A response to the interview of Dr. Nelson Price by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s Center for Theology and Ministry, Part 1

A week ago today the Center for Theology and Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary interviewed Dr. Nelson Price. [HT:: Timmy Brister.] As many statements made by Dr. Price may be of interest to SBF readers, I will show the first four of the five questions and answers in this post and give brief responses. [You can read the entire interview HERE.]

First, I would like SBF readers to read the introduction to Dr. Nelson Price given at the beginning of the interview, in case any are not familiar with his ministry:

Dr. Nelson L. Price is Pastor Emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta , Georgia and former pastor of Oak Park Baptist Church in New Orleans , Louisiana . Dr. Price, a native of Osyka , Mississippi , has faithfully served SBC churches and entities in a ministry spanning five decades. His service to Southern Baptists has included appointments such as First Vice President of the SBC (1991), President of the SBC Pastor’s Conference (1990), President of the Georgia Baptist Convention (1982-1983), and memberships and accolades with a number of other Southern Baptist and Evangelical entities and institutions. In addition to this service, Dr. Price formerly served as the Chairman of the National Board of Trustees for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (1999-2005). Dr. Price holds degrees from the University of Southeastern Louisiana (B.S., 1953), New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Mercer University (D.D., 1984), and Hannibal-LaGrange College (D.D., 1990). He is also the author of sixteen books, including, How to Find Where You Are, I’ve Got to Play on Their Court, Shadows We Run From, and many others.

The first question Dr. Price was asked is on “leaving the SBC”:

1. What would you say to a young (old) pastor who is considering leaving the SBC? Why should he stay a Southern Baptist?

Don’t even consider leaving as an option. Faced with this decision as a young pastor I reasoned that if I were not willing to stay and help address issues of which I disapproved I would forfeit my right to criticize those inequities. Furthermore I would weaken support for my beliefs in the convention by however little that might be. If I stayed I had the right and responsibility to address these variances. Staying eventuated in having the privilege of helping draft “The Baptist Faith and Message” statement of 2000.

“Don’t even consider leaving as an option.” Notice first how different this response is from Mark Dever’s recent response to the same question; one wonders what view of Baptist ecclesiology would have local, autonomous churches never have leaving voluntary association with other churches as an option. Notice also how contradictory this response is to Dr. Price’s other responses.

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14 Comments on “A response to the interview of Dr. Nelson Price by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s Center for Theology and Ministry, Part 1”

  1. kelly Says:

    The sad thing is that the interview only got worse as it went on.

  2. Barry Says:

    I thought it was not only compelling but also had a fair amount of truth in it.

    The question I have is this: Does there really exist, as has been suggested, a group of Mohler-driven grad students who are seeking to undermine those in the SBC who are not attracted to the reformed theology?

    Is the intimation that there are cells of young reform-minded, blogger-armed, militants whose aim is the overthrow of the SBC completely fallacious?

    I have been reading some interesting quips from bloggers relative to this lately.

    Perhaps I should stop reading.

    Andrew, help me out here. Is there any truth to Mohler wanting to crank out as many 5-pointers as he can to take over the SBC?

    Or, is this just anti-Mohler talk?


  3. Barry,

    In regards to your first question, you would have to define “undermine” in this context.

    In regards to your second question, I know of no “militants” seeking the “overthrow of the SBC.”

    In regards to the third, if Mohler wanted to produce “as many 5-pointers,” etc., then he would only hire 5-point Calvinists to the Southern Seminary faculty. He has not done so. In fact, both the current dean of the School of the Theology and his predecessor are not 5-point Calvinists.

  4. Danny Says:

    Andrew, I like your third point. Some scream about Southern producing 5-pointers, but, like you said, there are many who do not claim to be 5-pointers. AND, there are many who don’t go around speaking Calvinism only. This rhetoric about Southern being a Calvinism factory is old, tired, and really a non-argument. Just a bunch of noise. Ugh.

  5. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    Price is at least consistent. He doesn’t want anyone to leave, even those who by admission do not believe in the most essestial doctrines of the faith; Carter, Clinton, Gore….

