Entries Tagged as ''

The Legacy of Russ Bush From a Student’s Perspective

In my years at Southeastern Seminary, I was privileged to have a great deal of personal interaction with Dr. Russ Bush. I took his infamous Intro to Philosophy course on the MDiv level at SEBTS (contrary to popular opinion, he did allow questions in class–we had 2 for the entire semester). I also took two PhD seminars from him and worked to develop an orientation to American culture seminar for new international students. I was privileged to eat a few meals at his home, and I shared his weakness for Dairy Queen soft serve. There are too many memories to share them all, so I want to relate just two.

The first came from his philosophy seminar that I was taking the semester he was diagnosed with cancer. It had become tradition for Mrs. Bush to bake cookies for the students in his PhD seminars and interrupt the class one day to bring the freshly baked treats and sodas. For some reason, Mrs. Bush found a extra soft spot in her heart for this group of philosophical delinquents and decided to grace us with her presence at least four times. The first two times, Dr. Bush happily welcomed her into the room to interrupt the seminar for half an hour. On the third occasion, you could see that he was a little frustrated but happy to see his wife. I imagine that he mentioned to her at home that the interruptions were preventing him from covering the material for the class. On the fourth time, he simply gave up. There was no frustration, no rush to get back to class. He gave in to the hospitality of Mrs. Bush for the students, and you could see the love he had for his wife even if she prevented him from covering all the material he wanted to discuss for the day.

The second memory came from a trip to an apologetics conference 6 months after he was diagnosed with cancer. I shuddered when he walked into the room to listen to my paper. The sinking feeling in my stomach came from the fact that I was presenting a paper on the work of Francis Schaeffer. I had read almost everything Schaeffer had written–Dr. Bush had known Schaeffer. I knew that I had no chance to exhaust his knowledge of the subject, and I was certain he could exhaust my knowledge quickly. On the way back from the conference, we were driving back up I-85 from Charlotte. He asked me about my dissertation so I bounced a few ideas off him regarding my premature dissertation topic. He looked over at me and mentioned a topic related to my dissertation that he said he had never been able to figure out. He then told me to answer that question in my dissertation so it could be settled in his mind. The very idea that I could answer a question unsettled in such a brilliant mind as Dr. Bush's was a ridiculous thought to me. The fact that he genuinely expressed to me that he thought I could do it was probably one of the most encouraging moments of my academic career.

Dr. Russ Bush was a brilliant man and an impeccable scholar. He also had a caring and loving heart. He will be missed by Southern Baptists, especially his former students like myself.

David Dockery Reflects on the Life and Ministry of L. Russ Bush

L. Russ Bush: In Piam Memoriam

On Jan. 22, L. Russ Bush III (1944-2008), was ushered into glory. After an intense two-year battle with cancer, the Lord has called Russ home.

Russ Bush was a man who deeply loved Christ and honored His Word. I will always remember the young, dedicated philosophy professor who constantly challenged his students to do their very best.

For those who looked on from a distance, Russ Bush often seemed aloof and overly concerned with the minutia of philosophical arguments. Some thought of him as more interested in his subject matter than in his students. But for those who knew him well, this was hardly the case. His friends knew him as a soft spoken, genuinely kind, Southern gentleman, but most of all, we thought of Russ Bush as a committed Christ-follower.

Russ Bush was a faithful friend to many, a dedicated husband to Cindy and a person who deeply loved the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. His life and work were deeply rooted in "the faith, once for all delivered to all the saints" (Jude 3). He understood his calling in light of the apostolic exhortation to always be ready to provide a reason for the hope that shaped his life (1 Pet 3:15).

His lasting contribution will be the significant work on “Baptists and the Bible.” His commitment to the truthfulness and the authority of God's Word was a hallmark of all that he was and all that he did. He served as an editor over the past 20 years for the “New American Commentary.” Russ was honored by his colleagues across the evangelical world by electing him as president of Evangelical Theological Society and the Evangelical Philosophical Society. Moreover, the administration and board of trustees at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary have provided a lasting tribute with the naming of the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture at the seminary.

No one will ever fully know all that Russ Bush did to keep the doors of Southeastern Seminary open during the turbulent years of transition in the late 1980s and early 1990s in his capacity as chief academic officer of the seminary. Southern Baptists will always owe him a great debt for his service in this key role.

I was privileged to sit in his philosophy of religion class during my first year at Southwestern Seminary. It was there that I was introduced to one of the truly fine Southern Baptist thinkers for this generation.

For the past 30 years it has been an honor to call him my friend. We have worked together on various projects through the years. Russ was a constant source of encouragement for me and countless others.

For years I always looked forward to sharing a meal with him at the Southern Baptist Convention each year. While his life has seemingly ended before we were ready, we trust God's providence and rejoice that Russ's suffering has ceased. Moreover, we give thanks that he has entered the presence of our Lord, where I am sure that he heard the words "well done, good and faithful servant." My life, along with hundreds of others, has been blessed by knowing and learning from our dear friend. On this day, we give thanks for the life and work of L. Russ Bush III.

David S. Dockery, president
Union University

Ezell Above Board on Financial Issues

The question of the SBC presidency always brings about other questions. One of the key questions has to do with the percentage that a church gives to Great Commission causes, with a particular emphasis on Cooperative Program giving. Since pastor Robert Jeffress declared his intention to nominate Dr. R. Albert Mohler for SBC president at the 'O8 convention, this question has surfaced. Fortunately for us, Pastor Kevin Ezell is the type of man who leads the type of church that is comfortable showing the SBC how they allocate their money. Let me just say how thankful I am for the generous, strategic pattern of giving that this statement reveals. 

Also, if you are new to this discussion, you might check Bart Barber's recent piece on it. It touches on some of the complexities present.  

Why Dr. Mohler for SBC President?

In case you couldn't think of any, Tony Kummer has put together a nice list of reasons why Dr. Mohler would make a great SBC president. Can you think of anymore reasons for Mohler '08? 

Slate on Osteen

Slate.com just published a piece about Joel Osteen’s new book, Become a Better You. This article was just too well written not to share.

Mohler for President… of the SBC

Tammi Reed Ledbetter, who writes for the Southern Baptist Texan, writes about pastor Robert Jeffress' plans to nominate Dr. R. Albert Mohler for SBC president at the '08 convention. You can find the story here.