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

The Big Picture: Resisting Separatist Ideology

This past week in the blog world has not been a particularly pleasant one. Sometimes it helps to back up and try to show the big picture. I remind Southern Baptists that it is possible to disagree with an ideology or a particular point of theology and not attack the character of the person with whom you disagree. To fundamentally disagree with the separatism of a person who adheres to Landmark ecclesiology and tries to creedally enforce every Southern Baptist Church to practice closed communion is not the same thing as disliking the Landmarker. To publicly express disagreement with the ideology of Fundamentalism that urges separation from other evangelicals is not the same thing as attacking the character of the Fundamentalist. To make it known that you abhor any ideology that would compel the termination of a Southern Baptist who disagrees over the extent of the atonement is not the same thing as abhorring the person who is seeking the terminations.

To publicly reveal that Paige Patterson is voicing his desire not to have faculty members at SWBTS who hold to classical Calvinism is not to attack Dr. Patterson's character. As I have said on numerous occasions before, I believe Dr. Patterson is a brother in Christ and is due all the love and respect every follower of Jesus should be given. In addition, to call the ideology of Paige Patterson a narrow, Fundamentalist, Landmark and separatist ideology is not to attack the Christian character of Paige Patterson. Thousands of people can individually attest to Dr. and Mrs Paige Patterson's personal civility and kindness. It is not Christian character that is being exposed and questioned, but rather it is the separatist ideology of some in the Southern Baptist Convention that is being identified and resisted. It is their ideology that compels them to separate from other Southern Baptist Christians who disagree.

The Ideology of Separatism

After a ten year absence from personal participation in Southern Baptist Convention ministry at a national level, I began serving as a trustee for the International Mission Board in 2005. In the almost four years since that time my eyes have been opened to the effects of the separatist ideology held by many in strategic positions of power in the SBC. I have stated before that I believe with all my heart that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant and infallible Word of God. I have no problem confessing my belief in the veracity of the Bible.

But separatist ideology goes way beyond a commitment to the veracity of Scripture itself. Separatists have a hard time comprehending that interpreting the Word of God and teaching people what the Bible says is not the same thing as affirming the Word of God and telling people what the Bible is. It is because there are differences of interpretation among Southern Baptists regarding what the sacred text says that all of us who are Christ-loving, Bible-believing Southern Baptists must learn to cooperate with each other rather than separate from one another.

For lack of a better nomenclature, those Southern Baptists who adhere to "separatist" ideology are sometimes called Baptist Identity people. These separatists have trouble believing that Christ-loving, Bible-believing, Southern Baptists can actually disagree over what the Bible is saying and still cooperate in missions and ministry in the SBC. In fact, when they come across a Christ-loving, Bible-believing Southern Baptist who disagrees with them, they implement plans to attempt to forcibly remove them from ministry or service (i.e. "separate").

Examples of Separation

(1). This is precisely what happened to missionaries who believed, contrary to the beliefs of Baptist Identity people, that spiritual gifts (i.e. a private prayer language) still exists. Baptist Identity people, compelled by their ideology of separatism, successfully implemented policies to remove these missionaries from future service in the SBC.

(2). This is precisely what happened to missionaries who were not baptized "in a church that holds to eternal security," which Baptist Identity people believe is the only proper description of biblical baptism. Baptist Identity people successfully implemented policies to remove these missionaries from future service in the SBC.

(3). This is precisely what happened to female professors who taught Hebrew and history at Southwestern Theological Seminary, contrary to a specific interpretation of the Bible by Baptist Idenity people that "a woman shall not teach a man," at any time, in any spiritual manner. Baptist Identity people successfully removed these women from their ministries.

(4). This is precisely what is happening to autonomous Southern Baptist churches that make decisions that are contrary to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 and Baptist Identity leaders - Baptist Identity people are seeking to disfellowship that church.

A few years ago I defended First Baptist Church, Holdenville, Oklahoma from excommunication from the South Canadian Association because the church practiced open communion and receiving into membership people who had not been baptized in a Baptist church. The Baptist Identity leaders who brought the recommendation for disfellowship were all Landmark, Fundamentalist, separatists, including the Director of Missions. I successfully defended the church and the motion to disfellowship from FBC Holdenville failed at the annual meeting.

(5). This is precisely what is happening at Southwestern Theological Seminary in relation to classical Calvinists on faculty, both now and in the future.

We Must Resist Ideological Separation

Some are very angry with my two posts last week that called out the ideology of SWBTS administrators that compels them to separate from classical Calvinists at SWBTS. I would suggest that we should not be surprised with any attempts to separate from classical Calvinists at SWBTS. It is consistent with the separatist ideology held by the President and administration. Let the words of Dr Paige Patterson and Dr. David Allen, Dean of the School of Theology, speak for themselves:

"Southwestern will not build a school in the future around anybody who could not look anybody in the world in the eyes and say, "Christ died for your sins." Paige Patterson, President of SWBTS, February 5, 2009

“A consistent five-point Calvinist cannot look a congregation in the eyes or even a single sinner in the eye and say: “Christ died for you.” What they have to say to be consistent with their own theology is “Christ died for sinners.” Since Christ did not die for the non-elect, and since the five-point Calvinist does not know who the elect are, it is simply not possible in a preaching or witnessing situation to say to them directly “Christ died for you.” Dr. David Allen, Dean of SWBTS School of Theology, SWBTS Center for Theological Research, November 2008

The above, my friends, is the latest example of the reason why separatist ideology, the core feature of the so called Baptist Identity movement, must be resisted with all hands on deck. Southern Baptists have historically disagreed over the extent of the atonement. Some Southern Baptists have believed that Christ died as the Substition for every sinner, even those who will ultimately be punished in hell for their sins. Other Southern Baptists have believed, namely the Calvinists among us, that Christ died as a Substition for only those sinners God chose to deliver from their sins, sinners the Bible calls "the elect," "His people," "the Bride of Christ," etc . . .

This issue has never been one over which Southern Baptists have divided, nor should it be. I am not resisting Paige Patterson the man. I am resisting the ideology that compels Paige Patterson to separate from Southern Baptists who disagree with him. I would say the same thing to any Calvinist who had a similar separatist theology.

That, in my opinion, is the big picture.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

259 comments:

1 – 200 of 259   Newer›   Newest»
toddongod.com said...

And from the rest of the world . . .

Just wanted to let you guys know that I just got home from the Southeastern seminary 20/20 Collegiate Conference and it was amazing. And who were the key speakers? None other than Mark Driscoll and CJ Mahaney! That Dr. Akin has some nerve. But guess what? There were 1400 students there! People were watching the sessions in another room on a TV because the chapel was too full, yet they still kept showing up.

Kudos to Danny Akin and the staff of SEBTS for putting on a wonderful weekend and not letting SBC-only, non-Calvinist blinders distract them from the express goal of the seminary which is to properly equip the next generation of Christian leaders.

Thy Peace said...

Amen.

It's also possible that in the dna of the BI folks, of the need to separate, rather than cooperate ... eventually might to lead to them leaving or the rest of non-BI folks leaving. It's almost like oil and water. But Emulsion is possible. The emulsifier is Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Perhap THY PEACE is correct.
There are some who must see themselves both 'right' and 'apart'.
Perhaps it is genetic.
That would explain a lot: we are victims of our own DNA, without choice or conscience.

J.C. said...

My prayer is not for my disciples alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

Anonymous said...

Mosaic: the SBC could be a 'mosaic' convention of individual Southern Baptist churches, each with their own autonomy and each respecting the other. Not that hard. Sort of 'pray and let pray'

Problem: current central authority will have to be dissolved and the authority of the churches returned to Christ.

Baptist Theologue said...

Wade, you said,

"I remind Southern Baptists that it is possible to disagree with an ideology or a particular point of theology and not attack the character of the person with whom you disagree."

I agree with your statement. This is a timely and teachable moment for all of us. Would you agree to set an example for other SBC bloggers and commit yourself to not attack the character of fellow Christians in the future and also to delete any comments on your blog that attack the character of fellow Christians?

Chris said...

Baptist Theologue,

Let me ask you a question BT, "BT, will you commit here and now to not beat your wife?" You act as if Pastor Wade has been a participant in the attacks on the character of others. On the contrary, he has been the epitome of grace and civility, even forgiving those who have attacked him mercilessly. Your question negates your comment. It would have been better had you just said,

"Pastor Wade, I agree."

Chris

P.S. By the way, Pastor Wade, great post. I agree.

Baptist Theologue said...

Nope, I'm talking about a commitment to future behavior that all of us should make as bloggers. I'll be the first to make that commitment. Wade, will you be the second?

Baptist Theologue said...

P.S.: By "nope" I was talking about your allusion to past blogging, not about my wife. I also commit myself to not beating my wife (which I have never done). I just wanted to be perfectly clear about that one.

Chris said...

Thanks BT.

Sorry I misunderstood. Thanks for the clarification.

I don't blog, but I will attempt to comment in the future with the same civility and grace I've seen modeled by this blog host in the past.

Chris

Baptist Theologue said...

Chris, you're welcome. Remember that the commitment includes deleting all comments on blogs that attack the character of fellow Christians. So, bloggers are going to have to be on their toes to monitor comments if they make this commitment.

Wayne Smith said...

Mike,

I believe you are starting in the wrong place by asking Wade first. All was quiet over 3 years ago when I started Blogging. Then the attacks started coming from those that call themselves BI now. A Professor from SEBTS (Brad Reynolds ) was their Leader, so to speak. He shut down His Blog I Jan 2007. If you want to clean up this mess I think you would start in the beginning. If you want proof I can share it with you. Lets not forget (Jeremy Green) the original hit and run and hide Pastor.

Wayne

Baptist Theologue said...

Wayne, we have to start somewhere. Why not here? Maybe it will spread from here to all the other blogs.

Baptist Theologue said...

P.S.: Wayne, I invite you to join me in this commitment. You might have to delete your comment about Jeremy Green. Was that a comment about his character? Help us start a movement toward civility.

Wayne Smith said...

Mike,

I'am afraid you don't know ALL of these ALL BI Guys. Go and check out their Blogs and older Post/History.

Wayne

Baptist Theologue said...

Wayne, I cannot change what has been done in the past. I can certainly learn from it. I think we can agree that people on both sides have attacked the character of people on the other side. Wouldn't this be a good time to focus on the future and commit ourselves to be civil?

Wayne Smith said...

Mike,

You know David Rogers better than I do. The difference is being able to walk in one's foot print.
If these BI Guys had the A Heart like David we might be able to resolve some of this infighting between Brothers in Christ. Maybe some more Chris Johnsons would also help.

Wayne

Baptist Theologue said...

Wayne, theologically I'm considered to be one of the BI guys. I don't think it will be helpful to our plan to label everyone on one side as evil. Do you see my point? Both sides have been guilty of uncivil behavior. What's wrong with making a commitment to be civil?

Wayne Smith said...

Mike,

Would you allow Dr. John Frame, Tim Keller and others to partake of the Lord's Supper if they would be visiting your church?

Wayne

Baptist Theologue said...

