Category Archives: News

Thank You, Randy!

by Theological Commission

In 2013, Rev. Randy Corn was elected to serve on the Commission for Theological Integrity. As a veteran pastor, a man deeply committed to his family, church, and denomination, and one of great wisdom, we had no doubt he would be an excellent addition to our Commission.

However, due to ongoing health concerns, Bro. Randy recently tendered his resignation from the Commission. Though we all regretted this, we want to publicly thank him for his service to our denomination.

He always brought insight, humor, and concern to our discussions. He was a promoter of the work of theology, ministry, and reading. Indeed, few pastors read as broadly as Bro. Randy.

He blogs at, so we encourage readers to keep track of how they might pray for him and his family there.

In closing this post, we want to say THANK YOU AGAIN RANDY. Below, we have included a brief bio of Bro. Randy so those who don’t know him as well can learn a little bit more about his ministry.

Also, readers may click here to read past posts about or by Bro. Corn.


I was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee with East Nashville FWB as my home church.  I graduated from Free Will Baptist Bible College (now Welch College) in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in 1982 with a Master of Divinity.  I also studied at Temple Baptist Theological Seminary and Covenant Theological Seminary, receiving the Certificate of Advanced Ministry Studies.

My pastoral experience began in 1982, serving churches in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, and Tennessee.  Since 1995 I have served the Bethlehem FWB Church in Ashland City, TN.

At the outset of my ministerial career I served as a Chaplain in the United States Air Force Reserve. I have also been a curriculum writer for Randall House Publications, and an adjunct instructor as well as an online facilitator for Welch College. I have had a weekly hour-long radio program called The Shepherd’s Hour on our local station, WQSV, for 18 years.

I have been active on both the quarterly and state levels of the denomination having served for two terms on the Tennessee Home Missions Board.  In 2013, I was elected to the Commission for Theological Integrity.

Perhaps the most significant event in my life was when I married the former Miss Joy Ketteman in 1980. We have two grown sons, Benjamin Randal and Paul Daniel, as well as a daughter-in-law, Rhonda Faith, and a beautiful granddaughter, Melody Grace.

For the last few years when talking with my ministerial buddies, from time to time the subject of serving on some National board or Commission would come up.  A few of my friends desired to serve with the Home Missions board; a few others coveted a place on the college board.  My response was always the same: I would most like to serve on the Commission for Theological Integrity. The Commission serves the National Association by staying abreast of the ever-changing currents of the theological world and how they might impact our constituency. It is both a challenge and an honor to serve.

2017 Theological Symposium Program

by W. Jackson Watts

It’s time once again for our annual Theological Symposium. We’re pleased to be hosting this year’s event on the new campus of Welch College at 1045 Bison Trail in Gallatin, Tennessee. For our out-of-town guests, we recommend you consider booking your lodging at the Holiday Inn Express in nearby Hendersonville. We have negotiated a special rate with them. You may contact them at (615) 824-0022, and let them know that you’re with the ‘Symposium.’ Please contact them by Wednesday, October 18.

Below is a tentative program. Some presenter times are subject to change, but the start and finish times themselves are set, so you can plan accordingly.  Please join us Monday, October 23-24th.

Monday Evening

6:00–6:10      Welcome and Prayer

6:15–7:05      Matthew McAffee: Losing Favor with the Gods: Divine Judgment in the Old Testament World

7:05–7:25      Refreshments and Discussion

7:25–8:15     Joshua Colson: Calvin’s View of the Supper

Tuesday Morning

9:00–9:05     Welcome and Prayer

9:05–9:55   Jesse Owens: English General Baptists: The Arminian Anti-rationalists

9:55–10:10   Refreshments and Discussion

10:10–11:00  David Outlaw: A Consideration of Christopher Wright’s Missional Hermeneutic

11:00 – 11:15    Refreshments and Discussion

11:15–12:05   Matthew Pinson: Individual Election in the Thought of Jacobus Arminius

Tuesday Afternoon

 12:05–1:50      Lunch in Area Restaurants

1:50–2:40  Raven Tuttobene: I Love Lucy: Assumptions in Using Cultural Evolution as the Basis for the Documentary Hypothesis

