Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

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Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby Stephen Fox » Fri May 29, 2015 3:41 pm

Molly Worthen in her book The Apostles of Reason shows how the fundamentalist takeover of the SBC was on the wrong side of History on Inerrancy.

But Inerrancy was a ruse as Harold Blom concludes in his notable quote in the American Relibion that says it was a "tragedy, the result of a purely political conspiracy that continues to masquerade as a religious movement." Bloom rightly compares the fundy leadership to the Know Noghtings of the 1840s.

I am convinced history will show that Paul Pressler in particular was in many ways a lesser version of some odious historical personages whose personal grievances compelled him to be a dark figure in 20th Century America. Robert Wuthnow's Rough Country suggests as much.

Nowhere is that more evident than his association with Jesse Helms and their misgivings about Martin Luther King and Civil Rights. All indicators are as early as the late 50's when Pressler was in the Texas legislature the last two years of Carlyle Marney's tenure at FBC Austin, Pressler was on course in the shadows of the Texas Regulars, and White Citizens Councils. His lifelong affiliation with Jesse Helms and Albert Lee Smith, even Mississippi Curtis Caine's indicates how they were naturall drawn together.

For certain they were adversaries to the Texas trajectory of James Dunn in much more than Church State ideas. That was just a cover for something much more nefarious.

As I've said many times before, the Texas 1948 Senate Race, set Pressler and Bill Moyers at odds in more ways than has been explained to date.

And Tom Edsall in his 84 New Politics of Inequality outlines the reasons for the different worldviews and the wedge issue politics that emerged. As Paige Patterson said, It ought to go over as well as the "Inerrancy thing."

April 15 1984 New Republic tied Jesse Helms to the death squads of Roberto Daubuisson.

Abd here we are now with the beatification of Oscar Romero.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/24/world ... .html?_r=0

As Stewart Newman wrote WA Criswell in 1968: "The Blood of many martyrs......"
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby Sandy » Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:01 pm

Your connectionalism is dubious at best. Pressler's short foray into the Texas Legislature was relatively uneventful, aside from the fact that he, like Helms, was a Southern Democrat, and both happened to be Southern Baptists, the association between the two requires the kind of speculative leaps you are prone to taking in that if something looks logical to you, you are sure that's the way it is.

Can't recall that Helms was particularly active in the resurgence. I believe his church membership was in a moderate SBC congregation in North Carolina that is currently listed as a CBF partner. His alma mater, Wingate University, also hangs out on the moderate side of Baptist life, and was a beneficiary of his library and papers. He did like Jerry Falwell, though his association with him was prior to his joining the SBC.

What "side" of history is the conservative resurgence "on"?
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Ed Young/Ted Cruz wing of SBC creates more confusion

Postby Stephen Fox » Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:40 pm

http://religiondispatches.org/why-chris ... -that-way/

This Q and A doesn't advance the conversation much; My take is the Nybooks.com review of last October of Wuthnow's Rough Country cuts to the chase in much more significant way.

Again for the umpteenth time, Joe Ferguson's book on the ties of Helms to Pressler was written in the early 80s and Sandy has failed for 30 years to own the fact. It was Bill Moyers himself ho in late 80s was on the links of Helms to Pressler and their coagulation in the takeover.

Between the speculations of Sandy, and Rice 's Chandler Davidson, I'll go with the true scholar on Pressler's agenda.

Ed Young and Pressler and Ted Cruz could be an interesting story in next sis to 8 months if someone wants to follow Edwards trail, though again, Wuthnoow on Criswell and the Atwater memo cut closer to the chase in Pressler's world and what the fundy akeover of the SBC wrought!
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby ET » Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:31 am

There is no such thing as the "wrong side of history".
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby Sandy » Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:10 pm

Stephen Fox wrote:Between the speculations of Sandy, and Rice 's Chandler Davidson, I'll go with the true scholar on Pressler's agenda.