Wayne, it's about my bedtime, and I don't want to get into a debate about open, close, and closed communion. I'm making this my last comment before I hit the hay. I'll let you have the last word. Please consider joining me in making the commitment to be civil in your blogs and deleting uncivil comments that attack the character of fellow Christians.

Wayne Smith said...

Mike,

I believe we have some things to think about. I'am having minor surgery tomorrow and I need to get to bed, late for a 73 year old man.

Wayne

Anonymous said...

Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya
Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya
Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya
O Lord, kumbaya!

Kevin M. Crowder said...

BT,

The question is then, what constitutes an attack of character?

Is exposing objectional characteristics banned ini your new form of bloging?

For example:

-Dr. Patterson lied to Dr. Klouda.

-Dr. Patterson employs 2 chefs in his Cooperative Program Mansion while pulling all Seminary Funding aimed at helping families care for thier babies while their mommies and daddies work hard to study God's Word. Now these babies are forced to receive secular care from potentially dangerous Fort Worth city homes.

-Dr.Patterson kills God's precious creation just for sport and hangs their heads on the walls of the Cooperative Program Mansion.

-Dr. Patterson wants to fire all Calvinists from SWBTS.
***********************

You see. I have not once called into question his character.

I report..........you decide………..whether or not his character is un-Christian, un-biblical, un-human.

Wayne Smith said...

Kevin,

I'am proud of you and you growth in wisdom here on these Blogs. Good Night and God Bless you and your Ministry.

Wayne

Kevin M. Crowder said...

BT,

I wanted to lob something out there.

I believe anything but open communion (offered to all the saints of God) is unbiblical and destructive to God's Holy Church. One might also call into question the character of a minister or church leader who advocates closed communion. Additionally, the idea that baptism as a prerequisite is an idea found nowhere in holy Scripture. Do you also call into question the character of a baptist pastor who administers the Lord's Supper to able adults of other faiths present in the service?

If so, count me guilty of shameful character. I have served a Catholic man and a Presbyterian lady communion. :-O

Ron said...

Wade,

Thanks you for letting people know what is happening at my former seminary, SWBTS. Your picture of a blindfolded man is a good example of what the real problem has been in our convention for the last 30 years. Most have ignored and denied the true character of the Conservative Resurgence. For 20 years I have been writing letters to the editor of my state paper as well as individual trustees and CR leaders asking for accountability for the words and actions of our SBC leadership. Another accurate picture would be of a man with his eyes and ears open but a hand over his mouth. Many are afraid to speak the truth they know for fear of being blackballed or censured as you have been. Have you noticed when CR leaders label you a liberal or a liar or heretic and you defend yourself by saying they are wrong and giving proof, they will accuse you of attacking their character or veracity.

I want to mention another source of separatism by leaders of the CR. You may have the same theological beliefs as the CR leaders and you may be a theological conservative and an inerrantist but if you voice any disagreement with their methods or dare to not support their selected candidate for a convention office they will not only separate from you but label you a liberal. This is not only true at the SBC level but even more obvious at the state convention level. In my home state of Arkansas a small group of politically connected people located mainly in the Northwest Arkansas cities of Rogers, Springdale and Fort Smith for years decided who would be rewarded with positions on the SBC trustee boards and who would be separated from leadership. The have done this with the support of the SBC presidents who are responsible for the appointments. At one time they operated a network of supporters in each association to report on who was loyal to the cause and who could not be trusted. From this they sent out a list of those to label as liberals based not on theology but on support for their political organization. The result has been years of trustees appointed from my state who do not represent the theological conservatives of Arkansas.

One of the main characteristics of the CR is lack of accountability. When Ron Wilson served as in IMB trustee and began calling our missionaries neo-orthodox heretics and liberals, I privately and publicly asked him to give his proof of those statements or apologize. He ignored me and when I asked other trustees to ask him for proof they ignored me. When Jerry Corbaley blogged that there were theological problems on the mission field, I asked him for his proof or to give examples and he would not. In the mean time I discovered that most Southern Baptists who say they support our missionaries would sit quietly and let this type of carnal activity go on without complaining or saying one word in support of us.

Please continue to speak out on your blog for accountability and truth.
Ron West

Rex Ray said...

Baptist Theologue,
Putting your request in practice is for Wade not to say: ‘Stop shooting me with arrows!’

But to say: ‘Please; pretty please, stop shooting me with arrows.’

You said, “I’ll be the first to make that commitment. Wade, will you be the second?”

How hypocritical can you get when you ask the choir to agree to something it’s been singing from day one?

BTW I’m not attacking your character but your words.

Rex Ray said...

Ron West,
Thanks for your knowledge and wisdom about the ‘one of us’ crowd.

Bob Cleveland said...

Communion: How many of you would have kicked out Judas Iscariot?

Jesus didn't.

John Daly said...

I think your pops puts it exactly right:

"...I WOULD stand before every human being and say Jesus died for sinners. If YOU are WILLING to recognize you are one and are WILLING to call upon Him as Lord and Savior you WILL be saved."

Word Verification: facits (or fact) :)

Anonymous said...

99.8% of all SBCers are conservative THEOLOGICALLY--whatever that theology may be. A much smaller percentage is FUNDAMENTALIST, but it's an ugly thing among us. The percentage of SBCers who are moderate POLITICALLY have dealt with fundamentalists for over 20 years by either facing them down or leaving the convention. I'm fairly sure the moderates haven't been the problem among us--and not all the theologically-conservative folks have been either. Really hasn't been anything worth splitting the denomination for, though--and still isn't.

GeneOK said...

Does anyone other than me find it slightly funny that a BI'er comes on and asks everyone to play nice only after his side has been shown to be unethical?

Typical.

We are to be nice while they snicker about changing timestamps, banning entire cities just to keep one or two from commenting on their blogs, and hurling accusations of liar and heretic around like pharasies of old?

Forgive? Yes
Forget? NEVER

Ben Stratton said...

Here's the problem. No matter what Wade Burleson says or claims, the fact is he does NOT hold to historic Southern Baptist ecclesiology - the doctrine of the church. His views of open communion, alien immersion, ecumenticalism, and primacy of the universal church are NOT historic Southern Baptist beliefs. If I am wrong please show me. I don't believe you can.

I can't speak for any other Baptist Identity brethren, but as for myelf, I am not interested in kicking Wade or anyone else out of the SBC. But what I am going to do is continue to fight and tell people that this type of liberal ecclesiology is not what Southern Baptists have historically believed, it's not logical, and most of all it's not biblical!

ezekiel said...

If we really want to look at the big picture, we will look back to the OT and get a good look at the measured judgment that God is going to pour out on the entity that we know as the church today. (1 Peter 4:17)

Passages found in all the OT prophets, passages like Jeremiah 5, Micah 3, Jeremiah 23, Ez 34 and Psalms 135....

Psa 135:14 For the Lord will judge and vindicate His people, and He will delay His judgments [manifesting His righteousness and mercy] and take into favor His servants [those who meet His terms of separation unto Him]. [Heb. 10:30.]

We need to look at the church today, any denomination, any political organization affilitated with these churches and realize that right now, The God of Israel is still sifting Jews.

Rom 2:16 On that day when, as my Gospel proclaims, God by Jesus Christ will judge men in regard to the things which they conceal (their hidden thoughts). [Eccl. 12:14.]
Rom 2:17 But if you bear the name of Jew and rely upon the Law and pride yourselves in God and your relationship to Him,
Rom 2:18 And know and understand His will and discerningly approve the better things and have a sense of what is vital, because you are instructed by the Law;
Rom 2:19 And if you are confident that you [yourself] are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, and [that
Rom 2:20 You are] a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the childish, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth--
Rom 2:21 Well then, you who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you teach against stealing, do you steal (take what does not really belong to you)?
Rom 2:22 You who say not to commit adultery, do you commit adultery [are you unchaste in action or in thought]? You who abhor and loathe idols, do you rob temples [do you appropriate to your own use what is consecrated to God, thus robbing the sanctuary and doing sacrilege]?
Rom 2:23 You who boast in the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law [by stealthily infringing upon or carelessly neglecting or openly breaking it]?
Rom 2:24 For, as it is written, The name of God is maligned and blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you! [The words to this effect are from your own Scriptures.] [Isa. 52:5; Ezek. 36:20.]
Rom 2:25 Circumcision does indeed profit if you keep the Law; but if you habitually transgress the Law, your circumcision is made uncircumcision.
Rom 2:26 So if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be credited to him as [equivalent to] circumcision?
Rom 2:27 Then those who are physically uncircumcised but keep the Law will condemn you who, although you have the code in writing and have circumcision, break the Law.
Rom 2:28 For he is not a [real] Jew who is only one outwardly and publicly, nor is [true] circumcision something external and physical.
Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and [true] circumcision is of the heart, a spiritual and not a literal [matter]. His praise is not from men but from God.

Paul Burleson said...

I have this strange position personally that, as christians, who we are [our identity] is directly connected to our union with Christ, not our choice to be Southern Baptist. In like manner, what we believe [our theological identity] is directly connected to the gospel, not baptist ecclesiology.

Then, as we choose to cooperate as a Southern Baptist brand of christians in a mission endeavor, [The Cooperative Program] it might be unwise to get more caught up in the baptist part of our identity than the Christ part or the gospel part.

If I understand Paul the Apostle correctly, that was his basic argument, in different words, to the quarreling Corinthian church.

Jon L. Estes said...

Toddongod.com,

I was in chapel on Thursday and Mark Driscoll challenged my heart with a message on the 9 differences between religion and the gospel. I was there with two prospective students, from the church I pastor. They were blessed. I purchased on of his audio books and listened to it as I traveled to Johnson City, TN for a Focus on the Family - The Truth Project conference. People, you need to check this out. Powerful

SEBTS 93

absonjourney said...

Ben-

The problem is you are more focused on your Baptist Identity than your Biblical Identity. And I, for one, am tired of hearing about Baptist "distinctives" that conflict with my Bible. You are welcome to them, just stop trying to make everyone agree with you.

I do not always agree with Wade or others who post on this blog or others, but I do think they deserve the right to interpret under the leadership of the Holy Spirit their Bible, and that their should be some room for diverging viewpoints on non-essential issues.

Most BI folks who I encounter do not agree with that position and that is why they cause problems. The are standing in defense of the wrong things- tradition, power structure, interpretation of non-essentials- and ignoring the main issue- they are attempting to make the Bride of Christ- the Church- into a divided, eviscerated, useless lump of flesh. And that my friend is a sin no matter who's doing it.

Darby Livingston said...

Paul,

That is a strange position. Everyone knows that the true church was heralded by John the baptist, not John the evangelical free or John the non-denom. :)

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim Marsh said...

Pastor Wade,

I appreciate your comments that you are not attacking the character of Paige Patterson, I think that most of your readers know that. I mentioned in a previous comment that if Paige Patterson was a true Fundamentalist, along with other fundamentalists, then he (or others) would interpret any disagreement as an attack.

This is a psychological and sociological phenomenon of fundamentalism. They either will not or cannot determine the difference in a disagreement or an attack.

To use a term in family systems study, they are unable to differentiate between those they relate to.

What you are observing, I would disagree, is not a theological decision for Patterson to remove the TULIPS, it is a sociological and psychological one.

