In this post, non-SBC author Tim Challies writes, “I also genuinely do believe there is a present and a future for blogs. I believe blogs have made many positive contributions to the Christian faith over the past 20 years, and I believe they will continue to do so for the next 20 (and hopefully many more). I’m going to offer a few reasons why.”
A most frustrating phenomenon follows the news that gasoline prices are rising sharply. People get in their vehicles, drive to the nearest service station, and fill their fuel tanks. When entire towns fill up, service stations struggle to keep up, and gasoline prices, by the next day, go up, just as the media predicted. Call it a self-fulfilling prophecy. The important thing to note is that it matters little whether or not the initial news of a sharp rise in gas prices is true. Some will certainly believe the news. Others will remain skeptical. A few will not believe the news at all. And yet, all three groups will – wisely – fill their tanks. Why? Because of the self-fulfilling prophecy. The three groups may become angry with one another. They may become angry with the media. None of that matters. What matters is that gas prices will almost certainly go up. Self-fulfilling prophecy.
Now, carry this conversation over to the current state of the Southern Baptist Convention. The news is that the SBC is facing some sort of scandal, some sort of shift, some sort of scare slightly unlike anything it has faced before. So-called ‘discernment ministries’ are crying wolf and screaming that the sky is falling. Some believe without a shadow of doubt that the SBC is headed for theological disaster, that its largest leaders are liberals, and that faithful churches should leave. Others take a more measured approach in calling for caution, but with greater charity and commitment from those concerned about the current trajectory of the convention. A few – often those in positions of leadership or attending SBC institutions – defend the orthodoxy of the SBC on the basis that it is, well, perfectly orthodox, healthier than it has ever been, and firmly committed to theologically conservative convictions like the inerrancy of Scripture as expressed in the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. Meanwhile, those who do not fit into the aforementioned categories are generally and genuinely confused about what in the world is going on.
Perhaps you believe even the nuttiest news is true. Perhaps you are skeptical. Perhaps you do not believe any of the news at all. The fact is that it no longer matters whether the supposed SBC controversy was originally material or manufactured. What matters is that the controversy is here now. Think of it as a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. Frustrating. The perception of the people in the pews will determine the reality of what takes place in the SBC. That may make you mad. That may make matters worse. But the price of gasoline is still going to go up. You have to get out and deal with a delay at the pump before you pay twice as much tomorrow. Now is not the time to worry about the insatiable appetites of the ankle-biter conspiracy theorists. Now is the time for uncompromising theological clarity on the particulars of supposed problems in the SBC, be they related to race, abuse, critical theory, gender, or homosexuality. Now is the time to address the concerns of those well-meaning Southern Baptist church members who are genuinely confused about what we are doing.
In this post, non-SBC author Joe Rigney writes, “in our egalitarian age, I can imagine significantly more churches that are eager to preach Christ-like headship, and tiptoe around Sarah-like submission.”
In this article, non-SBC author Lisa Spencer asks, “Does Jesus really need to look ‘just like us’ in order to be acceptable to us? Do we really need to circumvent the reality of sin so that it doesn’t offend our sense of ethnic affirmation? We don’t have to dismiss ethnicity, nor should we, but we certainly can’t let it govern our theology.”
“A round table with Mark Dever, Danny Akin, R. Albert Mohler Jr., and H.B. Charles. The 9Marks at 9 event ‘The State of the SBC’ took place at the Southern Baptist Convention in Birmingham, Alabama. June 2019.”
In this Twitter thread, Stephen Michael Feinstein writes regarding Resolution 9 and Critical Theory, “CT and all of its wicked children (CRT,CFT, CQT, etc.) are about two or three years away from becoming the normative zeitgeist for our culture. Perhaps in three years, every kid that graduates from public school will be seeped in this godless ideology and its sub-categories. Parents have no idea it’s coming.”
Last week, Jen Wilkin, a well-known Christian author and Bible teacher, made a troubling statement at the Acts 29 Regional Conference concerning Women in the Church. About two and a half minutes into what she had to say, Wilkin claimed, “Women’s bodies, every 28 days, tell them a parable about the shedding of blood for the renewing of life.”
In this podcast episode, Christ the Center welcomes, “seminary presidents Albert Mohler and Peter Lillback to discuss the role of the seminary in today’s world.”
I love the word “community,” but I hate to see it bastardized into such phrases as “the ________ community” (fill in the blank: white, black, gay, female, non-binary, Christian, minority, etc.). Whenever you put a modifier in front of “community” to define it as a demographic, you have actually changed the meaning of the term. A true community is a local establishment of households who share physical spaces and community traditions. They are invested in local history and institutions. They have flesh-and-blood interactions with one another. They eat together, do business together, send their children to school together, go to town hall meetings together, worship together, attend local public library events together, and thousands of other activities that are entailed in living one’s life locally. A city or town is itself a large community that is further subdivided into communities that exist at smaller levels: districts, neighborhoods, schools, churches, etc.
My point here is simply this: there is no such thing as a “community” of people who are grouped together on the basis of a demographic indicator (skin color, sexual orientation, sexual identity, etc.). The moment we speak of “the gay community,” for example, as a way of linking together gay people across 3.8 million square miles between our national borders, we are speaking of people who do not share common spaces and institutions, who do not (and cannot) have interactions with one another, and who therefore cannot in any meaningful sense constitute a community.