Baptists Today and the souls of pickles...

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Re: Baptists Today and the souls of pickles...

Postby Sandy » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:28 am

Tim Bonney wrote:Nope. An anti-education attitude is actually a well known hallmark of fundamentalism. If you don't want people to figure out that fundamentalism doesn't make sense it is easier if you keep them from studying theology, church history, Biblical languages, or anything outside the fundamentalist world view.


Then Southern Baptist seminaries, and the vast majority of state-convention related colleges and universities under the "conservative" label, are far, far, far from being Fundamentalist, if having an "anti-education" attitude, and resistance to studying theology, church history, or Biblical languages is your definition of Fundamentalist. You are clearly not familiar with either the curriculum, or the way it is being taught in the six seminaries directly related to the SBC. The difference is that Southern Baptist schools study the Bible as the authoritative document for Christian faith and practice. "Academic freedom" is the well known catch phrase for departing from that standard.

How can you produce consistent and reliable "theologians" when you have "academic freedom" where professors teach their own subjective biases and opinions based on inwardly focused "research" and have no objective basis for their philosophy or their conclusions? It may sound impressive to have a collection of profound statements and citations from the most prestigious of sources, but if they are not founded on scripture, and do not accept the infallible authority of the Bible, they are flawed, and whatever reasoning you come up with will be no less flawed than the source you cited.

Your attitude toward Sunday School, as evidenced in your extremely uninformed comment regarding both my Sunday School and college experience, is, frankly, very, very sad coming from a pastor. I'd give a whole lot more for a well prepared Sunday School teacher who spends the time and makes the effort to take scriptural truth and break it down and simplify it so that the "common folk" in the class can understand it, and apply it, than I would for some left wing theology professor in some academic ivory tower dwelling in some ethereal netherland. That is an attitude not unlike those of the megachurch pastors of congregations on multiple campuses who deliver sermons via video transmission because they think they are the only one with the preaching skills and the educational background qualified to preach. I guess your church doesn't bother with Sunday School, because with your attitude, it would be a waste of time.
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Re: Baptists Today and the souls of pickles...

Postby William Thornton » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:35 am

KeithE wrote:
William Thornton wrote: Those who pay the bills have a right to expect of their employees behavior consistent with their desires and not contrary to them.

So ultimately the person with the money can deny anyone he pays off their basic freedom of speech and action.


This isn't rocket science and I cannot believe you would attempt this bit of nonsense. The gummit cannot stifle speech. Private businesses certainly may and do it regularly. Those who own the school are not required to fund the speech of others. They may certainly squelch their employees freedom to speak while receiving paychecks from the school. If it is important enough to the employees, they may freely exercise their rights to speech and use any street corner, any hilltop, their own blog, or any church that would have them. They may not maintain their employment status after doing so, though.

I suggest as a test case you start using your business email, letterhead, meetings, presentations to offer some of your speech and see if your company takes action to deny you your basic freedom of speech and action.
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Re: Baptists Today and the souls of pickles...

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:45 am

KeithE wrote:
William Thornton wrote: Those who pay the bills have a right to expect of their employees behavior consistent with their desires and not contrary to them.


So ultimately the person with the money can deny anyone he pays off their basic freedom of speech and action.


That is the way it looks to me Keith. To me it is akin to the wealthiest person in your local church being allowed or encouraged to run the local church because she/he gives the most money not because she/he knows what they are doing.
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Re: Baptists Today and the souls of pickles...

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:57 am

William Thornton wrote:
This isn't rocket science and I cannot believe you would attempt this bit of nonsense. The gummit cannot stifle speech. Private businesses certainly may and do it regularly.


To me this isn't so much about speech rights as it is about how doctrine is determined. Since the SBC doesn't have church law or official doctrines that anyone has to follow who really is determining what doctrine is taught in the seminaries? You believe it is the people who pay the money. But I don't remember very many lay people when I was a Baptist knowing much of anything about what was taught in any seminary. So aren't you really saying that the SBC denominational employees who control the money given by the lay people are going to decide what is taught by the seminaries? If that is what really happens that isn't the same as the people who gave the money determining what is taught. That is a top down denominational entity deciding what it taught. That seems very odd to me for a congregationalist denomination that claims to be bottom up.
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Re: Baptists Today and the souls of pickles...

