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TBC’s Randy Davis: There is Absolutely No SBC Hierarchy

Randy Davis, President and executive director, Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, writing for The Baptist and Reflector:

Let’s make one thing clear from the outset: There is absolutely no denominational hierarchy when it comes to the Southern Baptist Convention… If we allow drift from this benchmark polity, the damage will be extremely significant and invite grave consequences.

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Tom Nettles on John Broadus, His Legacy, and His Gavel (via Founders Journal)

Despite [Broadus’] devoted scholarship, his insight and contribution to lasting SBC institutions, his sacrificial spirit, his universal respect, his theological clarity and steadfastness, the character assessments carefully crafted by his contemporaries , we are weighing the name “Broadus” in the balance; do we seriously find it wanting? Have we come to a rare moment of clarity now to have transcended Broadus in piety and morality and have reached a depth of repentance for him finally to find ourselves purged with hyssop? Does the imputation to the Broadus gavel a racist ruse mature our growth in grace?

In the Spring 2020 issue of the Founders Journal, titled “Race and Racism: Biblical and Historical Perspectives” Tom Nettles, likely the premier Baptist historian of his generation, has written a challenging piece on John Broadus and his continuing relationship to the Southern Baptist Convention.

You can read the piece on Founders Ministries’ website here.

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SBC Executive Committee Announces Significant Decisions Today via Twitter

Today the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention posted a string of announcements via Twitter. These decisions affect several current hot-button issues within the Convention. Take a look:

You can follow the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention on Twitter here.

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Founders Ministries: Interesting Times and Changing Times in the SBC

…hardly a week goes by without shining more light on the dark corners of the SBC. It gives a whole new meaning to “progressive revelation.” It’s like watching the curtain being pulled back on the Wizard of Oz.” – Tom Ascol, writing on The Founders Ministries Blog.

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Group of Southern Baptists start new network – Conservative Baptist Network

A group of Southern Baptists have launched a new network with a “common goal of heralding the inerrancy and sufficiency of God’s Word and reaching the lost for Christ.”

“The Conservative Baptist Network is a partnership of Southern Baptists where all generations are encouraged, equipped, and empowered to bring positive, biblical solutions that strengthen the SBC in an effort to fulfill the Great Commission and influence culture.”

There will be a launch event on June 8 at the SBC Annual Convention.

Watch the intro video and read more at conservativebaptistnetwork.com

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Critical Race Theory Critical Theory Intersectionality Racism Uncategorized

Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality in the Southern Baptist Convention: Definitions (Part 2 of 4)

Todd Benkert’s recent piece on Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality (CRT|I) at SBCVoices.com is helpfully clarifying in at least three ways. First, Benkert straightforwardly admits that both he and others within the Southern Baptist Convention are using Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. Benkert indicates they are not merely using the language of CRT|I, but its concepts, and intentionally so. Second, Benkert admits that these individuals are using CRT|I despite the fact that CRT|I is “dangerous.” Third, Benkert mounts a defense of CRT|I and the infamous Resolution 9, which he believes speaks of CRT|I in positive fashion. He would not change anything about Resolution 9, and does not believe it should be rescinded. Indeed, he believes doing so will actually set the SBC back in terms of “reconciliation work.”

Although Benkert attempts to take a middle way in his post, positing CRT|I as both an analytical tool and a dangerous ideology, his examples of using CRT|I as an analytical tool exemplify why CRT|I is such a dangerous ideology. This observation is not meant to impugn Benkert’s motives. Nevertheless, some (not saying this is true of Benkert) seem unaware of how far down the ideological rabbit hole they have gone. This series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) will attempt to highlight some of the difficulties with doubling down on CRT|I in response to recent posts and podcasts pointing out its problems. This second of four posts will address the first clarifying point noted above. Namely, Benkert straightforwardly admits that both he and others within the Southern Baptist Convention are using Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. Benkert indicates they are not merely using the language of CRT|I, but its concepts, and intentionally so.

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Clarifying the Gospel, Part 2: How the Apostles Preached Christ

[See Part 1 of this series.]

Although the salvation accomplished by the cross work of Jesus Christ entails multiple dimensions of deliverance—from the power of Satan, from the dominion of sin, from this present evil age, etc.—there is no greater deliverance accomplished by Christ than that which is from the looming judgment of God over humanity. Having surveyed this theme in the Old Testament, my purpose in this installment is to show that the preaching of the gospel by the apostles in the book of Acts demonstrates the same truth.

