Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

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Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

Postby Stephen Fox » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:48 pm

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/arc ... cs/283859/

Except at Shorter College and Southern Seminary.

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Re: Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

Postby William Thornton » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:37 pm

I find nothing particularly SBC about this Stephen so I kicked it out of the SBc forum.
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Pope Francis

Postby KeithE » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:55 pm

This is really about the fresh wind in the world today - Pope Francis. No mention of Pressler or SBC - old fight.

PPP Forum is as good as any.
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Re: Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

Postby Sandy » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:44 am

Though there's no mention of Pressler in it, and it has nothing to do with him, the article was a pretty good analysis of what is happening. Personally, I think the health care debate is going to push a lot of younger evangelicals toward the left, in terms of politics. Strong Christian conviction ultimately leads to the conclusion that health care is a sanctify of life issue that corporate greed has turned into the ultimate profit motivator. Pain, suffering, and fear of losing one's life can drive up the price of relief or a cure pretty quickly. From a Christian perspective, that's as immoral and sinful as adultery or murder.
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Re: Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

Postby William Thornton » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:01 pm

Sandy wrote:Though there's no mention of Pressler in it, and it has nothing to do with him, the article was a pretty good analysis of what is happening. Personally, I think the health care debate is going to push a lot of younger evangelicals toward the left, in terms of politics. Strong Christian conviction ultimately leads to the conclusion that health care is a sanctify of life issue that corporate greed has turned into the ultimate profit motivator. Pain, suffering, and fear of losing one's life can drive up the price of relief or a cure pretty quickly. From a Christian perspective, that's as immoral and sinful as adultery or murder.


Hooey. Good Christians differ here.
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Re: Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

Postby Haruo » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:09 pm

William Thornton wrote:
Sandy wrote:Though there's no mention of Pressler in it, and it has nothing to do with him, the article was a pretty good analysis of what is happening. Personally, I think the health care debate is going to push a lot of younger evangelicals toward the left, in terms of politics. Strong Christian conviction ultimately leads to the conclusion that health care is a sanctify of life issue that corporate greed has turned into the ultimate profit motivator. Pain, suffering, and fear of losing one's life can drive up the price of relief or a cure pretty quickly. From a Christian perspective, that's as immoral and sinful as adultery or murder.


Hooey. Good Christians differ here.

Amen to both of you.
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Re: Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

Postby Sandy » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:09 pm

William Thornton wrote:
Sandy wrote:Though there's no mention of Pressler in it, and it has nothing to do with him, the article was a pretty good analysis of what is happening. Personally, I think the health care debate is going to push a lot of younger evangelicals toward the left, in terms of politics. Strong Christian conviction ultimately leads to the conclusion that health care is a sanctify of life issue that corporate greed has turned into the ultimate profit motivator. Pain, suffering, and fear of losing one's life can drive up the price of relief or a cure pretty quickly. From a Christian perspective, that's as immoral and sinful as adultery or murder.


Hooey. Good Christians differ here.


Certainly. If you can find a Biblical principle that allows for the private, profiteering of health care services, we can have a discussion about our differences of opinion on it. You might want to start with the fee schedule in the gospels related to the healings Jesus performed, though I didn't catch the actual dollar (or denarii) amount he charged for raising Jarius' daughter and Lazarus from the dead.
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Re: Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

Postby William Thornton » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:53 pm

Sandy wrote:
William Thornton wrote:
Sandy wrote:Though there's no mention of Pressler in it, and it has nothing to do with him, the article was a pretty good analysis of what is happening. Personally, I think the health care debate is going to push a lot of younger evangelicals toward the left, in terms of politics. Strong Christian conviction ultimately leads to the conclusion that health care is a sanctify of life issue that corporate greed has turned into the ultimate profit motivator. Pain, suffering, and fear of losing one's life can drive up the price of relief or a cure pretty quickly. From a Christian perspective, that's as immoral and sinful as adultery or murder.


Hooey. Good Christians differ here.


Certainly. If you can find a Biblical principle that allows for the private, profiteering of health care services, we can have a discussion about our differences of opinion on it. You might want to start with the fee schedule in the gospels related to the healings Jesus performed, though I didn't catch the actual dollar (or denarii) amount he charged for raising Jarius' daughter and Lazarus from the dead.


