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

If You Blog It's Best To Have a Response Plan

A few months ago Business Week published an article entitled "How Do Companies Respond to Blog Attacks?" Writer Stephen Baker predicted:

The question of how to respond to blogs is going to be so vital, I believe, that it will give birth to an entire new branch of corporate consulting. These blog consultants, increasingly, will be battling with the entrenched public relations departments for control over the corporate message.

Southern Baptist bloggers do not have a public relations department, nor do we have paid consultants to help us respond to blog attacks, but after over two and a half years, 700 posts, thousands of comments, and a proliferation of Southern Baptist blogs which use me as their subject matter, I've learned a little about what it feels like to come under 'attack' by blog writers. I am fully aware that some feel they also come under 'attack' by me. I seek to write about issues and not people (the Baptist Identity movement, Southern Baptist Fundamentalism, etc . . . ), but I realize it is sometimes hard to separate issues from people, and my writings can give the impression I am attacking people. In my heart, I'm not, but I understand how others can feel that way about what I write. Nevertheless, I do have a little experience in receiving what seems to be , or at least feels like, personal attacks. For example, a blogger friend of mine sent to me the following comments which were written about me yesterday by five different people.

"I felt as if I was going to be sick (reading what Wade Burleson writes)! Garbage is spewing and the guilty one is once again denying any and all truth concerning the post that produces the garbage . . Wade Burleson is indeed sickening and wrong - garbage!"

I wish Wade would fade into the background . . . it seems like every issue we deal with comes down to Wade, Wade, Wade. I am really sick of that."

"Wade is an SBC Moderate. He appears to come across as a bitter man who at times feigns an irenic and pious spirit, yet repeatedly, betrays himself by his bombastic posts and comments that has pummeled the character of so many. His current demeanor will only make himself irrelevant to the SBC."

(Referring to my blog post) "It is wrong…it is sinful…it is godless."

"Mr. Burleson no longer kicks sand; instead he poisons soup. His current post posing as an "unmasking" of those he dubs the "Baptist Identity movement" is a complete fabrication within his own mind."

"A wise person has said that it is better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. The owner of Grace and Truth to You has opened his mouth . . ."

The statements above do not offend me. A couple of years ago they would have. I'm not always successful in thinking through an appropriate response to what I perceive to be personal attacks, but the following, in outline form, is my response plan.

An Answer Worth Remembering

When Shemei began cursing King David, lying about him, and throwing rocks (literally) as the King and his men walked through a valley on the way home, Abishai, David's loyal servant asked the king, 'Will you allow me to go cut off that dead dog's head?' David's answer is very revealing. "Leave him alone. God hath bidden him to speak."

A few times in years past I have sought to stop people from writing untrue things about me. I have made a handful of phone calls to seek to correct the errors that I perceived in what some bloggers have written. Over time I've learned that the attitude of King David is far better - and when I read things like the above, it is worth remembering the words of the ancient king of Israel. Sometimes it is best to relax and let a fire burn out rather than to fight to put it out.

An Attitude Worth Imitating

The Bible says "love covers a multititude of sins." It would seem that when a Southern Baptist blogger really loves others, he lets them 'offend' on many occasions without making an issue of it. I have read recently that some postulate the problems in our convention are people who either complain or are critical of the work of the SBC. I propose that the problems are not the critical words that are written, but the lack of humility in refusing to receive the words as being from God - even those words we don't like - and loving the person who wrote them.

An Action Worth Initiating

Jesus said, "Bless them that persecute you." You examine this word 'bless' in the Sermon on the Mount and you will see it is in the imperative. It is not an option; it is a command. It is also in the continuous, present tense. It is not a one time act, but a repeated series of 'blessings.' It would seem to me that the person who is really obedient to His master is the one who blesses the person who persecutes him.

I was once told that a leader of one of our SBC agencies has a practice of sending a new tie, with a kind note of encouragement, to the person he believes is persecuting him. One has to commend such a spirit. You or I may not send a tie, but we sure can pray for those who persecute us, or we can write an encouraging note, or we can say something positive and public about that person.

Conclusion

Those of us who have entered the blog world need to think through how we respond to personal blog attacks. Attacks will occur. If you blog for any amount of time, you will experience it firsthand. I suggest that the battle is won, not when the attacks stop, but when God's people respond in a Christ-like manner. I don't always respond in a Christ-like manner, but it sure is my goal.

In His Grace,


Wade

77 comments:

othoniel a valdes sr said...

DR WADE:
Have you ever thought that those words that have come from those you have constantly accused of having the wrong agenda and leading us on the wrong path may be coming from God or that their intentions are pure ?

Bryan Riley said...

Wade, one of the things I have thought through is the fact that regardless of the action or behavior of another, God holds me responsible for my response. If I react in sin, then I am in sin. Period. I must always respond in Truth and in Love. When i believe the lie of the enemy that i have to defend myself, then i've rejected my One True Defender, and made an alliance with the enemy.

Blogging has been quite a journey for me because God has used it mightily to point out where I have chosen to believe a great many lies about myself and others. May God bless us both with a greater understanding of the Truth and faith therein!

kehrsam said...

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. So I hear.

Anonymous said...

Wade,
It is hard not to respond to an attack on you and what you write.
My mother tough me many years ago that words like water will dry up if you leave them alone.
Remember; “Stick and stones will break your bones, buy words will never hurt you.”
A good post.
Fox

Meloff said...

Well, I would have to disagree about the sticks and stones - we've always taught our children that words can sometimes be more hurtful and have a longer-lasting effect than sticks and stones.

However, words can dry up like water and the Bible teaches that "a soft answer turns away wrath."

Friends of ours were living in Istanbul. They had three children who were normal, active and loud at times. They all lived in the usual apartment complex. The neighbors below them were not happy with them. Typical Istanbulites only had one child. And children always went to school. But our friends homeschooled. For a while, the downstairs neighbors used a broom to bang on their ceiling and our friends were getting frustrated as well as there was only so much they could to do to keep their children quiet all the time.

This continued with the banging increasing in frequency and ferocity until the husband from the downstairs came up to our friends' apartment and pounded on the door. When our friend opened the door, the neighbor let loose. Who knew what he said as it was in fast, angry Turkish! Our friend just stood there, getting blasted, repeating the only words he could, "I'm sorry."

After the tirade, the neighbor stormed away. The next week, the neighbor and his wife invited our friends to tea. Eventually they became good friends and our friends were able to witness to them the Gospel of Christ. And all because our friends were willing to let a soft answer turn away wrath!

DT Boy said...

Wade,

I have to be honest that I have often wondered if your blog was doing more hamr thsan good on some subjects. This was mainly due to how people may have felt personally attacked. I think on the whole what you have presented have at least given good food for thought. I have not always agreed with your conclusions or perspective but your blog has made me think about a vast array of different subjects that i otherwise would have never cared about.

So I pray that all who read this would attempt to see the heart that I see. To see a heart that truly has the best interest of Christ and the SBC at heart.

Belief Matters said...

Wade, I don't always agree with you. In fact it maybe correct to say at this point, I seldom agree. Although, I don't keep track of our disagreement. I try to read and respond to each post. There are times I cross the line and judge you, but in the end I am reminded that I do not know your heart---so I have decided to look for the best in you. Plus, I figure a man who can preach like you must be a pretty decent man.

Blessings
Jeff

Wade Burleson said...

Othoniel,

I have considered that those who constantly attack me are doing so because they see I am leading the SBC down the wrong path, that their intentions are pure, and that it is coming from God. And, I agree that this could be the case. I also take great comfort from reading the lives and writings of the Civil War participants. I believe both sides possessed great Christian men, their intentions were pure, and both thought the other side was leading the nation down the wrong path. In the end, the will of God was accomplished - as it will be in the SBC, as it was in 1865.