I hold high regard for two professors that I had at Beeson, Timothy George and Fisher Humphreys at Beeson Divinity School. George is a Calvinist, Humphreys is not. When Dr. George awarded the first ever teacher of the year award, it was awarded to Humphreys, of whom Dr. George said, "He is the most Christ-like man I know." And I know that Dr. Humphreys feels the same about Dr. George. That is the Spirit that should and must permeate SBC life if the denomination will be of any relevance in the future.

Furthermore, you have opened some interesting lines of communication in your blog. I wonder if there is a way that comments not pertaining to the topic at hand could be eliminated. I hate wading through the Calvin-Arminian debates in the comments. They merely rehash the last 400 years. We know this already.

Thanks!

Tim

Jon L. Estes said...

Darby,

Yet, we are not sure that John was a southerner. For all we know he could have been a part of any of the following:

Alliance of Baptists

American Baptist Association

American Baptist Churches USA

Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America

Baptist Bible Fellowship International

Baptist General Conference

Baptist Missionary Association of America
B
Baptist World Alliance

Central Baptist Association

Christian Unity Baptist Association

Colored Primitive Baptists

Conservative Baptist Association of America

Continental Baptist Churches

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

Evangelical Free Baptist Church

Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship

Fundamental Baptist Fellowship Association

Fundamental Baptist Fellowship of America

General Association of Baptists

General Association of General Baptists

General Association of Regular Baptist Churches

General Six-Principle Baptists

Global Independent Baptist Fellowship

Independent Baptist Fellowship International

Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America

Institutional Missionary Baptist Conference of America

Interstate & Foreign Landmark Missionary Baptist Association

Landmark Baptist Church

Liberty Baptist Fellowship

National Association of Free Will Baptists

National Baptist Convention of America, Inc.

National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

National Baptist Evangelical Life and Soul Saving Assembly of the U.S.A.

National Missionary Baptist Convention of America

National Primitive Baptist Convention of the U.S.A.

New Testament Association of Independent Baptist Churches

North American Baptist Conference

Old Regular Baptists

Old Time Missionary Baptists

Original Free Will Baptist Convention

Primitive Baptists

Progressive National Baptist Convention

Reformed Baptists

Regular Baptists

Separate Baptists in Christ

Seventh Day Baptist General Conference

Southern Baptist Convention

Southwide Baptist Fellowship

Sovereign Grace Baptists

United American Free Will Baptist Church

United American Free Will Baptist Conference

United Baptists

Unregistered Baptist Fellowship

World Baptist Fellowship


Final question not particularly to Darby but to the BI group at large.

Now we Southern Baptists have it more right because?

Wade Burleson said...

Baptist Theologue:

It's Monday morning and I am just now able to respond to your question. I do desire to set an example for bloggers in the future on how to address issues without attacking character. It is not as easy to control comments. Frankly, my posts are written ahead of time and automatically posted at 12:00 p.m. UTC-4 Universal Time Zone. There are some days I don't even look at blogs or comments, particularly on Sundays.

I have, however, taken away the ability for anonymous comments beginning with this comment. Blogger does not allow the editing of comments. It is very time consuming for me to go back through and delete previous comments on my posts. It is also too time consuming for me to moderate comments (pick and choose the ones I want posted). I prefer to simply post and trust the people. I am hopeful that this change of not accepting anonymous comments in the future might help all the comments be more civil in tone.


In His Grace,

wade

Joe White... said...

Wade,

I have noticed that you take particular care to choose a picture to go with each post. I was wondering if you cared to share your thought process behind the choice of picture for this one?

Wade Burleson said...

Tim Marsh,

A perceptive and excellent comment.

As to keeping comments related to the post, just one time last week I deleted about twenty comments that were unrelated to just one post (at the request of others and those involved), and it took me 30 minutes. It's not easy to delete comments on blogger, particularly when you have to wade through several hundred after they've been posted. I swore I would not waste my valuable time doing the same thing in the future.

All I can do is ask people to stay on topic of the post and don't chase rabbits. If you wish to chase a rabbit, then go write a post on your blog.

In His Grace,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

I leave pictures open for different interpretations and am interested in yours, just as I happen to acknowledge that there are different interpretations of Scripture texts and am also interested in yours on the texts dealig with communion, divine election, the church, Christian distinctives, spiritual gifts, etc . . .

And promise not to denigrate you or separate from you when you tell me your interpretation --

Of the picture.

How's that for a response?

:)

Wade Burleson said...

Ben Stratton,

To say my ecclesiology is not "Baptist" from your Landmark view of ecclesiology is expected. However, John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon and a host of other great Baptists through the situations would take exception to your dogmatic declaration.

For their eccelesiology is just like mine:

:)

Wade Burleson said...

Folks, I have a ton ministry today and will not be logged back in to this blog site until very late tonight.

Blessings to all.

The comments should be fewer with the new restrictions.

Thank you!

Wade

Baptist Theologue said...

Wade, thanks for taking away the ability for anonymous comments. That is definitely a timely step in the right direction. I would suggest that all our SBC-related blogs take the same step. If nothing else, it prevents confusion with so many posting under the same name. People who feel the need to do so can choose a distinctive cyber name without explicitly identifying themselves. If they keep that same cyber name, then their train of thought can be followed through a line of comments while keeping some degree of anonymity. When you do have time to read comments, however, I would still encourage you to delete comments that attack the character of other people.

Eric James Moffett said...

Wade,
Another great post.

It is incredible that people are un-aware of how harmful the Landmark movement was to Southern Baptists. Here in Arkansas it literally ripped the convention into pieces. In fact, its imprint is still left on the Arkansas Baptist Constitution, which tells us that any statement of faith may not be interpreted to allow for open communion or alien immersion. We attempted to remove this a couple of years ago but it failed after a heated and pointed debate.

The problem with the Landmark movement is that it is UNWILLING to cooperate. If there is no universal church (as in Landmarkism) there is no hope of cooperation.

This may be incorrect,but I am beginning to see that the Body of Christ can ALSO be understood as a worldwide body. Just think about how people are being reached around the world. The Pentecostals are exploding in South America. The Anglicans are growing in Africa. Baptists are expanding in China. It seems that God uses the willing and leaves the bickering to their personal battles.

Eric Moffett

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade,

i have personally had the privilege of worshiping in an Anglican cathedral in England, Pentecostal churches in, Russia, Germany and Latvia, Evangelical churches in Haiti, and Baptist churches in Jamaica, England, St.Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau.

In most of those cases .. Haiti, Russia, Latvia, Jamaica and Nassau, we were there ministering to, and with, them.

I cannot tell you what a blessing that has been in my life .. even to preaching through an interpreter, and seeing people getting saved when you don't understand the language.

We were worshiping (and serving) God, and not our own understanding (i.e. our own ideology).

I suspect that, if more people had such experiences, there'd be less of the tendency to want separation over these ideologies.

A whole lot less.

Bob

Paul Burleson said...

Darby,

:)

debbiekaufman said...

If there is no universal church (as in Landmarkism) there is no hope of cooperation.

Exactly. In my opinion that is why it is important to understand that scripture teaches there is a universal church of believers past, present, and future, all over the world.

Stephen said...

I have a sorry that cannot be consoled. I am in deep mourning for all the good people who will be surprised to find out that their salvation is invalid because they received and accepted a gospel that was not true. They were presented the gospel in word and deed by someone other than a BI / Landmark Baptist. Since those of us outside the BI / Landmark culture have already skewed the word of God, maybe we should mitigate the fires of hell by esposing an extra-scriptural Catholic-type purgatory for anyone who thought they were saved. It is the least we could do.....wait - I just realized that I may be lost, too!!! Someone help me, please!

Greg Alford said...

Ben Stratton,

You are to be commended for your rejection of the “Hyper” Landmark position that is at the heart of the “BI Movement”, which consist manly of those who are not only interested in kicking others out of the convention, but are actively pursuing an “agenda of separation” as Wade has documented in this post.

I am most curious Ben; are you consistent in you embrace of “historic Southern Baptist beliefs including the historic Southern Baptist beliefs known as “Classic Calvinism”?

Grace Always,

Jake Snodgrass said...

It is amazing to me that this is where theologically a seminary is now leveling its attacks. In our convention we are at a crossroads generationally. An increasing number of our SBC churches are filled with senior adults and we are lagging behind in baptisms. The theological struggle of our day should be one that is wrestling with a cultural post-modern ideology instead of this. Travel the state of Oklahoma, where I am pastor, or Texas to all the small town churches and look at who are in the pews. You are going to see something very scary. The truth is that if we as a convention do not start wrestling theologically with the issues of the day and contextualizing the gospel to communicate truth our impact on our world will dissolve. Instead we are choosing divide and separate.

Joe White... said...

Wade,

Thanks for the "response" to my question, although I was really hoping for an answer. :)

I would share my interpretation; however, I am not really in a position to speculate on the meaning of the picture. I will say this; I do not share such a gloomy outlook concerning "The Big Picture".

My pastor used to joke that Baptists multiply by dividing. I have lived long enough to see both the humor and tragedy of that statement. Having said that, I also acknowledge that there are times when separation is necessary, profitable, and required.

There may in fact be (as your picture hints), a storm on the horizon. May God grant us wisdom and grace to stand for truth and love one another no matter what the future holds.

P.S. - Thanks for doing away with the anonymous bloggers. Now if you would just do away with anonymous sources. :)

John Daly said...

Maybe I'm a 1/2 full kind-of-guy and that's actually the back of the ship, which means clear sailing up ahead. Hip hip hooray, the storm is over and we're on our way to our destination. Okay, but it doesn't hurt to think positive sometimes :)

Rex Ray said...

Baptist Theologue,
Your agreeing with Wade was good on explaining the importance of people establishing some kind of an identity.

However, after you read how Wade explained why he didn’t have time to delete comments, you got your little dig in by saying:

“When you do have time to read comments, however, I would still encourage you to delete comments that attack the character of other people.”

What part of English do you not understand?

The latest episode of SBC Today and some criticisms made, reminds me of a neighbor boy (I’ll name B.T.) that overloaded a shotgun shell, and persuaded a younger boy (my dad) to shoot the gun.
The explosion knocked my dad down and blooded his nose.

Later, B.T. accepted a ride in a wheelbarrow from my uncle Hez. Hez ran as fast as he could and flipped the wheelbarrow in the ditch.

B.T. followed Hez around pushing the wheelbarrow while bawling and saying, “Come on Hez, it’s your turn to ride in the wheelbarrow.”

Rodney Sprayberry said...

Rex....

Now that is funny!

Dienekes said...

Wade,

Your post today illustrated two things to me:

1. Part of the reason I am not a Calvinist and actually believe that there are dangers inherent in the conclusions of 5-point Calvinism.

2. Why I am absolutely convinced that we can work together anyway and, in your words, "why separatist ideology...must be resisted with all hands on deck."

I agree with George Verwer. To paraphrase, "If you're a Calvinist I'll show you Mr. Whitefield. If you're an Arminian I'll show you Mr. Wesley."

Unreached People of the Day:
Regeibat of Western Sahara
Population: 65,000
Language: Hassaniyya
Religion: Islam
Evangelical: 0.00%
Status: Unreached

Let's get to work.