Aha, capitalism foiled again. Sandy, in a lonely search for Christian utopia figures he has a better chance if he can use gummit to force others to pay for his expenses. :brick:
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Re: Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

Postby KeithE » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:43 pm

William Thornton wrote:Aha, capitalism foiled again. Sandy, in a lonely search for Christian utopia figures he has a better chance if he can use gummit to force others to pay for his expenses. :brick:


“His” expenses huh. There is a trait that some us have, called altruism. Sandy has a good dose of that. That “his” is really “all of us” since we all use government services.

William lives in fear of “gummint” taking his money by show of force; that is called selfishness and delusion. William should check in with a deprograming expert (such as the Holy Spirit).


OHHhhh “here we go again” I can already hear it.
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Re: Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

Postby William Thornton » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:11 pm

KeithE wrote:
William Thornton wrote:Aha, capitalism foiled again. Sandy, in a lonely search for Christian utopia figures he has a better chance if he can use gummit to force others to pay for his expenses. :brick:


“His” expenses huh. There is a trait that some us have, called altruism. Sandy has a good dose of that. That “his” is really “all of us” since we all use government services.

William lives in fear of “gummint” taking his money by show of force; that is called selfishness and delusion. William should check in with a deprograming expert (such as the Holy Spirit).


OHHhhh “here we go again” I can already hear it.


"...lives in fear...? Aha, the mentalist rocket scientist Keith once again knows the state of mind of others. You oughta go to Vegas and make some money off of that skill.

Altruism I understand. Gummit's motivation is not altruism, nor is it altruism for you to have your good deed list fulfilled by having the power of the state take resources from others to accomplish it.

Yeah, here we go again...but I'll pass on continuing this conversation.
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Re: Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

Postby Sandy » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:00 am

William Thornton wrote:Yeah, here we go again...but I'll pass on continuing this conversation.


Of course you will, as is the standard practice for any conservative when they are pressed to defend a system where money trumps values.

The government's involvement in health care, or in any other area of human rights which are related to a group of people living in community with each other, would be completely unnecessary if it were possible for people to honor the boundaries of common moral and ethical values. Since that's not possible, government is a necessity. And the fact of the matter is that you receive far more value in collective benefits from government than you would be able to afford individually, even if you got to keep everything you earned.

There was a time when the Christian church, collectively, stepped up to the plate when it came to health care, and there was an almost universal recognition of its responsibility with regard to the healing arts. The intrusion of supply side economics into the medical field drove most of the church groups out of the health care business, though a few still cling to the notion that spiritual principles and medical practice can still go hand in hand, and that churches are effectively using tithes and offerings when they minister through health care provision.

The automatic jump to the conclusion that any kind of government operated health care takes money from some to pay for the health care of those who are lazy and don't want to work is a straw man argument. First of all, that is exactly how insurance works, so if you are principally opposed to having your money pay for someone else's health care, then don't get insurance, and stay away from medicare. That is also how social security works, so don't get your check, because over your retirement, the odds are you will receive about 25% more than you paid in, and that comes from the younger people now contributing to the program. The ACA actually increases insurance company revenue by expanding the system, and the subsidy costs of the program are paid by the increased tax revenue collected. In the government operated systems of most European countries, the profit margins of insurance are removed, which cuts the cost of financing by about 40%, depending on the country, the medical professionals earn more than their US counterparts, and when the revenue is balanced against the expenses, there is usually a small surplus.

As long as American Christians are blinded by political preferences, they will miss the mark on Biblical truth.
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Re: Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

Postby KeithE » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:32 am

Sandy wrote:As long as American Christians are blinded by political preferences, they will miss the mark on Biblical truth.

Amen and Amen.
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Thornton wrong to move this out of SBC Trends

Postby Stephen Fox » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:41 pm

Pressler's motivations were stoked and fired by his designs in collusion with the Christian right. That has been established by the most scholarly and hoest looks at the Takeover. Just because Thornton is not convinced is no reason for him to move this from SBC Trends. May say more later.
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Re: Thornton wrong to move this out of SBC Trends

Postby William Thornton » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:53 am

Stephen Fox wrote:Pressler's motivations were stoked and fired by his designs in collusion with the Christian right. That has been established by the most scholarly and hoest looks at the Takeover. Just because Thornton is not convinced is no reason for him to move this from SBC Trends. May say more later.


You have had your say, Stephen. Say no more unless it it's to discuss the topic.
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Re: Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

Postby Dave Roberts » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:53 am

Republican Herbert Hoover was right. He said, "The only problem with capitalism is capitalists."
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Re: Thornton wrong to move this out of SBC Trends

Postby Sandy » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:24 am

Stephen Fox wrote:Pressler's motivations were stoked and fired by his designs in collusion with the Christian right. That has been established by the most scholarly and hoest looks at the Takeover. Just because Thornton is not convinced is no reason for him to move this from SBC Trends. May say more later.


