Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Many Faces of the SBC: A Conference on Baptist Identity

I have received a couple of emails from individuals who desired more information about The Baptist Identity Conference, February 15-17, in Jackson, Tennessee.

I hope that the conference is well attended for a variety of reasons, and, if possible, I also plan to attend.

My prayer is that some of our Southern Baptist brothers will wake up and recognize that not all Baptists are alike. One seminary professor who seems to not be able to fully grasp the diversity within the SBC wrote yesterday on another blog, "I remain a Baptist and will not become a Calvinist, a Charismatic, or a Culture-chaser.

Though I love the professor's alliteration, I find his assumptions disheartening.

There are plenty of Southern Baptist Calvinists, Southern Baptist Charismatics, and Southern Baptist Culture-chasers. I assume the professor means contemporary churches or pastors when he uses the term 'culture-chasers.' Many of our youngest SBC pastors and church planters do church 'creatively,' seeking to engage culture. Their motto is 'Don't just go to church, be the church' and they wish to transform individuals through the power of the gospel, by taking the good news to the people where they are.

To even begin to say or imply that these churches, pastors or people are NOT Baptist is the problem we are facing in our convention. A handful of people in the SBC are attempting to narrow the parameters of cooperation and tighten the definition of what it means to be 'Southern Baptist.'

It won't work. Southern Baptists will not allow the narrowing to succeed. This Baptist Identity Conference can possibly be one of those places where Southern Baptists leaders will actually make statements that go a long way toward keeping our conservative, evangelical convention broad in cooperation. Of course, not everyone on the program will be of the same mind, but that is the beauty of this conference and the reaons it could well serve as a model for our convention as a whole. We are a diverse but cooperative, conservative people. We MUST resist that the demand for doctrinal conformity on tertiary issues must be adamantly and firmly resisted for the good of our convention and the future health of our cooperation.

Again, many Baptist Calvinists, Charismatics and 'Culture-chasers' are currently identified with the Southern Baptist Convention and they all cooperate in our missions and evangelistic efforts both financially and personally. any attempts to 'identify' them as something other than 'true' Southern Baptists, and either by inference, or direct action, remove them from leadership, cooperative missions ministry, or fellowship will be catastrophic for our convention.

Not everyone on the program will agree with what I am saying, nor are they open to Southern Baptists who think differently than them on tertiary issues. In fact, as Dr. Mohler has rightly said in his Crosswalk column, "The misjudgment of true fundamentalism is the belief that all disagreements concern first-order doctrines. Thus, third-order issues are raised to a first-order importance, and Christians are wrongly and harmfully divided."

There is the potential for some great dialogue to occur at this conference. The cost is $50.00, which includes three meals, and I believe it could be well worth the fee.

Speakers include:

Paige Patterson, of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will speak on “What Contemporary Baptists Can Learn from Anabaptists.”

Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School, will speak on “The Future of Baptist Identity in a Post-Denominational World.”

Tom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources, will speak on “Evangelism and Church Growth in the Southern Baptist Convention.”

David Dockery, president of Union University, will speak on “The Southern Baptist Convention since 1979.”

Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, “The Role of the Cooperative Program in the 21st Century.”

Russell Moore, dean of the School of Theology and senior vice president for academic administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, “T.T. Eaton: Drawing on 19th Century Baptist Models.”

Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn., “The Future of the Traditional Church.”

Greg Thornbury, dean of the School of Christian Studies at Union University, “The Angry Young Men of the SBC.” (I have a call in to Dr. Thornbury about this topic and I should be able to visit with him sometime today. I intend to post on this subject matter at a later date).

Ed Stetzer, missiologist and research team director at the North American Mission Board, “Toward a Missional Convention.”

Mike Day, director of missions for the Mid-South Baptist Association in Memphis, Tenn., “The Future of Baptist Associations and State Conventions.”

Hope to see you in Jackson, Tennessee in February.

In His Grace,



Anonymous said...

Wade, I have always agreed with your concern that the narrowing of the parameters is wrong and a problem. However, it was hard for me to grasp the problem or see the problem because I only heard you and others talking about it; Being a layperson for all these years, I wasn't witnessing it as you were.

It really only took seeing Dr. Yarnell's few posts over on Marty's blog tonight for me to really "get it." Now, it is no longer just a theoretical issue for me. I see the problem and frankly it could be terribly disheartening. And, as I just commented over on Marty's blog, I now understand why they have generally eschewed the blogosphere. When church members see and hear their opinions they will agree with them: what I mean is that when they see that belonging to the SBC means agreeing in every way with certain doctrines and leaders they will agree that they no longer belong.