Of course, Davidson wouldn't have an agenda or a point to prove, now, would he? :wink:

You can draw all the connections you want to. Helms and Pressler both have similarities in their backgrounds, in that both were Democrats when they began their political careers, and both were Southern Baptists. It's hard to connect them to a movement in the Southern Baptist Convention, though, that far back, since it was more than 20 years before Pressler would get together with Paige Patterson and figure out a strategy for electing SBC presidents who would appoint conservatives to committees and boards. Can't find that Helms was ever involved in that, anywhere, especially since his preferred congregation, where he was a deacon and Sunday School teacher, was clearly moderate, and eventually dually aligned with CBF. Along with that, the peak of Helm's political career came long after Pressler was already on the bench in Texas as a judge, and out of electoral politics himself.
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby David Flick » Sat Jun 06, 2015 1:13 am

.
.
        Temporary Resurrection of the Golden Spur
ET wrote:
    -- There is no such thing as the "wrong side of history".
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      You nailed it, ET. History, by its very definition, means:
      1. the study of past events;
      2. events of the past;
      3. past events that relate to a particular subject, place, organization, etc.
      It's impossible to be literally on the "wrong side of history" because there's only one side to history, i.e. the past. Events of the past cannot exist in either the present or the future. The so-called "Conservative Resurgence" is a myth, pure and simple. Such a resurgence never existed. The piece of history which the fundamentalists tout as being the "Conservative Resurgence" was, in fact, a hostile takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention.

      ET occasionally comes up with some good quotes, but this one is really good. Congratulations, EdT. Couldn't resist...
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby William Thornton » Sat Jun 06, 2015 5:49 am

Yet another occasion where Fox sees Molly Worthen walking on water. Maybe Fox can get it on vimeo so the rest of us can see the miracle.
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby KeithE » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:05 pm

David Flick wrote:.
.
        Temporary Resurrection of the Golden Spur
ET wrote:
    -- There is no such thing as the "wrong side of history".
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      You nailed it, ET. History, by its very definition, means:
      1. the study of past events;
      2. events of the past;
      3. past events that relate to a particular subject, place, organization, etc.
      It's impossible to be literally on the "wrong side of history" because there's only one side to history, i.e. the past. Events of the past cannot exist in either the present or the future. The so-called "Conservative Resurgence" is a myth, pure and simple. Such a resurgence never existed.The piece of history which the fundamentalists tout as being the "Conservative Resurgence" was, in fact, a hostile takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention.

      ET occasionally comes up with some good quotes, but this one is really good. Congratulations, EdT. Couldn't resist...
                Image


David- Your denial (in green above) of the Conservative Resurgence rhetorically reminds me of your dogged denials on other matters. The SBC is now under Conservative control - I thought you reluctantly agreed to that, but now seem to be denying that. Do you really mean the Conservative Resurgence should not be called a “resurgence"? or has not resulted in numerical growth for the SBC?

All of BL- Granted, the phrase "wrong side of history” when taken literally is an impossibility. But taken as intended by Fox in his May 29 2:41pm post as the incorrect path on the inerrancy issue, I believe is not only possible but provably true (if you care to be honest about it). Read Short List of Biblical Contradictions.

If you find solutions, record what interpretative shenanigans you had to employ to harmonize the passages and recognize the range of interpretations that is implied if you had to use the same shenanigans on other non-problematical passages. Hardly “sure words" from God to humans.

This may seem like an old fight, but the inerrantist side is still in denial. Give it up - a much firmer faith exists well outside this fundamentalist mantra (only developed in the late 1890’s/1900’s), which is really a shaky house of cards. That firmer faith is based on the marvels of creation, the mysteries of our consciences and consciousness, the sublime teachings/actions of Jesus, and our experiences of support when living faithfully.
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby ET » Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:58 pm

Well, thanks Flick.
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby KeithE » Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:22 pm

William Thornton wrote:Yet another occasion where Fox sees Molly Worthen walking on water. Maybe Fox can get it on vimeo so the rest of us can see the miracle.

Have you read Worthen William? I have (actually I listened to it on Audible). It was like a walk down memory lane with the hubbub at Fuller Seminary (while I was taking extension classes there), the so-called Moral Majority hype, and the SBC Takeover. It’s scope is far beyond just the Baptist battles.

Walking on water it is not (nor does anyone including Fox say so); but good historical comment it is.

William- you can buy it in Kindle format ($9.99) or as a special on Audible ($3.99) if you really what to make an informed comment.
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby Haruo » Sun Jun 07, 2015 1:52 am

The sense intended is the sense in which Pharaoh was on the wrong side, and Moses and the Children of Israel on the right side, of the history of the Exodus, which is probably not exactly history, either, in the modern sense.
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby Ed Pettibone » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:28 am

ET wrote:Well, thanks Flick.