Would you point me to a scholarly, honest look at the Conservative Resurgence? I'm not aware that one exists. Cothen comes close, but his perspective is biased because he was one of the insiders who thought that his group was entitled to the leadership, and not subject to the wishes of convention messengers. Your recent recommendation of Molly Worthen's work brought in a new angle, from an outsiders perspective, but alas, Worthen did not consider it a "takeover" and supported the contention that the pre-1979 leadership was a bunch of exclusive elitists, completely out of touch with the churches and the people in the pews.

If you're going to invoke Pressler's name, at least make sure that your citation references him. Otherwise, you lose credibility because you appear to be misleading.
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Re: Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

Postby Dave Roberts » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:06 am

Sandy, have you ever read Robinson James' book, The Takeover. James was a church history professor at the University of Richmond. While his work certainly took a moderate stance, it was one of the best researched and documented efforts to detail what was happening.
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Re: Thornton wrong to move this out of SBC Trends

Postby KeithE » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:24 am

William Thornton wrote:
Stephen Fox wrote:Pressler's motivations were stoked and fired by his designs in collusion with the Christian right. That has been established by the most scholarly and hoest looks at the Takeover. Just because Thornton is not convinced is no reason for him to move this from SBC Trends. May say more later.


You have had your say, Stephen. Say no more unless it it's to discuss the topic.

Stephen’s Atlantic article is a good read and I’m glad it has moved to the PPP forum. It relates to the use (my opinion misuse) of religion in politics since the late 70’s.

Go read it now if you have not. The Changing Face of Christian Politics. Those born before say 1960 have seen these cultural-politico-religico trends. For those too lazy (or those that merely react to be what they think a linked article says), here are some key passages with my comments interspersed:

In the closing days of 2013, Representative Steve King summed up the year in religion and politics well. After a year in which Christian leaders and organizations mobilized to pressure Congress on immigration reform, King was ready to take off his gloves: "We might lose [the immigration] debate in this country because of the sympathy factor, and it's also added to by a lot of Christian groups who misread the scripture, and I'm happy to take on that debate with any one of those folks."

As a frequent speaker at "values voter" conferences, King must have felt odd positioning himself in direct opposition to Christians. Then again, 2013 was a year defined by Christian leaders seeking to realign themselves politically to meet the challenges of a new century and changing culture.

Christian political engagement is changing in this country as believers seek to untangle their faith from the worldliness of partisan politics and ideology. The melding of Christianity and partisan politics has been 40 years in the making, but the costs of that entanglement have only become clear to Christians over the last decade.[/u]

In response to changing cultural mores in the 1960s and '70s, religious leaders like the Reverend Jerry Falwell—who had previously spurned partisan political engagement—called Christians to "stand for what is right" through the acquisition of political power. "In a nation of primarily Christians," they reasoned, "why are we struggling to influence our nation's policy decisions?" Soon, Christians became aligned in practice and perception with the Republican Party, pursuing almost exclusively a one-party strategy for political victory.


"Misread scriptures” huh. Foreigners in the land are to be welcomed and given the edges of the field. What Does the Bible Say about Immigration and The Gospel’s Take on Immigration. So poor Steve KIng cannot take all conservative Christians for granted at election-time anymore. Raised a Methodist and converted to Catholicism through marriage, he certainly cannot take those bodies for granted if he ever did. Just used the RR for political gain to promote his genuine (?) political views.

In my “left coast” experience, this entanglement began in a sputtering fashion. I remember when the parents of a HS friend (co-basketball player who lived in his car the last 2 years of HS due to his parent’s condemnation of his lifestyle and girlfriend) invaded our evangelical church with a Pro-Reagan, anti-tax, anti-welfare political message in 1967. They were rebuffed and left when their message was not received. They then moved on the Peninsula Bible Church (a famous Dispensational church), where they were rebuffed as well. Having visited this friend who now lives in Davis CA, he never did re-unite with his parents or even attend their funerals. He is quite successful as an agri-businessman who teaches occasionally at UC-Davis. He is still an avowed atheist and married to the same HS girl his parents so strongly objected to. I give him a better chance at heaven than his parents.

Nationally, the Moral Majority did catch on in the late 70’s with it’s “I Love America” message - which in my opinion diluted the gospel messages and started this unholy (imo) entanglement of the Religious and Political Right.

