Tom Nettles will be remembered as one of the most legendary teachers in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention, and that’s appropriate because he’s written the history of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is known as a classroom teacher of excellence who shares from his heart and his mind with his students and who allows his passion for subject matter to be demonstrated not only in the fervency of his teaching, but in his personal testimony.
Tom Nettles will also be remembered as one of the bravest figures in Baptist history for the work he did in the 1970’s with Baptists and the Bible. Tom Nettles and Russ Bush ended the argument once and for all and demonstrated that the historic Baptist position on Scripture was the total and absolute truthfulness of the Word of God. The inerrancy controversy in the Southern Baptist Convention would have ended very differently if Tom Nettles had not put himself and his academic career on the line in the defense of the total truthfulness of God’s word.
Perhaps more than anything else, Tom Nettles will be remembered as one who honored the founding convictions of the Southern Baptist Convention. He insisted at every conceivable point that this denomination was established as a deeply theological people and that the theology of the founders mattered. For Tom Nettles, the faith of the founders has been not only a matter of history but of his own personal conviction and fervent teaching.
Perhaps more than anything else I want to honor Tom Nettles as a friend, as one who contributed greatly to Southern Baptists and especially to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Tom and Margaret Nettles are priceless members of the Southern Seminary family. It is my great privilege to honor him today and to give thanks for all that Tom Nettles has contributed to Southern Seminary, Southern Baptist life, and to millions of people he will never see whose lives are touched by those Tom Nettles has taught.
Dr. Albert Mohler, President
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary