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

Judge Pressler, What Happened To The Hill?

Dwight McKissic is one of the godliest men I have ever met. He is a prince of a gentleman with a genuine compassion for all believers and possesses a strong inner desire to be at peace with all men. Dwight McKissic also has prayed privately in tongues since his days at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. If you have attended his church for the last two decades you have never heard 'tongues' spoken publicly in any of the worship services, but the wonderful and highly respected pastor feels that the gift of tongues in his private prayer time is part of his spiritual journey with Christ. He didn't ask for it, nor does he demand others have it. Dwight rejects the Pentecostal doctrine that tongues is a 'sign of the indwelling of God's Spirit' and maintains the traditional Baptist (and Biblical belief) that the Spirit of God indwells all who trust in Christ.

Dwight, however, is one of many leaders and laymen in our convention who are beginning to feel disenfranchised and perceived as outcasts because of their view on the gifts. As I have stated on several occasions, I do not have the gift of tongues, nor do I desire it, but I have absolutely no problem cooperating with my fellow Southern Baptists who pray in tongues in private (a private prayer language), nor do I have a problem cooperating with any Southern Baptist who believes all the gifts of the Spirit continue to this day. Like any other third tier doctrinal interpretation held by Southern Baptists, the only time problems with a particular interpretation arises is when there is an overemphasis on the doctrine or a demand that everyone believe the same. The old IMB policies prevented this from happening.

The controversy in our convention began a year and a half ago when missonary candidates began to be rejected for possessing a 'private prayer language' or those who were members of Southern Baptist churches, having their baptism accepted by their respective Southern Baptist church, but rejected from being missionary candidates because their baptism did not take place in 'a church that believed in eternal security.' I have voiced my opposition to the two policies on this blog, and of course, it was that opposition that eventually led to a recommendation for my removal from the board of trustees of the International Mission Board. Though this recommendation was later unanimously rescinded, the policies remain in effect.

Rachelle and I will be attending the International Mission Board meeting this next Monday through Wednesday in Memphis, Tennessee. I have been praying for the two ad hoc committees of the board that were appointed by Chairman John Floyd to review the policies. There may be a report and/or recommendation from this committee to the full board regarding these two new policies. My objections from the beginning have been based upon the belief that the IMB is unwise to narrow doctrinal parameters beyond the BFM 2000, because the churches who cooperate in SBC mission efforts disagree on third tier issues. If there were concrete anecdotal evidence that these policies would make our mission field better, or if these policies were enforcing fundamentals of the faith, I would be for them without hesitation. But when people like Dwight McKissic and members of his church (and mine) begin to feel disenfranchised by the new policies, then the tent of cooperation is being narrowed in the SBC and this will ultimately spell trouble.

The other day Steve Davis, an associate pastor at Parkwood Baptist Church in Concord, North Carolina sent me some quotes from Judge Paul Pressler's book "A Hill On Which To Die" (Copyright 1999). All quotes are from page 158 and describe Pressler's views on the conservative resurgence. These statements also form the reasons why I am concerned about these new policies, which are based upon disputable interpretations of the sacred text, and lead to the exclusion of otherwise well qualified Southern Baptists from missions service or leadership. Pressler's statements lead me to believe our convention has become even more narrower than we were a decade ago. Here is what Pressler said about the resurgence.

"The issue in the convention was neither an interpretation of Scripture nor an effort to create unity of thinking on theological issues ....The liberals had said that after the conservatives finished with those who held different views of the nature of the Bible, they would begin attacking the charismatics (neo-Pentecostals). They also alleged that conservatives would later attack various other groups until they "purified" every aspect of Christian life. They said conservatives wanted to make everybody think just as they do."

"Such a charge was ludicrous, but it did worry some people such as my friends .....Charismatic worship and understanding of spiritual gifts is an interpretation of Scripture. That was not our concern. Our concern was the nature of Scripture."

"The liberals have tried to make much of the fact that some Calvinists exist within the conservative movement. Calvinism also is an interpretation of Scriptures. Although I am not a five-point Calvinist, I am perfectly content with persons who seek to convince others to have Calvinist convictions form the teaching of the Word of God."

"An interpretation of Scripture is a derivative issue and not a primary one. Interpretation is not a hill on which to die. In fact, the presence of such persuasions as Calvinists and charismatics in the conservative ranks merely shows that conservatives never sought to have all Southern Baptists think exactly alike. All we wanted was for people to base what they believe on an intelligent study of what the Bible says."


Judge, what happened?

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

208 comments:

1 – 200 of 208   Newer›   Newest»
Dr. Robin H. Cowin said...

I was glad to see you address Judge Pressler's book. I have thought about it several times in recent weeks. In the preface he says, "Frequently when we discussed a matter Adrian Rogers would ask, 'Is this a hill on which to die?' He was inquiring as to whether this really was an important enough issue upon which to expend energy and effort. By such an analysis we avoided exraneous matters."

Many conservatives need to go back and read how we got here. The framers of the resurgence did not intend to go where we are today.

Like you, I am a conservative who supported the conservative resurgence all these years. Now I find myself on the verge of being disinfranchised by the very people I helped put on positions of authority.

Keep doing what you are doing and I will keep praying (privately).

R Cowin

Jack Maddox said...

Nothing happened Wade. No one has 'gone' after charismatic Baptist Church's - No one has 'gone' after Calvinist Baptist church's - No one is telling you or me who we can accept based upon their baptismal testimony in our local church. The Bot made their decision based upon what they felt best represented a course correction on some perceived issues on the mission field. Whether you agree or not, they were doing what they felt was right. I personally do not think that it was necessary and I would have gladly joined with you to vote differently...and eventually the convention would have dealt with this either one way or another...and they will as you mention in your post as it seems they may begin to do. But to imply that the majority of the Conservative resurgence leadership is in lock step with the Bot of the Imb is simply not true...the election of Dr. Page I believe is proof of that. But my question to you is...if the BoT of the IMB's policies are held up by the convention...do you simply let this 3rd tier issue go by and continue to remain a cooperating SB...in other words, does that mean the SBC has become to 'fundamental" for you? Or is this a hill on which you will DIE?

JRM

Les Puryear said...

You quoted Judge Pressler as saying, "All we wanted was for people to base what they believe on an intelligent study of what the Bible says."

Hmmmm. The last time I looked, John 14:26 says that the Holy Spirit will "teach you all things". Also, John 16:13 says, "when He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth."

Based on the scriptures, it appears to me that the Holy Spirit reveals the truth of God's Word to us. Intelligence has nothing to do with it.

Maybe that's part of our problem. Maybe we've got way too much "intelligent study" going on instead of "Spirit-led study."

I know this isn't the point of your post, but I couldn't resist. :)

Kindest regards,

Les

Robert Hutchinson said...

must of been naive about the nature of scary fundamentalism.

Wade Burleson said...

Jack,

I'm in it to the end.

:)

Unlike others, I plan on sticking around.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I am a student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and I want you to know that I greatly believe in your steadfastness on the International Mission Board. May the Southern Baptist Convention continue to be a place where like-minded bible-believing Christians can take the gospel to the world. I am in prayer for you. I know that you have taken this role while truly functioning "by his grace and for his glory." May he grant you speed and courage next week.

bryan riley said...

Les Puryear, one of the best comments I've seen. Right on. I'd have thought Bob Cleveland wrote it if it had been written anonymously.

We need to be less reasonable and more spirit led. Walk by faith and by the Spirit and not by human sight. Praise God it doesn't take intelligence to get into heaven. Sure, I might get there if that were the standard :) but that isn't the loving God we serve.

I just posted this morning on the dangers of de-emphasizing the role of the Holy Spirit; this quote you highlighted illustrates that well.

Wade Burleson said...

Jack,

One other item. Since I am a fully functioning trustee with access to every piece of information and study material from the field, would you kindly inform me where I might find the 'evidence' in the field of a 'course correction' that was needed - thus, the new policies?

It seems you have a great deal of more information than at least this trustee.

David J. Sanders said...

Great points all Wade. I would like to know if Jack Maddox attended last year's pastor's conference. I'll never forget sitting with my brother in Christ, Tad Thompson, and nearly walking out of the arena after Dick Lincoln went on the attack against a "certian theology." And how could we forget Johnny's rant and then there was Bobby Welch's attacks during the convention.

Jack, wake up brother.

Jack Maddox said...

stand down Wade...I have no such evidence...just what I have read and heard and I take it with a grain of salt. This is simply what those who propose the changes have said in a very general fashion. You need to remember Wade...when you and I first began to dialogue last year, we were together when it came to the theological issues concerning baptism...and I am open to the PPL issue being to narrow...our differences have come with the methods brother...not the message...and not just your methods for on the most part you are very gracious...Memphis is where I began to see another agenda at hand...but I digress

Wade...Nathan Finn has nailed this whole issue pertaining to your post on his blog,,,I list just a few comments he made
.

"Fifth, Southern Baptists need to decide soon what we are going to do about the charismatic movement. We will not all share the same conviction. But we need to decide if it is OK to be a charismatic and be in Southern Baptist leadership or not. And then we need to stick with whatever we decide, because is is unacceptable to be a denomination that indefinitely has no formal policy but instead has a variety of mini-policies at various boards and agencies. While I wholeheartedly believe the trustees and/or administrations of those agencies have the right to make such decisions, the proliferation of such policies without a formal denominational position only further divides Southern Baptists. We need to at least officially decide what we are going to do, even if it is to remain silent at the convention level; at least then the issue will not be looming over us. "

"Finally, Southern Baptists need to decide what constitutes the acceptable limits to conscientious dissent. In other words, on which issues (if any) is is appropriate for a trustee, committee member, seminary professor, missionary, or other denominational servant to disagree with the majority? Is it OK to object to items found in the Baptist Faith & Message and/or other agency-specific confessions of faith? Which items? Is it OK to affirm convictions not delineated in our confessions but are undoubtedly minority positions among Southern Baptists (glossolalia, open membership, etc.)? This will undoubtedly be controversial, but we have to work through this question. My suspicion is that everyone agrees in principle that some dissent is appropriate and some is inappropriate. But until we at least attempt to reach a consensus that most Southern Baptists can affirm, we will continue to have conflict over minority convictions. My big fear is that, because of our current milieu, the “battle lines” have already been drawn on this topic, hindering meaningful dialog about this crucial issue."

"The key is to be open-minded and big-hearted as we move forward in this project, never allowing personal agendas, vendettas, or the convictions of one party to hijack the process and ruin all hope of a cooperative future. We must diligently reject the agendas of status quo hacks and suicide bloggers, Genevan mafia and Anabaptist culture-warriors, post-denominationalists and Bapto-centric bigots, angry fundamentalists and closet moderates. In other words, the key is to be balanced, not as “balance” is defined by any of these agenda-driven subgroups, but as balance is defined by the majority, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit and in submission to Holy Scripture. If this is the approach that characterizes us as a denomination, then I think our best days are still ahead. "

Good Stuff Maynard!

JRM

Jack Maddox said...

David

Yes I was there...for the video preacher and all. I was not very impressed with the conference...although I did like 2 of the breakout sessions. Just so you will know...

Lincoln was wrong...
Johny Hunt was overboard...
Welch was obviously frustrated...

So brother...before you chide me to 'wake' up...get to know me a little at first...the men you mentioned are not the SBC...just men who love God and are loved by God and sometimes are wrong... just like you and me!

JRM

Glen Woods said...

Hi there Wade,

I am sorry if my comment is off point, but I just wanted to give a gentle bit of feedback from a pentecostal/charismatic perspective, if I may. I agree that there is a large representation of pentecostals who fit your description accurately. But to be fair, not all do. For example my own group--others as well-- would say that all believers receive the Holy Spirit at conversion. I won't go into the distinctions of spirit baptism from a Pentecostal perspective because that definitely would be off point.

Secondly, not all pentecostals and charismatics, myself included, believe that tongues is required as the initial evidence of spirit baptism or the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

Also, within pentecostal and charismatic circles, many are aware of and learning from past mistakes regarding excesses, general nuttiness and disregard for biblical balance.

No need to reply. I just wanted to point out that there is a wide spectrum of theological nuance within the pentecostal movement, as I know there also is within the baptist movement, where I have my original church roots (conservative baptist, in case you wonder).

Blessings,

Glen Woods

Roger Simpson said...

I think the "problem" with the Conservative Resurgance was that it took on a life of its own way beyond the original mission of placing professors who hold to innerancy in the seminaries.

I personally think the Conservative Resurgence was absolutely necessary since without it by now the SBC would probably be as liberal as many other "mainline" denominations.

However, there was a lot of very negative fallout from the resurgance. I don't know that it can be directly "blamed" on Pressler and Patterson or not.

I think was is needed now, is a course correction, to the Conservative Resurgance. We need to hold to Innerancy and separate it from all these third order doctrines which constitute "spooky fundamentalism"

New Orleans has somewhat recovered from Katrina. It is time to have a reprise of the Cafe du Monde meeting. The subject this time is "cooperation".

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Steve A said...

So, we ditched the 1963 Faith & Message because it trusted the believer to follow the Spirit, then those of us with a special gnosis went further beyond the 2000 revision (towards creedalism?) and feel the BF&M isn't good enough to apply to them anyway. Hmm....

Tell y'all what, get Paige, Paul, and Dr. Frank Page in a private conversation - and I'll be the layman fly on the wall, how's that?

Robert Hutchinson said...

oh yeah...spooky...that was the word!

i new it began with an 's' and had to do with being scared or being odd or something like that.

no wonder when i searched for the post using the word 'scary' nothing came up. :)

thanks for the correction brother simpson.

Anonymous said...

denominations are dead. we made them idols and idols will not stand. if trying to save a dying... no, dead horse that is essentially still twitching post-mortem, then by all means this blog is the best example I have seen of that effort.

Jack Maddox said...

annony

If you feel that a group of people and church's from different perspectives, cultures, regions and colors and languages, who cooperate together to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with not only our communities, but our nation and this world...and that we are trying to work through some 'family' matters together, trusting that we will somehow make some sense of it all, yet still committed to the truthfulness of Gods Word and at the same time attempting to make a eternal difference for the Son of God a "Dead Horse"...well then you really do not understand at us at all as Southern Baptists... and I am not so sure we need you to.

JRM

Paul said...

Bro. Jack Maddox,

Judge Pressler wrote that the "liberals" claimed the "conservatives" would attack charismatics and Calvinists. Such has been and continues to be the case. I don't know what it takes to consider someone to be "going after" another, but public comments and institutional policies would seem to fit the definition, it seems to me.

Jack Maddox said...

Paul

my point is that although some high profile preachers in our convention (You can count them on one hand) have said some things that we may not all agree with (I would hope that is true, even when I say something) that does not constitute the SBC. Throughout our history our boards have from time to time passed or instituted some policy or action that has had to been reversed or corrected...this is no different today...what makes such an issue today is the advent of technology and our ability to discuss it...which I think in the end is a good thing...if not tiring! The vast majority of conservatives that I know (Your word) are not attacking anyone...and many of them have served and still serve in very focal positions in the SBC. We have always had our firebrands...thank God we do...although a Johnny Hunt may at times say some things we disagree with, do you really want to divorce someone like him whose heart is obviously of fire for the Lord and church growth...or a Bobby Welch who is an excellent example of evangelistic fervor...or (here it goes) a Paige Patterson, who at times has made mistakes and been misunderstood, who is the very epitome of scholarship on fire. My point...we are not perfect, however you paint a picture of a vast army of conservatives just waiting to rid the convention of charismatic’s, Calvinists, emergent’s and 'young guns'...FRIEND...IT IS JUST NOT TRUE! Most of us are trying to pastor our church's, teach our classes, fulfill our mission and just love the Lord!

JRM

texasinafrica said...

"All we wanted was for people to base what they believe on an intelligent study of what the Bible says."

How were the moderates who were thrown out by the SBC twenty years ago not doing that? (I don't mean to be mean-spirited. Contrary to popular opinion, most moderate Baptists do believe that the Bible is true.) Watching all this play out from the other side, it's abundantly clear that they're doing the same thing to you that they did to us. And for that I'm sorry.

Jack Maddox said...

Paul...I would add what gets our dander up is when men who imperfect are held to impossible standards and then attacked viciously for simply being what they are...imperfect men! Especially when they are attacked by those who have benefited greatly due to no small part of their sacrifice and efforts!

JRM

Jack Maddox said...

TexasinAfrica

When were Moderates "Thrown" out? There are still many moderates in the SBC today. IN my association over half the church's are pastored and staffed by moderates. We do fine together on the associational level. Moderates were not thrown out...conservatives...namely those who hold to inerrancy were voted in to convention leadership by the people of the SBC. No where does it say that you cannot be a moderate and be a active part of the SBC...but to be in leadership, you must hold to inerrancy and that was the decision of Baptist messengers over a 27 year period of time. By the way...are you still SBC? If not, why do you feel you have a dog in the fight. I am no longer a part of the BGCT because of the moderate 'control' of that convention. It was my decision...no one 'threw me out'...yet still I am not all worked up over the Valleygate/Charles Wade situation...what and why say you?

