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

Who Is Now Setting the Agenda for the SBC?

In December 2002 Trent Lott resigned as Senate Majority Leader in response to the furor and outrage over inflammatory comments he made at Strom Thrumond’s 100th birthday party.

Although Senator Lott's remarks were broadcast live on C-SPAN and
reported in the mainstream press, it took almost a week before the media devoted significant coverage to Lott’s comments. The Economist, in its analysis of the Lott fiasco concluded:

The mainstream media was initially blind to his [Lott’s] remarks perhaps because it is used to such comments. But the “blogosphere” – websites of opinion and news, first known as weblogs – denounced the remarks vigorously, and would not let up, finally forcing others to take notice.

THE POWER AND POLITICS OF BLOGS is a well written online article co-authored by Daniel W. Drezner, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and Henry Farrell, Assistant Professor of Political Science at George Washington University. In the abstract of this article the authors make a very interesting, possibly prescient statement:

"Under specific circumstances – when key weblogs focus on a new or neglected issue – blogs can socially construct an agenda or interpretive frame that acts as a focal point for mainstream media, shaping and constraining the larger political debate.

I wonder if future Southern Baptists will not one day look back at 2006 and consider it a turning point in the Southern Baptist Conventon. Will future church historians say the SBC shifted course in 2006 because of the involvement of grassroot Southern Baptists, who through their blogs, web discussions and resourceful use of technology set the agenda for all Southern Baptists?

That question can only be answered by a future generation, but it is one worth considering. Why?

If it is a possibility that a shift has occurred in 2006 within the Southern Baptist Convention, with the convention tending toward a more irenic (peaceful) conservatism, including a desire to participate with all conservative evangelicals in world missions ministry, intentionally ignoring minor doctrinal differences, then just maybe some good has come to the SBC through blogs.

In His Grace,


P.S. My wife, Rachelle, will be guest posting on her reflections of this past year tomorrow (Saturday).


irreverend fox said...

irenic conservatives? bah! sounds like a wolf in sheeps clothing if you ask me!

TruthOfActs said...

Your post brings out the power of blogs that may cause a shift in the SBC.
The question arises which blog will have the most influence if they are in opposition? People like blogs that present facts and not mudslinging.

You and Brad Reynolds have the reputation of keeping slander from being printed. He has yet to post a comment I wrote yesterday asking him why he posted personal attacks against you. My comment to him is below.

Since you have control of what is posted, have you noticed your warnings to avoid personal attacks have been ignored.

Case in point:
1. Baylor Grad: “Good luck getting a straight answer out of Wade. Normally he only does drive by’s on the site and never really answers difficult questions. I have found him to be evasive and elusive at best. Stir the pot and run mentality.”
2. You wrote, "Gentleman, let’s stick to the issues and avoid personal attacks.”
3. Wade tells you, “Thanks for your encouragement to keep things civil.”
4. Baylor Grad: “Wade…realizes that he is losing his following. That is why he makes unsubstantiated allegations against Brad and others…Most likely a year from now no one will remember all of this anyway. The response will be Wade WHO?
5. You say to Baylor Grad: “I will not publish another comment like the one you just wrote.”
6. Baylor Grad: “My comment of “Wade WHO?” was motivated from a pastor meeting two weeks ago and hearing several pastors who believed in Wade six
months ago, but now sees he has a political agenda, and are sick of the rhetoric.”

Brad, in a court of law, what Baylor Grad said would not be allowed because it contains nothing but slander and hearsay.

Every comment Baylor Grad made was worse than the one before. You warned him on his first two. Was that the equivalent of Pilot washing his hands?”

Since the Bible says not to report a crime makes a person just as guilty, how much worse is aiding in a crime?
Rex Ray

jasonk said...

You talked recently about how information changed different industries, including my own.
The question is, can the SBC survive transparency? Blogging increases transparency, which most establishments do not welcome. The SBC leadership has not welcomed transparency either. So, will the SBC survive? I believe so.

Geoff Baggett said...

A very thought-provoking post. There can be no doubt that blogs have changed the entire landscape in our world with regard to the spread of information, the ability of the “average guy” to have a voice, and even with regard to social interaction. Blogging is truly a new worldwide “community.” I have no doubt that it has had a significant influence in Southern Baptist life this past year, and will continue to do so. The open exchange of information is, in general, a good thing.

I believe it is a good thing when the “grassroots” of Southern Baptists has the opportunity to speak and become a part of the overall conversation. But I sincerely hope that, as we sit down in front of our computers to compose our posts or comment on someone’s blog, we are not doing so for the express, cognizant, intended purpose of “setting the agenda” for SBC life or anything else, for that matter. I don’t like the sound of that at all. None of us like the idea of a small group of people (and bloggers are, after all, still a relatively small but vocal group) “setting the agenda” for everyone else, whether they’re meeting in a conference room, in a chat room, or on a comment string blog. We need lots of “contributors” to the conversation. But we don’t need a new generation of “architects.”

johnthebaptist2007 said...
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johnthebaptist2007 said...
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Bob Cleveland said...