Matt

Tom Parker said...

BT:

Have you posted to people other than Wade about being nicer to others in their blogging?

Baptist Theologue said...

Tom, you asked,

"Have you posted to people other than Wade about being nicer to others in their blogging?"

I posted the following on three different blogs (this one, Bart's, and SBC Today) yesterday:

"Ladies and Gentlemen (on both sides),

I have not enjoyed reading various SBC-related blogs this past week. I hope and pray that many of you feel the same way. We should not enjoy attacks on individuals, whether we feel like those people deserve it or not.

The blogosphere is a wonderful place to discuss issues if we can maintain civility. We can learn from each other during civil debates on substantive issues. I think that sometimes we believe that if we embarrass someone on the other side, our side wins. Even if we succeed in embarrassing someone, however, the idea that we oppose is not necessarily defeated. The issues with which we are concerned on SBC-related blogs should be related to the exegesis of Scripture. When we leave exegesis behind, we enter an arena that is not our strength. We should exegete Scriptural issues, not other Christians. I am not innocent in this regard; I’ve made my share of mistakes. If we reach the point where we can no longer have a civil discussion with those people with whom we disagree, then we are indeed to be pitied."

By the way, I love you as a brother in Christ. I also love Rex and the other brothers and sisters in Christ who post here. I think all of you are precious children of God.

Best wishes,
BT

Tom Parker said...

BT:

Thanks so much for the response and may I learn to be more civil with those that I strongly disagree with.

Christians ought not to be battling with other Christians.

I also love you and the others in the Lord.

May the Lord bless you, my Christian brother!

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
debbiekaufman said...

Joe: Anonymous sources will be done away with when one can be open and honest in dissent and not have it affect his/her livlihood. It's not we who can do away with anonymous sources, but those who would threaten their jobs or place in the SBC.

Matt said...

Let the words of Dr Paige Patterson and Dr. David Allen, Dean of the School of Theology, speak for themselves:

"Southwestern will not build a school in the future around anybody who could not look anybody in the world in the eyes and say, "Christ died for your sins." Paige Patterson, President of SWBTS, February 5, 2009

“A consistent five-point Calvinist cannot look a congregation in the eyes or even a single sinner in the eye and say: “Christ died for you.” What they have to say to be consistent with their own theology is “Christ died for sinners.” Since Christ did not die for the non-elect, and since the five-point Calvinist does not know who the elect are, it is simply not possible in a preaching or witnessing situation to say to them directly “Christ died for you.” Dr. David Allen, Dean of SWBTS School of Theology, SWBTS Center for Theological Research, November 2008


Wade, you seem to believe these statements serve as evidence that you were correct in your original assertions last week. But somehow, I'm just not able to see how either one of them proves your point. Please explain how these statements equate to an admission on the part of Dr. Patterson that he intends to remove Calvinists from SWBTS.

On second thought, don't. I'll just go ahead and state that they do not prove that Dr. Patterson intends to remove Calvinists from SWBTS. In fact, the only way they support your original assertions is if one pulls some sort of hidden insinuation out of them to come to the conclusion which you wish us all to share.

Your logic seems to run as follows:

1. Dr. Patterson does not agree with Calvinists.
2. Dr. Patterson always attempts to remove people with whom he disagrees theologically from positions of power or authority in the SBC.
3. Therefore, Dr. Patterson intends to remove Calvinists from SWBTS.

Statement 1 is true--Dr. Patterson is not a Calvinist. Statement 2 is false and no matter how well you think you have proven it true throughout the course of your blog's existence, you have not. You claim that statement 3 is true, yet multiple sources (we PhD students at SWBTS have "sources" of our own, you see) have stated that it is false.

Excuse my apparent lack of sufficient mental faculties, Brother Wade, but I still fail to see how you have proven that your original assertions last week are true. Perhaps you did so when you went back and selectively edited your original posts in an attempt to make them more accurate?

Now, since I know some of the crew out here in the peanut gallery will attempt to classify me as a Pattersonian crony, let me just nip that in the bud. I am not trying to defend Dr. Patterson. I have no vested interest in defending Dr. Patterson. Dr. Patterson can defend himself if he so desires. He has no need for me to do it.

I do not agree with all of Dr. Patterson's theological positions. I also do not agree with every administrative action Dr. Patterson has taken since he began his presidency at SWBTS. I support Dr. Patterson insofar as he is the President of the institution I attend and therefore, is in authority over me.

I have not been "indoctrinated" by whatever sinister theological indoctrination program you all think exists at SWBTS. Anyone who believes that PhD students at SWBTS come out indoctrinated is delusional. We can think for ourselves.

No one has asked me to comment on these posts. Some even think I'm crazy for entering into the madness that is the comment sections of this blog. Perhaps they are right.

But let me tell you this, Brother Wade. I am not afraid to call you out on what is undoubtedly gossip. When I said that your blog is nothing more than a "gossip rag," I meant it.

I suppose that leads me to conclude with a question for you, Wade: "what is your definition of gossip?"

gmommy said...

"I have this strange position personally that, as Christians, who we are [our identity] is directly connected to our union with Christ, not our choice to be Southern Baptist. In like manner, what we believe [our theological identity] is directly connected to the gospel, not baptist ecclesiology."

I think I will put this to music it sounds so wise and makes so much sense!

V Domus said...

I’m not clear on how parties with such differing notions on central doctrinal issues, can ever be “cooperative”. The process of limiting the scope of acceptable variance will continue until “a last man standing” will claim “I am it”. By that time no one else will care.

Thy Peace said...

Steps for Anon users to get a google/blogger account:

- Get a google gmail account
- Go to blogger
- Sign in using your gmail account. This is also your google account.
- Create a display name.
- and follow the steps ...

Later when you are at blogger.com and you are logged in, on the top left hand side where it says Dashboard, click on Edit Profile, check only the following:
- Check Share my profile
- Make sure the Display Name is the one you want. You can also change it here.
- In the bottom, click on Save Profile

That's it. You can select other options in the blogger profile, if you wish to be less anonymous.

Good luck. If anyone wishes to clarify the steps further for new users, please do so.

New BBC Open Forum said...

You don't need to set up a Gmail address. You can use your existing e-mail address to create a Blogger account.

Tim Marsh said...

Matt,

I am sure that you are a gifted scholar with a great career ahead of you. Do you really believe that SWBTS is better off with Patterson as president than when it had Hemphill?

Does the PhD program really encourage academic exploration at the expense of defending Baptist Heritage, specifically the 2000 BF&M?

Did you have to write a dissertation that would not disagree with the 2000 BF&M?

Are your professors teaching under the 2000 BF&M?

How can true academic exploration exist under those conditions?

I ask these questions in the spirit of friendly dialogue, though from the questions I am sure that you can tell that I am not convinced.

Bob Cleveland said...

Tim,

Would "Baptist Heritage" only reach back about 40 years? Or would it include the 1963 and 1925 Versions of the Baptist Faith and Message?

To me, it would go clear back to our Baptist roots, or surely at least back to the formation of the SBC as an entity.

Byroniac said...

Kevin M. Crowder,

I am sorry but I have to take exception to your comment, "One might also call into question the character of a minister or church leader who advocates closed communion." (Mon Feb 09, 02:49:00 AM 2009) I do not understand how you reason that advocating closed communion automatically makes the person's character suspect. I am really surprised no one has questioned you on this, because I think that is far too strong of a statement. And for the record, no, I do not believe in closed communion or think it to be biblical. But I would never question the character of the personal acquaintances I have known who held to this position without some valid evidence of a character defect (a contrary position on a non-essential simply does not qualify that I can see). You might even change your mind concerning the issue, though I hope not, as you are correct already. ;)

Alan Paul said...

Thanks for blocking anonymous comments.. I don't read them and I have more than once given up on reading through the comments because of them.

Byroniac said...

I wish I could say I do not read anonymous comments. I do read them, and have enjoyed somewhere between fifty percent and two-thirds of them on average. But I have to thank you for disallowing them as well.

I understand the need for privacy but if I understand correctly, the mechanisms of blogger allow for that.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Byron,

I think you may have taken that line out of context. Honestly, I was trying to pick a good Christian fight with BI. He did not take the bait. Wisely I suppose.

I do not like Landmarkism, infact I am repulsed by the ideology and the gross misuse of God's Holy Word which is the basis for this erroneous doctrine. That said, it does not pain me to give to the CP alongside Landmark churches. Why? As you said--it is second tier doctrine. However, as a highly reformed Calvinist, they will DF me before I ever get a change to cooperate. Of course I shed no tears over the matter. I still submit that Landmarkism is going be the most destructive thing for the SBC I the years to come. I will always teach against it--for it is unbiblical--it is divisive--it is by nature contrary to the unity of which Paul speaks in Ephesians 4. But I do not call into question the character of those who hold to closed communion, other Landmark tenants, or separatist ideologies.

I will be preaching a Good Friday sermon at another SBC church in town this year. The service is sponsored by the ministerial Alliance. I suggested an ecumenical communion. A "no" was accompanied by a strange look. :))

I love my job.

RevKev

Chris said...

Matt,

As someone who is preparing to enter seminary, I have to say that the picture of SWBTS and the one I gathered in my research and visits to schools are quite at odds.

Most of the questions I would ask have already been asked by Tim Marsh. When I asked them of seminary reps, I got blank stares as though I was a heretic for wanting to ask those questions, regardless of whether or not I needed to ask them.

The first question I asked was whether or not the 2000 BFM was assumed or if you were taught positions outside of it. It became quite apparent that nothing at odds with the BFM2k would be taught, much less accepted. I didn't really know how I could be expected to have my mind challenged and my faith grown when I wasn't being forced to interact with anything but the official dogma.

What was being promoted was the definition of indoctrination, even if you are allowed to "think" for yourself within the most narrow of parameters.

Christiane said...

TO THY PEACE,

Thank you for the directions. :)

Byroniac said...

Kevin M. Crowder,

OK. I still do not see what you are talking about, sorry, but I understand and accept your explanation (I did read your comment too fast too BTW). I'll put my red flag down now and turn off the alarm bells. Thanks.

Robert Hutchinson said...

brother marsh,

with regards to swbts faculty lauding the bfm 2000 you asked, "How can true academic exploration exist under those conditions?"

you must remember the preface, which is part of the bf&m. we all must remember the preface, espcecially condition #4:

"That the sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having no authority over the conscience."

having how much authority over the conscience? none.

that should be justification enough for all sorts of academic exploration.

this is true whether or a '25, '63, or '00 bf&m guy.

Thy Peace said...

Pastor Wade, this is a good post, but without the Anons, it feels dead.

Here are some stats on the last post:

Total Comments: 607

Blogger ID Comments: 344 or 56.7%
Open ID or Name Comments: 96 or 15.8%
Anonymous Comments: 167 or 27.5%

Please note that Anonymous comments includes comments who have given names at the end of the comments : L's, Lydia and others.

So in perspective, the truly Anonymous Comments are fewer than what I thought they would be.

Christiane said...

