Wade Burleson on Patterson admitting a Muslim

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Re: How is Wade Burleson not a fundamentalist

Postby Sandy » Mon May 19, 2014 4:42 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:
Sandy wrote:
"Fundamentalist" is a hate word ....


Sandy it can be used as such. But it is also a theological term that had meaning and used to be a word that fundamentalists were proud of when R.A. Torrey penned "The Fundamentals." During the fundamentalist/modernist controversy it was a term embraced by its constituency.

When fundamentalism became political and divisive it took on a negative tone and those in the camp chose to move away from it. So fundamentalism isn't a "hate word" it is a name brand that its original owners want to run from because now that many know what it means and see how at least some fundamentalists act, it isn't attractive to use any longer.

And certainly since the SBC Takeover and similar kinds of moves in denominations like the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, fundamentalists have taken on the reputation of those who force their theological views on other by ecclesial political means. I can understand why fundamentalists would like to rebrand. But the term "conservative" was already taken by those to the left of fundamentalists. So now fundamentalists calling themselves conservatives has just muddies the theological waters.


In this case, it has been used as a hate word. It was never used, and never applied to Southern Baptists from within until the controversy in the 70's sprang up and the moderates had no tools or abilities to stop the re-adjustment and re-alignment of the convention when it came to providing conservative leadership.

As I said, the term "fundamentalist," or with a capital F, is a self-defined label. The doctrinal distinctiveness is still very clear among those Baptists, mostly independent, who identify themselves as "Fundamental," meaning that they adhere to a very detailed and specific list of doctrinal principles that are wedded to church practices. They believe in inerrancy as expressed specifically in verbal, plenary inspiration, adherence to Bible translations that use only Textus Receptus, churches that are completely autonomous and completely independent of anything that would identify them with ecclesiastical authority including a "convention", belief that baptismal authority can be traced back through a line of true believers to John the Baptist and Jesus and at any rate through a confessional faith. While their general list of "essentials" or "fundamentals" may seem to be something held in common with most other Baptists, examining the meaning and interpretation they put on those things clearly separates them at some distance from the vast majority of Southern Baptists.

If you want to broadly apply the term to Southern Baptists, then you must also apply it to another 20 million or so conservative Evangelicals who hold a high percentage of doctrine, theology and practice in common with Southern Baptist churches. The true, self-identified Fundamentalists never accept or go along with such comparisons, and there's a substantial difference when you examine doctrine and practice closely. Southern Baptists have, for the most part, never been fundamentalists and never will be.
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Re: Wade Burleson on Patterson admitting a Muslim

Postby Sandy » Mon May 19, 2014 4:48 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:Here is a question I've not heard an answer to. Why the policy in the first place? What possible had could there be in a Muslim studying at a Baptist seminary? No one is going to mistake him for a Southern Baptist. Why the rule?


The SBC schools are seminaries, not divinity schools. The courses of study are designed exclusively to prepare students for Christian ministry, either in local churches or in the denomination on the mission field. Enrollment requires a local church endorsement of the student''s testimony and call to ministry. A degree from one of them is a document which tells churches that this individual has completed a course of study that has prepared them for Christian missions or ministry. That's the school's sole purpose. How could you endorse a Muslim for that?
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Re: Wade Burleson on Patterson admitting a Muslim

Postby Timothy Bonney » Mon May 19, 2014 4:56 pm

Sandy wrote:The SBC schools are seminaries, not divinity schools. The courses of study are designed exclusively to prepare students for Christian ministry, either in local churches or in the denomination on the mission field. Enrollment requires a local church endorsement of the student''s testimony and call to ministry. A degree from one of them is a document which tells churches that this individual has completed a course of study that has prepared them for Christian missions or ministry. That's the school's sole purpose. How could you endorse a Muslim for that?


I'd forgotten how much a closed shop SBC seminaries are. Remember I was last admitted to an SBC seminary 27 years ago. I don't remember the paper work.

Also ABC/USA and many other Baptist seminaries are not denominationally controlled. Having a seminary degree isn't considered any kind of endorsement for fitness for ministry. The ABC does that through Regional ordination committees. After all, getting a seminary degree doesn't prove call to ministry. I know there are other systems in other Baptist groups.

