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

The Beauty of Substance

David Rogers is a missionary for the International Mission Board. In every century God seems to raise up men of character and fortitude who provide correction and wisdom to His church. Wilburforce, Spurgeon, Toplady, Carey, Luther, and others come to mind as men, who for various reasons, are seen as the lighthouses of truth in their day.

I would put David Rogers in this category --- without hesitation. What is so striking to me about David is his humble heart. He is particularly gifted, but exceptionally modest. He eschews obfuscation and writes with compassionate clarity. He would blush at the words I have just written, but I do so sincerely --- and with purpose.

Words have power, but words spoken from a humble, godly character have divine power. David's words speak to the mind, the heart and the soul.

His post entitled A Reply to Brad Reynolds, Keith Eitel, Paige Patterson, and Robin Hadaway is a brilliant defense of Dr. Rankin and the direction and policies of the IMB under Dr. Rankin's leadership.

It will take you a good bit to read through it, but if you want to understand some of the dynamics taking place in modern missiology, read it carefully. Also, please pay attention to the difference between starting "baptist" churches and "baptistic" churches as described and defined by David. The heart of many of the issues being faced on Southern Baptist mission fields revolve around a person's understanding of what type of "churches" are being planted.

It's nice to see someone contribute substance while avoiding hollow truisms and personal sarcasms. He is one we should look to for leadership because he believes doing it is more important than declaring it.

Thanks, David, for giving this lifelong Southern Baptist hope for, and confidence in, the future of Southern Baptist work around the world.

In His Grace,

Wade

P.S. Title change at the suggestion of Pastor Wes (Thanks).

14 comments:

IN HIS NAME said...

David has a very gental and sweet spirit and sharp mind for God's Word.

Wayne Smith In His Name

Bryan Riley said...

I've enjoyed reading his blog for some time now. I had no idea of his "famous" lineage for most of that time, especially with my lack of knowledge of many "famous" pastors, but ultimately figured it out. He truly speaks intelligently and humbly, a rare combination of qualities.

Africa M said...

I love reading what David has written. It will always be well written, scholarly, thought provoking and most importantly biblically sound. He doesn't dance around the difficult issues, but always sees there is a practical side to any theory.

As a fellow M I look to David as an example for all of us to follow.

John said...

So let's hear what the bloggers have to say about- "baptistic" or "baptist" perhaps we should say southern baptist church plants. I for one vote for Christian church plants.

CB Scott said...

Wade,

Before anyone else brings it up, let me ask. You are not saying that all of Brad's posts are posturing while everything that David posts are of substance are you?

cb

Tim Cook said...

I just have to say I applaud David in his reasoning of the paper's thoughts. I am a relatively "new" southern baptist, coming from other denominational experiences, and I am saddened by the pure arrogance of some of the assumptions in that paper. "Abandoning Latin America to the Charismatic influence"?!?! That is, from my experience, abandoning them to: heaven, life in Christ, fellowship of believers, joyful worship of God, a constant awareness of His presence, and many other good things. Is it to some doctrinal confusion as well? You bet. But the IMB does not exist to compete with other evangelical Christian groups. I, for one, as a good southern baptist, WILL NOT support that kind of thinking. We should not take it upon ourselve to remake the body of Christ in our own image. I may be over-reacting because of my own Charismatic roots, but am I off base here? Shouldn't we rejoice in the Charismatic revival sweeping through Latin America?
I'll step off my soap-box now. thanks for indulging this rant.

In Christ,
Tim Cook

Imanm said...

Wade, thank you for linking to David's wonderful and well prepared response.

As a Level 3 M myself the Baptist/baptistic question is one, that like many of my colleagues, I don't understand. We long to see people saved, churches planted, and God glorified. Period. I don't care which means the Lord chooses to use to see our UPG reached for his glory.

However...

As a trustee, how would you suggest us field workers be fully compliant with the IMB's Basic Principle #5 which says, "Our basic task is evangelism through proclamation, discipling, equipping and ministry that results in indigenous Baptist churches." The word here is clearly "Baptist" and not baptistic. What are the ramifications of this?

antonio said...

John,

I concur. I can throw my Southern Baptist doctrine at them all I want but they will never become a Southern Baptist church, maybe baptistic in nature but not Southern Baptist. What works in America does not necessarily work here in Mexico and in Spain, Germany, or anywhere. God makes us each unique persons as so follows the church. Claiming to be a Baptist does not speak for your moral or ethical values, we speak for them in what we say and do. Because we are not planting Southern Baptist churches does not mean that we are producing Charismatic churches as it seems to be said by some. Mexico belongs to the people of Mexico. Though I have a citizenship in Heaven foremost and then a citizenship in the U.S., I have no business trying to inflect my personal belief system in what life should be like. My job is to reflect and teach what the Bible says. Sure if discussion comes up over "lesser" doctrines, I will gladly discuss these with those I personally work with, but I am not here to mold people after my thought of a perfect life or church but that of what God says is good. As far as a name for the churches, I say the, not original with me terms, New Testament Church Starts.

What is actually interesting in the SBC there are many member churches that worship "outside of the mainstream" [whatever mainstream is].

Some churches swear by KJV others use different versions. Some raise their hands in services and have praise bands, others not. Some only allow men to wear dress pants and women dresses, others not, etc, etc.

Does the type of Bible we use or the pants we wear determine where our security is? No.

This is what I think about when I read that part of the paper. The paper is from a non-objective point of view and from personal opinion for the most part.

My two cents for what they are worth:)

Wade Burleson said...

CB,

Absolutely not. This post has nothing to do with Brad Reynolds. I don't know him, have never met him, but look forward to the opportunity when it arises.

I am referring to no individual or individuals in particular. I was just observing that one is not a leader because he calls himself one, but rather because he actually is.

Roger Simpson said...

Wade:

Thanks for bringing up David's BLOG. I have only heard about these IMB issues before in secondhand accounts.

While I still only have a very shallow "novice type" understanding of these issues at least David's BLOG serves to identify to me the general landscape of the discussion and the major players on each side.

Thanks.

CB Scott said...

Now, no one should say Wade is comparing Brad's character or motives to those of David.To do so would be an injustice to this post and to all three men.

cb

Wes Kenney said...

I'm curious about something: If, as CB suggests, this is not meant as comparison, why not "The Beauty of Substance" as a title instead of "The Beauty of Substance over Posturing"?

Wade Burleson said...

In answer to your question, "Because I'm not as good as coming up with titles as some?"

:)

kevin said...

80% of our churches are plateaued or declining. Are these really the type of churches we want to plant overseas?