Oklahoma is filled with Southern Baptist pastors that are both bright and biblical, and they make me proud to be an Oklahoma Southern Baptist. Several of these pastors blog, and do a great job of causing me to think --- deeply.
One such pastor is Paul Littleton of Faith Baptist Church, Sapulpa, Oklahoma. His blog -- caught in the middle -- is a must read, including this post from a few weeks ago.
"I was talking to a friend recently who told me an interesting story about the fall of Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire to the Ottoman Turks. I've done a little research and haven't been able to confirm the story historically, but even if it is nothing more than legend it makes a profound point. [It's possible that the point is even stronger if the story isn't true since that would mean that people tell this story for the explicit reason of shaping ideas and behavior rather than just relating some interesting history]
It's said that while the Ottoman Turks were breaching the walls of Constantinople the people were inside debating a theological issue. The question was this: 'If a fly lands in holy water, does the fly make the water unholy, or does the water make the fly holy?'
Meanwhile, the Turks invaded and overthrew Constantinople raping and pilliging the city. One fact that is historically true is that The Church of Holy Wisdom was soon converted into a mosque.
I often think that the evangelical church, and my denomination in particular, is busy debating things that may in fact have some limited theological value, but we do so to the neglect of much weightier issues around us. The North American continent is one of the very few places in the world where Christianity is on the decline. Meanwhile we debate whether or not we can cooperate in missions and education with people who might pray in tongues in private, whether we show enough gratitude to denominational leaders of the past and present and whether a person who drinks alcohol without getting drunk has committed an unholy act. It should be no surprise if we get sacked by an army of Turks."
In His Grace,
P.S. I originally saw Paul's essay referred to in Todd Littleton's blog.