Jason raised the question as to whether the SBC would/could survive transparency. If it wouldn't, or couldn't, then it shouldn't survive, period.

Nobody was more transparent than Jesus. If we cannot do things His way, we shouldn't do them at all.

Pastor Brad said...


I doubt anyone has done more to bring to light the potential influence of the blog than you. I know you put a great deal of thought and effort into your posts, which is why people like me keep coming back to read your thoughts.

A couple of related thoughts:

As with most things, blogs have the potential for both great good (allowing many to have a voice that they might not have had otherwise) and great ill (a medium that could allow for unsubstantiated slander or the over-magnification of a lesser issue). They are evidence of Baptists at their best and Baptists at their worst.

I also think blogs have the potential to have a great or greater influence in the future. As you say, only time will tell. I think it is possible for those of us who read blogs and write blogs to think that they currently have a greater influence than we do. For instance, I don’t know one other pastor or layman who reads blogs, much less Baptist blogs. Though I think Bobby Welch purposefully underestimated the numbers of bloggers for effect, it does seem that most of the SBC blogs have the same 50-75 respondents. It is difficult to know how many are reading as “hits” and IP addresses don’t give an accurate picture. Is there some way to tell how many people read a blog?

By the way, I often wonder what is going on in Texas and Oklahoma that it seems like 95% of bloggers originate from there, but I digress. ;)

Don’t misunderstand, I think blogging has had an influence – the issue with the investment funds from SWBTS is a great example. However, I think that many in the world of blogging have overestimated their current influence. For instance, the election of Frank Page had far more to do with the geographical location of the SBC and the impact of the fallout over percentages given to the CP than the influence of blogs. This is not intended to insult your efforts. I think blogs will continue to grow in influence, both for good and for ill, as they become a more mainstream mode of communication.

I hope you have a blessed New Year.

johnthebaptist2007 said...
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volfan007 said...

pastor brad and johnjax,

i think both of you have hit the nail on the head.


Pastor Brad said...

That is a tragic example of the potential ill of blogging in the future. I am not in the Memphis area, so I really can't comment on how far reaching its influence is. Unfortunately, it has been fueled by unwise statements on the part of a prominent leader and a tragic sin, which the traditional media has eaten up.
How sad it will be if every disgruntled church goer starts up his/her own smear blog. It seems Dr. Gaines has been unwise in several area, but it should have been a church matter, with the obvious exception of the molestation matter.

Wade Burleson said...


Thanks for the effort regarding Mr. Baylor Anonymous.

Two things for your reflection:

(1). Anyone who writes anonymously has something to hide, lose, or is fearful of the accountability a known identity brings. It's best to ignore anonymous writers.

(2). It is difficult to keep slander from being printed when one keeps an open blog. I can assure you that I do my best to keep it off my posts, but comments are another story. Anonymous commentators are usually the worst. What does puzzle me is that I do not moderate (approve) my comments --- they go up immediately. Others, including Brad, approve of the comments via moderation.

Again, thanks for your help, but I have come to expect anonymous flamers and though in the past I sought to stop them when they posted slander about me, now I just smile and go on.

Wade Burleson said...


You forget one detail in your comment:

If a man is never ashamed of his actions, then he has no problem writing about them himself.

You mention three things that might get 'irenic' conservatives in trouble A sip of wine, a little dance, seeing the 'wrong movie', etc . . . --- are you serious?

If the convention in which I participate excoriates or excludes leaders by focusing on those things rather than the weighter matters of life, morality and Scripture, then the SBC needs more help than I thought.


Wade Burleson said...

Pastor Brad,

You make an excellent point about 'every disgruntled' church goer started his own 'smear' blog.

As a person who is an expert on being smeared, let me suggest there is not quite as much to be feared as you might imagine.

When pastors learn to be transparent, allow their people to know as much as possible about themselves, and see themselves as servants first, then smear blogs will be seen for what they are --- people will pay no attention to them.

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

Not to stir things up but you did at one time moderate your comments and did so for a length of time.

I think this is one of the issues that blogging produces - easy inconsistencies.

How is the Plasma? I shared with my wife that one for me might help my recovery - I did not get an answer!!

Wade Burleson said...


Your are correct. I once did moderate comments. I stopped, however, because it is true, when you moderate you approve the comments.

I stopped moderating. I don't officially "approve" of the comments on my blog. You are not stirring up trouble. Great comment.

The plasma is wonderful :).

Pastor Brad said...

I'm afraid I can't speak to the validity of the claims on the bellevue blog.
In my own church I strive to be as transparent as possible. I don't think we would disagree about the wisdom of that.
Surely, we would also have in common an experience where either a member or an attender spread lies to another member or attender. If that same person had started a blog, yes, I would hope the truth would come out, but it would also, it seems to me, be a great strain on the church body and wound the testimony of the pastor and the church. Would you not agree?

Pastor Brad said...

