I am often asked, “What are the real distinctions of Southern Evangelical Seminary? We know you believe in the inerrancy of Holy Scripture and you are Evangelical in doctrine and theology. We also know you are committed to evangelism and missions. Such things are true of dozens of seminaries. What makes SES unique?”
In the three articles listed under “distinctives,” you will find clear, compelling, and succinct answers as to why SES is unique.
Three professors long associated with SES’s ministry produce graphic illustration and explanation of why SES is unique. In the future, when asked what is unique about SES, I am going to send them these articles.
First, Dr. Thomas Howe provides trenchant arguments for “objectivity” in the study of Holy Scripture. Dr. Howe makes a compelling case for the belief that we can understand and comprehend objectively the objective truth revealed by God in the Bible.
Dr. Doug Potter provides an excellent, brief introduction to Thomistic Realism, which demonstrates that “reality” is indeed not just an idea, abstract or otherwise. As Dr. Potter explains, “Since the forms in reality are the same as what comes to exist in the human mind, what something is, is determined by reality and not the knower. Knowledge, meaning, and the intended purpose of all things are grounded in reality and are objectively verifiable.” He then proceeds to apply this fundamental truth to Apologetics, Theology, and Ethics. His concluding statement is as profound as it is succinct: “But it is necessary to understand why we do apologetics, theology, and ethics a certain way and not another way—so as to maintain the knowability of reality, the absolute nature of Truth, and its testability and transferability to all aspects of life and to all people.”
Dr. Richard Howe furnishes an excellent survey of Classical Apologetics. Frankly, I do not think you will find a clearer, more succinct explanation and “anatomy” of classical apologetics anywhere else in the English language. Dr. Howe concludes his erudite essay with a ringing declaration: “We see that there is, indeed, a mandate from Scripture to engage in apologetics. According to the Classical Apologetics approach, demonstrating the truth of Christianity necessitates the tools of sound reason and logic that can be employed to build the case that God exists and has certain attributes and that God has revealed Himself in history through His prophets, apostles, and ultimately through His Son Jesus Christ. This mandate has been incorporated into the very DNA of Southern Evangelical Seminary.”
DNA exists to reproduce itself. That is the goal and purpose of SES. Based on the twin goals of our co-founders Dr. Norman Geisler (classical apologetics) and Dr. Ross Rhoads (global evangelism), SES is committed to reproducing whole platoons of Richard and Tom Howes and Doug Potters for the Lord’s Army of Righteousness and Truth.