Ed P: ET, would you explain what you meant when you said there is no wrong side of history. I am of the opinion that the accuracy of that statement depends on the context in which "wrong side" is used. I believe you and my friend D. Flick could benefit from Googling the phrase after looking at Hauro's comment posted at 1:52 yesterday.

And Keith when you question Flicks understanding of who is in control of the new SBC and how the change came about I think you are being quite insulting. I think perhaps you are allowing the differences between the two of you on those unnamed "other matters" cloud your perception of Davids expertise in the history of Baptist in the south over the past 36+ years and for several years prior. I respect the fact that you have read a lot about Baptist and religion in general plus having experience in a vital Baptist Church. However I am persuaded that you have too little personal Baptist history to make judgements of a Life long Baptist who sacrificed early in the attempt to head off the Takeover.
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby Sandy » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:24 pm

KeithE wrote:
William Thornton wrote:Yet another occasion where Fox sees Molly Worthen walking on water. Maybe Fox can get it on vimeo so the rest of us can see the miracle.

Have you read Worthen William? I have (actually I listened to it on Audible). It was like a walk down memory lane with the hubbub at Fuller Seminary (while I was taking extension classes there), the so-called Moral Majority hype, and the SBC Takeover. It’s scope is far beyond just the Baptist battles.

Walking on water it is not (nor does anyone including Fox say so); but good historical comment it is.

William- you can buy it in Kindle format ($9.99) or as a special on Audible ($3.99) if you really what to make an informed comment.
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I did read it, and still have the copy I paid for. I don't share your evaluation of it as "good" historical comment. An academic, historical work, to be evaluated as "good" (a "B+ paper in school terms), should be objective in its analysis. It's hard to read Worthen's work, and not experience her bias, which is clearly set against a broader definition of Evangelical, conservative Christians of any brand. It is a particular problem for authors who come from a background outside of an evangelical perspective to understand it and treat it fairly. The leftward turn of many Christian denominations in America post WW2 led to a massive decline in church membership as people left churches they considered to be too liberal, and either joined conservative churches and denominations, or split or splintered off their denominations and formed new, more conservative ones. That's a pattern that continues as new issues come to the forefront. Authors like Worthen couch their theories in the cloak of academia to claim legitimacy for what amounts to nothing more than an apologetic for liberal, humanist religion. It's hypocritical, really, to be intolerant of conservative Christians who don't think like you do, and at the same time, blast them for being intolerant because they don't accept Christians who don't think like they do.

Perhaps the single most comprehensive and definitive term characterizing the arrogance, elitism and exclusivism of those who were opposed to the SBC's conservative resurgence is their use of the term "takeover," and the adjective "hostile" to define it. The implication there is that those who were opposed to the conservatives had some kind of entitlement, or right, to hold leadership and grant favors with denominational jobs, while conservatives did not smacks of arrogance. You cannot "take over" something to which you already belong, and in which you are entitled to participate by virtue of meeting the membership qualifications stated in the constitution and bylaws of the organization. Implying that some individuals were more suited to leading the SBC than others, because they weren't conservatives, is a ridiculous assertion. There's been absolutely nothing preventing those who think "fundamentalists took over" their denomination from getting it back, except, perhaps, the fact that you probably can't find one in a thousand Southern Baptists who would agree with their agenda, theology and perspective. The conservative resurgence would have evaporated at the point where it ran out of enough support to sustain it over a long period of time, but it never did, largely because, as it progressed, it defined itself and more and more churches found themselves sympathetic to it.

I do agree, somewhat, with Worthen's general assessment of the SBC conservative resurgence, which she doesn't characterize as a takeover, but as a movement within the denomination that came to the surface, inevitably, because of the influence of conservative evangelicalism on the churches of the denomination. I gather that, like most Christians from a more liberal background, she doesn't like the idea of "grass roots" movements in denominations, preferring a hierarchical system where the educated elite enlighten the fools in the pew and hold leadership by virtue of their superior intellect. I can see why Stephen likes her perspective, and hangs his hat there.
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby Ed Pettibone » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:34 pm

Sandy wrote:
KeithE wrote:
William Thornton wrote:Yet another occasion where Fox sees Molly Worthen walking on water. Maybe Fox can get it on vimeo so the rest of us can see the miracle.

