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

What Students at Our Seminaries Learn About Tongues

A classic textbook on Systematic Theology, written by Southern Baptist theologian Dr. Wayne Grudem, and used by some of our Southern Baptist seminaries, has on page 1072 this explanation about tongues:

"Some have objected that speaking in tongues must always consist of speech in known human languages, since that is what happened at Pentecost. But the fact that speaking in tongues occurred in known human languages once in Scripture does not require that it always happen with known languages, especially when another description of speaking in tongues (1Cor 14) indicates exactly the opposite. Paul does not say that foreign visitors to Corinth will understand the speaker, but he says that when someone speaks in tongues "no one" will understand and the outsider will not know what the person is saying (1Cor 14:2,16). In fact, Paul explicitly says that quite the opposite of the phenomenon at Pentecost will happen in the ordinary conduct of church life: if "all speak in tongues" and "outsiders or unbelievers enter," far from understanding the message, they will say "that you are mad" (1Cor 14:23). Moreover, we must realize that 1 Cor 14 is Paul's general instruction based on a wide experience of tongues-speaking in many different churches, whereas Acts 2 simply describes one unique event at a significant turning point in the history of redemption (Acts 2 is historical narrative while 1 Cor 14 is doctrinal instruction). Therefore it would seem appropriate to take 1 Cor 14 as the passage that most closely describes the ordinary experience of New Testament churches, and to take Paul's instructions there as the standard by which God intends churches to regulate the use of this gift.

Are tongues known human languages then? Sometimes this gift may result in speaking in a human language that the speaker has not learned, but ordinarily it seems that it will involve speech in a language that no one understands, whether that be a human language or not." (page 1072)

The endorsments of the book on its flyleaf includes this glowing declaration, "Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem is a fair-minded, thorough text in systematic theology---the best I have seen in recent years in terms of convenient organization, clarity, and a willingness to tackle the most salient issues of the day. This is an admirable blending of the scholarly and devotional elements seldom achieved in academic books." Paige Patterson.

I guess one can only hope a missiological student in the seminaries of the Southern Baptist Convention doesn't pay any attention in class.

In His Grace,



Dan Paden said...

This is going to sound really mean, but when I hear so many doctoral-level people spouting Landmark nonsense and utterly ignorant, ill-informed statements about Calvinism, I begin to wonder if any of our seminary students are paying attention in class.

I've been bitterly disappointed in the fruits of Southern Baptist seminary education lately. It is sad but true that my seventeen-year-old son (well, actually, he's still a month away from seventeen) has read more serious material (Calvin's Institutes, Luther on Galatians, etc., the list is long)than many of the seminary grads we run into.

How in thunder one can achieve a doctorate from a Southern Baptist seminary without at least reading the Institutes, whether you agree with Calvin or not, boggles the mind. Yet we've seen it done, which makes you wonder just what the Convention is getting for the money it spends on theological education.

Anonymous said...

Having been through the seminary mill and still survived to serve overseas, my observation is that the "education" is focused on conformity and creating a "mega-church pastor" factory that is more concerned about corporate leadership than spiritual leadership and acquiring certification for position rather than obedience and calling. sigh...
"m starting churches"

Bob Cleveland said...


I don't know where I'd ever get off disagreeing with Dr. Wayne Grudem, but I do. He (along with seemingly most folks) simply accepts as fact, the idea that Acts 2 presents a different occurrence that other New Testaments references to speaking in tongues. With that, I disagree, on two fronts.

One is my previously-mentioned stance that "known languages" in Acts 2 is the least likely interpretation of the events.

The other is, were it 2 different phenomena, that would certainly establish confusion. And God doesn't do that.

Occasionally, our pastor will have the benediction pronounced by one of our members, who is Russian. He speaks, then, in Russian. To most in the congregation, that's an unknown language. There is no need to interpret that, at least that seems to be the case in our church. But .. if a stranger were to walk in during the prayer, someone would need to explain thoroughly what was going on.

That's one interpretation, according to my Strong's concordance, of the word "interpret".

Once again: they're afraid of something. Perhaps the powers are simply unable to bring themselves to depend on God to preserve and protect, and prolong the work of the IMB.

That sure never worked in the OT or the NT, that I can see.

TKerns said...