Also I don't think you can make a distinction outside the SBC between "seminaries" and "divinity schools." There are a lot of seminaries that aren't controlled by the denomination they are related to. That is an SBC thing, not a general denominational thing.
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Re: Wade Burleson on Patterson admitting a Muslim

Postby Sandy » Mon May 19, 2014 6:45 pm

Closed shop, perhaps. But you must also remember that the SBC provides 70% of the cost of attending seminary from CP gifts. The promotion in giving that money is that it supports theological education for missionaries and ministers. When I was in school at Southwestern, it was closer to 90% of the cost. That's based on the belief that the education of its ministers is a responsibility of the church. The trustees are obligated to honor that commitment, as is the administration.

Ordination and call to ministry in an SBC church is strictly a local church responsibility. So the denomination has designed a way for a church to recognize a candidate as qualified and endorsed, first by another church where they held membership endorsing their call so they can be admitted to seminary, and then by the seminary awarding their degree. ABC-USA is the only Baptist denomination I know of that has a board which endorses ministers, and your friend Janelle in South Bend is the first ABC-USA minister I've met that was serving a church as an endorsed minister. The others I've known were called directly by the church, with a degree from an SBC seminary.
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Re: Wade Burleson on Patterson admitting a Muslim

Postby Timothy Bonney » Mon May 19, 2014 7:00 pm

I do know Sandy that non-SBC folks have been allowed to attend SBTS while paying a higher tuition rate. I just don't see the hang up with a non-Christian taking classes at a seminary if he is paying his own way. It sounds like the paper work would have to be changed. But there is always the chance you could get a convert. I'm not sure it actually helps the SBC to prevent non-ministry candidates from attending. That is the denominations call of course.

Also, the General Baptists have an endorsement process as well through a "presbytery." I ran across this practice while in Indiana. What it amounts to is that I imagine that each Baptist group has their own system and your mileage may vary.

I occasionally hear from Janell on Facebook. She is a good pastor! :)
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Re: Wade Burleson on Patterson admitting a Muslim

Postby Sandy » Mon May 19, 2014 7:08 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:I do know Sandy that non-SBC folks have been allowed to attend SBTS while paying a higher tuition rate. I just don't see the hang up with a non-Christian taking classes at a seminary if he is paying his own way. It sounds like the paper work would have to be changed. But there is always the chance you could get a convert. I'm not sure it actually helps the SBC to prevent non-ministry candidates from attending. That is the denominations call of course.

Also, the General Baptists have an endorsement process as well through a "presbytery." I ran across this practice while in Indiana. What it amounts to is that I imagine that each Baptist group has their own system and your mileage may vary.

I occasionally hear from Janell on Facebook. She is a good pastor! :)


There were non-SBC students at Southwestern when I was there, but they were still required to provide an endorsement of their call to ministry from their church. They paid a higher tuition rate, though much of the cost of their education is still subsidized by the CP. A close friend of mine who was there was preparing to serve a Reformed Presbyterian church, and they required a seminary degree for his endorsement, and were willing to recognize his Southwestern degree. I don't see how a non-Christian would benefit from, or be able to adjust to an educational philosophy that comes from people that his religion universally considers infidels and heretics. If you think of your professor as an infidel, what's the value of that? What can you learn?

Janelle has remained faithful and committed to a congregation that I would kindly describe as difficult to pastor. She's stayed where a lot of men would have left long ago.
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Re: Wade Burleson on Patterson admitting a Muslim

Postby Timothy Bonney » Mon May 19, 2014 7:15 pm

I'm afraid you are mischaracterizing many in Islamic faith. Many Muslims do not consider Christians to be heretics or infidels and I doubt a Muslim interested in attending a Christian seminary would consider such. Not all Muslims are extremist Muslims any more than all Christians are conservative, liberal, etc.
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Re: Wade Burleson on Patterson admitting a Muslim

Postby Timothy Bonney » Mon May 19, 2014 7:18 pm

Sandy, we aren't going to convince each other. But I would note this is the one and only time you are likely to ever see me defend the actions of Paige Patterson while you are opposing them. :lol: Someone record the date. :wink:
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Re: Wade Burleson on Patterson admitting a Muslim

Postby Sandy » Mon May 19, 2014 7:52 pm

The Koran's definition of infidel applies universally to Christians. Individual Muslims may not act like they accept that, but it's part of the cornerstone and foundation of the religion. At any rate, it is a violation of the seminary's policy, and Patterson should have consulted the trustees first, and got their approval. Now he's going to have an uproar on his hands at least as significant as that which brought Richard Land down.
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Re: Wade Burleson on Patterson admitting a Muslim

Postby Timothy Bonney » Mon May 19, 2014 8:17 pm

That isn't the way al Muslims interpret the Koran. The Bible also says to stone adulterers. We don't follow that either.