JRM

Jim Paslay said...

Wade,

I think we can all agree that mistakes have been made down through the years since Dr. Rogers was elected in 1979. On both sides! Conservative and Moderate!!

What I don't understand in talking to other pastors like myself is the perceived danger of the narrowing of theological parameters. Sounds to me like you have a trustee problem at the IMB, not a wholesale problem across our convention. I can support the 2000 BF&M and still fellowship with my fellow brothers & sisters in Christ within the convention.

Unless Judge Pressler is responsible for some of the new policies at the IMB, I don't see the correlation between your article and Pressler's statements in his book. In fact his quotes prove the Conservative Resurgence was not a takeover with the purpose of theological uniformity. The concern was over the "nature of Scripture." Frankly, I'm not sure the judge owes you an answer to your question.

One thing I know for sure, Judge Pressler and Paige Patterson are the whipping boys for disgruntled moderates. They are a lightning rod for those who like to whine and belly-ache to this day. I promise you one thing, your insertion of Judge Pressler's comments into your article will insure lively debate. I shudder at the unkind remarks awaiting the judge!

Bob Cleveland said...

God did say He'd use the foolish and base things to put the smart-alecks and high types to shame. It's been a long, long time since I've seen anything even remotely like that happening, but we do seem to have an abundance of brilliance.

Les, your comment would be a wise one on most posts, these days. Good onya.

TruthOfActs said...

Jack Maddox,
I believe if anyone comments long enough (including me), they are bound to say something wrong.

You asked, “When were Moderates ‘Thrown” out?”
Your question implies they were NOT thrown out.

You say, “I am no longer a part of the BGCT because of the moderate ‘control’ of that convention. It was my decision…no one threw me out.”

You are correct in your statement, but what ‘decision’ did moderates make that ‘threw’ them from leadership in the SBC? Did they decide to leave? No! The circle was made smaller that excluded them.

What happened is the philosophy of ‘our way or the highway’ took priority over Jesus command to love one another. ‘If you’re not one of us, hit the road’ became the name of the game

When Patterson became the president of the SBC, how would you explain the meaning of the words he heard from Tom Eliff: “…all barnacles and parasites had been removed from the ship of Zion”?

You may say ‘that happened a long time ago’, but at the convention last year, I heard one speaker say to the effect, “We got rid of the moderates.”

What tier level was this great conflict over? It’s not high enough to be mentioned in the BFM, but some act as if is a number one tier; if you don’t accept it, you don’t believe the Bible and will slide into hell.

It’s almost up there in priority with some baptizing babies for salvation. If that word is not used in one’s vocabulary, they are treated like someone refusing to say “Hiel Hitler” in his day.

When will Baptists realize a word that has caused so much division and conflict by its 8 definitions, and 12 qualifications for the one accepted by the SBC which states discrepancies will seem to be illusions, should be kicked back from where it came from—the SMILING lips of the devil?

There! I guess I’ve said more than enough.
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

LUKE 9 (NIV)

46 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest.

47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him.

48 Then he said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all—he is the greatest."

49 "Master," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us."

50 "Do not stop him," Jesus said, "for whoever is not against you is for you."


The Lord Jesus pointed out that uniformity is not unity, and unity is not uniformity, in His Kingdom.

We can be different from each other in our practice--and distant from each other in our presence--but still with each other in our hearts as brothers and sisters in the Lord. Apparently, it is Jesus' expectation that this will be the case among us as ones who call Him "Master".

Maturing Christians get it (need more of these in the SBC; I'm one still working at that myself).


David Troublefield
Wichita Falls, TX

irreverend fox said...

Wade, you said:

"Dwight rejects the Pentecostal doctrine that tongues is a 'sign of the indwelling of God's Spirit' and maintains the traditional Baptist (and Biblical belief) that the Spirit of God indwells all who trust in Christ."

this is a misrepresentation of the understanding of MOST Pentecostals...especially the Assemblies of God. They do not believe that it is a sign of the indwelling of God's Spirit...they believe as do we that the Spirit indwells all who believe.

The Pentecostal doctrine is that tongues is the initial physical evidence of the Baptism in Holy Spirit...they understand that to be subsequent to salvation and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit…that those two events are distinct from each other.

As Baptists we disagree with the notion that those two events are distinct… for the most part…and at any rate we reject the notion that tongues is the initial physical evidence of that Baptism.

I just thought that I should point that out in fairness of our Pentecostal brothers. There is nothing more aggravating than being misrepresented…perhaps you can make a note that what you posted did not accurately represent the vast majority of Pentecostalism. That type of statement is on par with it being said that Calvinists don’t believe in free will or that Calvinists believe that once you are saved you can live “anyway you please”…of all those statements it can be said “that just isn’t true…”

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

Jim Pasley,
Me thinks you are correct in your observation and astute in your deductions.

Maybe we all need to read your quote and ponder!

Jack Maddox said...

truthoffact

Are you a moderate? Are you still a member of the SBC? Was your church 'thrown out" of the SBC?

one other question...in 27 years how many votes did Paige Patterson and Paul Pressler cast for President of the convention....I believe the answer would be 54...the reaming votes were cast by Baptist messengers from the CHURCH'S of the SBC...

oh bet the way...nice "Hiel Hitler" remark...what would a thread about the 2 PP's be without at least one NAZI reference?

jrm

Jack Maddox said...

Woops…Freudian slip folks…I meant to say “The remaining votes” I know you moderates will have a good time with that one! : )

I knew my pertinacity for typos would come back to haunt me! Next thing you know I will start being compared to Ben Cole for my lack of decorum

I am going to go drink a cup or 10 of coffee know!

Blushing and ashamed
jrm

Monte said...

The "Old IMB policies" prevented a lot of things from happening. But, many of us awoke one day and discovered that the IMB/FMB we had signed on with was not the IMB we were now serving with. Neither was the SBC what we had known. I'm not so certain that the conservative resurgance really spared us from further grief. It saved us from ALL those liberals for what? An on-going witch hunt that never seems to end, and only becomes more narrow and legalistic? Is it any wonder why younger generations have no loyalties to our denomination or any other denomination?

Anonymous said...

Could it be that the IMB is creating such policies to guard the purity of the Gospel as it is shared around the world? Maybe we need to quite looking at this issue as Westerners and look at it like a missionary who is trying to reach a cultural steeped in Animism. We may need to keep such teaching separate from teaching a young African who cries in some unknown tongue to appease the spirits that the gospel is different and not similar. I am not saying that they are similar but to someone who knows nothing about Christ it could be a stumbling block understanding the Gospel. I believe that was the Apostle Paul’s point. Just something to mull on.

Oklahoma Joe

Wade Burleson said...

Oklahoma Joe,

I think the Spirit of God does a good enough job of maturing His people. 'Safeguards' end up being man-made rules that divide.

Freedom of conscience, autonomy, liberty and a high view of Scripture's authority and sufficiency are enough for this Baptist.

Wade Burleson said...

Glen and Rex,

Thanks for the clarification of Pentecostal doctrine. I confess that I am not an expert on the subject and have learned from your comments.

Wade Burleson said...

Jack,

Believe it or not, you make sense to me in this string.

The one thing I would remind you about, however, is simply this:

All I have ever done is blog my disagreement. I have expressed my love for everyone who disagrees and sought to focus on issues only.

If that method is wrong, then all I can say is I will suffer your opinion because I'm not changing. :)

Anonymous said...

You people are so bound up in the small pieces of doctrine that you seem to miss the larger issues - those of grace, love, help for your fellow human beings.... the entire SBC seems to be filled with angry, power hungry, intolerant men who wish to tell the world what they should believe and when they should believe it.

Jesus would not recognize what you have made his church.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I am not saying that I question the Spirit of God for God will perserve His glory, but He has given us the responsibly and the stewardship of safeguarding the Gospel message. We see from scripture where God often permits things because His people neglect there responsiblity to, as Jude says, "to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints."Jude 3 (ESV) I think we must be careful in judging others motives. I have a hard time believing that the godly men that make up the BoT are trying to cause doctrinal division and narrow cooperation. I just think they take very serious the call to protect the stewardship that Christ has given Southern Baptists not only here in America but to the remotest parts of the earth. Just a thought.

Oklahoma Joe

Jack Maddox said...

Wade

I know you would eventually start to come around : )

As far as your methods…my comment about methods was not directed at you alone, but to the whole Memphis declaration group as a whole and what I perceive to be some much larger issues than just the original ones that put you on the map.

With that said, I still am not in complete agreement with the medium you chose to voice your opposition but it was your decision and that is fine...as far as you changing, I would not ask nor expect you to...

jrm

Jack Maddox said...

Ok Joe

although I may not agree with their decisions I believe you are right on about motives...I am ion agreement with you.

jrm

Anonymous said...

Jim you wrote, "What I don't understand in talking to other pastors like myself is the perceived danger of the narrowing of theological parameters."

Brother I believe that the narrowing of theological parameters for cooperation within the SBC is not a perception but a reality.

I have always understood the SBC to exist for one purpose - cooperation for the sake of mission.

With these new policies, the open door for partnership and cooperation has been "narrowed."

The future Dr. Jerry Rankin's coming into the SBC would be rejected as missionaries with the IMB. I don't see that as anything less than a narrowing of parameters.

I applaud Wade's decision to be in it to the end. However, should the BoT and other SBC leaders continue down a path of what is essentialy cessationist theology for all practical purposes, there will be a day when many in the SBC will be forced to shake the dust from their feet and move on. Why? Because they "didn't get their way." No, not at all. Simply because it's clear that those with a theology embracing a continuation of all the gifts, are simply not wanted. These people are staying in the SBC because of doing mission together, both with the IMB and NAMB in planting churches. If they can't fit the parameters for partnership and doing mission together, what else can they do?

It will be a day of great sadness; may that day never come.

Let's all pray together for our trustees meeting next week in Memphis.

Darren Casper

Wade Burleson said...

Oklahoma Joe,

I wholeheartedly agree with your comment about motives. I not only believe my fellow BOT members are not trying to cause dissension, I think they deeply want just the opposite. What some of them may not realize is that the way to have unity is to cooperate in missions around the essentials and quit making third tier doctrinal interpretations mandatory for service and ministry.

TruthOfActs said...

Jack,
My name is Rex Ray. You asked, “Are you a moderate? Are you still a member of the SBC? Was your church 'thrown out" of the SBC”?

The answer is yes to all three questions. I am a moderate which is actually a true died-in-the wool conservative that won’t change to the continuous changes made in the SBC.
My church was “thrown out” of being in leadership positions or being accepted as missionaries. (All that is wanted from us is our money.)

Thanks for replying to my “Hiel Hitler” remark…I thought if fit the situation pretty well also.

You avoided my questions as you seem more competent in asking than answering.

I still think a more fitting title “On a Hill which to Die” would be ‘…which to Kill”.

Fox,
Did you notice Wade did it to us again…gave me credit for what you said? Wade, all is forgiven.
Rex Ray

Wade Burleson said...

Darren,

Unfortunately I agree with you. That's why I am staying and encouraging EVERYONE to stay -- because I see and hear from hundreds who say 'I'm leaving.' I am telling them "DON'T!" There are enough of us out there who are working to keep the tent from narrowing any further.

Alan Cross said...

Glen and Rex are absolutely right about the distinctions on Pentecostal doctrine. There is a group that teaches that you have to speak in tongues to have the Holy Spirit at all, but it is something like 1% of all Pentecostals and Charismatics. That teaching has been laid upon the entire movement to illustrate points against Spirit baptism that are not valid.

Pentecostals and Charismatics believe in Spirit-baptism as being subsequent from salvation with tongues as the sign. But, the Spirit baptism that they are talking about is not the initial indwelling and sealing that we as baptists think of, but it is an enduement with power from on high for the purposes of proclamation of the gospel. Every Pentecostal and Charismtatic that I have ever met would say that Baptists have the Holy Spirit. They would just say that we do not have the enduement of the power of the Holy Spirit because we do not have the "baptism" with fire and the Holy Spirit. All who call upon Jesus would have the Holy Spirit, they would just have more of Him for the purpose of ministry. Or, perhaps He would have more of them.

There are similarities between the Baptist position and the Pentecostal position if you throw out tongues as the initial evidence and also the receiving of the baptism as a subsequent, one-time experience (in other words, you would have to dismantle the entire Pentecostal hermeneutic). But, Baptists believe that we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18), and that this is to happen on a recurring basis. I would hope that we believe that we need the Spirit's power for ministry and evangelism (Acts 4:31). The problem with the Pentecostal perspective is that they have codified those experiences into defineable occurrences and they move beyond what Scripture says. They make the same mistake the the Churches of Christ make in regard to baptism.

The Bible does not spell all of this out for us in a 1,2,3 step process like we would like. That's what our modern mind craves. That way we can know who is in and who is out, instead of having to follow Jesus. In the same way, you can't eliminate tongues or spiritual gifts completely from the other side. It is interesting that many cessationists use the same formulaic hermeneutic as Pentecostals, but from the other direction. Both are wrong, and the answer is found in reading the whole counsel of Scripture and letting it speak, instead of our presuppositions.

volfan007 said...

i think jack maddox is making comments that are right on target. thanks jack for sharing your wisdom with all of us. God bless you, bro. i really like to hear your comments because they make so much sense.

david

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks Alan,

That is very helpful to me.

Wade Burleson said...

Volfann,

Jack is against the new policies on private prayer language and baptism, and I agree, that makes much sense. Are you now as well?

volfan007 said...

almost every pentecostal i have ever talked to, and i have talked to many, and i have heard them preach and teach many times...they all have said that you have to recieve the Holy Spirit later..after conversion. and, many of them have said that speaking in tongues is a sign of having the Holy Spirit. and, a few of them will even tell you that you arent saved if you dont speak in tongues.

thats my observations.

david

Bob Cleveland said...

It seems to me that, if you define everything and "pin it all down" to a complete set of paradigms that you will link to scripture, you've distilled a faith that requires faith only in accepting the rules and statements. And you've gone 'way beyond the fundamental statment of our faith.

My faith is in a Living Lord Who pops up in my life in the form of the Holy Spirit and gives me direction. I'd much rather have that then someone's rules.

Henry Blackaby told the story of the preacher who was invited to dinner by a farmer. The preacher didn't know where the farmer lived, so asked him for instructions. He got a whole page of them, and found the man's house.

Some years later, he was asked over again while visiting the church. He asked instructions again, but the farmer said "I'll just ride with you".

I'd much rather have the Instructer riding with me. And of course I insist on biblicality.

If this labels me "pentecostal", well, good!

volfan007 said...

wade,

i have always said that i dont believe in private prayer languages. i dont think that they are scriptural. but, if someone wants to do it the privacy of thier own closet, then go for it. if they emotionally need something like this for whatever reason...if it makes them feel good, then i believe like paul...let them do it...it's not sin. and, in terms of missionaries...i believe in a dont ask...dont tell...policy. as long as they truly keep it in the closet. as long as they keep it private, i have no problem with it.

in terms of baptism, i have always believed that we should only send those who have been baptised in the same way and for the same reason as all of us other sb's view. i am not a landmarker. the church i am currently pastor has more of a landmark view than i do....but, i yield to thier beliefs about this. i also, go along with a churches wishes about the Lord's Supper. i respect thier convictions about such things.

david

irreverend fox said...

Volfan,

I attended an Assemblies of God Bible college.

You are wrong.

I'm sure there are fringe Pentacostals who teach that...the uneducated type...but that type of thinking is outright denied by the mainstream Pentacostal... specifically the largest Pentacostal group...the AG.

Look it up.

WTJeff said...

Jack Maddox,

Not that my opinion means much, but I would like to commend you. It's obvious that you have a different opinion than Wade on some of these issues, but you've stated your case with clarity, grace, and have not attacked anyone's character. I submit that the answer to all of our issues, problems, etc., is found in the Christ like attitude you've portrayed here today. Issues in my own life have shown me what God will do with a Christ-like example and the void that exists without it. If we do have a future as a convention, it will be found through dialogue. However, dialogue can't exist without submission to the Holy Spirit in our thoughts, words, and attitudes toward one another.

Thanks Jack. I needed to see this today.

Grace,

Jeff Parsons
Amarillo, TX

Bob Cleveland said...

David (Volfan): I doubt that the Apostle Paul emotionally needed to pray in an unknown tongue, nor do I think he did it because it felt good.