I would also love to hear your thoughts on if you think I am off-base and why in my original response, if you have an opportunity.
Thanks again.

Lee said...

I have no doubt that blogging had an effect on the outcome of the SBC last June, particularly in the election of Frank Page as president. The sheer number of blogs on the subject, and the fact that bloggers would be those who tend to be most interested in SBC issues, along with the number of hits from lurkers, compared to the size of messenger registration at the convention would lead to the logical conclusion that bloggers made a difference.

The real question is the influence of bloggers on those in convention leadership who hold a different view. It appears that they do read the blogs, and that they do plan strategy to deal with the issues that are raised. But it seems to me that most of those currently in leadership in the convention plan strategy to figure out how to succeed in opposing the position of the majority of bloggers, and their minds, once made up, will not be changed. They've also launched some blogs of their own, which may have some effect on an eventual outcome.

The fact that the SBC's trustee boards and press arm operate under the same leadership has created a curtain of secrecy that blogging has opened. That's a good thing. But as a Christian organization, the debate needs to be kept pure and civil, because there are a lot of other people, including a lot of non-Christians, who have access to it.

Wade Burleson said...

Pastor Brad,

I think you make some very valid points, but like you, I cannot comment on the Bellevue situation.

I could advise the pastoral staff.

If I were them, I would be completely, totally, 100% transparent. Where mistakes were made, apologize. Give details about involvment of law enforcement, including the thought process involved in calling (or not calling) legal officials, and put it out for all the world to see.

Information is power, and the people who get the information out accurately, sincerely and expediently win every time --- even if mistakes were made.

Wade Burleson said...


Very keen observations. Of course, change at the trustee level begins with the President of the SBC.

CB Scott said...


I do believe blogging this past year has made me, along with Ben Cole, a kinder, more gentle couple of guys and if any of the swine and infidels out there don't believe it: a pox on their cars and football teams:-)


johnthebaptist2007 said...
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johnthebaptist2007 said...
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Wade Burleson said...


Some excellent insight.

I am not, at this time, planning to attend the conference in Jacksonville.


Bryan Riley said...

True Christianity flourishes with transparency because it stands the light of truth and is proven True. If blogging in fact makes any institution transparent, then PRAISE THE LORD! And, I hope that it doesn't stop with the SBC, but that we see such occurring across the Body of Christ.

One Salient Oversight said...

Before the internet, it was quite easy to remain hemmed in and ignorant of what is going on in the world.

After the internet was introduced, however, it actually made things worse for a while.

Then things like blogs and wikipedia arrived. Finally it was possible to find (relatively) reliable information on the net.

Along with this came discussions and arguments. Beliefs that people held to be biblical were suddenly being exposed as unbiblical. Sinful behaviours that were able to be hidden in the past was able to be exposed for all to see.

We haven't seen the end of it - by a long shot. However God will use the internet and blogs to expose and refine his people.

I'm sick and tired of the hypocrisy and moral failigns of Christian leaders. I'm hoping that the pressure generated by an informed international church can generate change in local congregations.

Alan Cross said...

I think that blogs have had a great influence over the past year. Remember, SBC bloggers are pastors and concerned layman. They aren't "nobodies" or computer nerds who have no dog in this hunt. Many have tried to marginalize them, but they will not go away, Concerning what Pastor Brad said,

"For instance, the election of Frank Page had far more to do with the geographical location of the SBC and the impact of the fallout over percentages given to the CP than the influence of blogs,"

I respectfully disagree. The geographical location of the SBC changes every year and this type of thing hasn't happened, so I don't buy it. Also, where do you think the CP issue was initially raised? From my memory, it was raised on the blogs. The baptist press outlets picked it up from there. I think that the blogs TOTALLY drove the issues of the past SBC in one way or another. There was no discussion otherwise.

If this SMALL number of bloggers were so inconsequential, why did Bobby Welch make such a big deal about it from the floor of the convention? Why was there so much backlash on the alcohol issue? Why do issues that are only brought up in the blogosphere get reprinted in BP and ABP and commented on by seminary presidents and theologians under the banner "there has been much discussion in the SBC over ________ issue." Where is this discussion happening if not on the blogs?

Blogs have given a voice to those who would otherwise not have one. It is driving some people crazy that this has happened. Prior to this, the only forum was a letter to the editor of a baptist state paper. New technology has changed all of that, and people really need to get used to it. We either change or we die, and we are making quantum leaps in communication and the free flow of ideas.

Yes, there needs to be restraint and ethics to blogging, but the ethics are built in. Does insult and character assassination go unopposed like it used to? No! The blogosphere is self corrective because others speak up. Those who are out of line are called on it. Good ideas and discussion emerge. Things are changing and the blogs have a lot to do with it. If you don't think so, then why are you reading them?

Pastor Brad said...

