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

The Teat of the Doctrinal Conformity Cow at SWBTS Will Not Be Milked Today

For five years I have encouraged Southern Baptists to resist the narrowing of the doctrinal parameter of Southern Baptist fellowship and cooperation. My mantra has been that some Southern Baptist leaders have been pressing for doctrinal conformity on all tertiary doctrines of the Christian faith. Many may remember that SWBTS trustee and SBC pastor Dwight McKissic was unjustly censured at Southwestern Theological Seminary for admitting, while preaching in the SWBTS chapel service no less, that he had a "private prayer language." This past week the President of Liberty Theological Seminary, a graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, called the evangelism strategy of the International Mission board "heresy". Of course, it has been SWBTS professor Dr. Keith Eitel and President Dr. Paige Patterson who have sought to prove to all who will listen that the IMB administration has been full of theological error, writing letters years ago to IMB trustees to prove it. It's been stated publicly in the past by SWBTS President Paige Patterson that five-point Calvinist professors would not be welcome at SWBTS, by saying, "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." We already know that Dr. Karen Bullock and Dr. Sheri Klouda were removed from faculty at SWBTS because trustees and administration hold to the belief that women should not teach a man anything in a seminary classroom. I could go on with illustrations of attempts to bring doctrinal conformity on all tertiary issues at SWBTS, but you get the picture.

However, it does seem there is now one issue that has been moved off the doctrinal conformity list at SWBTS. Both Bart Barber and Peter Lumpkins write on their blog that Dr. Paige Patterson has written a preface to an article defending his one of his professor's belief in an ancient earth. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's Research Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Cultural Engagement, Dr. William Dembski, has written a book entitled The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World. Bart believes Dr. Patterson's defense of his professor's right to publish a book arguing for an ancient earth construct, while Dr. Patterson himself believes in a young earth. Dr. Barber, a trustee and employee of SWBTS, writes:

You may have read on occasion the allegation—the deliberately dishonest allegation—that Dr. Patterson or other much-maligned Southern Baptists require that people agree with them on every point of theology or else they will not cooperate with them. Here we have a perfect test case to see whether this is or is not true. Dr. Patterson bluntly states that he "[does] not agree" with Dembski, and even that Dembski has authored a book "highly [critical]" of Dr. Patterson's own system of belief. Understand me plainly: A professor at SWBTS, working for Dr. Patterson, has authored and published a book that Dr. Patterson (rightly) perceives as highly critical of Dr. Patterson's own theological viewpoint.
Peter Lumpkins chimes in with this colorful comment over Dr. Patterson's paper:
Bloggers like Wade Burleson have for the last several years milked the absolute conformity cow dry, insisting anybody who does not agree with Paige Patterson in even the smallest detail is marked. However, Dr. Dembski is an old-earth creationist and Dr. Patterson is a young-earth creationist ... Yet, in spite of the diversity, we see some very explicit unity portrayed here.
I agree with both Bart and Peter about Dr. Patterson on this issue. I also commend him. I, too, believe in a young earth--but I am thrilled to see the freedom for SWBTS professors to publish books representing different views than the President of SWBTS. This is a step in the right direction away from ideological and doctrinal conformity demands. It's good for SWBTS and the Southern Baptist Convention as a whole.

Now, if SWBTS would give Dr. Klouda and Dr. Bullock their jobs back ... maybe the teat of the doctrinal conformity cow won't need to be milked much more at all. Whether or not this happens, at least SWBTS and Dr. Patterson have taken a step in the right direction, and I don't mind saying so.

In His Grace,

Wade

92 comments:

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Dr. Ergun Cancer, Malignant Tumor.

Aggressive...

Infectious...

Deadly...

...its in the milk.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Did you think of that yourself, Kevin?

I'd still like to hear your answer about the "validity" of infant baptism that was asked in the last thread because OSO's explanation doesn't sound like another I heard. The problem is, I can't remember what the other explanation was! Senior moment, I guess.

Ahem, Wade... tertiAry.

:-)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

New BBC.

Indeed. I will sell it to Wade as a title if he will write the book. :)

As to my defense of pedo-baptism...done. Go and enjoy.

Liam Madden said...

One hesitates to say so, for fear of being branded some kind of racist or ethnocentrist, but there is something slightly disturbing about former Muslims (such as the Caners) turning Christian and then embracing Christian fundamentalism and turning and attacking their Christian brothers and sisters (in this case, well-established Baptist leaders) whose methods and motives are, I think, if looked into properly, are really above such criticism. I personally do not think that an additional infusion of fundamentalism in the form of habits of thought endemic to fundamentalist Islam simply turned and re-applied to interpreting and teaching the Bible is really what the SBC needs right now. To me, it looks like going from bad to worse.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Let me squeeze a teat for you...going back to the demand for conformity on the tithing issue, Wade's readers have got to go listen to this week's podcast at the SBC Today gang. I couldn't believe my ears. These guys heaped praise on Les Puryear, never discussed his emails or Wade's contribution to the discussion. But Tim Rogers really showed himself on this...he actually said that if we oppose the tithing doctrine, this is part of what he called a "New Covenant Theology" that could ultimately lead us to denying the Great Commission, since the Great Commission was given to Jews and not to the church (given before establishment of the church in Acts). They didn't discuss where the bible prescribes a 10th of anyone's income be given to a church. They used the "slippery slope" argument, that if we don't adhere to the teaching of the tithe, we will move next to other OT laws, and ultimately to the 10 commandments.

At one point, Rogers actually mockingly said: "What, are we say that a person is to just pray to God and ask the Holy Spirit to guide them in to how much to give?"

Uh, yes, Tim. Or shall we sheep rely on you the pastor to tell us what is "sacrifical" for us?

The one guy on the podcast, his name is "David", a newcomer I believe to their dicussion gang, he tried to point out the flaw in Rogers arguments (i.e. "shall we still be stoning childrent"?) about the applicability of all of the OT...but it is incredibly painful to hear him pick and choose his words so as to not offend Rogers or say the wrong thing.

Thanks for letting me squeeze the doctrinal conformity "teat" for you, Wade.

Wade Burleson said...