    On the other hand he considers Calvinism to be antihetical to SBC tradition:

    This is where the introduction of the doctrines of Calvinism into a traditional Southern Baptist church becomes divisive.

    How disengenuous, he still doesn’t get the fact that it is his “stream” that is the non-traditional one.

    This whole discussion brings us to the point, doesn’t it? Why should anyone stay when our ecclesiology is non-existing, or at least undefinable? Doesn’t the question have to be answered, even if you’re Dever, as to what it means to be SBC? Is the SBC Baptistism, or not, and what does that mean? If we consider it not a denomination, i.e., not a church, just what is it? If it is a mere ecumenical like association made up of libertarian autonomous local congregations with no true cosistencies of beliefs or practices, just what is it that a young pastor is coming into, and what will they have left if they leave? They might as well start their own, independent church, and attach themselves to what ever associations can most favorably further their desires.

    Carter’s New Baptist Covenant is seeking to define what it means to be Baptist. We should recognize the coopting of terminology and triangulation as the political stategy of Clintonism. They consider the SBC a church, a denomination, a monolithic entity, and not what it ostensibly is, a cooperative alliance of independent churches. Their propaganda is, now, and will be directed at the SBC as a whole, attacking it to draw away as many weak people and congregations as it can. Their challenge will be that they are the true Baptist Church. And you know what? The weakness of people and the confessions of their faith, will prove the disassembly of the SBC unless the SBC can define itself as the NBC’s competitor on equal footing. But, how can that be, unless, the SBC becomes defined by a unified confession of faith that defines its ecclesiology contrary to what it is now. We are divided by our autonomy, they will not be, even if they maintain autonomous local ownership and independent leadership, simply because they will define their doctrine in term of an ecclesiastical association, and not merely a cooperative one.

    When they draft motions they will have binding effect, unlike that which is now the standard in the SBC. And, being more political than the SBC, more democratic and personality oriented, will consolidate power in the buraucracy of personalities, along those lines that you see in the aspirations of the Democrat Party. As I looked at this, I could not help but notice its striking parallel with the trends we see in the USA.

    We need not to be so naive. Carter is bitter, even at 87, with his dying breath he will be cursing the SBC for shunning him. The damage that the NBC can do is yet to be estimated, but I can tell you this, the popular media is on their side and they hate the SBC as if it were a monolithic denomination. And they hate the truth, the Bible. We are in for a war, and if they have what I believe to be a long range goal of secular polical consolidation of liberal evangelicals is a kind of Religious Left of the type of Falwell’s Moral Majority, it not only spells trouble for our country, it will be bad days to come for the SBC.

    Our internal struggles need to be addressed. Petty grievances like those of Price need to be put to sleep. We need to understand what we believe, and know it top to bottom. A house divided against itself will not stand in the day. Our house is divided. On one side, Dever and autonomous independents say, what’s to leave, and on the otherside, Price and autonomous libertarians, cannot define what there is to stay for, let alone define the most pressing question facing the SBC: who are we?


  6. […] « A response to the interview of Dr. Nelson Price by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s Center for Theology and Ministry, Part 1 […]

  7. Barry Says:

    It’s hard to say just where the enmity does lie in this religious game Thomas. It seems to me that fear, loathing and finger pointing can (and does) come from all sectors.

    I think that the reaction away from the ills engendered by the right (as witnessed by many) has itself fostered a natural turning away from that perceived (or actual) source of disunity.

    It’s a natural game.

    If one side is in power and things turn into a senseless morass then we try to get away from it. I would fear less from the Carters, Clintons and Gores of this world than I would continuing down the same narrow path (again being silent) with men who are using and abusing us for their own purposes and we’re to stupid or gutless to stand up and say “You know what, this ain’t right”.

    Guess what Thomas? We are still silent today. Why is that?

  8. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    Barry-

    People aren’t as silent as you imagine.