I read blogs because I enjoy the discussion. I enjoy sharpening my mind against the views of intelligent and thoughtful people, like yourself.
I want you to understand my point. I am not saying blogs have not had an influence. I have been challenged in my views several times over the last year. I am simply saying that we are getting ahead of ourselves about the CURRENT level of influence bloggers have. I’m not saying you have had no influence, only that it has not yet become a pervasive part of SBC life, even among pastors, at least not in the Northeast. Perhaps I am just too far out of the action. My question about the numbers of people involved was an honest question.
As I recall, the CP giving became an issue through one of the boards, but I am open to correction if I am wrong on that. I also recall a little less than “so much backlash” on the alcohol issue. It seemed to me that the convention was pretty solidly in support of the resolution. The backlash that occurred through Welch, Aiken, et al was fueled not by what was said on blogs, but by what was said at the convention and through secular press, as it seems to me.
I in no way meant to imply that you or Wade or any other blogger was a nobody. I think you are on the front edge of a trend that will have an increasing impact and provides a needed voice of dissent. I just don’t think you are driving the agenda just yet. Sorry if I ruffled feathers.

Alan Cross said...

Thanks, Brad. No, my feathers weren't ruffled. Sorry if it appeared that way. I was writing quickly and see that I sounded aggravated. I wasn't - sorry.

Yes, the EC brought up CP giving, but the blogs seemed to be the ones who applied it to the particular candidates. I remember Wes Kenney's charts that broadcast plain as day what Ronnie Floyd, Jerry Sutton, and Frank Page's churches gave to the CP. Obviously, there were other issues involved, but it really seemed that the blogs highlighted those issues.

The actually number of bloggers is small, I will grant you that. But, influence seems to be exponentially larger than the number of people. I have a rather small blog in the baptist blogosphere, but I average a couple of hundred hits a day during the week from all over the world. Very few leave comments, but people are reading. I know that blogs like SBC Outpost, Wade's, and Art Roger's have FAR more traffic. My point is just that I think that there is a difference being made through getting ideas out, informing people, fostering debate, and getting people thinking. That has a ripple effect that is beyond calculation.

So, I think it is a good thing. But, I agree - if we are doing this to try and set an agenda or control the SBC, we are in error. We should participate, but not try and control. Get the ideas out so people can think for themselves. If our cause is right, people will see it, or they will show their hearts by rejecting it. Either way, we will all be better off because things have been brought out in the open and dissent has been expressed.

Just my two cents.

TruthOfActs said...

You wrote: “Anyone who writes anonymously has something to hide, lose, or is fearful of the accountability a known identity brings.”

Many years ago, my school teacher father with his school kids made a ‘straw man’ for ‘fun’. They propped the straw man against posts on porches of farmers and yelled: “Hello!”
They chose dark nights, and since there wasn’t any electricity, the farmers thought it was a real man.
Within a few yards of me is a house where the farmer yelled, “When I come back with my shotgun, you WILL talk to me!”
Holding the shotgun by the barrel, the farmer hit the straw man and broke the handle off against a post. (I don’t know if the farmer lived long enough to think it was funny or not.)

‘Anonymous’ can be a real person or a ‘straw’ person. Either one can build themselves up as smart and well educated; such as a missionary, college graduate, etc.

Wade, you’ve probably heard, “Once a thief—always a thief.” Do you remember a certain person complaining to you about me slandering him? You said you would delete the comment if he would show you were. He made no reply since I had slandered an anonymous missionary.

Some ‘thieves’ keep the same pattern. How many missionaries have made a comment showing an in-depth knowledge of the BFM and have expressed an overflowing gratitude for it?—ONE

Of the thousands of comments made, how many have signed as a Baylor graduate or any college graduate?—ONE

And both of them occurred around the same person. Quite a coincidence—huh?
If that is correct, think of the cunning, deceit, and fun he had bawling himself out.

I’m sorry if I’m wrong, but not too much because that person posted the slanderous comments against you.
Rex Ray

Pastor Brad said...

Well said.

Though we may not agree in all things, I can certainly get behind your goals in blogging. Blog on!

God bless you and your ministry. I'm envious of such a cool last name for a pastor :).

Rzrbk said...

I believe 2006 was a turning point year for the SBC for all the reasons you mentioned and because blogers put the spotlight on the actions of our trustee boards as never before. I hope the light continues to shine. Transparency is frightening to some but it will bring us back to our moral, ethical and Biblical roots. The question still remains what are we turning to? I hope it is an irenic conservatism as you mentioned. We will know better when we see if Frank Page has the courage to appoint men and women who are not apologists for or obligated to the conservative resurgence or its leaders.

Your illustration of Trent Lott’s comments and the mainstream media’s blindness to its importance is indicative of the situation with our Baptist media. They never saw the story in the actions of the SBC trustees or the cooperative program giving of our leaders because they saw it as business as usual under the leadership of the conservative resurgence. It wasn’t news to them. In the 80s and the 90s I wrote letters to my state paper pointing out the absurdity of electing SBC presidents whose churches were giving 1% or 2% to the cooperative program. I said as an IMB missionary tasked with going to churches and asking them to give to the cooperative program to support our convention’s programs it was embarrassing to stand before the churches knowing that our own SBC presidents and many of our trustees were not willing to ask their own churches to provide even the level of support the average church gives. No one seemed to notice or care.