New BBC,

Ahem ... for 978 posts it has been spelled tertiAry. For the last four posts in which it has been used it has been mispelled tertiEry.

Don't anyone tell me you can't teach this old dog bad tricks.

:)

Wade

P.S. Thanks

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks for pointing out the audio podcast. I never listen or read those guys. However, someone should remind brother Tim to READ THE GREAT COMMISSION of our Lord.

Jesus said "Go ye . . . and teach them to obey ALL THINGS I HAVE COMMANDED YOU." (Matthew 28:20).

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
The cow is a ‘Milking Shorthorn’…we had some.
My father’s rule: “If the cow put her foot in the bucket with only two inches of milk, you threw it out and started over. But if there was more milk than that, instead of pouring the milk through a cloth once; you poured it through twice. :)

Now that was good milk because it was not homogenized. Our milk let a certain enzyme go through the body without getting in the blood. If this enzyme gets in the blood, it’s like slow poison making a raw spot where a ‘scab’ if formed by cholesterol. Over time, this scab grows and can shut off the blood supply. Cholesterol is blamed because its found at the scene of the crime.

The homogenizing process breaks the molecule down so small, the cream will never rise, but the molecule is so small it can pass into the blood.

Google says:
“When milk is homogenized, small fat globules surround the xanthine oxidase and it is absorbed intact into your blood stream. There is some very compelling research demonstrating clear associations with this absorbed enzyme and increased risks of heart disease.”

So Kevin, I agree with your saying: “Aggressive... infectious...Deadly......its in the milk.”

cheerfuldougg said...

Wade,
Love your blog. I am a faithful reader. Have to say, however, that I am disappointed to hear that you believe in a young earth.

Michael Ruffin said...

Wade, while I appreciate your graciousness and agree that this is a very, very slight breath of fresh air in an atmosphere of stagnancy and sometimes stench, I nonetheless must observe that "young earth creationism" vs. "old earth creationism" is about as tertiary an issue as tertiary can get! I wouldn't, therefore, get too hopeful.

Wade Burleson said...

Has anyone else noticed that the man criticizing "The Camel Book" as heresy, Dr. Ergun Caner, is being called untruthful about his own alleged Islamic past and academic credentials.

This man, is pretty angry about the alleged subterfuge by Caner. He goes so far as to conclude his investigation by writing:

Ergun has presented himself as an expert on Islam, based on his childhood experiences. He is called upon by certain segments of the news media as an expert on Islam. However, Ergun's shown himself to be less than truthful when it comes to his academic credentials. Additionally, he claims his father built the Islamic Center in Columbus, Ohio, which is simply not true (the building was constructed in 1903). He doesn't know the difference between surah Al-Fatihah and the Shahada, which is pretty fundamental in Islam.

If Ergun can't be honest about his degrees and what his father did and did not do, and doesn't know the difference between Al-Fatihah and the Shahada, should we trust the other things he's saying about Islam?


I might add, "If there's questions about the veracity of his Islamic and academic past, should there not be questions about his proclamation of heresy at the IMB when it comes to evangelizing Muslims?"

Anybody feel a post coming?

Wade Burleson said...

Michael,

Agreed. That's why there's humor in the post as well.

Michael Ruffin said...

Sounds like a new and exciting "slippery slope"....

Wade Burleson said...

cheerfuldog,

I can assure you that there will probably be many other theological views I have that will disappoint you. Of course, your disappointment with me is neither disappointing nor discouraging to me. It, in fact, is refreshing.

I love people who read this blog and disagree with me on theological matters and let me know.

My fellowship with you is around Christ, not our conformity on all doctrinal matters.

greg.w.h said...

"The cow says....

MOOOOOO...."

Speaking (and Saying) of doctrinal (and phonological???) conformity, of course.

Greg Harvey

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Ahem ... for 978 posts it has been spelled tertiAry. For the last four posts in which it has been used it has been mispelled tertiEry."

I noticed. I couldn't stand it any longer and finally had to say something.

Also, it's "misspelled." You're slipping.

:-)

New BBC Open Forum said...

"As to my defense of pedo-baptism...done. Go and enjoy."

Where please, Kevin?

Wade Burleson said...

It is really sad when misspelled is mispelled, but in my defense it is usually my tempo in typing that leads to the typo when typing.

Grin.

Bob Cleveland said...

My first boss as a salesman once told me "I'd a whole lot rather you be able to sel than spel".

Worked for me, and methinks that applies to other livelihoods as well.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

We shall henceforth (did I spell that right?) call New BBC Open Forum:

Thy SpellCheck

Christiane said...

I loved REX RAY'S story about the cow's feet in the milk. It reminded me of a joke one of 'the Aunts' up North played on another Aunt.

Was sent over some home-made chicken soup, because of illness in the family. (Now the Aunts' chicken soup was legendary for its beneficial properties. Sort of French Canadian penicillin.)

Well, my Aunt Alice opens up the package, a large glass jar of Aunt Evelyn's delicious chicken soup very nicely wrapped in red cloth and tied with a string, only to find clearly visible in the soup: two real CHICKEN FEET !

Yes.
Evelyn had put chicken feet into the soup, "for extra nutrition", she said. :)

Aunt Alice replied, 'Extra nutrition PHOOEY (another word was used which is unprintable):
the sight of those chicken feet in that soup made me laugh so hard, I got better that very same day."

We never did find out if Auntie Alice ate any of that soup. :)

New BBC Open Forum said...

"As to my defense of pedo-baptism...done. Go and enjoy."

Duh. In the last thread. Thanks.

Dr. Michael Kear said...

Love the post, Pastor Wade! Love the comments, too! Made me smile this morning. :)

linda said...

Michael Ruffin is SOOOO right--talk about straining gnats and swallowing camels!

Its a timely post for me--last Sunday our SS teacher basically took us to task if we were not young earth creationists.

Now, not a single person in the class has espoused the idea that all that is "just happened." We have a fairly fundamentalist or conservative group. Every one has expressed being a creationist. Some are young earth. Some are varieties of old earth including gap theory. Everyone is basing their belief on their understanding of what the Bible says.

