Send in the clowns . . .

House Judiciary CommitteeScreen Shot 2018-09-27 at 1.33.51 PM

The Tony Award-winning musical by Stephen Sondheim, A Little Night Music, debuted in 1973 to near universal acclaim. Among the hits songs was one written for the inimitable Glynis Johns entitled “Send in the Clowns.”  For years, Sondheim has explained what the lyrics mean:

“It’s a theater reference meaning ‘If the show isn’t going well, let’s send in the clowns.’ In other words, ‘let’s do the jokes.’ I always want to know, when I’m writing a song, what the end is going to be, so “Send in the Clowns” didn’t settle in until I got the notion, ‘Don’t bother, they’re here,’ which means that ‘We are the fools.'”

The following press release was sent today to recipients associated with the ministry of Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, NC. The sender was Hamilton Strategies, a Christian public relations firm headquartered in Skippack, PA (Population: 3,750).  The firm frequently represents Dick Land.  The Baptist Blogger contacted Hamilton Strategies to confirm the press release was accurate.

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—This fall, Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, will offer a new week-long course taught by two well-known Evangelical leaders.

Global theological educator Dr. Paige Patterson and SES President Dr. Richard Land will team-teach “Christian Ethics: The Bible and Moral Issues” from Oct. 15-20 on the new SES campus in the Charlotte area as part of its Fall Modular schedule.

This class may also be live-streamed and/or audited for a small audit fee. SES’s ethics course is offered at the bachelor’s, master’s and D.Min. credit levels with differing requirements at each level.

“This course will seek to apply the timeless truths of God’s Word to the moral issues of our day,” Land said, “and I am more than honored to team-teach the class with my friend and colleague Dr. Paige Patterson. SES is delighted to be able to offer Christians both here and overseas this unique opportunity to be taught by one of the most significant Evangelical leaders of the past half-century.”

Patterson is an architect of the Conservative Resurgence among Southern Baptists with 60 years of ministry experience. Having served as president of three theological institutions and as president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1998 to 2000, Patterson brings a lifetime of leadership and pastoral expertise to his ministry as evangelist, educator and theologian.

The course will meet on SES’s new Charlotte campus in the rapidly growing West Ballantyne area. For both campus and streaming students, the class is set for 6 to 10:30 p.m. ET, Monday, October 15 through Friday, October 19 and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET Saturday, October 20. Students taking the course for credit will then have 14 weeks to complete the course requirements, after the week of live lectures from Land and Patterson.

For more information or to enroll, contact Dianna Williams at (704) 847-5600, ext. 216, or

SES’s new 35,000-square-foot, two-building campus symbolizes the 26-year-old seminary’s reaffirmed commitment to both on-campus and online learning. While other schools offer apologetics, SES was the first to be grounded in apologetics throughout all its degree programs, which equip students to more effectively proclaim and defend the Gospel in all areas of ministry.

The more centrally located campus in the greater Charlotte area features state-of-the-art classrooms, better technological advances and increased streaming capabilities. In fact, online students will have one of fastest bandwidths available in order to stream their courses.

With fall classes under way, registrations for SES’s annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics are also growing each day, with nearly 1,500 now planning to attend. The 2018 conference will focus on the theme of “The God Who Is” and will take place at Calvary Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, Oct. 12-13, when the seminary will welcome top thinkers, scholars, authors, apologists and scientific minds, including Ravi Zacharias, Josh McDowell and Chip Ingram. For answers to frequently asked questions about SES’s NCCA conference, click here.

Read more about Southern Evangelical Seminary and SES President Dr. Richard Land, as well as his radio feature, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” which airs on nearly 800 stations nationwide, here.

For more information on SES, visit its web site at or its Facebook page, follow the SES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (800) 77-TRUTH.


2 thoughts on “Send in the clowns . . .

  1. You have GOT to be kidding me. When I started reading this post, I wondered how you were going to tie things into the title – but boy, there is no doubt you did. Southern Baptists already looked bad enough; I am not sure that I can defend or tolerate staying one any more after seeing this. I think I am done.

  2. That makes sense. I’d always wondered about that song (have at least 4 versions on my Broadway play list). Bringing in Patterson to teach on ethics, however, makes no sense at all.

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