Blogging has been a catalyst in the changes this last year. Probably a small percentage of those attending the convention actually read the blogs but enough did and were willing to tell others so that the issues that were discussed on the blogs were in the open. Writing letters to the editors were important but most Baptist don’t read their state papers and even fewer pay any attention to the letters. I have had two Baptist state paper editors tell me they have agreed with letters I have written but wouldn’t publish them for fear of angering the leaders of the conservative resurgence in their state. In blogging you can only be stopped by your own fear. Not the fear of others. The editor of Baptist Press would not print an article I wrote once refuting the claims of a leader of the resurgence. He told me that probably I was correct in my assessment and the leader was wrong but since I was not an important person in our convention he would not print my article. In blogging you don’t have to be important to be heard.

I wonder if blogging had been available in the 70s and 80s what difference it would have made. Maybe in the 70s the theological problems mentioned as justification for the conservative resurgence would have been more widely reported and leaders who were more interested in making corrections than just using the situation to build their own political power would have stepped forward. Maybe in the 80s the leaders of the conservative resurgence would have had to be more accountable for their words and actions. Maybe the connection of the resurgence to right wing political organizations such as the Council for National Policy could have been shared widely. Baptist editors never seemed to notice.

Blogging scares those in control because they cannot control the flow of information. Paul Pressler understood the importance of information control when he moved quickly on the Executive Committee to fire Al Shackelford and put people loyal to the resurgence in charge of Baptist Press. Those in charge of the SBC Peace Committee understood this when they made sure the majority on the Peace Committee would not allow an unbiased examination of the charges of liberalism or an accurate report on the methods and unsubstantiated claims by the resurgence leaders. They never anticipated a future that included blogging or that they might be called to be accountable for the things they say in trustee meetings by grassroots Southern Baptist.
Ron West

volfan007 said...

the conservative resurgence had to take place in the sbc. the sbc was going downhill fast in the stronghold that liberalism had on it. it's just a miraculous work of God that our sbc got turned around. and, most of the men who led the charge were not scheming, evil, power hungry men who were just playing politics. they were men who loved the Lord and really loved the sbc. they did what they had to do, and all of us in the sbc can thank the Lord for them.

now, did some want power? sure. did some just play politics? sure. there's always some people in a good cause that jump on the bandwagon in order to get power. but, thank God for the men who did what they did in the 70's and 80's to turn this great convention back to the bible. thank God that we are discussing things like baptism and ppl's and such minor things, instead of debating whether the bible is Gods inerrant Word, or not. or, whether Jesus was raised from the grave in a physical body, or not. or, whether the virgin birth of Jesus was important to believe, or not.

thank God for the conservative resurgence, and maybe blogging would have helped it develop faster than it did.


Rzrbk said...

I attended a Southern Baptist College in the 60s and Southwestern Seminary in the 70s. I was appointed by the FMB in the 70s and served with missionaries who had graduated from all 6 of our seminaries. I don't doubt that each of the issues you mentioned were discussed by someone in the SBC during that period but I never heard a teacher, SBC leader or missionary dispute the authority or truth of God's Word the Bible, the resurrection of Jesus Christ or the importance of believing in the Virgin Birth. You may be able to name someone that did but it is inaccurate to say that was the norm for our institutions or churches. This is an example of the type of inaccurate claims and exagerations that the conservative resurgence has used.
Volfan where were you in the 70s when you claim to know these things were taking place. Maybe you were hanging around with the wrong crowd in those days. How old are you? I am 59. I have been an active Southern Baptist since the 50s. I have known many of the leaders from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

At least in the 70s we knew our leaders would support our missionaries instead of speading lies about their theological beliefs and criticizing their ministires as some recent leaders have done. At least in those days we knew our leaders were not trying to use their positions in the SBC to promote their right wing political agendas. Most of the leaders I knew had private lifes that were true to their public words. We did not have trustee chairmen having to resign because of moral failures in their lives.
I do not thank the Lord for the conservtive resurgence. I will not thank God for actions I know he condemns.
Ron West

Rzrbk said...

One additional word for Volfan. You made the following statement.

the sbc was going downhill fast in the stronghold that liberalism had on it. it's just a miraculous work of God that our sbc got turned around.

During the 70s and 80s the FMB was by far the largest institution in the SBC. I can personally testify that liberalism did not have a stronghold on the FMB nor did it need to get turned around. The FMB and its leaders, men such as Baker James Cauthron and Winston Crawley and Keith Parks, were solidly theologically conservative. That did not keep the leaders of the conservative resurgence from making vicious slanderous attacks on them and our missionaries. That is why I say the conservative resurgence had nothing to do with theology.

Southwestern Seminary was our largest seminary. Liberalism did not have a stronghold on SWBTS and it did not need to be turned around. SWBTS and its leaders, men such as Robert Naylor, Hubert Drumwright and Russell Dilday, were solidly theologically conservative. That did not keep leaders of the conservative resurgence from making vicious slanderous attacks on them and the seminary. That is why I do not thank God for the conservative resurgence.

