Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Joshua Convergence: "Amen" to All the Principles, "Oh My" to Some of the Messages

This week a group of forty pastors met in Florida at the inaugural Joshua Convergence Conference where they issued a list of seven key principles.

Next month I will be one of seventy Fellows participating in the continuing research of Columbia University's Next Generation American Assembly on the campus of Southern Methodist University. Dwight D. Eisenhower established the Next Generation Program for the purpose of diaologue, research and the issuing of official reports on foreign affairs and international issues related to the United States. The organizational effort and logistics of holding national conferences such as these are not easy, so I can appreciate the amount of effort that went into the Joshua Convergence.

In addition, I have learned to appreciate documents that come out of such meetings, and I wish to give my affirmation to the seven key principles proceeding from the Joshua Convergence. Other than possible differences in the interpretation of the church and worldliness -- as defined by the Bible and not culture -- I find nothing with which I would even remotely disagree. In fact, I would like to attend the next Joshua Convergence, and with a little more notice I just might be able to do so.

I listened to the seven theme interpretations presented by the seven pastors and I would encourage others to do so as well. I enjoyed the messages, and gleaned much from them, but was disappointed in a couple. I have called the men involved in order to speak to them directly, but have not yet received a return phone call. For that reason I will leave them nameless, but would like to issue the following two corrections -- both of which involved me.

One Pastor said in his message:

"Not long after the convention one of them (preachers) went on to say that he went to share Jesus with someone, had a meal with her, and asked her for wine at the meal. She was so moved that a Baptist preacher would ask her for wine that her heart just opened up to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ and she got saved. The very idea that the Holy Spirit of God is moved by the spirit of alcohol is contrary to God's Word and sacreligious."

Oh my.

I think if anyone reads my post they would see that the above paragraph is a complete distortion of what I wrote. I believe that the movement of the Holy Spirit of God upon the wife of a man I had recently led to Christ had nothing to do with the use of alchohol, but rather, God saved her by His sovereign pleasure. However, he used a pastor who loves people where they are, and accepts the sufficiency of Scripture alone for his Christian faith and walk.

Further, my post clearly states I promote abstinence in my church, but do not judge, condemn, or discipline those Christians who use alchohol in moderation. We discipline anyone who commits the sin of drunkenness. It's sad to me when the true principles for which I stand (the sufficiency of Scripture alone for Christian conduct, the freedom for all Bible believing Southern Baptists to participate in denominational missions and evangelism, and the Biblical mandate to love our brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with third tier interpretations of Scripture) are marginalized by repeated attempts to divert the discussion through distorted portrayals of me.

I am deeply disturbed that a person would call what I teach contrary to the Word of God and sacreligious. To be sacreligious is to be profane. To be profane (Latin for "outside the fence") is to be outside the family of God.

I will seek to work this out with my brother, but I would urge participants in the Joshua Convergence to see truth as not only the Scripture, but a Biblical ethic as well.

Finally, one pastor commented:

"I only have one question.

Those preachers who blog, how do they have time to pastor their church?"

Frankly, I find plenty of time to pastor. Our church is now holding five services a week, averages 1500 in small groups, and will baptize over 100 people for the third year in a row. I preach expositionally through Genesis on Sunday mornings, do a Bible survey on Wednesday nights, preach various expositional series on Sunday nights, and participate in our Refuge service on Saturday night. I visit the hospitals to minister to the sick, conduct funerals, perform weddings, lead our staff meetings, support my kids in their athletic endeavors, take my wife out on dates (after 23 years of marriage!), etc . . . . My church and family are doing quite well. :)

I would ask that those who seek to quote me, reference me, or speak of me, only do it accurately so that I don't have to issue corrections like this one.

Then I would have additional time to devote to more important issues.


In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

Update: The preacher in question regarding the first issue has issued a public apology for his misrepresentation of my post. I have accepted his apology and will remove this post if and when the video of the messages is ever removed from the internet.


Anonymous said...


You are a tad kinder than I would have been. I just listened to the messages myself, and there were several, for lack of a better term, "pot" shots at fellow Southern Baptists, including you, Ben Cole and Marty Duren.

Also, I just read a blog where several commentators were very, very inappropriate in their comments toward you, and the person responsible for the blog, an organizer of the Joshua Convergence, does nothing to correct the problem.

You have exhibited a tremendous amount of patience.

Keep up the good work.

Bro. Bill said...

Bro. Bill,

I was kind because I really do wish to support efforts like the one in Florida this week. Diaologue, preaching, fellowship and theological discussion are always good.

And the men participating are good men. I am just asking that my positions be represented fairly.

Bryan Riley said...

You are consistent with what you preach, Wade, and it is appreciated.

davidinflorida said...