Have you read Worthen William? I have (actually I listened to it on Audible). It was like a walk down memory lane with the hubbub at Fuller Seminary (while I was taking extension classes there), the so-called Moral Majority hype, and the SBC Takeover. It’s scope is far beyond just the Baptist battles.

Walking on water it is not (nor does anyone including Fox say so); but good historical comment it is.

William- you can buy it in Kindle format ($9.99) or as a special on Audible ($3.99) if you really what to make an informed comment.
Apostles of Reason

4.4 out of 5.0 ratings.


I did read it, and still have the copy I paid for. I don't share your evaluation of it as "good" historical comment. An academic, historical work, to be evaluated as "good" (a "B+ paper in school terms), should be objective in its analysis. It's hard to read Worthen's work, and not experience her bias, which is clearly set against a broader definition of Evangelical, conservative Christians of any brand. It is a particular problem for authors who come from a background outside of an evangelical perspective to understand it and treat it fairly. The leftward turn of many Christian denominations in America post WW2 led to a massive decline in church membership as people left churches they considered to be too liberal, and either joined conservative churches and denominations, or split or splintered off their denominations and formed new, more conservative ones. That's a pattern that continues as new issues come to the forefront. Authors like Worthen couch their theories in the cloak of academia to claim legitimacy for what amounts to nothing more than an apologetic for liberal, humanist religion. It's hypocritical, really, to be intolerant of conservative Christians who don't think like you do, and at the same time, blast them for being intolerant because they don't accept Christians who don't think like they do.

Perhaps the single most comprehensive and definitive term characterizing the arrogance, elitism and exclusivism of those who were opposed to the SBC's conservative resurgence is their use of the term "takeover," and the adjective "hostile" to define it. The implication there is that those who were opposed to the conservatives had some kind of entitlement, or right, to hold leadership and grant favors with denominational jobs, while conservatives did not smacks of arrogance. You cannot "take over" something to which you already belong, and in which you are entitled to participate by virtue of meeting the membership qualifications stated in the constitution and bylaws of the organization. Implying that some individuals were more suited to leading the SBC than others, because they weren't conservatives, is a ridiculous assertion. There's been absolutely nothing preventing those who think "fundamentalists took over" their denomination from getting it back, except, perhaps, the fact that you probably can't find one in a thousand Southern Baptists who would agree with their agenda, theology and perspective. The conservative resurgence would have evaporated at the point where it ran out of enough support to sustain it over a long period of time, but it never did, largely because, as it progressed, it defined itself and more and more churches found themselves sympathetic to it.

I do agree, somewhat, with Worthen's general assessment of the SBC conservative resurgence, which she doesn't characterize as a takeover, but as a movement within the denomination that came to the surface, inevitably, because of the influence of conservative evangelicalism on the churches of the denomination. I gather that, like most Christians from a more liberal background, she doesn't like the idea of "grass roots" movements in denominations, preferring a hierarchical system where the educated elite enlighten the fools in the pew and hold leadership by virtue of their superior intellect. I can see why Stephen likes her perspective, and hangs his hat there.


Ed: Sandy, I would give you a B+ maybe even an A- on the 1st Paragaph and a D on the 2nd. and a C on the 3rd.
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Another good Bible lesson for Flick and Lee Saunders

Postby Stephen Fox » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:38 pm

What a spectacular and timely Title for this conversation. Hope some of you have the Christian charity to indulge every word of this online conversation:

http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2015- ... ding-to-us
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Vaporized reply

Postby Stephen Fox » Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:55 pm

I spent about 20 minutes on a reply with bullet points ranging from flick's penchant for spurs when I'm in play to Harold B;loom's analysis of the fundamentlaist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Alas and quite to my frustration it got vaporized before posting.

I will say this board could learn a lot from Worthen, especially if they follow with a close read of Wuthnow's Rough Country and think about it in light of Bonhoeffer's thoughts on the politics of stupidity.

By this fall I hope to share a letter at this board Grady Cothen sent me in 1990 after his visit to my home in Alabama prepping for his book on the Takeover.
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby Sandy » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:02 am

Ed Pettibone wrote: Sandy, I would give you a B+ maybe even an A- on the 1st Paragaph and a D on the 2nd. and a C on the 3rd.