Wade Burleson said...

To All: Amen.

To Jeff: Thanks

Joe W. said...

Wade,

It is unfortunate that many times we (myself included) are unable to seperate the issues from the individuals. In my opinion, your most recent posts have been more about individuals than issues (with some poor caricatures).

On a side note, there is some good advice in this post. Do you care if I "borrow" these points for a sermon?

Wade Burleson said...

Have at it!

Also, feel free to point out where you think what I've said is personal instead of issue oriented.

Rex Ray said...

Meloff,
I had a choice of disagreeing with Fox about “Stick and stones…”, or agreeing with you on your reply to him.

I’d rather agree than disagree with people. But I’ll admit I have a habit of disagreeing.
I agree with Wade on his excellent post today as usual.

Yesterday’s, Baptist Identity, revealed in depth the continual sinking of the Ship of the SBC into the murky waters of Catholicism

Wade,
Sometimes people say what they don’t mean. I believe such was the case when David said, “Leave him alone, God hath bidden him to speak.” (2 Samuel 16:10)

I believe David was hoping God would come nearer feeling sorry for him and give him blessings if he didn’t let his general kill Shimei as shown by: “Perhaps the Lord will see my affliction and restore goodness to me instead of Shimei’s curses today.” (2 Samuel 16:12)

If David really thought Shimei was throwing rocks and speaking for God, he would not have told Solomon, “Keep an eye on Shimei…He uttered malicious curses against me…so don’t let him go unpunished…” (1 Kings 2:8-9) Solomon eventually had Shimei killed.

sbcblogger said...

Wouldn't this post be better titled if it were called "If You Attack Others, It' Best To Have a Respone Plan"?

Belief Matters said...

Wade, I would also add that I would rather be in fellowship with you who I don't always agree with than some of the people who I might agree with who are very disagreeable. I hope that makes sense. In fact there are many on here who I disagree with but in reality I would rather fellowship with them than those who I agree with.

Clif Cummings said...

This is great advice - for not only bloggers, but for all who claim to be acquainted with the grace of God. It is only by God's grace that this is possible for it is totally contrary to the nature of an non-graced man.
When we who claim to be Christ followers do not exhibit evidence of His grace within us - why should we wonder why a lost world ignores our message and mocks our ministries.
Perhaps a greater demonstration of God's grace within us is the answer to the SBC's declining baptism problem.
Last time I looked Emmanuel Enid was among the top 10 churches in total baptisms in the state of Oklahoma.
To othoniel and others who often take offense in what you write - "The proof is in the puddin'."
Grace to you Wade - and Grace to all who disagree!

GuyMuse said...

"A test of how much a servant you are is how you act when you're treated like one" seems to be an appropriate response plan. The quote was originally seen on Alan Knowx's blog here.

Rex Ray said...

Guy Muse,
Thanks for the link to such a great statement. It made me think pretty deep, and I’m afraid I come up short on being a good servant.

On the other hand, my uncle was the volunteer janitor for our church for 27 years which was servant’s work. But when he retired, the church hired a janitor with a good wage and I think it made my uncle bitter. So I believe a Christian should be careful not to do so much that they develop a chip on their shoulder.

Guy, after reading your reference, I copied pasted its link to this:

SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 2008
SERVANTHOOD
A test of how much a servant you are is how you act when you're treated like one.

--Mark Chase
Posted by amateur

Joe W. said...

Wade,

In my opinion, the post titled "The Mere Replacement of One Set of Bureacrats" is personal and not issue related. Rather than focusing on the proposed resolution and what it says, you focuse your attention on what it does not say. You then questioned the motive, reasoning, and character of those presenting the resolution.

How can you make an argument on what is not in a resolution? The answer is... you have to speculate and give opinions on individuals?

Ironically, this is the same thing you accused others of doing, when they speculated on the things left our of the Antioch Network Confession.

Like I said before... "it is unfortunate that many times we (myself included) are unable to seperate the issues from the individuals."

Pastor Hilliard said...

I believe it was Alistair Begg who said in a sermon (I quote as close as possible), "There is no proclomation without misrepresentation."

othoniel a valdes said...

Dr Wade:
Thank you for your response, time will tell.
In the mean time I plan to stay active in SBC Life till death do us apart.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

If you are going to quote me, at least put it in context:

Wes,

Excellent essay. You are quite correct that according to Dr. Adrian Rogers definition, Wade is an SBC Moderate.

I must say that the acrimonious tone coming from Wade, is getting worse as we near another convention. He appears to come across as a bitter man who at times feigns an irenic and pious spirit, yet repeatedly, betrays himself by his bombastic posts and comments that has pummeled the character of so many. One can only speculate as to why he has purposely chosen to lower himself to such gutter tactics. I fear his blog assaults will only get worse over the next few months. I think we are seeing his blog go the way of the second iteration of SBC Outpost - becoming more caustic and bombastic. His current demeanor will only make himself irrelevant to the SBC.

Blessings,

Ron P.


As I stated above in the original comments, you give the appearance of bitterness and the appearance feigning an irenic and pious spirit. That belief is based upon your own words towards others with whom you disagree that are caustic and bombastic that give credence to such a view. How can one be irenic and pious, while attacking mightily with the keyboard?

With humility and all sincerity, you only have yourself to blame for the necessary rebuke of such vitriolic writing. Even many, who in the past that have agreed with you on several issues, have publicly noted here and elsewhere that your tone and attacks has been ever increasing and have stated that they can not defend your attacks. I hope I am wrong, but I fear that as we near Indy, you will continue down this spiraling road. I pray that I am wrong, and hope you are willing to reach across the aisle in Christian friendship and brotherhood, debate the issues, but stop the attacks. That is something all of us want. But if you do not, you will only continue to hurt the causes that you believe in, thus my reference to making yourself irrelevant to the SBC. The ball is entirely in your court to do as you will. Hopefully, it will be gracious and constructive leadership and not the continued politics of personal destruction.

May God bless you my brother,

Ron P.

Anonymous said...

Ron P.,

Why do you feel it “necessary to rebuke such vitriolic writing?” And if you were doing this with humility and sincerity would you be assigning motives to why Mr. Burleson is writing what he is writing and accusing him of “personal destruction?” I’m not taking up for Mr. Burleson, I don’t really know him. As I have read before, he strongly encourages people not to take up for him. I’m just tired of people ending comments with words like “May God bless you my brother”, when in reality everything that was just written has no hint of love or grace. It reminds me of those “seminary boys” who used to tell me they would pray for me in chapel because I got mad with a call during a game of basketball.

Brent L. Williams

Lin said...

"As I stated above in the original comments, you give the appearance of bitterness and the appearance feigning an irenic and pious spirit. That belief is based upon your own words towards others with whom you disagree that are caustic and bombastic that give credence to such a view. How can one be irenic and pious, while attacking mightily with the keyboard?"

Gives this appearance to whom? Who are you speaking for? Certainly not me. I have been completely amazed at how humble and steady Wade has been under enormous attacks on his character.

This really boils down to the fact that there are such things as negative truths that certain people will never want public and will respond by attacking the messenger.

All issues and the conflict therein come dressed as people. The secular world has taught us to separate the two because they do not deal in sin and repentance and so they teach us to focus on the issues only. Eventually this takes the 'conflict' behind closed doors with tactics and strategies to win because all issues involve people.

True conflict resolution can only happen with total transparency and humility. Not 'feigned' humility, either. Which brings me to mention that I have seen Wade admit mistakes quite a few times. True conflict resolution cannot happen when one party wants 'control or power' and demands 'authority or respect'.

All this blogging boils down to is that leaders and their followers are not happy that certain tactics and strategies that have been behind closed doors for a long time are being aired . They consider this 'airing', sin.