Pastor Wade, This blog is a form of pastoring. It has expanded your territory. Its a ministry.....

Matt Snowden said...

Thanks for the post. I think the effort to converse with others is a good thing and I appreciate you for doing it. Keep it up.

Bob Cleveland said...

By his own twisted logic, I guess that one speaker is telling us he cares more about your drinking a glass of wine and telling the story, than he does about the lady whose soul was saved, and the couple whose marriage now prospers, and the contribution they now make to the body, at Emmanuel. At least that's how it looks to me.

At least he's in "good company".

RM said...

They're just young boys. They will learn as they grow up...

Will said...

Interesting that someone might ask a fellow pastor why he uses the internet to deliver a message of Grace to the world. I wonder if anyone ever questioned Paul about using the Roman roads to deliver his message... it seems that thinking about appropriateness of delivery systems may be lagging. (IMHO)

You are consistently kind in your responses and I admire that quality...if it were only more contagious!

Kevin Bussey said...


It is ignorance. I don't understand how some men pastor and speak all over the country, but they do great jobs. I don't understand the "multi-site" churches--but God is using those pastors. We don't have to always understand everything. Why do some have to be against stuff all of the time.

Tim Dahl said...


It wasn't just a time of fellowship and theological reflection. The guys behind it are getting ready for a fight. It has happened before, and it is happening again. I don't like it, it makes me sick. Just, be aware. Always be aware.

In Him~

Tim Dahl

Bob Cleveland said...

I'll bring up my favorite story again, as it seems fitting.

God used the sign Pilate painted (or had painted), and refused to change, to let the thief on the cross know Jesus was a King. I don't think Pilate was much concerned about his soul that day, but God used him regardless.

We cannot point to how God uses someone (including ourselves) as an indicator of how pleasing we are to God. That must come via the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Regularly and consistently. It's that which tells us the Holy Spirit is having His way with us.

And never more so than when the spotlight is on us, and the heat is on.

WTJeff said...


I admire your ability to multitask as you do. It's not a question of how you have time as much as are you able to manage your time to do all that's required of you. Through God's grace you are able to and God is blessing your work.

Always know, that some of us who never had the opportunity for a seminary education appreciate the dialogue here. Through these discussions my faith has been strengthened, I've been challenged to dig into the scriptures to support what I believe, and I've been encouraged to rely on the sufficiency of scripture alone.

There will always be some who are threatened by those who choose to accept the sufficiency of scripture and live in the freedom thereof. Whether or not we glorify God depends on our response.



Paul said...

While there are some valuable things in the statement it also has a very glaring flaw. I was even more disappointed in the messages. With the exception of the last speaker there were axes grinding all over the place. There were also pot shots being taken left and right. I think by and large the conference itself was a tremendous failure to uphold their own statement to "reject all attitudes of mean-spiritedness, personal attacks, or intellectual and spiritual arrogance in these debates."

Alycelee said...

Speaking about principles and having them work out in a real way in ones life are two very different things. In my time here, I can speak to the certainty that grace is working in your life Wade.
This article is running in our paper this week. When I read it, one can easily see the intent and that double speak runs rampant. I often wonder, why people just can't say what they mean and mean what they say.
Here is the real issue. You are a threat. You are seen by many as a force in SBC life that threatens the status quo. What some seem not to realize is, it isn't you. I believe it is God at work, using you and others, straightening out the crooked, laying the plumbline, drawing lines in the sand and to that I say AMEN and go God!

Bob Cleveland said...


I have a really great idea! We don't need fewer of these "sub-group" meetings. We need more! Every week in every church!

Get together and affirm what we believe. Sounds good to me!

Kevin Bussey said...


I'm not trying to pick a fight, but why did the JC use the term "battle?" Why are we always in a battle? I really don't understand. said...


You wrote:

I guess that one speaker is telling us he cares more about your drinking a glass of wine and telling the story, than he does about the lady whose soul was saved, and the couple whose marriage now prospers, and the contribution they now make to the body, at Emmanuel. At least that's how it looks to me.

I have long wondered why that is myself.

Sarah said...


I'm consistently challenged in my walk with Christ when I visit your blog. You are so gracious towards those who hurt or slander your name. I want to show that kind of grace. Instead, when I read some of this stuff my flesh cries out to give those people a piece of my mind! Forgive me, Lord. Thanks Wade for striving to be like Jesus instead of striving to be religious.


Alycelee said...

According to ABP several of the speakers at the conference have close ties to Paige Patterson. Professors and other employees from the three educational institutions Patterson has led participated in the gathering.
Concerning the comment about doctrine, I see no doctrine affirmed at this conference. It was reactionary, they state this themselves.