You would think that if the SBC was in the hands of liberals and needed to be turned around that its largest institution and its largest seminary would have been liberal. That was not the case. Volfan you need to think back to the people who told you those things. It may be that they are not to be trusted. Maybe bloggers can help hold these people accountable to the truth and we will truly turn the convention around.

To say that the SBC and by implication the FMB was in the stronghold of liberals is an insult to me and to every missionary who served in those days.
Ron West

volfan007 said...

when the entire ot dept. of a seminary believes in the jedp theory over the authorship of moses, then thats liberal. i was told this by a prof. who taught at new orleans seminary in the 70's. also, they had a guy promoting evolution come to talk to the entire faculty. my friend challenged this view, and presented creation to him. later, he was told that the entire faculty was embarassed by him challenging an evolutionist!!!!!!

also, i had friends in southern seminary in the 80's. molly marshall green called God..."mother" and believed in a lot of extreme feminist ideas. she was also a universalist. thats liberal.

also, i heard from people who went to southern that prof.'s there cussed regularly in the classroom. one man even took the Lord's name in vain many times....he would say,"Godd_mn." thats liberal.

also, a prof. from southern wrote in a book of his that anyone who beleived in literal, physical resurrection of Jesus was crass....stupid...ignorant.

also, in our ss literature, another fella wrote that there were two devils....that the devil of the ot was one being, and satan of the nt was another being. wow!

also, i cant tell you of the times i heard pastors say things like women ought to be pastors....the bible is full of contradictions and errors...it doesnt really matter if you believe the virgin birth of Christ or not....and many believed in a universalist salvation view.

thats all liberal.

i could go on and on, but i will stop with those.

besides, are you saying that men like dr. criswell and dr. adrian rogers and dr. jerry vines were just power hungry and into politics? are you saying that they were lying to us when they told us of the liberalism and the need to stop it's cancerous spread? are you?

wade, david rogers, and others,

is this the people that you want to welcome back into leadership positions in our sbc? people who deny that there was liberalism and who say that dr. rogers was lying to us in some sort of evil scheme for power?

thank God for the conservative resurgence. i left the methodist church due to its liberalism. my family left the methodist church and joined bellevue back when a young pastor had just started as pastor...dr. adrian rogers. thank God for him and all the others who were truly watchmen on the walls of the sbc.


Wade Burleson said...


Ron West carries a great deal of credibility through decades of service through the IMB and even longer with the SBC.

I would be very careful about associating extreme examples from the 70's and 80's with Ron or any other conservative.

By the way, I would agree with you regarding the examples you have given. Those are liberal problems that needed to be dealt with.

Ron is saying that some good conservative men and women were falsely maligned.

Problems? Deal with them. But do so in a personal, confrontational manner --- not sweeping generalizations that impugn thousands.

volfan007 said...


was not the problem? they wouldnt deal with these liberals. they were allowing these kind of false teachings to go on. they wouldnt do anything about it, until the conservative resurgence took place. the leaders of the sbc in pre-79 wouldnt, and didnt see the need, to deal with the liberalism that was taking place, and that was a huge part of the problem that we had before 1979.

also, when someone says that they didnt see any liberalism back in the 50's and 60's and 70's....then i have to wonder about that person. and, when someone insinuates that good men like dr. criswell and dr. adrian rogers and dr. jerry vines and others were somehow evily scheming to gain power and were in the fight for nothing else than to play politics and gain power, then i have a problem with that person.

now, i dont even know ron west. he may be a fine person. but, to let such statements be made without challenging them and exposing them for what they are..false, would be a tragedy. just like when another friend of mine went to southern seminary in the 80's. he lasted nearly a year before dropping out. he said that he just couldnt take all the liberal teaching, and 90% of the school calling dr. rogers the devil.

i for one would not be for allowing people into leadership positions in the sbc who saw no liberalism...saw no need for the conservative resurgence....and would insinuate gossip and slander against the motives of good men who loved the Lord and the sbc.


CB Scott said...


There was a real problem as you say and I saw back in those days.

I do not need to list all I can document, that is a waste of time. The problems you speak of were real and there was a need for a Resurgence. I was part of it.

Now, something you must come to grips with is the fact that Ron did see things and those things are also true. I was involved in some of what he mentions. I was there.

A change was needed. That is true and to deny it is just wrong. At the same time, I know we went about many things that were just as wrong, in fact moreso.

We that were on the side of the Resurgence are going to have to come to grips with the fact that we were not the HAND OF GOD righting all evil in the SBC.

We did hurt good people back there. I hurt good people back there. I have had to repent of much and have had to make some apologies.

We were right to seek change. We were often wrong in how we went about it. some things were done just to get certain people out of the way.

There were many true liberals in those times and they needed to go.

At the same time there were people that were seeking time to work things out in a better way. They were moved for the sake of the cause and that was wrong.