Thank God for leaders in the church who are taking a stand against this and not agreeing. At the same time, however, the exclusionary mindset is the divisive spirit in the Church today, and, I am glad God has a plan to use it for His purpose.

On a side note, Wade, when and where is the conference on the Holy Spirit? Maybe I could even journey to Jackson, although I'm not sure what it even is or if I would have a place there?

RKSOKC66 said...


I am also a lay person. I've been "detached" from this whole debate since I don't see any of the purported problems with Calvinism, PPL, etc. playing out on a stage which is "up close and personal".

What is needed now is for some high level leadership in the SBC to step in and short circuit this. I'm waking up to the reality that there could be significant "collateral damage" if people don't agree to disagree on these tertiary issues and/or agree to put up with those who see differently and tolerate the consequences of the disagreement.

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Rzrbk said...

This conference is supposed to study the many faces of the SBC? I don't see many faces represented here. Everyone I see is a supporter or apologist for the conservative resurgence. Why not invite Russell Dilday or Keith Parks to speak? All I see is a bunch of suits. Why not some laypesons or deacons? Why not invite the national president or the excutive director of the National WMU. lt has been my experience that WMU leaders have a better understanding of what is happening in the church than most anyone else. I don't see much more coming out of this than the same old code words and phrases. You can let me know if I am wrong after it is over.

volfan007 said...

i am looking forward to the identity conference. it ought to be very good. i just hope that they dont talk over my head too much. i mean, you're talking about some very intelligent men on the program. but, it ought to be very informative and healthy for our sbc to engage in this discussion. in this day and age, i think that we must come to some kind of agreement on what is gonna be considered southern baptist and whats not. i see us at a crossroads of sorts... now that we have come thru the battle for the bible. do yall?


wadeburleson.org said...

Bryan, I agree. I will also give details of the conference on the Holy Spirit in about a month.

Roger, I think you will see 'high level leadership' with their finger in the wind until they determine which way the wind is blowing hardest. :)

Ron. You make a valid point, but I would even settle for someone like Ken Hemphill or Rick Warren.

Volfann, I don't believe you will have a problem understanding a thing that is said. :) It very well could be a turning point for the better. I hope so.

RKSOKC66 said...


I agree with you in hoping that this conference will be a turning point for the better.

Rzrbk said...

Rick Warren would be great but since he dared to speak at the BWA I wonder if he is persona non grata. Don't want to widen those parameters of cooperation too much now.

Rex Ray said...

“Battle for the Bible”, “battle for the Bible”, would you please stop beating a dead horse to death?
Rex Ray

Rex Ray said...

I’m amazed. One minute your comment is there and the next minute it’s gone. Did you read my mind?

volfan007 said...


what are you talking about?


ps. battle for the bible.

Rex Ray said...

Oops, I thought I was posting under your comment, and when I looked there was a note saying, “Removed by the author”. So I thought…
These blogs are too fast for me; it’s like letting your arrow fly, but the target is knocked over by a bullet. I got to start doing better.

B Nettles said...

For those unfamiliar with the location, Union is in Jackson, TN, about a 1-hour drive west of Memphis on I-40. If you're flying, Memphis is probably the best connection, although Nashville is only 2 hours away. And while you're at it, bring your high schooler for a campus visit. I hear the physics department there is great ;)

Liam Madden said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Liam Madden said...

We got married in a fever,
Hotter than a pepper sprout,
We've been talkin' 'bout Jackson,
Ever since the fire went out,

I'm goin' to Jackson,
I'm gonna mess around,
Yeah, I'm goin' to Jackson,
Look out Jackson town!"

--Johnny and June Carter Cash

I love Johnny Cash, and when I hear about this Baptist Identity Conference in Jackson, this song starts running through my head.
Judging from the song, Jackson looks like it should be the place for a marriage retreat instead of a Baptist Identity Conference.

Bob Cleveland said...

Regardless of who is speaking, it will be important to hear what they have to say. If it's all "insiders", it's important. If there are differing views, that would be important on a couple of fronts.

Enough so that I'm going.

And I don't think Jackson TN is an hour west of Memphis ... well ... maybe if you're booked on the Space Shuttle.

Rex Ray said...

You think I answered your question of “what are you talking about; PS: battle of the Bible”, but I wrote that without your question being there.