Kevin Bussey said...


Thanks for your reply. I still don't understand why there is a battle. We have inerrantists in the SBC now. So who is the battle with?

BTW, Wade, I'm off today and my wife is homeschooling our children. I'm not taking away time from my church duties. :) said...

Matt Brady,

I really wish to express my thanks to you for the graciousness in which you write and disagree.

I both admire and respect you. By the way, I make a distinction between commandments of Christ, which if violated, are sins, and my own personal convictions, which I set for the good of myself and others under guidance of the Holy Spirit

Paul said...


If this conference was about what those folks are for and not against, if it was about issues and not personalities, then why did various speakers feel the need to take indirect pot shots at Marty Duren and Ben Cole and direct pot shots at bloggers, Wade, Bill Hybles (who isn't even Baptist) and Rick Warren? Could they not say what/who they were for without saying what/who they were against? I was troubled at the tone of the messages.

Paul said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
RM said...


You sound like a really good guy but you are terribly deluded if you think Paige nor any of his generational cohorts knew anything about the convergence. I guarantee you he knew who was there and everything about them. I've been around him way too long to doubt that he missed this one. On the other hand, I sure hope you guys accomplished something good while you were there. You had our prayers.

Bryan Laramore said...

wade, thanks for taking the time to share a little about your church activity and life. i enjoy hearing about that. God's blessings on you with your dealings with the local and wider church.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Reverend Wade: Either that was you speaking Sunday morning and last night with your wife there as well or the doubles that you hired were well worth the money. :) I couldn't make it Sunday night but the title of your sermon for that evening was in the bulletin.

irreverend fox said...


comments like that last one drive me CRAZY! Seriously! Where do golfers find time to pastor a church? Where do fishermen find time to pastor a church? Where do sports fan(atic)s find time to pastor a church? Where do cyclers find time to pastor? Where do fitness nuts find time to work out?

Good grief. Only some one not gifted in writting would say such an ignorant thing. Boy does that sound "holier than thou art" but come on, what an ignorant thing to say.

Anybody gifted as a writter can do all sorts of "blogging"...darn near excessive, at less than an hour, total, a day. On top of that I see this as ministry related anyhow. The debating of ideas is a form of study.

Unreal. I just am shocked that Wade Burleson gets sinners drunk and then "converts" them when they are in a stupor. How sac-religious...

The Fletcher Family said...

In an attempt to lighten the mood and make Wade it just me or is Brad Reynolds trying to look like James White? Way to go bro!

Dull Iron

The Fletcher Family said...

Wade - Once again I appreciate the way you have handled questionable treatment. Knowing that I am certainly breaking blogging etiquette some way or another, I am posting here a post I posted on Dr. Reynolds blog. I just used the limit for writing the word "post" in one sentence. Anyway, I hope I wasn't out of line with these comments and if I was...well it's too late. Forgive me.

Dull Iron

Well, that clip was very disappointing Dr. Reynolds. Although I disagree with much of what you have to say (regarding theology for example), you should take it as a compliment that I have still enjoyed reading here and perhaps even had a comment sprinkled in so as to sharpen and become sharp...but I am now compelled to rethink that. It would be deceitful of you to pretend you were not referencing Wade Burleson in your comments, so since that is settled because you and everyone else knows that you were, then there is no denying that you must have willfully and intentionally completely misrepresented that story regarding alcohol. You then proceeded to tell it in such a way that you could get the biggest EMOTIONAL reaction (which is a very popular preaching style these days.) What's more is that with the likely makeup of that audience, it is a safe assumption that everyone spouting the "Amens" when you finished were also familiar with the story and knew you didn't represent it correctly. I am sincerely...make that disturbingly disappointed. You don't know me so this all may be meaningless to you...but it shouldn't be. Pray...and then just think about it. In the quietness of this room as I write this post, can I humbly ask you to search your heart? What was the motive here? Here's hoping for a "Joshua Convergeance" focus on the real enemy. To help you get started, it's not Calvinism, it's not prayer languages, and it's not even alcohol.

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

It seems to me that if we are really get to the bottom of this issue, we will all be looking at the issue of Holiness. Holiness is one that even I struggle with. It is not that I do not desire to be holy, I just sin! Now I know this and work daily not to continue for one simple reason; I seperated my self from the things of the world and thus seprated myself to God! Do I fail yes. But my failures do not in any way change the Holiness standard of God.

From alcohol to "you name it" - sin is sin absent of my personal conviction or motives. If I destroy anything in the body, I sin. If I do anything that is displeasing to God I sin regardless of the outcomes.

Situational ethics allows for much wiggle room. However, holiness is precise and never changing. I nor any of us change what is sin out of conviction or decision - God determines that and He has no levels - just a thought!