I don't think that's how Paul thought. In fact, he said it edified the speaker.

volfan007 said...

fox,

i wasnt talking about the aog, nor was i talking about my grandmothers church..the church of God out of anderson, indiana. but rather, i was talking about the pentecostals and other pentecostal type groups that i have talked to and have heard preach, etc.

i didnt say that i had taken a poll of all the pentecostal type groups all over america.

david

Wade Burleson said...

wtjeff,

I agree with your assessment of Jack Maddox's comments the last couple of days on my blog and have told Jack the same thing.

I only wish Jack would refrain from posting comments like the following commented he posted a short three days ago on Bart Barber's blog.

Jack wrote . . .

"Ben Coles Blog is nothing more than a "National Inquirer" type rag that has very little to offer anyone in the ways of Christian virtues. It is an obvious personal vendetta and so many folks know this. What credibility Ben had in Greensboro...and it was already eroding then...is now quickly washing away. The same can be said for Wade and his duplicity. I don't care if they read this, I am not intimidated by either of them or the cronies that follow them and seem to parrot everything they say. God help us to take a sand, to say enough is enough, that out SBC institutions are Trustee led, Convention accountable entities and are not to be governed by the gossip mongers and bitter ,moderate leaning bloggers and secular courts of our lands. They have every right to disagree, work within the system and go to convention and seek what they feel is justice, whatever that may be, however at the end of the day perhaps they will need to seek someplace elsewhere that they can be happy and serve the Lord. As a pastor they simply remind me of disgruntled church members who like to stir the pot and cause as much trouble as they can...sometimes its just best that there be a parting of ways. I know at Truett they would have no problem with this issue (Klouda) and the CBF would love to welcome these fine, free thinking, cooperating Baptist folks.

By the way, what Jack says about Ben Cole is not my concern. I am neither Ben's defender or accountability partner.

What interests me is what Jack writes about me. Jack I learned a long time ago that it only leads to frustration if you get offended at what people write about you in public. So, no offense taken on your comments. However, my communication with you, and future friendship with you is helped by the style and tone of comments you are making today on my blog. I like the current Jack and hope the one from three days ago has forever disappeared.

We can disagree on the issues, but it is in the best interest of us all to avoid name calling as we debate the merits of our positions.

In His Grace,

Wade

volfan007 said...

bob,

i dont believe that paul spoke in unintelligible language....either in public or in private. i believe that what we see today as tongue speaking is people getting worked up emotionally until they speak in unintellible words, or language. much like what the lost africans did/do as they dance around the campfires to the beat of a drum. or, like the temple prostitutes and other false god worshippers did there at corinth at the temple dedicated to a false goddess, as they worked themselves up into an emotional frenzy and began speaking in unintelligible language...or ecstatic jibberish, or whatever you want to call it. i think much of what paul was saying in corinthians was getting onto the corinthian church for allowing the ecstatic jibberish tongue speaking to come into the church and causing confusion. also, i believe that paul had spoken in real tongues.... but, 1 cor. 14 was paul trying to teach the corinthian believers that the gifts were for the edifying of the body, not for personal gratification.

and, while there's nothing sinful about speaking in ecstatic jibberish, i dont believe its a real gift of the Spirit. nor do i believe that paul spoke in it. and, teaching others to do it in private prayer, or speaking in ecstatic utterances in public should not be done. it causes confusion, and it would make the church look foolish to unbelievers.

i also would like to say that i love my brothers in Christ who do speak in "tongues."

david

Bob Cleveland said...

David: I'll ask Paul when I see him, but I'm in no hurry.

And I love brothers with whom I don't see eye-to-eye, too. Even Volunteer fans (Wade .. can you block Alabama fans from reading this?) As a Pentecostal Calvinist in a Baptist Church, there aren't many of them, anyway.

And us men of substance and girth gotta stick together, too.

bryan riley said...

Bob Cleveland, Les, keep it coming. How does this play into the discussion?

4Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. 5Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Bob Cleveland said...

Bryan: To me, the real strength in the SBC has been its two concepts of 1) broadness of what it means to be a Baptist (BF&M), and 2) the competency of the soul. To me, they go hand-in-hand

IMO, it must either be true that God's word dictates a lock-step faith, or that God intended to speak to everyone as an individual with sometimes differing views. I vote for the latter.

One of the problems with that is: it's possible to slide in and never pay a lot of attention to what you DO believe, and be perfectly happy as a Baptist. I don't think God likes that, and if these are the end times, I'd think He would be challenging us to know what we believe.

I'm meeting on Mondays with two young men from my SS class. One of them, I know, has been in a Southern Baptist Church literally
all his life. He's mid-20's and we are studying the BF&M, a document neither of these fine young men had ever seen.

The biggest threat to the SBC, IMO, is from those who would seek to negate the two things I see as our greatest denominational strength. And if what I surmise is true, above, most folks wouldn't see it coming. Most folks.

This has bred, again IMO, a situation in which it would be easy for strong men to change things, even if for the worse.

Another hindrance to us is preconceived notions about God's plan for us. Since we've been in other denominations, it'd be asbolutely no problem for Peg and me to turn left out of our driveway instead of right, and go to some other church. So I don't have that much skin in the SBC game. But I really do believe what I really do believe about the SBC and the BF&M, and I also prefer wildfire to no fire at all.

A hill on which to die, to me, means a concept or a position or an idea we simply will not give up. Mine isn't the SBC. What I believe, is (except, of course, when God sends a corrective to my Spiritual URL)

Whoops. Did it again. Oh well.

davidinflorida said...

volfan,

Your comments about ppl shows your total ignorance of the whole subject.

Its not for emotions or to make one feel good. Its worship.

Since you are so well versed in Bible knowledge, see what happens when someone judges others in worship that they do not understand. 2 SAM 6:6-23

Pastor Wade,

I believe that this type of condesending judgement is the tip of the iceberg that brings about the discussions you are having on your blog.

bryan riley said...

Bob, good stuff. Thanks for doing it again.

I'd say that it is a danger that if there is a single way to believe and you can just follow the rules/letter, that it results in not worrying about faith or what you believe... just follow the rules that someone else has laid out there for you to follow. No need to have real faith and depend daily on God. You've got it all worked out.

G. Alford said...

Brother Jack,
Nothing happened Wade. No one has 'gone' after charismatic Baptist Church's - No one has 'gone' after Calvinist Baptist church's -

I would have to strongly disagree…

Calvinist Baptist churches have been denied entry into local and state associations due to their Calvinist doctrine… Calvinist Baptist churches have been denied church planting opportunities due to their Calvinist doctrine… and Calvinistic Baptist have been denied positions of service throughout the SBC due to their Calvinist doctrine…

So something definitely has happened!

Also you said,
Paige Patterson, who at times has made mistakes and been misunderstood,

I have noticed that when Page Patterson makes a “mistake” it is others who suffer for his misunderstanding.

Grace to all,

volfan007 said...

florida,

it's really ironic that you accuse me of being condescending after calling me ignorant.

you may not agree with my views, but i believe them to be what the scripture teaches. in fact, if you will read john mcarthur, or j. vernon mcgee, i believe that you will find that these two men, amongst thousands of other Godly, intelligent, men are also "ignorant" in your opinion.

God bless you, bro.

i love ya.

david

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I have been a Christian for thirty-five years and a SBC pastor’s wife for thirty years. Today I am more excited than ever in living for Jesus and knowing His word more and more. Jesus is alive and well in my world. My husband and I believe strongly in the priesthood of the believer, and we believe in the liberality of the Spirit of God. In my opinion legalism as well as Phariseeical spirits rob and destroy individuals, churches, and conventions.

My husband and I have served in one SBC church for nearly twenty-four years. We have gone through the times of troubled waters, and we have experienced the times of great renewal. In all of these years, we have remained true to the Word and to the roots of our denomination. Personally, I wish that we would go back to the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message.

I have watched the SBC move in a direction that gives less opportunity for more people to be won to the kingdom God. I ask why is this happening? What are we afraid of? I say that perhaps it is a “control” issue. We as humans would rather have control than the Spirit of God. Jesus desires to use all to further His Kingdom’s work. I pray that the Lord will forgive us all and that we will be about our Father’s business, which is winning a lost and dying world to Him.

I could quote a myriad of scriptures that would validate each and everything that I have said; however, for the sake of space I cannot do that. What is wrong with being a denomination of the Word of God? The Word is what we need to stand on, not all of these creeds and so-called policies that the IMB and SWTBS have enacted.

As I close I was wondering how many of you plan on attending the Conference on the Holy Spirit at Cornerstone? I am so looking forward to it.

Kathy

Paul said...

Bro. Jack,

I don't believe anyone is trying to hold anyone else to an unreasonable standard. I've told the people in our church numerous times that I don't even think those outside the church expect us to be perfect. They simply expect us to be honest about our imperfections.

I think that is all anyone wants from either side in all of this. Just once I'd like to hear someone involved in Dr. Dilday's demise at SWBTS publicly say, "We were wrong to lock him out of his office. We were wrong to give him a glowing review just prior to treating him so poorly." Or, "We were wrong to tell lies about good people just because they were on the other side of the political divide" (both sides could do some of that).

I spoke with Dr. Patterson about those things and his response to me was that I should just be thankful that we aren't living in Luther's day where those people would have been burned at the stake, hanged or had their heads lopped off for their disagreements. [sarcasm alert]Yeah. I thought that was a really nice perspective.[/sarcasm] I don't happen to think those sort of things are okay just because we haven't killed anyone.

Come out and say, "I'm happy with the results, but I regret some of the things we did." All I have ever heard is, "I'm happy with the results and I stand before God with a clear conscience." Well, some people have apparently lost their consciences and I don't think it is too high a standard to expect them to get one.

Bill Scott said...

Volfan,
Could you post a link to the version of the New Testament that you study? You comments seem askew of the versions that I have in my office.

Tim said...

Wade,

This is so sad. It just proves, again, that the "Resurgance" was mislead by people with evil in their hearts. Millions of people were lied to. Too many people were maligned, their character and vocations put through political assasination. Every thing the Conservative-Traditional Baptists said was going to come true, has come true.

Again, it just points to how evil the Takeover really was. How good men and women can be lead astray.

Tim L. Dahl

bryan riley said...

Good word, Paul Littleton. How is God ever going to be glorified if we take all the credit? He is shown strong in our weaknesses and honesty about them.

Most of us bloggers, especially me, need to remember this because we really struggle to admit error about anything we thought, written, or said. We should remember that most of this is about discussing, which doesn't mean we post gospel truth from the get go; instead, we are shaping and focusing our thoughts through the discussion and trying to come to a greater understanding of the truth. We may not get there, but we should endeavor to do so.

Jack Maddox said...

Wade

WOW! When I start getting quoted form other blogs I guess I am starting to be heard! Wade, I stand by that comment and trust that it does represent what does divide you and me...Obviously I feel much stronger about Ben than yourself, but as you say, you will not answer for Ben. Good for you...I would distance myself from his rhetoric, gossip, innuendo and profane postings also!

I have already addressed my use of the word 'duplicity' as being a poor choice of words and that was pointed out to me by your dad, the word inconsistency would have been more appropriate, although your dad did not obviously agree with that assessment. So Wade, duplicity BAD WORD...Inconsistency BETTER WORD.

Cronies was a bit harsh but my dander was up...I am a southern boy at heart!

As far as the rest of it...the tone was harsh but I stand by what I said...I do want to be consistent!

Now I have to return to my meeting with the rest of the evil hearted, Hitlarian, racist, he man-woman hating ‘spooky fundies’ We are overtaking the country of Upcookeistan this Friday and we have to get ready to staff the re education camps so that we can properly indoctrinate the kiddies…and by the way…I am on the Kool-Aid committee….GOODIE!

JRM

Wade Burleson said...

Jack,

Your apology is accepted.

I do not take the last paragraph of your apology as an attempt at self-justification of the language you have used in the comment on Bart's blog. However, I remind you, gently, that if you are attempting to act as if these words are, or have been, used by me, about people, I reject that attempt. I have written nearly four hundred posts on this blog and I write about the ideology, philosophy or theology of my brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with me and refrain from attacking their character or persons. In fact, I respect those who disagree with me immensely.

Your words in the comment on Bart's blog "gossip mongers and bitter, moderate leaning bloggers" attack one's character. I am trusting this is not what you intended.

Jack Maddox said...

Wade

My comments on Barts Blog stands...many who comment and are attacking everything SBC including Dr. Patterson are bitter...they are gossiping...and they are moderate and moderate leaning...thats just the facts!

I am glad you do not consider yourself in the above mentioned catagories...

jrm

Greg Hicks said...

Wade,

This was a much needed post that clarifies Dr. McKissic's actual beliefs. The term some are using to characterize his theology ("neo-pentecostal/charismatic") is neither accurate or fair. These labels are being used to mischaracterize his beliefs and the the beliefs of others who are open to the continuation of all spiritual gifts.

Jack Maddox said...

Wade...

Apology? uhhhh...ok....if thats what you call it...I call it clarification...but whatever gets you though the day bro.!

jrm

Wade Burleson said...

Jack,

If it is not an apology, then I apologize for missing that it was only a clarification.

My point with you is that you seem to be a man who says one thing to some people and another thing to other people.

I think you might call this duplicity, er . . inconsistency.

I admire men who are the same no matter to which blog they are posting.

In His Grace,

Wade

Greg Hicks said...

Some additional narrative from the "A Hill on Which To Die:"

“The liberals had said that after the conservatives finished with those who held different views of the nature of the Bible, they would begin attacking the charismatics (neo-Pentecostals)... They said conservatives wanted to make everybody think just as they do. Such a charge is ludicrous, but it did worry some people such as my friend Wally Henley [pastor of Encourager Church in Houston], who had charismatic leanings...I assured him that Paige, our friends, and I would not turn on charismatics after the battle over biblical authority was won. He trusted us, and he and others have now seen that this issue will not be a test of fellowship."

Actually, what we have seen in the last year is just the opposite - those whose beliefs - such as Dwight McKissic - which are not charismatic - but do include room for people to pray in a language not learned in their private prayer closet - have and are being excluded from missionary service through the IMB and teaching at SWBTS.

Ron Phillips (former HMB/NAMB Trusttee Chairman and Tennessee Baptist Convention President) is one who has publicly expressed his disappointment and sense of betrayal. You can read his story here:

http://www.abpnews.com/824.article

Incidentally, I should note, as I mentioned on this blog last year - when I asked Dr. Patterson about this last year he indicated he made no such assurances as documented in Judge Pressler's book and the Judge should not have indicated that he did.

Greg Hicks said...

So I guess what I have learned from all that has happened over the course of the last year is that some people's words cannot be trusted.

Wade Burleson said...

Greg,

Could you give us the specifics of the conversation with Paige?

I think this is the first I heard of the conversation, and you are confirming what I have believed to be an intentional tightening of doctrinal parameters to 'purify' the ranks of the SBC.

Michael said...

DavidinFlorida and VolFan007,

was david(OT) dancing down the street naked doing an impromtu dance to GD OK?
I kind of view that as similar to an estatic utterance. if they are similar then this unintelligible utterances shouldn't be a problem, just their prominence in church is a problem.

if we were definitely interested in making christianity different then we shouldn't meet in a building(other major religions have their buildings too), we shouldn't have wooden crosses because it's a symbol(little buddha's are symbols too), we definitly shouldn't have churches with greek columns because university's like to use those too and public universitys tend to be a worship place of a religion I call materialism/apathy,

think about christmas trees, they were pagan symbols and still are used by the religion of commercialism
(I know it's a little of a stretch, but only a very little)

it gives us something to think about doesn't it?

Michael

davidinflorida said...

Volfan,

When you use words or phrases, as you did, such as ( worked up emotionally, lost Africans, false god worshippers, ecstatic jibberish,) you show your ignorance of the subject: lack of knowledge.

By using these phrases you are trying to be cute and provocative, but in reality you are just condescending : patronizing or disdainful.

I respect McArthur and J. V. Mcgee, however they are just men like me and have opinions just as I do.

Anonymous said...

Wade -

While I tend to lean much more heavily to the positions you have articulated than those of Jack M., I have truly appreciated reading the Christian dialogue between you. Still a gulf there, but at least polite talk.

I would, however, agree with Jack M. on the point he made about Ben's blog. I have read it fairly faithfully, and have -- rightly or wrongly -- enjoyed reading his scoops, sarcasm, etc. It has, recently, seemed to descend into nothing but a personal rant against Dr. Patterson. MY opinion is that this makes his concerns LESS likely to be addressed due to the manner in which he's presenting them.

You rightly note that Ben - not Wade Burleson, Jack Maddox, or me -- will answer for his motives, actions, and words. I don't note this here in any attempt to "tie" you to Ben, but just because the two of you seem to be mentioned by blog-critics in the same breath.

You, Wade, have always been careful not to impune character and for that I am truly grateful. Carry on!

Charles Brazeale,
Neosho, MO

Anonymous said...

To clarify -

I wish Ben NO ILL will; he is, after all, my brother in Christ. I certainly didn't mean my previous comment to be taken as any type of attack - just my observations. However, if anyone was offended, please forgive me.

