Paige Patterson, the president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, apologized for making an exception to the school’s charter and admitting a Muslim student earlier this year. However, Patterson said that he did it with the goal of hopefully seeing him come to know Jesus Christ as his Savior. At the Judgment Seat of Christ, he said would be able to say, “Dear God, I violated a policy but I didn’t want to stand before you with blood on my hands. I did my best.”
Below is the live blog report from the Baptist Press.
Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, said his seminary has a passion for reaching the lost and is experiencing unprecedented blessing.
Southwestern’s online program is growing, its students and faculty are involved in personal evangelism, and its financial standing is firm with recent gifts totaling $13 million, Patterson said.
A messenger asked Patterson for a “straight-forward explanation” of his decision to admit a Muslim student to Southwestern’s doctor of philosophy program. In response, Patterson told messengers, “I come to give you an apology. I owe the convention an apology,” especially to those for whom “I have caused sorrow, heartache or disillusionment.” He explained that a Muslim participant in one of the seminary’s archaeological digs in Israel asked to be admitted to Southwestern’s doctoral program. Patterson admitted the student and believes he is “very open to the Gospel.”
Patterson said, “I made an exception to a rule that I assumed, probably wrongly, the president has a right to make.” The student is not funded with CP money, Patterson said, and has “not been a problem on campus.”
Patterson said he also admitted non-Christian students to Criswell College when he was president there and those students came to faith in Christ. On judgment Day Patterson said he will have an answer for God regarding his decisions to violate admission policies at both institutions: “I violated a policy but I didn’t want to stand before You with blood on my hands. Dear God, I did the best that I knew how.”
Steve James, chairman of Southwestern’s board of trustees, told messengers that the seminary’s trustees “have heard” messengers’ concerns and will discuss them at meetings in September and October. James asked messengers to pray for Patterson and the seminary.
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