And we were treated to a tirade that if we are not young earth creationists we are not really Baptist, not really Christian, and just don't believe the Bible.

We got home and dh announced that kind of mental straight jacket is not for him or for our granddaughter.

We will attend a mainline church on Sunday mornings, and I will continue my attendance at other events at the SBC church. We will continue to support an SBC cowboy church, and attend it.

We won't give up the fight--yet--for the heart of the SBC, but we won't give up soul competency either.

New BBC Open Forum said...

We shall henceforth (did I spell that right?) call New BBC Open Forum:

Thy SpellCheck


Thank you. Their's a title I shall bare proudly!

:-)

bapticus hereticus said...

Wade: "Now, if SWBTS would give Dr. Klouda and Dr. Bullock their jobs back ...."

bapticus hereticus: Dilday, too?

C W M said...

Without agreeing with the sarcasm and attitude of Caner, in essence he is correct in his disagreement. Read the article, and the "Camel" thing goes to what Adrian Rogers said once of many in this generation, "they are more worried about what works than what is right."

I think the same thing can be said for those who reject what Bro. Wade is calling, "Doctrinal Conformity." Many are more concerned with what they think "works" as opposed to what is to be taught that is "right."

The fact is that sometimes what is "right" doesn't "work", or in better words, accomplish what we think it ought to accomplish.

When thinking of Patterson and those like him, the issue is not really an issue of "doctrinal conformity" but "Biblical conformity" in all areas. Baptism, Lord's Supper, Gifts of the Spirit, Nature of the Church, etc.

I do not think that Patterson's "narrow view" is an "ideology", nor do I think he is an "idealogue". I think that he merely expects from leadership, "all" things doctrinal to conform to the scriptures, and what many are calling his "interpretations" he is calling "the" truth.

Whether you agree with his "interpretations" (of which I do not necessarily) or not is irrelevent, if he believes it to be "the" truth, he has no choice but to stand on it, and by it.

It is wrong to not be dogmatic about "the truth". Truth is, and all else isn't.

I know I'll get yelled at, but at least be nice . . . :)

New BBC Open Forum said...

"I think that he merely expects from leadership, 'all' things doctrinal to conform to the scriptures, and what many are calling his 'interpretations' he is calling 'the' truth."

So which version of "the" truth was he applying to Dr. Klouda? The version where everything was fine and dandy and her position at SWBTS was assured? Or the one where a woman is not to be in any "position" of "authority" over a man, including teaching Hebrew in a seminary classroom? Because the first version of "the" truth conflicts with the second version of "the" truth.

C W M said...

I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 1 Tim 2:12-14

that would be my guess . . . (no sarcasm)

Verse 13 and 14 explain the reasoning for holding to that position.

I don't know the entire debates and issues pertaining to women, but it has nothing to do with a woman's "ability" to teach. There are many women who are 10fold more intelligent, and much better teachers than men. Ability is not the issue, but rather authority. Paul did not say that a Woman did not have the "power" to teach men, just that she didn't have "permission" to.

Wade Burleson said...

baptist hereticus,

"Dilday too?"

Absolutely.

wade

Christiane said...

If the O.T. is to be quoted on the subject of God-given authority for men to be instructed by women, there is this to think about:

Abraham was told, directly by God, to LISTEN to Sarah, and to do what she tells him to do.

If the 'context' is the information in the OT, at least include ALL salient references, so as not to mock God.

Wade Burleson said...

Christiane,

Very, very good logical point.

wade

bapticus hereticus said...

bapticus hereticus: "Dilday too?"
Wade: Absolutely.


bapticus hereticus: That's progress. Kudos.

Liam Madden said...

CWM and fellow bloggers,

I think it must be acknowledged "Biblical conformity" in the literal sense of adherence to a book is not necessarily the crucial catalyst in evangelism and church growth. Even by a conservative estimate, most ancient Christian communities possessed only parts of our Bible (maybe a gospel, or some epistles by apostles, and even other books that we don't have in our Bible today, Shepherd of Hermas?), yet such churches were orthodox by our standards and their congregations grew.

How then, did evangelism occur in such contexts? Through preaching, surely, but also through conversations. The model of Jesus talking to the Woman at the Well perhaps provides a good example. He used a "hook"--something that she already knew about to begin to explain to her the deeper hidden things. He also referred to things in her religion that normative Jews considered erroneous, but nevertheless provided a starting point for a conversation to lead her to the Truth. Was Jesus himself a "heretic"? Apparently some "Baptists" today would say so.

Christian fundamentalists like Muslim fundamentalists err by making an idol of the text and then using it as a blunt instrument to enforce "doctrinal conformity" on their peers. The witness of scripture, however, shows some diversity of women's roles in the early church and Paul arguing for some flexibility in tertiary matters (eating of food offered to idols, speaking in tongues, etc.). In ignoring the witness of scripture on these salient points, fundamentalist Baptists have abandoned reason and common sense, and with them, a sense of the common good.

C W M said...

That was Paul's theology in New Testament times. He brought that application in, and left the other out.

It is through Paul that God chose to reveal to us what our theologies ought to be. Had Paul brought in Abraham and Sarah, I would too.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"I don't know the entire debates and issues pertaining to women, but it has nothing to do with a woman's 'ability' to teach."

My only point is, Patterson assured Klouda her position was safe, then subsequently fired her because she's a woman. She was a woman when they first met, so what changed? I can only assume Patterson revised his interpretation of II Timothy 2 and chose to go with the second version of "the" truth.

It's not my desire to open that can of worms again (and certainly not here as that would be somewhat off topic), but Cheryl Schatz's blog addresses in depth the interpretation of this passage. It's up to the reader to decide if s/he agrees.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Christian fundamentalists like Muslim fundamentalists err by making an idol of the text and then using it as a blunt instrument to enforce "doctrinal conformity" on their peers. The witness of scripture, however, shows some diversity of women's roles in the early church and Paul arguing for some flexibility in tertiary matters (eating of food offered to idols, speaking in tongues, etc.). In ignoring the witness of scripture on these salient points, fundamentalist Baptists have abandoned reason and common sense, and with them, a sense of the common good."