Kevin Bussey said...


I read your answer, but I'm confused. Is the Battle with other Christians? Who else would a battle of the Bible be over. I really don't see how that brings any glory to God.

Wayne Smith said...


Anyone reading the Blog's can see who has Heart and those that showing a lack of Heart are about 6 Bloggers. These Bloggers started posting just before the SBC Convention.

Wade, just consider the source when these attacks come. Pray the Holy Spirit convicts their Hearts

On His Name

Bob Cleveland said...


I'm glad I'm old and can blame my loss of tolerance on my age. Like towards folks who know best what YOU need to do to lead a Christian life.

The "weaker brother" syndrome. I have no doubts at all that many times more folks are offended by vicious comments about that, than by a believer having a glass of wine with dinner. We can specify two folks in prominent places who were offended by your story about a glass of wine with dinner, but I do not know of any new believers who were ...any "weaker brothers" who were .. offended by it. If the man in your story had marital problems, I dare say he might have been a "weaker" Christian than the big names who objected. Doesn't seem it made him stumble!

I think we need a round of applause for the two prominent believers who have admitted their weakness, via their attacks on you over "Salvation Over A Glass of Wine". They seem to be the ones who were biblically "offended"

If this is too harsh, Wade, delete it. But I had to say it.

Ray said...

why even take shots at you at the conference? you aren't even there! that makes no sense. i wish we could just focus on bringing the kingdom to people who haven't felt it before, but i'm afraid our political situation is limiting that. said...


You ask a question for which I honestly don't have an answer. I think my friend Alycelee in her first post today probably comes closest with an honest evaluation of why pot shots are being taken of me.

I am reminded though of the words of Chuck Swindoll. 10% of life is what happens to you: 90% of life is your reaction to it.

I expect it to get worse before it gets better, but I promise to stay the course, confront wrongdoing, but maintain a gracious spirit. said...


Do you understand what psmpastor said to you?

I hope you do.

GeneMBridges said...

As the comment about blogging and pastoring. I like what my friend James Spurgeon said awhile back. It's worth repeating:

Evangleism is a God-given command. It is also a joy and we do so regularly and in a meaningful way. But we don't do so 24/7 and neither do you, nor does God expect that of us. I'm sure you wasted 2-3 hours last week on something that could have been time better spent. Oh well. We will each answer to God for how we spent our hours. Thank-you, though, for caring enough to remind us of that truth.

SigPres said...

This isn't about holiness, or inerrancy, or alcoholic beverage consumption or anything but denominational politics. This is about the perceived threat to the political perspective that has governed the SBC since 1979. The presidency of the denomination has wide ranging appointive powers that should have been removed and distributed among a much broader group of people a long time ago. So I'll say it. This is about a perceived threat to that power.

I think several factors are involved. Bloggers have uncovered some distasteful political activity aimed at squashing dissent, and many Southern Baptists responded to that by helping to elect a president who was not associated with the group that did it. They are not saying "no" to good theology, they are saying "no" to tactics that do not reflect good theology. A second factor was the discovery that, again credit the bloggers, the officially sanctioned candidate of the party in control of the SBC came from a church that had an indefensible record of support for the Cooperative Program, which is what being Southern Baptist is all about in the first place.

It appears that there are some people who are convinced there is no other way to think but theirs. Perhaps there are some others who enjoy the popularity that comes with power. I can't see any other reason for the rhetoric that has been spoken and the actions and reactions that have occurred so far.

GeneMBridges said...

And one more thing...perhaps the reason that those who complain about blogging pastors so much and ask how they find time to blog can't wrap their minds around the idea that a pastor can (a) include blogging as part of his pastoral work, namely under the rubric "communicating with his flock and being accountable for what he says" (Let's face it, nobody in Wade's congregation can say that Wade is not accountable to them since he puts his thoughts in writing for all to see), and (b) actually set aside time for other things besides "pastoring" if he has either/or (or) both/and a plurality of elders sharing the work with him or a church membership that does the work of the ministry for which he has properly trained them. When either or both of those are in place, so that he doesn't have to run around all over the place and do all the work all time.

Paul Burleson said...


I try not to comment too often, but, I just finished reading another blog with 150 or so comments and I'm stunned.

I had just commented on yet another blog using a quote that was meaningful to me because of a very positive spirit I saw in a young man. After reading those 150 or so comments, where most, not all, had a very negative nature, that quote took on an even deeper meaning. I'd like to put it here to remind all of us, including me, of it's reality.

" Speech is a barometer of the soul. It reflects the degree to which our minds and hearts and affections have aligned with the corruption of the world around us, or, conversely, with the purity and beauty of Christ. How we speak speaks volumes about what we value, about the reason we make our decisions, as well as the inward moral foundation on which we build our lives, our relationships, our goals in life."