    And there is much more that has been said and written on the subject of the two kingdoms and the errors of the Religious Right. I do not fear the Religious Left, but propose a warning. The SBC has a very undefined ecclesiology. I have talked about the mushy middle before. It is the fault of the leadership, agreed? The instability of the SBC structure and its understanding of Truth is what leads to disunity, and is what makes them, the middle, vulnerable to being swayed. They need solid teaching on doctrine and our weakness has been that we are divided on it. People want stability, surety, and are willing to be lead even by those who do not know where their going, if only for the sense of belonging to going some where.

    The religious left is a political movement as well as a religious movement. Our error, thanks to the likes of Moral Majority and the idea of manifest destiny, was to become political, also. We need to define what was meant by separation of church and state in an historic Baptist sence again for our time, we need to stand for the conservative historic orthodoxy, or we we face losing control of those under our care. It is not a matter of prevailing merely to prevail. We’ve already won. But, to preserve the Truth for the generations to come. A wise man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children. I could care less that the SBC, or any denomination continues, I could care less if the USA is around twenty years from now. What I do want is that my children’s generation, and their children, have and can hold the Truth in the face of what ever circumstance they may find when I am dead. I care for my neighbor, who may not have the availability of orthodox teaching, I care for my friends lost behind the walls of the SBC, having no clue as to what the Protestant Movement is all about, or what gave rise to it.

    Check out the White Horse Inn, and search around. You will find plenty that speaks to the deception and allurement of this world and its systems which offer security and rest from tribulation in opposition to Christ’s prophetic word, and the peace that we derive from it. Strangely, if you picked up on it, the NBCC is not far removed from the Emergent Movement. Same goal, same relativistic deconstructionism of post-modernism that you will find everywhere in the current secularism that dominates society: what is the truth, what is the church, what does it matter, who can really say, who cares?

    We, or the conservative orthodoxy, have problems that we created by our complacency. The conservative resurgence was only the beginning, where many think that it was the end all of controversy about the inerrency of Scripture and its claim to be the written source for irreducible Truth. We are being forced, whether we like it or not, to choose sides once again whether we will follow the Word as interpreted by an elitist priesthood. There is no neutrality. We must define correctly, and be able to defend consistently what Scripture teaches. We cannot lower our guard against either the liberalism of the fundamentalistism that buys for itself a kingdom on Earth though moralism, or the liberalism of the Liberals, which does the same thing without the trappings of morality. We fight to ensure that ours is a Kingdom of Heaven, above, and not here. We must understand, that the transcendence of God demands that we not try to remediate for preservation what he has condemned to destruction. We must understand and teach justification by faith, and not rewards according to our good works. We must not go back to Rome. To do so is to deny his prophetic word, which is ours is to preach the coming Kingdom, one coming down from Heaven; ours is to preach that the only means to see it is to be born again. We must preach Christ crucified by the Jews at the hands of the Romans, and resurrected, no matter the impropriety of such a claim. We must tell the world that outside of Christ and him crucified there is no Salvation. We must tell them that it is not up to them to choose to save themselves. We must tell them that NBCC is a non-Christian path.

    We have enemies within, and without, but as the Scripture says, “I have reserved to myself 7000 who have not bowed the knee.” We’re not alone. We need not fear whether or not he will accomplish what he has promised. However, he has left us a trust, that we must be his mouth until he comes. Woe to us if we weary, and begin to beat the fellow servants, taking what is their for our own gain, or to get drunk and live lawlessly as the world does.

    Carter was SBC. Born and raised, home grown, from within. He was the product of the current status quo. He presents a challenge that may cause those remaining in the SBC, those he did not draw to his side back when, to declare that it really is merely a matter of opinions, as my former SBC pastor would say. We already have that in the likes of Price and others, who are willing, depending on the venue to say one thing, and then another. Those sitting in the pews have no clear road to walk. Some of our leaders are double tongued, and the call for peace is always on their lips, but there is no peace. No one wants to offend, no one wants to weild the sword. We have no way of dealing with it expect to complain. There is no council to which we might appeal. The political way of the SBC, the cult of personalities, doesn’t lend itself to corrective discipline. So, I agree with you in that sense. Some are speaking out, but there is no ear to hear.