Not to mention, some have imposed their own ingrained prejudices over the text. Sometimes literalism can be taken a step too far. Take the ridiculous example of Luke 15:20. He "fell on his neck." I bet that hurt!

"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."

-- Susan B. Anthony

Could it be that PP's actions were based on his own prejudices and that he was merely using the English translation of the text to prooftext his position?

C W M said...

"I think it must be acknowledged "Biblical conformity" in the literal sense of adherence to a book is not necessarily the crucial catalyst in evangelism and church growth."

Brother, I would have to say respectfully that's not correct. There is no such thing as true evangelism and true church growth, apart from the Word of God. There is no such thing as accepting Christ, and rejecting the "Word". Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. One cannot remove the Bible from Biblical evangelism, and it remain Biblical.

With due respect to Susan B. Anthony, I would hope and pray that all of my desires will coincide and conform to doing the Will of God.
Personally, that is my greatest desire, and highest goal.

Christiane said...

It is interesting, that THE PATRIARCH of the OT was told by God Himself to obey his wife in the matter of Hagar, and was told to obey Sarah because it would be through Isaac, and not Ishmael, that GOD'S WILL would be worked out.

I am thinking that the Holy Writings show us that God's Will is more important than any human system of 'patriarchy', and that it is God, Himself, Who teaches us this, in His use of Sarah as His instrument to guide Abraham to do His Will.

St. Paul served Lord Christ, the second Person of the Holy Trinity. No modern interpretation of St. Paul's writings could ever over-ride or cancel out a teaching of the One that Paul served.

I know that there are religions that place St. Paul over Christ in authority, as the pre-eminent teacher of theology of the NT, but personally, that doesn't make any sense to me.
The servant does not 'replace' the Master. No where does St. Paul claim to do such a thing in Scripture.

The writings of the servant, St. Paul, must be read through the 'filter' of his Master, Lord Christ, 'the Living Word'.

It cannot be the reverse, or one gets lost very quickly.

C W M said...

I would be very quick to point out that the writings of Paul were in fact not the writings of Paul, but the writings of the Holy Spirit. They are either God Breathed or they are man's opinion. When one takes ANY portion of the New Testament to be the opinion of the writer, they have DENIED the supernatural origion of the scripture and removed it of all authority.

The Patriarch system is not a human system it was a divine system. They patriarchal system of God NEVER PRECLUDES Him from using, or speaking through women to His honor and glory at His discretion.
Within the NT Context God NEVER will contradict what He plainly spelled out through the pen of His servant Paul.

Christ never contradicts the Spirit, and vice versa.

Respectfully.

Lydia said...

I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 1 Tim 2:12-14

that would be my guess . . . (no sarcasm)

Verse 13 and 14 explain the reasoning for holding to that position.

I don't know the entire debates and issues pertaining to women, but it has nothing to do with a woman's "ability" to teach. There are many women who are 10fold more intelligent, and much better teachers than men. Ability is not the issue, but rather authority. Paul did not say that a Woman did not have the "power" to teach men, just that she didn't have "permission" to.

Thu Feb 18, 02:40:00 PM 2010

CMW,

You don't find it strange that Paul would give a NEW prohibition to women that is no where to be found in the Old Covenant?

And you give verses 13 and 14 as the reason? This makes sense to you? Cows were created before Adam and no, Adam was not deceived. He SINNED ON PURPOSE and WILLFULLY, AND blamed Eve and God. That qualifies all men to teach?

And Eve's being deceived (and admitting it) means all women for all time are deceived? That disqualifies all women not to teach men? (Can you give me an age requirement when boys become men so we won't sin accidently and teach "men")

Methinks you should go study more and listen to patriarchs less. That verse is speaking to ONE woman in Ephesus who "authenteo" a man. She was "murdering him" with false teaching. then go back to chapter 1 and read what Paul says about being deceived out of lack of knowledge (like Eve was)

(It is a "letter" so best to read it in context as a letter)

In the meantime, explain to me why the CROSS would bring a greater restriction on women for teaching the Good News to anyone reqardless of gender.

And you are not allowed to say "plain reading of scripture" because then you would have to believe I am saved by giving birth to children. Because that is what the "plain reading" says. That would mean there is only a works salvation for women and my barren women friends cannot be saved.

Lydia said...

"Within the NT Context God NEVER will contradict what He plainly spelled out through the pen of His servant Paul."

According to you, He already did. Paul assumes women are praying and prohesying in the Body in 1 Corin.

Why would he assume that and discuss whether they should cover or not when doing so, if it was not allowed?

And he beats them up over a quote from the oral law in 1 Corin 14.

Jon L. Estes said...

At one point, Rogers actually mockingly said: "What, are we say that a person is to just pray to God and ask the Holy Spirit to guide them in to how much to give?"

Rogers is right. Why seek the Holy Spirit when He has already spoken clearly on the subject. if what ever leads a person to do something in contradiction of the Word, it is not the Spirit of God.

Christiane said...

"I would be very quick to point out that the writings of Paul were in fact not the writings of Paul, but the writings of the Holy Spirit."

The writings are the most certainly the work of St. Paul. He was 'inspired', meaning the Holy Spirit influenced what he wrote. This even more makes the case that the work of St. Paul is NOT a contradiction of the Words of God to Abraham. By His Nature, God cannot not contradict Himself.

The teachings of St. Paul are often quoted as an excuse to ignore other holy writings. Particularly among those who harbor contempt for 'red-letter Christianity' and who no longer pray the Lord's Prayer. And it has often been noticed that it is much more convenient for these individuals to quote their limited idea of St. Paul's teachings than for them to honor the teachings of the three Persons of the Holy Trinity.

C W M said...

Lydia,

I am assuming that you believe Paul is wrong, and thus should not be read as having the authority of the Holy Spirit to write a teaching previously untaught.

This set of "letters" (1st & 2nd Timothy) are private instructions to a young pastor about what is expected in the administration of the new testament church, of which we still get our divine doctrines from.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"And you are not allowed to say 'plain reading of scripture' because then you would have to believe I am saved by giving birth to children. Because that is what the 'plain reading' says."