Now, disentanglement has been going on as the article says for a decade (I’d say also in a sputtering fashion). I think it has been going on since the GWB excesses as people realized that RW political leaders were not very Christian after all. The claim that Obama is a Muslim is indicative of the last legs of this entanglement. But legs stand for a long time among those deeply involved.

Yet the substantive, lasting policy victories conservative Christians hoped for were not achieved: Abortion remained legal, no federal amendment to ban gay marriage passed, and school-sanctioned prayer time remained unconstitutional. Moreover, as the original leaders of the religious right moved out of leadership, the next generation of pro-GOP voices for conservative morality were not religious leaders, but political advocates: Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Ralph Reed, Tony Perkins (a former Louisiana state senator).


I agree that abortion is a wrongful taking of a potential life but the demonization of those practicing it is not Jesus-like. I’m glad that America has not banned gay marriage and that school-sanctioned prayer is still not allowed. We live in a pluralistic society and the so-called religious points they tried to impress on the USA were not grounded in Jesus’s Gospel messages. MLK’s messages (60’s and 70’s) will rightfully live on for a lot longer timeframe if we demand that from our government.

In the 80’s non-religious politicos (Limbaugh, Beck, Reed, Perkins), followed by many followers in the 90’s, 00’s (Coulter, Ingrahm, Williams, Savage, Tea Partiers .....) have piled onto in what can only be genuinely called a political bandwagon using religion to gain partisans (much to their financial success, I’ll add). That bandwagon is still alive unfortunately and buoyed through the assimilation of anti-gummint sentiments (born of Ayn Rand’s praise of selfishness and funded behind the scenes by corporations who want to maximize their bottomline without “regulations” or interrupting technologies). There is no basis in Scripture for the sort of anti-gummint sentiments we see on display herein. Anti-war, turn-the-other-cheek, anti-poverty sentiments abound in scripture; and in so far as the government does not practices these sentiments, it is right to be anti-government. Notice I’m distinguishing between being "anti-gummint” (as in those who reflexively believe “gummint" does little if anything right) and those of us who can be "anti-government" for selective government actions like going to war too impulsively, or paying too little attention to the "common welfare” (as the Constitution instructs) or too little attention to God’s Creation.

As George W. Bush's approval ratings plummeted during his second term, many Christians who had been invested in the Religious Right movement began to reconsider their partisan posture in politics. In my conversations with Christian leaders and voters, I've found that there are two common motivating factors for this change. First, the political issues that draw Christian concern go beyond what the political system has suggested. Christian organizations have supported issues like prisoner rehabilitation, international development, immigrant services, and healthcare for literally centuries in this country. The legacy of Christian political activism in America spans not just the culture wars, but America's founding, the abolition of slavery, and the advancement of civil rights. To Christian leaders, and many Christians themselves, it was incomprehensible that they came to occupy such a small space of our political discourse.


Image

Unfortunately there is the diehard RRers + anti-gummint folks sitting at about 25-30%.They make more noise that the true majority of people through the megaphone of the corporate press (especially FoxNews but all network and cable media these days are own by self-serving corporate forces).

Try Democracy Now or NPR or USA TODAY or the Real News Network or yes, even, Al Jazeera for a more factual, less manipulative reporting.

Read on about the fresh wind (imo) that Pope Francis brings and let’s discuss our varying views of these the trends.

Stephen’s clever title referring to Paul Pressler’s book - A Hill to Die on - is his take on the matter given his long background in the SBC (longer than mine 27 years). That SBC “Hill” is certainly more than “quicksand" as it took root for a long time in the South and in conservative churches nation-wide. IMO, it is far short of “biblical truth” as Sandy has said; so I’d call it an “Ant Hill” (full of active self-righteous, “don’t take MY money away” ants set free to bite society’s marginalized [the so-called “lazy” poor, sexual sinners, immigrants, those HIV, Venereal diseases, abortionists and abortionees, those that have squandered their money] more than “Quicksand”).

I personally do not see how anyone can read the Gospels and give any religious value to the Religious Right “Hill” ; self-righteousness is condemned in the strongest terms ('you brood of vipers', 'woe to you scribes and Pharisees', 'pull that log out of your own eye', 'who should cast the first stone', Prodigal Son, Good Samaritan,the widows mite, etc.). At the same time the marginalized (sexual sinners, the diseased lepers, the blind, the hungry, the poor) are comforted and often commended and sometimes healed. It is true the “Hill” (SBC or other religious cons) do some swooping down to give some aid to the poor/marginalized but they do so infrequently with an attitude of superiority and at arm’s length (to a degree I criticize myself for such).