I know from personal experience with the Muslim community in several places that they do not interpret it that Christians are infidels etc. If you want to argue with them about their own holy book feel free. But I'd say they have the right to interpret their own faith just like Christians have the right to interpret the Bible. :)
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Re: Wade Burleson on Patterson admitting a Muslim

Postby Sandy » Mon May 19, 2014 10:10 pm

Islam is an authoritarian religion. Personal interpretation of the Koran may occur in extremely rare, isolated instances, but the Imams and Ayatollahs are the only interpreters of the Koran, and the religion teaches that it is heresy to even read passages from the Koran in a language aside from Arabic, much less allow for personal interpretation. You may know a few Muslims here or there who are far enough outside the culture to venture a conversation with a Christian, but that's not representative of Islam as a whole, or even an extremely small faction of it. Even in some of the most moderate Islamic countries, Christianity is barely tolerated, missionaries are not allowed, and families disown members who convert. Exceptions don't support your contention.

The Old Testament says to stone adulterers, and rebellious children. But the crux of Christian theology is the New Testament. Jesus reinterpreted that. He had the authority.
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Re: Wade Burleson on Patterson admitting a Muslim

Postby Timothy Bonney » Mon May 19, 2014 10:30 pm

You need to meet some other Muslims Sandy, it might broaden your horizons. I wasn't talking about people on the fringe of the faith. I was talking about Imams I've met in my interfaith work in the Des Moines Area Religious Council. They aren't outside or on the fringe, they are their faith leaders. I'm talking about neighbors who have shared with me what they are taught. I'm talking about Muslims in the US not in Iraq. Maybe I just have known more persons in the Islamic faith than you have?

I'm not saying their aren't Muslims who don't think that Christians are infidels. I'm saying that you are making a huge assumption saying that is what most Muslims believe, what most Muslims in the US believe, or even more so what the individual Muslim believes who is at SWBTS.
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Re: Wade Burleson on Patterson admitting a Muslim

Postby Timothy Bonney » Mon May 19, 2014 10:32 pm

Sandy wrote:
The Old Testament says to stone adulterers, and rebellious children. But the crux of Christian theology is the New Testament. Jesus reinterpreted that. He had the authority.


I wish conservative Christians would remember that when they start quoting the holiness code for sexual issues. :lol: But then Jesus was removed as the criterian for faith for Southern Baptists in the BFM. So who knows?
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Re: Wade Burleson on Patterson admitting a Muslim

Postby Sandy » Tue May 20, 2014 6:14 am

Timothy Bonney wrote:I wish conservative Christians would remember that when they start quoting the holiness code for sexual issues.


Jesus reinterpreted that as well.

"Matthew 19:4-6" “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Timothy Bonney wrote: But then Jesus was removed as the criterian for faith for Southern Baptists in the BFM. So who knows?


Jesus was not removed as the "criterion for faith." The statement in the previous BFM versions "Jesus is the criterion by which all scripture is interpreted" is nebulous and lacks definition. It was changed to " All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation".

I'd say the ones who have removed Jesus as the criterion for faith are those who feel they can interpret the Bible any way they choose.
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Re: Wade Burleson on Patterson admitting a Muslim

Postby Haruo » Tue May 20, 2014 11:10 am

If it's "a seminary, not a divinity school", let alone "a grad school", then what is an archaeology degree doing in its repertoire? (Or home ec?)
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Re: Wade Burleson on Patterson admitting a Muslim

Postby Sandy » Tue May 20, 2014 12:55 pm

In looking at the catalog descriptions, the degree isn't in archaology. It is an MA or a PhD in Biblical Studies and Archaeology, and its ministry purpose is in the field of Biblical apologetics.