Dan - As a Ph.D. student at Southern, and an M.Div. graduate of Southern, let me respond to your concerns. I am unsure as to which seminary(ies) you are referring, but at Southern, we are required to read Calvin, Luther, et. al. In fact, Luther's commentaries are standard textbooks at the undergraduate level at Boyce, the college at Southern. While it is painfully true that many undergrad and master's level students do not take their education seriously, please do not group all of us in this category. At the doctoral level, at Southern anyway, academics are taken very seriously, and reading material even more seriously. In fact, just last semester in a seminar on the doctrine of soteriology, we spent an entire session dealing with Calvin's soteriology (a disclaimer - not to indoctrinate the students with Calvin's soteriology, but to read one of history's great theological masters to understand how he dealt with the tough issues). I am of the opinion that some of our seminaries do not require Calvin as reading because of the strong disagreement with his doctrinal convictions (though the same seminaries require reading in feminist theology, cult and world religion theology, etc.). I hope and pray that the Convention sees its investment in the seminaries as a good investment, but if that investment is questioned, please make a visit to Louisville and sit in on one of our systematic theology, philosophy, NT, OT, Greek, Hebrew, evangelism, or missiology courses. I am absolutely certain that one would not be disappointed.

Wade - As for the Grudem text and his conclusions on speaking in tongues - while that subject is studied at the M.Div. level in theology/NT classes, the take on tongues varies among professors. Some are convinced that tongues have ceased, some think the gift of tongues is still prevalent. But, your comment is well-taken with regard to the new IMB regulations. I agree with you 100%. Let us only hope (sarcastically speaking) that those called to missions are not reading Grudem and taking his conclusions to heart lest we have SBC Seminary graduates who cannot serve the SBC as missionaries.

v domus said...

dan pader,

A study of the Azusa Street Revival would also be a good study requirement, giving some basis to understand tongue speaking. Something that may lacking in most SBC leadership.

Wade Burleson said...


I agree with you 100 percent. In fact, I have never met Dan, a layman at Sheridan Road in Tulsa, but I do respect the way he teaches his Sunday School class with some very solid teaching he makes available online. However, I think Dan may not realize that there is an increasing scholarly approach within our seminaries, particularly Southern, for which many of us are grateful.

Also, your last point is my point. I don't mind cooperating with a cessationist, and experientially I am one, but we should NOT exclude the continualist from the mission field or cooperation with us in missions.

Anonymous said...

but when I hear so many doctoral-level people spouting Landmark nonsense and utterly ignorant, ill-informed statements about Calvinism, I begin to wonder if any of our seminary students are paying attention in class.

Ever think maybe that's what they're hearing in class?

Dr. wendham said...

Wade's point on this post, Dan, is that the scholarly material we are providing for our students seems to now be subverted with very unscholarly new policies at the IMB.

Wade Burleson said...


I think you and Grudem would have a wonderful debate, very civil, and probably agree to disagree on the minor point in question, and then fly together overseas to share the gospel together.

That's your spirit and it is his spirit.

It should be all of our spirits.

Greg Cloud said...

I have to say, that, going along with the point I was trying to make in my last post, I really don't care either way about the fine points of the -ologies. Now, I'll know how many folks read my last statement when the wind direction outside changes suddenly.

How can I say that? It is simply this--I walk by faith, not by sight. I am content to leave the fine points of things in God's hands. I am saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, that not of myself, lest I should have a reason to boast. Christianity is a relationship with a living Lord and King--Jesus Christ. I am not saved by which side of the -ologies war I am on, but by the grace of Christ. He teaches me where I need to take a stand and when.

Do I think education a waste of time? Absolutely not. Though I have never been to seminary, I have read the works of Luther, Calvin, Finney, Wesley, Lewis and others. I do want to understand.

But I will not force my opinions, understandings or the way I have been taught in these areas on others.

Seeing differing points of view on these subjects, baptism, the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the like, is to me like taking a fine gem and holding it up to the light and slowly turning it, seeing all of its different facets.

There are issues I will draw my sword over:

1. The absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ.
2. The absolute reliability and inerrancy of Scripture.
3. Sin.

#3 is the reason I have taken up blogging. We can disagree, we can debate, we can leave all in God's hands because we can't possibly understand, but we must not sin in arrogance, seeking our own way, building reputations for ourselves not Christ, libel, slander, backbiting, etc. What service are we doing for Christ when we violate his expressed commands in arguing?

We need to agree to disagree, and not allow these disagreements in -ologies become a test of fellowship---or of service to our Lord.