May I continually be reminded.

Dad said...


I will be posting a few of those comments with my responses tomorrow.

Thanks for the reminder.


Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...


Though I respect your thoughts and you as a person, I disagree with your conclusions. This is not about political perspective. Maybe this is why there is so much confusion. I spoke with three from the mission field this week and they too are as concerned about the dialogue from a spiritual, biblical, and doctrinal issue as I am. I could care less if I was ever asked to serve nor do I seek a position (I have served on the state level in years past as God allowed and enjoyed it. Politics is opinion. This is all about truth and practice of that truth. As I stated earlier, it is a clear discussion on situational ethics and a belief system that allows for situational determination of doctrine and truth. It is also a discussion of simple Doctrine verses a new interpretation of levels or tiers. Even the people in my church who have read some the post are asking "when did we get a tiered level of Doctrine"? It is over the influence of practices that Southern Baptist have rightly resisted (tongues, prayer language, alcohol etc..) and why now all of sudden are they being questioned. Do I accept that many in churches may differ on these and other issues - yes. Each church is autonomous. However, as a convention that recieves money from churches who have agreed to partner in reaching the world, we have a responsibility to know what "gospel" is being taught and what "doctrine" is being promoted. We also have a responsibility to lead by example and thus ethics enters the equation. When I sign something, I try my best to live up to that which I signed. I do not sign and then try to change.

There are many facets to this discussion - however politics is the least if any part of it all.

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

Dear Wade,

I understand what psmpastor said - I however do not agree with him at all. Sin is sin period. Do we not teach our children that anything that goes against God is sin. Paul said " do nothing that would cause your brother to stumble". Jesus did not drink alcohol (though some would argue this) and it is spoken of negatively every time it is mentioned (wine in the form of alcohol - not the fuit of the vine).

I also do not agree that it is ok or right if we say that we accept a position of trust given to us by a body and then practice behavior that would being that trust into question.

I fully understand Principle #1 - it is why I wrote what I wrote! I do not understand the attacking or drawing ssumptions from , of people who disagree. said...


Precisely because we are a denomination, your church does not have the right to determine what is "correct" doctrine or "proper theology" on those third tier doctrines not addressed in the BFM 2000.

In addition, Tim, nobody wishes for you and your members to change your mind about tongues, prayer language, abstinence, etc . . . ), but since the BFM 2000 does not address these doctrines, for you to say everybody must believe like you and your church is exactly the problem in the SBC.

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

I do believe that as a participant we have the responsibility to encourage and stand for what we believe to be "rightly dividing the word of truth". I am not forcing nor is my church, anyone to belong or believe. If your stance is true towards your beliefs, it is not also true towards my beliefs?

By the way, I am married to an okie - she is a Sooner fan all the way!

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

For his glory,

I never said that politics was about truth. I said this is not political.

I am not advocating anyone leaving. Nor do I think that which I hold to as truth is opinion nor do I think that you and your beliefs are opinions. This is the issue. There is a right and there is a wrong. If we disagree - no biggie. God will settle it all one day. I however, just as you, am standing for that which I truly believe to be right. Thus, it is not political! It is doctrinal.

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

Dear psmpastor,

Who is showing contempt with using phrases like "remember principle #1" Come on. If you would like to discuss then discuss. Your sarcassism is coming across loud and clear! said...

For His Glory,

Amen. and again, Amen.


Thanks for hanging in their. I do understand what you are saying.

The problem I have right now is that I accept you, wish to work with you, would go on the mission field to serve with you, and would never seek to remove you from participation within any SBC missionary or evangelistic work, even though I don't agree with you on third tier doctrinal issues (those not addressed in the BFM 2000).

The question is: Would you extend the same courtesy to me and others?

If so, then we are very, very similar in our views of where we need to be in the SBC. said...


Thanks, sir, for clarifying your spirit with Tim.

My respect of you grows by the day.

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

Dear psmpastor and Wade,

Thank you. I do not desire to fight or argue.

I am somewhat confused or something... when did we come up with the term Tiers to describe doctrine? I have been in the SBC for 38 years and never have heard this until recently.

As for working together though we disagree - it all depends on who decides what will be taught? Now this is the real issue or should I say question. Will you cooperate with me if I teach and preach on the mission field that prayer language or tongues is not scriptural? When I hear that our people are already contending with other gorups who wait for us to lead people to Christ and then come in and start telling them they are still missing something... this becomes a factor. I have people in my own church who drink. I just do not allow them to lead in areas of teaching or serve as Deacons. In fact, just this past month, two of our men declined serving as Deacons because of this and said that their practice of life was not in line with what we taught therefore until they corrected this, they would withdraw their names from Deacon consideration. Strong people who love their church and pastor and who I think are living out what I am sharing on this issue.

farmboy said...

