Dr. Walter B. Shurden tells CU what it means to be Baptist in Baptist Heritage Lecture

April 5, 2011
For Immediate Release

Dr. Walter B. Shurden speaks at a recent Baptist Heritage Lecture Series at CU.  (Campbellsville University Photo by Emily Campbell)
 Dr. Walter B. Shurden speaks at a recent Baptist Heritage Lecture Series at CU.
(Campbellsville University Photo by Emily Campbell)

By Phil Carlisle, student news writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Dr. Walter B. Shurden, Minister at Large at Mercer University, told students and faculty what it means to be a Baptist Christian at a recent presentation as part of a Baptist Heritage Lecture Series.

“There are three key components of being a Baptist as I have known it,” Shurden said, “Giving in to being loved, giving in to the demands of love and giving back because of love.”

Throughout the presentation, Shurden emphasized the need for love and freedom in living out the Christian faith.

“There is no such thing as forced love,” Shurden said. “In fact, the highest form of love is a totally free choice.”

According to Shurden, the Baptist denomination has not lacked its critics and for good reason.

“Baptist spirituality has taken a beating over the years,” Shurden said. “Often times, we Baptists spend too much time being saved and not enough time being spent. Most of the work we do for Christ is not done in church on Sunday morning, but rather it’s done where God’s people work during the day.”

Shurden also says that Baptists today do great harm trying to standardize religious experiences.

“No two religious experiences are exactly the same and we do a great injustice by trying to make them so,” Shurden said. “My religious experience is different from yours and yours is different than the person’s sitting next to you. However, many people begin their Christian walk by realizing it’s not about I love, it’s about I am loved.”

In closing his presentation, Shurden claimed that no single person can know everything there is to know about being Baptist, but says that all Baptists must become familiar with this concept of love.

“We must learn to live out our faith at all times because second-hand faith is no faith at all,” Shurden said. “The Baptist faith is about letting go, reaching out, giving back and loving back.”

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with over 3,000 students offering 63 undergraduate programs, 17 master’s degrees and five postgraduate areas. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.