PAUL BURLESON wrote,

"I have this strange position personally that, as Christians, who we are [our identity] is directly connected to our union with Christ, . . "

COMMENT:
What a blessing to read this.
Yes, it is a very strange and beautiful position that is shared by ever so many Christians, for ever so many centuries.
How does anyone know of this, but for the teaching of the Holy Spirit?



Hi, REX RAY,
Yes, it's me, L's

I loved the story about Hez and the wheelbarrow. Wonderful stuff and right in line with the events of this week which . . . we shall refer to as the 'late unpleasantness'. :)



Hi KEVIN,

I am so proud of you. Others have noticed how you seem different now.
Yes. I see it, too.
Something has renewed in you of your love of Christ and you couldn't hide it if you tried. It's there. Very vibrant and shining. What happened?
It's wonderful ! :)

You are preparing to give a service at Good Friday. In my faith, that is a very sacred day
of fasting and prayer. We even keep silent vigil during the hours of Christ's crucifixion, in memory of what He did for us.

Here is a prayer that you might like. Actually, I found it on a Lutheran site, and it is ever so old.
I love this prayer at this time of preparation for the coming Holy Season. It quiets the heart to focus on the mystery of Christ:


St. Aidan's Prayer

"Leave me alone with God as much as may be.
As the tide draws the waters close in upon the shore,
Make me an island, set apart,
alone with you, God, holy to you.

Then with the turning of the tide
prepare me to carry your presence to the busy world beyond,
the world that rushes in on me
till the waters come again
and fold me back to you."

Aidan of Lindisfarne


Love to all, L's :)

Tim Marsh said...

Bob Cleveland,

I agree with you totally.

If I was misunderstood, the question posed to Matt had to do with whether or not rigorous academic research was encouraged at SWBTS. Must PhD dissertations at SWBTS fall in line with the 2000 BF&M?

If it is the case that dissertations must fall in line with the 2000 BF&M, then one must question the integrity of the research and the methodology behind such research. Too, do these dissertations actually contribute something NEW to the body of academic knowledge? Furthermore, do such dissertations actually engage secondary literature from all sides of the theological spectrum critically?

If the answers to such questions are "no" then how can the PhD degree be worth the paper that it is written on. I hope that this is not the case.

Bob, to answer your question, yes the Baptist heritage should be explored to its roots and include studies of all theological confessions embraced by Baptists. However, when doing academic research, let's say in NT, it is obvious if a student is merely defending a traditional Baptist reading of a particular text. That is not scholarship. Apologetics, maybe, scholarship, not a chance.

Tim

Tim Marsh said...

Robert Hutchinson,

I appreciate your comment. However, this was the case before the conservative resergence in 1979. True exploration was allowed by both professors and students. However, the problem, as I understand it with the conservative resergence (or fundamentalist takeover) is that exploration did not jive with the seminary's goal to prepare men and women for the gospel ministry.

You can talk about the "historical Jesus" in a PhD program but I can see where this would not be fruitful in an M.Div. program. Thus the conflict.

However, if you eliminate historical inquiry from your PhD program for the sake of the M.Div., then how can you still call the PhD program a Doctor of Philosophy? A Doctor of Theology, maybe, but a Doctor of Philosophy, I am not so sure.

The SBC was in a quandry 30 years ago. I don't agree with the outcome, yet I can appreciate the problem.

But back to your comment, I do not believe that comment 4 in the BF&M preamble carries weight. I am wondering if all academic work is required to adhear to the 2000 BF&M. If not, then your observation is valid. If so, then can we call this real research? And too, this is regardless if you are fundamentalist, conservative, or moderate.

Chris, thanks for sharing your experience. I hope that you are led to the best place for ministry preparation. I would wholeheartedly recommend Beeson Divinity School to you.

Bob Cleveland said...

Tim,

Thanks for the answer. Remember, I'm just a college flunk-out in a pew.

:)

Tim Marsh said...

Bob,

I have always enjoyed reading your comments on Pastor Wade's blog.

God bless always!

Christiane said...

Dear Bob,

Not to us.
You are much more than that. :)

Robert Hutchinson said...

brother chris,

i think it is to much to expect that you won't be indoctrinated to some degree from any seminary you were to attend.

that's what seminaries do whether it's catholic, lutheran, presbyterian or baptist. the faculty wouldn't be doing their job if they did not emphasize and espouse the particular faith and practice of their denomination.

if you want greater exposure to theological views with less bias i guess you would have to attend a self-standing and non-denominational divinity school.

i've never seen swbts library but i'm guessing it's huge. probably the largest out of all the six sbc seminaries. i bet an abundance of differing theological ideas and opinions are stacked on her shelves just waiting to be discovered.

however, my personal recommendation would be nobts. as a graduate i'm a little bias though.

have a great time wherever you attend. and, when they confer you with a "master of divinity" degree, just remember, it's a lie.

Robert Hutchinson said...

brother marsh,

point taken.

guess my main point would be that if a student felt a professor was giving them poor marks for difference of opinions, that student could appeal to the same bf&m which the professor may be using to oppress or limit academic exploration.

especially, if the student is able to make a logical and compelling argument with the use of reason and Scripture.

much like what brother burleson does on his blog.

Chris Ryan said...

Robert,

I agree, it would be foolish to go anywhere and not expect to get faculty positions treated as truth. It is a matter of how open facutly are to presenting other material rather than hoping to happen upon it in the library (as though one would have the free time to browse). The library is huge though: I was led to understand that it was one of the best in the country regardless of denomination and I would believe it.

But I will take your advice and remember that an MDiv is a lie: I will have mastered nothing and likely only have become even more aware of how undivine I am.


Tim,

Thank you for your encouragement. I believe that God has led me to where I am supposed to be and am anxiously awaiting/dreading beginning at Truett (Baylor) next semester.

To all: I realize that a profile name change has taken place. I am the same Chris who posted in response to Matt, but changed the name to differentiate myself from the Chris who had posted earlier in dialogue with BT. I love my name and what it means, but there are just so many of us Chris' that it is hard to keep things straight...

Tim Marsh said...

Chris,

I went to school with David Wilhite at Samford, who teaches church history at Truett. Too, I know a pastor in the NC area who is a Truett graduate. You won't be disappointed. Blessings!

St. Steven of St. Paul, MN said...

Somehow I continue to drawn to Wade's blog. I pass on a blog site for the senior pastor at the church I attend in St. Paul, MN. Woodland Hills Church, Dr. Greg Boyd, senior pastor. You reading/studying theologians out there may find it of great interest.

Christus Victor Ministries - Blog: Reading List for Eggheads.

Joy to you through Christ Jesus,
Steven

Rex Ray said...

Matt,
You sound a little hot under the collar which is not good for clear thinking.
I would guess you have not read all the comments that have been made on whether Patterson ‘interviewed’ professors on their views of Calvinism in considering layoffs of professors since SWBTS is running short on money.

I’d bet you haven’t heard Patterson’s reply to that very question by a friend of his.

If you would like to hear it, go to SBC Today.com and click on the picture of the tape of his answer.

If you don’t have the time, I’ll print it out for you:

Interviewer: "I've been asked recently about a rumor that these economic challenges have been used as an excuse uh... to weed out certain professors at Southwestern who hold to a soteriological viewpoint with which you disagree. Is there any truth to that rumor?"

Paige Patterson: "Ummm... eh you... you know... eh uh... I certainly hope not. Uhhh... eh uh... eh... I've lived my entire life... of life in a goldfish bowl... and... as boldly as I know how to do it. Uhhh... we're not certain at all that we're going to have to eliminate any professor. We have been working very, very hard to... ummm... to cut everything else in the world so we don't have to cut professors and... uh... we don't know yet what we're gonna have to do, but we... we're hopeful that we don't have to cut any professors. If we do... ummm... I will not use a... uhhh... screen... uh... to do that with. Ummm... if if if... every decision that I make regarding faculty would be made with a view to assisting the school to be the best school it possibly can be. Ummm... we have every conceivable soteriological view on the campus... uhhh... in terms of five points of Calvinism. We have one-pointers, two-pointers, three-pointers, four-pointers, and five-pointers. Uhhh... I will say this. Uhhh... Southwestern will not build a school in the future around anybody who could not look anybody in the world in the eyes and say, "Christ died for your sins." If there is a problem there, then I believe there's a problem that Southern Baptists would not want to fund.

Interviewer: "True."

Paige Patterson: "And so uhhh... uhhh... that would be case, but I wouldn't be hidin' behind a screen of economic matters... if I had to deal with that.

Interviewer: "Sure."

Paige Patterson: "And uhhh... uh... God willing... ummm... if He's gracious to us... God's people continue to give... maybe we won't have to lay off anybody else."


Matt, why did it take Patterson 285 words to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’? He’s not a timid man. If the truth was ‘no rumor’, he’d yelled, “No…there’s no truth in it!”

Until that question, Patterson’s words were smooth as silk, but it’s easy to see that his life in a “goldfish bowl” had caught him with his hand in the cookie jar.

His six “ummm”, four “eh”, five “uh”, and eight “uhhh” reveal his brain was stalling for time trying to think of an answer that wasn’t there.

Matt, Wade’s blog is “Truth and Grace” which you’ve shown very little, and the amount of gossip on it is what you’ve brought with you.

I hope if you ever comment again, you’ll know a little more of what you’re talking about.

I know I haven’t shown you the grace that Wade would have shown you, but I have the excuse I’m probably old enough to be your grandfather and that lets me be a little cranky.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Christiane (L's),

Thank you for the kind words and for the prayer. I have yet to begin my sermons for Easter (I have 3 to give). Who knows, I might work in you prayer. I actually got a little book by Greg Laurie (I am not here endorsing him nor his ministry per se) entitled "Finding Hope in the Last Words of Jesus. Basically it is 7 small chapters on 7 last phrases of Christ on the cross. I might toy with using those 7 last phrases in whole or in part. The ironic thing about this Good Friday thing--I am firmly convinced that Christ was crucified on Wednesday and was taken off the cross and buried before sunset. :) But I would not dream of rocking the boat on this occasion if it means I get a chance to preach the Gospel. :)

RevKev

Thy Peace said...

Annual of the 2008 Southern Baptist Convention

Thanks to Christa Brown for pointing it out.

Pastor John said...

The problem with many of the people who would be considered "BI" is they value their own opinion so much they want even considered of any others.

Proverbs 18: 2 "A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions."

It sure is amazing what scripture can shine a light on.

John

Dienekes said...

Robert Hutchinson and Tim Marsh:

Re: BFM2000 as a guideline at seminaries, thanks to both of you for your comments. I'll be looking into seminary in the near future as well, and these are questions I'll need to grapple with.

I would imagine that it is in SB seminaries as in most other institutions; what is written on paper is one thing, but the question is how are the policies/beliefs implemented? It's a matter of what is actually emphasized by staff and faculty on a day-to-day basis in what is taught, how policies are enacted, etc.

Good food for thought and prayer. Thanks for the observations.

Matt said...

Rex Ray,

I'm not hot under the collar. Not at all. That was your assumption and it was incorrect.

Yes, I have followed every comment on these posts and am aware of everything that has been said. And yes, I had heard Dr. Patterson's response prior to you apparently feeling the need to repost a written form of it.