Burwell said...


I began seminary under Patterson (SEBTS in Wake Forest), and due to my special needs daughter, left for seven years. (I returned in Fall of 2005 to a "new" Seminary under Danny Akin.) I took Systematic Theology in 1997, under Patterson's tenure. The textbook we used was Millard Erickson's, not Grudems.

Wade Burleson said...


Thanks for the information. I never said Southwestern used it. I know not all our seminaries use the textbook that is why I did not identify any seminaries by name. The fact Dr. Patterson endorsed the book makes my point that we ought to be able endorse people who disagree with us on non-essentials of the faith.

KenDare said...

Thanks, Bro. Wade....
Your writings are getting
better every day....
3-10-06 blog....I wonder
if SWBTS president is
getting more compassionate and patient
or is it senality????
Ken Dare

TKerns said...

Wade - one other comment: at Southern, systematic theology course professors (Drs. Mohler and Moore included) give their students the choice of using Grudem or Erickson as their main theology reader.

Dan Paden said...

...Dan may not realize that there is an increasing scholarly approach within our seminaries...

I am definitely grateful to hear that this is the case. My comments do reflect my dealings with people principally in the 40-50 age range and it may well be that the situation has changed dramatically since they went to school.

On the other hand, it's not terribly unusual to run across seminary-trained men--yes, speaking of our Southern Baptist seminaries--in this age group that are just as I described. It has greatly concerned me for some time that so many Ph.D's seem to have majored in something more appropriate for a church manager than for a minister of God's Word and to God's people. If the situation is changing, I am certainly glad to hear it.

And Wade,I'm always grateful for kind words regarding the class. Be sure to visit next time you're in Tulsa.

Anonymous said...

I know a SWBTS prof who prefers Erickson on the whole who once told me that he uses Grudem for three main reasons: 1)More traditional organization than Erickson. 2)More Scriture references. 3)Because the STUDENTS WANT GRUDEM!

(Of course, even Erickson is ambivalent about "cessationism" if I remeber correctly.)

But if its true that students are preferring Grudem, then no wonder the muckity-mucks are concerned. Present-day SBC seminary students PREFER a systematic that is Calvinistic and not strictly cessationist. Our future is bright if these students aren't first driven away by the megalomanical antics of a powerful few who consider themselves the "protectors" of Southern Baptist "theology."

Ironically, this rising restlessness is the logical result of the convservative resurgence. A generation has now been raised up who does not question the truthfulness of Scripture. Logically, they pursue theology that is foremost biblically defensible. They pursue theology that does not rely more on Baptist history than biblical exposition.

Greg Hicks said...


Thank you for posting the exert from Dr. Grudem’s excellent Systematic Theology. He said it better than I ever could.

Virtually everything in the "Scriptural Teaching Regarding This Practice" of the "Position Paper Concerning the IMB Policy on Glossolalis" is easily refuted in the very texts the authors have quoted:

1) The authors assert that the word used in Acts 2:8, “They heard the wonderful works of God 'in their own language, in which they were born'” is glossa, the same word used in 1 Corinthians. This is incorrect; the phrase used in this quotation from Acts 2:8 is idios dialektos. We get our English word “idiom” from idios, and dialect from dialektos. Luke is recording the fact that those present heard the gospel in the language they themselves spoke.

2) The authors assert, “Different kinds of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:10) are mentioned, but never unknown tongues.” In 1 Corinthians 14:2, however, Paul says, “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, NO ONE UNDERSTANDS HIM; he utters mysteries with his spirit”. “No one understands him” sounds like the very definition of an “unknown tongue.”

3) The authors assert, “There is no linguistic or historical or contextual justification for the idea that the glossolalia of Acts and Corinth are different.” What the “tongues” in both Acts and 1 Corinthians have in common is that the speakers are speaking in languages they had not learned and which they themselves did not understand. What is different in the two accounts is that in the Acts 2 episode, at least some of the hearers heard the gospel being presented in their own heart language (much to their amazement!); at Corinth, apparently some were speaking in languages that no hearer present understood. Hence, Paul forbids the public speaking in languages not understood unless there was at least someone who could interpret (translate). Paul notes that what happens in the public worship of the church should be edifying to the Body, not simply the speaker (if you have an ear to hear, there are other good applications of what Paul is saying as it relates to a lot of things we do in public worship!)