    We will have to make a choice, between being acceptable, publicly, or being reviled for that which the SBC stands. Hopefully, it can define that, and it will stand, unequivocably on the Truth. Now, if I perceive at least part of what you say, it is the time for a backbone in the SBC to stand up and call Carter what he is, a heretic. If that does not happen, he will prove to be a danger beyond our ability to reckon with because it will show that the real danger is within, because it will show the world that we do not believe what we believe enough to call a spade a spade and be willing to take what ever comes from it.

  9. Barry Says:

    Is it possible to get the nickel tour of how delegates to the June assembly in Indiana (one state away-how tantalizing) will work?

    Surely, there must be some ratio of delegates to size of church and are ALL member churches involved?

    And, how many have thrown their proverbial hat-in-the-ring yet?

  10. Barry Says:

    It isn’t the relationship with Christ that is bothersome here.

    This is:

    “The religious left is a political movement as well as a religious movement”.

    Thomas, if we’ve been witness to anything these last seven years it is that the religious conservatives have allowed themselves to be a tool more than ANY other group. If this country has been spiraling backward during this time it is these very same religious conservatives that have exasperated and compounded the problem with their blind acquiescence.

    To suggest that we are headed to some infinitely holier ground or more moral ground or an area where family values are more prized because we continue to hang on to a certain party (which the religious right has done and continues to do) is the terrible fallacy and legacy that the religious right has given this country.

    How anyone, unless they have nothing but cotton between their ears, can allow themselves to fall prey to this business is beyond my comprehension. And yet it continues.

    I’m all for blind faith in God. If I allow that same blind faith to carry over into a machinery (party) I have just made myself a tool wherein reason becomes subordinate. I have just made myself a silent lemming. One of the many “mushy middle” you so often refer to.

  11. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    if we’ve been witness to anything these last seven years it is that the religious conservatives have allowed themselves to be a tool more than ANY other group. If this country has been spiraling backward during this time it is these very same religious conservatives that have exasperated and compounded the problem with their blind acquiescence.

    Barry- I would challenge what you mean by religious conservatives, for most of what passes as the Religious Right, I would consider, liberal, doctrinally. If you have followed what I have had to say, you will note that I do not think it proper for the church as the church to be involved in secular political folderol. I argree, it has been a reactionary response by the left to religious right that in some senses has exasperated the problems. I wholeheartedly endorse Christians and their leaders speaking out on social matters, Jesus did, John did, and it is proper for us. That does not legitimate the politcal advancement of the faith, nor the avancement of politcal agendas by manipulation of the faith. And, it simply is not true that the right has been lead astray more than ANY group, for example: the black community, which is ninety percent behind the left, or women, any minority that you might look at, or most any crisis cause organization…. What can be said about the secular politcal arena in many ways can be said about the polity of the church, conservative or liberal. But the two spheres are separate and distinct.

    To suggest that we are headed to some infinitely holier ground or more moral ground or an area where family values are more prized because we continue to hang on to a certain party

    I do not suggest this at all. It simply happens to be the case that one or the other secular political party more closely represents the aspirations of the factions of the church. The politico/religio left which is embedded in the Democrat party does not represent the historic conservative orthodoxy in any sense. One only need look at their affilliations. But, if not that, an overview of their religio/philosophical make-up is enough to make the Democrat Party itself the enemy of the church, whether or not the individual members are themselves adherents of the prevailing idelology.

    One thing that must be noted, is that left and right ideological positioning does not prevent one from being in any party one might choose, any more than any church, for the most part, that one might choose. There is no clear separation. The conversation that we are having here is not about the secular politcal arena, however, it necessarily touches upon it. The primary subject was ecclesiology and diversity of Biblical views of the church and the SBC as an association of churches. The apostasy of movements like the NBCC and how they impact historic orthodoxy is necessarily tied to how we veiw ourselves. The NBCC just happens to be headed by people who are political first and religious only in as much as it advances their politcal agenda. Nevertheless, they carry authority with the unenlightened and the uninformed. Many of those who follow do so because the politcal has always, as far back as you can go, been couched in some form of religionism. The last seven years Barry? This-is-nothing-new. But I perceive your angst is against Bush, and his supporters, of which, I am not. Be that as it may, we are naive to think that we are isolated and that the movements outside do not affect and are not affected by the movements within.

