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.
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).