Did you read Worthen's book, Ed? Paragraphs 1 and 3 are more or less reviews of it from my perspective. Writers like Worthen, attempting to analyze a denomination or Christian group outside of their own experience, tend to evaluate and draw conclusions based on their own experience. And the people they use as sources from "inside" are usually those who have been alienated or disgruntled in some way, and have made an exit themselves. They view conservative evangelicals as being on the verge of a cult, when, in fact, they represent a much larger and broader segment of the American church than the mainline Protestant denominations do. And while Worthen conveys her perspective as one that lacks a complete understanding of the dynamics that drive Evangelical conservatives, she correctly analyzes what happened in the SBC as a realignment of denominational leadership that came up from the conservative, evangelical perspective which existed in the pews of the churches.

I get that you disagree with my perspective of the conservative resurgence. But that, too, is a result of your own perspective and personal opinion. The fact is that there was not a single "outsider" involved in the conservative resurgence. No one had an exclusive right or entitlement to an elected or appointed office in the SBC. And in spite of all of the unofficial protocols that moderates claimed were violated, the SBC's conservative leadership was elected by Southern Baptists who held membership in churches defined as being in "full cooperation" with the convention, and came from such churches. Most of them had as long of a pedigree and as much prominence as any of those in leadership before them. And it's pretty clear, from what they've sustained, and what has transpired across the board since, that the resurgence successfully discerned both the mood, and the perspective of Southern Baptists. You cannot "take over" something that you are legitimately entitled, by virtue of your association and cooperation, to seek leadership, and to think of the conservative resurgence as a "takeover" and particularly a hostile one, evidences an attitude of exclusivism, entitlement, and exclusion.
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby Ed Pettibone » Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:23 pm

Sandy wrote:
Ed Pettibone wrote: Sandy, I would give you a B+ maybe even an A- on the 1st Paragaph and a D on the 2nd. and a C on the 3rd.


Did you read Worthen's book, Ed? Paragraphs 1 and 3 are more or less reviews of it from my perspective. Writers like Worthen, attempting to analyze a denomination or Christian group outside of their own experience, tend to evaluate and draw conclusions based on their own experience. And the people they use as sources from "inside" are usually those who have been alienated or disgruntled in some way, and have made an exit themselves. They view conservative evangelicals as being on the verge of a cult, when, in fact, they represent a much larger and broader segment of the American church than the mainline Protestant denominations do. And while Worthen conveys her perspective as one that lacks a complete understanding of the dynamics that drive Evangelical conservatives, she correctly analyzes what happened in the SBC as a realignment of denominational leadership that came up from the conservative, evangelical perspective which existed in the pews of the churches.

I get that you disagree with my perspective of the conservative resurgence. But that, too, is a result of your own perspective and personal opinion. The fact is that there was not a single "outsider" involved in the conservative resurgence. No one had an exclusive right or entitlement to an elected or appointed office in the SBC. And in spite of all of the unofficial protocols that moderates claimed were violated, the SBC's conservative leadership was elected by Southern Baptists who held membership in churches defined as being in "full cooperation" with the convention, and came from such churches. Most of them had as long of a pedigree and as much prominence as any of those in leadership before them. And it's pretty clear, from what they've sustained, and what has transpired across the board since, that the resurgence successfully discerned both the mood, and the perspective of Southern Baptists. You cannot "take over" something that you are legitimately entitled, by virtue of your association and cooperation, to seek leadership, and to think of the conservative resurgence as a "takeover" and particularly a hostile one, evidences an attitude of exclusivism, entitlement, and exclusion.