Charles

volfan007 said...

bill,

i use the bible. i read many different translations. i dont know why they dont agree with your version. maybe you need a new version. :)

michael,

i'm sorry bro. but i really dont understand the points you are trying to make.

florida,

these people do get themselves worked up into an emotional frenzy. have you seen thier dances and pagan worship experiences?

also, they are lost africans. what else am i supposed to call them when they are lost and africans?

the temple prostitutes and the worshippers who came to the temple of this false goddess were involved in false worship. how else can you describe it? in fact, they turned into out and out orgies.

ecstatic jibberish... unintelligible words... ecstatic speech.....help me, here...i am trying to find the right word for what i am describing. i would like to be pc about it if you would tell me which word to use.

also, calling people ignorant that dont agree with you is condescending...wouldnt you say?

david

david

Greg Hicks said...

Wade,

Here is my original comment response to your Sunday, March 5, 2006 post, "IMB Minutes From 2004 That Are Worth Noting”:

"Having spent the better part of the weekend with a group of about 30 pastors, I can report that the IMB issues are a hot topic - at least among that group. Although a formal poll was not conducted, based on the comments it was my sense that not a single pastor supports the policy changes.

Dr. Paige Patterson was our guest for Saturday morning's meeting. I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Patterson regarding the February 3, 2006 article by Bob Pierce entitled "Charismatic Leaning Southern Baptist Being Betrayed, Excluded, Says Phillips" in the online version of Baptists Today. I gleaned from our conversation that Dr. Patterson's primary concern is his sense that many of the churches being planted on the field by IMB missionaries are not Baptist churches (in his view, many are "charismatic") and he strongly supports the policy additions adopted in November because he believes there are significant problems on the field that the policies are needed to address. He clearly has issues with the direction of the IMB under Dr. Rankin's leadership.

My sense is that the change in policy at the IMB is just the beginning. The article (referenced previously) notes, "Patterson said, as a Baptist, he would not forbid anyone from speaking in tongues, but would not call such a person to be his pastor or appoint someone with such leanings (charismatic) as a seminary professor." Dr. Patterson confirmed that this was indeed his position and that Dr. Rankin would be disqualified from serving as a professor at SWBTS because of his "private prayer language."

He also indicated that the statement in the article from Judge Pressler's "A Hill on Which to Die" was not accurate and should not have been included by Judge Pressler. That statement reads as follows: "I assured him (Wally Henley) that Paige, our friends, and I would not turn on charismatics after the battle over biblical authority was over."

Dr. Patterson also noted that "Baptists are not charismatic".

If Baptists with "charismatic leanings" are today's target, who will be in the crosshairs tomorrow?

Sunday, March 05, 2006"

Jim Paslay said...

Wade,

I refer you to the quote from Tim Dahl. "This is so sad. It just proves, again, that the "Resurgance" was mislead by people with evil in their hearts." Would that statement be classified as attacking someone's character? Especially some like Dr. Adrian Rogers who have since passed away. I haven't seen you address Tim's comments.

Tim:

Those moderates in Texas have sure done a number on you. Everything is big in Texas including the misinformation that have consistently come out of the Lone Star state.

You need to be careful with the word "evil." You are going beyond the rhetoric that most moderates seem to spew!

By the way, is the term Conservative-Traditional Baptists kinda like a Mainstream Baptist here in Oklahoma? I call them "Out the Mainstream Baptists", but I'm just a dumb Okie Baptist preacher!

robert prince said...

Judge Pressler wasn't telling the truth in the book. The takeover was always about enforcing doctrinal conformity on the SBC. Inerrancy was just a smokescreen. The REAL issues were women in the ministry, academic freedom, a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11, prayer in schools, and the like. There never was a dime's worth of difference among Southern Baptists on the authority of scripture.

Now you and others are learning these truths.

As the years pass, more and more will be excluded.

Wade Burleson said...

Jim,

Yes, it is, and I would not agree with Tim's assess,emt, but why are you asking me the question? Ask Tim. It's his comment and not mine. There is no comment moderation on this blog I if I removed all the comments that attacked character I would be wasting my entire day playing police.

I encourage everyone to stick to the issues.

Roger Simpson said...

Robert Prince:

Yes, you are right "there is not a dime's worth of difference on the authority of scripture".

The problem is the truthfullness of scripture. Some people said (still say) scripture is "authoritive" but they don't say it is "inerrant".

I don't care if a book is authoritative or not if it contains errors.

Roger K. Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

davidinflorida said...

Volfan,

I don`t call you ignorant or condescending, your own words do.

I can also see that there can`t be a normal discussion with you. It`s a waste of time.

See Ya

Jim Paslay said...

robert prince said:

Judge Pressler wasn't telling the truth in the book. The takeover was always about enforcing doctrinal conformity on the SBC. Inerrancy was just a smokescreen. The REAL issues were women in the ministry, academic freedom, a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11, prayer in schools, and the like. There never was a dime's worth of difference among Southern Baptists on the authority of scripture.

I submit to you that there was more than a dime's worth of difference when it came to the authority of Scripture. Otherwise why did the Peace Committee report to the convention in 1987 that there were theological differences within the convention. The REAL issue was whether the Bible was and is the inerrant, infallible Word of God. If your statements were true, then we would have a purging over the different views of eschatology. We have Dispensationalists, Historical Pre, Ammillenial, and even some Pan-Millenialists. It was never about conformity. The heart of the matter was whether we would continue to employ those who teach views that cast doubt upon the Word of God.

If you think inerrancy was a smokescreen, would you agree with Dr. Robert Alley from Richmond U. back in the 80's who said that Jesus never claimed to be divine and that the virgin birth was a myth? Are you theologically sympathetic to that view? Would you put yourself in T.C. Smith's camp that the books in the Biblical canon be reconsidered in light of modern scholarship? Is that a dime's worth of difference or more like a whole bank's worth?

I have heard venom from both sides for years. What I keep hearing from moderates is a constant whining about issues that we settled years ago. It is kinda like the man in a Baptist church that got mad years ago about the piano being moved from one side of the auditorium to the other. He has never got over it and continues to bring it up when he has the chance. I'm for retiring the dead horse that has been beaten for years. How abou you?

Glen Woods said...

Alan,

Thanks for your additional clarification regarding Pentecostals. I would gently add that not all pentecostals or charismatics codify experience into formulaic doctrine in the way you seem to imply. This is not the place to unpack it, but I can assure you we do take Scripture seriously and attempt to interpret the text faithfully, as I perceive you and the others here do as well. Further, I also gently disagree with the comparison of pentecostals to Churches of Christ. However, I would agree that the Assemblies of God is one group, like many cessationists, which is dispensational in its hermenuetic thereby leading to consequential choices on doctrine, albeit on the continualist side of the equation.

volfan, nice to see you again. You said,

"almost every pentecostal i have ever talked to, and i have talked to many, and i have heard them preach and teach many times...they all have said that you have to recieve the Holy Spirit later..after conversion. and, many of them have said that speaking in tongues is a sign of having the Holy Spirit. and, a few of them will even tell you that you arent saved if you dont speak in tongues."

To my knowledge as a charismatic pastor and a menber of a pentecostal/charismatic group for the past 26 years, the group(s) to which you refer do not represent the growing majority of pentecostals in the west or even internationally. As far as I know, it is largely regionalized, although I could be wrong. To be sure, there are always exceptions. Oneness pentecostals do teach that you must experience spirit baptism with the evidence of tongues in order to be saved. I have a few dear friends in that group and I cordially but firmly disagree with them as they are well aware.


The notion that the Holy Spirit only indwells someone who has received spirit baptism is controversial and not biblical, in the view of most in the wide array of pentecostal and charismatic denominations, myself included.

The only reason I am saying this is to help all of Wade's readers hear from someone who ministers within the pentecostal/charismatic setting as well as consulting in a wide array of evangelical settings with diverse theological groups.

My point? Just as the SBC is diverse and broad within your own set parameters, so too is the pentecostal/charismatic movement. I would not paint SBC with one broad brush of the worst that might be expressed within its fold. Why is it that some folks in the SBC choose to do that with charismatics and pentecostals?

Blessings,

Glen Woods

robert prince said...

Roger,

I think just about everyone in the SBC agreed about the truthfulness of Scriptures. The fallacy of the use of the term "inerrancy" is that it never was really defined. Furthermore, "inerrancy" was never applied to current Hebrew and Greek texts. In fact, in his book "Christian Scriptures," published after the takeover by the SBC, David Dockery said the word "inerrant" was poorly defined and should be dropped, but he didn't because it was so popularly accepted. Inerrancy was so qualified you could conceivably claim that Genesis 1-11 was symbolic not historic and still claim to be an inerrantist.

So in the big SBC fight, inerrantists never said that the scriptures in our hands don't have errors. They said the autographs (which we don't have) didn't have errors.

Jim,

I was speaking in an SBC context. Richmond U isn't an SBC institution. You're accepting a revisionist form of history if you think that there were great differences about the authority and inspiration of the scriptures during the SBC war. There weren't. Some, like myself, refused to use the word "inerrant" because it was unbiblical and because it was ill-defined, or so flexible it could mean anything you wanted.

You need no further proof that the differences were really about the interpretation of Scripture, not the nature Scripture itself than the current problems at SWBTS and IMB.

I agree it was a theological fight, but it really wasn't about the inspiration of the Bible.

Matt Snowden said...

Greg Hicks,

Thanks for highlighting the piece on Ron Phillips. I went to hear him preach at the Crossway Church of God in Jackson Mississippi earlier this year. He encouraged all present to be faithful to evangelism and missions. After the service I identified myself as a Southern Baptist pastor. He laughed and promised not the tell anyone he saw me at the meeting. He prayed a sincere prayer for me and our church's ministry. He spoke about his denomination with grace to those Pentecostals. He denomination, in turn, threw him and the head of the IMB under the bus.

Matt Snowden said...

oops,

his denomination not he denomination

bryan riley said...

Glen Woods, great comment.

I think one reason some people paint with broad brushes is because they do not know, but they aren't humble enough to admit they do not know or just prideful enough to think that they must "know," so they say a lot of things as though they know something. Broad brush strokes are easy and give the appearance of knowledge, until questioned. Then, once questioned, the cycle of pride intensifies and the one who had made an error often feels like they cannot admit it.

sepherim said...

Robert,
While you may be right by the letter of the law that as you said, "in the big SBC fight, inerrantists never said that the scriptures in our hands don't have errors. They said the autographs (which we don't have) didn't have errors." On the other hand I never heard one of them stand up with his King James Bible in his hand and say this Bible is not inerrant. And I think for the leaders of the movement that was a deliberate strategy because they knew that if they told the average baptist church goer that whatever version of the Bible they used wasn't inerrant, the average Baptist would have said, "Then what the heck are we fighting about."

David L. Miller said...

Robert,

Inerrancy was very carefully defined by the Chicago Conference on Biblical Inerrancy, which happened about the same time (1979 by my memory) as the beginning of the ground war in the SBC.

It has a general statement then a series of clarifications. It was pretty comprehensive.

Whatever else we believe, the Chicago conference lets us know the parameters of inerrancy. That which is not covered by that statement probably has more to do with interpretation than inerrancy.

Bob Cleveland said...

Bryan R: You said "... they aren't humble enough to admit they do not know or just prideful enough to think that they must "know...".

Folks get that honest, you know. They inherit it from their great-great .. grandfather.

Adam.

Alan Cross said...

Glen Woods,

Thanks for the discussion. My comment was not meant to be demeaning in any way toward Pentecostal/Charismatic theology. I just see it as deriving from a system that misses the broader scope of Scripture. My comparisons to Church of Christ theology was not meant to lump it in with that group on a substance basis, but to say that both groups use a system, yet come up with different interpretations. Dispensationalists and cessationists do the same thing. So do Calvinists and most other groups. Hence, systematic theology.

My point is that our systems are limited and we need to read the Bible more holistically and contextually. I am VERY familiar with Pentecostal/Charismatic theology, and not because I heard what someone else said. I've gone to the sources and have been taught by some awesome men of God in those camps. As I study Scripture, however, I find that it has incredible benefits as well as limitations.

The limitations have to do with the system that the theology is tied to, not the faithfulness or sincerity of the men who pastor and lead many pentecostal churches, such as many of those found in the AoG.

David Rogers said...

Just curious. Does anyone know if Judge Pressler himself has ever made any public statement that would seem to go against what he wrote in "A Hill on which to Die" or spoken out in favor of the new policies at the IMB?

Jack Maddox said...

You know David..that is an excellent question. I do not know the answer, but one thing I observed when I was in Greensboro this past June. My wife and I were sitting in the nosebleed seats, and down below us a few rows was Judge Pressler and his son. Just sitting there by their selves...no one around them, no entourage...no attention being given their way...when the vote for Dr. Page was announced, Judge P just stood up and he and his son walked away. He is very devoted to his son and was only talking to him, but most of the folks around us did not seem to even know who he was. I said hello as he passed by and he replied in kind...it all seemed so sireal...almost like a changing of the guard...

jrm

Glen Woods said...

Hi Alan Cross,

Thanks so much for your clarification and the discussion. I did not sense, nor mean to imply, that you were being demeaning. If that was communicated through my comment, then I sincerely apologize.

I echo your call for a more holistic and contextual reading of the text to such an extent that it impacts the whole of our lives, whether in professional ministry or normal everyday living. I agree that our systems are limited. I would posit that the same could be true of the SBC, as in any human organization.

This may be partly why when people ask of the hope that is within me, I first point to my calling as a follower of Jesus Christ, inviting them to the same, rather than focusing on my temporal affiliation with a specific denomination.

To bring my contribution more in line with what I perceived in part to be the point of Wade's original post:

The problem seems to arise in my group as it apparently does in the SBC too, when specific third tier doctrines or behavioral expectations are promoted to a point of undue influence as benchmarks for determining fitness for ministry, eligibility for denominational leadership and fidelity of doctrine.

Time for me to go explore the Scriptures with a group of giggling kids at church. Thanks for letting me participate. :)

Blessings,

Glen Woods

Anonymous said...

Somebody: define what is meant by the term "moderate" on this blog (several postings up). Jack? Wade? Anybody?

Thanks.


David Troublefield
Wichita Falls, TX

Jim Paslay said...

David,

My definition of a moderate is someone who was against the Conservative Resurgence and is either identified or sympathetic with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Most are opposed to the 2000 BF&M and do not see any theological problems within the SBC.

Anonymous said...

Jim:

Thanks for your response. But, what makes what you said make those folks be "moderate"? Do you mean that the folks to which you're referring are moderate politically or moderate theologically? Honest questions. Come back, good buddy.


David Troublefield

Wade Burleson said...

David,

Judge Pressler has been strangely silent.

I haven't heard a peep.

Jim Paslay said...

David,

I cannot speak for all those who would consider themselves moderate but I have conversed with some who are clearly moderate in their theology. They have no problem with the first 11 chapter of Genesis being parable and not true history. They accept modern criticism of the Biblical text which leads to a lower view of Scripture in my opinion. They believe that women can called as pastors in a Baptist church and they have major disagreements with the family amendment in the 2000 BF&M. My main disagreement with some who call themselves moderate is their view of the inspiration of Scripture. I believe that a perfect God does not give inperfection. All Scripture is God-breathed and is without mixture of error.

I know I will be chided by some when I post this, but I am trying to be general in my description of a moderate.

The best example of a moderate here in Oklahoma is Bruce Prescott from the CBF. He has a blogspot called Mainstream Baptists and you can check some of his articles.

Barry Clingan said...

Wade,

I know for a fact that Judge Pressler was asked about this passage in his book and his reply was along the lines of you guys (spirit-filled Southern Baptists) are quoting me correctly. I will get the exact details and permission to share them tomorrow.

I have rarely commented on your blog, but enjoy the interaction greatly. Someone way back in this string of comments said no Sprit-filled Southern Baptist church has ever been asked to leave the convention. I could begin a list of the ones I am very familiar with and my name would be on the top of the list.

volfan007 said...

robert prince,

there were very real liberals in the sbc before and during the conservative resurgence. and, there were many more than what you are leading others to believe. if we hadnt had the conservative resurgence, then we would be in the same boat as the methodists and the presbyterians right now....theologically unsound...spiritually dead...and dying as fast as the methodists are.

thank God for the conservative resurgence.

david

Anonymous said...

I have a really stupid question if you tell someone about your "private" prayer language, then how is it still private. I don't have one, but if I did I wouldn't tell anyone because then it wouldn't be private, right? Just curious

Wade Burleson said...

I'm not sure how stupid your question is, but I can assure you that it is even more stupid to ask someone "Do you have a private prayer language?" because if someone answers 'yes' it is no longer a private matter.

However, to answer your question, 'private' refers to the practice of praying in private rather than public.

