Theological, Historical, and Pastoral Reflections
Very interesting article. While everyone has their favorite candidate (except for people such as myself, who are mostly clueless on the matter), perhaps it will be good if more candidates pop out of the woodworks. I'd love to see an unabashed Calvinist elected, but only if he had a gracious and humble spirit. But the president of the SBC doesn't need to be reformed for God's will to be done. I won't be going or voting, but I probably should be praying.
Byroniac:This is not a bash on anyone, but my guess is that in reality most everyone who will vote at the convention will be "clueless." For the simple reason that how is anyone to really know the candidates when they just pop up weeks before the convention. That is why for so long people seem to have voted by name recognition and little else. I pray the process changes and soon.
Thanks, Dr. Tom, for linking that review.There are a couple of things that bother me about Frank Page (as mentioned in the "interview" on Baptist Press) for sure, and I'm addressing them on my blog. I'll have it finished before the end of the day I hope. :)SDG,Dave Hewitt
Frank Page is a self acclaimed "big tenter" with regard to SBC life. I wonder how he can justify saying this in light of his views on Reformed theology. He has written: “Trouble with the Tulip: A Closer Examination of the Five Points of Calvinism,” and he is quoted in a BP article: http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?ID=23353"...the movement [Calvinism] is huge and growing -- “bigger than Texas,” he stated. “We must have honesty about this issue. There are churches splitting across the convention because pastors are coming in quietly trying to teach Calvinism or Reformed theology without telling the pastor search committees where they stand. The vast majority of Southern Baptist churches are not Calvinistic in their theology and it’s causing some serious controversy.”This seems like tough talk for someone who purports to be an inclusive "big-tenter." Can you include Calvinists when you believe that "it's causing some serious controversy...with churches splitting" over it? Well, Wade Burleson seems to believe in him, and he's a Calvinist. With these candidates, the options seem to be:Frank Page: CP supporter, big-tenter, yet strongly disagrees with CalvinistsRonnie Floyd: non-CP supporter, no thoughts on inclusiveness (but supported by non-inclusive people), disagrees with Calvinists.
It is, indeed, worth reading prior to the circus in Greensboro. Surely it is not true that one well known KING MAKER from Texas (of course) may nominate himself so he can lead (herd) the Southern Baptist Convention in the direction he desires it to go!Surely not! But at a circus we must be ready for anything ~ even the UTTERLY absurd and ridiculous!It certainly would not be the first time!Popcorn! Peanuts! The circus is about to begin!PROVERB 17:22
WOW! It is easy to see that one of your correspondents is an older Southern Baptist who has attended many of our national conventions!Only old seasoned SBC goers could write as he (or she) does!I wonder if he (or she) is as old as Tom Ascol.............that's OLD!
Hinkle makes some interesting points. I think that Greensboro may turn out to be much less exciting than people are anticipating. One thing is very clear, however, times they are a'changin in the SBC. Statistics show that we are intensley unhealthy as a denomination and changes need to be made. I think that the tension between the "big-tenters" and "doctrinal purists" as Hinkle, puts it is an important dynamic in the life of the convention. To lose one group or the other would be a momenteous diasaster. The "big-tenters" help us to resist isolationism and the doctrinal purists help us to avoid going back down the road of liberalism. Both of these are important. Now let me clearly state, that I really do not have much of a problem with the new IMB guidelines, although I must admit that I still have not gotten an answer to why they were needed. Something does strike me as wrong with the way this whole mess was handled, and this includes the way that Wade Burleson handled it. I cannot place my finger on where things went wrong but it clearly did. As for the NAMB, I have a radical suggestion, why don't we eliminate NAMB all together and turn their responsibiiites over to the state conventions. Decentralizing this work would make us much more aware of and responsive to local needs. I think that ultimatley it would be more efficient. I would also elimniate the Ethics and Religious Liberties Counsel at the same time. We need to worry less about the politics of the day and more about planting New Testament churches. Essentially, ERLC is our lobbying arm and that just doesn't seem to be consistent with the mission of the NT church. As for the next President I think whichever candidate Floyd or Page gets elected they will do fine. I do hope that Wade Burleson will not allow his name to be thrown into the ring because he is far too controversial a figure. The resolution on integrity in reporting is not getting nearly enough press. I would love to see more support being generated for this and would like to see a similar resolution introduced in every state convention this fall. I do not know if it has a chance of passing or even getting to the floor but it is worth the fight. The reformation of the SBC is a local church issue now and one of the most important issues facing every local church in the SBC is the number of unregenerate people that populate our rolls. This resolution could be a starting point for encouraging churches to take on the issue. I wonder if we could mount a grass roots efforts to write a resolution for the state conventions and then get guys to introduce it. I will take on the responsibility to submitting to the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia.As for the key issue, pewism, I hope that it will take center stage. The "big-tenters" would love to lead us down the path of compromise on this issue but it is imperative that we hold fast to the purity of our church seating.
I would like to see a show of families at the convention who would be disqualified from serving as missionaries because of the new baptism policy (with reference to the eternal security doctrine). I know my family would be disqualified because my wife was baptized in a Free Will Baptist Church, and my parents would be as well because my father was immersed in a Methodist church which did not believe in the perseverance of the saints, even though both believe in the perseverance of the saints today.
If who will be the next president of America’s largest evangelical denomination is the foremost in many a Southern Baptist mind then truly Christians in the SBC are in dire need of true Biblical Reformation. Does it really matter which religious celebrity becomes the next President? The convention has no authority over churches or individuals within those churches. The convention does not dictate Spiritual matters over anyone in spite of the fact the convention needs Spiritual matters dictated to it! The convention leadership isn’t even the slightest concerned with the blatant false accusations it makes against Calvinism and Calvinists. Does anyone know who the last anti-Calvinistic SBC President was who openly and publicly allowed a challenge to his false accusations? In spite of the fact SBC Seminaries have ‘ethics’ committee/boards, they seem to have no influence in this area with SBC leaders. Has Biblical integrity died among Southern Baptists or has it just been redefined to fit the purpose of the anti-Calvinist?One can’t help but wonder if the goal of the SBC Presidency has become a vehicle to flatter the ambitious pursuit of the individual rather than seeking to advance the kingdom of God.Sam Hughey
A comment on the linked blog says:Regarding the Mohler/Patterson “debate,” you can now submit a question to the debaters on the Pastors’ Conference website: click hereClick on breakout sessions and you'll see the link there at the top.
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