But as this article points out the cultural entanglement of the non-religious (Limbaugh, etc.) has been an unholy marriage. Disentanglement of the RR and PR (with Jesus as our motivation leader who can speak to the religious and non-religious alike) is one of our most urgent needs. Another bigger need (imo) is the disentanglement of corporate interests with the government and with the Big 5 media.
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Re: Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

Postby Mrs Haruo » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:35 pm

You state it very well Keith. I remember attending Penninsula Bible Church when I was stationed at Moffett for awhile. There was a lot going on there I wish more churches would emulate. As for the writers of revisionist history books..........Bleah!
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Re: Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

Postby KeithE » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:12 pm

Mrs Haruo wrote:You state it very well Keith. I remember attending Penninsula Bible Church when I was stationed at Moffett for awhile. There was a lot going on there I wish more churches would emulate. As for the writers of revisionist history books..........Bleah!


I couldn't buy PBC's theology (inerrancy, dispensational), but it's programs were unique and good. Sunday night "Body Life" service had John Fisher playing the guitar (quite unique at that time), people in the audience standing up to tell their stories of faith and troubles and allowed anyone to take out of the offering plate if they had need- no questions asked. They had a traditional Sunday morning worship which I didn't attend much as well as a SS at the Menu Tree restaurant for young/single/career people which met around circular tables for discussion that I did go to some. That Menu Tree group also sponsored a square dance Saturday night which is where I met my wife (I went there a lot!). They also had another Sunday morning service (Seminar 70) on the Stanford campus which got down to deep discussions that I liked but one had to tow the line. Those coupled with my home church (Peninsula Covenant Church in Redwood City) gave me plenty of opportunities for good instruction/discussion/sharing/worship/fellowship from 1972-1976.

At work, I spent much time up on a tower recording aircraft come in with an infrared camera to validate our signature models. Still doing that modeling/comparison to DATA, but now it is ballistic missiles not aircraft.
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Re: Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

Postby Sandy » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:26 am

Keith wrote:I personally do not see how anyone can read the Gospels and give any religious value to the Religious Right “Hill” ; self-righteousness is condemned in the strongest terms ('you brood of vipers', 'woe to you scribes and Pharisees', 'pull that log out of your own eye', 'who should cast the first stone', Prodigal Son, Good Samaritan,the widows mite, etc.). At the same time the marginalized (sexual sinners, the diseased lepers, the blind, the hungry, the poor) are comforted and often commended and sometimes healed. It is true the “Hill” (SBC or other religious cons) do some swooping down to give some aid to the poor/marginalized but they do so infrequently with an attitude of superiority and at arm’s length (to a degree I criticize myself for such).

But as this article points out the cultural entanglement of the non-religious (Limbaugh, etc.) has been an unholy marriage. Disentanglement of the RR and PR (with Jesus as our motivation leader who can speak to the religious and non-religious alike) is one of our most urgent needs. Another bigger need (imo) is the disentanglement of corporate interests with the government and with the Big 5 media.


The religious "right," is not a monolithic unit that can be defined in this manner, particularly those who are involved with the Southern Baptist Convention. Stephen is fixated on Pressler, who is old news, and pretty much out of the loop now. Patterson probably still keeps tabs on what is going on, and exherts some influence, though his focus has always been on the theological side, and not the political involvement, and now that he has what he was after, that has become his primary interest. The convention is in the process of making the transition from the resurgence leadership to its next generation. Frank Page's election as SBC president, and subsequently his appointment as executive director marked the beginning of a transitional period as the resurgence leadership is departing. Southern Baptists basically handle their denominational relationships pretty much as they always have. There are unstated boundaries, and when they are crossed, their is a reaction, a shift in who gets to call the shots, and the churches and pastors go back to their local ministry focus. The mistake that the pre-1979 leadership made was thinking that they had more influence than they did, and that their education and position in convention leadership would cause the churches to "see the light" and do what they wanted. I don't deny that there were those among the resurgence leadership who came with a different agenda than theological reform, but the fact of the matter is, as Stephen's much admired Molly Worthen points out, that the overwhelming majority of Southern Baptists held to conservative theology that included inerrancy, that the leaders were up ahead and around the bend too far, and were out of touch, and that they were also largely political conservative. Though the convention's bylaws prevented a quick change, the fact that the resurgence leadership and the churches held compatible and consistent views meant that it was only a matter of having the time to follow the prescribed convention rules in order to make a leadership change. It was genuinely a resurgence, not a takeover in any sense of the word. Those who wanted to include a right wing political influence didn't have far to go, since that's where most of the people already were.