Jack Maddox said...

barry

It was I who said that...and I will ask you to name any SBC church that was removed by the SBC for charismatic practices...I may be wrong but I do not believe that there has been one. My Lord man, it has took an act of God of biblical proportions just to remove the 2 church's in NC that endorsed a homosexual agenda...I do not believe you can name one church bro that was removed by the SBC.

Now there have been church's removed from local associations for charismatic practices...but not the SBC. Perhaps that is what you are referring to...but that was going on long before the conservative resurgence.

jrm

Steve A said...

One little moderate-fundamentalist difference might be the following (you old guys tell me if I got this mixed up) -

Apparent disagreements in the scriptures, such as the different wordings of the sign above Christ's head, whether it was Satan or God who commanded David to take a census, how to deal with Moses' earth history versus modern explanations, were seen as possible errors in the text or translation mistakes by some moderates, while fundamentalists insisted that those are there for a reason, even if we haven't figured out what God has in mind about them.

Hopefully, one still doesn't have to leave Carl Sagan behind completely to be a Christian ... or a SBC'er.

One more quick idea: have we SBC'ers begun to catch the Western disease of belittling and deconstructing all of our leaders just because they are leaders?

Anonymous said...

JRM-

Typical Baptist dismissive, not-really-dealing-in-reality response.

Don't deal with the fact that you all indeed have made your denomination into an idol more important than the people who you are called to reach and more important than the Savior himself. Instead, try to paint what you are doing in a positive light instead of calling it what it is, infighting and bickering (because you have no one else to attack, you turn on one another) that the world is looking in on while they go to hell, rightfully calling you and your "faith" hypocritical and pointless. You and yours are so wrapped up in trying to run God's Kingdom and figuring out who's the sinner and who's the saint, you have left the very King you supposedly serve behind.

A friend once told me that when history looks back on your particular denomination, it will see a missions movement that could have been so much more, but instead, they turned on each other so many times, that they eventually killed one another off.

Funny, I don't remember Christ mentioning THAT as how people would recognize us Christians.

-annony

TruthOfActs said...

Sepherim,
I like the way you introduced the idea ‘what are we fighting about’. That deflates the egos of men who proudly proclaim they won the ‘battle for the Bible.’
It all sounds so heroic, but mostly what was accomplished was a change in leadership to legalistic rules. The Bible was made a political football by fundamentalists who disguised themselves as conservatives.
Their actions have proven what they really are. They want power and control because they don’t trust the Holy Spirit to guide Christians without their list of rules as a wall to keep sin out. What they accomplish is to make Christians prisoners behind their wall.

They have changed “The truth will set you free” into ‘you’re free as much as we tell you.’

David Troublefield,
You asked for a definition of a moderate. That’s like asking for the definition of an American—the answer would depend upon the background of the one answering.

Most moderates don’t have a clue of what’s going on. They just follow their leaders.
Now if you want a definition of a moderate leader, then that’s another story.
Jim Paslay gave you his answer. I would agree a moderate leader was against the Conservative Resurgence because they saw the ‘power and control’ thing.
I can’t agree that moderate leaders are identified with the CBF, but they are sympathetic to them.
I agree that moderate leaders are opposed to the 2000 BFM for many reasons.
I disagree that moderate leaders don’t see any theological problems within the SBC:

1. They see servant pastors becoming CEOs.
2. They see women made into second class Christians.
3. They see the Baptist bottom-up rule changing to top-down rule.
4. They see missionaries turning into employees.
5. They see the Bible used as the golden image Nebuchadnezzar created.

Paslay,
You say, “I believe a perfect God does not give imperfection.”

On that basis, would you explain why Lot slept with his daughters so Jesus could be born of Mary?

God can use imperfection for his glory, and he can hit straight licks using crooked sticks.

You say, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is without mixture of error.”

Will you please explain why “mixture” is in your definition of Scripture? That is; why did you NOT say: ‘Scripture…is without error’?

You quoted a statement Baptists have made for many years. Right? Would I be correct in saying your brain doesn’t comprehend “mixture”; it just reads the Bible is without error?

The reason “mixture” is in the sentence, is to make the sentence truthful. Without “mixture” the sentence is a lie. Maybe that will give you a clue how to answer my question.

I had the “mixture” explained to me by the presiding lawyer of the 2004 SBC. If you want to know what he said, I’ll tell.
Rex Ray

Jack Maddox said...

annony

You used the term "You all have"
Are you SB? If not, what calls you to this conversation?

jrm

Roger Simpson said...

I don't know some of you meant by the term "inerrant" during the SBC Conservative vs. Moderate debate.

All I know is that for me the Bible must be "inerrant" -- and by that I mean the common meaning of the term i.e. not having errors.

To me if the Bible has "errors" then I don't think there is any basis for me to be a Christian. I am either going to go on "experience" or the "text".

I would not need to use the Bible as a crutch if I lived in apostolic times and saw Jesus personally. But -- as it is now -- I need it.

If the Bible had errors, preaching would be a waste of time -- after all preaching is exposition of the supposedly sacred text. Sunday school would be a waste of time. I might as well burn my Bibles since they might be riddled with errors.

If the Bible is "errant", I have no facility to tell where the errors are. Which of the ten commandments are not valid? Which of the four Gospels (or portions of them) are fabricated and bogus?

I hold that the "text" is correct. I hold that whatever differrences there are between various Hebrew / Greek texts are not "significant". I don't think that NT variants between the Textus Receptus and Westcott and Hort rise to more than a slightly different rendering of the same corpus.

I can't prove that the Bible does not have errors -- I just accept it as a foundational pre-requisite for me to be a Christian.

If the Bible has errors then we are wasting a lot of money building churches, setting up semanaries, sending out missionaries, etc.

Of course the Bible has figurative language and must be properly interpreted. And I agree that there may be more than one "orthodox" interpretation on issues such as escatology.

To me the CR was absoultely crucial. It is tragic that there was so much "collateral damage".

I will stipulate that just because some did not align with the conservative political machine did not make them liberal. There was a lot of political action on both sides. However, as far as "inerrancy" is concerned it is definately a Hill On Which To Die.

I don't think anyone can prove that the Bible is or is not laced with errors. Given that Christianity would be a total sham if the Bible had errors, I just accept on faith the opposite premise. I build the rest of my understanding from that bedrock.

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Barry said...

Jack,

I was reading this thing quickly and you obviously said "removed" and I was referring to those who have been "asked" to leave. Sorry.

Interesting though you mentioned churches that approve of homosexuality in the same vein as those who are charismatic.

Several years ago in Georgia a motion was put forth that lumped churches that approve of homosexuality right along with those who have charismatic practices in their church. Thank goodness it was soundly defeated.

I attended every SBC convention from 1982 forward and enthusiastically and sacrifically supported the conservative resurgence. I admire greatly the men who so courageously led us in the miracle of conservative resurgence.

In the 1990's the church I pastored was growing rapidly and we experienced a revival of worship and evangelism. People began to raise their hands in worship and clap and sing praise choruses. Prayer meetings broke out spontaneously. There was never any public tongues. It was not an issue. Interstingly I was shunned by leadership and even received a letter by one very well known conservative leader asking me to leave the SBC. I have several friends who went through the same thing.

I still admire these men for what they did in leading the conservatie resurgence. But I very much support Wade and others who are speaking out about a continuing narrowing of the parameters for cooperation.

Big Daddy Weave said...

Jack Maddox,

What do you mean by the term "moderate-leaning" ??

Is that just a cute phrase to color certain conservatives with a different brush? What exactly is the difference between one who leans "moderate" and a true theological moderate?

You went after my friend TexasinAfrica at the top. But to reassert her point, moderates (those no longer involved in SBC life) do believe the Bible is true. Our faith is rooted in the authority of Scripture. Most moderates could affirm the section on Scriptures in the BFM 2000 - though we prefer the 1963 version on Scriptures which explicitly lists Jesus as the criterion.

We object to using the word "inerrancy" as it has quite a bit of political baggage. What does that word mean exactly? Even Southern Baptists are not united on one specific theory of biblical inspiration. In "The Doctrine of the Bible," David Dockery traces 5 different types of inerrancy claimed by SBCers including: naieve inerrancy, absolute inerrancy, balanced inerrancy, limited inerrancy, and functional inerrancy.

TruthofActs,

So, we're like little puppies who just follow the leader? If I may make an assertion - I'd suggest that a higher percentage of moderate Baptists are more educated than SBCers on issues pertaining to Baptist life due solely to our history. When churches split, more often than not, it was the moderate who had to seek shelter elsewhere. Now, that's a safe assertion.

I do concur with most of your other observations. Not all moderates are identified with the CBF (especially in Texas) but the over-over-overwhelming majority of moderate leaders identify with CBF and lesser so the Mainstream Network.

Anonymous said...

Jim, Jack, and others:

Thanks for your reply.

Follow-up questions:

(1) So, "moderate" refers to politics more than theology?

(2) Is "moderate" equivalent to "mainstream"?

(3) Are most SBC'ers conservative undeclared mainstream?

(4) Are your answers fairly standard among those with whom you associate?

Thanks for the replies.


David Troublefield

dwm III said...

Wade,

So, does a private prayer language remain private if someone admits to it?

David,

Great question about Judge Pressler. I appreciate the fact that you ask very well balanced questions like the one you asked. Though we disagree on some issues, your ability to be fair is the one reason why I think that you and I could be an excellent example of cooperation while having some small theological differences.

All,

Maybe you should quit asking Wade and Ben questions about why they do what they do. Rather, ask Saul Alinsky.

dwmiii

Jim Paslay said...

Rex Ray said:

I had the “mixture” explained to me by the presiding lawyer of the 2004 SBC. If you want to know what he said, I’ll tell.

Please keep your lawyer response to yourself. I have heard that from you more than once and it is getting old. I am neither impressed with the lawyer's explanation of the word "mixture" or your position on it.

I have responded to you before that I believe that a perfect God doesn't give us an imperfect Word. If the Bible can't be trusted in the area of science, how can you trust it in the area of salvation? If the first 11 chapters of Genesis are parable then what do we do with the resurrection passages? Either all Scripture is inspired or not all Scripture is inspired! And if not all is inspired, then which passages are and which aren't?

Rex, one final thing, I was responding to a series of questions from David about being a moderate. It would be nice when you respond if you wouldn't be so condescending. State your point without implying that others are not as cerebral as you. If I don't answer one of your profound questions, build a bridge and get over it!

TruthOfActs said...

Roger Simpson,
In my opinion, you basically have the same requirements to believe the Bible as Thomas did to believe Jesus had returned from the dead—he had to see for himself. I mean you have to SEE the Bible inerrant for you to believe.

Jesus said blessed are those who have not seen but believe. That’s the way I see myself—I don’t see every word in the Bible is true but I believe. “Though he sleigh me, yet will I trust him.” Though the Bible has errors, yet will I trust the Bible.

If you see one little picky error that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans, you’re ready to throw the Bible out the window. “Oh you of little faith!”

The main problem between your thinking and mine is the confusion between Scripture and the Bible. Scripture is from God while all words in the Bible are NOT from God but are recorded in the Bible as the words of MAN.

You say, “If the Bible is “errant”, I have no facility to tell where the errors are.” It’s true that YOU don’t have the “facility”, but God does! His name is the Holy Spirit. He will teach us which are the Words of GOD and which are the words of MAN.

For examples:
1. Who killed Saul? My uncle would rant and rave that a man killed Saul—“It’s in the Bible! Don’t you believe the Bible?”
2. Why couldn’t Moses go into the Promise Land? God’s Words in Numbers says he sinned. Man’s words in Deuteronomy said it was the fault of the people. Which do you believe?
3. Do you believe John 16:32 is true where Jesus said his Father would not forsake him on the Cross, or do you believe “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
4. Do you believe the girl was dead in Matthew or was close to death in Mark and Luke?

Roger, my purpose is NOT to tear the Bible down, but to lift it up as the way God wanted us to believe SCRIPTURE by faith and NOT like some math book that does not require faith.
I’m not like those who moan and grown if we only had the ORIGINALS they would be perfect. Hey! It’s perfect the way God wants us to have it TODAY.

I’m not like some LAZY person who does not want to STUDY the Bible for truth. For example, some say women should not teach men because Paul said he would not allow it. They don’t want to STUDY the whole Bible for truth.

So far, there’s not one person disputed that the 300 Bible scholars in Chicago came up with 8 definitions of inerrancy and 12 qualifications with the one accepted by the SBC or has tried to explain why some errors may one day be seen as an illusions as it is written in their Chicago Statement.
Rex Ray

Wade Burleson said...

dwmiii,

Why in the world are we asking someone about their 'private' prayer life?

Bob Cleveland said...

It almost seems that what folks like to call a "Private Prayer Language" is something to be ashamed of, some sort of perversion. Such nonsense.

If someone asked me what gifts God has given me, I'd be quick to name teaching. All the evidence that people I deem wise point to, indicates He's done that. So why should I somehow be afraid to say He's given me the gift of speaking in an "unknown tongue"?

The term refers to "private prayer", not that its existence is a private matter.

I cannot help but speak of the things I have seen and heard.

Wade Burleson said...

Off today for ministry, including a funeral, jail visits, taping for our third Sunday morning worship service (Refuge) and hospital ministry.

See everyone later tonight with a new post.

wade

volfan007 said...

i beleive that most people would define a moderate as someone who is basically conservative in thier theology...especially about the essentials; but, they have an inclusive mindset about people who are into extremes and errors of theology...maybe even allowing heretics/liberals to remain in the sbc, in leadership positions....all for the sake of unity.

that's what most would mean when talking about a moderate. now, some moderates would lean more towards being conservative, and some would lean more towards the liberal side. we had and have a lot of moderates in the sbc still today. for the most part, the ones who lean towards the liberal side are in the cbf along with any real liberals left in the sbc. but, most moderates tend to have a "dont rock the boat," "lets all just get along" attitude.

david

Anonymous said...

Wade you said...

"dwmiii, Why in the world are we asking someone about their 'private' prayer life?"

So simple of a point I can see why many folks miss it. So many are too "smart" for their own good.

Of course, this response you have given is to the same person that is asking folks to ask a dead person (Saul Alinsky) about something.

Sometimes, this is so easy it's hard.

SL1M

Mike said...

Wade,
Please respond to my comment #251 on the previous post. Thank you kindly.

Former Representative said...

Mike,

I read Wade's response to you, and as usual, he articulately explained why your comment rings hollow. You lecture the very man who has attempted to bring about resolution behind closed doors. You act as if you are the know it all who understands what should be done to help, but your comment is derogatory to the ONLY man who has actually done something to help the Kloudas -- from the very words of Sheri Klouda herself. You sound young and impertinent. I would not be surprised if you are a student at SWBTS. A little lesson from this 75 year old Southern Baptist. Until you have earned the right to be considered a statesman in our convention, it would be best to stop lecturing the one pastor many of us admire for courage, wisdom, grace -- and action. A true statesman is one who puts action behind his words. Wade has done so. You have not.

Alycelee said...

Volfan-
"heretics/liberals"
They are one and the same to you?

I should know better-but why why must we designate words to describe our brothers and sisters?

Dr. Robert Smith, Beeson School of Divinity says, "all orthodoxy verges on heresy."

Big Daddy Weave said...

Mr. Troublefield,

1) No - the label "moderate" has nothing to do with secular politics. Moderates share a fear and disdain for fundamentalism (define that broadly).

2)Mainstream essentially refers to those associated with the Mainstream Baptist Network or Texas Baptist Committed. The basic purpose of Mainstream was to fight the resurgence/takeover as it trickled down to the individual state conventions. Mainstream still meets but I'm not sure what their purpose in the future will be. 99% of moderates do not use the word mainstream to describe themselves. With maybe a handful of exceptions, mainstreamers give to the CBF.

3)I have no idea what you're asking. Very few moderates (as has been historically defined) participate in Southern Baptist life. Though the purge continues, moderates stopped participating at the national level years ago.

Volfan,

What is a heretic? Is there a difference between a heretic an a liberal?

You do have a way with words...

Anglican said...

Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and
understanding, be present with those who take counse in Memphis for the renewal and mission of your Church.
Teach us in all things to seek first your honor and glory. Guide
us to perceive what is right, and grant us both the courage to
pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ
our Lord. Amen.

Bob Cleveland said...

Mike:

Luke 11:42: "Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God .. "NIV)

Show some love.

Jack Maddox said...

barry

I certainly DO NOT place church's who endorse homosexuality as a viable lifestyle with charismatic church's! Never did I even imply that. There are many great and God blessed church's that posses charismatic distinctives and may even be somewhat neo-Pentecostal that our wonderful church’s and should not be excluded from the Southern Baptist Convention. There is a difference however in charismatic practices and neo-Pentecostal doctrine. We must be careful and I believe this is the concern the BoT of the IMB has stated. However let me say ONCE AGAIN...I am not certain that the new restrictive policies will pass muster with all Southern Baptist at the end of the day. By the way...what you described in your church can be said of many SB churches. In fact from what you just described...you could be Johnny Hunt! Except for the being asked to leave part. Barry, I would have been the first to stand with you in !

jrm

Anglican said...