A man actually explained this (his opinion) this way:

"When the apostle Paul said that a woman should not 'teach or exercise authority over a man' (1 Timothy 2:12), he did not follow that statement with a cultural argument. Rather he went all the way back to creation to show that women weren't intended to dominate men (vv. 13-14). The reasons he gave are that the woman was created after the man, and that she was deceived when acting independently of his leadership.

"Paul goes on to say in 1 Timothy 2:15 that 'women shall be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.' That verse is not talking about women's eternal destiny, but means that they are saved from being second-class citizens through the privilege of rearing children. God designed a woman to fulfill a role in the home that no man ever can (Proverbs 31:10-31; Titus 2:4-5)."


That's what reading those passages "literally" produces.

BTW, I meant I Timothy 2 in my 3:13 p.m. comment, not II Timothy.

Lydia said...

Lydia,

I am assuming that you believe Paul is wrong, and thus should not be read as having the authority of the Holy Spirit to write a teaching previously untaught.

This set of "letters" (1st & 2nd Timothy) are private instructions to a young pastor about what is expected in the administration of the new testament church, of which we still get our divine doctrines from.

Thu Feb 18, 05:12:00 PM 2010

No, Paul is not wrong at all. I also believe that ALL scripture is Inspiried. You simply do not understand it. Lots of people argued that slavery was part of God's plan in the NT. They were wrong, too.

There are millions of folks who want to shut up over half of all believers because of the bad translation of one word that is used only once in the whole NT. Many of these millions are simply men who do not want to give up their sinful preeminance and admit the Holy Spirit is the one that gives the spiritual gifts.

Nice try, though, with the tired worn out argument that I simply cannot believe that scripture is Inspired. It is Inspired but the TRANSLATORS were not. Which means we must have the indwelling Holy Spirit to understand.

Lydia said...

Jon, you would have much more credibility if you would show us where in the NT after the Cross we, as the Body of Believers are commanded to give at least 10%. Where is that percentage mentioned for the Body that includes Gentiles and Jews?

Bro. Jim said...

Wade,
It has nothing to do with this post, but I just wanted to tell you I appreciated our conversation this afternoon. It helped clear some things up for me, and I'm thankful for that. Hope all is well in your "neck of the woods".

Dr. Jim Roebuck
FBC
Hooker, OK

New BBC Open Forum said...

Bro. Jim,

Do people frequently giggle when you tell them where you're from? I'm ashamed to admit... I did. (I'll retire to the prayer closet for the rest of the evening.)

Bro. Jim said...

New BBC Open Forum
It happens ALL the time. People snicker when they find out. By the way, our American Legion Baseball team is...ready...THE HOOKER HORNY TOADS! My wife wears a t-shirt that reads, "Hooker-a location, not a vocation". We all have a sense of humor about it.

Liam Madden said...

Dear CWM,

I wasn't arguing that one can be saved by anything besides hearing the Word of God and believing in the Word. I was just pointing out (and I think most here would agree with this) that it is possible to be saved without possessing or having had a chance to read the whole Bible. Of course, we are better off having the whole Bible and are blessed that our good God has provided it for us. But a person can understand the basics--that Christ was the Son of God, that he was a perfect sacrifice for our sins, that he died and rose again, and that we can be saved through faith in him--and be saved.

When the IMB missionary Greeson
discusses with a Muslim their holiday of Eid (in which they commemorate Abraham's sacrifice of the ram instead of Isaac) in order to get a conversation going with the Muslim about how God provided Jesus as a perfect and substitutionary sacrifice for sin, that is good theology, sound Biblical knowledge, and also good evangelism. How could anyone call that heresy?

I had a similar conversation with the Muslim babysitter who keeps my kids recently and found it a useful starting point for sharing the gospel.

Tom Kelley said...

Wade,
Can you clarify something for me? Is it your belief that Patterson, et al, actually require conformity on ALL tertiary matters (other than the one exception noted in this post)? Or are you just intending to convey that he and others require that too much conformity on too many tertiary matters? Just trying to make sure I understand your position correctly, and being a good Calvinist, I know that sometimes people can misunderstand what the word "all" means. :)

Thanks!
-----
Tom

Tom Kelley said...

Re: the photo on the original post:

I don't know who the guy with the is, but the cow looks remarkably like my dear Aunt Bessie.

Steven Stark said...

" I, too, believe in a young earth"

I am curious as to how you can see this as a responsible belief. But I suppose this is not really the main topic here! Enjoyed reading as usual.

TheWayofCain said...

James White is not a fan of Ergun either:

http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=3765

Byron said...

I can still consider myself a Young Earther, since I believe the Earth is only 4.5 billion years old, and the Universe is probably much older. ;)

Aunt Bessie said...

Watch it, Tom Kelley. Isn't it pasture bedtime?

Christiane said...

Hi STEVEN STARK,

Here is something to think about from my tradition:

"...methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God.
The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are."
from 'Gaudium et Spes', a pastoral letter.

I'm also fond of this quote:
"Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth".

The only really interesting attempted resolution of the 'young Earth-old Earth' dichotomy, that I have ever seen done, was the work by Gerald L. Schroeder, an orthodox Jew and a physicist. His book 'The Science of God: the Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom” is something worth looking at, if only for its brilliant attempt to dissolve the current 'strict dichotomy' of the two models in our culture. Gerald Schroeder manages to do this with great respect for the integrity of each model. I don't agree with everything Schroeder writes, but his is an approach that draws a circle large enough to bring the two into convergence just enough to open a space for dialogue between those of both 'old' and 'young' Earth persuasions.
I like people who make a place for dialogue, where none existed before. They are much needed in our world, I think.

G. Casey said...

Science proves a young earth....plants need oxygen and animals need carbon dioxide. You can't have one without the other.

Steven Stark said...

Byron,

LOL!

Christiane,

Nice quotes! Thank you. I too think there is much room for faith and reason to complement each other. One way I think of faith is that it takes over where reason ends - however this is easily abused. Many people try to replace reason with faith. Another way I think of it is that the realm of faith is about values, meaning, purpose, personal experience...... yet the age of the earth is a scientific claim - a factual, literal claim. Science is the best tool to find the facts here.