The SBC, as a denomination, along with its state conventions and its individual churches, spend about twenty times more money on "ministry to the marginalized" than they do on anything else except international missions. That's one of the reasons I've remained connected to my Southern Baptist "roots" in spite of being in an area where direct involvement in an SBC church is a difficulty because of location. I believe it is important for the convention to remain in "conservative" hands (by definition and practice it is not even close to fundamentalist, though its critics love to use that as a term of derision) and as it gets further and further from the controversy and turmoil of the resurgence years, it grows more and more convicted by the ministry needs around it. I've been involved in some aspect of either local church, associational, state convention or SBC ministry of this nature for the better part of the last 30 years, and I know that much of that ministry has occurred in places where no one else is ministering. And while there may be "prominent" individual Southern Baptists who are deeply involved in right wing politics, the denomination's resources aren't. Draw up a list of extremist right wing tea party politicians, and you'll find more United Methodists, Presbyterians, Charismatics and non-denominational church members than you will Southern Baptists.

In this area, Southern Baptist church planting and community ministry is extensive, given the size of the churches and association, and it is involved and active in areas of the city where there is literally no other religious influence at all. And while membership overall is still showing a decline of 1 to 2% per year, in metropolitan ministries in areas outside the deep South, the membership totals are growing rapidly. The denomination is much more committed to ministry than it is to politics.
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Re: Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

Postby KeithE » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:51 pm

Sandy wrote:
Keith wrote:I personally do not see how anyone can read the Gospels and give any religious value to the Religious Right “Hill” ; self-righteousness is condemned in the strongest terms ('you brood of vipers', 'woe to you scribes and Pharisees', 'pull that log out of your own eye', 'who should cast the first stone', Prodigal Son, Good Samaritan,the widows mite, etc.). At the same time the marginalized (sexual sinners, the diseased lepers, the blind, the hungry, the poor) are comforted and often commended and sometimes healed. It is true the “Hill” (SBC or other religious cons) do some swooping down to give some aid to the poor/marginalized but they do so infrequently with an attitude of superiority and at arm’s length (to a degree I criticize myself for such).

But as this article points out the cultural entanglement of the non-religious (Limbaugh, etc.) has been an unholy marriage. Disentanglement of the RR and PR (with Jesus as our motivation leader who can speak to the religious and non-religious alike) is one of our most urgent needs. Another bigger need (imo) is the disentanglement of corporate interests with the government and with the Big 5 media.


The religious "right," is not a monolithic unit that can be defined in this manner, particularly those who are involved with the Southern Baptist Convention.

[snip]

In this area, Southern Baptist church planting and community ministry is extensive, given the size of the churches and association, and it is involved and active in areas of the city where there is literally no other religious influence at all. And while membership overall is still showing a decline of 1 to 2% per year, in metropolitan ministries in areas outside the deep South, the membership totals are growing rapidly. The denomination is much more committed to ministry than it is to politics.


You are of course right that the Religious Right (RR) is not monolithic unless one’s very definition of being RR is being Politically right-wing (PR) alongside conservative religious views. Even those that self-identify will find some disagreement in their viewpoints we we dig deep enough. And not all RR people are PR - take yourself for instance. But as for SBC members (say those that do not associate with the CBF or AoB) I’d say there is a 75% or more correlation between the RR and PR at least in the South. You may have a different perception for the South or North since you have lived in both. I don’t think the ABC churches are as conservative politically as SBC churches are.

I have no idea of how much various religious groups are involved with ministry to the marginalized. I support that wherever it is occurring. I just have a problem with those that object to the government helping the marginalized - and having ill feelings and strong words towards those that support that sort of collective effort. If Pilate were to have helped the poor, do you really believe Jesus would object? Seems like selfishness (don’t use my tax money) or being overly ideological (gummint hands off is best policy) to me.
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Re: Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

Postby Ed Pettibone » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:00 pm

Ed: Sandy I agree that the "Religious Right" is not a monolithic unit. However your Trieste above goes down hill from there. As you often do you provide a series of value judgement statements with NO empirical support. Just how can you demonstrate that Judge Paul Pressler is now pretty well out of the Loop.