Pastor Burleson in the early '80's my church was a Southern Baptist church. It is no longer so I'm sort of an outsider looking. Here's a quote.

Dominionism thought is finding considerable support among Pentecostal and Charismatic denominations and churches. According to the Public Eye Magazine: "Gary North claims that 'the ideas of the Reconstructionists have penetrated into Protestant circles that for the most part are unaware of the original source of the theological ideas that are beginning to transform them.' North describes the 'three major legs of the Reconstructionist movement [as] the Presbyterian oriented educators, the Baptist school headmasters and pastors, and the charismatic telecommunications system'." 8 http://www.religioustolerance.org/reconstr.htm

Pastor Burleson, do you find any of this as part of the "conservative" resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention?

Also if you or any of the other posters have never seen it you might find the old PBS documentary from the '80's called God and Politics very interesting. In places it could use some updating, but the interviews with Southern Baptist leaders of the are informative.

Jack Maddox said...

Big Daddy!

By Moderate leaning I guess I would include those who decsribe them selves as moderate or our at least sympathetic with the 'inclusive' spirit of 'shared denominational leadership with moderates' That many self described conservatives are embracing. There are many of us who have no problem with a 'narrow' SBC...while at the same time understanding that the Kingdom is a whole lot bigger than the SBC. I for one beieve that if moderates want to be a part of the SBC and contribute to the coperative program thats fine...I just do not understand why they want to! And I do not believe that they need to be in a position to appoint trustees that would take up back to the theological gumbo of the 60's and 70's

As far as "Going After" your friend...I did no such thing! I simply made the point that no 'moderate' was thrown out of the SBC...many left of their own accord and tha is fine...I serve in my association with many fine moderate brothers...they are still SBC

jrm

Jack Maddox said...

anglican

was the PBS sries the one hosted by Bil Moyers? If so, then we can all trust the fair and balanced aproach he would have taken towrds the CR...rrrriiiiiiggghhhttttt

jrm

dwm III said...

Wade,

I was just asking for fun. I have personally had people tell me about their "private" prayer languages and I've asked them the same question.

I have purposelfully stayed out of that debate for a reason and I won't offer my beleifs on it. But, I do have one question:

How do we know it is a "private" prayer language?

Maybe we should be asking the question, "What is the text saying about tongues?" rather than, "what do people believe about tongues?"

Or, for another issue that may warm your heart to know what I think: Maybe we shouldn't be asking what the proof of wine was back in NT times, but rather, "What does it mean to be drunk with wine?"

Spirit driven exegesis will always be done if it is text oriented. And, since I'm more of an OT guy I ask this question out of my ignorance of the NT. "Where do we get the idea that tongues are private?"

Just curious.

And, while I'm at it I do need to say one thing. My tone as of late has been harsh and I offer my apologies.

What I have a problem with has more to do with the propaganda and the way it is done than some of the issues.

I say this becaue I want you to know that in my comments as of late I have not treated you like a brother. But, I do hope that we can discuss these things more.

dwmiii

Anglican said...

When did 1 Corinthians 14 become outlawed from the SBC?
..."Brothers, stop being childish in your thinking. In respect to evil be like infants, but in your thinking be mature.

It is written in the law: "By people speaking strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, and even so they will not listen to me, says the Lord."

Thus, tongues are a sign not for those who believe but for unbelievers, whereas prophecy is not for unbelievers but for those who believe.

So, (my) brothers, strive eagerly to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues,
but everything must be done properly and in order."...

Don't forget chapters 12 and 13.

Char said...

JRM,
Despite Bill M's hosting of the program, it is the words that come from the Recon's mouths that are scary.

I saw that program in a religious minorities class in seminary and was alarmed at their thinking. It wasn't simply the "stone disobedient children" part that freaked me out, it was the proposal that all O.T. dictates (minus the sacrificial system which they see Jesus as rendering void) are current for N.T. believers. I studied this 14 years ago so they may have altered some things. I don't care what all sorts of extreme fringe people think but I feel uncomfortable when I hear them mentioned.

Not all moderates left the SBC. Many of us loved the laity too much to do so. That doesn't mean that we have to like the leadership. I'm such a polyanna I believe eventually when we have a system where the people in the pew get more of a say, our denomination will moderate. Like I admitted, I am a polyanna. :) Proudly one.

Char

P.S. Sorry, Wade, not to be exactly on topic. I won't do it again.

Jack Maddox said...

char

I appreciate your comments and I am glad you stayed! As far stoning children...have you ever raised Teenaged boys?

hhhmmmmmm??????

jrm

volfan007 said...

jack,

lol.


big daddy,

i would consider anyone who denies the fundamentals of the faith, oh, pardon me....the essentials of the faith, and claims to be a christian as a heretic. thus, when a prof. from southern seminary back in the early 1980's says that anyone who believes in the literal, physical resurrection of Jesus is crass. i would say that that goes beyond error in theology, and delcares him to be a heretic. when a pastor tells my mom that the virgin birth doesnt matter, then that man is a heretic. oh yes, he also didnt believe that the miracles happened either. and yes, i call anyone who is a theological liberal a heretic. i believe that they are one and the same bird. also, you could call them false teachers if they are also pastors or seminary prof.'s.

david

Chris Gates said...

Are you "annonymous" people scared someone will know what you think, especially you SWBTS students. Grow up. Don't hide in the shadows of theological discussion, occasionally coming out of your hole to fire your water pistols at the fire. Get in the game! I probably know some of you, and I would respect you more if you weren't afraid to let us know who you are. You probably don't sing your name to your professor evaluations either do you?

Chris Gates said...

It's [funny] to see that what Judge Pressler said the "liberals" were concerned with really is taking place. I am all for theological integrity, but don't tell me I have to believe everything the way Patterson and the IMB does. I don't.

As for those of you who deny that this is happening . . . all you have to do is pay close enough attention to what the "Pattersons" do when the camera is not on them. They want to conform everyone to their way of thinking. Patterson with one hand is friends with Calvinists (Dever, Mohler) and with the other hand mocks them before his classes and writes letters against them. They do the same with "Charismatics." Patterson said that he was okay with McKissic's interpretation, but he censored him.

JOHN D HERRING said...

Lively!

Thanks to all who have provided thoughtful commentary.

Reading some today from Dallas Willard's great book, Renovation of the Heart. This tidbit spoke to my heart as I've followed this and Monday's thread and tried to formulate my own opinions:

Special Dangers on Our Thought Life With God, pg. 110:

...The first is pride and overconfidence in ideas, images, or bits of information simply because they are "ours" or "mine" and I am (we are) in the habit of relying on them...

...A second danger, associated with the first, is that of simple ignorance of fact... Even the followers of Jesus Christ fall into patterns of willing ignorance on important matters...

... A third great danger in the thought life of the disciple is allowing our desires to guide our thinking: especially the desire to prove we are right...

(and finally this gem:) And we believers should keep the question of how we want things to be, with respect to certain issues, in the margin of our consciousness as we conduct our thought life.

No matter what side of this debate or others I find myself on, I hope to apply Dr. Willard's assesment to my thinking.

Thanks Wade and post-ers for a place where my "willing ignorances" and "overconfidence in ideas" are both challenged and confirmed.

G. Alford said...

Chris comments:
Patterson with one hand is friends with Calvinists (Dever, Mohler) and with the other hand mocks them before his classes and writes letters against them.

This kind of behavior is so sad coming from one of our Leader in the SBC... the SBC deserves better, SWBTS deserves better!

There is a BIG difference between Patterson and Dever & Mohler… Dever & Mohler are “Class Acts” they would never lower themselves to mocking Patterson… I think I read somewhere in the Bible that “you shall know them by their fruit”.

Grace to all,

Roger Simpson said...

Was innerancy a HILL WORTH DYING FOR?

Maybe the battle should have involved surgical strikes instead of a scorched earth doctrine.

Maybe there was way to much collateral damage.

But I say that definitely the HILL WAS WORTH DYING FOR. And to me it seems like some of the masterminds of the CR are, in fact, paying the price and "dying" on those hills. They fought the right battle but used the wrong methods.

In any case, on balance, the SBC is better off for it. Now we need to finish the job by bringing everyone back into the fold that was disenfranchised as a result of the political games.

I don't buy the excuse that we can't use "inerrancy" as a yardstick because no one agrees to what "inerrancy" is. The Chicago Statement defines the term.

Roger K. Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Jack Maddox said...

gunny and chris

Brothers...what causes you to say these things about Dr. Patterson? Do you know him? perhaps you do. perhaps he has done this to your face...but I must say that I do know him and never have I heard him mock these folks. I have had him not only as a profersor but also as a college president...never did he mock anyone. I have heard him speak with great respect for both Dever and Mohler. He does disagree with them on at least 3 of the 5 points and maybe 4 but I will tell you that I have never heard him mock them or speak unkind of them. In fact, he has been a guest on both of their radio programs. So again, I say to you please share this information of your first hand knowledge...and if you would be interested, I can arrange a meeting for you to speak to Dr. Patterson. You will find him to be a war hearted, kind man who does have a very dry sense of humor. Perhaps you simply have misunderstood him...or then again , maybe you are simply commenting on second hand information. Brothers, I tell you that if this is simply an opinion you should say so. If it is not then it is only gossip and slander…if it is not then tell me what is it? And before you brand me a blind PP supporter...you need to know that my soteriology is much closer to Mohler and Dever than it is Patterson

jrm

Jack Maddox said...

John

excellent if not convicting thoughts. Thanks for your contribution and I for one will take Willards words to heart! GREAT STUFF BRO.!

jrm

Jack Maddox said...

RATS MY FRUEDIAN SLIPS!

I ment to type that Patterson was a "Warm" hearted.... not war hearted!

SOme help I am!! : )

Big Daddy Weave said...

Volfan,

My uncle and dad earned both their MDiv and Phd from Southern in the 80s. My cousins and I were born in Louisville during that time.

How about dropping a name of that professor that didn't believe in a literal, physical resurrection?

Charles R. said...

bigdaddy

My advice to you is to not engage volfan on his terms. Personal experience has taught me that his reality is entirely his own.

Jack Maddox said...

charles r.

Isnt that true for all of us in one way or another...or is it that you my friend have the proverbial corner market on reality

jrm

Steve A said...

The conservative resurgence or takeover was definitely needed. All Western religious groups were being inundated by doubt and suspicion affecting even the very basics of Christianity. At least the SBC woke up. Look at the Presbys, Episcopals, and Anglicans to see how they haven't.

To say that it was horribly overdone, mismanaged, and so on is easy enough, as has any great change brought about in human affairs (just ask the Colonial Tories, Dred Scott's peers, or the WWII Japanese-Americans.) But we have survived, the lost are being saved, and the work of filling up heaven goes on.

Now, getting some people to realize the conflict is over is taking longer than some wished, kind of like Reconstruction. It took a couple of Presidential elections to close the book on the 1860's, and it may well take some major league leadership from Frank Page and his successors to cram shut the book on our 1970's and 80's. Major surgery always leaves scars.

Come Lord Jesus! Dona nobis pacem.

Anonymous said...

OK, so far no one posting comments here has provided a very great definition of "moderate," nor who is one and who isn't (with apologies to those who tried) or why.

If the term can't even be easily defined by the assortment of folks vigorously blogging at this site (again, apologies), nor distinguished from "mainstream" or other such terms, then shouldn't the conversation continue until the matter is clear?--or the terms not be used so as not to offend unjustly (despite how "moderate" some may think that sounds)?

Just asking. Somebody come back.


David Troublefield

Jack Maddox said...

David

your question is excellent! I would say that the term moderate is somewhat akin to the term fundamentalist...it means something to one and something else to another. I have no problem with the term fundamentalist...I are one...I will usually say to people that I am a fundamentalist in the Southern Baptist Tradition...I do know that in our context a moderate would be one who would not hold to that kind of fundamentalism...but again, that’s my take as it applies to my understanding of the terms. I have some IFB friends who would more than likely describe me as a 'moderate' because I am SB...but they would now say the same thing about Jerry Falwell...so what are ya to do?
Your question by its very nature does help to define our dilemma though I must say.

You and I serve in the same association...isn’t it strange we all get along here but we find ourselves at odds on another level. As a fundamentalist, I find that I am somewhat inconsistent in this area but unwilling to change!

btw...Andy is doing great in his new position...continue to pray for him...he is having to grow up fast!

jrm

volfan007 said...

big daddy,

this was said in a book that one of the prof.'s wrote. the 80's were a while back, so forgive me if i dont tell you the name off the top of my head. i would have to do some research. i am 99% sure that it was ______, but i dont want to say his name without being 100% sure. he did write though. i read it.

also, seminary students told me about molly marshal green calling God...."mother" in her prayers. prof.'s using curse words in class.....at least one of them used GD in class. there were some who were universalist. one of my friends went to southern in the 80's. he came home after a semester. he said he couldnt take that liberal stuff anymore. if he'd wanted to hear that he would have stayed at UT-Martin. and, he said that they talked bad about dr. rogers....even referring to dr. adrian rogers as the devil.


charles r.,

do you know me? why would you make a statement like that about me?

david

Jack Maddox said...

David

Jeremy Green psoted a quote by the Late Dr. Adrian ROgers which seems pretty clear to me...

"Adrian Rogers: “Liberalism is a relative term, dependent upon where one draws the center line of this thing called Christendom. I’d define “true inspiration” as being convinced that all Scripture is inspired by God.

That said, I’d define a liberal Southern Baptist as a person who does not believe in the veracity, the exactitude, the integrity, the infallibility and inerrancy of the Scripture. Even if he believed that the Word was inspired in its purpose but not in its entirety, he may be right of the center in regard to Christendom but left of the center line in Southern Baptist circles.

The moderate is a person who may believe the Bible to be without error, but who also believes in inclusivism. He is a person who maintains the position of accommodating the liberal view. I believe the moderate to be more inclined to opinion than convictions.” "

I can agree with this definition of a moderate in our SBC context

jrm

Charles R. said...

It is laudable for you to step in on behalf of volfan, Jack. I will post a complete apology for my remark when you can direct me to any occurance where our friend has responded directly and clearly with documentable facts when thoughtfully and sincerely questioned or challenged as to some assertions he makes. In "my reality" his M.O. is to assert a little bit louder but certainly not clearer just before he disappears for a while. If "your reality" is different, and you can show me, I'll gladly recant.

Jack Maddox said...

charles

well you certainly set me straight...hope you feel better. I was not really 'stepping' in for anyone...just making a point that we all need to realize that all of us (You excluded of course charles) are a little convinced of our own position...its kinda the nature of the critter!

jrm

volfan007 said...

charles r.,

show me where what i say does not go along with the bible's teachings, and i will repent now....this very moment. i have honestly and sincerely commented and answered people. i try to just call it like i see it. i have just tried my honest best to be who God has made me.

so again, why are you saying such things about me? do you know me?

david

Charles R. said...

Oh, David, how soon we forget! :-) Come see me at my place and let's get reacquainted. blogitch.blogspot.com

volfan007 said...

charles,

i will come to blogitch. i have no idea what in the world you're talking about.

david

Anonymous said...

Jack:

Andy has much potential--don't mess him up! (Joke, brother)

One way we, in our association, get along with each other may be by not getting together very often. I'll take getting ahead to getting along, though--so getting together when time permits for conversations of this sort in all our associations probably would be a good thing.

I've been asking questions here today, not because I don't know the answers--at least my answers; I definitely know who I am and what I believe. It's simply a shame, though, that a "moderate" can be who we say he is--for any of the several insufficient reasons posted in this thread--when in reality the person is as biblically conservative as the day is long in almost every case. No one personally has taken the time to find out differently.

Jesus is, I believe, coming again soon. My hope is that we'll have all of this stuff figured out before then--and also have offered truly sincere apologies to the folks we've offended by our bull-in-china-closet judgments/blog postings/actions. Why lose the crowns?

Reach your county, brother!

Big Daddy Weave said...

Volfan,

I'd ask that you include facts next time with your assertions.

You remember what the professor believed but not the professors name. I find that curious since denying the Resurrection is a rather big deal. Funny, my uncle and father were just students in the 80s, no more moderate than Al Mohler himself. He had classes with those heretic profs - but his experience was clearly different from that described by many such as yourself. I'm not suggesting that many of the professors were inerrantists - they weren't. But when it comes to miracles and the resurrection - that was not an area where Southern Baptists disagreed. Sociologist Nancy Ammerman actually backs up that assertion (with research) in her book, Baptist Battles.

David Troublefield,

I thought my definition of moderate was sufficient. Surely, you missed my posts?