Having re-read Mr. Burleson's original post, I'm left wondering how the pastor referenced in the current post - or anyone else - could interpret this text in the way that he did.

Regarding those who represent the recent SBC resolution on alcohol as being an accurate representation of what Scripture teaches on alcohol, I'm left wondering how they could interpret this text in the way that they did.

Regarding those who represent a reformed understanding of the doctrine of salvation as not being an accurate representation of what Scripture teaches, I'm left wondering how they could interpret this text in the way that they did.

Whether the text in question is a blog entry, a passage from a book, the United States Constitution, or Scripture, basic standards of fairness and a concern for the truth require that a person offer interpretations that accurately reflect the text in question.

Is it reasonable to assume that if a person exercises due care in interpreting a text in one setting he will also exercise due care in interpreting texts in other settings? Similarly, is it reasonable to assume that if a person fails to exercise due care in interpreting a text in one setting he will also fail to exercise due care in interpreting texts in other settings?

To reference the title of Richard Weaver's classic, ideas have consequences. In particular, the ideas - or doctrines - of inspiration and inerrancy have consequences. What sense is there in defending the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture, if we are not going to first exercise due care in interpreting this inspired, inerrant Scripture and then order our lives and evaluate our conduct against the objective standard of this inspired, inerrant Scripture? said...


You seem to keep moving back to your local church for illustrations. We are not talking about your local church --- you are the pastor. Do anything you wish regarding deacon requirments, private prayer languages, and so on.

We are talking about the COOPERATIVE PROGRAM where EVERYBODY cooperates with each other. Can we cooperate around the essentials and give freedom in other areas?

Sure I will serve with you on the mission field, but it would need to be like it is in our church on Wednesday nights. One of my pastors co-teaches with me, and on every third tier doctrine (those doctrines not essential to the faith and not found in the BFM 2000, and doctrines ), we present two differing interpretations and let the people decide.

In other words, WE DON'T DIVIDE in fellowship, support, love, and cooperation on these doctrines.

By the way, I give credit to Al Mohler with coming up with the first tier, second tier, and third tier doctrinal system. said...


You do more than raise crops on a farm I can tell.

Well said. said...


One final thought.

The doctrinal examination of candidates prior to the new private prayer policy at the IMB INSURED that nobody went on the field advocating speaking in tongues as a "sign" of the gift of the Spirit. Rightly, they were disqualified.

The new policy prevents "private" tongues. If it is private nobody should be asking about it and nobody should be advocating it. Right?

Then why disqualify people who pray in private in tongues?

RKSOKC66 said...


I just viewed the Joshua Convergence via streaming video. I'm still trying to assess what I saw. Thanks for making reference to this on your BLOG.

Pastor Tim Guthrie:

Another source for the idea of tiers of doctrines (one that I believe pre-dates Dr. Mohler's paper) is
Heirarchy of Doctrines by Dr. James Sawyer of Western Seminary. I believe his paper can be found by searching the BIBLE.ORG website. For example, Dr. Sawyer says that the virgin birth, substitutionary atonement, doctrine of trinity, resurrection of Christ from the grave, etc. are HIGH PRIORITY doctrines that are foundational to Christianity. A doctrine such as "private prayer language" regardless of what side is actually right or wrong is of much lower priority.

My assessment is that most -- if not all -- primary doctrines of Christianity are enumerated in any version of the BF&M -- 1925, 1963 or 2000.

Pastor Tim: do you think "Private Prayer Language" and the "Bodily Resurrection of Christ" are equal in importance and both foundational to Christianity?

I am only one small guy in my church. Right now the pulpet committee is working on identifying the next man that is going to step in the pulpet of my church -- First Baptist Church of Del City. My vote for or against him is not going to change one iota depending upon whether or not he has a private prayer language.

SigPres said...


If this isn't political, then there really shouldn't be any problem, because there is no one violating the BFM2000, which is the instrument that Southern Baptists have written and approve to establish the doctrinal parameters for those who are involved as employees or trustees in its Cooperative Program ministries. Correct? Who isn't being consistent with the BFM2K?

Liam Madden said...

Funny how "convergence" rhymes with "resurgence."

It least it's more creative than "The Godfather, Part II." said...

Thanks Robin,

Appreciate the information.

RKSOKC66 said...

