...

This lists brings excitement to my soul! I have been showing my church some videos from the North American Mission Board that I believe capture this vision. I see some good hope for our Convention!

Scott Gordon said...

I definitely appreciated Dr. Akin's message. The Great Commission is that which, along with other biblical identifiers of the local church, we must renew our commitment to fulfill!

Sola Gratia!

Kerygma said...

its sufficiency or it's sufficiency? Or was that a tip of the hat to textual variants not found in the innerrant "original autographs?"

PERSONAU said...

Is Dr. Akin reformed? I am not downing what he said. But we need a God centered resurgence from man centered pragmatism to a God centered view of ministry. Southern Baptists have trumpted "evangelis" for so long. We need a recovereing of a true biblical glorious God centered Gospel.

Ross said...

Am I the only one that sees the irony in this?
So now we have 12 new laws to keep in order to promote the gospel?

The day when the majority in the SBC spends more time talking about what God has already done for us than what we must do for Him will be the day of "great commission resurgence". I'm not overly optimistic.

Joshua Owen said...

I applaud Dr. Akin's call for this resurgence. I am concerned, though, that the BF&M is upheld as the standard for theological unity. Will this lead to stifling theological discussions by saying that they distract from the task? I believe that how one understands God's sovereignty in salvation and in His works of providence is relevant to such a resurgence and I don't want to limit agreement to the vague statements of the BF&M.

Will said...

Brother Tom

Are you surprised that there have only been 5 comments to your entry on Dr. Akin?

Will
Cedar Hill Tx

Terrell Academy Chapel said...

Personau,

I've read and re-read your comment for a few days now and have started to type than decided against it. But now I think I'll just out with it.

Is Akin reformed?

I don't know how others would answer this, but let me just propose another question: Are the Axioms that Dr. Akin presents not "God centered" and do they not present "a true biblical glorious God centered Gospel"?

I would suggest that they are and they do.

That, to me, would seem to be the better question.

Just thinking aloud.

Wyman Richardson
www.walkingtogetherministries.com

PERSONAU said...

Ross,

I agree with you. It just seems like moralistic stuff. What do we need? We need preachers who will stand and preach the whole counsel of God in all its glory and who will strive to build true churches for the glory of God based on the Word of God. If God's gospel and the holy spirit isnt enough, forget it.

PERSONAU said...

Terrell,

I am really curious. I have never heard if he was reformed or not. I just wanted to know. But I do stand by the other things I wrote on the post.

Kris said...

Dr. Akin is not reformed as in the 5 point Calvinist sense of the world, but he is far from most what most people think when they think the opposite of Calvinism. As a Calvinist, I an encouraged by Dr. Akin's leadership of Southeastern and his willingness to work with those who are Gospel centered rather than against them.

Russell Taylor said...

I've heard Dr. Akin personally say that he was a four pointer, but that was years ago. Furthermore, great commissionresurgence.com is now up and running and asking for signatures.

Russell

pastoraaronrobb said...

I'm encouraged, too, by the recent focus by some of our leaders on a return to a Great Commission focus. I think one of the key changes that must take place is a pretty radical restructuring of our convention to reflect a renewed and focused emphasis on the Great Commission. We need to simplify and we need to be intentional about cooperating with other solid, Bible-believing, and Great Commission minded denominations, churches, etc-on the local and national level. Let's keep praying for God's direction and His passion.

Russell Taylor said...

I love the idea of being more interdenominational. I wonder what other thoughts are on intentionally cooperating with other denominations and missionary and evangelistic groups. What say ya'll?

Scott Gordon said...

Russell,

I think you need to listen more closely to Dr. Akin's message. He discusses interdenominational cooperation and prescribes necessary limits...such as not being able to plant churches with paedobaptists. I do believe, though, he would have no problem with a "T4G" type of cooperation

Sola Gratia.

Russell Taylor said...

Thanks Scott,

My thoughts are no so much considering Dr. Akin's proposal as much as they are considering the response to his proposal. You mentioned T4G. I love this ministry, but many Southern Baptists are not comfortable with Southern Baptist playing in the same sandbox as a charismatic Calvinist like C J Mahaney and a paedobaptist Calvinist like Lig Duncan (two of my favorite ministers on the planet). Do you see a storm brewing over Baptist identity vs. a Great Commission Reurgence? Previous posts here have addressed this some and I wonder how much of the speculation will come to fruition now that the hammer has dropped. I pray that maturity will prevail and a passion for evangelism and missions will prevail over any sectarian spirit. This issue will shine a light on the true passions of many.

botwinick said...

Do the five points of Calvinism not outline the Gospel of the Bible? If they do, how can we be unified for the Gospel with those who reject it? Honest question here. I am not trying to sow discord here, but it seems that we long to be unified more than we long to be honest.

Watcher's Lamp said...

The fact that such a declaration is even necessary should be cause for alarm.

Perhaps what is implied by Dr. Akin's declaration is more important than what he has articulated for the SBC...

Repentance.

Repentance from pragmatism, mysticism(which North Carolina and Virginia Baptists promote)and the unabashed embrace of postmodernism in the acceptance of Emergent church non-theology.

Cleaning out the book shelves at Lifeway would be a good place to start.

Dr Akin's effort highlights the lateness of the hour for the SBC. I applaud his courage and his call for the SBC to return to the Biblical Gospel.