Postby William Thornton » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:54 am

Tim Bonney wrote:
William Thornton wrote:
This isn't rocket science and I cannot believe you would attempt this bit of nonsense. The gummit cannot stifle speech. Private businesses certainly may and do it regularly.


To me this isn't so much about speech rights as it is about how doctrine is determined. Since the SBC doesn't have church law or official doctrines that anyone has to follow who really is determining what doctrine is taught in the seminaries? You believe it is the people who pay the money. But I don't remember very many lay people when I was a Baptist knowing much of anything about what was taught in any seminary. So aren't you really saying that the SBC denominational employees who control the money given by the lay people are going to decide what is taught by the seminaries? If that is what really happens that isn't the same as the people who gave the money determining what is taught. That is a top down denominational entity deciding what it taught. That seems very odd to me for a congregationalist denomination that claims to be bottom up.


Trustees are not denominational employees. They control the money. They are put in position by ordinary people who attend and vote.

Pressler had but his own vote. Patterson had but his own vote. Rogers had one vote. Together they fell far short of critical mass to change anything. You have a point if you maintain that high profile non-denominational employees asserted their power through their ability to persuade others to vote at the annual meetings. That is, my hierarchically inclined colleague, bottom up. Did you forget that there were no prominent denominational employees who were with Rogers et al?

Theology is far too important to be left to the theologians, anyway, to paraphrase an axiom attributed to Clemenceau and others.
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Furman and Pickles

Postby Stephen Fox » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:32 am

The greater truth in this conversation to date lies with BDW. Fundamentalist education just doesn't stack up. It is short on the Enlightenment and in the SBC long on the John Birch Society. See the family history of Paul Pressler, and Chandler Davidson History of W.A. Criswell.

BDW I hope you can get your hands on the Fall Issue of the Furman alum mag 20 years after the break with SBC.

And depending on how serious, just what amount of truth Sandy and Dr. Thornton are interested in on this matter, Jeff Rogers presentation In the early 90's What Really Matters, published by Smyth and Helwys is the definitive essay on this subject. I recommended it to David Rogers several years ago; but I imagine folks like Dave Miller of SBC Voices will go to his grave without ever engaging Jeff Rogers thought.
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Pressler's one vote

Postby Stephen Fox » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:36 am

Pressler's Exxon family of Houston Had also mastered the demagoguery and sinister politics of the John Birch Society and Fireside Chats in his political maneuverings of the SBC. And they would routinely unload the master demagogue Criswell and his sychophants Vines and Adrian Rogers in the Pastor's Conference to get ready for the Presidential votes on Tuesday. The KKK at their best couldn't staged better lynchings than the Pressler and Helms SBC of the 80's.
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Re: Pressler's one vote

Postby Sandy » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:53 am

Stephen Fox wrote:Pressler's Exxon family of Houston Had also mastered the demagoguery and sinister politics of the John Birch Society and Fireside Chats in his political maneuverings of the SBC. And they would routinely unload the master demagogue Criswell and his sychophants Vines and Adrian Rogers in the Pastor's Conference to get ready for the Presidential votes on Tuesday. The KKK at their best couldn't staged better lynchings than the Pressler and Helms SBC of the 80's.


What constitutional provision or SBC bylaw prevented participants in the pastor's conference from voting at the SBC? For that matter, what prohibited moderates from conducting their own little bit of demagoguery in conducting pre-convention rallies before the Presidential vote on Tuesday? Yep, that's right, Stephen, they did.

Lynching isn't really a good analogy, Stephen. The moderates hung themselves. I remember watching a televised debate in Houston between Lester Collins, pastor of Tallowood Baptist Church and Ken Chafin who was at South Main at the time, on one side, and John Bisagno of First Baptist Houston, and Pressler on the other side. I can't remember whether it was Pressler or Bisagno who asked the question, but one of them picked up a Bible and asked if the others believed that, translation difficulties aside, what he held in his hands was the written word of God, having truth without any mixture of error for its matter. I could never understand why Chafin and Collins just didn't say "Yes." That was the exact wording of the 1963 BFM which they claimed to accept. But Chafin couldn't answer a simple question without losing the audience in some theological gobblety gook. He wasn't the only moderate pastor or professor who had that problem. Patterson and Pressler knew that the crux of the issue was Biblical authority, that most of the SBC's entrenched bureaucrats and inner circle leadership wouldn't "just say yes," that the level of disatisfaction with the SBC leadership at the time was high, and that Southern Baptists in the churches wouldn't accept leadership that left the perception that the Bible wasn't completely trustworthy. There was more than enough evidence in the published works of many seminary profs, and some college profs at the state convention schools, hence their own rope.