However. they do not consider the tactics and strategies behind closed doors as sin.

As crude as they are, blogs are the new media. A blog brought Dan Rather down even though he refuses to admit it. He even had to gall to say that blogs had no editors or fact checkers as if HE had only presented 'facts' for all those years. :o)

It was always been about a FEW controlling the message.

It is only natural that the powerful and their followers hate certain bloggers. They no longer control the message and the only way to counter a message they do not like is to kill the messenger.

From my vantage point, it looks like some have become quite adept at killing the messenger.

ezekiel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ezekiel said...

Lin,

They were pretty good at it in Jerusalem too. Just ask a few of the prophets and apostles. Might ask Jesus too.

John 15:18 18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.

Anonymous said...

Kehrsam:

Best post award goes to you.

None of us can read people's hearts. Many of us are too quick to attack people and their motives, rather than address ideas.

Religious denominational life across many denominations can be particularly rough. Did any of you follow the Methodists' recent General Conference?

It is hard on pastors to be criticized because it is their nature to want to help people and to want to receive the acknowledgment that comes from helping. That is only human.

I am old enough, 47, to remember the days when people in SBC life were attacked much more than Wade.

Some in the denominational machinery and those sympathetic to it during the CR worked very hard to destroy people.

Paul Pressler and Paige Patterson had things said about them for a span of about 20 years that make anything I have seen written about Wade look very mild. And in many cases, the secular press got involved. Phil Donahue tried to destroy Pressler and ended up destroying Ken Chaffin (even with a stacked audience) because Dr. Chaffin was not careful enough to keep his theological opinions concealed. Bill Moyers also tried to destroy Pressler, unsuccessfully. As did Gus Neiburh (sp?), religion writer for the NYT (I think).

Also, John Baugh, probably the wealthiest Southern Baptist (chief stockholder and Chairman of Sysco, the food company) alive at the time of the CR invested (literally) heavily in destroying Pressler and Patterson.

The rough and tumble of religious life is not for the faint of heart. Still, we should aspire to a higher road.

Also, the most devastating types of attacks come not from what it printed, but what is done in secret - plotting and such.

If we stick with issues rather than trying to destroy people, that is the right way to go.

Louis

Dave Miller said...

Before I begin my self-imposed absence from blogging about anything that deals with Wade Burleson, and not ideas or issues, let me agree with Ron P.

Wade used my quote above - but twisted it to say something essentially that I didn't say.

I dont' mind being quoted - I stand behind what I said, or revise it. But I am not crazy to have Wade twist my words to make it seem like an attack on him.

Here is my actual quote. You see if it says what Wade said it said:

"I wish Wade would fade into the background. I will always appreciate that he brought what I consider to be abuses by the IMB to the forefront in the SBC. (I know, you don't agree.)

But now, it seems like every issue we deal with comes down to Wade, Wade, Wade.

I am really sick of that. I keep hoping someone else will take up the mantle of reform leadership in the SBC."

You make the call,

The Fat Man has left the blog!

Anonymous said...

Louis, What is so sad is that Patterson and co. are using the same search and destroy tactics now. The difference is the mainstream media does not care except for the blog world.

Lucy

Frank said...

Ron P. and David Miller,

You two men are acting act really childesh. You write things that bash, bash and bash, and then you act like you get your feelings hurt for not being quoted accurately. I read the original quotes, and contrary to your whining, you said exactly is alleged you said. Grow up.

Anonymous said...

I hope you are a man of your word. You will not be missed from anybody here.

Bruce said...

Louis,

Are you insinuating that Pressler and Patterson were completely innocent of plotting in secret to destroy others back in the day?????

Lin said...

"If we stick with issues rather than trying to destroy people, that is the right way to go."

Louis, The 'issues' require openess, transparency, trust and honesty in order to 'deal' with them. We are Christians, right? Issues always come from people and always involve people. You cannot get around that.

Unless of course, you believe the 'issues' should be decided by a few behind closed doors. But that is what brought us to this point, isn't it.

Anonymous said...

Bruce:

No one is perfect.

But my experience and recollection with Pressler and Patterson during the CR was that they were trying to address issues - the nature of the scripture and the core Christian doctrines. I think that they were always willing to debate the issues publicly. Some on the other side did not want that debate because there was a lot in the educational institutions that was simply indefensible. That is what caused a resort to personal attacks by some, rather than addressing the theology. I truly do not believe during the CR that Pressler and Patterson attacked people openly or in secret. They were very straightforward in that regard. Now, I will say that if some person during that time opposed the CR, they would address the person, and that often ended in embarrassment for such persons, if they were defending the indefensible.

I am sure that Dr. Honeycutt, Dr. Lolley, Dr. Dilday, Dr. Ferguson, Dr. Levell etc. at times felt under attack. But that was because Pressler and Patterson were pointing out the theological problems in the convention, and they were either trying to deny there were problems, or that nothing needed to be done.

Lin, you are right. Issues involve people, as referenced above. If people take the opposite sides of issues, there is going to be friction.

I don't think that's what Wade is referencing. It's the personal, below the belt kind of stuff that can go on, in public or in private.

I remember one quote in particular from the CR days. I think it was a quote in the Baptist Standard. One opponent of the CR said that the "Fundamentalists" were run the 3 "sick egos." "One who was senile and needed to retire (Criswell), one who is in a secular profession and desires to be in a religious profession (Pressler), and one who is the head of a second rate educational institution who wants to be in charge of first rate institution."

That's an example that I recall.

I also have a friend who worked for a major secular newspaper in those days. He was a member of a moderate church at the time, and was sympathetic to the moderates, so he had a dim view of Pressler and Patterson. He told me that on several occasions that moderate leaders tried to persuade him to print things about Pressler and Patterson that were incredibly libelous. I won't go into the details, but each time they pressured him, he would tell them, bring me the evidence of what you are talking about. They never did.

I also know that when President George H.W. Bush considered nominating Judge Pressler to be the first person to lead the new ethics agency in Washington that was created during his administration, that some moderate Baptist leaders promised to work with, and some began working with, left wing secular groups in Washington D.C. to try and smear Judge Pressler. They were going to try and "Bork" Judge Pressler. Judge Pressler had other career and personal goals at the time, so he did not go down that path, but it was incredible that Baptists had an opportunity to have one of their own lead an agency of the federal government and the biggest opponents were not non-Christians, but fellow Baptists, who were going to attempt to smear Judge Pressler, not oppose him on any reasons related to agency that he proposed to head or his views on issues related to ethics in government.

And, I believe that openness is a very important value in religious organizations.

There is a line, however, that gets crossed on occasion when we go from disagreeing on issues and the people who might be the spokespersons for those and going to the personal.

Louis

Rex Ray said...

Dave Miller,
Sorry to see you go. You made life interesting with your opposing views.

I thought I’d get one last shot at you before you fade into the sunset, but I hate to agree to a point that Wade left out the good stuff you said about him when he quoted you.

Wade left out: “I will always appreciate that he brought what I consider to be abuses by the IMB to the forefront in the SBC.”

Wade did what a lot of people do (including me) in picking out Scripture that proves their point and ignoring Scripture that disproves their point.
Your bragging on him did not fit his intended purpose of him being criticized so he left it out.

If Wade wanted to attack you, he would have given your name, but he tries to deal with issues and not people.

In your criticism, were you attacking people or issues. “You make the call.”

I for one, will miss the fat man.

Bruce said...

Louis, I would like for you to put some meat on this bone: "there was a lot in the educational institutions that was simply indefensible."

Rex Ray said...

Louis,
Have you read Dilday’s book? His being fired can be traced to Patterson telling him: “You’re conservative all right, but you’re not one of us.”

Anonymous said...

