"Christ appears not to need the Christian of great acquirements. He can glorify Himself with any of the pupils He has taught. He needs not to take one who has become most skilled or best informed, that He may show forth His praise. He does it in every one -- more in one than another -- yet He so does it in all, that all testify of Him, whom not having seen they have believed.
Let the scoffing world account for the universality of such testimony. Were it seen only in the best, it might be thought the result of virtue. Were it seen only in the wisest, it might be attributed to philosophy. Were it only in the bravest, it might be ascribed to courage. Were it only in the strongest, it might be said to be endurance. Were it only in the most faithful, it might be said to be innocence. Were it only in the unlearned, it might be said to be ignorance; but, to go no further into such particulars, which might be greatly increased, when it is seen in those without any of these advantages, but afflicted with their very contraries, to what can it be ascribed but to grace, the grace given by Christ, through whom strengthening the weakest can do all things?"
From the Discourse Delivered by Rev. James P. Boyce, D.D. Professor in the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, at the Funeral Service for Rev. Basil Manley, D.D. in Greenville, South Carolina, December 22, 1868
I first met Bob Cleveland over a year ago at the Southern Baptist Convention in Greensboro, North Carolina. Bob is a Southern Baptist layman who became actively involved in attempting to make a difference in the SBC. I have a couple of stories in my file that I will one day reveal that illustrate just what an impact Bob made on the SBC in Greensboro.
But this post is dedicated to Bob because of the times he spoke at the SBC this year in San Antonio. Each time he was articulate, logical, and persuasive. I have listened to his speech regarding the BFM 2000 at least five times, and have placed the entire transcript on my blog. Bob has demonstrated to me that God doesn't just need the powerful name 'preachers' to make a difference in the SBC. As Dr. Boyce eloquently observed nearly one hundred and fifty years ago, '(T)o what can it be ascribed but to grace, the grace given by Christ.' I thank God for the great grace he has given to my friend Bob Cleveland and those Bob represents in the SBC -- people who are making a difference without having the 'name' or 'a position of honor.'