"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

A Prophet Amongst Us?

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,


Wade Burleson

8 comments:

ColinM said...
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Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Colin,

I am not elevating Carter at all.

I am, however, elevating a very wise Dr. Timothy George.

Trust me Mr. Colin. I have seen first hand a narrowing that goes far beyond the innerancy of Scripture. The direction we are headed better be stopped or in 10 years we will not recognize the SBC.

I'm grateful for you post, but I think you need to read a bit more of my posts before you make an assesment of my motives.

In His Grace,

Wade

ColinM said...
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Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Colin,

I have consistently, graciously, and emphatically spoken at every meeting of the IMB regarding this issues, though I am new to the board (six months).

After the trustees voted to adopt the new policies, I received numerous emails and phone calls asking me what happened.

I will always give a straight answer.

This blog is an attempt to fulfill my duty as a trustee, and answer to the people who hold me accountable, the people of the Southern Baptist Convention.

I think you will find if you read all of my blogs that I am very gracious toward those with opposing views, have a high regard for my fellow Southern Baptists who support the new policies, but as a matter of conscience and principle, feel it is necessary to let the Board know that not everyone wishes to conform to their view of baptism and tongues within the Southern Baptist Convention.

The right channels have been taken.

The Board of Trustees of the IMB have voted. I will abide by the vote.

But now every trustee of the IMB must answer to the convention as a whole.

100 years from now I would like it known that I was adamantly opposed to this new direction.

Your advice to "stand up for what is right in the correct forum" is wise.

The convention as a whole has now become that forum.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

Kevin Bussey said...

Good point. How ironic, a conservative @ Samford! ( I graduated from there so I can say it)

ColinM said...
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Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Colin,

Thank you for your humble post. I appreciate a person who is willing to pause and reconsider.

Let me reiterate.

I am asking for cooperation among all SBC conservatives.

I am opposed to exclusion of conservatives who interpret the Bible differently.

Our church is not seeker friendly, but I want my fellow conservative seeker friendly pastors to join with me in missions and evangelism.

I don't want them excluded because they "do church" differently from me."

Do you see that I am the one asking that our convention pull together and to stop the exclusion of conservatives from ministry because they don't interpret the Bible like I do?


In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

ColinM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.