Now that I've had a chance to reflect on the Convergence Streaming Video I deduce that the some of the speakers desire to demarcate themselves relative to (1) Willow Creek, (2) Pastor Rick Warren, and (3) Bloggers. I don't think I'm reading too much into what they said to deduce that most -- if not all -- of them desire to be "separate" from these the aspects of SBC/evangelical life.

I heard quite a few "Amens" on the video when the guy said [loose paraphrase] ". . . I don't know how some pastor's can fulfull their obligations to their church with all the blogging they do." I find 98% or more of what the pastors in the Convergence said to be "right-on". However, I wonder why some are taking shots as BLOGGERS?

Is is OK to expound ideas from the pulpet but not on the Web?

Is an idea automatically marginalized because it is propounded on the web rather than the pulpet? The Convergence organizers chose the pulpet as their vehicle to make their voice heard relative the direction the SBC should be taking. If a person used the Web for a similar purpose is that qualitatively different?

Liam Madden said...


I know that you will not agree with this post, but this has been on my mind for a while, so please allow me.

I think that the root of the problems in the SBC today can be traced to the fact that there is no inerrant Bible. Whether looking at differential accounts of creation in GENESIS, the contradictory genealogies of Christ in Matthew and Luke, those are just two of many inconsistencies found in the Biblical texts. While I respect the efforts of wishful inerrantists to harmonize and explain away some of those contradictions (and I have heard many such explanations thru the years), not all of them are convincing.

For example, let's don't forget that Matthew, Mark, and Luke record that Jesus was crucified on a Friday, while John says that he was crucified on Thursday. While John no doubt deviates on that point to develop one of his important themes, the fact remains that both accounts (that of the Synoptics and John) can't be literally true.

Southern Baptists should face the fact that although God gave us a perfect Savior, the men he inspired to write the scriptures did not bequeath to us a perfect book, and that is the real truth about the Bible, not the myth of inerrancy.

I can see why the notion of inerrancy was appealing to pastors in the post 1960's environment as they saw the church's authority dwindling in the face of challenges on many fronts. No doubt, the idea of inerrancy is comforting to many believers as well, who are looking for clear guidance in a confusing world.

My impression has been that "inerrantists" insist on a literal interpretation of just about every matter in the scriptures. Yet no seminary-trained scholar could argue and say that the few examples listed in the paragraphs above can be easily reconciled if held to the standard of literal truth.

But if the Bible is not literally inerrant? In what sense is it inerrant?

And yet I affirm that the Bible is God's Word, authoritative for Christian belief and practice.

Many times, I have wished for an inerrant Bible, but after studying this matter carefully for many years, I see that it does not, in fact, exist.

One might ask, "Why did not God give us a perfect book?" Perhaps he wanted to leave an element of uncertainty in the mix, so that we would have to think for ourselves--
"testing the spirits"--if you will. Because we aren't given a prescription for every situation, we have to think about love, and justice, and what it means to be a neighbor. That's better for us in the long run.

My position is simple: moderate Baptists have been maligned in the SBC, but I think that in many cases, their understanding of the Bible, with regard to inerrancy, was more intellectually honest than the "myth of inerrancy" promoted by the resurgence.

Bottom line: moderate Baptists are better at working with people who differ around 2nd and 3rd tier issues. Too bad their influence in the SBC has been derided and every effort has been made by the current leadership to marginalize moderates or push them out.
I think that the "my way or the highway" leadership style that has characterized the "post-resurgence" era will make it hard to resolve these issues, although the growing influence of new voices in the SBC does give a sign for hope.

Still, there is a connection between the idea of being a moderate and a having a willingnes to "moderate." In order to survive, the SBC will need leaders who are willing both to moderate between groups and even to moderate themselves, i.e. their views, beliefs, words, actions, etc. It's ironic that in order to succeed, they will need to become moderates even though they will not like to admit it.

Unknown said...

In staying true to my conviction to stand only on the Bible, I offer this from John Piper in response to Mr. Guthrie saying the Bible speaks only negatively of alcohol:

"But before we talk about a specific amendment, let's return to the first question: Should a Christian in America today abstain from alcoholic drink as a beverage? We will start by just getting an overview of the biblical attitude toward alcoholic beverages and the problems associated with them. There is no reason to think that Jesus was a teetotaler since he made wine for a wedding in John 2 and said in Luke 7:33–34, "John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine; and you say, 'He has a demon!' The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, 'Behold a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners."' The people in Jesus' day were doubly guilty because they took offense both at John's abstinence and Jesus' drinking. They slandered one as a demon and the other as a drunkard. In Psalm 104:15 wine is pictured as a gift from God to gladden man's heart, and in Deuteronomy 33:28 the hope of Israel is described as a bountiful land of corn and wine. And in Deuteronomy 14:26 God gave permission to enjoy wine at certain feasts."