Ed: Nope Sandy I have not read Wothen's Book and have no plans to do so, I have been exhausted by Fox's hype of it. But I am curious as to who a few of the writers "like Worthen" that you speak of may be. When you say "They view conservative evangelicals as being on the verge of a cult, when, in fact, they represent a much larger and broader segment of the American church than the mainline Protestant denominations do", I will counter with the fact that many longtime Baptists error in the same direction thus the outsiders follow their false premise. Some will no doubt give you extra credit for playing both sides of the street with "And while Worthen conveys her perspective as one that lacks a complete understanding of the dynamics that drive Evangelical conservatives, she correctly analyzes what happened in the SBC as a realignment of denominational leadership that came up from the conservative, evangelical perspective which existed in the pews of the churches." You may be surprised to know that I am also unimpressed with a good bit of what I have seen regarding the takeover as written by folk with minimal knowledge of the SBC and Baptist in general. However there are at least two writers who have given Baptists knowledgeable unbiased reviews, Historian, Lutheran, Martin E. Marty and Jewish Theologian Jacob Neusner.
In response to your second paragraph immediately above; Without apology I certainly disagree with your perspective based on my own, which is quite broad and indeed shapes my opinions. When you say "The fact is that there was not a single 'outsider' involved in the conservative resurgence." Tell me Sandy, when was it that Jerry Falwell entered the SBC branch of the Baptist family? Officially it was in 1996 17 years after the public launch of the takeover at the "Summit" in 79, but as Mark Wingfield pointed out in an editorial at that time, (the link below is from a 97 copy published by the Texas Baptist Committed). "Ironically, many Southern Baptist conservative leaders have been supporting Falwell’s enterprises already. At least eight prominent Southern Baptists currently serve as trustees of Liberty University. The new chairman of Liberty’s trustee board is Jerry Vines, pastor of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Fla., and a recent SBC president. Two of the board’s newest members are Gene Mims, vice president of the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board, and Ronnie Floyd, chairman of the SBC Executive Committee." http://www.txbc.org/1997Journals/Apr199 ... wellBe.htm
I agree that "No one had an exclusive right or entitlement to an elected or appointed office in the SBC." Who do you know that has claimed otherwise? And If you will please define your use of "right of entitlement" It is indeed strange in this context to see you discredit some of the writers for their "use as sources from "inside" are usually those who have been alienated or disgruntled in some way, and have made an exit themselves." when you yourself have moved outside of the SBC. And several of those you claim "had as long of a pedigree and as much prominence as any of those in leadership before them" are on Wingfield's list of pre 96 Falwell supporters. Also sandy when was it that those people attained their long of a pedigrees and prominence? It has long been the claim of the takeover cable that drastic measures where needed in part because conservatives of their stripe had long been discriminated against in elections and appointments. It seems you want it both ways. History doesn't work that way.
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby KeithE » Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:38 am

Sandy wrote:
KeithE wrote:
William Thornton wrote:Yet another occasion where Fox sees Molly Worthen walking on water. Maybe Fox can get it on vimeo so the rest of us can see the miracle.

Have you read Worthen William? I have (actually I listened to it on Audible). It was like a walk down memory lane with the hubbub at Fuller Seminary (while I was taking extension classes there), the so-called Moral Majority hype, and the SBC Takeover. It’s scope is far beyond just the Baptist battles.

Walking on water it is not (nor does anyone including Fox say so); but good historical comment it is.

William- you can buy it in Kindle format ($9.99) or as a special on Audible ($3.99) if you really what to make an informed comment.
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I did read it, and still have the copy I paid for. I don't share your evaluation of it as "good" historical comment. An academic, historical work, to be evaluated as "good" (a "B+ paper in school terms), should be objective in its analysis. It's hard to read Worthen's work, and not experience her bias, which is clearly set against a broader definition of Evangelical, conservative Christians of any brand. It is a particular problem for authors who come from a background outside of an evangelical perspective to understand it and treat it fairly. The leftward turn of many Christian denominations in America post WW2 led to a massive decline in church membership as people left churches they considered to be too liberal, and either joined conservative churches and denominations, or split or splintered off their denominations and formed new, more conservative ones. That's a pattern that continues as new issues come to the forefront. Authors like Worthen couch their theories in the cloak of academia to claim legitimacy for what amounts to nothing more than an apologetic for liberal, humanist religion. It's hypocritical, really, to be intolerant of conservative Christians who don't think like you do, and at the same time, blast them for being intolerant because they don't accept Christians who don't think like they do.

Perhaps the single most comprehensive and definitive term characterizing the arrogance, elitism and exclusivism of those who were opposed to the SBC's conservative resurgence is their use of the term "takeover," and the adjective "hostile" to define it. The implication there is that those who were opposed to the conservatives had some kind of entitlement, or right, to hold leadership and grant favors with denominational jobs, while conservatives did not smacks of arrogance. You cannot "take over" something to which you already belong, and in which you are entitled to participate by virtue of meeting the membership qualifications stated in the constitution and bylaws of the organization. Implying that some individuals were more suited to leading the SBC than others, because they weren't conservatives, is a ridiculous assertion. There's been absolutely nothing preventing those who think "fundamentalists took over" their denomination from getting it back, except, perhaps, the fact that you probably can't find one in a thousand Southern Baptists who would agree with their agenda, theology and perspective. The conservative resurgence would have evaporated at the point where it ran out of enough support to sustain it over a long period of time, but it never did, largely because, as it progressed, it defined itself and more and more churches found themselves sympathetic to it.