I can only appeal to authority, as I am no scientist, but the same facts and natural laws which give us medicine and technology tell us that the earth is billions of years old. I don't think it's responsible to disregard the facts to preserve a pre-existing faith model.

I love your points about dialogue. It is super important and I think the character of the dialogue is just as important as the facts discussed.

G. Casey,

All things have evolved to be interdependent. It is truly amazing - yet the vast, vast majority of scientists do not hold to the idea of a "young earth".

Byron said...

Steven Stark,

You said it better than I could to G. Casey, yet respectfully. YEC (Young Earth Creationism) should be respected, as well as OEC and theistic evolution I believe. It is also difficult to explain the apparent evidence of old age in a recently created order by an honest God (but I have heard reference to Adam's physical age being apparent and not actual as well).

You bring up an interesting point with the words "evolved to be interdependent." I think this is why I do not find the argument that the universe is finely-tuned for life to be such good evidence for a Designer (aka God). Of course these finely-tuned parameters are compatible with life, otherwise how could life exist in the first place? It is no more amazing in that regard than stepping in mud and leaving an outline of your shoe, because the mud is simply by nature allowing the outline of the shoe print to take place as life interacts with it. Having said that, I do believe, whatever and however everything occurred, that God directed it.

Byron said...

I meant to say, of course the finely-tuned parameters of the Universe are compatible with life. If the parameters were anything else, and life still existed, the compatibility between the two would still have to match. And we would never know of any other possible fine tuning to these parameters, because all we would know is what we already had, and the compatibility between it and existing life. I think Creationists should not use this argument as it is not very convincing to me.

Gene S said...

New mantra:

"The higher the cow climbs the chapel steps at SWBTS--the more you see her teats!!!"

Is it spelled "teats" or "tits"????

Somebody call Hollywood---we found the Keystone Cops at SWBTS.

A-w-w-w-w my favorite childhood memory is going with my grandmother before the sun rose to milk the cow, come back to the house, churn butter, and put it on freshly made biskets (did I spell it right)!!! Now it's corrupted by PP as well!

One thing is important to remember: if the cow pisses in the milk, the wise milker throws that milk away and goes to a cow with better behaviour.

If that cow continues its bad behaviour, sell it to a farmer at least 50 miles away and tell him the milk is plenteous and magnificently sweet. We have a special cow named PP for some strange reason--anybody want it???

Which brings to mind a great story of the mountain preacher visiting his boot legger church member. The man saw the preacher coming and quickly poured his remaining white lightening into the milk pitcher.

After a while the man asked the preacher if he would like something to drink. "I love milk," was the answer, "Could I have a glass, please?"

His host poured it and he bagan to sip. When he finished, he announced he had to go down the road to another church member. As he exited the door, he paused and turned around.

"If that cow ever has a calf, I hope I might get first refusal on it--that was, by far, the best milk I've ever tasted!!!!"

Gene S said...

Tiger Woods is apologizing today!

Good Morning America says he will base it on his hipocracy. They are advising him to wear a sweater, not read it, do it in the right place, etc. to make it real. Wow, was a total PR event!

Now, will we ever hear one from the Conservative Resurgence folks over how they have been equally hipocritical?????

Gene S said...

Haven't you heard of an experiment performed in the late 50's?

Scientists put the basic elements of the primeval atmosphere into a vacuum jar. Next, they passed high voltage electricity through it for a time to see what primodial things would happen.

Amazingly, when they uncorked it all and check the slime which had precipitated, THEY FOUND RNA AND DNA IN THE SLIME!!!!!

Does this offer some good possibilities as to how God did it???

Creationist texts are another way for Conservatives to make money!!!

Personally, if find no problem with Genesis and Darwin telling the same story from different perspectives.

Darwin was trying to answer the question of "HOW" in his theory. The Bible is asking the question of "WHY." Both give similar propositions in their presentation: things go from simple to more complex / it took "ages" of time / mankind is the ultimate development of the creation events / it was not done in a 24 hour day--rather "indefinite periods of time" which is the meaning of "yam."

I little good thinking and analysis of both theories leads me to affirm that both are right, yet do not explain it all.

Are Creationists willing to admit there are 2 biblical accounts of creation: Genesis 1:1-2:4 / 2:4ff.

Rex Ray said...

C W M,
Have you retreated into a corner because a woman, Lydia, has shown how silly some of your statements are?

Maybe you not answering her is based on “Paul did not say that a Woman did not have the “power” to teach men, just that she [Lydia] didn’t have “permission” to.”


Lydia, maybe C W M will answer if you ask permission for asking how you are saved by giving birth to children.

He hasn’t answered on the subject of seniority (v.13) why Adam was not submissive to cows. Also who was the ‘biggest’ sinner (v.14) Eve being deceived or Adam sinning on purpose.


C W M, did God always use seniority while choosing leaders?

Since God rejected Adam’s claim it was the Woman’s fault, why would he changed his mind and agree with Paul and you?

Rex Ray said...

Hey! Question:

If God had the power to make Eve appear as an adult when she was one second old, why couldn’t he do the same with the universe?

Rex Ray said...

BTW, C W M,
Man was made from dirt.
Woman was made from refined dirt.

Gene S said...

Rex Ray--

Man, are we on a roll with some good questions!!

I can't wait for some answers, but have to go to work. You take care of business for a while, if you please!

Jeff said...

I doubt that experiment happen, give me proof.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Way of Cain: I found the link you gave to James White's response to Ergun Cain very interesting. I well remember his and his brother pulling out of the debate in 2006.

Steven Stark said...

Byron,

You have explained the anthropic principle quite well - the conditional probability of finding ourselves in a universe which meets the requirements for our existence is 1.

I have always been quite interested in the argument from fine tuning, but I agree with you that it is problematic to argue for a theistic designer from it. It is the same as arguing that your own birth is evidence for a supernatural creator. The odds are phenomenally long that your parents should meet, that the exact right sperm should meet the egg at the exact right time, not to mention all of the same odds applied to all your ancestors etc.. The odds of you existing are off the charts, yet you exist.