2:40–3:00      Refreshments and Discussion

3:00-3:50     Matthew Steven Bracey: Faith and Scholarship: A Christian Calling

3:50–6:30     Dinner in Area Restaurants

Tuesday Evening

6:30–7:20   Jeff Cockrell: Understanding Paul since Luther: The New Perspective and Its Effects

7:20–7: 40     Refreshments and Discussion

7:40 – 8:30     Adam Holloway: Presuppositional  Apologetics in a Postmodern Age

8:30–8:35      Closing Remarks

If you have any questions concerning our program this year, feel free to email me at

Commission’s Convention Seminar Explores Transgenderism


The Commission for Theological Integrity will hold their annual Theological Integrity seminar on the topic of transgenderism. W. Jackson Watts, a member of the Commission and pastor of Grace Free Will Baptist Church in Arnold, Missouri, will be the presenter. The seminar will take place on Monday afternoon in the Kentucky Center’s Bomhard Theater from 2:00-3:30pm. Most Free Will Baptists have been increasingly aware of the influence of transgenderism. The Commission hopes to equip attendees to understand it as a phenomenon, and help them discover how to effectively minister to persons who identify as such or who are confused by the subject as a whole.

Seasons Greetings from the Commission

by Theological Commission

Most of those reading this post do so in the context of the 2016 holiday season. The Commission for Theological Integrity would like to thank all of our readers for their interest in our work. We hope that we are able to provide an even greater degree of service and support to you in your work for the Lord in 2017.

Normal blog posts will resume following the holidays. Until then, we wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Randy Corn

Kevin Hester

Rodney Holloman

Matt Pinson

Jackson Watts

A Note on the Passing of Theologian Thomas Oden

by W. Jackson Watts

I was saddened, along with many others, to learn of the recent passing of Thomas Oden. Oden was arguably the most prolific, conservative Methodist theologian alive at the time of his death this past Thursday. Mark Tooley, a colleague of his, has published a short tribute to Oden at the Gospel Coalition website.

I know other Commission members and readers of this blog have their own experience with the writings of Oden, as do I. Off the top of my head, I remember Dr. Kevin Hester’s substantial review of Oden’s How Africa Shaped the Christian Mind in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society back in 2009 (Vol. 52, No. 1). I also recall many years prior hearing Dr. Pinson mention Oden’s Systematic Theology as well as his contributions to a fuller understanding of Arminianism.

My first encounter with Oden’s work was in a now hard-to-find book entitled No God But God (Moody, 1992), edited by Os Guinness and John Seel. Oden contributed a chapter memorably entitled “On Not Whoring After the Spirit of the Age.” It is still very much worth reading as it narrates the cultural captivity of Christianity, especially as it concerns the intellectual idolatry involved in theological liberalism. He also explains how the spiritual vacuity of liberalism compelled him to move in a different direction, toward what he simply called “Classical Christianity.” This chapter alone nearly led me to Drew University for graduate work, the institution where Oden taught for most of his career.

This argument was essentially the premise of an earlier book of Oden’s, After Modernity….What? Agenda for Theology (Zondervan, 1990). But in my view, the most interesting foray into Oden’s work if one seeks to understand both the man and the guiding force behind all of the work from the middle of his career and onward is to read his memoir, A Change of Heart. I published a review of this book at the Helwys Society Forum in 2015, which can be viewed here. I found it fascinating on so many levels (Most theologians, I think it’s fair to say, never publish memoirs or autobiographies. Rather, people tend to write for them in the form of festschrift). But Oden’s memoir is a real gift to the church, especially for those tempted toward novelty in their search for a theological method in the context of academic life and research.

Another notable contribution that Oden made late in his career is his work as General Editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series. These commentaries mine the riches of the early to early-medieval church fathers for reflection on Genesis to Revelation. This series also paved the way for the Ancient Christian Doctrine series, and the Ancient Christian Texts series. Oden served as a general editor for these also.

As always, we rejoice in the homecoming of one of God’s children. I also rejoice in the fact that Oden has left the church with such a wealth of resources on classical Christian thought, pastoral care, the thought of John Wesley, African Christianity, and more.

Update (12/19): I have seen where Timothy George has penned a very nice overview of Oden at Christianity Today. Check it out here.