There were plenty of professors on the teaching staffs of all six schools who, during that time, said "yes" in answer to the question, who stayed on in some cases for years after the controversy, and retired with full pension and benefits, who never complained about their academic freedom being violated. More than anything else, that is solid evidence of the fact that there was no "takeover" of anything.
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James Burkee on the Missouri Synod

Postby Stephen Fox » Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:24 pm

Is instructive analogy,Sandy for what Pressler did in the SBC.

And there is a Birch component as you might imagine.

As for Chafin, I saw him in Bham April 9th 1987. He said: "A Bible in the hands of a believer who not submit it to rational means of investigation is a dangerous things and has often been used to buttress up injustice"

See Criswell 56 in Columbia S.C.; Pressler, Helms and Albert Lee Smith and the Birch Society; and all on stage 1980 in Dallas with Ed McAteer and Adrian Rogers to introduce the rule of the righteous (lol)
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Re: Pressler's one vote

Postby William Thornton » Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:25 pm

Stephen Fox wrote: The KKK at their best couldn't staged better lynchings than the Pressler and Helms SBC of the 80's.


Sure they could, Stephen, and they did and people died. Better get another analogy if you want to make a cogent point.
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Interview with Burkee

Postby Stephen Fox » Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:28 pm

http://fortresspress.com/media/download ... erview.pdf

Lynching an imperfect analogy but ask Randall Lolley and Russell Dilday if they didn't feel lynched by Pressler's hand picked seminary trustees?

See the oft linked harangue of Criswell in 56 and Stewart Newman's response about the blood of many martyrs

And remember had he not been shot in Memphis, the next day April 5, Martin Luther King was to be in Winder Ga at the Cane Creek massacre site.
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Re: Baptists Today and the souls of pickles...

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:38 pm

William Thornton wrote:Trustees are not denominational employees. They control the money. They are put in position by ordinary people who attend and vote.


Sort of. They are put in position by the people who attend the convention where a slate of trustees is presented to them to vote on. Isn't that the way it works?

So really it doesn't have a lot to do with the people who gave the money does it? I don't see a correlation between the folks in the pew who gave the money most of whom never attend the SBC and never ever get to serve as a Trustee and theology being decided by the people who pay for the seminaries.

Isn't it closer to facts that people who are chosen and elected through convention political means decide the theology of the seminary? And aren't those persons nominated for their positions often for the theo-political views they hold?

I just don't really see a connection between the people that pay the bills and the people who make the decisions, at least not a very direct on.

And of course, what you've said being the case I guess that means that each board of trustees could decide differing theological stances for their seminary than every other board couldn't they?
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Re: Interview with Burkee

Postby William Thornton » Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:39 pm

Stephen Fox wrote: Lynching an imperfect analogy but ask Randall Lolley and Russell Dilday if they didn't feel lynched by Pressler's hand picked seminary trustees?


You ask them. If they answer "yes" then congratulate them on devaluing the Moore's Ford and many other victims of lynchings.
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Re: Baptists Today and the souls of pickles...

Postby William Thornton » Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:43 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:
William Thornton wrote:Trustees are not denominational employees. They control the money. They are put in position by ordinary people who attend and vote.


Sort of. They are put in position by the people who attend the convention where a slate of trustees is presented to them to vote on. Isn't that the way it works?

So really it doesn't have a lot to do with the people who gave the money does it? I don't see a correlation between the folks in the pew who gave the money most of whom never attend the SBC and never ever get to serve as a Trustee and theology being decided by the people who pay for the seminaries.

Isn't it closer to facts that people who are chosen and elected through convention political means decide the theology of the seminary? And aren't those persons nominated for their positions often for the theo-political views they hold?

I just don't really see a connection between the people that pay the bills and the people who make the decisions, at least not a very direct on.


Sort of my eye. Have you forgotten that the whole strategy of the CR was to replace trustees and that can only be done if sufficient grass roots folks, pastors and laypeople, show up and vote.

And of course, what you've said being the case I guess that means that each board of trustees could decide differing theological stances for their seminary than every other board couldn't they?


The trustee system has a few complications concerning ownership but I think that generally you make a correct statement (and, congratulations, you aren't skunked in this discussion) but there are some concrete limitations.
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Re: Baptists Today and the souls of pickles...