4) The authors assert, “Paul wrote the Corinthian letter to correct a problem, not to encourage a particular experience as a means by which to have a superior intimate relationship to God.” But Paul in fact encouraged tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:5 - “Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues…”

5) The authors assert, “Two things characterized tongues in the New Testament: Jews and evangelism.” But Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 14:23, “If therefore the whole church assemble together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad?” Unbelievers concluding that we are mad doesn’t sound like evangelism to me.

6) The authors assert, “Tongues were given to be addressed to men (Israel), not to God.” But Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 14:2, “For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God.”

Bottom line - this is classic dispensationalism, nothing more. And frankly, I've heard much stronger cases for cessasionism. Now that I've seen the report, I better understand why they waited so long to publish.

For the record, I am not a dispensationalist and not a cessasionist (is there such a thing as a cessaionist who is not a dispensationalist?), but neither do I speak in tongues.

And lastly - Wade, I completely agree with you on the "main thing" - even if we disagree on this issue, we should be able to agree that this is not something that should be used to exclude Southern Baptists who love the Lord, love the Word, love the church, and love the lost from serving the Lord by taking the gospel to the nations - particularly in light of the fact that we have a policy in place to cover public use of tongues already.

Baptist Theologue said...

In regard to Grudem, Erickson, and our past discussion on the administrator (person or church) of the ordinances, I found the following quotes interesting.

Grudem on baptism:

"For these reasons it is usually the ordained clergy who baptize, but there seems to be no reason why the church from time to time, and where it deems it appropriate, might not call on other church officers or mature believers to baptize new converts."

Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), page 984.

Erickson on the Lord's Supper:

"What does appear in the Gospel accounts and in Paul's discussion is that the Lord's Supper has been entrusted to, and is presumably to be administered by, the church. It would therefore seem to be in order for the persons who have been chosen and empowered by the church to supervise and conduct its services of worship to superintend the Lord's Supper as well."

Millard Erickson, Christian Theology, Second Edition (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998), page 1132.

kevin said...

I went to seminary at NOBTS (graduated in 2000). Seminary was a great blessing in my life. It gave me both practical training and a deeper understanding of theology, history, etc.

The students and professors that I met were a mix of Calvinists and non-Calvinists. I don't remember that being a major emphasis, although we covered it in history and theology classes.

I also remember different discussions about tongues. Always seemed like the discussions were pretty balanced and not geared towards extremes.


Anonymous said...

I agree with some of the concerns about our SBC seminaries. I was at SWBTS during the time when Dr. Dilday was fired. I remember a professor saying, and I agree, "We want to teach you how to think. They (the ones involved in the takeover) want to tell you what to think." This seems to be the same prevailing attitude that is guiding many of the trustees. If we don’t think like them, then there’s no place for us in the IMB. This attitude came across very clearly in Hatley’s one-sided position paper concerning the IMB policy on glossolalia. Hatley states:

“The International Mission Board’s policy on glossolalia (adopted November 2005) represents the historic Baptist understanding and, more importantly, the scriptural teaching regarding this practice.”

Shouldn’t that last line read “my scriptural interpretation regarding this practice?”

Back when I was at SWBTS, James Leo Garrett came out with his Systematic Theology texts. I don’t know if these are still in use. But it is another good reference for understanding the tongues issue. Below are quotes from Garrett’s book and Gordon Fees commentary on First Corinthians.

“How ought non-tongues-speakers to respond to [glossolalia]? First, they can recognize that the gift of tongues is seemingly a present-day reality and abandon Warfield’s apostolic cessation theory… they should refrain from efforts to exclude or disfellowship those who exercise tongues-speaking within the Pauline perimeters.” (Systematic Theology, Vol.2 pp 214-215)

In reference to the bodies of work that address spiritual gifts, Fee states “Most of this literature assumes that such gifts are available to Christians in all ages of the church. Although some have taken a dim view of the phenomena, most have been moderately cautious, suggesting openness to what the Spirit might do, but usually offering correctives or guidelines as well. However, there has also been a spate of literature whose singular urgency has been to justify the limiting of these gifts to the first-century church. It is fair to say of this literature that its authors have found what they were looking for and have thereby continued to reject such manifestations in the church. It can also be fairly said that such rejection is not exegetically based, but results in every case from a prior hermeneutical and theological commitment. Perhaps the greater tragedy for the church is that it should have lost touch with the Spirit of God in it’s ongoing life that it should settle for what is only ordinary and thus feel the urgency to justify itself in that way.” (The First Epistle to the Corinthians, pp 599-600)

Anonymous Missionary

Anonymous said...