I looked at the last comment which was mine, posted mine, and yours showed up before mine did.

So to answer your question: in years ahead (how many?—I don’t know) Baptist history will look back on ‘the battle for the Bible’, the takeover, or the ‘conservative resurgence’ much like we look at Hiel—Hitler and “In God we trust” on German belt buckles.

Of course that’s just my opinion.
Rex Ray

Rex Ray said...

A good point is made by rzrbk about only one type of face chosen to be the speakers.

At their 2005 conference, the BGCT refused to let SBTS have a booth.

Maybe it was ‘payback time’ for its president making a speech about the BWA being gay friendly before the 2004 SBC voted to withdraw from the BWA. Also the SBC refused to let the BWA have a booth at the convention even though they were members at that time.

Frank Harber former pastor at 1st Baptist Colleyville, TX read my letter to the Baptist Standard (Nov 21, 2005) and said I was evil. The letter is as follows:

Have 'like minds' replaced the Bible?
A young show-off would have drowned trying to swim too far, and his brother yelled, “Come back!” With every breath, his garbled cry got farther behind. When the swimmer’s pride turned to fear, he went back. My twin was a poor swimmer but followed me.
The fundamentalist pastor yells from the bank while the servant pastor swims. Jesus washing his disciples’ feet is our pattern.

Fundamentalists ignore 1 Peter 5:3: “Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your good example.”
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary hasn’t stoned prophets, but its leaders’ practice of control and dominance has split churches and conventions and fired missionaries—all in the name of God.
Its president searched worldwide for “like minds” to replace the “fired” 30 million adherents in the Baptist World Alliance. “Like minds” has replaced the Bible as the doctrinal guideline with Southern Baptist Convention’s 2000 Baptist Faith & Message. If pride had weight, they would need wheelbarrows.
As long as no one takes a stand against pastors being rulers, the International Mission Board acting as Nebuchadnezzar, the SBC drifting toward Catholicism, control and dominance will reign and individual priesthood (born at Calvary) must bow to authority.
Hooray for the BGCT rejecting “like minds” having a booth at their convention.
Rex Ray

BTW, When Harber was told to leave the church, he refused $250,000 and wanted one million not (in essence) to split the church. The church wouldn’t go for the ‘ransom money’ and lost 200-300 members to his non-denominational church nearby.

Since the first speaker of this conference told me in the Criswell Bible, they answered all the ‘errors’ and less than a minute later said they answered all they could, which side of his mouth will he be speaking that I can believe?
Rex Ray

irreverend fox said...

I e-mailed them to let them know that I'm also available to speak...I've got some insights I'd like to share...I havn't heard back yet...

foxofbama said...

You just raised the ante. Unlikely I will be able to attend, but looks like a great place to bring more attention to what in my view was an eggregious pamphlet on abortion written by Timothy George and sponsored by the ERLC.
George as you know has been following Frank Page's lead, loosening up on BWA and BFM2000, hosting a conference in mid December at Samford with Denton Lotz and High ranking Catholics.
I think he is smacking of duplicity.
We shall see. Glad you are going.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you know some of these speakers better than I do, but with the exception of Timothy George, and Thom Rainer, and possibly Steve Gaines, I don't really see a list of speakers who would be all that open minded and inclusive of Calvinists, Charismatics or Culture-chasers, and particularly not the latter two groups, especially as they relate to Baptist identity.

wadeburleson.org said...


I think you would enjoy Dr. Dockery and Dr. Thornbury. I had a conversation with Dr. Thornbury this morning and I don't think anyone ought to miss his session. :)

Maybe they will even let the irreverend fox speak!! I'd pay to hear that speech!

Fox of Bama, Congrats on your new UofA coach!

John Jax said...

Wade - if you and your readers want to attend THE Pastor's Conference, check out the one in Jacksonville, Florida on Friday, Feb 2 to Tuesday, Feb 6th. Several thousand pastors attend along with speakers such as Ken Whitten, Jerry Falwell, Jerry Vines, O.S. Hawkins, David Allen, Junior Hill, Erwin Lutzer, Johnny Hunt, Steve Gaines, Danny Akin, Mac Bruson, Al Mohler, Chuck Kelly and Paige Patterson. If you really want to help "set the agenda", why not go and meet and fellowship with many of these guys and see if they also can use their leadership and influence to make some positive changes. It is my perception that many on this blog see these men as "the enemy" and as long as that perception persists, parameters will continue to narrow instead of widen. The link is: http://www.jaxpastorsconference.com/speakers/

wadeburleson.org said...