After that, you said the following:

[W]hy did it take Patterson 285 words to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’? He’s not a timid man. If the truth was ‘no rumor’, he’d yelled, “No…there’s no truth in it!”

Until that question, Patterson’s words were smooth as silk, but it’s easy to see that his life in a “goldfish bowl” had caught him with his hand in the cookie jar.

His six “ummm”, four “eh”, five “uh”, and eight “uhhh” reveal his brain was stalling for time trying to think of an answer that wasn’t there.


I wasn't aware of your expertise in definitively determining that "um"s, "eh"s, and "uh"s mean someone is stalling for time in trying to answer. I suppose then that every time you have uttered one of the above interjections in conversation, you were "stalling for time trying to think of an answer that wasn't there"?

You then ended your post with:

Matt, Wade’s blog is “Truth and Grace” which you’ve shown very little, and the amount of gossip on it is what you’ve brought with you.

I hope if you ever comment again, you’ll know a little more of what you’re talking about.


Show me, Mr. Rex Ray, where I have brought gossip with me to Wade's blog. And as for me supposedly not knowing what I'm talking about, considering that my "sources" are professors who are currently employed at SWBTS, I'd say I know a great deal more of what I'm talking about than you do.

To the rest of you all who have posed questions about the BF&M 2000 and its relation to PhD studies, it is best to respond summarily.

The people who comprise the SBC have made the BF&M 2000 the convention's confessional statement of faith. Is it therefore reasonable or unreasonable for them to expect seminaries which are funded by their money to hire professors who ascribe to the BF&M 2000 and will not personally espouse positions contrary to it?

For the record, I am not aware of any restrictions on dissertations coming out of SWBTS.

And Tim Marsh, your characterization of the PhD program at SWBTS is grossly inaccurate.

B Nettles said...

Kevin,
Okay, here we go off topic.
Wednesday crucifixion...I haven't heard a Baptist pastor defend that in years. It's quite refreshing to hear you mention it. Few people realize that Passover is a Sabbath apart from Saturday. I never could figure out how Friday to Sunday was 3 days, especially in light of Jonah. On the other hand, there seems to be some astronomical evidence that the Passover at crucifixion did happen on the Friday evening/Saturday day. There is a lunar eclipse that coincides with that Passover (the Fri/Sat one) and Joel talks about a "blood moon" (lunar eclipse) on the Day of the Lord. Interesting, huh?

Are you also one of those people that think Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem before the evening Jesus was born?

greg.w.h said...

Matt:

I know you're doing damage control, but have you coordinated with your institution regarding making public statements for the institution? Because you act like you are a trustworthy source.

When I was attending SWBTS, though, there was no way I could claim I had the big picture. And that was in spite of being included by professors on some pretty important discussions of the direction of SWBTS. Dr. Harry Hunt, for instance, sat down with his Hebrew students--I seem to recall it was at his home--to discuss the Master of Divinity without the biblical language requirement.

I appreciate your attempt to deflate Wade's bubble of rumor. But I think this might be one rumor that is better left out there to cause people to wonder what is going on. And Paige--despite your effort to characterize Rex as a non-expert--did himself no favors with his answers. He basically said Calvinists are people who cannot say to everyone that Christ died for you. That's what is called a low blow in boxing.

In fact, Jesus's high priestly prayer clearly speaks not of a universal invitation but of those who were specifically chosen. Add to that the notion of a chosen nation of Israel and God's comments on always having a remnant, and you see a God who clearly is content with "some" and not "all". I notice you intentionally ignored the content of Paige's declamation in your effort to disprove Wade's and Rex's statements.

Perhaps now is the time for you to declare where you stand on the specific issue of excluding Calvinists from teaching at SWBTS based on Paige's comments. Clearly he believed he was justified in making divisive comments. What's your take on that?

Greg Harvey

Jeff said...

Any Calvinists fired today @ SWBTS? for being Calvinist?

Christiane said...

Hi Kevin,
It's me, L's.

That poem by Aidan has a history and a connection with geography.
He founded a monastery on the tidal island of Lindisfarne, which is connected to land twice a day when the tide goes out. So in Aidan's time, people would travel across the 'land' bridge to pray at the monastery. And then they would leave before the tide rushed back in and the monks were left to pray on their island in peace.

I like this poem as I can identify with the world being 'too much with us' in the words of Wordsworth, and how I need to seek God's peace in prayer to restore that which is in me that is 'out of tune'.

Lindisfarne is the place where the Gospels were first translated into 'Old English'.

In the 700's, a Viking raid caused great such a terrible scene at the monastery that later, a monk wrote: 'from the fury of the northmen, oh Lord, deliver us.'
Very historic place. Lindisfarne is also called the 'Holy Island'.


I got this from WIKIPEDIA:

"Lindisfarne is a tidal island off the north-east coast of England also known as Holy Island, the name of the civil parish. It has a population of 162.

A causeway connects the island to the mainland of Northumberland and is flooded twice a day by tides – something well described by Sir Walter Scott:

For with the flow and ebb, its style
Varies from continent to isle;
Dry shood o'er sands, twice every day,
The pilgrims to the shrine find way;
Twice every day the waves efface
Of staves and sandelled feet the trace."

I'm curious about your theory about the weekday of the Crucifixion. Sounds mysterious! Love, L's

Jeff said...

Wade, did you ever call Dr. Patterson to ask if your "source" was correct?

BTW, Any Calvinists been fired in the last hour @ SWBTS?

Tom Parker said...

Jeff:

I will ask again--What are you doing? What is your point?

Christiane said...

Dear JEFF,
Do we not know more now about Paige Patterson's thoughts from the interview?
Perhaps the light that Wade shone is too bright for those firings to occur at present time?
Nice when things are out in the open, n'est-pas ?

Dr. Mike Kear said...

"Any Calvinists fired in the last hour at SWBTS?"

If the answer is no, they can thank Wade Burleson.

Jeff said...

Thank Wade B. for what! It never happen! Anyway, I always thank God for the blessings of life, not an idol.

No Calvinists fired yet! And the beat goes on...what will it be next week?

Waiting for more stories from the holy halls of Enid......

Dr. Mike Kear said...

Don't blow a gasket, Jeff. Pastor Burleson revealed an intention at SWBTS and the powers that be backed down under the light.

It never happen[ed}!
Exactly!
Thank goodness.

Jeff said...

BTW, Can anyone tell me if Wade "actually" called Dr. Patterson and ask him about this?

Jon L. Estes said...

Is SWBTS waiting for the smoke to clear before pressing forward?

There are enough Calvinists in the SBC to not let something like this go unnoticed. Especially since we have a seminary which is known for its leaning towards Calvinism.

Any professor who can teach at one seminary should be able to be hired to teach at any of our seminaries.

Ben said...

Wade and all,

John Bunyan had his own children sprinkled as babies. He was hardly a Baptist and was not considered one by William Kiffin, Henry D'Anvers and the other Particular Baptists of his day. Charles Spurgeon believed in the Trail of Blood just as strongly as J.M. Carroll and admitted he was wrong on open communion at the end of his life. So you are 0 for 2. I would be interested in learning who were the "host of other great Baptists" who held to your type of ecclesiology.

Christiane said...

Dear THY PEACE,
I am having a little trouble with the new system. I am just testing now to see if what I did was finally correctly done. So confusing is this for me.
It keeps saying 'use a different account'. I am trying to sort this out. L's

Dr. Mike Kear said...

"Come now, he didn't revealed anything."

Really?

If Pastor Burleson didn't reveal anything, if he didn't touch a nerve, then why are you here? Why did Patterson's Posse feel the need to call Wade all those hateful and untrue names? Why did they feel the need to hide from Enid Baptists by disallowing comments on their blogs (and even blocking the entire city of Enid from viewing)? Why did they feel the need to manipulate comments and use deceit in the time stamps? Why are you and the rest of the uber-fundy police still sweating and writhing and whining? All this over something that never happened?

Puh-lease!

Jeff said...

I am here because I love the truth. It is obvious to all except for the Wade worshippers that he has an agenda. See "Dr" that is where you don't get it! I am no friend of President Patterson either. I love the truth not lies and agendas and so call sources.

Again, How many Calvinists have been fired today at SWBTS?

Dr. Mike Kear said...

Jeff, I see you are having a hard time following the logic of the syllogism, so I'll let it drop.

Blessing to you, Brother

Jon L. Estes said...

Jeff,

Since you consider those who disagree with you to be Wade Worshipers, is it because, though you say you are here for truth, you really are a PP disciple? I don't think so but using your logic, one might easily come to that conclusion.

Name calling does not help your, or my desire to be heard.

jle

Thy Peace said...

"Dear THY PEACE,
I am having a little trouble with the new system. I am just testing now to see if what I did was finally correctly done. So confusing is this for me.
It keeps saying 'use a different account'. I am trying to sort this out. L's"


L's: Sometimes, cookies are not placed properly or the first time you go to post a comment (since your computer got restarted), you might get that message. In that case, just fill in the login info (again). It has happened to me several times. Normally or ideally, the cookies should stick, and the blogger should remember your account, whenever you visit the post comments page. Good luck.

PS: Also, use a different account is for cases where you wish to use a different identity, than the one being shown.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

B Nettles,

I do not know about the Mary and Joseph timing. I do know however that they got there at precisely the exact moment the Father in heaven wrote on Jesus’ earthly itinerary that he put in the brown paper lunch bag (folded not rolled, and stapled with his name on the side) that he handed Jesus, and then kissed him goodbye. :)

As to the 3 day and 3 night in the tomb...as Jonah was in the great fish. I dare not get too dogmatic on this, yet at the same time I wonder if modern evangelical Christendom is afraid of offending Pope Benny16 on this matter.

I hold to a Wednesday crucifixion for a few reasons. I am not in my office, but will try to recall from memory some of my noted on the subject.

1. Jonah was in the belly 3 days and 3 night...so shall the son of Man be in the heart of the earth.

That would put us on or about Wednesday, even possibly into Thursday.

2. As you mention, there were 2 Sabbaths that week. The weekly Sabbath and a high Sabbath on Thursday, or from Sunset (we will say 6pm for convenience) Wednesday evening. The is the reason the women went back Sunday morning (after the weekly Sabbath) to finish anointing the body for burial. Wednesday night they had little time to prepare His body properly and get it in the grave before Sabbath began. they did not go back on Friday, or the day btwn the Sabbaths for that was the day of preparation.

3. this is where my memory will likely fail. We know the month was Nisan and so IF the crucifixion was in the year 33AD and if we correlate that with Nisan 1451? BC, the timeline matches perfectly with the first Passover. However, in 33 AD on the Day of Preparation before the High Passover, the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the World was slain.

You see Professor Nettles, I believe we lose the significance of the timing and indeed the REAL significance for the need and purpose of the crucifixion when we get the timing wrong.

I know many men greater than I have wrangled with this and all were genuine in thier attempt to get it right. I just know that as much as I love liturgical worship that church liturgy, whether High or Low, will not be my basis for determining the timing of Holy Events. Scripture alone (and maybe some calendrical knowledge) will be my guide.