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:53 pm

William Thornton wrote:Sort of my eye. Have you forgotten that the whole strategy of the CR was to replace trustees and that can only be done if sufficient grass roots folks, pastors and laypeople, show up and vote.


No, I've not forgotten. But also know how a lot of those "grass roots folks" were recruited. Because the seminaries are own by the Convention it made them the center of a lot of political shenanigans during the takeover.

The great thing about denominationally supported seminaries is that is really allows for a reduction of the cost of seminary education. Mainline schools are a lot more expensive. But it also means there is a lot less academic freedom. (Sandy I know you think that term is vague. You might look up "freedom" in the dictionary. Or in Baptist history. :lol: )

The trustee system has a few complications concerning ownership but I think that generally you make a correct statement (and, congratulations, you aren't skunked in this discussion) but there are some concrete limitations.


I'm sure there are some limitations. But as a young seminary student I found it pretty frightening that theology was being decided by politics rather than by theologians. That probably is where I first started questioning the whole system. I don't think Christian politics is a good way to decide doctrine.
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Re: Baptists Today and the souls of pickles...

Postby Tom Parker » Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:07 pm

KeithE wrote:
William Thornton wrote: Those who pay the bills have a right to expect of their employees behavior consistent with their desires and not contrary to them.

So ultimately the person with the money can deny anyone he pays off their basic freedom of speech and action.

Keith: I guess I would say I am surprised by Williams position but not really.

It astounds me those who have been in Southern Baptist life for years and William has, can say--"Those who pay the bills have a right to expect of their employees behavior consistent with their desires and not contrary to them."

IMO this argument was just an excuse to TAKEOVER the SBC and had nothing to do with innerancy, taking the Bible back, etc.

The argument made by William which supports a political solution IMO, cut the very heart out of the SBC.

What is left of the SBC after the TAKEOVER is just a shadow of a once great organization IMO.
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Re: Baptists Today and the souls of pickles...

Postby Dave Roberts » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:03 pm

Instead of needing a "Bible we can control" as Al Mohler said of the HCSB, it sounds like there is a need to be controlled by the Lord of the Bible, not our presuppositions about it.
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Re: Baptists Today and the souls of pickles...

Postby KeithE » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:18 pm

William Thornton wrote:
KeithE wrote:
William Thornton wrote: Those who pay the bills have a right to expect of their employees behavior consistent with their desires and not contrary to them.

So ultimately the person with the money can deny anyone he pays off their basic freedom of speech and action.


This isn't rocket science and I cannot believe you would attempt this bit of nonsense. The gummit cannot stifle speech. Private businesses certainly may and do it regularly. Those who own the school are not required to fund the speech of others. They may certainly squelch their employees freedom to speak while receiving paychecks from the school. If it is important enough to the employees, they may freely exercise their rights to speech and use any street corner, any hilltop, their own blog, or any church that would have them. They may not maintain their employment status after doing so, though.

I suggest as a test case you start using your business email, letterhead, meetings, presentations to offer some of your speech and see if your company takes action to deny you your basic freedom of speech and action.


What is nonsense about it William? A learning institute should have a high degree of academic freedom else it becomes an indoctrination center. There are limits of course (e.g setting the school on fire or actually being so insane as to say “pickles have souls” could legitimize a firing). Those limits are tighter at the more fundamentalist seminaries like the SCB’s; tighter than they ought to be, imo.

As to promulgating my views at work (be they conservative or liberal or whatever), I am free to do so privately or in small groups; but not in work presentations (no matter what political or religious viewpoint is expressed). Even my 9/11 views are well known at Willbrook (my small 50 person company) - the President knew about my views before he hired me. And my close workmates at the government facility where I work (Missile Defense Agency ~ 6000 employees) know about my views - when I first brought my 9/11 views up in Sept 2004, I took some flack; but most were respectful and several (9) are converted 9/11 truthers (although I think one has recanted). There are more conservatives for sure at MDA and Willbrook, but a fair number of liberals as well (many liberals like working purely defensive systems). Most are quite tolerant (I can’t think of any as die hard conservative as you or ET, although there are some cars plastered with con bumper stickers at MDA).

In short I would not work at a place that was intolerant of reasonable views (and there is a wideness about what I would consider “reasonable”).
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Re: Pressler's one vote

Postby KeithE » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:30 pm

William Thornton wrote:
Stephen Fox wrote: The KKK at their best couldn't staged better lynchings than the Pressler and Helms SBC of the 80's.