Au contraire! These men you name are longtime family - and in many cases, personal - friends!

For heaven's sake, they are not enemies.

Rex Ray said...

The ‘enemy’--Who?
This phone caller couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t make a donation of $85 to Falwell so he could make a TV speech exposing Clinton. Did none of you guys make a donation because I never heard the speech?

When asked why he changed his theology to join the SBC, he replied, “I haven’t changed; they have come around to my way of thinking.”

Nuff said.
Rex Ray

wadeburleson.org said...


To whom should the last quote in your comment be attributed - Falwell?

Rzrbk said...

After readng many comments on bloggers in recent months, I wonder how many on johnjaxthebaptist's list view you as the enemy. Not a few I imagine.

Maybe Jerry Falwell will bring his friend and political partner Sun Myung Moon. We can't work with the BWA but for the sake of politics we can work with someone who claims Jesus was a failure and he is the true Messiah.

I hope all who can will go and attend the conference at Union but don't pretend it will be a presentation of the many faces of the SBC. It will be a carefully controlled presentation of the face they want to present.

John Jax said...

Wade - I apologize if my post seemed aimed at you. I did not intend to accuse you personally of seeing these men as enemies, but instead, I had in mind some of the comments from your readers (not you) about the "current leadership of the SBC" narrowing the parameters and not being "irenic". Since many of those men have been in positions of leadership for a long time, I made an assumption that some that visit this blog might see some of these men as part of the problem.

I just hope this great Pastor's Conference is not going to be used as a political convention instead of a time of encouraging and strengthening pastors. If it is going to drift toward politics, it would be nice to have you there. I would be happy to recommend you to my pastor (Mac Brunson) for a speaking slot next year if you are interested. Your blog is great, but the chance to let several thousand pastors hear you speak and meet you personally, would help get your "message" out even better. (The "message" being "cooperation" despite differences on tertiary issues.)

Tim Ellsworth said...

b nettles:

I hear the physics department (or at least one member of the physics department) is rather directionally-challenged -- unless maybe "east" means "west" in the bizarro world of motorcyclists. I wouldn't know.

wadeburleson.org said...

Thanks johnjaxthebaptist for your kind words.

I would be pleased if you were to ask your pastor about a 'speaking slot' in next year's conference.

Let me know how he responds.


P.S. Next time you see Mac's wife, Debbie, let her know I said hello.

volfan007 said...

jackson, tn is one hour east of memphis....really northeast of memphis. i have lived around jackson for most of my life. my dad is an alumnus of union u. and my daughter is a student there now. if yall want to know something about the area i would be glad to help.


Anonymous said...

Bill Nettles,

Are you related to the famous Dr. Tom Nettles?

wadeburleson.org said...

Mr. Anonymous,

They are brothers.


Anonymous said...

I can hardly wait to hear the message from the Pastor in Memphis on the "future of the traditional (whatever that is) Church. That ought to be really good!!!!

B Nettles said...

Tim, (and others)
Bizzaro Universe strikes again!! This West Tennesee madness is getting to me.

Absolutely...Union is EAST of Memphis!

Anonymous...you must be a friend because you said "famous" and not "infamous." However, most people ask me if I'm related to "THE" Tom...Double blessed as a brother by blood and Spirit.

Rex Ray said...

My whole comment was about Falwell. Correct me if I’m wrong but Falwell joined the SBC by giving something like $10,000 and before the year was up he was given something like $50,000 to start a church he would be in charge of. I’d say that was a pretty good investment.
Rex Ray

Tim Ellsworth said...

Thanks for your interest in the conference, Wade. I'm glad you and others here are planning to attend, and I'll look forward to seeing you on campus.

Tim Ellsworth
Director of News and Media Relations
Union University

John Jax said...

Tim - How ironic that Steve Gaines is speaking at an "identity" conference. I am curious as to why Steve Gaines is on the list of speakers. He is the only pastor in the group and is currently embroiled in controversy and under criminal investigation. Might it send the wrong message to those attending to have SG speak under the circumstances since he admittedly harbored a pedophile staff member. To see the seriousness of what he did, I invite you to cut and paste the links below as a similar investigation is going on here in Jacksonville against a mega-church pastor that also chose not to disclose a pedophile staff member. Here are the links. Unbelievable! You must see these! CAUTION: The accounts are graphic.

6:00 pm First Coast News Report:

11:00 pm First Coast News Report:

Anonymous said...