Bruce:

Don't know how old you are or what your background is. Did you attend an SBC seminary from, say 1959-to 1985? Did you attend a state Baptist college? Just don't know how familiar you are with the history. That is, are you young and just have no knowledge of the history, or are you older and just never encountered any problems yourself, so you don't think that there were any problems?

The list is so long, it would take more articles than Wade has run recently on Women's ordination to address this.

A good starting point would be to read the appendices to Judge Pressler's book. Have you read that book?

Judge Pressler does a good job illustrating the problems there. The list is not exhaustive, but is a good place to start. The survey of Southern students done in the early 80s is a real shocker. It would show you how the beliefs of the students steadily declined the longer they were at Southern.

Jimmy Draper's recent history of the the Sunday School Board (Lifeway) also has a couple of helpful chapters on this.

Also, I would encourage you to interview leading theologians in the SBC now. Al Mohler and Danny Akin can both give you very good histories of the men under whom they studied in obtaining their degrees and what their views were regarding the nature of scripture, the deity of Christ, the atonement, the resurrection, the new birth etc. David Dockery taught at Southern for a while. His recollections would be very helpful.

Another good way to go about this is to look and see where those who were teaching at the SBC schools are today, and check out what they have written and what they advocate.

A great example here is Dr. Bill Leonard at Wake Forest. I am sure that you can do a google search and bring his stuff up. He used to be at Southern. I don't know anything about you, but if you think that homosexuality is something the SBC should go for, then I am sure that you would want Dr. Leonard back at Southern. That is but one issue, I agree, but it is illustrative.

My own experience is having attended a state Baptist college for two years. The history department was awesome. The religion department was terrible. There may have been one person in the department that believed the scriptures were "truth without any mixture of error." They believed that the scriptures were not God's objective revelation of Himself to man, but that they were man's record of what they thought God was doing in their time. And as man's understanding of God changed, so, too, did his writing about God. This is in contrast to the concept of "progressive revelation."

Another thing that you could do is pull up an old catalogue from, say, Southern Seminary. Note the leading professors in the NT and OT departments. Then check out their writings. Talk with those who are profs now who had them. See if you can distinguish doctrinal views.

Finally, look at the schools where the old SBC profs have gone - Baptist Seminary at Richmond, Duke, Wake Forest, Bright Divinity School (TCU?) etc. Check out whether those are confessional institutions and whether those profs have written anything. I believe that you will find some interesting things.

But a lot depends on what you are wanting to find.

For years the old Moderates simply denied there were any problems in the schools. That did not work because too many Baptists had attended the schools. Finally, the Peace Committee Report (I think from 1987) put to rest the position that there were no theological issues at stake. In fact that report said that the issues were primarily theological, and that they needed to be addressed.

I look forward to dialoging with you about this, but again, it would be helpful to have your background and perspective because that will help me understand how to dialogue with you.

Thanks.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Rex:

I haven't read Dr. Dilday's book. Of course the trustees at Southwestern fired Dilday, not Paige Patterson.

I don't remember too much about Dilday's firing. It seemed he got really cross ways with the trustees. As I recalled, they asked him to do things, and he wouldn't. Again, I don't remember the details, but you are correct in suggesting that Dr. Dilday did not get fired because he personally was liberal.

My recollections of Dr. Dilday were that he was very abrasive. Those come from memories of TV interviews and the like.

Let me also hasten to add that to my knowledge Southwestern was in the best shape, by far, of any of the SBC schools in those days. I know people who went there and had good experiences. That is in contrast to Southern, Southeastern and to a lesser extent, New Orleans and Midwestern.

Dr. Lolley resigned. He was not fired.

Dr. Honeycutt was of an age where he just retired, I believe.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Here is a TV interview with Dr. Dilday while he was still President of SWBTS. It's interesting.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=J39kbJFkAhs

bryan riley said...

I don't think it is issues we need to deal and it definitely isn't people, Louis. We need to focus on one issue and unite around it - Jesus. All the rest really doesn't matter. It's amazing that we are so distracted by so many things, most of which are more cultural than biblical, and where they are biblical they are disputable as discussed in Romans 14. Whatever happened to the spirit Paul had to focus only on Christ and Christ crucified? Doesn't it all really just boil down to the Cross?

Kersham, thank you for that reminder to everyone. Why is it that peacemaking isn't believed in? Why is it people think unity really isn't that important?

Steve said...

Dr. Honeycutt was older than many professors, but he definitely felt persecuted and beseiged before he left SBTS in Louisville. He spoke at several churches in Ky. on the personal attack portrayed in the 3rd Book of John.
Some observers who knew him and Mohler during that time had the definite feeling Mohler latched onto the inerrancy movement or party as much as a survival technique as any sort of true believer, but I only got this from one source.
I didn't know enough about STBS at the time to know if erroneous thinking had crept in, but every preacher I heard from Southern sounded as fundamentalist as you could hope to hear.

Ken Coffee said...

There is a quote from a book my son has written called Five Principles Of Unity. THe quote is: "We tend to judge others by their actions, not by what is in their heart, while we judge ourselves by what is in our heart, not by our actions."

Isn't that true?

WTJeff said...

It seems to me that much of the animosity that is expressed in blogging circles today has less to do with what is actually said and more to do with what people perceive are the motives behind them. Although Wade has continually expressed he has no desire to undo the CR, but merely widen the tent within scriptural parameters, he's been called a moderate, a drunkard, and a friend of CBFers. (A bit of editorializing there) It seems if people would merely deal with each post on it's face, without addressing the perceived motivations of the writer, our dialogue would be much more constructive.

Grace,

Jeff

Anonymous said...

Bryan:

I agree with what you say. However, as long as churches get together to operate seminaries, colleges, send out missionaries and print literature, having a common doctrinal confession that is truly believed is important.

For example, if one person believes that following Jesus (who is not the second person of the Trinity, is not eternal, not virgin born etc.) means following his ethical teachings and his example of a sacrificial life, and another person believes that Jesus is eternal, is all God and all man, was virgin born, resurrected bodily, and that following him means believing that his death on the cross was in our place and is our only means of salvation, those two people are going to have a very hard time running seminaries together, agreeing on what is "missions", and deciding on what kind of literature to print.

The SBC and her schools, thankfully, are in a much better position now when it comes to doctrinal Christian essentials. So, your advice is good and I agree with it.

Steve, I know personally that Southern tried to include Dr. Honeycutt in many events after his retirement, but that he chose not to come. To his credit, Duke McCall came to Southern last year and participated in a round table with the faculty. He has told Dr. Mohler that he would not take Southern in the conservative direction that Dr. Mohler has taken it, but that he is confident God will take Southern where it needs to go.

You need to remember that Dr. Honeycutt also declared Holy War on the conservatives from the seminary chapel in 1983. Newsweek ran an article on that speech. The Southern faculty (not all, but most) was VERY opposed to the CR and to the concept that they would have to sign the BFM or promise to teach in accordance with it. They believed that was creedalism, and they believed that the priesthood of the believer and academic freedom gave them the right to believe and teach what they felt was correct. Cecil Sherman, a former moderate leader and moderator of the CBF still believes this strongly.

I have heard from friends (who have heard from moderate supporters) that same speculation about Mohler. That he really doesn't believe what he is saying, but that he became a conservative so that he could become President of Southern.

First, there is no real 'evidence' for this other than speculating about people's motives. Again, I think that we need to get away from that.

And there are a host of logical reasons why this is not true:

Listen to Mohler and read what he has written. Anyone that has the passion that he has for the issues he addresses could not be faking. One of my friends who had been told Mohler was faking came to the seminary to hear him speak. Afterwards, he thought the suggestion was amazingly absurd.