I attended a SBC seminary and can honestly say that it did not really prepare me spiritually for ministry in the local church. All my classes, save two, were mainly concerned with the mechanics and organization of ministry, not spiritual preparation. The two classes that concentrated on spiritual matters, were taught by professors who were considered "liberal." I found that to be rather ironic.

Hiram Smith said...

Wade, your blog yesterday (Mar 9) is the subject of the following remarks:

Wade, why in the world do you want to be a member of a trustee body whose conduct is so foreign to what you consider biblical standards of conduct? On Thursday, March 8, taken in context, you either wrote or directly implied that IMB trustee leaders (with the support of a majority of their fellow trustees) are “spiritually abusive” in the following ways:

1. They waste time “power-posturing” and “focusing on their ‘authority’”

2. They are preoccupied with performance. (When did performance become evil?)

3. They control people's lives “from the outside by rules, spoken and unspoken.”

4. They have made the ‘mundane’ become the essential, the’ vital’ become trivial, and neglected the real needs of real people for the sake of "agendas."

5. They believe that "others will not understand what [they're] all about, so [they say] let's not let them know, or else we will be falsely ridiculed or attacked."

6. They demand that loyalty be to the organization [trustee clique] and not necessarily the Kingdom of God.

7. And, finally, among IMB trustee leaders “secrecy is prevalent and openness and transparency are rarely seen.”

Your attack was largely indirect and chiefly by innuendo, but nevertheless strong and effective. Since it is so obvious that your heart is not with those trustees, why put yourself in their presence any more than absolutely necessary (which is not at all)? Their eyes are so loaded with beams, perhaps you should get away from them lest one attach itself to any mote that may be near your own eyelid. I hope you have not developed an appetite for debate and contention with fellow believers who are less apt and proficient than you at debating.

In that same blog note, you went on to say, “We need to ask ourselves, ‘Are we contributing to creating a spiritually abusive environment in our church, denomination or agency?’” Many of your fellow trustees have been living in a “spiritually abusive” war zone, ever since they voted against you on two issues. I have been a Southern Baptist since long before you were born, but like most have never been honored to hold such a noble position as the one you now occupy. Your own “spiritually abusive” posturing has finally begun to aggrieve me. I can only imagine how your fellow trustees must be struggling with the misfortune of being directly in your incessant and withering line of fire. Because you have not named trustees targeted in those “spiritually abusive” attacks, they all are smeared under the cloud of attack.

How do those trustees who voted with you now feel? After all, they, like you, are merely honorable people in responsible positions of oversight. Why do you keep them under such a cloud? Your attack has become increasingly more like those venomous and relentless attacks on the SBC by David Currie and his Mainstreamers, the CBFers and the handful of other former SBC staffers whose doctrines were rejected by SBC messengers. Many of those rejected clearly became bitter, not better. (Please leave David’s name in this blognote, he hungers to be cited in all quarters as the chief opponent of all that the SBC has become. He will appreciate being cited by name. If you don’t believe me, please ask him.)

Now, since several trustees have stated publicly their intent to rescind their request for your removal from the honored position of IMB trustee, they must be bewildered at seeing you continue to ratchet up your strident attacks on them. It is apparent to some of us simple folk in the pews that you have gotten too close to the issue. Your eyes seem so mal-focused that you can no longer see the forest for the trees. Sadly, the only trees that you now seem able to focus on are trustee decisions, some right, some wrong, but the worst ones seem to be those resistant to your enlightened views.

In my first e-note to you I made it clear that I agree with your vote against the new glossolalia motion and with your vote against your removal from the board of trustees. I even wrote of how I looked forward to you becoming Chairman of the IMB trustees before finishing your second term.
However, unless you begin to display on your blogsite the transformation, as you put it, of being "changed from the inside out," ones who love the SBC will have to stand in line for an opportunity to introduce their motion to remove you from the trusteeship of the International Mission Board. You seem to have lost your way in the wilderness. Certainly, some of your fellow trustees made mistakes. But, what about you? What did you do before last November to make the committee who worked on the glossolalia motion better understand and address your views on the issues in their report to the full board? I am not just “posturing.” I would really like to know what you did to get your views incorporated in the report before it was presented to the entire board? Then, what parliamentary moves did you make in your effort to delay final adoption of the report and motion, until a further airing of your views could be achieved?

