FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – “What our nation needs, what the pulpits of our country need, what is needed everywhere, among godly Christian men particularly, is men of courage,” Seminary President Paige Patterson told a testosterone-filled room of avid hunters and outdoorsmen, Jan. 10.
“Courage is becoming to a man,” Patterson said, “[but] courage is not bravado.”
“Those two things are very different. Bravado says, ‘I’m a man. I can handle this. I’m not afraid of anything.’ … Everybody is afraid sometimes. Courage is what you do when you’re afraid. It's not the absence of fear. It’s how you behave when you are afraid.”
Patterson served as the keynote Master Sportsman for the 2014 Dallas Sportsmen's Prayer Breakfast, Jan. 10. The prayer breakfast, sponsored by the Christian Sportsmen’s Fellowship, was held in conjunction with the Dallas Safari Club convention at the Dallas Convention Center.
Using 2 Samuel 23:20-23 as his text, Patterson described the heroic exploits of one of King David’s mighty men, Benaiah, who “killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day,” among other achievements.
“Not only was David looking for courageous men and faithful men, but he was looking for godly men,” Patterson said.
“In addition to courage, there is an incredible need today for faithfulness among godly men.”
Patterson challenged men to take on the characteristics of courage, faithfulness, and godliness; however, he told them these characteristics could only be acquired through a personal relationship with God and invited them to give their lives to Christ.
In 2013, Christian Sportsmen’s Fellowship, the creators of The Christian Sportsman magazine, honored Patterson with its first-ever David Livingstone Award in recognition of his missionary heart combined with a passion for hunting.
Speaking at around 40 sportsman’s banquets in churches each year, Patterson shares his hunting escapades with thousands of men and young boys. As he recounts his harrowing tales and gives advice on biblical manhood, he also tells the greatest story ever told—the Gospel. As a result, he has seen nearly 10,000 men make professions of faith at these events over the years. Additionally, he has written a Gospel tract called “Hunting the Most Dangerous Game,” which he uses to witness to people all over the world.