(link to report video at bottom of page)
CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMCNews)— "It is our belief that we must preach and then practice, that is theology must drive our mission, not the other way around," said Dr. Emir Caner, president of Truett-McConnell College (TMC) during his report at the 2011 Georgia Baptist Convention, Nov. 14-15, at North Metro Baptist Church, Lawrenceville, Ga.
Caner highlighted the Oct. 27 signing of the Baptist Faith & Message by all TMC full-time faculty, whose signatures "represent a perpetual and unwavering commitment to theological fidelity and doctrinal integrity."
Emphasizing theological conviction, Caner said such conviction sent "more than 100 students on the field to seven different countries this year," and "sends our students to work with your churches. Churches like Blackshear Place Baptist Church, where in a one-day evangelistic event, we got to see more than 30 people come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ."
"Amen!" Georgia Baptists shouted.
Caner said that such theological conviction in the hearts of TMC students "draws them to the inner cities of Pittsburgh [for] door-to-door evangelism or to the urban streets of Atlanta to share Christ with pimps and prostitutes, with drug addicts and homeless."
"How does this happen? Intentionally so," said Caner, underlining the requirement for every TMC student to complete studies related to the Great Commission Minor.
The minor includes a course in Baptist history, taught by the president, who believes "it's high time that our students learn to love our heritage and Baptist history, and know how to go back more passionate about the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ and the heritage of our forefathers."
The president added that students will also learn to love the lost by participating in mission trips, where they will "share Jesus Christ and know how to walk away as true disciples of the Great Commission."
"Though the enrollment has doubled, spiritual darkness seems to grow ever pervasive. Though God's blessings fall upon one college, the lost world groans and moans under sin's curse," Caner said.
Citing the following words as "our marching orders," Caner quoted William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army:
"Put your ear down to the Bible and hear God bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened agonized heart of humanity and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come here. And look at Christ's face whose mercy you have professed to obey. And tell him whether you will join hearts and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish his mercy into this world."
Vicky Kaniaru is senior staff writer at Truett-McConnell College.