Pride on both sides is causing the division. I saddens me to see attacks on both sides. Gentlemen, God is clear on so many biblical truths. Lets focus, meditate, instruct others, and live out the clear biblical truths of God. (Micah 6:8) Why consume ourselves on the deep things of God? It is consuming. I find great peace in having a childlike faith. I have great joy teaching others about the sovereignty of God and the human responsibility to repent, trust in God, and bear good fruits. I am 29 years old. I have friends on both camps. We worship together, we love on each other, and we serve side by side. Ephesians 4:2-3 "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." Let us be doers of the word.
Manuel A. Martinez
Charleston, SC

FriendinJax said...

JohnJax and Wade - I know this is a bit off topic, but wouldn't you agree that while Steve Gaines is still under investigation for harboring a pedophile on staff for 6 months that he shouldn't be speaking at EITHER the Identity conference OR the FBC Jax Pastor's Conference? Don't the "big dogs" in the SBC have some sense of shame in this regard? I'm not saying we should pre-judge Gaines, just don't allow him to have a Keynote speaking slot at one of the premier Pastor's Conferences of the SBC to speak to thousands of Pastors until AFTER the internal and District Attorney investigations are complete and the cloud of suspicion has lifted. I hope Mac Brunson decides to pull the plug on the Steve Gaines speaking slot, but I doubt he will.

GeneMBridges said...

"I remain a Baptist and will not become a Calvinist, a Charismatic, or a Culture-chaser."

And the irony is that at least two of the men on the list of speakers at this conference fit at least one of those categories. This is why these pithy, trite little alliterative sound bites won't work anymore. Folks are more aware of the issues involved. Indeed, we can thank some of the biggest complainers about bloggers, Calvinists, and the rest for drawing our attention to the Scriptures and Baptist history again. We take them seriously, and that happens to be, for example, why many of us are Calvinists and Baptists - just like our forefathers.

Rex Ray said...

I would normally post this on Brad Reynolds’ blog, but he told me: “Feel free to chase your imagined rabbit all you want, but please do it elsewhere.”
So with “Identity” in your post, I’ll use that as an excuse since ‘identity of an anonymous comments’ is what I’m trying to prove.

This is the conclusion evidence of the ‘prosecutor’.

1. It is well known that the defendant, Brad Reynolds, has been crossways with Wade Burleson at every opportunity in his comments on Wade’s post. So much so that Brad stated that he believed he (Brad) had worn out his welcome. He has stopped making comments on Wade’s post for a long time and has rejected Wade’s invitation to comment. It seems Brad’s ill feeling toward Wade still exists.

2. I’d like to point out Brad’s ‘feud’ has been one sided. (Much like a little dog barking at a big dog.) Wade’s philosophy is to smile and walk away.

3. Brad started his own successful blog with an agenda of no slander would be allowed. He may have learned that lesson on Wade’s blog that caused him to lose influence.

4. The scene of the ‘crime’ (slander) is on Brad’s post “Theology and Youth” Dec 23, 2006. Wade made 5 comments, and there were 5 unidentifiable comments that slandered Wade. These anonymous comments have INFLUENTIAL names of Lifeway Rep and Baylor Grad. Why would a person who wanted to stay anonymous sign as a “Lifeway Rep” which would place him among a few? How many ‘anonymous’ have given the name of their college they graduated from? I know of only one.

5. No comment can be made on Brad’s post without his approval. So it’s strange why he allowed slander to take place. He gave Lifeway Rep and Baylor Grad three lectures to avoid personal attacks, be Christ like, and went so far to tell Baylor Grad “I will not publish another comment like the one you just wrote.” To me, he sounded like a ventriloquist talking to his dummy because again, he posted Baylor Grad slandering Wade worse than before. Brad even let Lifeway Rep tell Wade, “If you do not give proof, you should be stood down from the IMB BoT.” (That’s an old statement that Brad has used over and over.)

6. On Dec 28, I wrote on Brad’s post summarizing the slander he approved and concluded, “Since the Bible says not to report a crime makes a person just as guilty, how much worse is aiding in a crime?”

7. Brad didn’t reply, and on Dec 30, I commented to Brad what I had written on Wade’s post so he would have a chance to explain. I asked Wade if he remembered Brad complaining he had been slandered, and you (Wade) ‘asked him “where”, but he didn’t reply. (I had slandered or more correctly ‘criticized’ the identity of anonymous.) At that time everyone felt ‘free’ to write anonymously without signing their name. When challenged on the identity of anonymous, Brad’s reply would have been accepted as OK if he had said, “So what!” But posing as an IMB missionary was over the line.