Here is a rather current story out of Texas that refutes that idea that seems to refute that notion. http://texas.patriotstatesman.com/2014/ ... -woodfill/

Ed: When you say " Patterson probably still keeps tabs on what is going on, and exherts some influence, though his focus has always been on the theological side, and not the political involvement, and now that he has what he was after, that has become his primary interest." Do you have any doubt that Patterson keeps tabs on what is going on in the SBC. If he does not he should be fired as president of one of the 6 SBC seminaries. And If you really believe that "his focus has always been on the theological side, and not the political involvement" I have to say , you are more naive than I thought. And then taking the whole sentence where you said that, I need to ask another question or two. For others here it is again
Patterson probably still keeps tabs on what is going on, and exherts some influence, though his focus has always been on the theological side, and not the political involvement, and now that he has what he was after, that has become his primary interest.


What is it that you perceive as "what he was after"Ainfluence, or simply B to keep tabs on what is going on?

Just as you say "The convention is in the process of making the transition from the resurgence leadership to its next generation" CBF is also in a process of transitioning it's leadership from the generation of its founders to a new generation of leadership. However, both continue to be dependent on the support of an older grass roots contingency.

We differ on where the moderate Leadership made their mistakes, plural.

!. leaning on the Pendulum theory; the idea that the convention had long swung back and forth from center to the right and back to center and to the left and back in perpetual motion. And that it would automatically swing back from right to the left.

2. They where slow in realizing that some had conspired to play with the weights that
had traditionally kept the pendulum in balance.

3. They really underestimated the venom that those on the right where willing use and believed they where in a fair conflict.

When some came to a point of understanding that the old compromises where no longer in effect. They were slow to accept a need to organize a counter attack. So for to many years we had more than one moderate candidate going up against the take over candidate.

4. Our Big mistake by 91 IMO, was the hope no fracture in the SBC. And I was on that side of the fence yet in 92 when I got my degree from SBTS, which had not publicly been taken over. And in 95 when Trudy started on her M.Div.. However over her three years there she had some of the same professors that I had and a couple who had been there when I was. And to the best of my memory she had only Mohler and three of his new hires, but each year there where more resignations and more far right replacements. And a far more rightward oriented students. It happens that one of Mohler's new hires Trudy had a class with, was not as as conservative as Al had assumed, nor was he a Calvinist. He was a Member of the Same CBF/SBC church that we attended. That church did not leave the SBC until well after that gentleman's death but the pastor was unashamedly a CBF moderate and an Arminian.

5. Another mistake still made by too many Moderates is to identify most all to the right of center as Fundamentalist. And on the other hand the idea that all who support CBF are moderates rather than recognizing the thinking conservatives.

As I have so often said in these forums the broad spectrum of Baptist Life is not four distinct segments. there is a blurring of Fundamentalist and Conservatives and of Conservatives and Moderates ( in my experience this is the largest grouping ). And as David Dockery a leading evangelical/conservative has long written, at least 1985 to 2006 True Classical Liberals where never a major factor in the SBC, even prior to 1979. So The left end of the moderate segment is blended with those who are more social liberal than theologically Liberal.
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Re: Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

Postby Mrs Haruo » Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:22 am

Keith- we were there at the same time. I played "commuter fiancé" then commuter wife from early 1974 till my transfer came through in July. We lived just off base in Mountain View, and went to PBC as often as we could get time off from duty. Ate at Frankie Johny and Luigis as often as we could afford the best pizza around, and shopped at "NUDE Furniture" an unfinished furniture place. I remember enjoying the support PRC gave to young musicians, and "The New Covenant" introduction. We saw several concerts of Christian artist's album releases. We must have crossed paths many a time. :)
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Re: Paul Pressler died on a Hill of Quicksand

Postby Sandy » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:37 am

Ed Pettibone wrote:Ed: Sandy I agree that the "Religious Right" is not a monolithic unit. However your Trieste above goes down hill from there. As you often do you provide a series of value judgement statements with NO empirical support. Just how can you demonstrate that Judge Paul Pressler is now pretty well out of the Loop.

Here is a rather current story out of Texas that refutes that idea that seems to refute that notion. http://texas.patriotstatesman.com/2014/ ... -woodfill/

Ed: When you say " Patterson probably still keeps tabs on what is going on, and exherts some influence, though his focus has always been on the theological side, and not the political involvement, and now that he has what he was after, that has become his primary interest." Do you have any doubt that Patterson keeps tabs on what is going on in the SBC. If he does not he should be fired as president of one of the 6 SBC seminaries. And If you really believe that "his focus has always been on the theological side, and not the political involvement" I have to say , you are more naive than I thought. And then taking the whole sentence where you said that, I need to ask another question or two. For others here it is again
Patterson probably still keeps tabs on what is going on, and exherts some influence, though his focus has always been on the theological side, and not the political involvement, and now that he has what he was after, that has become his primary interest.