    So we have to define terms, when speaking of the religious right in the context of the church, we are speaking of the conservative historic orthodoxy as opposed to the religio/politcal right, which may or may not share components with the first. It is necessary to make the critical distinction or we blur the issues. For instance:

    I’m all for blind faith in God. If I allow that same blind faith to carry over into a machinery (party) I have just made myself a tool wherein reason becomes subordinate.

    I am not sure what you mean by this. Christianity is not about blind faith in any manner. And, neither is this conversation. It is about having eyes opened. We believe because we know, not because we are ignorant of the truth. Unfortunately, you made my point. The mushy-middle does not comprehend the two kingdoms. They are unsure of the position of the church in society, and they are therefore, lead by politicians within and without the various organizations because of their lack of knowledge, unconsciously blending the church with the world systems.

    Now back to the subject: Andrew wrote-

    one wonders what view of Baptist ecclesiology would have local, autonomous churches never have leaving voluntary association with other churches as an option. Notice also how contradictory this response is to Dr. Price’s other responses.

    The point that I was making which I must have muddied, dealt with ecclesiology, but as genebridges says that does not seem to matter to the politcal shakers and movers, the power brokers. What is important is maintaining the status quo. It is a deadly game, for it denies that there are problems that need to be addressed. The fear of diminishing returns because of real or perceived division, witnessed by those within and without, cannot be the trump card, that denies reformation where reformation is needed.

    Carter is not just a left wingnut. He is estranged SBC. Bitter that he could not pull off a politcal coup within. Having stepped outside, his avenue of attacking the SBC is to form a group which will define for public view, the right ecclesiology and doctrinal stance of “true Baptistism.” We cannot allow him and those who agree with him to become the default understanding. Price’s answers, and to some extent Dever’s, betray a fault in the SBC; our weak ecclesiology, and a weak confessional understanding. There isn’t a single ecclesiology or confessional position that can be said to be Baptistic as a general concensus throughout the SBC. The BFM disqualifies itself as a confession upon which we all must agree as it states internally, being nothing more than a cooperative baseline. It is in fact left to each local church to define for itself what it means to be SBC, or even Baptist for that matter. That lays us open to the vulnerability of losing those who want a more solid grounding for their faith. It also puts us in the postition of being the “weird relative.”

    What is at stake is our credibility as a witness to the truth. Price cannot have it both ways. We are either a cooperative effort of independent local Baptist churches or we’re not. If we are, we can leave at any time. If were not, then the Convention holds some power de jure, or de facto, over the churches, which violates the sense of autonomy. The building bridges mentality is fine, if it resolves divisional issues, if it eventuates in a working compact that is clearly and easily defined by those within and recognized by those without. The problem is, it is not. Price’s suttle embedded threat is “don’t try to change the status quo”, at the same time he boasted of his success at being a dissenting voice that effected change. Those outside recognize what we seem to be ignorant of or ignore willfully. Namely, that by allowing such ostensible diversity of beliefs within the SBC, the likes of the NBCC have equal standing and authority to say that our system violates the precepts of Scripture. They can legitimately say we practice hipocrisy.

    Now, I hope you understand, this is not about secular politics. It is unfortunately about politics and politcal persons within the SBC and how they affect doctrine, operations and relationships. We at the same time have to deal with the secular arena. Be it the rightwingers of the Moral Majority, or the leftwingers of the Amoral Majority, we are tagged to the public sphere. We can remain silent, and become irrelevant as did the “fundamentalists” from which was birthed, who they call the illegitimate son, Jerry Falwell, or we can be vocal, at least in the sense of clear definition and denunciation of anti-Scriptural movements. The question is, how? As a church, or just as one of a myriad of religious organizations? The latter would make us no more than a secular entity. It is ludicrous for the SBC to make religious pronouncements as a representative of Jesus Christ, when it denies that it is itself a church, as Dever did. But, it cannot at the same time make itself a church body as Price did, without declaring what is truth which is binding upon all, be it autonomy, eldership, the DoG, or non-Calvinism, or by declaring that we don’t know. The mushy-middle mentality, walking the picket fence, is the weakest, and most dangerous positition. Jesus said:

    For the one who is not against us is for us.