Rex Ray: "If God had the power to make Eve appear as an adult when she was one second old, why couldn’t he do the same with the universe?"

If we start with the premise that the Bible is scientific history, then perhaps you have a point. But I don't think that is a valid starting point, since it is much more parsimonious to accept it as myth in light of the evidence. I take myth pretty seriously though!

C W M said...

Brother Rex Ray,

Actually brother I just got busy and had other appointments to keep.

The reality is that if you do not believe that the writings of Paul have the same authority as the Gospels, then we really do not have anything we can discuss.

Paul's writings were after the cross, and with the teachings of Christ in full view, and he still said what he did. He is merely the pen, the Holy Spirit is the author. The same God that wrote Matthew Mark Luke and John, also wrote 1 and 2 Timothy.

Although I do not have time at this time to further discuss this, I may later on my own blog.

I do wish you a good day.

Christiane said...

Mainline Christianity gives the Words and Actions of Christ pre-eminance for the interpretation of ALL Scripture. St. Paul has to be examined AND UNDERSTOOD through the lens of Christ's teachings. Any other interpretation is not valid. No interpretation of St. Paul's writings that contradict the teachings of Lord Christ could be correct.

Bible-worship is a growing phenomenon that denies the rightful place of Christ in His Church.

C W M said...

All scripture is equal in authority. The same God that wrote Matthew - John, is the same God that wrote the rest of it. The teachings of Christ ARE the teachings of all of the New Testament.

There is no such thing as "Paul's writings" being Inferior to what Christ said. What Paul said/wrote is as though Christ Himself said/wrote, because it is the same Holy Spirit, and the same God behind each and every word. There is no contradiction anywhere between Paul and Christ, and there are no inferior portions of scripture. Contradictions do not exist within the Bible.

The scriptures are plain when it comes to the issues on the qualifications of pastors and teachers of men.

Ability does not equal Authority. As I have said before, Most women I know are more intelligent, and have a greater devotion to the Lord and His Word than most men that I know. That fact changes nothing about what God has authorized in His Word concerning pastors and teachers of men.

All gender roles are EQUAL, yet different, and that is not a slap in anyone's face, nor is it a hindrance to anyone's ability to serve the Lord according to the Bible.

Lydia said...

Ability does not equal Authority. As I have said before, Most women I know are more intelligent, and have a greater devotion to the Lord and His Word than most men that I know. That fact changes nothing about what God has authorized in His Word concerning pastors and teachers of men.

So, seperate but equal? Equal but unequal "roles".


You still are not answering my questions. The most important of all is this: Since there is NO prohibition in the OT about women teaching men why do you think there is now a prohibition of women teaching men in the NT?

Did it ever occur to you that men who love their preeminance and have been the translators and interpreters of the Word got it wrong? They did. And they even changed the teaching of Gen 1-3 because the old interpretations would not fly as folks started studying for themselves. They had to find a way to make Adam in authority BEFORE the fall. So, creation order!

Now, I do not want to accidently sin so can you tell me what age a boy becomes a man?

Christiane said...

Interpretation of a passage of Holy Scripture must be done 'through the lens of Christ'. That means seeing the passage in the LIGHT of Christ's teaching.

How many MEN have interpreted St. Paul's writings to suit themselves? The 'authority' of Holy Scripture originates in Christ, the 'Living Word'. Detached from His Light, we cannot understand scripture. He, Himself, after the Resurrection, gathered his followers together and taught them the meaning of the Old Testament. Before He did that, they did not understand the full meaning of those Scriptures. They needed Christ's wisdom in order to understand.

St. Paul has been 'used' by those who idolize the Bible rather than Christ in this way: they have quoted from St. Paul's writings and interpreted these writings in ways that violated the Royal Law.
The words of Paul were not to blame for that. It was the lack of obedience to Christ' Laws that led to faulty interpretations.

Rex Ray said...

Hey Gene!
Need your help.

There’s a politician out of control here – you know – the kind that won’t speak to questions because he refuses to see or hear questions.
He just keeps beating the same old drum – ‘agree with me or you’re wrong.’

I surprised he called me “Brother”, but maybe it was the same way church leaders called Paul –“brother” trying to influence him to “their way of thinking”.

CWM showed his hand in saying: “The reality is that if you do not believe that the writings of Paul have the same authority as the Gospels, then we really do not have anything we can discuss.”

I thought that was his farewell speech, but he continued: “He [Paul] is merely the pen; the Holy Spirit is the author.”

That’s about like the story told to Moses: gold was thrown in the fire and it came out a calf.
God inspired men to write, but he didn’t hold their hands

CWM would have us believe the writers of the Bible went into a trance and the Holy Spirit moved their hands like the hand that wrote on the wall.

CWM said…“The same God that wrote Matthew Mark Luke and John…”

Let’s hold it right there. Since Matthew said a ruler’s daughter was dead, did God forget and say she was near death in Mark and Luke? (Matthew 9:18 vs. Mark 5:23 & Luke 8:42)
Oh, maybe he only believes the Holman Bible that changed Matthew to agree.

CWM said… “What Paul said/wrote is as though Christ Himself said/wrote, because it is the same Holy Spirit, and the same God behind EACH and EVERY word.”

Does CWM call Paul a liar when Paul said, “I want to add some suggestions of my own. These are NOT direct commands from the Lord, but they seem right to me:” (1 Corinthians 7:12 Living)

CWM said… “The scriptures are plain when it comes to the issues on the qualifications of pastors and teachers of men.”

If scriptures are so plain, why doesn’t CWM give us some quotes to prove his points? In fact, he’s not quoted one verse to prove anything. He might as well be a Muslim telling us how great Mohammad is.

CWM’s problem is pretty well said by Christiane: “Bible-worship is a growing phenomenon that denies the rightful place of Christ in His Church.”

Warning to CWM: “You shall have no other gods before me” includes the Bible

C W M said...