I do agree, somewhat, with Worthen's general assessment of the SBC conservative resurgence, which she doesn't characterize as a takeover, but as a movement within the denomination that came to the surface, inevitably, because of the influence of conservative evangelicalism on the churches of the denomination. I gather that, like most Christians from a more liberal background, she doesn't like the idea of "grass roots" movements in denominations, preferring a hierarchical system where the educated elite enlighten the fools in the pew and hold leadership by virtue of their superior intellect. I can see why Stephen likes her perspective, and hangs his hat there.

How is one to do history without “bias” as you say? Must one accept all of your bias to be bejudged unbiased? To claim legitimacy, a movement must be rational - conservative evangelicals who believe in inerrancy are not credible, imo. Worthen’s book is far more unbiased on that ground. Worthen is just pointing out the irrationality of inerrancy and she has every right to do so. If that ruffles your feathers, so be it.

In addition her book well-documented - with approximately 42% of the pages devoted to documentation in the Kindle version of my book. Right thinking authors back up their work.

To claim as you do:
Sandy wrote:"There's been absolutely nothing preventing those who think "fundamentalists took over" their denomination from getting it back, except, perhaps, the fact that you probably can't find one in a thousand Southern Baptists who would agree with their agenda, theology and perspective”

is overblown triumphalism (a lot like you often do prematurely with political proclamations). That 1 in 1000 claim would be accurate if, for instance, in the general the Presidential voting were 99.9% con vs 0.1% moderate. You should know it was more like 60-80% vs 40-20% during the “takeover years”. I have freely admitted that the conservative side has won the battle for the SBC - to deny that is also irrational but not in the league of your irrationality is saying your quote above.
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby Sandy » Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:33 am

KeithE wrote:How is one to do history without “bias” as you say? Must one accept all of your bias to be bejudged unbiased? To claim legitimacy, a movement must be rational - conservative evangelicals who believe in inerrancy are not credible, imo. Worthen’s book is far more unbiased on that ground. Worthen is just pointing out the irrationality of inerrancy and she has every right to do so. If that ruffles your feathers, so be it.


Well, frankly, it is difficult, though not impossible, to do history without bias. But it is the academic elite, and those who write from the same perspective as Worthen that claim the other side is biased, but not their work. And Worthen's basic thesis makes the claim of being an "expert" opinion on the subject, which I interpret as a claim to lack of bias. Some of the context of this discussion includes Stephen's comments and claims, the phrase "wrong side of history" has been tossed in, and I interpret that as his claim that Worthen is unbiased, whereas any conservative comment isn't. I'm just pointing out that his source is biased, and therefore flawed and lacking an authoritative perspective from which to make an argument. Worthen's bias is the same as yours, that those who believe in inerrancy are not credible. That is opinion, not fact, and it skews both her perspective on the issue, and yours.

As far as the documentation and backup, that's a standard research practice. I could write a book justifying the conservative resurgence and proving the absolute accuracy of inerrancy, and cite twice the sources Worthen does, and not even leave the Broadman-Holman publishing label.

Perhaps, during the time that the controversy was working itself out on the convention floor, among those messengers who attended conventions, the vote margins were in the 60-40 range. But considering that moderates had controlled the convention for several decades prior to 1979, and the conservatives had, by and large, abandoned participation in convention meetings because of the perceived liberal drift of the SBC's institutional leadership, the 60% of conservative votes at convention meetings was a result of the mobilization efforts led by Patterson and Pressler, while the moderate group was basically made up of those who had been attending the convention, voting, and choosing the leadership for years. Once CBF was formed, moderate participation in the SBC has fallen down to just about the 99.9 to 0.1 percentage that you mention. I would submit that the only "moderates" still to be found in SBC churches are in the churches which dually support the SBC and CBF, about 1,800 if you add up all of those who either support, or once supported CBF, of which fewer than 200 have actually completely severed ties with the SBC. That's not even enough to count as a "splinter" compared to the history of denominational conflict in this country through the years.