Also, it's not like Mohler was a moderate student one day, and the next day was President at Southern. There were many years in between when he edited the Christian Index (the Georgia state paper), pastored etc. I know of no one in the ministry (regardless of their theological persuasion) who would for years do all of these jobs and take the positions he has taken for a possible position somewhere.

Finally, Mohler could make it a lot bigger if tomorrow he said that the had evolved and become a liberal. The perks in the academic world for former fundamentalists are a lot better than the perks in SBC agencies. Just ask Ralph Elliott. He had a great academic career after leaving Midwestern. Mohler would also be hailed by the media. Mohler would probably get his own show on CNN!

Louis

Anonymous said...

Jeff:

You are correct.

Guessing at motives is not a productive thing.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Debbie Kaufman:

I went to the link and watched the portion of the Bill Moyers' program that was produced in about 1990, just before Daniel Vestal's run for the SBC Presidency. That was the campaign that John Baugh financed so heavily. Weatherford/Crumpler was the VP on that ticket. That ticket was the worst defeat for the moderates in all of their years running. After that, many moderates left and started the CBF.

Only a portion of the program has Russell Dilday in it. I remember watching this when it was first produced.

Bill Moyers is a first rate propagandist. You can continue to see his work on PBS. I saw him interview pastor Jeremiah Wright last week. Moyers' interview couldn't have been more friendly unless he sat in Wright's lap!

I found Dr. Dilday's statements in this tape just as disingenuous today as they were in 1990. Thank God that the vast majority of the SBC rejected his prescription.

I agree that Dr. Dilday is conservative. I also agree that there had been many Presidents of the SBC who were conservative, but did not know how to use their appointment powers to affect the SBC's direction or did not care.

However, unlike Dr. Dilday, I believe it is perfectly correct for those who were concerned about theology in the convention to intentionally elect Presidents who were also concerned and would use their powers to appoint others who were concerned. That is the way representative bodies work. For anyone to cry foul over that is not logical.

Dr. Dilday first used hyperbole to describe the situation -that some people were calling and wondering if faculty members were Christian. Well, let's admit that even now that could go on and it would still be just as silly. Objectively, that is not what conservatives were ever saying.

Dr. Dilday admits that there are faculty who don't like the term "inerrancy." He also admits there is some small percentage of a problem, but doesn't allude further. He also says that the "militants" (that has to be the worst epithet used during the entire CR) were concerned about 6 or 8 issues, but he never says what those issues are.

Dan Vestal is equally vague. He admits that there need to be theological changes and a return to the fundamentals, but says he got physically ill when he listened to a tape of Judge Pressler. The only portion of the tape played by Moyers has Judge Pressler saying that for the first time in SBC history, they had a conservative resolutions committee that could issue a pro-life resolution. Well, aren't 99% of the SBC pro-life? Why would it take so long to get a resolutions committee (since 1973, I suppose, Roe v. Wade) that would allow a pro-life resolution to come out of committee? Surely, in concept that is a problem for you and any other Southern Baptist reading this blog. The SBC is strongly pro-life. The denominational statements were not, however, under the old denominational leadership.

Also, with regard to Pressler, you will note that Moyers spends all of his time on secular issues because Pressler answers so clearly on the theological issues. You should go look at the rest of Moyers' interview with Pressler. It is nothing but an attempted smear. He suggests that Pressler's association with some think tank group is nefarious etc., etc., but again runs as fast as he can come the question of "What is scripture?"

Debbie, I don't know what you were doing in 1990 (have no idea how old you are), and what your perspective is, so please forgive me if I make wrong assumptions.

I hope that the SBC never returns to the days when it has paid denominational employees at seminaries or elsewhere that deny Christian essentials or have some low view of scripture. I really don't think that any of the people reading this blog want that.

Just look at the CBF, the schools it promotes, the complete absence of any doctrinal confessional statement, it's embrace and flirtation with many issues that the SBC would not buy into. That is where the old guard would have taken us.

Finally, I am sure that you know that Moyers finally left the Baptist church, in about 1988 or so, for, in his words, "a different way of seeing and believing."

I'd say so.

Louis

Lin said...

I agree that Moyers is a liberal. If you go to Part one of this series, he lays out exactly what being a Baptist used to mean. I was amazed at how much of it he got right! :o)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkM7q0eug5Y

Louis, I don't think any true Christian can keep from taking their beliefs with them into the secular arena as much as Pressler tried to convince us different.

Anonymous said...

Lin:

I suppose you mean a Christian would take what he or she believes about secular matters and bring them into the church?

Since the SBC supported the Baptist Joint Committee, which addressed church/state issues, and operated the Christian Life Commission, which addressed moral issues, it was impossible for some issues in the CR to touch on politics (e.g. strict separation vs. accommodation in church/state matters and abortion in the moral arena). No one would deny that.

But the great emphasis and push in the CR was the seminaries and colleges (even though they were state agencies). The belief was if one had the correct view of scripture, these other issues would play out. If you ever heard Pressler's stump speech which he must have given over 1000 times as he travelled around the country on his own time and dime from about 1978 to 1990, almost all of his examples and concerns related to theology. He would tie it to his experiences in religion classes at Phillips Exeter and Princeton in the late 40s and early 50s. He found, much to his dismay, that a lot of SBC colleges and seminaries were using the same approach.

I am glad that you see Mr. Moyers for what he is, and not some objective newsman. I think over time (even since 1990) people have seen him continue to move ever farther left. I think that he is actually on the board (or has been) of the Tides Foundation (sp?) which is an influential foundation financed and run by George Soros.

You have to remember that this Moyers TV program was released on PBS the week of or the week before the SBC meeting in New Orleans. You may recall that PBS took some criticism for what appeared by many to be an overt effort to influence a deliberative meeting of the religious denomination.

At any rate, my point when we started this thread was that whatever criticism bloggers may receive nowadays does not compare to the heat that some of the conservatives faced in the 70s and 80s.

By the way, have you ever seen the Phil Donahue show with Pressler and Dr. Ken Chaffin, former pastor of the South Main Baptist Church in Houston and then professor at Southern? If you ever get a chance to see that, do not pass it up.

Take care.

Louis

Rex Ray said...

Louis,
You said, “I found Dr. Dilday’s statements in this tape just as disingenuous today as they were in 1990. Thank God that the vast majority of the SBC rejected his prescription. Dr. Dilday admits that there are faculty who don’t like the term ‘inerrancy.’

Thesaurus of your word “disingenuous” is “insincere, untruthful, hypocritical, deceitful, devious, and dishonest.”

My, my, it’s strange when you have your mind made up; you hear what you want to hear.

WHERE DID DILDAY SAY THAT ON THE TAPE?

Your heard Dilday reply to the question: “What do the militants want?”

“They use the emotional flag of conservative theology; holding to the great truths of the Biblical inerrancy; Biblical authority; the basic doctrine of the faith. I do not find in our denomination much divergence among our people over these basic principles.”

Louis, will you put in quotes what Dilday said that you disagree with; that you condemn “disingenuous”?

You should read Dilday’s book and then judge. In his book he wrote ever word in the Bible was breathed by God.

Your “Thank God…” reminds me of Dilday’s book telling of all the “Amen’s" heard at their trustee meetings when one trustee would preference his statements with “Thank God I never went to any seminary.”

All six seminaries complained of the quality of trustees being appointed.
I believe they were appointed by their loyalty to the ‘us group’ and not based on their abilities.

When the trustee fundamentalists outnumbered the real conservatives, they fired Dilday; telling him they didn’t have to have a reason to fire him because they had the vote.

Did Patterson fire Dilday? You be the judge. One trustee wrote a letter complaining they’d received hundreds of letters telling there was a special place in hell for them; “we did what you wanted us to do”…why is no one standing for us? I believe his letter was sent to Pressler and Patterson. (Someone correct me if my memory is bad about whom the letter was sent because I’ve loaned Dilday’s book.)