Jack Maddox said...

David

I can't mess him up...you already properly warned him about me! : ) (Joke, Brother)

Do you agree with Dr. Rogers definition of a moderate?

If not, then what is your definition or would you, like many of my fundamentalist friends, rather shun the label? It is not a bad ideal.

Labels are a sticky thing...I think the best thing to do is follow your example and be sure we know who we are before the Lord!

I am currently reading Drummond’s work on Spurgeon...it is no secret that they were dealing with many of the same issues during the downgrade...yet both today's moderates and fundies claim Spurgeon for their own...interesting is it not?

As far as the association...the closest thing I remember to there being an issue was when a messenger form the church you serve at attempted to strike the language from our new associational constitution which recognized both Baptist confessional statements (63 and 2000) I spoke out that as a supporter of the 2000 statement I was more than willing to cooperate with sister church's who were in the BGCT and supported the 63 statement. My view prevailed and we adopted the constitution as presented. The messenger was none to happy about as he was saying something about 'he is not the God of his wife" and "It's a political takeover of our association" anyway, I just thought it funny that in this case it was one of those narrow minded fundies who was attempting to champion baptist liberty and soul competency and mutual cooperation in the midst of diversity...

life is indeed ironic sometimes David is it not?

Your "Freaky Fundy" Neighbour to the North

jrm

Anonymous said...

Jack:

"life is indeed ironic sometimes . . . is it not?" Always, not sometimes!

Hey, I'd say that I informed Andy of both sides of the issue much-discussed in this posting today--your side got its share of the informing. Andy can think for himself; I'm glad that you'll let him (right?! That's one thing about where I serve: lots of folks think for themselves, as your memory seems to indicate).

I don't have that much time for the type of discussion taking place here tonight (despite how it seems with this my 5th posting and the late hour)--nor do I really want to. With 60,000 neighbors here seldom/never darkening the door of any church in this area--yours, mine, or another--who possibly can defend before the Lord taking very much time for it?

In the end, I'm afraid current trends show "biblical conservatives" may be so narrow they squeak when they walk, theological liberals (I agree, there definitely are a few) will continue to be irrelevant, and "political moderates" in the SBC (I'm not convinced there are any biblical ones--as long as everyone is using his own definition of the term anyway) probably will win the day overall through their greater cooperative spirit. Ninety-nine percent of all SBC'ers are "undeclared mainstream Baptists" theologically and politically (little m on "mainstream"--no declaration, nor attendance at annual meetings, nor desire to be a part of the denominational machinery evolved--just taking care of business at home, sharing the love of God in witnessing ways in their neighborhoods and workplaces, believing the Lord is and will take care of things and come to get us soon; hopefully, your church and mine have lots of these).

I'm done for the day. Have a super weekend--preach it well, brother Jack!


David Troublefield

Jack Maddox said...

David

My side...You and I are on the same side David...more so than you probably think...as far Andy thinking for himself...no, I will not let him think for himself..as a self avowed fundamentalist you know yourself that I can't let that happen...I will tell him what to think! (Joke again)

In the end, you and I agree David...scary isn’t it...you guys have a great Lords day at your place also...we are praying for you during your time of transition...our area is in desperate need for the Savior!

jrm

TruthOfActs said...

Roger Simpson,
In a debate, if someone says 491 words giving reasons why something is not true, and the rebuttal is “I don’t buy the excuse we can’t use inerrancy as a yardstick because no one agrees to what inerrancy is. The Chicago Statement defines the term”, who would lose the debate?

You did not reply to any of the questions I asked you, so I will ask some more.

1. How does the Chicago Statement (known as the ‘strict’ definition) define the term when it takes 12 qualifications to go with it?
2. Can you/will you give the 12 qualifications or do you know they exist? Probably not as Baptist fundamentalists don’t want them know. I was stopped from distributing these 12 qualifications and the other 7 definitions of inerrancy by SWBTS many years ago. I was told I possibly could get permission as they had a NEW Trustee Board and they could do anything they wanted to.
3. The first qualification limits “inerrancy” ONLY to the original manuscripts. Is that saying the Bible in your hand is NOT inerrant?
4. The 300 Bible scholars would probably still be in Chicago if they had to all agree on one definition. So they agreed there were 8 possibilities of the definition of inerrancy. Catholics chose one and Baptists chose another. The one Baptists chose was so strict; the Chicago bunch said it had to have 12 qualifications. Which of these 12 qualifications do you believe if any?

The Chicago Statement: “Apparent inconsistencies should not be ignored…where for the present no convincing solution is at hand…by maintaining our confidence that one day they will be seen to have been illusions.”

Roger, you said “If the Bible is ‘errant’, I have no facility to tell where the errors are.”

Will you reply to this one question?
What facility do you have in knowing which Scripture is an “illusion” and which is not?

I don’t mean to pick on you, but you seem to be the only one with guts enough to stand up for what you believe.
Rex Ray

Jack Maddox said...

Rex

(In my best Reagan Voice)

"well Rex...there you go again..."

: )

JRM

Anonymous said...

"Judge Pressler, What Happened to the Hill?"

I am a bit disappointed that we had all these comments and not ONE word from the Judge. Wonder why.

Steve

TruthOfActs said...

David Troublefield,
Sorry about being slow about defining more on “Moderate.”

“Stick and stones my break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Whoever said that was never called a Moderate. That’s a name given to someone you want to look down your nose at.
Wade was upset when told he was siding with moderates. He was really upset when called a liberal.

Would you say moderate comes from the word ‘modern’? Webster—“Modern: A person living in modern times with modern ideas.”

Webster—“Conservative: opposed to change.”

Combining the two words, we could say conservatives oppose modern ideas. Right?

But the actual practice of the “Conservative Resurgence” has been the continual change to new or modern ideas. New ideas:

SBC told Baptists to boycott Disney, changed names of organizations, new BFM, new rule on sex of pastors, changed individual priesthood of the believer to ‘priesthood of believers’, new rule of eliminating furlough to ‘state side assignment’, new rule for missionaries to sign a paper, new rule to fire missionaries who didn’t sign, new enforcement weight of missionaries, prayer of missionaries, baptism of missionaries, new rule of women can’t teach would be pastors, missionaries demoted to employees, new rule employees can’t drink alcohol, wives submit to husbands, all employees must sign BFM etc. and etc.

So guess what? So called moderates are the real conservatives who resist change, and so called conservatives are really moderates with new ideas.

How’s that for an answer?
Rex Ray

TruthOfActs said...

JRM,
Hey! You’re practicing the political correct philosophy—if you can’t dispute what a man says, make it into a joke.

I don’t blame you for the short reply. It’s too late at night for either of us to do much thinking. I’m out of here.
Going to Arkansas tomorrow—won’t be back till late Sunday.
Rex

Anonymous said...

Therapy for those dealing with Volfan. The following is from another post, but perhaps it is helpful here as well.

Volfan - Please stop commenting! I can't take it anymore!

Everyone please trust that this comment is not a reflection of the real me. I simply can't help myself. I have to get this off my chest.

Volfan, your comments are ALWAYS mind numbingly repetitious which wouldn't be so bad...except that they are WRONG! (Note: This is not my opinion, but a fact as documented by so many of your comments that are ridiculously easy to refute with scripture.)

Let it be known that I sincerely try to pass over your comments, but like a good candy bar, I just have to "take a bite", even though it will be bad for me. I hate that about me.

What's more is that you spell incorrectly consistently showing that it is not a "keyboard error" (which we all make) but a reflection of your inability to spell very easy words correctly. Sir, please listen! "I" before "E" except after "C"..."I" before "E" except after "C"! While this rule is not always true, this is easy enough to learn and it will help you spell easy words correctly...at least occasionally. Make that quip a song and sing it to yourself when in doubt.

Also, the second declination of "sad" would be "more sad" and not "sadder". That one is free also.

Seriously though, your inability to use capitals is telling in several ways. The most important would be the lack of attention you give to detail. Frankly, this "laziness" lends itself to issues such as how, or even when, you study scripture. Of course, this would explain your weak theology.

I also must say that it is very difficult to give any weight whatsoever to your theological views under these conditions.

On another note regarding the McD's coffee' you referenced, what did you think Char was referring to when he (or she) said that about spilling the coffee' and then suing? BINGO!

Oh brother!

Is your hair blonde?

Wade - I'm sorry! Remove at will and I understand. Again, my deepest apology, but I do feel better. I am sure I will take some harsh comments from others for saying some of this as I am harsh in some things I said, but everyone who reads Volfan's comments are thinking the same thing I am. I have just decided to be the guinea pig and vent for all of us. I am now ready for my medicine. But like I said, I am feeling better.

Roger Simpson said...

Rex:

I have to process the questions you asked me about the Chicago Statement. I have to read it again.

Independent of whatever the Chicago Statement says, for me at least, "inerrancy" (i. e. without errors) is foundational. Christianity is meaningless absent "inerrancy".

If I thought the Bible was laced with errors I'd probably stop being a Christian. At least, I wouldn't waste my time reading the Bible, listening to sermons, or going to Sunday school.

I think you are saying that many who hold to a self-professed "inerrant" position regarding the Bible do not adopt the Chicago Statement because it has too much wiggle room. I did not realize that this was the case.

So I retract my statement regarding the utility of the Chicago Statement pending more study.

Whatever variation exists between various texts as well as between translations (say English language translations) to me does not rise to the level that it is an "issue" upon which inerrancy hinges.

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Roger Simpson said...

Rex et. al.

I just checked out the Chicago statement. I think the issue you raised is with article X of the statement. It says {rough paraphraise} "only the original autographs can truly said to be inspired (the word is inspired right here not inerrant)". Also, it goes on to say that translations based upon various texts can still be considered to be "inerrant".

I agree with the Chicago statement.

I am surprized when you say that "many" or "some" in the SBC don't agree with it.

I didn't think I'd be starting a nuclear holocaust by suggesting that the Chicago Statement is an "accepted" definition of inerrancy.

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Anonymous said...

Jack:

I'm back! It's Friday--whew!

Thanks for not taking everything personally, for not displaying a martyr complex, and for really letting Andy--and everyone--think for himself. No joke--thanks that you can tease and take a teasing along with others here. ;- )

Again, how can anyone who's posted a comment here since yesterday morning know whose side he is on in the "late great debate" if we're making up definitions for the labels used--and can't even define what we mean very well as evidenced in every attempt above? I'm certain that you must be right--about us (you, me, and everyone) being on the same side, but without further dialog on the issue/s how can anyone know? If, at some point, we "take our toys and go home" as has been done repeatedly now, how can we ever find out?

If I have a side (and I'm not saying that I have a "side"--to have one sounds like a person has to join a fight), it's here and objective (typed it many times before at the popular blogsites): "Any year's version of the BF&M is REPRESENTATIVE (caps for emphasis, but not yelling) of the personal theological persuasion of EVERY kind of Baptist ever walking on the planet Earth, and CAN be the basis for our cooperation IF we will fully cooperate--which is the question; not to agree with this assertion is not to know the BF&M statements or Baptists, or both. Only the Bible is EXHAUSTIVE of the personal theological persuasions of each of us. Everyone, permit everyone else to choose the BF&M version to which he will adhere as REPRESENTING his theology, and let's all move forward together in evangelism and missions". In my opinion, that would be a great "side"!

Thanks for the well-wishes about our transition--we got a good one and are looking forward to an exciting Kingdom future!


David Troublefield

TruthOfActs said...

Roger,
It’s a joy to see you’re not a man with a closed mind, but are willing to read more and think more on your convictions.
Such was the attitude of Adoniram Judson (one of the first Baptist missionaries) who was sprinkled for salvation as a baby. He decided his denomination was wrong and was baptized Baptist. He was willing to learn from the Bible.

I emphases the Bible because that’s all we need to stand on. Maybe I should have said Scripture since the Bible has the lies of devil, the lies of man, and the ignorance and stupidity of man which are not out of the mouth of God and are not perfect, are not infallible, and do not contain truth.

Does anyone understand the above statement?

As a child I believed “Jesus loves me this I know because the Bible tells me so.” At one time I didn’t realize there was even one lie in the Bible. I was brought up to believe every word was perfect. If anything was in the Bible it was true.
But as Paul said when I was a child I spoke as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childless things.

As wind separates chaff from grain, God gave the Holy Spirit to teach truth and untruth of the Bible, or to divide God’s Words from Man’s words.

“We believe the Bible has…truth, without any mixture of error for its matter.”
Michael K. Whitehead (presiding lawyer for the 2004 SBC; I still have his card) told me: “That ‘mixture’ meant the truth of the Bible is true and the untruth of the Bible is untrue.”

BTW, Whitehead when accused of being a hypocrite, stole my heart when he replied, “I’m not a hypocrite; I’m a lawyer.” Does anyone remember him saying that?

Roger, you’re on the wrong trail of Article X of the Chicago Statement being what I referred to (inerrancy only applies to the original manuscripts.) The Chicago Statement does not contain any of the 12 Qualifications that go with it. They have been ‘hidden’ by fundamentalist and ignored by conservatives.

I believe Article XII: “We affirm that Scripture in its entirely is inerrant, being free from all falsehood, fraud, or deceit.”

That is said about SCRIPTURE and does NOT say Bible. It takes them 10 pages to wiggle in Bible. (Roger I like that word “wiggle” you mentioned.)

What I asked you to comment on is found in III C, paragraph 7. I’ll repeat the question: “What facility do you have in knowing which Scripture is an “illusion” and which is not?”
Rex Ray

Roger Simpson said...

Rex:

I do not "believe" that scripture contains any "illusions". However, I admit that I can't prove this -- I just accept it.

If the Bible had illusions or had any other form of error, then I think that Christianity becomes absurd. I would just quit going to church and instead take my tithe money and buy a new Corvette. I would get a copper colored one (Aztec Gold) like Kippelmeir Chevy has over in Blanchard OK.

As it relates to Section 3C paragraph 7 to me, at least, it is clear that in the Chicago statement "scripture" is synonymous with "Bible".

Where can I find a list of the 12 "hidden qualifications" regarding the Chicago Statment? Were the "hidden qualifications" written by the guys in Chicago or added later by another person/group?

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

volfan007 said...

anonymous english teacher,

i'm sorry that my southern, tn hillbilly talk and typing does not measure up to your standards. sorry.

also, i wish that we could all attain your greatness and intellect. i wish that we could all see everything like you do, so that we would be considered smart and high above everyone else.

thanks for gracing us with your wisdom.

ok, excuse me while i practice....
i before e, except after c...
i before e, except after c....
i before e, except after c.....

now, lets see if i can make capital letters....ok, POIUYTREWQASDFGHJKLMNBVCXZ

alright, i think i've got it now.

thanks ever so much, anonymous english teacher....you've helped me so much.

also, thanks for being so kind and irenic and loving in your dealing with me....with me being such a lowly idiot....a wafe...nothing when compared to you....thanks for taking the time to correct me and rebuke me.

david

ps. who are you? let me see if i can do my best cb scott imitation....a real man would have the guts to tell me who you are when talking to me like i'm a dawg in the street. so, who are you?

btw, i aint mad at you neither...you may not believe that, but i'm not. i learned a long time ago to love people who treat me bad. their...ooops...thier(i before e, except after c)thier meaness towards me is something that i always try to give to the Lord.

Roger Simpson said...

volfan

you are a gentleman and a scholar.

roger simpson
oklahoma city ok

volfan007 said...

roger,


thanks. and, i have enjoyed reading what you are saying to t-rex. you are right on target in my book.

david

R. Grannemann said...

Roger,

You said: "If the Bible had illusions or had any other form of error, then I think that Christianity becomes absurd. I would just quit going to church and instead take my tithe money and buy a new Corvette."

This seems to me a little extreme. Doesn't the truth of Christianity depend on whether Jesus is the Son of God, not on whether the Bible at one time existed in inerrant form (even though we all admit it's not in inerrant form now)? Why would you forsake Christianity if it turned out that inerrancy was actually an inadequate model for biblical revelation?

The problem with the "inerrancy in the original manuscripts" theory is that in the case of the OT there were no original manuscripts. The Dead Sea Scrolls show at least three different text types evolved for some period of time. At what point did one of them become the version you think was inerrant? Or which form of the source material do you think was inerrant? Did the scribe have to have a copy on sheep skin without a typographical mistake? Personally, I think it's futile to look for perfection in material objects. Sorry the real world is so messy. But don't let that destroy your faith in God.

Anonymous said...

I have heard many who have said that the Bible can't fully be trusted because if its supposed "errors in translation." I think the best explanation was given by Dr. Patterson who said... whoops, never mind, his intellect is on the same par as Volfann's and other spooky fundy's. What do we know?

