Honeycutt's holy war

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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby Dave Roberts » Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:47 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:
Dave Roberts wrote:Sandy, who noted the anniversary? I didn't know William was a moderate.


Anniversary of what?? The only anniversary I keep track of is my wedding anniversary. :D


Anniversary of Honeycutt's sermon, I think. It certainly wasn't on my radar.
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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:56 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:Anniversary of Honeycutt's sermon, I think. It certainly wasn't on my radar.


LOL, I always liked Dr. Honeycutt's preaching. But I can't say I ever knew or celebrated an anniversary of a sermon.
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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby Sandy » Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:57 pm

ABP noted it, and William posted it here. So apparently it was on their radar screen.
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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Oct 02, 2014 8:04 pm

Sandy wrote:ABP noted it, and William posted it here. So apparently it was on their radar screen.


That hardly falls into the idea that moderates talk about this anniversary any chance they get. William, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think of William as part of the moderate camp. So one press outlet notices an anniversary and suddenly you tar all moderates with something?
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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby William Thornton » Thu Oct 02, 2014 8:16 pm

I'm trying to be very moderate in my eating right now.

And, yep, I started it...but I knew my mod friends would be up to the task.
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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:00 pm

William Thornton wrote:I'm trying to be very moderate in my eating right now.

And, yep, I started it...but I knew my mod friends would be up to the task.


LOL William.
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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby Ed Pettibone » Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:26 pm

William Thornton wrote:I'm trying to be very moderate in my eating right now.

And, yep, I started it...but I knew my mod friends would be up to the task.


Ed: No William You didn't start it, You simply brought attention to Bob Allen's Item in ABP which was in response to the President of Mid Western Seminary who Allen identifies in the header as an SBC leader.

here it is: Monday, September 22, 2014 History
SBC leader says Honeycutt’s ‘holy war’ sermon was destined to fail

Aug. 28 marked the 30th anniversary of one of the most memorable sermons in a long-running struggle between factions vying for control of the Southern Baptist Convention in the late 20th century.

By Bob Allen

A current Southern Baptist Convention leader says looking back 30 years after Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Roy Honeycutt’s famous “Holy War Sermon,” the moderate Baptist leader’s call to arms seems destined to fail.

Among other things, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Jason Allen said in a Sept. 22 essay that Honeycutt’s attempt to mobilize and unify opposition five years into a movement today known as the “conservative resurgence” was too little and too late.

“Honeycutt’s declaration of holy war came too late, with inadequate strategy and insufficient follow-through,” he said. “Though the moderates would contest presidential elections until 1992, by 1984 the conservatives had already gained near-irreversible momentum.”


Great insight from one born 8 years before he says "the conservatives had already gained near-irreversible momentum" :wink:
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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby William Thornton » Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:32 am

Bob Allen thought Jason Allen's address concerning the Holy War sermon was newsworthy. So did I...so I started the discussion here.

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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby Dave Roberts » Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:43 am

So, it was a con at MWBTS who called attention to it. Actually, it had a very minor role, IMHO. It was too little, too late.
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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby Sandy » Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:09 am

Oh, come on. ABP and Parham jump on these anniversaries all the time. I'll be glad to drag the next one over here when it happens.
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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby Dave Roberts » Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:36 am

Sandy wrote:Oh, come on. ABP and Parham jump on these anniversaries all the time. I'll be glad to drag the next one over here when it happens.


I'll be glad for you to note them.
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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby William Thornton » Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:07 am

Dave Roberts wrote:So, it was a con at MWBTS who called attention to it. Actually, it had a very minor role, IMHO. It was too little, too late.


Yeah,I linked it at the start. Actually, as I explained the holy war sermon was significant, and a strategic error by mods.

I think Sandy is a bit under informed on Parham and ABP. Neither is nearly as prone to do anti-SBC stuff as they were formerly. Both sites are superior to their SBC equivalents, BP and ERLC.
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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby Sandy » Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:32 am

Ed Pettibone wrote:Ed: Sandy when you write "While Pressler's book, A Hill on Which to Die does contain documentation, it is much more self-serving and apologetic in terms of his own role, and has little value in establishing parameters of discussion of this issue, in much the same way as Bill Leonard's book."

I agree with your assessment of "A Hill on which to die" but In what way do you compare it to Leonard's "God's Last and Only Hope"? I assume that is Leonard's book you are talking about, he has written several more, not so limited to the controversy.