Louis, you wrote: “He also says that the ‘militants’ were concerned about 6 or 8 issues, but he never says what those issues are.”

Again you did not listen to what was said. Dilday said, “We have about 500 teachers in the six seminaries. Not in any of this debate have there been more than 6 or 8 issues raised by the militants of examples of adrift from Biblical faith. And these 5, 6, or 8 teachers are not at all classic examples of liberals. None deny the deity of Jesus, authority of the Bible, the miracles, or the supernatural as a traditional liberal would do.”

It’s been said that Patterson had a list of all the ‘liberal teachers’, and they could all fit in a Volkswagen.

K. Michael Crowder said...

Instead of getting bogged down in this current line of thought, let me just say that it is my opinionation that Dilday and Vestal are liars and Generals of Hell.

The CBF is worse than Catholicism, and if I might add, Daniel Vestal sounded (in the Moyer interview) a lot like our dear friend Wade.

"I am a conservative, but I will fight for the rights of liberal slime."

Wade,

Is DV your hero?

Wade Burleson said...

K. Michael Crowder,

To call Daniel Vestal a General of Hell not only negates the veracity of other words you write, it reveals a level of immaturity and rashness that causes me to blush - on your behalf.

K. Michael Crowder said...

Don't blush on my behalf. Blush at the rank liberalism perpetrated by your dear friend Daniel Vestal. Some professing Christians are SO evil that it shames the Cross to consider them part of the fold. Oh yes, we indeed know him by his fruits.
K

Rex Ray said...

I won’t mention your name because your name is your god. You say stupid things for attention. You fancy yourself as wise, but most fools do. I could go on, but you would enjoy it so much your head might explode.

The following letter was printed in the Baptist Standard January 13, 1999.

Pondered vs. Love
In his letter (December 23) Jeff Whitfield “pondered” the words of BGCT President Russell Dilday: “We Texas Baptist don’t like anyone telling us what to do except God himself.”
Whitfield said, “But I wonder if we are more citizens of Texas than we are citizens of the kingdom of heaven.”
I think Dilday believes in the priesthood of man that has spiritual leaders but not spiritual bosses.
Would Whitfield have like for Dilday to say the opposite? ‘We like anyone telling us what to do except God.’
That’s what Hebrew people did when they told God they wanted a king.
That’s what early Christians did when they became obedient to a pope.
That’s what happened two years ago when a letter requested our missionaries to have “a confidence and willingness to follow the wisdom and guidance of God-appointed leadership, whether we necessarily understand or agree.”
Notice Whitfield and the letter both said “we” but meant ‘you’.

Steve said...

I just wonder what the heroes of the CR will do with Southwestern Seminary when its enrollment drops below twelve hundred? A thousand? Five hundred? At what point do the world-changing militants admit a mistake, or do they ever? The re-writers of history can play make-believe all they want, but when students don't trust an institution any longer, all the PR of all the Dilday-haters amounts to nothing.

Lin said...

Louis, You are still stuck in 'everything is either liberal OR conservative' mode and cannot get past it. You don't seem to understand that I was a foot soldier in the CR in the late 80's and all through the 90's. I drank the kool-aid and would have made the exact same points you are making here.

You are doing exactly what I used to do by making the implication: If you do not agree, you are a liberal and don't really believe the Bible.

We see that implication daily by folks on this blog.

I would have done exactly what you did by pointing out that Moyers is a big liberal. (He is) And therefore, we cannot believe anything he says. Pressler is conservative and on our side, says the right words about the scripture so he must be right and a good man. Moyers bad. Pressler good. This thinking, over time, is applied to everyone: Wade bad. Patterson good.

But then I saw quite a few of these conservatives who beat the the bible was 'inerrant' drum, up close and personal and wondered why they did not 'live' what they said they believed to be completely true. What about me? Was I doing that, too? I now know that believing correct doctrine is not enough.

(What is inerrancy, anyway? I have found some translation problems with the NIV and the KJV and others. :o) Get my point?

What I find ironic is that we fought the CR battle and won but many are acting like we lost. Now we are arguing about 'how' the battle was won and very few want to admit to the vastness of the collateral damage. Some want to look the other way at unethical behavior of our leaders because they have the right 'politics'. Some want to fight it all over again but this time the conservatives are not conservative enough. Where does it end?

Let's not rewrite history. Let's be honest about all of it and learn from it. Some of it was good and necessary. Some of it was very bad and un-necessary and much of that is still going on today because the movement became about power and control whether or not that was the inital intention...that is where it has ended up.

BTW: We are blind if we do not admit that the CR was about more than saving our seminaries from liberal professors. It was also about winning in the public square. We became a huge voting block. We wanted a more moral society. We never stopped to think we could have a more moral society that would go to hell anyway because they were not saved.

K. Michael Crowder said...

Rex,

What is it that you want to do that your convention does not allow you to do?

Also, are you saying that there is no authority whatsoever given to the local church over her members?

No accountability?

It’s not about man telling man what to do. It is about man telling man what God has said in His Word and holding that man accountable. What is so wrong with that?

Men who open Christ's Church up to lawlessness and to the unredeemed are nothing short of Generals of Hell, or as Russell Moore much moore eloquently puts it: they are "serpent-sensitive."

K

Anonymous said...

Rex:

We'll have to agree to disagree on Dr. Dilday. I have not read his book. I hadn't thought about that guy in years, and was really surprised that he is still alive because I thought he was older. Someone on this thread linked that interview that Moyers had done. I was only commenting on what Dr. Dilday said on that Moyers' program, not his life's work or his book(s).

I will repeaat that his statements on that program were not accurate and were disingenuous. 6 or 8 teachers out of 500? How in the world could he know that with any certainty? Most Baptists knew that wasn't correct then, and they know it now. I wonder whom Dilday had on his list of 6 or 8, and I wonder what Dr. Dilday would have proposed to address those 6 or 8?

Lin, I have not said the things that you think I have said. I don't think that because someone is a conservative means they are right on every issue, or that they are all good and liberals are all bad. Just because someone was for the CR doesn't mean that every idea or plan they have is a good one.

I have never really felt "burned" by the CR, as some that comment from time to time on here. I get the sense from you and some others that participation in the CR is viewed with some regret because of developments that have occurred after the CR ended - 1990 or so.

I hope we can remember that each generation faces new challenges, and just because we were shoulder to shoulder with people in one battle, doesn't mean that we will be in all battles.

In my opinion, that's neither a cause for sorrow or regret. It's just the way the world works.

I am glad to know more of your background and your participation in the CR. The SBC is beyond that now, and needs to move on with another agenda, but should never again adopt a position that the theology and teaching

Again folks, I brought this up only to compare the level and significance of attacks or disagreements with bloggers today vs. the days of the CR. My point was, and is, that the signficance and intensity of any attacks is way less than we have experienced before.

The Moyers' program, which somebody linked us to is exactly what I was talking about.

If the current issues ever generate a PBS special on the SBC and the bloggers are attacked the way Pressler and Patterson (the "militants", I still can't believe that word was used. We thought liberal and fundamentalist were bad words), then I'll agree. But until then, what any of the guys today are going through is small stuff.


Hope all of you have a great day.

Louis

Douglas Shivers said...

k.,

By all means, keep posting regular, often, and extensively. You're doing more to expose the ugly side of Fundamentalism than any of us could ever hope to do.

Lin said...

"In my opinion, that's neither a cause for sorrow or regret. It's just the way the world works."

Louis, That is the saddest thing I have read yet. But it makes my point. We are not to be like the world. We are not to use the world's tactics for power or to 'win'. But we did. And still are.

If one person was accused wrongly by a fellow brother it was not of Christ. If one person lost their job wrongly, it was not of Christ. ONE. Each ONE counts in the kingdom.

