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The Deeper Leader Blog

by Dr. Tony Blair, President

"We are boldly, broadly, and beautifully evangelical. Might you be too?" I asked that question in a brief promotional video we created for the Evangelical Seminary website because, if we intend to use the word "evangelical" to describe ourselves in this generation, we had best explain what we mean. It is a word that has acquired some negative connotations. For some, "evangelical" is equivalent to "narrow-minded," "fundamentalist," "intolerant," or even "hatemonger." Western society appears far more familiar with what we oppose than in what we propose.

And so we mourn the lost opportunities to proclaim a gospel of faith, hope, and love among the din of clashing voices, angry rhetoric, and mutual accusation. To echo just a bit of Charles Dickens here, we have a far, far better gospel and a far, far better Savior to offer this world than what they have heard of us at times. This is what I mean by being boldly, broadly, and beautifully evangelical.

The postings that will show up on this blog in the weeks and months to follow will pursue that vision rather assiduously. We will wade boldly into conversations, or even initiate them, when they explicitly relate to the wonderfully transformative, deeply subversive work of God in this world. We will address them broadly, for we would prefer to link arms with other lovers of Jesus than to find additional reasons to stand apart. And we endeavor to always speak beautifully, both in the flow of our words and in the tone of our observations. Words matter, as Marilyn Chandler McEntire reminded us a couple of years ago in her marvelous book, Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies (Eerdmans, 2009).

The posts here will represent the thinking of some administrators, faculty members, and alumni of the Seminary, some of whom already have deep, rich, provocative blogs of their own. We do not aim to have the "last word" here; rather, our hope is to add something of value to conversations that matter, the kind of conversations that occur regularly in our classrooms and in the student center and other places where members of the Evangelical community gather. Sometimes we will recommend books and other sources, sometimes we will comment on what is going on in the world or Church at large, sometimes we'll brag about what's going on among us, and sometime we'll simply be reflective, maybe even occasionally profound, as we ponder the marvelous mysteries of Christ. We hope you'll check in often to see what's here and to interact with us as you do!

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