Dr. Timothy George is a highly respected conservative Southern Baptist theologian in the evangelical world.
Over four years ago Dr. George wrote regarding Jimmy Carter's resignation from the SBC, due to what Carter called, "an increasingly narrow conservative direction." The conservative Catholic writer, Richard John Neuhaus, quoted Dr. George in his "First Things" editorial in 2001.
Regardless of what you or I may think of Jimmy Carter or Richard Neuhaus, the words of the highly respected Dr. George seem very prophetic when placed in conjunction with issues we face in the Southern Baptist Convention today. Dr. George's direct quote from "First Things" is printed below and I want to thank Wyman Richardson for pointing this out over at Steve McCoy's Missional Baptist Blog.
"Attention was paid when former President Jimmy Carter, with great reluctance, resigned from the Southern Baptist Convention in protest against what he viewed as its increasingly narrow conservative direction. Technically he did not resign, since he still belongs to an SBC local church where he is very active in teaching Sunday School. But Carter made his point.
Dr. Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School, an SBC conservative in good standing, and one of the more impressive theologians around today, says that some SBC leaders may respond to Carter’s decision with “Good riddance!”
Not Dr. George, however. He thinks Carter has a point well worth making. He writes, “Especially troubling right now are isolationist forces within the denomination, some of whom oppose Baptist efforts even with other evangelicals. Combined with nativist politics and a virulent anti–Catholicism, this movement would actually restrict the missionary and evangelistic outreach at the heart of the Southern Baptist ethos. If left to grow like kudzu, it could reduce the Southern Baptist Convention to a mega–sect.”
Well written Dr. George,
In His grace,