Why do I oft quote Piper recently? Because all name calling and negative tones must also be directed at him if one wants to malign those that hold the view that there exists no latitude of conscience. I also submit, that if you malign (note I said malign, not disagree) John Piper, you will lose the younger generation for support. ;)

BTW, Wade, I was accused over at Brad's place of "policing," as if I was taking a stand against 'them.' Further proof, given that I have given you a fair share of grief, that I am independent and stand on Scripture, not on sides! Doesn't O'Reilly say something of that effect?

Unknown said...

Sorry, but let me offer this, lest I misrepresent John Piper. He is for abstaining completely from alcohol, and hos reasons are given in this sermon from which I quoted.

MediaDude said...

Although I did not listen to all the video, by any means, it seemed to me that at least one of the brothers seemed to spend alot of time talking about how great it was to be SB. A Ra Ra about the past. A very rhetorical experience. My Dad was a born again Pentecostal. When asked, he would say he was a Christian, not a sepcific denomination. I have followed that pattern but I saw/heard SB first, Christian 2nd.

Kevin Bussey said...

Africa M,

Your meddling when you start talking about Nyquil! said...

Craig from Georgia,

William also said,

"Wade, I know you will not agree

He's right. I don't agree.

But I respect him as a brother in Christ, and refuse to yell at him, slander his character, or wish harm to him or his ministry.

I know that is your heart as well.

Rex Ray said...

Craig from Georgia,
You asked, “If you don’t have an inerrant Bible then how do you know what is truth?”
Jesus did NOT say we would know truth by reading the Old and the New Testament. He said, “When the Holy Spirit, who is truth, comes, He shall guide you into all truth.” (John 16: 13)
We may ask Jesus, “That sounds good but how does He teach us without the Bible?”
The answer is, “He teaches us the Bible—as grain and chaff are separated by wind, study the Bible and the Holy Spirit will separate truth from untruth.”
A math book can be learned without the Holy Spirit, but not the Bible. If you have a problem with Jesus making the Bible that way, take it up with Him.
Maybe He wanted us to have faith to believe rather than just brain thinking—“though he slay me; yet I’ll trust him.” Maybe Jesus wanted enough of man’s imperfections in the Bible so we wouldn’t worship the messenger.
Paul knew the Old Testament as well as men today, and wrote more Books in the New Testament than anyone. I believe he was on to something when he wrote, “Study…rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
The person that ‘shuns’ those who do not use the word ‘inerrant’ breaks the commands of Jesus they claim to defend.
Their type of thinking would say ‘a dog is not a dog if he has flees.’
Keep in mind the Word of God is inerrant, but untruth in the form of lies and ignorance found in the Bible is NOT inerrant and is NOT the Word of God.

William Madden’s comment was one of the best I’ve read on the subject.
Rex Ray

Bob Cleveland said...


I am posting this as an apology to the two "prominent believers" to whom I referred with a sarcastic remark. I try to stay out of sarcasm directed toward any person, and I am sorry I did in that paragraph.

I do stand by my observations about the folks involved, but I am sorry for how I stated it. I needed to be objective and I was not.

Jess Connell said...

On the issue of time usage and blogging, why is it that blogging is questioned in this way, but not writing books or curricula or materials?

If all things are done to the glory of God, what is the material difference between writing a book and a blog?

That someone that disagrees can't control it?

That a book is a finished product that they can term good or bad based on their own convictions and it's somewhat threatening to have a prominent voice expressing things they may or may not agree with?

Let's not even compare blogging with golfing. This is a whole different animal than some kind of stress-relieving hobby. Let's compare apples with apples. No one complains when a pastor writes a book- it's admired, and advances your career and position in many arenas. So the problem here is with the thing called blogging.

But it's a large and ever-growing world that the anti-bloggers will have to "battle" against.

In the spirit of Garth on Wayne's World, "Blog on, Wade!"

JFC said...

Further, my post clearly states I promote abstinence in my church, but do not judge, condemn, or discipline those Christians who use alchohol in moderation. We discipline anyone who commits the sin of drunkenness.

I sure do appreciate that part about not judging fellow believers. Though I am no longer a Southern Baptist, and have come to believe that wine continues to be, as Scripture appears to indicate, a positive blessing from God (which obviously needs to be used within the appropriate bounds), I sure think we could live in peace together if all the brothers in the SBC took the same position as you do.

I appreciated you while I was in the SBC, but only by knowing your reputation among certain particular baptists in southwest Missouri. I think I appreciate you more now, since as a blogger I have read your work and hear your heart for reformation in the SBC. May God have great mercy on his people, and bring them to unity in the faith. First-tier, then second-tier, and even (eventually, and by God's working) third-tier.