Earlier you wrote–
Stay On Point Don't Get Confused The trustees of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention have any and every right to implement policies for any purpose. As a Board member, I have repeatedly stated that I will comply with every policy of our Board. For instance, there is no policy against a trustee blogging on the Internet, but if there were, I would not blog. I have said repeatedly to all the trustees that I would stop blogging if the Board would pass a policy to that effect. A trustee should always abide by policy.”

Shouldn’t a trustee also recommend solutions, not just exacerbate a problem by declaring it, complaining about it, inviting others to complain about it, and then bating other trustees into trying to solve the problem by adopting a “policy” that outlaws blogging about the problem. A step guaranteed to exacerbate the problem, which, if taken, would immediately, of course, become a greater issue than the problem in need of resolution. After all, we Baptists are a “free speak and vote” society without a pope to decide. Occasionally, however, having a pope might be a pleasant alternative to some of our debates.

Wade, why don’t you recommend a blogging policy standard for SBC staffers, employees and agency-entity trustees. Why did you fail to recommend one to your fellow trustees on January 20, rather than just declare that you would abide by whatever policy they adopted? You know a Convention-wide ‘policy on standards for blogging’ is sorely needed and, at this time, you are probably better equipped to lead in its development and establishment than any other Southern Baptist. We all recognize that the Blogging Genie is out of the bottle now. Delaying the setting of standards will only worsen the problems that you and others have already encountered. And, those standards should be convention-wide, not just left to each agency-entity.

We have a formal policy of standards for our annual convention business sessions. (Although, because of its needless complexity, it leaves much to be desired. Robert’s Rules were never designed to meet the rules of order needed by a Christian body, especially Baptists.) Wade, please seek to be a leader in developing an SBC blogging policy. A good one could greatly strengthen the clarity, vitality and value of blogging in the SBC. Unless something is done along these lines, we may risk seeing a serious deterioration in the Convention. It is time to begin using the Internet’s potential for opening up and democratizing the SBC. How to do this should be studied extensively, intensively and immediately. We should make the Internet a tool for servant discipleship through disciplining it’s use. Otherwise, it will likely grow as a tool for contention, used by all who would masterfully divide us through the special dynamics it affords when operated with no rules of order.

How long could we survive as a Convention without any adopted ‘rules of order’ for the business sessions of our annual meetings? Not long! The role of the Internet in Southern Baptist life is just one of the areas for which we sorely lack visionary leadership for orderly development within the Convention.

Now that the liberalism challenge has been sidetracked through the resurgence, what will Southern Baptists do about the Internet challenge, or better said–Internet opportunity? Within the Internet is perhaps an opportunity to solve the historic problem of the role and responsibilities of our traditional Baptist press. Also, therein may lay a great potential for informing and engaging Baptists in the pews much more deeply in the entire scope of decision-making within the SBC. Through it, the sky is the limit for making available top quality resources (including literature) for Christian education and public action initiatives, which can be made available Convention-wide at minimal cost. But, first we need to develop some rules of order for our common use of the Internet so that it will help bind us together rather than simply serve as a cathartic forum full of complaining “Whereas’s,” but lacking the essential solutions of “Therefore be it resolved’s.”

No vision, only a sense of smell is required to whine “Whereas’s” about decay and bad odors that have been detected. We need leaders with a vision for developing many “Therefore be it resolved’s” about Convention decisions through a structured system of guidelines and standards for capitalizing on the use of Internet potentials. If no leader arises with a vision for operationally integrating the Internet in the SBC, the Convention may well slide into dwindling and discord. Who is going to become that leader with a vision for capturing the Internet’s potential for drawing us together and helping us build stronger Great Commission agency-entities that will even more effectively reach out to a lost world with the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ? Wade, at one time, that is where I thought you were heading, but lately I have begun to wonder.

Hiram Smith
(drafter of the ’04 SBC Resolution On Twenty-Five Years Of The Conservative Resurgence and the ‘05 SBC Resolution on the Federal Judiciary)

Steve said...

A huge worldwide gathering celebrating the Azuza Street Revival which took place 100 years ago will be held in multible sites around Los Angeles April 25-29.

How is it that this phenomenon which has resulted in over 600,000,000 Spirit-filled Pentecostals and Charismatics across all the continents could have come into existance if the gifts of the Spirit had ceased around the end of the first century? Do you really believe it is all the work of the Enemy?

