Nathan A. Finn

Historian, Theologian, Teacher, Preacher

Between the Times Archive



March 2014



Announcing the End of My Personal Blog

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As many readers know, I am on sabbatical this spring. I have taken leave of my normal responsibilities at Southeastern Seminary and First Baptist Church of Durham and am working out of Union University in Jackson, TN. While the principle purpose of a sabbatical is to have focused time to work on research and writing, it is also a helpful season for reflection about one’s life, family, ministry and priorities. I have been stewing on several matters, one of which is my blogging practices.

I have been blogging almost continuously since November 2003, though I took a break for about six months in 2007 to finish my dissertation. Often I have blogged from a personal website, like this one, while during other seasons I have blogged exclusively at collaborative websites. I enjoy certain things about both approaches. The highlight of a personal blog is a sense of ownership and freedom. The strength of a group blog is being part of a team and having the freedom to blog less frequently. At this stage in my life, I cherish the latter a bit more than the former.

After several weeks of consideration I have decided to stop blogging at my personal website. This is my final post. I will maintain the website because it provides me with a more substantial online home than my faculty page at the Southeastern Seminary website. However, beginning next week, I will no longer blog on this site. I will leave the blog up, but create a new home page for the website.

Though I am shutting down the blog function on this website, I will continue to write regularly for online audiences. Much of my blogging will be at Between the Times, the faculty website at Southeastern Seminary. I co-founded Between the Times in 2008 with my friend Bruce Ashford and a handful of other faculty colleagues. I currently serve as the coordinator for the blog. I write for Between the Times almost every week—normally on Wednesdays. Moving forward, I will continue to do so.

I also hope to write more often for other websites. In the past couple of years, I have received a number of invitations to contribute to blogs or similar platforms sponsored by a variety of SBC denominational agencies and evangelical parachurch ministries. I have written for them off and on, but never very regularly, in part because of the implicit pressure I have felt to focus most of my blogging on this website. Eliminating my personal blog will give me more freedom to write for a wider variety of blogs and other websites, many of which are more widely read than my personal blog.

As always, when I write a new blog post or some other sort of online essay, I will announce it via Twitter and Facebook. I appreciate everyone who has read this blog over the past few years. I hope you will continue to be interested in what I write, even though it won’t be published here.



October 2013



My Preaching Role Models

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Adrian Rogers (1931-2005)

Yesterday, I published a post at Between the Times that recommended some fine preaching books that have been written by current and former Southeastern preaching professors. I also mentioned that I studied preaching at SEBTS with Stephen Rummage and Greg Heisler, as well as learning a lot about preaching from professors Danny Akin and Allan Moseley.

Back in 2010, I published two posts at Between the Times that discussed five of the key preaching role models in my life. The first post discussed Adrian Rogers and Jerry Vines, both of whom fundamentally affected my view of preaching during the years I was finishing high school, wrestling with a call to vocational ministry, and making my first (awful) attempts at preaching. The second post discussed John Piper, Russ Moore, and Andy Davis, three pastors who shaped my understanding of preaching in college and seminary. Andy, of course, is still the senior pastor of FBC Durham and the brother whose preaching I sit under about 2/3 of the time.

So what is the takeaway? Come to Southeastern to study with some of the finest preaching professors around. And listen to as many good preachers as you can, both in person and through audio or video media.

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October 2013



Recommended Preaching Books by Southeastern Seminary Faculty

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Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary has emphasized expository preaching since the late 1980s. In fact, while each Southern Baptist seminary is different and has its own personality and unique emphases, all of our seminaries teach expositional preaching as the primary, most effective way to proclaim the whole counsel of God to his people. Southern Baptist seminaries aren’t perfect–even mine–but I can guarantee that you can study at any of them and learn how to preach expositional sermons to God’s people.

At Southeastern, we have a stable of outstanding full-time preaching professors (Danny Akin, Tony Merida, Jim Shaddix) and adjunctive or part-time professors (Stephen Rummage, Dwayne Milioni, Bill Curtis, Greg Heisler, Wayne McDill) with whom students can study preaching. When I was a student, I studied preaching with Rummage and Heisler, both of whom now pastor influential churches in their respective states, but continue to teach preaching part-time at SEBTS. I also learned quite a bit about preaching from other SEBTS faculty members, particularly Akin and and OT professor Allan Moseley.

Yesterday, Southeastern inaugurated our second endowed chair in preaching when we installed President Akin in the Ed Young Sr. Chair of Preaching. In honor of the festivities, I have published a blog post at Between the Times today listing a truck-load of preaching books written by current and recent SEBTS preaching professors. I hope you will take the opportunity to read at least some of those books and sharpen your skills in the art of expository preaching.



July 2013



Book Review of Recovering Classic Evangelicalism

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Greg Thornbury
Classic Evangelical and All-Star Rocker

Over at Between the Times, I have published a book review of Greg Thornbury’s new book  Recovering Classic Evangelicalism: Applying the Wisdom and Vision of Carl F. H. Henry (Wheaton: Crossway, 2013). What follows are some of my thoughts that I share in that review.

Thornbury believes that contemporary evangelicals have lost their way in some respects. He commends Henry’s “Classic Evangelicalism” as a pathway to a healthier evangelical future….

As I was reading Recovering Classic Evangelicalism, I found myself reacting in four ways: hearty disagreement, minor quibbles, substantial agreement, and warm appreciation….

I strongly recommend Recovering Classic Evangelicalism as a particularly accessible product of this “Henry Renaissance” that will likely inspire others to get in on the action. I hope Thornbury’s book encourages a generation of evangelical scholars to further engage Carl Henry and his “Classic Evangelicalism”….

I hope you’ll go to Between the Times to read the review. I also hope you’ll pick up a copy of Recovering Classic Evangelicalism and give it a close read.



December 2012



Recent Trends in Andrew Fuller Studies

Written by , Posted in History, Links, Missions, Theology

Over the past three days, I’ve been blogging at Between the Times about recent trends in Andrew Fuller Studies. The first post covered the twentieth century, while the second post discussed significant writings from the past dozen years. The final post focused upon conferences, primary source reprints, forthcoming collections of essays, and the upcoming critical edition of the Works of Andrew Fuller. If you want to learn more about the growing interest in Andrew Fuller among scholars, pastors, and others, I’d encourage you to head over to Between the Times and read these posts.

Recent Trends in Andrew Fuller Studies: Part One

Recent Trends in Andrew Fuller Studies: Part Two

Recent Trends in Andrew Fuller Studies: Part Three

If you aren’t sure who Andrew Fuller is, you might want to begin by reading this short introduction.

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