Starting with the last SBC congregation I attended (and technically where I am still on the membership roll), if I asked all of the adult members individually to tell me what they believed about the authority and accuracy of the Bible, I can honestly say that there wouldn't be one, out of the 400 or so adults who regularly attended on Sunday, who would voice an opinion that would not be consistent with a practical working definition of inerrancy, or who would not be supportive of the current direction and leadership of the SBC. And I think that would be pretty common among the 45,000 or so churches that voluntarily cooperate with the SBC.
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby Haruo » Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:51 am

Sandy wrote:Starting with the last SBC congregation I attended (and technically where I am still on the membership roll

So are you not a member of the CMA church you're (last I heard) active in, or are you holding dual membership, perhaps because the SB congregation is reluctant to let you go until you unite with a more identical church elsewhere?
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby Sandy » Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:30 pm

Haruo wrote:
Sandy wrote:Starting with the last SBC congregation I attended (and technically where I am still on the membership roll

So are you not a member of the CMA church you're (last I heard) active in, or are you holding dual membership, perhaps because the SB congregation is reluctant to let you go until you unite with a more identical church elsewhere?


CMA churches aren't big on formal "membership" status. We joined by attending a class conducted by the pastor on the basic doctrine and history of the CMA, and by declaring that we desired membership in the congregation. There's no process for "transferring" membership either from a former church, or on to another one, even another Alliance church. I guess I could probably let our former SBC congregation know we've joined a church of another denomination, rather than just assuming that they know.
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby KeithE » Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:06 pm

Sandy wrote: I'm just pointing out that his source is biased, and therefore flawed and lacking an authoritative perspective from which to make an argument. Worthen's bias is the same as yours, that those who believe in inerrancy are not credible. That is opinion, not fact, and it skews both her perspective on the issue, and yours.


A “bias" is a going-in position that someone has before undertaking a serious study of the matter at hand.

All involved here (you, Fox, Worthen, William, Haruo, and myself) have presumably (?) studied the inerrancy question with an open mind. To pick on Worthen as having a “bias” is especially troublesome, since she has gone to great trouble to document her history given in this book, some of which documents reasons for her beliefs about the bible’s nature. Her book was not explicitly meant to disprove inerrancy (not the subject matter) and thus does not document thoroughly why she does not believe in inerrancy or other ideas of the nature of the Bible. That is not a “bias” just some of her audience will be turned off and not even trust her well-documented history. Fox should not think that what Worthen says is gospel to cons and Sandy should not be calling Worthen biased - she has just come to differing conclusions than Sandy has.

I have provided two “convenient” links that show why I do not believe in inerrancy although it was my going-in bias when I first started reading the bible for myself in High School (since I was raised in what has been called a “flagpole” evangelical church).

I object to you Sandy, calling it a “biased” view when I have studied the possibility of inerrancy, infallability, etc. a great deal especially in my 20’s; and it has been verified thousands of times since as I read the bible today - it has contradictions and absurdities galore, violent views of God, and immorality. I betcha Worthen would feel the same.

My faith rests on other matters like the uniqueness of Jesus and His message, the intricateness of Creation, our universal sense of fairness and the mysteries of consciousness and more than all else my experience of relying on Jesus’s teaching and a listening brand of prayer.

My faith would be on highly shaky ground if it were rely on the error-free notion of the bible. I realize other take great comfort in that, but it is not for me.
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby Ed Pettibone » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:18 am

Ed; I have to thank Keith for forcing my to check a few dictionaries for the definition of "bias" apparently I have long misused the word. But wile It seems that both Sandy and I have misused it, I am not sure that Keith is totally accurate in saying "bias is a going-in position that someone has before undertaking a serious study of the matter at hand". Nor am I convinced that serious study is always a remedy. Now I have a dilemma. What is a suitable word to to explain the forces at work when some one does "serious study" and is still unmoved in his or her errant opinion? Keith, I have argued with a number of inerantist here and elsewhere. I do not accept your stated opinion that "conservative evangelicals who believe in inerrancy are not credible". I wouldn't be surprised if even you might agree that some of them are quite creditable in other areas. And by the way not all conservative evangelicals believe in inerrancy, nor are all who hold to that position conservatives, nor evangelicals.

BTW, why is this thread on the CBF Forum?
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Re: Conservative resurgence on Wrong Side of History

Postby Haruo » Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:10 am

Ed Pettibone wrote:BTW, why is this thread on the CBF Forum?
B/c that's where Fox started it.
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