Wade Burleson said...


Your thoughts are good. Thanks for the suggestions.

You can rest assured several recommendations are forthcoming. In addition, I would be happy to help establish parameters Convention wide for blogging.

I appreciate your comments.

Wade Burleson said...

P.S. Hiram

The post on Spiritual Abuse was a direct response to a question asked by a church member via email regarding problems in his church and how to deal with it.

Your conclusions about the IMB Board are yours. As you said, I have not drawn a line to the trustees, you have. What would make you do that?

Anonymous said...


Thanks for allowing anonymity on this weblog--it is helpful to those of us who are wise to keep our opinions to ourselves. I want to point out a couple of things.

First, the seminaries are not like they used to be in terms of education. Though I cannot speak of all of our seminaries, I can say that the ones I have attended put a great deal of emphasis on reading theological classics. There was no desire on the part of seminary administrators or professors to create "mega-church" pastors. That was, however, the desire of an enormous amount of immature students, and was actually discouraged by the schools themselves.

Second, as for Patterson's endorsement of Grudem, isn't it possible to endorse a book without agreeing with everything in it? I think it is safe to say that Patterson thinks it is a generally fine textbook, though he would disagree with it at any number of points. Just like the seminary profs who use Erickson (hopefully) disagree with that author's egalitarian view of women in ministry. There is no perfect systematic theology text, and Patterson (who I am no fan of) is not a hypocrite for endorsing the book and differing with the author's interpretation of tongues (no pun intended).

Third, I am concerned about the bias against Landmarkism as an academic option. Let me be clear--I am not a Landmarker. Far from it. I do not believe the position is biblically or historically justifiable, and I have spent a considerable amount of time studying it. But it is a legitimate Baptist option, and those who make such ignorant comments as "when I hear so many doctoral-level people spouting Landmark nonsensewhen I hear so many doctoral-level people spouting Landmark nonsense," it betrays that they are far more influenced by moderates than conservatives. Landmarkism is a valid "option" to hold, as many do. Its just not right!

Finally, my sincere hope is that the IMB will reverse its new policies, not because I am a continuationist (I am not) or a Landmark-hater (I am not), but because the trustees have made a move that goes beyond our confessional statement, which renders the BF&M 2000 virtually unimportant. And then we are no different than the moderates and liberals--we are just a different kind of anti-confessionalist.

Jim Sadler said...

Wade, Concerning "Hiram", whatever the intent for the blog concerning spiritual abusive practices don't be so naive as to think the majority who read it would not come to the same conclusion as that of Hiram's. I thought the very same thing as he when I read it, but let it pass. your blog in the mind of the readers has unfortunately only one end and that is the IMB's decision on tongues and baptism. My first thought when reading that blog was "my,my, how bad are those guys?" If I have an agenda, interjection of unrelated material must be carefully considered or it may be considered a part of my agenda.

Dan Paden said...

...those who make such ignorant comments...betray(s) that they are far more influenced by moderates than conservatives.

Ignorant I may well be. Can't be denied. As to the other charge, well--perhaps we'll get to know each other better someday. For now, I'll just observe that that remark positively made my day, for it is the only time I can recall being charged with anything akin to moderation.

Landmarkism is a valid "option" to hold, as many do.

I don't dispute anyone's right to hold the position; I do maintain that it is historical nonsense and well known to be such. Further, I am not inclined toward friendship with it as a system for the simple reason that consistently applied, it has led to at least two--according to H. Leon McBeth, anyway--attempts to dismantle the Foreign Mission Board.

"The Landmark faction rejected...the work of the mission boards. Landmarkers denied the right of boards, especially the Foreign Mission Board, to examine, appoint, and direct the work of missionaries. All of these tasks, they said, belonged exclusively to the churches. After a full day of debate, the SBC in 1859 declined to dismantle its Foreign Board as Graves had insisted. The issue came up again in the 1890s in the "Gospel Mission Controversy," but once again the SBC kept its Foreign Mission Board. The Landmark objection was not to missions per se but to the *method* of working through boards, which it claimed represented a capitulation to episcopacy."

Since as far as I am concerned the SBC exists principally for the purpose of cooperatively funding missions and education, I therefore regard Landmarkism as inimical to the Convention itself. If it seems less than an open-minded stance to take, so be it; differences can be settled at the Convention, via the ballot-box.