There was sin in institutions that we speak of in low voices. There were liberals teaching in our schools. That needed to change.

Today we still have sin in institutions that we speak of in low voices. The need of reform is still evident.

There were and are King-Makers. In truth there have always been King-Makers in the SBC and to deny that is just simply to deny the truth.

Our problem was and our problem still is the sin which lurks in the hearts of men.

Our goal should be to cleanse ourselves before a holy God and give Him back what, I believe, He really did start even before 1845.


Rzrbk said...

I don’t mean to offend you. I asked you where you were in the 70s and what you personally knew about the things you were claiming to know. Most of your examples in this post are from things a friend has told your or something you have heard but did not personally experience. Your seminary examples were from New Orleans and Southern. I attended Southwestern. Those examples were not true of Southwestern. If your professor friend spoke against an evolutionist in a proper polite way and explained his creationist view, I do not believe the entire faculty at New Orleans was embarrassed by him challenging an evolutionist. I know that Molly Marshal Green is not a Universalist. This is the type of lies that have been spread about our seminary professors. I do not believe that there was a professor at Southern that many times would say GD. What was his name and when did he serve? I doubt that a professor at Southern wrote in a book that anyone who believed in the resurrection was crass, stupid and ignorant. Give me the name of the professor and title of the book. I have been a Southern Baptist for over 50 years and heard hundreds of pastors speak and I have never heard a Southern Baptist Pastor say the Bible is full of contradictions and errors and it doesn’t matter if you believe in the virgin birth or not. Where are these Southern Baptist pastors you have heard many times??? Were they speaking at Bellevue? These are the kind of urban legends that may have a grain of truth but grow wilder by the telling as they are passed from one person to the next.

I did not say men like Drs. Criswell, Roger and Vines were just power hungry and into politics or that they were lying to you when they told you of liberalism. I will gladly join you or anyone else in fighting universalism, profanity in our seminaries, evolutionist teachings and other examples of liberalism when it is true and I can make a difference. Are you saying none of the actions of these men is above criticism? In the 1950s T. B. Maston, a professor a Southwestern, said segregation of the races was in violation of the teaching of the Bible. Dr Criswell called him an infidel and said the Bible taught social and religious segregation. Dr. Criswell was wrong! Dr. Criswell also said that those who opposed the resurgence were infidels as were those who support separation of church and state. That includes me. I am not an infidel and Dr. Criswell was wrong again? If you want to call his statement a lie you can.
When Adrian Rogers threatened the leaders of the WMU that they would lose their seat on the SBC executive committee unless they allowed their leaders to be chosen by his appointees at the SBC was he seeking power and control over the WMU?
Adrian Rogers and Jerry Vines released a statement to Baptist Press that they had encouraged and supported the trustees of Southwestern when they fired Russell Dilday. These are the trustees that released a statement that Dr. Dilday was dedicated to berate and assail those who the Bible to believe the Bible to be God’s inerrant, infallible and authoritative Word. That statement was untrue. Were Rogers and Vines seeking power and control over Southwestern so they could have people like Paige Patterson serve as president? It certainly had nothing to do with fighting liberalism since SWBTS was already conservative theologically.

If Drs. Criswell, Rogers and Vines were fighting for conservative theology and the truth, where were they when IMB trustees such as Bill Hancock and Ron Wilson were attacking our missionaries and calling us neo-orthodox, heretics and liberals? Why did they not speak in our support if their actions were theological and not political?

I am not saying there was no liberalism and politics in the SBC in the 70s and I am not saying there is not liberalism and politics in the SBC today. It is not true that all the leaders in the SBC in the 70s ignored liberalism and wouldn’t do anything about. As I said, the institutions I was part of which include the IMB, Southwestern Seminary, the Arkansas Baptist Convention and my home church were not liberal and their leaders would not allow them to become liberal with or without the conservative resurgence.
Ron West

Rzrbk said...

Thanks C.B. You are saying the same thing I am saying except from a different angle. I admit I see things through rose colored glasses at times. God has blessed me to be ablde work alogside some of his most faithful and trustworthy servents. When I feel they are being dishonestly attacked I get carried away in their defense sometimes.

volfan007 said...


i cannot at this time pull up all the info that i had years ago...documentation....of the things i told you about that was happening in the sbc. that was a long time ago. i dont cling to these things, nor am i obsessed with them. but, they were true. i can tell you that it was dr. glenn hinson or henson who wrote that people are crass for believing in a literal, physical resurrection of Jesus. molly marshal green was for women pastors and deacons, she did call God...mother and referred to God as a she, and she made many documented statements that sure sounded like a universalist. also, the prof. that told me about the n.o. seminary faculty in the 70's all beleiving in the jedp theory, and about the evolutionist and him challenging the man was dr. roy beamon....who taught there, then taught at mid america baptist seminary. the two devils stuff that someone wrote in our ss literature in the 80's was read by me....i read it myself. also, foy valentine beleived in pro choice...did he not? and, dr. rogers was for the wmu coming under control of the sbc because they were promoting the liberal side, or the moderate side, and many of them were for women pastors and such. dr. rogers saw that as leading the women of our churches to be against the conservative resurgence. so, call it what you will, but i believed as he did that the wmu was clearly on the side of the moderates/liberals. also, i heard men, and talked with men...sbc ministers...who denied the creation, who doubted the miracles, who said that there were errors and contradictions in the bible, who promoted women pastors, who doubted whether adam and eve were real people, etc. i heard them. i talked with them. my own ears heard thier voices say such heretical junk. my eyes read thier quotes in differnet venues. i saw it.