The Home ec is designed for those women who aren't necessarily planning a career outside the home, as their husband serves in vocational ministry. I don't see that as a problem. A good portion of the degree is in Biblical studies as well, We live in a culture where such skills are not necessarily taught at home, and if a family chooses to have the wife at home, the "economics" part of home economics is always helpful. The Biblical studies can be useful preparation for a lot of things.
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Re: Wade Burleson on Patterson admitting a Muslim

Postby Haruo » Tue May 20, 2014 10:11 pm

Sandy, you wrote earlier, "The courses of study are designed exclusively to prepare students for Christian ministry, either in local churches or in the denomination on the mission field. Enrollment requires a local church endorsement of the student''s testimony and call to ministry. A degree from one of them is a document which tells churches that this individual has completed a course of study that has prepared them for Christian missions or ministry."

Your insistent "Islam teaches X" assertions sound just like the descriptions of Christianity that I used to run up against with atheists in the Godless Zone forum. Islam is not as monolithic as you (and the ayatollahs) make it sound. Your willingness to swallow the hard line description hook, line and sinker simply feeds mutual intolerance and makes life harder for those Muslims who do not buy that c**p. Christianity (let alone Jesus) does not teach what the IFB folks insist it does (nor what the "strict" Roman Catholics insist it does). And Islam (or Muhammad PBUH) does not teach whatever a particular bunch of "clerics" (Ayatollahs) or "seminarians" (Taliban) insist it does.
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Re: Wade Burleson on Patterson admitting a Muslim

Postby Sandy » Tue May 20, 2014 11:39 pm

You're comparing apples and oranges, Haruo.

The Imams and Ayatollahs are Islam. The small communities of Muslims that you encounter in the US are, for the most part, isolated from the core of the religion itself, not representative of it, and in most cases, are probably considered heretics and infidels by most segments of Islam.

I went to a seminar at Rice University several years ago on Understanding Islam. It wasn't as apologetic as some of the comments on this board, and it was pretty easy to distinguish between the various perspectives. There is a fringe of Islam that tolerates Christians, as well as a fringe of Islam that thinks it is their duty to murder infidels. But what is more telling about the core beliefs is what happens when a family member converts. Even the highly educated, Americanized Muslims disown famly members who reject the faith, and their reaction to perceived heresy is much more hard line fundamentalist in nature than the furthest to the right Baptists.

I do not feed intolerance. If someone hates me because of what I have chosen to believe or not to believe, intolerance is their problem, not mine.

Several years ago, I participated in a program of religious dialogue in Houston, the "Amazing Faiths Project." The dinner for the first group gathering was held at the home of a D of C pastor. I was in a group of eight that included four Christians, two Muslims and two Jews. The Muslims brought their own utensils, would not sit at the table with us, and went through some ritual when the scripture was read. OK. I can respect that. But they were barely tolerant.
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Re: Wade Burleson on Patterson admitting a Muslim

Postby William Thornton » Wed May 21, 2014 6:17 am

Sandy wrote:In looking at the catalog descriptions, the degree isn't in archaology. It is an MA or a PhD in Biblical Studies and Archaeology, and its ministry purpose is in the field of Biblical apologetics.

The Home ec is designed for those women who aren't necessarily planning a career outside the home, as their husband serves in vocational ministry. I don't see that as a problem. A good portion of the degree is in Biblical studies as well, We live in a culture where such skills are not necessarily taught at home, and if a family chooses to have the wife at home, the "economics" part of home economics is always helpful. The Biblical studies can be useful preparation for a lot of things.


The home ec program is one that I do not favor for use of our common SBC dollars.
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Re: Wade Burleson on Patterson admitting a Muslim

Postby Ed Pettibone » Wed May 21, 2014 8:55 am

William Thornton wrote:
Sandy wrote:In looking at the catalog descriptions, the degree isn't in archaology. It is an MA or a PhD in Biblical Studies and Archaeology, and its ministry purpose is in the field of Biblical apologetics.

The Home ec is designed for those women who aren't necessarily planning a career outside the home, as their husband serves in vocational ministry. I don't see that as a problem. A good portion of the degree is in Biblical studies as well, We live in a culture where such skills are not necessarily taught at home, and if a family chooses to have the wife at home, the "economics" part of home economics is always helpful. The Biblical studies can be useful preparation for a lot of things.


The home ec program is one that I do not favor for use of our common SBC dollars.


Having seen both Paige and Dorthy, I wonder if the Home Ec program teaches about proper nutrition. I am sure there must be a course on creative hat design.
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