    It is not a statement of neutrality, for the first commandment leaves us no room for such, nor does:

    I hate the double-minded, but I love your law.

    I apologize to Andrew for having taken this thread beyond its primary focus, but I was reflecting on the stream of thougt that started back here, and before. You see, I think it myopic to only look within the SBC. If we remain self-focussed and do not recognize the formation of enemies without, we are undercutting our own viability. Whether it is Osteen and his impact on the view of evangelicalism, or the NBCC and theirs, we cannot afford to allow external issues to slide, nor can we neglect to understand that the consistency and substance of what constitutes the SBC impacts the Gospel presentation. If it is only numbers that we pursue, then compromise is the best course because it leads to the vast reservoir of the uncommitted. If we desire truth above maintainance of the status quo, then there are levels of survival that we must be willing to accept.

  12. Barry Says:

    You touch on many issues in your last comment Thomas and doubtless I agree with many of your views. However, you show some contradictory traces when you mention your thoughts on:

    “not about secular politics”
    “democratic pary is the enemy of the church”
    “right-wing moral majority vs. left-wing amoral majority”

    I know you like to stress that the secular arena is not your point and, yet, you repeatedly, and I would say stridently, bring the subject up time and again in nearly every one of your comments.

    I can’t remember a thread of yours in which you don’t protray the mainstream or the left in a distasteful light while at the same time happily ignoring the execrable measures that the conservative side (religious and/or secular) is enveloped in.

    You refer to the moral right and the amoral left.

    I would posit that there is as much, if not more, immorality (again secular and religious) on the right as there is on the left.

    And of course the “democratic party is the enemy of the church”.

    Again, I would posit that it is not the democratic party that is putting the hurt either on the church or this country but the one that’s been in power nearly ten years.

    I know you don’t like Price, which is fine, but you need to really ask yourself who is it (both group and individuals) that has effectively demonstrated to most Americans that the Christian movement as a whole in the U.S. and the SBC in particular deserves critical review.

    It isn’t the Price’s or the Carters that have (or will) do this. It’s the Falwells, the Haggertys, the Dobsons, and the Robertsons who have placed the Christian movement in a jaundiced light as spokepersons for the moral majority.

    You may also call Carter a heretic but I would venture to say he is a lot less of a heretic than many a person that I have read and heard about Thomas.

  13. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    Barry-

    It only appears to you to be contradictory. Let me say this again. The politics is a secular system. My distaste for the secularistic political right of the “right wing religion” is a equally appalling to me as the secularistic left of right wing religion. I wholly agree, be it Falwell or Jones, Haggard, Dobson, Warren, and the rest of the political players of the “moralist religionists” of the right, they are really no different than the “moralist religionists” of “left wing religion”, be they Carter, Clinton, Grisham, or Obama, Shori, Spong… Of course you will hear what appears to be contradiciton in the language, because it is such a unholy mess.

    Do you know the affilliations of the the Democrat Party? Do you know the percentages of those who call themselves Christian that make up the Democrat Party? The point in mentioning that, was and is, what is the ideological plank of the Dems over against the Republican Party? What are the Republican Party affilliations that specifically target the destruction of Christianity? You seem to think that there is no difference. The division between their ideologies is clear. But, that itself is not the issue. The issue is who are we, not as Republicans, not as Democrats, but we, the church, and is there a consensus historically that marks out those boundaries? And further, are SBC distinctives such that they most closely and surely adhere to what we know as the historic orthodoxy of the church as authorized by Scripture?