BTW You haven't answered my question about why you once embraced the CBF.


The tone of Leonard's book, God's Last and Only Hope, has elements in it which sound exactly like Pressler. I think Leonard was writing, in part to get his piece on the record, but in part, to secure his own position within the moderate fiefdom.

I became part of CBF after moving to Houston and joining South Main Baptist Church. I'd been in Kentucky, serving as associate staff in an extremely difficult church. The pastor was in a long running battle with the deacons, not over theology, but style of leadership. The last year I was there, I was elected as an officer in the Kentucky Southwestern Alumni chapter, and during my term, the other two officers resigned their churches and left the state. Right at that time, the trustees at Southwestern fired Russell Dilday. I wound up being "recruited" to meet with Kentucky's Southwestern trustees to "try to do something." At the time, the action seemed arbitrary and politically motivated. The trustees did meet with me, we of course got nowhere, and I left frustrated over encountering what seemed to be a cotton padded stone wall, nice on the surface, but rigid and unbending underneath. We resolved our church situation by leaving, and moving back to Houston, where I got in to Christian schooling and out of church staff ministry, and wound up joining South Main. Perhaps that was a conscious choice in reaction to what had occurred in Kentucky, perhaps not, but we certainly knew of South Main's position in the controversy, and joined it. Being part of CBF came about because of that choice, since South Main was its biggest single financial contributor at the time, and had dozens of people involved in its leadership. And essentially the only theological and doctrinal differences we noticed, at first, was the pastor's preterist view of end times (which, btw, I still firmly believe is the correct view). The church did have gay and lesbians in attendance, but I thought then, and still think, their way of handling that ministry is correct and Biblical.

Does that answer your question, Ed?
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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:07 am

Sandy, that's a good summary of why you joined a CBF church but it doesn't really explain your negativity to it now. That may be a personal story you don't want to share. If it is a story that comes out of conflict, I can understand that.
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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:20 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:Sandy, that's a good summary of why you joined a CBF church but it doesn't really explain your negativity to it now. That may be a personal story you don't want to share. If it is a story that comes out of conflict, I can understand that.


Ed: Sure it does Tim. As I read Sandy's excellent reply to my question, he joined CBF not out of conviction but be because at the time it was expedient. Which helps explains his subsequent parroting the takeover mantra with vitriol toward so many in CBF particularity those in Texas.

How ever I would like to hear what elements of Leonard's God's Last and Only Hope, Sandy sees as sounding "exactly like Pressler", I do not see it.
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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:37 pm

Maybe Ed. But I still think there is part of it that Sandy may not be saying. That's his business if he'd rather not get into it further.
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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby Sandy » Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:34 pm

Ed Pettibone wrote:
Timothy Bonney wrote:Sandy, that's a good summary of why you joined a CBF church but it doesn't really explain your negativity to it now. That may be a personal story you don't want to share. If it is a story that comes out of conflict, I can understand that.


Ed: Sure it does Tim. As I read Sandy's excellent reply to my question, he joined CBF not out of conviction but be because at the time it was expedient. Which helps explains his subsequent parroting the takeover mantra with vitriol toward so many in CBF particularity those in Texas.

How ever I would like to hear what elements of Leonard's God's Last and Only Hope, Sandy sees as sounding "exactly like Pressler", I do not see it.


The book is written from Leonard's personal perspective, and from the place where he sat in the SBC, which is the setting Pressler used as well. Leonard's work is intended to convince his readers that his view of everything which transpired is the correct one. Pressler does exactly the same thing. If I were teaching a class in SBC Controversy 101, I'd use Cauthen and Sutton as primary texts, Leonard and Pressler as supplemental reading.

I wouldn't agree that joining CBF was "expedient". Though CBF is something that individuals can join, we joined by moving our membership to a congregation for which CBF was their primary missions resource. At the time we joined, giving to the SBC was an option, but you had to designate your gift to the CP. We chose not to do that. There was an eight month period of time when we were absent from South Main, doing interim work in another congregation, and when we went back, South Main had severed ties with the SBC. We were members there for eight more years, I served on a couple of church committees, as a substitute Sunday School teacher, and eventually, teaching a young adult class for three years. I also led their Alpha course on Wednesdays for a couple of terms. During the time I was at South Main, the preaching was excellent, and I spent a lot of personal time in study and in developing my theological perspective. And while South Main is no longer an SBC congregation, largely because of the internal influences of church leadership, with Dr. Chafin at the top of that list, connected to many of the old, pre-1979 SBC leaders, it is not a church in which you would find very many members who believe the Bible has errors. The church adopted the 1963 BFM, and holds a very traditional Southern Baptist view that the scripture is “truth, without any mixture of error.”