What is it that you perceive as "what he was after"Ainfluence, or simply B to keep tabs on what is going on?

Just as you say "The convention is in the process of making the transition from the resurgence leadership to its next generation" CBF is also in a process of transitioning it's leadership from the generation of its founders to a new generation of leadership. However, both continue to be dependent on the support of an older grass roots contingency.

We differ on where the moderate Leadership made their mistakes, plural.

!. leaning on the Pendulum theory; the idea that the convention had long swung back and forth from center to the right and back to center and to the left and back in perpetual motion. And that it would automatically swing back from right to the left.

2. They where slow in realizing that some had conspired to play with the weights that
had traditionally kept the pendulum in balance.

3. They really underestimated the venom that those on the right where willing use and believed they where in a fair conflict.

When some came to a point of understanding that the old compromises where no longer in effect. They were slow to accept a need to organize a counter attack. So for to many years we had more than one moderate candidate going up against the take over candidate.

4. Our Big mistake by 91 IMO, was the hope no fracture in the SBC. And I was on that side of the fence yet in 92 when I got my degree from SBTS, which had not publicly been taken over. And in 95 when Trudy started on her M.Div.. However over her three years there she had some of the same professors that I had and a couple who had been there when I was. And to the best of my memory she had only Mohler and three of his new hires, but each year there where more resignations and more far right replacements. And a far more rightward oriented students. It happens that one of Mohler's new hires Trudy had a class with, was not as as conservative as Al had assumed, nor was he a Calvinist. He was a Member of the Same CBF/SBC church that we attended. That church did not leave the SBC until well after that gentleman's death but the pastor was unashamedly a CBF moderate and an Arminian.

5. Another mistake still made by too many Moderates is to identify most all to the right of center as Fundamentalist. And on the other hand the idea that all who support CBF are moderates rather than recognizing the thinking conservatives.

As I have so often said in these forums the broad spectrum of Baptist Life is not four distinct segments. there is a blurring of Fundamentalist and Conservatives and of Conservatives and Moderates ( in my experience this is the largest grouping ). And as David Dockery a leading evangelical/conservative has long written, at least 1985 to 2006 True Classical Liberals where never a major factor in the SBC, even prior to 1979. So The left end of the moderate segment is blended with those who are more social liberal than theologically Liberal.


Patterson's platform is Southwestern Seminary. As a seminary President, he is involved in "keeping up with" what is going on in convention politics, and uses his influence as a seminary President. That may be an influential position, for sure, but it is not where he was previously. Your citation regarding Pressler is duly noted, but the fact of the matter is that his presence in the SBC has waned considerably.

Your point #3 is interesting. You, and others associated with the moderate Baptists in the SBC are always leaning on the idea that somehow, the fight wasn't fair. That covers up the fact that the grass roots in the SBC were totally and completely disgusted with the elitist exclusivism of the convention's leadership, and things were ripe for major change. They got duly registered messengers to the convention meetings and those messengers cast ballots. Nothing unfair about it.

Molly Worthen got it right. The SBC's churches, pastors and most of the membership are Baptists, and has always been conservative theologically. That conservativism has always centered on belief in the complete reliability of the scriptures, and a literal interpretation of its precepts. And in reading the "modernist" controversies of previous times, the independent, autonomous, Congregational nature of the churches was wide open to the influences of other Christian conservatives. Not realizing that, and not understanding that a patronizing, top down attempt to change the views of the people in the pew would never work, doomed the pre-1979 leadership.

There was nothing that the moderates could have done to prevent the SBC from replacing its leadership with those who were more conservative. The way the convention was organized, and the independent, autonomous, congregational nature of the churches meant that, sooner or later, no matter who picked up the mantle, the SBC was going to reflect the theology and social agenda that was the perspective of most of its churches. Moderates didn't have anywhere near the kind of support that would have been necessary. They've never even been able to manage an effective "split." The pre-1979 leaders had been too arrogant, too patronizing, and too "liberal", not in a classical sense, but in those things that they wanted to push the convention into doing.
Last edited by Sandy on Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:31 am, edited 4 times in total.
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