now, i am not saying that dr. criswell and dr. rogers and dr. vines were always right about everything. no, i am not. but, i still thank God for the conservative resurgence and for these men leading the charge.

now, did some innocent people get hurt. i am sure they did. anytime you have a war, there are some innocents that get hit in the battle. for that, i am sorry like cb. but, the battle had to take place if our sbc was gonna keep from going the way of the methodists and the presbyterians and others who left the bible and went down the drain in liberalism.

ron, i cant believe that you didnt see this happening. you were around a lot longer than i was in this time. you should have seen it. i dont know why you are denying it now. we had a huge problem in the sbc.

also, have you read....and dont have a heart attack when i say this...paul presslers book....i beleive its entitled on this hill? i am not in my office so i cant give you the exact title. he has a lot of documented facts in that book about those days. whether you like pressler or not, you still ought to read it.


David Rogers said...

Vol fan,

I'm curious as to why you direct the following question to me by name (along with Wade, and "others")?

"Is this the people that you want to welcome back into leadership positions in our sbc? people who deny that there was liberalism and who say that dr. rogers was lying to us in some sort of evil scheme for power?"

Is there anything I have written that would lead you to infer that I might answer 'yes' to your question?

CB Scott said...


I do understand. I think all of us who were actively involved back then have scars of some kind. My biggest problem is dealing with the ones I inflicted on myself.


I really believe you, Ron and I could work in any mission field on earth and never "miss a lick". I really do believe that with all my heart, because in a true missional effort denominational politics "don't mean squat".


volfan007 said...


well, i see you and wade agreeing a lot with each other, and saying that we shouldnt narrow the tent. i guess i was wondering if you and wade would be for letting people come back into leadership positions in the sbc who say that there was no problem with the sbc in the pre-79 era, and who insinuate that conservative leaders like your dad were power hungry schemers who used politics to just gain power? i guess i included you and others because yall seem to agree with wade that many of these moderates out there who fought against the conservative resurgence were wounded and should be allowed back into leadership positions with open arms. david, if i included you in something that you are not in agreement with, then i am sorry.


volfan007 said...


God bless you, bro. thanks for your words of wisdom. i am not fighting ron, and i hope he doesnt think that i am. i didnt take his words well, and maybe i am not fully understanding his intentions in saying what he did. but, if he loves the Lord and believes the Book, then i thank the Lord for him. but, i still dont understand where he's coming from with his statements. do you?


CB Scott said...


The Lutheran Seminary of Gettysburg sits atop a hill known as "Seminary Ridge". The "lookout tower" used during the Battle of Gettysburg is still on the property. My wife worked in the business office at the Lutheran Seminary doing the same job she used to do at SEBTS.

I went up into the tower once or twice while she worked there. You can see the battlefield very well.

During the battle, Generals from both the North and the South used that tower as an observation post depending on which side was holding the "Ridge" at the time.

Each saw what they saw and interpreted it as they would, but one thing is a fact. They both saw the wounded and the dying.

I believe the Lord taught me alot about the SBC while looking down on the "Battlefield" at a Lutheran Seminary during my "time of reflection" in Gettysburg. So, yes I do understand that of which Ron is stating.


David Rogers said...

Vol fan,

It is true that I have come out saying I support Wade's position on the new policies at the IMB. I guess you could say, by that, I am in agreement with him about not "narrowing the tent." However, as I say on my latest post on my blog (Grudem article, part 2), I would agree there are certain times and situations when it is indeed necessary (due to changing situations and contexts, and new insights into how we best ought to apply the unchanging principles of the Word of God to these contexts), to, if you will, "narrow the tent."

It seems to me you are implying that, just because someone (me, in this case) happens to agree with someone else (Wade, in this case) about certain issues, that they are therefore a part of a "coalition" and agree with the other person, down the line, about everything.

I don't remember ever saying anything one way of the other about "letting people come back into leadership positions in the sbc who say that there was no problem with the sbc in the pre-79 era, and who insinuate that conservative leaders like your dad were power hungry schemers who used politics to just gain power." I do agree with what I hear CB to be saying here, and what I understand Wade to have said on other occasions, that we must be kind to those who hold different views than we do, and not continue to hold grudges against people, and let that be our motivation for the decisions we make.

And, lest I leave any doubt here, I continue to support the "Conservative Resurgence" in general, and am very proud for the role my father had in it.

volfan007 said...