Btw, I am aware that modern studies would seem to have "moved" the true year "zero." by 3-4 years. Which does mess up my theory (not really mine) that only seems to work out on the existing year 33AD. (That is that there were 2 Sabbaths that week.)

Am I off my rocker? Shall I defrocked as a Southern Baptist for denying Good Friday?


RevKev

L's I will research that monestery and Holy Island. a good story like that, if properly incorporated, just might wow the non-Baptists in the crowd and jaw-drop the Baptists. :) hehe

Then, along with a clear Gospel presentation, I could say "mission accomplished." I could borrow Bush's banner. :)

Thy Peace said...

"Again, How many Calvinists have been fired today at SWBTS?"

The sad thing is, before the economy improves, there will be some layoffs. Everywhere business are downsizing, so I am sure SWBTS will be impacted too. It's just a question of where the layoffs will come from or who will be laid off. As PP said in that interview segment, if God wills and people give, SWBTS does not have to layoff anyone. But we all know they are coming. It's just matter of time. Since it's happening to everyone outside.

Jeff said...

I understood the your flaw logic. You assumed, instead of asking. Just like no one ask Dr. Patterson.

BTW, I have a source that has revealed to me someone at SWBTS will lose their job.

Sadly, if the bad economy cont Wade might be right not because of calvinism, but because a broken clock is right twice a day.

But again I will be right too because I have stated someone is going to lose their job.

Jeff said...

Back from lunch. I ran on 30 minutes today and couldn't eat much. I was worried that a calvinist might be fired while I was enjoying myself.

Can anyone give me an update?

Has Wade actually called Dr. Patterson to ask him his intentions?

Jeff said...

I figured it out. Wal-Mart has lay off 700 workers, and I heard thru my sources that five of them were 5 pointers.

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christiane said...

Dear Thy Peace,
I think I figured it out.
It now says, 'you are currently posting as Christiane'

This is hard ! L's

Christiane said...

Dear Thy Peace !

It worked.
This time.
I hope it stays 'OK'

Thank you ! L's

Tim Marsh said...

Matt,

Thank you for your brief response. Part of doctoral research calls for careful reading. I have characterized nothing, but have asked questions regarding the nature of the PhD program at SWBTS. I merely shared observations regarding the quality of the PhD program if the questions that I asked were affirmative, that I could not see how SWBTS could assert that its PhD program has academic credibility and integrity if research and dissertations must fall in line with the 2000 BF&M. Is that the case?

You gave a partial answer, to which I am appreciative. Whether you agree with my opinion is neither here nor there, I am asking a simple question.

I believe that what I am saying is pertinant to the topic because if Patterson is eliminating Calvinists from the classroom, or others with whom he disagrees theologically, then how can SWBTS claim that it offers an academically sound PhD program?

Gary said...

Bob Cleveland said:

'Tim,

Would "Baptist Heritage" only reach back about 40 years? Or would it include the 1963 and 1925 Versions of the Baptist Faith and Message?

To me, it would go clear back to our Baptist roots, or surely at least back to the formation of the SBC as an entity.'


Careful there Bob. If you go back to our 'Baptist roots' before the BFMs started to appear, there clearly were women Deacons in Baptist Churches in the United States of America.

However, all that is tempered by the fact, you know, that there were no REAL Baptists before the SBC was formed in 1845, so there's that...

Gary Skaggs
Norman, Oklahoma

Wade Burleson said...

Jeff,

It's fine to terminate professors at SWBTS for an economic downturn.

Just don't choose those professors based on ideological criteria.

That was the direction in which SWBTS was headed. If they don't now, great. I am more than willing to be labeled by you and others as not credible to save terminations over ideological reasons.

I just wish I had done the same thing with Klouda before her termination and not after it.

In His Grac,

Wade

Native Arkansan said...

That Jeff caracter's gittin' on mah last narve. Git a life boy!

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Wade,

I have been off topic in my post of recent, for that I aim just somewhere shy of repenting. However, I feel this bit of information just might fall into the category of germane. That of course being SBC issues over which your readership might want to GAG!

The Secondary Source

The Primary Source

The Problem: I debated ripping apart the young evangelist behind this but decided to instead simply say I find it dangerous to toy with people’s emotions and desires in an effort to get the sinner to "choose Jesus." The evangelist says on his personal ministry website that he has a "passion to see people respond to Jesus!"

The problem with this passion is that we reduce the Gospel to a man-center formula. 1. Man A gives message. 2. Man B hears message. 3. Man B accepts message. 4. Man A marks coupe stick. This begs the question: what did Jesus do?

Better yet, when and how did the Holy Spirit regenerate that life?

I might get ripped apart for this, and for that I am ok with. For I answered the call to ministry not to see souls saved, but to be obedient to my Heavenly Father and His Son the Christ. I am called to "compel" souls to come to Jesus not because of something they need to do, but because of something Christ has already done. Therefore I need not hold out a bone or other such gimmick to get folks to "respond" to Christ. I must preach the Word as it is written and list to the Holy Spirit--always praying the will of the Father.

I am saddened when I see "mass conversions" following crusades or car give-always, etc. I am saddened because many of these folks give an emotive response to "what's happenin'" This can happen, and does many times, without the Spirit.

Over 8 million Southern Baptists fall into this category.

Let us not seek to raise the quantity of Baptisms, but the quality.

My soul weeps for ministers who would rather convert goals than feed the sheep.

RevKev

Native Arkansan said...

Everywhere business are downsizing, so I am sure SWBTS will be impacted too.

Perish tha thought! Tha lord of Pecan Manor might have ta git by with jes' one personal chef an' cut tha pastry chef's hours, an' come Christmas time the lord and lady might have ta cut back ta 4 or 5 Christmas trees in the manor. Times is tuff!

Wade Burleson said...

I called Jeff and spoke with him. I had a good conversation with him. I appreciate his ministry and his focus on his community.

He told me that he does not plan to comment further on blogs.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

It is Four clicks to the right of the big twelve, Missouri Winter Standard Time. Do you know where YOUR Calvinist Professors are?

I do.

At least one just knocked one out of the park on his new blog here.

Actually all of my professors this semester are Calvinists. Go figure... :)


RevKev

James B. Foyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James B. Foyle said...

I have thought a lot about what I've read recently--here and at other blogs and I put my thoughts down on paper (so to speak). This comes from a graduate of SWBTS who watched the resurgence from the early stages to today:

It's been interesting to follow some of the recent blogs out there in the land of Southern Baptists. All the writers at the SBC Today blog and the Grace and Truth to You blog (a pastor from Enid, Oklahoma) have had some unpleasant exchanges. Words like "liar" have been used as commonly as french fries at McDonald's. The issue, from my perspective, all comes back to "Baptist Identity" and separation from those who don't fit into the camp of BI due to doctrinal differences. I have not been surprised by any of this, given what I have seen before in the life of the SBC.

I was called to a church staff in 1983. The "Conservative Resurgence" or "Fundamentalist Takeover" (depending on your point of view) was in full swing and had been for a little over four years. I knew next to nothing about it. The only famous preacher I'd even heard of was Billy Graham. I didn't know any of the big boys who were vying for control of the convention by running for president. However, that was about to change. The church where I served on a part-time basis received the propaganda papers from both sides in the controversy. One paper dealt with the actions of the other side and how they would ultimately hurt the convention and the cause of Christ. The other paper wrote about the leadership of the other side and called them names: "liberal," "unbiblical," "unspiritual," etc. It was easy for me to pick the side I hoped would win. Unfortunately, they would not.

In 1986 I headed to Fort Worth to attend Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. It was a wonderful experience in more ways than I can count. My wife and I believed that God led us there and that call was confirmed time and time again. The professors I had were solid biblically and practiced what they taught. There was a missions atmosphere on campus that was palpable. Zeal for evangelism and Biblical preaching were also strong. I was not disappointed in any way by my education. I have often said there was not a single professor under whom I sat that I would be ashamed to have preach at any church I have pastored. SWBTS was all that we had hoped it would be.

By the time I graduated in 1989, the controversy in the convention was winding down to a conclusion. No one could quite see it at the time, but within two to three years, the losers would leave and the winners would go about re-creating the SBC in their own image, including SWBTS. The head of the foreign mission board (now known as the international mission board) was pushed out. In several of the seminaries, changes were being made. If a professor did not toe the right line within the convention's political debates, he or she would eventually be shown the door. Many of them found the door for themselves. Yet, Southwestern was still going strong. Then in March, 1994, we were visiting my parents in Alabama. My dad handed me the local newspaper and said, "Did you see that they fired Dr. Dilday?" as he pointed to the article on paper 5 or 7 of the first section. I have never forgotten my reaction. I was so angry that I almost became physically ill. The conservative resurgence was now complete and the damage done was incalculable. Figuratively, bodies were strewn everywhere in their wake.

I remain a Southern Baptist pastor, but I am in a church that holds to the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message. I haven't been to a convention meeting for probably 12 years. I looked at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, but realized that it would never be a comfortable fit for me. So I've been living on the fringes of the convention, not paying much attention. Then a couple of years ago, someone in the church asked me if I had seen Wade Burleson's blog. I started reading and haven't stopped. The reactions to the policy changes at the IMB have fascinated me. Reactions to other controversial decision have also amazed me. Why are people surprised? Why are people so astonished that the parameters of fellowship would be drawn tighter; that the doctrinal agreement necessary for fellowship would narrow a little more every few years? I have actually laughed out loud at the stunned anger. I understand it--I've been there. I was there throughout much the 90's. I'm not angry about it anymore and not at all surprised. I could have told you 15 years ago that this was coming. It's all looks the same as far as I am concerned. The word "liberal" is being bandied about quite freely once again. The only question now is: how many bodies will be strewn in the their wake this time?

Native Arkansan said...

No disrespeck but what diffrence does it make ta you? Ya don't know me. Ah don't know you or if yore name is reelly Jeff. Don't much care neither. Ah jes' knows yore bein' a little pesty today.

I'd thank someone from Searcy would know it's "Arkansan" not "Arkansasan."

Mah name's Bubba Tayler. That make ya happy now?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Jeff,

You might want to travel outside your neck of the woods from time to time.

The SBC is in the brink of something. What this something is I do not know. I am presently praying for direction as to which side of the crack (and there will be several) on which the Lord wills for me to be. But we have time. 2010-2020 will see an apocalyptic change to the SBC.

"Beware! The Locust are coming!"

RevKev

R. L. Vaughn said...

Dr. Mike Kear said, "Pastor Burleson revealed an intention at SWBTS and the powers that be backed down under the light."

That may or may not be true. With the "evidence" before us it is an unproveable assertion.

To illustrate it, let us say that you come to me and have an anonymous source who says someone is going to burn down my barn. When my barn doesn't burn, you justify your source and your assertion by telling me that your revealing the intention averted the attempt. The arsonist backed down because the news was out. Maybe he did or maybe there never was such an attempt. The fact that it did not burn is not proof that someone was planning to burn it.

Native Arkansan said...

Funniest thang I've read today:

"SBC Today is committed to restoring unity by calling us back to Baptist Identity. You and those that are calling us away from our Baptist Identity are the ones destroying unity within the convention."