8. On Dec 30, Brad replied, “I sign EVERTHING I write and own up to all I say.” In later comments he said I was “imagining things”, and implied I was a “conspiracy theorist”, but never explained why he thought I called him a rat.

9. On Dec 31, I went into detail what was said on May 8th and 9th of how I accused anonymous turning from a mouse to a rat when he posed as an IMB missionary, and Brad telling me, “As a heads up, you may get a call soon from one of the thirty signers of the Memphis Declaration; I take them at their word and think they may see your references to me being a mouse or rat…”

10. On Dec 31, Brad replied, “Feel free to ask Wade if the anonymous comments came from me. He has some sort of tracker.” If he believed this to be true, why didn’t he ask Wade to prove him innocent May 9, or when I accused him in Dec? On Jan 3, I asked Wade, and he replied: “I do not have such a device. I do appreciate your keen analysis.” So what Brad told me was not the truth. Was it a bluff and a lie, or was it ignorance? Only Brad knows. If it was ignorance, I believe he would have asked Wade himself.

So what happens now? Peter’s question keeps coming back to me: “I am perplexed as to what you may think is being accomplished. Surely you cannot believe you are doing something valuable in Kingdom work, do you Rex Ray?”

I cast the first stone when my sins are far greater than the possibility of the rooster crowing three times about evading truth. “Oh wretched man that I am.” Maybe ventriloquist will disappear, and all of us will try to stay closer to truth and grace.
Rex Ray

wadeburleson.org said...


You are one sharp cookie.

I am sure your wife is on an adventure married to you. :)

Allow me this one and only response because I do not believe it is in the best interest for me to comment further.

You are obviously correct that someone is pretending to be someone they are not in order to slander me. But this is not unusual among some.

I am glad you see my approach is to 'smile and walk away.' I told my wife the day I could no longer laugh at myself, with others, and smile about everything that is going on -- is the day I walk away for good.

So far, the smiles keep coming.

As for Brad Reynolds. I am taking his word that he is not the one writing those comments. However, you rightly point out that he freely publishes the comments -- with periodic reprimend to the anonymous commentator.

One of the reasons I press for an identity from the commentators on my blog, as I did John Mann, is because I believe it is important for people to be known when they comment. It brings accountability.

Both Brad and I allow anonymous commentators, but if an anonymous person comes on and bashes someone, or slanders someone, I will always --- without exception -- remove it when I see it.

Thanks, Rex, for your comment.



volfan007 said...


you seem to be obsessed with brad reynolds. why dont you get off of his back? i mean, good gracious...how long are you gonna ride this horse?


Rex Ray said...

Thanks for the nice comments. You’re right; the life of my Oklahoma wife changed. She had a peaceful life of teaching school and had never been out of her state or Texas. Within a month of our marriage, she was 50 miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska in a tree stand screaming, “You’re going to step on the bear!” My brother and I were experienced with jackrabbits, but this grizzle was one tough customer. Our first mistake was switching guns. Mortally wounded, he would run and hide in ‘holes’ and we would be 5 yards away before seeing him in brush. Then he would stand facing us with his paws higher than our heads. Fighting against heart attacks, we let daylight through him, but my brother didn’t know how to get another bullet into the chamber. After my third shot, his gun was empty. The bear ran toward the tree stand. We traded guns as my brother had no more bullets. While I tried to fix my gun he emptied our 45 pistol while yelling, “I’m going to slow him down!” We’re half exhausted from trying to run on tundra. I gave him a brother’s scolding for eliminating our safety gun as we were down to one gun. I fixed my gun alright; the next time he jumped up I shot him and we looked point blank at each other. I worked the bolt and it came out over my shoulder. I found it’s impossible to put a bolt in with your eyeballs locked with a bears. I put the bolt in and looked up expecting to see tonsils, but he had run off.
That was his last run, and we skinned him the next day.
We had come to teach in a four teacher school at a fishing village at King Cove, Alaska with my mother and father. The bear had scared my wife but not as much as the first night she met my parents. We had talked till mid-night and at 4 AM without warning, from outside a chain saw ripped through our bedroom wall and cut a hole for a window—my father. I was afraid she would take the next plane south, but that was 50 years ago

I thought I’d write this rather than tangle with Volfan.
Rex Ray