If you don't think those things were attacks on people, then I am not sure what is. But then, I did not realize our conversation was about the severity of attacks then and now. I suppose being censored for what SHOULD BE open is just normal in Baptist circles these days and not an attack on a person?

How does 'less severe' now than then make it any less wrong?

Yes, I have regrets. And never again will I join any 'movement' or follow anyone but Christ. I learned to be a Berean.

Martin Lloyd Jones has an excellent piece on the Lonliness of the Christian Walk that would benefit everyone to read.

Anonymous said...

"It’s not about man telling man what to do. It is about man telling man what God has said in His Word and holding that man accountable. What is so wrong with that?"

Who holds the man in charge accountable? Is it the other men around him who are just like him?

And, does the man in charge get to go directly to God but man under him can't because the man in charge gets to decide what the scripture really teaches?

Congrats, K. You are describing the Catholic Church.

Rex Ray said...

No, Lewis,
You don’t get off the hook by saying “We’ll have to agree to disagree on Dr. Dilday.”

You said, “I will repeat that his statements on that program were not accurate and were disingenuous.”

You can repeat that a thousand times, but until you put what you consider his ‘untruth’ in quotes, like I asked you to do, then your accusations are nothing but a zero with the rim knocked off.

You stated on a previous comment from the tape that “Dr. Dilday admits that there are faculty who don’t like the term ‘inerrancy.’

The reason you haven’t put those words in quotes is because you can’t find it. And since you can’t find it, I believe you owe Dilday and the ones that comment here an apology.

You said, “I wonder who Dilday had on his list of 6 or 8…”

The list was provided by Patterson, so why don’t you asked the guy that now has Dilday’s job?

BTW, under Dilday, SWBTS grew to be our largest seminary with 5,000 students. I’ll bet it’s too embarrassing for you to tell its present enrollment. You can even count correspondence courses, and those learning how to cook.

Bruce said...

Louis,

I am 47 as I think you said you are. My experience with the CR was totally from the outside as I attended a state university and did not go to seminary. I was a journeyman in the mid 80's however and so do have some exposure to how things were going on the mission field at that time.

My experience has been that those who claim to be the most correct in their opinion of the Bible (inerrant) also tend to be the most judgmental and hateful. It is as if they think that their mission justifies their means. My other conclusion is that Pressler and Patterson most assuredly whipped up the unsuspecting, uninformed masses into a frenzy by overstating the "liberalism" of the SBC and saw an opening in which they could take control of things so that "God" could be in control again.

Those are my impressions be they right or wrong. It's interesting to see that the same thing is being replayed after the "cleansing" of the SBC that supposedly occurred in the 80's and 90's.

Rex Ray said...

“It’s not about man telling man what to do. It is about man telling man what God has said in His Word and holding that man accountable. What is so wrong with that?”


There is nothing wrong if that was all that was taking place. The wrong is man telling God what to do.

Anonymous said...

Bruce:

Thanks for the background and sharing your feelings.

My in-laws were career missionaries in South America.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Rex:

I am sure from reading your email and the how you feel that I will not be able to convince you no matter what I say. I am sure that you like Dr. Dilday. I suspect that he is a good person. I do not believe that what he said on the program was accurate, and I am certain that I will not convince you otherwise. (I do think on that clip that he said they had some professors at SWBTS who were not comfortable with the term "inerrancy.")

I wish you the best.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Lin:

I didn't mean what you think I mean.

I have been part of lots of various movements in my Christian life. Most are not controversial. Just emphases that move through the church from time to time.

What I am saying is that no matter what religious social circle or emphasis we find ourselves in now, if we grow and change or the times change, I have found it fairly easy to not look back with so much angst.

I clearly look back on the CR with a great fondness, which I am sure that you can see in my writings. The people whom I knew personally in the CR have not disappointed me at all. I have seen some people who were involved in the CR who have gone on to do things that they themselves were not proud of. The same can be said of the moderate camp.

I have been fortuntate that no one whom I knew personally has disappointed me.

I will add that there are movements that some people in the CR have followed since then (and some people in the moderate camp have followed since then) that I did not want to be associated with.

But I have not experienced any personal hurt or regret.

Hope that explains what I was trying to say. You may not agree, and that's fine, but wanted you to get the true feeling of what I was saying about my own life.

I am aware that many of us have been disappointed in our Christian life by someone that we knew closely, and I am aware of how devastating that can be and how much regret and hurt that can cause.

I am simply fortunate in this instance not to have experienced it, so my memories of the CR are very good ones.

That does not mean I agree with everything that is going on or has gone on in the SBC since then. Nor does it mean that I see any such development as having necessarily been a product of the CR emphasis, though people in the CR may be involved.

Take care.

Louis

Ogum Babalawo said...

Kevin Crowder,
My goodness! For someone with so little experience, why do you try to promote yourself as a "heavy player"?

It would be best to exercise a little discretion before pontificating.

Ogum Babalawo

Lin said...

Louis, Thanks for your comment. The CR is still going on. We are simply in another phase of it which is now focused on making secondary doctrines primary doctrine. Dr. Klouda is one of it's latest victims. As was Dwight McKissic. It grieves me that so few are unconcerned by how they were treated. As a matter of fact, many go out of their way to defend the tactics which both were subjected to.

The tactics and strategies of the CR have been institutionalized.

Anonymous said...

Lin:

You are welcome. Thanks to you for your input.

I don't associate either of the situations that you mentioned with the CR. I can see how people connect those dots, but I do not.

It is not illegitimate to make that connection because some of the players are the same, and some of them are claiming that they are doing what the CR wanted.

Still, I was involved in many meetings during the CR, and these were not the issues that animated people and they were not discussed.

My guess is that there are many who supported the CR, but do not agree with everything that has happened. I think that Wade has said that he fits in that category.

The CR studiously avoided both of those issues. At least the people that I hung out with did.

I think that Pressler tried valiantly in that Moyers interview to say that. It is worth noting that Pressler has not been involved in either of these matters.

It also might interest you to know that Pressler is deeply respected by some charismatic leaders (small "c"). I remember Peter Lord and Jack Taylor both being in favor of what Judge Pressler was trying to accomplish back in the day.

Most people would be surprised at that. But most people forget or don't know what it's like to be an evangelical at a school like Princeton. Lots of fellowship is had between people on the major issues, and the finer doctrinal distinctions do not become barriers.

I have mentioned before that it's my impression that the earlier generation of SBC women who sought ordination (or whatever one wants to call it) in many cases did not have a high view of scripture, and that put them in the moderate camp. I do not know Nancy Sehesed (sp?), but I seem to recall her as holding a more neo-orthodox view of scripture. I would feel very confident in saying that Molly Marshall Green's views were not consistent what someone like you would hold. She left Southern because she would not teach in accordance with the BFM or Southern's Abstract of Principles.

There is a younger generation of conservative women in all quarters of the evangelical life who hold a very high view of scripture, but do not view the ordination of women as being in violation of scripture. I believe that you would fall into that category.

The convention is going to have to wrestle with these issues in the future, and I hope that we can do so with more grace than has been exhibited to date.

The SBC is not a charismatic denomination and never has been. The clear majority of churches are going to be against that, while a smaller number in the Lord, Tayor tradition (small "c" charismatics) will exist within the SBC. My own view is that both should be permitted to be part of the convention, but that it would be wise for the convention to give some consideration to the issue of gifts.

There will also be some small number of churches that ordain women (to elder or pastor) and a larger number that would not do it, but would not be uncomfortable that others do it.

It is an organizational challenge, recognizing the above, to decide how to organize and run the agencies. We know that there is more diversity in the churches on these and other issues. But how far should that diversity extend when making denominational policy? That is a tough question, and I can't think of any answer (in the abstract) that isn't going to get someone chewed out by some group in the SBC. That's the tension we are witnessing.