Revrend Kev,

Ya never said if it's jes' one locust that's comin'. 'Cause if it's a big ol' swarm of 'em it's gotta "s" on tha end.

Beware! Tha locusts is comin'!

Native Arkansan said...

There is no storm coming.

Tell that to tha folks in Oklahoma today. Hope yore OK Wade.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Arkansas,

That is indeed a topic of debate. I am a member of the "No "S" on Locust Society."

You are obviously a member of the Locusts Society. I do not associate with the S'ers, as well call them. They are too primitive. We do however accept into our membership those members of the "Loci Society" who repent and promise to forever spell the singular and plural of "locust" the same way.

:)



RevKev

Dr. Mike Kear said...

R. L. Vaughn,

You make a valid point. And I must admit that I have an unfair advantage of being privy to something more than the evidence that has presented here and there. In addition to the evidence, I also know Wade Burleson personally and believe that he is a man of integrity and honesty. I trust him.

Dr. Mike Kear said...

RevKev,

Can I join your Locust Society? I hereby testify that am not now, nor have I ever been a member of the primative S'ers.

Native Arkansan said...

So tha good King James wuz wrong? Don't you fellas thank tha KJV's tha gold standerd?

Elisabeth said...

Jeff,

I myself live in an area where there's no apparent division. Yet, I can tell just by reading on the 'net there's some kind of storm coming! Also, my pastor is from a different part of the country and was a missionary, and he says "Oh, yeah, there's huge divisions in the SBC."

Got rid of a whole bunch of people when the CBF was formed, and the perameters keep getting more narrow. When will it stop?! When there's nobody left?!

Thy Peace said...

Am I a Fundamentalist? by Pastor Wade, DECEMBER 20, 2005
Frankly, when I am called a "Fundamentalist" by someone who left the SBC over the inerrancy of Scripture, and a "Liberal" by a person who fought the battle for the Bible and now is leading the effort to conservative conformity, as has happened to me in the past two months, then it very well may be that my theology is "fundamental" and my methodology is "liberal."

Maybe that's how it should be.

Dr. Mike Kear said...

Arky's right. Lucusts has an s on it in both the KJV and the ESV. I repent in sackcloth and ashes and join the primative S'ers.

Native Arkansan said...

Lucusts?

Dr. Mike Kear said...

Sorry, Arky. I was in the midst of repentance and my fingers pecked the wrong keys. Will you accept me into the primative S'ers despite my former transgressions?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

King James was a Royal perv in the @$$


Most common Christians do not have the brain power today to properly interprete the KJV. I will leave my disdain for the KJV at that as I know the owner of this blog is KJV friendly.

RevKev



Hey Arkansas, my word verification must have been one of your suggestions to blogger:

sucher


:)

Native Arkansan said...

Dr. K,

You can consider yer transgreshun ta be "under the blood." Yer offishal membership card's in tha mail. Tha rev can join too but only if he repents.

L's,

Yore a very wise lady. Ah like you!

Bubba T.

Thy Peace said...

"This past week in the blog world has not been a particularly pleasant one."

Now imagine what would happen when Hardball Religion: Release Date - Spring 2009, gets released!

"Leslie Andres, the editor of Hard Ball Religion is sending the galleys to me soon, and you can read all about it."

It's coming!

Native Arkansan said...

Most common Christians do not have the brain power today to properly interprete the KJV.

"Common Christians"

Is they somehows diffrent from tha "special Christians" like yoreself, Revrend?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Oh Dr. Mike,

I am sooooo disappointed. You have given into foolishness. Since I am prepared to die on this hill alone, it just means that there will be more chocolate covered locust at the party for me. :)

Mark my words. One day, Webster's will change it for me. Then you all will be forced to do it MY way!!!


:)

Dr. Mike Kear said...

But Rev! Bubba T has the K J V on his side! The only Bible where the translators were more inspired than the original writers!

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Gee thanks Arkansas,

But I am not special.....yet.


Problem with the KJV is the extra steps involved with exegeting the 1611 text to a state of understandability, then after exegeting the Greek and realizing 1000 better ways to say the Greek than by restating or misstating it in what could be called King James Greek, on realized one could have jsut picked up a copy of the ESV or NAS and read. Then all that remains is to get the authorial intent into the minds of the congregants in an applicable way.


Anyway, I just find that modern translations do a better job of communicating the message.

Just my opinion, you are not obliged to agree.

k

Kevin M. Crowder said...

...inspired by the King's naked midnght dances through the court...

R. L. Vaughn said...

Dr. Mike Kear said, "You make a valid point. And I must admit that I have an unfair advantage of being privy to something more than the evidence that has presented here and there. In addition to the evidence, I also know Wade Burleson personally and believe that he is a man of integrity and honesty.

I think your answer here points up the problem with a discussion of this nature. I do not know you or Wade Burleson or Paige Patterson or Greg Welty, et al. I have no access to any evidence beyond what is said by the various parties. I have no objective way of determining the truth. Many others are in the same boat. So they decide to believe whomever they decide to believe.

Byroniac said...

Oh, none of you guys impress me. Why can't some of you actually be cool and carry around the KLV (Klingon Language Version)? Where's the KLV-only crowd when you need them?

klv.mrklingon.org

Native Arkansan said...

Anyway, I just find that modern translations do a better job of communicating the message.

Thar are those who'd label you a heretick for that remark but I'm not among 'em....unless yer talkin' about Tha Message. Then I might hafta concur with 'em.

Wade Burleson said...

R.L. Vaughan,

It's difficult for some to understand that I have no desire to defend my credibility.

You either believe me or you don't.

It doesn't change the truth that there is a movement by some in the SBC and SWBTS to separate from classical Calvinists in terms of cooperative ministry and SBC employment.

I feel a little like James Foyle above.

Why is anybody shocked?

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

I will help you, Jeff.

Your comments will be deleted.

Blessings,

Wade

Chris Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Parker said...

Chris:

The plot thickens, who put Jeff up to come on Wade's blog today and stir the pot?

Jeff said...

Did u delete yours too?

I am still struggling with knowing that I was taped without my knowledge. I feel violated.

child of grace said...

Jeff, Wade & Others:

Both Arkansas and Oklahoma are "one party" states; ie the laws state that only one party is required to be aware that a conversation is being taped for it to be legal.

In "two-party" states both parties are required to be aware of the taping (for it to be legally taped).

-Gracie

oc said...

Jeff,
Just a thought. You are looking silly. It may be wiser to pursue one of your rights. The right to remain silent.

Tom Parker said...

Jeff;

Is today your day to be a Drama Queen?

Chris Ryan said...

Tom,

I don't know that he was put up to anything. Just like most people here don't jump to the defence because Wade asks for it, Jeff may be expressing convictions which he holds and happen to be held by others also.

Some people just feel like expressing their feelings on issues. Not everybody has to be told to. That said, I wouldn't put it past some people ask others to come and cause trouble for them.

A fitting security word: pitied

Wade Burleson said...

Jeff,

I have deleted my comment that described what I heard you say. Then, I deleted your response. Then I deleted my response to your response.

Blessings to you and your family.

In His Grace,

Wade

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Byroniac said...

child of grace,

What about Texas? (for my own information)

Tom Parker,

I had a hard time trusting Jeff the moment he bounced into the comment stream and starting banging out typos on his keyboard right and left with sufficient agitation that I feared he would pop a blood vessel. I was about to recommend that he step back, cool off, and allow his blood pressure to return to normal. Somehow I think he just wanted to stir up trouble, but I do not know that.

Wade Burleson said...

Guys, just so you know, I don't ascribe any motive to Jeff. I believe his heart is in the right place.

Christiane said...

from Ecclesiastes 3:7

"a time to be silent and a time to speak"

Wade Burleson said...

Jeff,

I honestly don't understand. How are you being persecuted?

Thy Peace said...

Jeff: Pastor Wade is very fair. He will still be nice to you, even after you disagree with him.

I have lot of difficulty of doing this.

But the crux of this post is:
"I remind Southern Baptists that it is possible to disagree with an ideology or a particular point of theology and not attack the character of the person with whom you disagree."

child of grace said...

Byroniac:

Texas = one party state.

Wade Burleson said...

Jeff,

If I desired to persecute you, I would go to different blogs and tell people that you lack integrity, that you write fictional comments, and that anybody who believes what you write is drinking kool aid

However, that's not my style.

I would prefer to simply discuss the issues with you and help you in your personal life and ministry be the best man and pastor God has called you to be.

In His Grace,

Wade

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Native Arkansan said...

Tha words of Rodney the guinea pig in Dr. Dolittle reverbrate in mah ears as he hollers "I have been violated!"

Native Arkansan said...

Guys, just so you know, I don't ascribe any motive to Jeff. I believe his heart is in the right place.

Maybe...but his head must've been somewhere else.

Jeff said...

Wade, notice the last two posts from the possum grape hillybilly. If you are truly interested in dialogue do something about it.

Byroniac said...

Jeff,

Are YOU truly interested in dialog? You come here with an attitude, delete your own comments without warning, and remove access to your blogger profile. And you want to be taken seriously? C'mon.

Jeff said...

Wade, deleted my posts, and I have not restricted anything.

gmommy said...

I know there were some comments deleted that concerned Jeff denying what he said to Wade on the phone....until Wade informed him his words had been recorded.
I read about how "violated" Jeff feels by this.
I just hate it when people throw that word around.
Jeff must not know what it's like to be violated by a minister in his own Baptist church.
BUT where does Jeff get the gall to demand that Wade take care of Arky's comments IF Wade wants to dialog??????
What deflection and arrogance from the person who denies saying what he is on tape saying......(shaking my head)

Chris Ryan said...

Dr. Phil,

Grace.
A gentle answer turns away wrath.

Byroniac said...

My apologies, Jeff. I see that another "Jeff" posted that, and I didn't catch the difference in IDs. I suppose you are a different person then, by your unique ID.

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wade Burleson said...

Dr. Phil,

Please. I see you have a blog account now. You are welcome to post, but I must ask you to not use what I would consider inappropriate words.

Comment deleted.

Thanks,

Wade

Tom Parker said...

Jeff:

Wine and Wine and Wine, when will it stop? Or maybe I should say whine.

Dr. Phil said...

Pastor Burleson,

I understand. You ask me not to use inappropriate words. And, as a favor to us all. Ask Jeff Doubting Thomas to quit lying. He got caught, now he's crying. Lying is for hissies and crying is for sissies.

Dr. Phil

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Byroniac said...

Now it gets more interesting. According to my email records, the two Jeffs have been carrying on a conversation with Wade and the rest of us. One of those is your current (newer I suppose) ID, and one is the older one with no profile picture. What do you say to that, Jeff? Or are you really Jeff at all? I guess we'll never know. (If anyone doubts me, look at the profile IDs yourself in the comment stream or by email records if you have it!)

http://www.blogger.com/profile/17564978547353834463

http://www.blogger.com/profile/16346732915551405318

Byroniac said...

See comment dated Tue Feb 10, 01:55:00 PM 2009 where the alternate Jeff continues the conversation by the newer, identity-friendly one.

Jeff, a direct question to you. Who are you, really?

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
oc said...

It's time to consider those Miranda rights, Jeff!

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