    My point had nothing, I repeat, nothing to do with the secular politcal arena, however. It is the politics within, which should not be anything like that which we see outside. It should not be merely popular majoritarian opinion:

    That they constitute a consensus of opinion of some Baptist body, large or small, for the general instruction and guidance of our own people and others concerning those articles of the Christian faith which are most surely held among us.

    But, it should be:

    Our confessions of faith are rooted in historical precedent, as the church in every age has been called upon to define and defend its beliefs. Each generation of Christians bears the responsibility of guarding the treasury of truth that has been entrusted to us [2 Timothy 1:14]. Facing a new century, Southern Baptists must meet the demands and duties of the present hour.

    We have to deal with the secular though as it impacts those in our ranks as is witnessed to by the challenge of the NBCC. The anti-SBC NBCC is formulated for Carter, at least, as a tool of vengence, that will impact upon those still associated with the SBC. Price does us harm, and so do those like him who do not, because of their myopic self occupation, understand the gravity of the charges as stated in the BFM, or in Scripture for that matter. Carter’s aim is to draw away as many to himself as he can, and his goal is both religious, and secular political power oriented. He like Grisham and others are products of SBC polity. They are the genetic offspring of the corruption within. He can sap membership and support for the SBC because of the apparent schizophenic approach of SBC polity. Now, what is it that we have to offer that will defend us from his assault? My premise is that we do not have what it takes, ecclesiologically, to keep the sheep at home. Whether they leave or not is not the issue, either. Carter knows the SBC is spilit along political lines on a variety of issues. That is the issue.

    I could care less about the USA and its decline, nor do I care first about the precursors or remedies, except as they affect the Gospel. You seem bound by what I find to be, as the Whitehorse Inn had to say, the deception of politics. I do not want an SBC that is a secular mover and shaker. Unfortunately, the influence of the left within, and the right within has been to make the SBC both political within and in its relationship to the world. That is a hangover from fundamentalism of the Falwellian type, a reconstructionist model that calls for social revival through moralism. I called the left the amoral left, but it is still all about bringing about a reconstruction of society based in a religionist moral paradigm.

    So do you get it now? There is no difference between the left and the right. We have a responsibility within to defend historic orthodoxy, nothing more, nothing less. We do not have a right, within or without, to extend the Gospel of the kingdom politcally.

    I think that one of the things you have done here is as you have done before, and that is to make it a secular political issue without discerning that the conversation has had to do with the SBC and its ecclesiology. Go back and read, follow it through. I may be wrong, but I do not think that Andrew is attempting to propose a reconstructionist approach to reforming the USA. I am pretty sure, if only based upon the title of this blog, that it is concerned with Baptistism, its history and doctrine, and specifically the SBC, and not Theonomistic Theology.

  14. Barry Says:

    Thomas, I’d like to believe you when you tell me you’re not the least bit interested in secular politics. But that declaration doesn’t bare the ring of truth when there is hardly a commentary of yours that doesn’t throw secular politics on the table all over again.

    My contention is, and was, that those who have been led astray from the spiritual realm to be used as a tool for politial machinery has been the right-wing. Taken in might be a more appropriate phrase as you seem to be trying to reveal in your second paragraph.

    Your thrust at me “You are bound…by the deception of politics” is precisely what I have been trying to point out about the right. I don’t consider myself fooled in the least by politicians or the machinations of the RNC or the DNC. A politician will play anybody for a sucker as long as they can get a vote. I know that. What I’m saying is that there exist way to many people in this country who don’t.

    When you see a lawn sign in someone’s yard this fall and it states “Who would God vote for?” That is designed for one group: dumb white conservatives. For no other group is that aimed at. The sad part? Too many buy into it.

    They still do.

    I’m fine with your not liking Obama, Clinton, Gore etc. But, don’t kid yourself. The extreme narrowness, corruption and selfishness that has been displayed (to this country’s obvious detriment) is comming from the “ideological plank” you think is more in step with Christianity. I’m telling you it’s BS, but you’re telling me you believe it. So, who is bound by deception here?


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