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A Way Forward: An Interview with the Author of the Tennessee Baptist Condemnation of Critical Race Theory

On November 20th of this year Matt Stamper broke the news that Tennesee Southern Baptists, gathered in Knoxville, TN for their annual meeting, passed a resolution condemning Critical Race Theory.[1]


The Tennessee resolution represents a profound development in the controversy created by the passage of Resolution #9 at the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Birmingham, AL on June 12, 2019.  [Editor’s Note: if you are unfamiliar with the controversy created by the passage of Resolution #9 please see the Founders Ministries’ film By What Standard?]

This action of the Tennessee Baptist Convention is significant evidence that Southern Baptists, when sufficiently informed about Critical Race Theory and the danger it presents to the church, will take action to repudiate Critical Race Theory.

Additionally, the action of Tennessee Baptists offers a way forward to Southern Baptists (nationally) who find themselves frustrated and disenfranchised when it comes to pushing back against the spread of Critical Race Theory. The state-level convention is much more immediate than the national convention and the individual pastor or church member has greater opportunity to have a significant voice not only in the state’s annual meeting but in the yearly ebb and flow of the state convention’s activities. If faithful brothers and sisters who feel themselves alienated from the national denomination will invest their energies in their respective state conventions the result will be a national denomination where toxic ideologies will have little opportunity to take hold.

I reached out to Shawn Allred, the author of the Tennessee Resolution, to learn more about what led him to submit this resolution, what the process was like, and his hopes for Southern Baptists going forward.  He was gracious enough to answer my questions and allow them to be published here.

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Critical Race Theory Critical Theory Intersectionality Methodology Racism Social Justice Uncategorized

What Does Critical Race Theory Offer Southern Baptists?

Stephen Feinstein, the original author of what became Resolution 9: On Critical Race Theory And Intersectionality passed by the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, AL, has posted a new resolution on the subject of Critical Race Theory to be submitted at his state convention’s next annual meeting.  You can read the new resolution on Feinstein’s blog.  Feinstein reports that he worked with Dr. Neil Shenvi and Dr. Pat Sawyer to ensure the proposed resolution is, “very precise, accurate, and most importantly, far stronger than Resolution 9 as passed.”

[NB: The controversy around Resolution 9 is important context for this post.  If you are unfamiliar with that controversy I think you can familiarize yourself pretty well by reading this piece from The Baptist Courier along with this one from Tom Ascol at the Founders Ministries Blog.]

I am largely unfamiliar with Feinstein beyond his connection to Resolution 9 and completely unfamiliar with Dr. Sawyer.  I have, however, followed Dr. Shenvi’s social media and largely appreciate the analysis of Critical Theory and Critical Race Theory he has offered.  I write that in order to make clear that the remainder of this post is offered in a fraternal spirit and in general support of what I take to be efforts to mitigate the impact of CT/CRT/CRTI on Southern Baptists.

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The Conservative Resurgence Today

Retrieving, Repeating, and Redeeming the principles of the Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention.

ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda secundum verbi Dei

— Jodocus van Lodenstein

In 2006, R. Albert Mohler, Jr. wrote, “America’s largest evangelical denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention was reshaped, reformed, and restructured over the last three decades, and at an incredibly high cost.” Mohler refers to the so-called “Conservative Resurgence” (hereafter CR) of the Southern Baptist Convention (hereafter SBC). The CR (referred to as the “fundamentalist takeover” by its detractors) was a successful, largely grassroots effort on the part of theological conservatives to move the SBC away from theological liberalism and secure its institutions for the cause of biblical inerrancy and the fundamentals of the faith it entails. However, it would be a mistake to think that the beliefs, concerns, and efforts of the CR must come to an end. As Jodocus van Lodenstein wrote in 1674, “The church is reformed and always being reformed according to the Word of God.”

We believe the theological principles of the Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention are worth retrieving, repeating, and redeeming. Retrieval theology makes possible the application of past theological arguments and practices to present-day concerns. Repetition of these unchanging doctrinal standards ensures they are not merely assumed and later forgotten. The need to redeem the theological principles of the CR movement assumes these principles were promoted by sinful human beings who thus left open the possibility of their being improved upon.

The principles of the CR, then, do not merely belong to an event completed in history, but to a theological movement to be continued until the coming of Christ.