John B.

volfan007 said...

the bible is not full of errors...some manuscripts have errors, but we have enough of the old manuscripts and other sources to be able to rest fully in the knowledge that we have God's Word in the bible. read carl f. h. henry and some other men who have a high view of scripture and who are great scholars if you really want to know more.


and, i agree with roger...if we dont have an inerrant bible, then how in the world can we trust what it says about Jesus and salvation? we cant. and thus, if the bible is not inerrant, then i agree with roger that i would quit church and go back to living in sin like i used to. also, i would also like to have one of those cars roger was describing.

david

Roger Simpson said...

Grannemann:

I am not letting "imperfections" between variants in OT (or NT) texts destroy my belief in God. To me the "imperfections" do NOT cause me to abandon the idea that the Bible is without error. Of couse, I acknowledge that there are variant readings of texts. On top of this there are variant renderings of Hebrew and Greek into any receptor language -- such as English.

I hold -- in my simplistic view -- that none of this distracts from "inerrancy".

I am not interested in a fradulent God whose book is trash. I don't subscribe to the idea that I can "just believe in Jesus" and not the Book. If the Bible is garbage then Christianity is a charade. I wouldn't waste my time going to church where a book laced with errors and falsehoods is being proclaimed. I wouldn't waste time reading literature from Lifeway that is expositing a book that is junk. I enjoy singing in the choir but I might quit if I thought the hymn texts -- often based upon Bible passages -- do not derive from God's word.

I have no problem with the fact that the original manuscripts are inerrant. However, given that we don't have autographs of any OT or NT book that is an academic argument. More important for real world consideration is: "Is the Bible I actually have -- my English translation KJV, NASB, NIV, etc -- a faithful rendering of the Word of God." If not things are indeed bleak.

As to whether Jesus is the Son of God the Bible says [Jesus speaking] "I am the truth the way and the life, no man comes to the father but by me". The Bible gives one a foundation [other than experience or feelings] on the essence of Christianity. If the assertions of the Bible are wrong then it certainly follows that there is some liklihood that Jesus may not, in fact, be the son of God but some type of a maniac with delusions of grandeur.

If I walked into First Southern Del City next Sunday and there was a sign saying at the entrance saying "Warning, the stuff preached in the today's sermon is based upon a book that may have errors", I'd walk out.

Just because the KJV <> NIV <> "any other English translation" <> Wescott & Hort [for NT] <>
Textus Receptus" [for NT] does not show that any of them have "errors". Some texts include certain passages and others don't. For example the so-called "Lords prayer" has variants as a function of what famly of NT manuscripts you choose -- Byzantine, Alexandran, Western.

I don't think that the differences between the Erasus' Text (TR) and Westcott and Hort actually amount to anything substantive. I consider them both God's word and "inerrant".

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Roger Simpson said...

Sorry, I mistyped the name Erasmus.

R. Grannemann said...

Roger,

If the Bible does not accurately reflect who God is and the redemption of man, then I agree Christianity is a hoax and we should all stop paying our tithe and use the money to buy a Vet.

My point, however, was a technical one. If each OT book was constructed by someone just sitting down and writing it out, then inerrancy would be a viable option as a theory of revelation. But the OT has evidence of a more complex construction. Moses perhaps wrote the Pentateuch, but someone else added the part about his death. The material for the Judges had to first have been written by a contemporary familiar with the history of that time (before the monarchy), someone hundreds of years later added "In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit," (Judges 17:6) which was obviously written after there was a monarchy. It might have been Ezra who put the entire OT in its present form, or at least the scribes after the return from exile. Look at the NIV Study Bible's (conservative scholarship) notes on the text of 1 Samuel. It says: "Certain literary characteristics of the book suggest that it was compiled with the use of a number of originally independent sources, which the author may have incorporated into his own composition as much as possible in their original, unedited form." I believe God prepared and called men to write the Bible, much as we feel God's presence and call in our lives today. I believe a special inspiration from God caused them to truthfully reveal God. But I just can't see how the historical process, sometimes spanning hundreds of years, to complete certain OT books can come to grips with when it ever was "the original manuscript." Or are you saying that for several hundred years God kept all copies of source material free from copying errors so that when they were incorporated into the final composition, with the additions of the compiler, that copy could be considered the original manuscript and was inerrant? It seems to me that inerrancy forces you into these kinds of questions which aren't really pertinent.

Roger Simpson said...

Granneman:

Of course, the development of the texts for some of the OT books was incremental over time.
As you say, Moses is commonly considered to the the author of the Pentateuch but obviously he did not record his own death as recorded Deuteronomy 34.

My points are: (a) I don't think inerrancy requires that we have the original manuscripts (which of course we don't). (b) We don't have to know for sure who the authors were of any given book (which of course we don't -- for example the NT book of Hebrews).

Just because I hold that the original manuscripts were inerrant does not mean that our existing Bibles are laced with errors. Of course, I am not saying that the various NT texts, such as Byzantine vs. Western, are "identical". I am however, saying, that they are "inerrant".

For me at least "inerrancy" does not hinge on (a) knowing who the original human author(s) were for any given book, (b) having the original manuscript available, or (c) there being no textual variations.

Implicit in my declaration that the Bible as we have it today is "INERRANT" is the fact that whatever copying variations have crept in do not detract from the truth claims or "accuracy" of the text.

Texts like the Ryland fragments give us pretty good witnesses to NT texts going nearly to apostolic times. The dead sea scrolls -- only known in "recent" times -- have verified the accuracy of Isiah texts clear back to intertestamental times and bolstered our confidence that the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgattensia OT text (for example) is accurate.

If one versions of a particular NT verse said "He then went to the high place and sat down" while some other text said "He then went to the high place and reclined" for the same verse then this would be variation between various versions of the text. [in the greek the word for "sat down" and "reclined" being different words] There are such "minor" variations between the Byzantine and Alexanderian texts.

If various people were just freelancing and writing the Bible then these separate textual traditions would be all over the map. As it is, they were maintained for centuries in a separate chain of precidence and at the end we see what are trivial differences between them. Personally, I think this attests to the fact that the veracity and reliability of the texts has been devinely superintended.

Last but not least, I hold to "inerrancy" out of desperation. If the Bible was actually laced with errors I'd be in desperate shape. For me at least 90% + of what I know about Christianity flows from the Bible or Bible derivatives -- such as SS lessons, preaching, etc. Toss out the Bible and I'd be in sad shape.

No wonder people like the Wycliffe translators are at work to bring to scriptures to every language.

Of course, I agree that the Bible was much less needed during apostolic times. When Jesus talked to the thief on the cross there wasn't any Bible reading or exposition going on.

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

R. Grannemann said...

Roger,

I don't see anything I really disagree with in your last post. You seem to be identifying inerrancy with the conclusion that the Bible we have today will accurately guild us to spiritual truth. I agree with that conclusion.

I'm not sure if you see my concern. My point is that the idea of "autographs" for the OT doesn't really work. Therefore, the Chicago Statement does not fit. The rigid Chicago Statement is an inadequate theory of revelation.

Of course we can't have a Bible "laced" with errors if Christianity is going to be at all relevant today. A theory of revelation has to preclude that. But it should also account for how Genesis 1 describes a literal 6 day creation and modern science almost certainly precludes that. That's a whopper I know, but I'm saying we have to do that to be relevant in a 21 century world which rightly demand authenticity and not double-speak from religious leaders.

foxofbama said...

Microphone check

foxofbama said...

Okay to Jack Maddox:
My Dear Brother in the Lord; for all you think you know, looks like you got your head stuck in the Sand about 1988 during the Skunk Sermon in San Antonion and haven't taken it out since then.
Since that time Richard Land and Karl Rove got us stuck in Iraq.
Lot has happened. Don't Leave this world as ignorant as you are now.
Dive in head first, beginning with a look at the post Land Debates Balmer at www.baptistlife.com
Read all the links there, especially the TNR Article; also read the column there from today's Washington Post about--read between the lines--Pressler's conservative Resurgence (Dobson and Bauer--have infected the Republican Party and they don't know what to do about it.
Blowhards should know what they are talking about lest all their blowing is in Vein.
Grace and Truth, no kidding.

Roger Simpson said...

Granneman:

I went back and read the Chicago statement for the nth time.

It says that the "non-existent" original manuscripts are infallable. It DOES NOT use the word inerrant here but INFALLABLE.

The Chicago statement also says (my paraphrase) that the texts we have today can be considered INERRANT.

Here is an exact copy of the Chicago statement (CAPITALIZATION be me for emphasis):

-------------------------------
Article X.

We affirm that INSPIRATION, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original.
We deny that any essential element of the Christian faith is affected by the absence of the autographs. We further deny that this absence renders the assertion of Biblical inerrancy invalid or irrelevant.
---------------------------

So don't tell me that the Chicago statement doesn't address the situation that the autographs are gone. It affirms that even if they are gone -- which of course they are -- that inerrancy is still a tenable position.

In fact, this is also my position.

I guess it is not your position. Evidently, you hold that since we don't have manuscripts, and since we have textual variation, and since we don't know who the original authors are, and since there may have been redactions along the way that therefore innerancy is meaningless.

By the way, I agree that the 6 days [Hebrew yom] are not to be taken literally. It is totally valid that yom may mean "an indefinite period of time". For example, when I talk about dust bowl times here in Oklahoma I sometimes mention something like "in my Dad's day as an Okie they had it tough". My use of the term day above connotes the indefinite period of the dust bowl -- say 8 years in the 1930s. I am obviously not talking about a literal 24 hour time period.

Im always open to more input but I think that the universe is around 13 billion years old and that the earth started to form (along with the rest of the solar system) around 6 billion years +/-, and that Adam and Eve probably arrived on the scene around 80,000 to 200,000 years ago.

There are tons of independent measurements that all attest that the age of the universe is around 13 billion years old. This is good news for Christianity since we hold that God did the creative act of making the universe out of nothing. Some other religions posit that the universe has existed forever which is contradictory to both the Bible as well as scientific observation.

Roger Simpson
OKC

volfan007 said...

i dont beleive that christians have to bow down to a very imperfect, biased science community....many who dont know God. genesis 1 is just as true as john 3:16, or else we cant believe john 3:16. there is no reason in this world to believe that the days of genesis 1 were nothing more than 24 hour days. the flood and other things can explain much of what godless science says took billions and billions and billions of years to happen. they dont know. all they are doing is guessing...and much of thier guessing is based on thier godless bias.

herein lies the problem between bible believing conservatives and liberals. the liberals want to go along with the culture of the day....even if it means denying the scripture. conservatives believe the unchanging book...God's Word. btw, in college, i had a prof. who scoffed at the bible, but then he turned around and said that science changes every 5 to 10 years...so, what we believe today, they might laugh at tomorrow!!!!!!!!

david

ps. i will stick with God's Word over man's anyday.

R. Grannemann said...

Roger,

Article VI

"We affirm that the whole of Scripture and all its parts, down to the very words of the original, were given by divine inspiration."

A person writes a 1000 words. He dies. His 1000 words are copied but mistakes are made and there are 995 words. The copier dies. The next copier adds 2 words making 997 words. This goes on for 200 years. Now 3 documents with a similar history are combined into a single book with additional commentary. This book goes through more copying and revisions before scribes decide the book is so sacred it should no longer be changed. This represents something like the history of 1 Samuel. Can you identify for me "the very words of the original" in this case?

I'm not worried about the autographs being gone and that invalidating anything. I worried about in what sense did they ever exist. I wouldn't be so nit picky except that if you don't use the "inerrancy" buzz word you are pretty much out of the SBC these days.

Also, I couldn't find where the Chicago statement says "that the texts we have today can be considered INERRANT." - although you said that was just your paraphrase.

If "'inerrant' signifies the quality of being free from all falsehood or mistake and so safeguards the truth that Holy Scripture is entirely true and trustworthy in all its assertions," it seem to me Article X say the text we have today is not inerrant.

Roger Simpson said...

Granneman:

I think we are actually pretty close together on our understanding of the process of the development of the text of the Bible.

It is not my point to defend the Chicago Statement. My only point regarding the Chicago Statement is that it seems to be a "generally accepted definition" of what inerrancy is. I am not necessarily saying that you or any one else agrees with the Chicago Statement. Of course, I agree with it.

The key phrase in the Chicago Statement -- taken from Article X -- that I was trying to paraphraise before is this:

We further deny that this absence [the absence of the manuscripts] renders the assertion of Biblical inerrancy invalid or irrelevant.

So the Chicago Statement doesn't require the original manuscripts in order for a text to be considered inerrant. Also, the Chicago Statement says that the original manuscripts possess the property of INSPIRATION.

I guess we can argue all day about the use of the term INERRANT and never agree.

We pretty much agree on the process that applies to the development of the text of any given book in the Bible. However, for some reason you consider that the process of textual transmission and translation that has gotten us to where we are now must necessarily result in the text being filled with some number of errors. Using your grid of understanding how do you know which portions of a book, say Matthew, are actually valid and which sections are bogus?

I happen to agree with the CR and the idea that inerrancy is important. However, if 99.9999% of everyone in the SBC tomorrow decided, like you, that the Bible contains errors in various unspecified places then I'd leave the SBC in a heartbeat.

I don't care about this argument in terms of being accepted or rejected by some clique in the SBC. The reason I'm concerned about inerrancy is that without a Bible that actually is true and accurate I might as well just start reading Bat Man comic books.
Continuing to study the Bible would just be a hollow exercise.

Roger Simpson OKC

R. Grannemann said...

Roger,

I was mainly just trying to explain why I was uncomfortable using the term "inerrancy." Inerrancy has to apply to something. Most agree it doesn't apply to the existing manuscripts, so they say it applies to "the original manuscripts." I just have to raise my hand and ask, "Which original manuscripts are you talking about?" Modern understanding of the OT text suggests they didn't ever exist in a "very words of the original" sense. That doesn't stop me from using the text we have today as the the divine revelation of spiritual things, but it does stop me, from using the word "inerrant" because I don't know what "inerrant" applies to.

The evangelical position should be that the text we have today is a reliable guild to understanding spiritual truth today. That case should be made by evangelicals in various ways, but the inerrancy route doesn't seem to me to buy us anything except a false premise.

I don't think the text we have today is filled with errors. But I'm trying to find my way as to what I think the appropriate theory of revelation should be. My biggest problem at the moment is I DO think the Genesis 1 writer was describing what he believed was a literal 6 day creation (which you also recognize doesn't fit the scientific data). But I could change my mind on the Genesis 1 writer's intent. Just don't see it yet.

R. Grannemann said...

Volfan007,

Years ago when I started hiking in the National Parks, I would always buy several of the geology books of the area. If you will match what you read with what you see long enough, it all begins to makes sense.

Check this out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki
/Black_Canyon_of_the_Gunnison
_National_Park

The river deepens the hard metamorphic rock in this canyon at the maximum rate of 1 inch every hundred years. This can be measured. The canyon is 2000 feet deep. Do the math. It took at least 2.4 million years to make the canyon. A giant flood does not cut a narrow gorge through hard rock. The gorge was not cause by an earthquake.

Please don't reject this just because you have already made up your mind. Think about it first.

By the way, I been wondering about this for a while. I know what 007 means. But what does Volfan mean?

Roger Simpson said...

Grannemann:

Well, I am not like most. I say that "inerrancy" must apply to the actual manuscripts and and translations we have today. Otherwise, this whole discussion is an academic exercise.

Whether or not some hypothetical "autographs" -- that are non-existent are inerrant or not is only of second order importance compared to the status of the Bible we have today. In the spirit of not arguing about second order things I'll suspend any discussion about "autographs".

I wonder why you consider that the text we have today "is not filled with errors" given that you evidently do not adhere to inerrancy -- except as it might apply to some hypothetical "autographs" that we don't have?

It seems to me like we are pretty close together on many things. I guess you think the text we have today is "OK" or "adequate" or "usable" even if it has "errors".

If I thought the the Bibles that I actually have printed copies of were only "OK" or "adequate" I would burn them.

This has been a cool discussion since it gives me a lens into the thought process of those in Baptist Life that reject inerrancy.

My problem with the position you hold is twofold: (1) I disagree with it, and (2) Regardless of whether I agree or disagree with it I don't even think it is logically tenable.

He is my challenge to those in Baptist life that reject "inerrancy". Name the ten biggest errors in the NIV (or any other English) translation. If one can't name them then I guess they are really an "inerrantist" but don't want to use the term because of some political baggage that attaches to the term.

I have enjoyed this chat. I don't think we should continue to highjack Wade's blog anymore. So this will be my last comment.
So, you can have the last word if you want.

Roger Simpson OKC

R. Grannemann said...

Roger,

Any large history book will have some errors. That doesn't stop us from correctly understanding history.

I've never said I thought the imperfections in our present Bible were BIG! Maybe I am a "practical" inerrantist since I will let the Bible we have be authoritative for Christian life. I can live with a little uncertainty in religious life.

Thanks for the discussion. You had some especially good posts on the lawsuit.

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