Rachelle and I will be leaving the Sheraton in the next hour and traveling home. Before we walk out I thought I would give a few brief thoughts regarding the Convention.
(1). President Frank Page . . . will do a wonderful job as our President. He is a conservative and an inerrantist. He is soft spoken and gentle. He will appoint good people to the various committees over which he has appointing privileges. He will represent us well.
(2). The IMB Board of Trustees . . . will meet in July in Richmond. There is new leadership, new trustees and a new sense of direction. I would love nothing more than my concerns to be addressed internally. Dr. John Floyd, the new Chairman of the IMB, spoke with me in the hallway and we mutually agreed that we could work through the issues. I believe we can. I also believe certain trustees know that I will never back down until my questions are answered. It is appropriate to take corrective measures internally, and if that happens, the report to the convention can simply be "All is now well."
(3). The Resolutions Committee . . . is a very important committee, handpicked by the President of the SBC. Three of the most well written resolutions on dissent, narrowing the parameters of cooperation, and integrity in church reporting did not make it to the floor for a vote, kept from the floor by the Committee itself. Tom Ascol, the author of the excellent motion on integrity spoke eloquently for overruling the Resolutions Committee's decision and allow the convention to vote on the resolution, but as is true at most Conventions, the messengers will usually follow the recommendations of the Resolutions Committee. The messengers supported the Committee's recommendation to kill Ascol's resolution so we were not allowed to vote on our desire for integrity. Had we voted it would have passed easily. It doesn't look good to be seen voting down integrity :).
(4). The Importance of Nomination Speeches . . . the Presidential election was decided on the first ballot based upon the nomination speeches. All three were good, but Forrest Pollock's speech on behalf of Frank Page was superior by far. He was relaxed, spoke from the heart, used no notes, and cadence, eye contact, and style were brilliant. I told him when he left the platform he won the nomination for Frank on the first ballot.
The Second Vice-Presidential nomination speech by Bill Dodson on behalf of Wiley Drake will go down in history as the best nomination speech ever given at the SBC. Give credit to the Bill Dodson for a brilliant delivery --- just the right amount of pauses --- a masterful performance of drawing the messenger's in through humor. Comedy is all about timing, and Dodson's timing was impeccable. However, the entire speech was scripted, as well as the (pauses), by the erudite Ben Cole. Anyone who wants to be elected to convention office needs to hire Ben to write his speech.
(5). Depth . . . the SBC may very well be turning a corner in terms of substance. I commend the leaders of our Pastor's Conference for actually dealing with important issues. The SBC has not been know as a paragon of exegetical brilliance, but through some of the seminars I attended, the debates I heard from the floor regarding resolutions, and through personal conversations I am beginning to see that people in our Convention are beginning to think Biblically about matters in ways Southern Baptists, above all people, should be thinking.
In His Grace,