"Passion:" The seminar coming to Midwestern
Movie still touching Missouri lives
By Bob Baysinger
KANSAS CITY – “The Passion of The Christ" is continuing to attract the attention of Missouri Baptists, more than three weeks after the movie opened in theaters across the state.
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MBTS) has announced plans to host a workshop April 2-3 based on the movie. Discussion topics will include the nature of the Old Testament sacrifice as well as New Testament references used in the film.
James Streicher, a communications assistant at MBTS, said time will be provided for open dialogue designed to answer questions about the controversial film centering on the last 12 hours of Christ’s life.
Speakers at the workshop will include Phil Roberts, MBTS president; Thor Madsen, MBTS interim academic dean; Alan Tomlinson, MBTS professor of New Testament and Greek; and Steve Andrews, MBTS professor of Old Testament, Hebrew and Archaeology.
“This workshop is designed to assist pastors, church workers and laymen in answering the tough questions being raised by the movie," Streicher said. “There also will be open discussions to share the full story of Jesus’ life and the reason for His suffering, death, burial and resurrection."
Reports about lives impacted by the movie continue to flow into The Pathway office.
David Tolliver, pastor of Pisgah Baptist Church , Excelsior Springs, said his church rented out a theater on two successive Wednesday nights. The theater was a sellout both nights, Tolliver said, and more than 50 people received Christ as savior as a result of the showings.
Steve Barnes, Jerry Johnston’s assistant at First Family Church, Kansas City, Kan., said more than 200 decisions for Christ were recorded when First Family rented theaters and took friends the first two weeks the movie was shown.
The movie provided an opportunity for Baptist Student Union (BSU) workers at Southwest Missouri State University to plant some Gospel seeds as well.
Dean Finley, BSU director, offered a free ticket to the movie to any student who would buy two tickets. This resulted in 60 students from the BSU attending “The Passion," including some that are unsaved.
“We had a dinner afterward and it provided us a way to discuss the movie with the students," Finley said. “We had about 50 remain for the dinner, and there were lots of interesting questions."
The BSU at Truman State University also used the movie to make inroads on the college campus.
“We bought out a theater for an 11:45 p.m. showing," Gene Austin, Truman’s BSU director, said. “We had 210 kids show up. Some of our students brought as many as 7-8 lost kids with them.
“I haven’t heard of any salvation decisions as a result of what we did, but there sure has been a lot of great discussion."
March 18, 2004