Dr. Evan Lenow is Associate Professor of Ethics at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Bobby L. and Janis Eklund Chair of Stewardship, Director of the Center for Biblical Stewardship, and Director of the Richard Land Center for Cultural Engagement.
That’s a 34-word title, if you’re counting.
We are counting.
Lenow was our contemporary at Southeastern, and we sang together in a church choir for a while. No bad blood. No axes to grind whatsoever.
He holds a PhD. in Christian Ethics from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, an M.Div. with Advanced Biblical Studies also from Southeastern, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Mississippi College. He’s a research fellow in Christian Ethics for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He’s Chairman of the Ethics Review Commission for the City of Fort Worth; he writes regularly for his own website (most recent post: Sept. 2018) and for ERLC (most recent post: May 2016) He’s written on polyamory, cohabitation, baseball, and Duck Dynasty. He’s spoken publicly on issues related to gun ownership, chicken sandwiches, and pregnancy rates among gay teens.
This summer, however, he didn’t have “enough information about what’s happening on the [Southern U.S.] border to determine whether it’s biblically ethical.”
And there’s another thing he doesn’t have: an iron.
Posted to Lenow’s Twitter account earlier today is an image of the Southwestern Seminary booth at the Mississippi Baptist Convention. On the table are two pens, one coffee mug, an assortment of candy, and a few small piles of promotional literature.
But the table covering?
C’mon man. Your wife wouldn’t let you out of the house with a shirt that looked like that, and you shouldn’t want the seminary’s branded table covering to look like it was fished out of a dumpster bin either.
Southwestern Seminary is a serious place where serious biblical scholarship meets serious passion for the missionary mandate of the New Testament. Or at least, that’s what every person representing Southwestern should strive to show and model at every turn.
Get up an hour earlier next time. Pack a travel steamer. Call Dorothy and ask her how to iron. But by all means, do something. But do not show up to represent a seminary that is trying to put its best foot forward in the wake of a terribly difficult year with this kind of sloppiness. Too many people are pulling for Southwestern for you to stand back, look at this image, and think “Gee, this looks pretty good. I’ll share it on Twitter.”
It does not look good. The seminary deserves better. The convention deserves better.
And you owe it to your fellow faculty and the student body to pull it together next time.