I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

1 Tim 2:12-14 (KJV)

If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

1 Tim 3:1 (KJV)

the husband of one wife,
1 Tim 3:2 (KJV)

One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

1 Tim 3:4-5 (KJV)

(For the women)
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)

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

Hi REX RAY,

I had some thoughts after reading CWM's words. With you, I can share them, my friend:

The 'place of women' in our world is where they may use those gifts God entrusts to them to serve Him and to honor Him by using those gifts to build up the Body of Christ. These gifts are not our own to lay at the altar of men whose egos demand such sacrifice.

I wonder if CWM is aware that even Deborah's general would not go into battle without her leading his army?

And the first time the NEWS of Our Savior's Resurrection was spoken to the disciples, it came from the lips of a woman.

It is always sad to me that some men feel the need to stand on the backs of women in order to achieve their 'proper elevation to biblical authority' in this world. I would rather see these men humbly thanking God for the gifts He gave to women so that they might serve Lord Christ with that mighty strength of the Spirit that goes far beyond ANY 'human' capacity to serve. I give you the example of the strength of the women who stood at the foot of the Cross and did not abandon Our Lord in His Agony. These women did not run away and hide.
Like the great women of the Bible that they were, they stood the Great Holy Vigil, in that place where we all must come in spirit to repent before the Lord.

Some men are blinded to the magnificent service of women in the Holy Scriptures by their own need to feel superior. It doesn't work for them. It just makes them look more needy than ever.
It is fortunate that women have kind hearts for the sadness of this. And the gifts of patience and endurance to work towards ending their own oppression in ways which are healing, and reconciling within the Body of Christ. And so the Lord has shown mercy to us all.

Caritas Christi,
L's

Rex Ray said...

Christiane,
Well said. The ego of men goes all the way back to Adam, and they beat on their chest thanking God they are not women.

Lydia said...

CMW, We do not disagree with what the Word says. We disagree with the translation. Take the one below, for example:


I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

1 Tim 2:12-14 (KJV)"

Now, you STILL have not answered why there is NO prohibition in the OT on women teaching men. That ought to be your first clue this translation needs to be looked at in depth.

You also have to take the letter in context since Paul was writing about people deceived out of ignorance and deceiving on purpose back in Chapter 1. Then explain why the grammar is singular as in ONE WOMAN is not permitted to teach.

Usurp authority was translated from "authenteo" which is used only ONCE in the NT. Had the Holy Spirit mean authority He would have Inspired a clear word for that since there are many to choose from in Greek. But He did not. Authenteo can mean to murder or kill with false teaching. It is a very obscure Greek Word. It means take by force or dominate. (Some translations use dominare)

Also, Paul is referring to order of creation for ONE reason. The order of creation is WHY Eve was deceived. She has less knowledge of God than Adam who actually got to witness the Garden being planted.

Paul is mapping this same lack of knowledge to the woman in Ephesus. He says, Let her learn.

I noticed you kept out the childbearing part. I assume you believe women are saved by childbearing, right? If not, what do you think it means since 'childbearing' is a noun in this case.

"f a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

1 Tim 3:1 (KJV)"

Acually the Greek says, If ANYONE...(tis)

"he husband of one wife,
1 Tim 3:2 (KJV)"

According to you then single men cannot be elders. Do you believe that too? Paul is not qualified?

C W M said...

It is interesting to me how some reject the tithe, because it was in the Old Testament, but reject what the Bible says about Women not having permission to teach men, because it is in the New Testament.

Ma'am, I will respectfully bow out of this conversation, because while we may agree on what the Bible says, we do not agree on what it means, and so there is no point in me presenting scripture so that it can be denied. You do have my prayers. (genuinely, not sarcastically, or condescendingly.)

Bob Cleveland said...

I don't know much about a lot of things but I do know that God seems to have established women as deacon(esse)s, prophet(esse)s and judges in the Old Testament. And further, I wonder if women in the New Testament are somehow more prone to Eve's susceptibility to deception than were those women in the Old Testament.

And if perhaps Paul (when he said HE did't allow women to teach men) was someplace where the women oughtn't teach men, which perhaps could account for the fact that he didn't tell Timothy not to let women teach. From a guy who was pretty blunt in 1 Corinthians 5, about what the church ought to do with certain blatant sinners in the flock, I'd expect something a little clearer, to Timothy, than what Paul said about women and teaching.

I find all that curious.

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

"It is interesting to me how some reject the tithe, because it was in the Old Testament, but reject what the Bible says about Women not having permission to teach men, because it is in the New Testament."

To be honest, CMW, I cannot tell if you are dense or playing games. Your illogic is frightening. I would not blame you for bowing out.

Lydia said...

Bob, good words. I know, I know. And one would expect to find it in all Letters since the new Laws for women would need to travel fast for all the new churches popping up.

Gene S said...

Jeff--

You questioned the experiment in the 50's which precipitated DNA/RNA from atmoshere using static electricity passed through the vacuum jar.

If you will google "DNA RNA research," you should find it. It occurred as I stated and was a standard part of my Advanced Biology cours in high school and again at Emory University biology.

"That's the facts, Jack!"

Dr. James Willingham said...

Well, this is the first time in a long time that I have read anything that gives me hope for the possibility of a brighter tomorrow for Southern Baptists. That Dr. Patterson should show such broadness is remarkable. We really need to do it in a way that will maintain our Convention and the great force of churches that we have which support our large number of missionaries, foreign and domestic. Actually, we have the theological constructs in our history which will enable us to do it. The persuasion of General Baptists to become Regular Baptists (Particular Baptists), the uniting of Separate and Regular Baptists, the precursor of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the launching of the Great Century of Missions are indicative of the wherewithal that could open the doors to an advance the likes of which have never been seen before.

Dr. James Willingham said...

Well, this is the first time in a long time that I have read anything that gives me hope for the possibility of a brighter tomorrow for Southern Baptists. That Dr. Patterson should show such broadness is remarkable. We really need to do it in a way that will maintain our Convention and the great force of churches that we have which support our large number of missionaries, foreign and domestic. Actually, we have the theological constructs in our history which will enable us to do it. The persuasion of General Baptists to become Regular Baptists (Particular Baptists), the uniting of Separate and Regular Baptists, the precursor of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the launching of the Great Century of Missions are indicative of the wherewithal that could open the doors to an advance the likes of which have never been seen before.