Have a great day.

Louis

Rex Ray said...

Louis,
(Just noticed I put this on the wrong post, so here it is again.)

You said, “I am sure from reading your email…”

What email? Do you mean ‘my comment’?

You said, “I am sure that you like Dr. Dilday…” yada, yada Is that supposed to make people believe I’m prejudices and cannot fathom what Dilday said? I’ve never met Dilday.

How many times have you listened to the clip? In writing down what was said, I played it over ten times

Louis, you have done has been done by the C/R from the very start. And that is ‘guilt by association’.

Your latest comment said, “I do think on that clip that he said they had some professors at SWBTS who were not comfortable with the term ‘inerrancy’.”

IF HE HAD SAID THAT, WOULD THAT MAKE HIM A LIAR OR AS YOU CALLED HIM “DISINGENUOUS”?

What you said he said was said by Moyers, and that is guilt by association.

Play the clip again, and we’ll see if you’re big enough man to apologize.

John Killian said...

The blogging movement has been positive in information is spread and light runs out the darkness in corners of Convention life.
However, the one negative is that rumors are easily spread anonymously.
Brother Wade, regardless of your thoughts, you have always had the courage to put your name with your comments.

Anonymous said...

rex

am away from the computer now, but will be glad to check and get back to you after watching th clip. what dr. d said that was disingenous was his summary of the situation. I think he said that there were 6 or 8 issues or profs in the entire convention seminaries that were a problem and never did he ever say what the proper prescription was. he just criticized the "militants"

his quote about the term inerrancy is not that big a deal to me. I think I remembered it accurately, but I will do as you suggested and get back to you.

also, ithink that one can admire someone without having met them. I have so much to read each day and a long list of really significant books that I haven't gotten to that I will probably not get to dr. d's book. I assume that you have read it and admire or agree with him.

that's fine by me.

louis

Anonymous said...

Rex:

Dan Vestal described "the man who has taught for 25 or 30 years", believes the Bible is authoritative, but does not like to use the word "interrantist."

You are correct. It was Vestal, not Dilday. (I think you may have said it was Moyers).

Dilday says that he has tried to ask what the miltants want and has tried to put himself in their shoes.

Dilday says that the militants use the emotional flag of conservative theology, but behind that are other motives.

Dilday says he doesn't find much divergence in the convention on theological issues.

Dilday says that there are 6 or 8 "issues" or professors (he uses both), but that they are not even "Classical Liberals."

I have talked to literally hundreds of people over the years who went to SBC seminaries (some who left the SBC and went to DTS, Trinity etc.), and they have rebutted each of these statements that Dilday made. My own pastor rebuts this.

Dilday's statements are all disingenuous, including his labeling of people who wanted the seminaries to be orthodox as "militants."

I know that you disagree, but we are going to have to agree to disagree.

Louis

Rex Ray said...

Louis,
You said, “Dilday’s statements are ALL disingenuous.”

I’ve asked you to put his statements in quotes, that you think are not true, but you won’t do that. You like to put spin on what you think he said.

If I put one of his statements in quotes that you agree is not “disingenuous”, then that makes your statement about him false. Right?

Here is one of his statements on the clip in quotes:

“They use the emotional flag of conservative theology; holding to the GREAT TRUTHS of the BIBLICAL INERRANCY; Biblical authority; the basic doctrine of the faith. I do not find in our denomination much divergence among our people over these BASIC PRINCPLES.”

Lewis, what is “disingenuous” about that statement? Please don’t wiggle about an “emotional flag”, or a copout business of ‘agree to disagree’.

Anonymous said...

Rex:

I have listed several things that Dilday said that are not true. I did not put them in quotes, but believe they are what he said.

I did not say All that he said was untrue. He said that his name was Russell Dilday for example. That was true.

If you cannot read the very quote that you took the time to write down word for word, and not see that the statement is untrue, then we are just not seeing things the same.

For Dr. Dilday to say that he did not find much divergence in our denomination about the matters you listed shows that he was either very ignorant (which I do not believe) or that he was being disingenuous (which I do believe).

Rex, compare that statement that Dr. Dilday made with the Peace Committee Report, which was composed of conservatives and moderates, and which was accepted by the convention in 1987 (I think). That report clearly contradicts what Dr. Dilday said. There was a significant amount of divergence in the SBC on the very matters that Dr. Dilday mentions, which was the reason for the CR in the first place.

If one were to read Dr. Dilday's statement, and then read the Peace Committee Report, one would have to come to the conclusion that one of them is not accurate. It was either a theological controversy or it wasn't. Dilday says that there are only 6 or 8 "issues" or profs, but that they are not classical liberals, and that there is no significant divergence in the SBC on the theological issues.

I do not know why you are so fractious? Are you a former moderate foot soldier, or someone still frustrated that the CR ever occurred? Or are you a disillusioned follower of the CR who got burned?

I can't tell which, but you are very angry. I enjoy sharing with you, but you get so angry at the drop of a pin. And it's usually over nothing.

Again, you may not like the CR. Fine. You may think that the majority of Baptists, who also disagreed with Dr. Dilday, were wrong. Fine, again. You apparently don't agree with the Peace Committee Report. Fine, still.

But at some point then we must conclude that we see things differently. I am fine with that. I am not going to convert you to my opinions, and I suspect that your continuing to hail Russell Dilday is not going to impress me.

Can we leave off with this now? Or do we have to hear more quotes from a guy who hasn't been prominent in Baptist life for almost 20 years?

I wish you the best in all things, and only hope and pray that you are able to return the well wishes.

Louis

Lin said...

Louis, As a lawyer, you have the knack of presenting both sides and subtly inputing small declarations that may or may not be so. Still, they are sandwiched inbetween diplomacy in such a way as to make them believable and not a mere opinion.

How do you know most of the women who sought ordination in those days did not have a high view of scripture? You mention 2 by name but imply 'most women'. Because Al Mohler said so?


Sometimes I get the feeling that if a pastor says he/she want to feed the poor, you guys think they have a low view of scripture.

I also noticed you thanked one commenting man who disagreed with you for 'sharing his feelings'. That does not go un-noticed by me. It is code for: He is 'touchy feely' and has a low view of scripture. It is the ultimate insult from one man to another. Especially from a lawyer. :o)

Louis, you are good at what you do. I think the IMB should bring you in as their official PR guy. Hey, maybe you are. :o)

Rex Ray said...

Louis,
Let’s see now, you say in essences that two plus two is one hundred, and wonder why I don’t see it that way.

Also you say I “get so angry at the drop of a pin. And it’s usually over nothing.”

Wow! If calling a man’s statements “disingenuous” (“insincere, untruthful, hypocritical, deceitful, devious, dishonest) is “nothing”, I hate to know what your ‘something’ would be.

Why do you keep bringing me into your comments? Your reasoning is old as the hills…if you can’t prove a man’s words are wrong, you attack him…destroy his credibility etc. You’ve implied I’m a friend of Dilday etc. What’s that got to do with anything? Now you try to discredit me by saying how angry I am.

Hey! I’m laughing at your silly mind games.

Why don’t we just stick to the facts, and do away with this “I think” and “I believe”? OK? From the clip, here is the beliefs of Dilday:

1. Does Dilday believe in ‘inerrancy’? Quote: “…great truths of Biblical inerrancy,…”
2. Does Dilday believe in Biblical authority? Quote: “…great truths…Biblical authority,...”
3. Does Dilday believe in the basic doctrine of the faith? Quote: “…great truths…basic doctrine of the faith...”

Louis, you said ALL his statements were “disingenuous”.
What do you say now? And don’t tell me I can’t read.