Sure they could, Stephen, and they did and people died. Better get another analogy if you want to make a cogent point.

I’d agree with you there William. But Stephen probably is not speaking literally. Perhaps we can talk about in Gainesville.
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Re: Baptists Today and the souls of pickles...

Postby Tom Parker » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:35 pm

Keith:

I would say it this way--the TAKEOVER did "kill" many people in SBC life, fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Was it really worth it?
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Re: Baptists Today and the souls of pickles...

Postby Tim Bonney » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:12 am

Tom Parker wrote:Keith:

I would say it this way--the TAKEOVER did "kill" many people in SBC life, fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Was it really worth it?


Power is always "worth it" to those who seeks it. The side effect is a lot of us found out that there are a lot of other churches out there who are happy to take us in and allow us to minister in the name of Christ.
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Re: Baptists Today and the souls of pickles...

Postby Sandy » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:19 am

KeithE wrote:What is nonsense about it William? A learning institute should have a high degree of academic freedom else it becomes an indoctrination center. There are limits of course (e.g setting the school on fire or actually being so insane as to say “pickles have souls” could legitimize a firing). Those limits are tighter at the more fundamentalist seminaries like the SCB’s; tighter than they ought to be, imo.


What theological educational authority are you quoting to determine that "a learning institute should have a high degree of academic freedom else it becomes an indoctrination center"? I've heard that rhetoric for years, and it has never been substantiated beyond being either someone's opinion, or a conclusion drawn by secular, public education, which is completely irrelevant and inapplicable to theological education. Theological education is nothing more than Christian discipleship, it has an objective standard in the scripture, and an interactive element involving the Holy Spirit in the process of illumination. Theological education that has a high degree of "academic freedom" eventually becomes what Paul calls "having a form of religion but denying the power of it." It drifts into humanism, pure and simple.

The product of the completely secular idea of academic freedom in a theological educational setting is eventual agnosticism or practical atheism. I have a good friend whose son spent four years at Biola University, and then decided he wanted to go to seminary at Princeton, where they convinced him that the Bible is just a collection of myths and God is some abstract human idea, and not a real being. And they'll send him to some PCUSA or UCC congregation to preach that crock of baloney and try to tend to their spiritual needs without God being involved in the ministry. When you give your soul to God, and receive forgiveness for sin through the atonement of Christ, you belong to him, you are not your own, and your personal freedom comes through Jesus, not through your own ideas, or the theorizing of ivory tower academics. The SBC's leadership prior to 1979, and many of its seminary professors, forgot that, and the churches made a very assertive and clear change of direction.
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Re: Baptists Today and the souls of pickles...

Postby Sandy » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:24 am

Tim Bonney wrote:
Tom Parker wrote:Keith:

I would say it this way--the TAKEOVER did "kill" many people in SBC life, fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Was it really worth it?


Power is always "worth it" to those who seeks it. The side effect is a lot of us found out that there are a lot of other churches out there who are happy to take us in and allow us to minister in the name of Christ.


Yeah, yeah, whatever.

It was absolutely worth it, for the SBC to have genuinely Biblical theological seminaries where the pursuit of Biblical truth is the primary student outcome, and the Bible is the objective authority for instruction.
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Re: Baptists Today and the souls of pickles...

Postby Tom Parker » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:00 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:
Tom Parker wrote:Keith:

I would say it this way--the TAKEOVER did "kill" many people in SBC life, fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Was it really worth it?


Power is always "worth it" to those who seeks it. The side effect is a lot of us found out that there are a lot of other churches out there who are happy to take us in and allow us to minister in the name of Christ.



I have always been astounded that those that took over the SBC never have felt the need to recognize the damage done to individual lives, churches, etc. It is as if these people, churches, etc. are just collateral damage. IMO this attitude is being passed to the seminarians in the SBC seminaries. These folks are taught to be the RULER.
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Re: Baptists Today and the souls of pickles...

Postby Dave Roberts » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:02 pm

Sandy wrote:
It was absolutely worth it, for the SBC to have genuinely Biblical theological seminaries where the pursuit of Biblical truth is the primary student outcome, and the Bible is the objective authority for instruction.


So then you are saying that Mohler's Calvinism is biblical and that Page Patterson's machine-gun firing chapel was like Jesus? If so, then you and I may not have the same idea of Jesus.
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