There are a lot of personal incidents, most of them within theTexas Baptist group involved with CBF and not necessarily the national group, that convinced me I no longer needed to be involved, and I’m not going to elaborate on those here. CBF is stalled, with a serious decline in budget giving, downsizing its volunteer leadership, and lots of personnel transition. Its original executive leadership, Cecil Sherman and Daniel Vestal, brought in traditional, old line SBC thinking. They failed to reverse a substantial budget giving decline, or elaborate a plan for expansion, which I see as essential to the survival of the organization. That's my frustration with the national body.
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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby Jon Estes » Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:00 am

Sandy wrote:
Ed Pettibone wrote:
Timothy Bonney wrote:Sandy, that's a good summary of why you joined a CBF church but it doesn't really explain your negativity to it now. That may be a personal story you don't want to share. If it is a story that comes out of conflict, I can understand that.


Ed: Sure it does Tim. As I read Sandy's excellent reply to my question, he joined CBF not out of conviction but be because at the time it was expedient. Which helps explains his subsequent parroting the takeover mantra with vitriol toward so many in CBF particularity those in Texas.

How ever I would like to hear what elements of Leonard's God's Last and Only Hope, Sandy sees as sounding "exactly like Pressler", I do not see it.


The book is written from Leonard's personal perspective, and from the place where he sat in the SBC, which is the setting Pressler used as well. Leonard's work is intended to convince his readers that his view of everything which transpired is the correct one. Pressler does exactly the same thing. If I were teaching a class in SBC Controversy 101, I'd use Cauthen and Sutton as primary texts, Leonard and Pressler as supplemental reading.

I wouldn't agree that joining CBF was "expedient". Though CBF is something that individuals can join, we joined by moving our membership to a congregation for which CBF was their primary missions resource. At the time we joined, giving to the SBC was an option, but you had to designate your gift to the CP. We chose not to do that. There was an eight month period of time when we were absent from South Main, doing interim work in another congregation, and when we went back, South Main had severed ties with the SBC. We were members there for eight more years, I served on a couple of church committees, as a substitute Sunday School teacher, and eventually, teaching a young adult class for three years. I also led their Alpha course on Wednesdays for a couple of terms. During the time I was at South Main, the preaching was excellent, and I spent a lot of personal time in study and in developing my theological perspective. And while South Main is no longer an SBC congregation, largely because of the internal influences of church leadership, with Dr. Chafin at the top of that list, connected to many of the old, pre-1979 SBC leaders, it is not a church in which you would find very many members who believe the Bible has errors. The church adopted the 1963 BFM, and holds a very traditional Southern Baptist view that the scripture is “truth, without any mixture of error.”

There are a lot of personal incidents, most of them within theTexas Baptist group involved with CBF and not necessarily the national group, that convinced me I no longer needed to be involved, and I’m not going to elaborate on those here. CBF is stalled, with a serious decline in budget giving, downsizing its volunteer leadership, and lots of personnel transition. Its original executive leadership, Cecil Sherman and Daniel Vestal, brought in traditional, old line SBC thinking. They failed to reverse a substantial budget giving decline, or elaborate a plan for expansion, which I see as essential to the survival of the organization. That's my frustration with the national body.


Sandy - I am of the opinion, that like the SBC, the CBF did not know how to connect with and retain young leadership. The SBC is making strides but I do wonder if it is to late to carry us where we could have gone (church support and that type of stuff).

As a pastor who is aging (very slowly), I need to remind myself that I can use all I have used previously (traditions) and keep what I have or find a way to speak to the upcoming generation.

Having just relocated to Dubai, the way of doing church here is different - an a great way. The way to do church in US is losing younger people quickly. Go look at the church profiles. They are not coming a a result of an identity crises of those sitting in the pews. They believe they can be who they were when they were young and the kids will come. Nope.

the SBC needs to do better and I wonder what the CBF is doing to reach that generation.

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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby Dave Roberts » Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:42 am

Jon, two things are happening in CBF, one in my part of the world and one nationally. First, younger leaders are being encouraged to share in CBF at the regional and state level. I was the last of the founding generation of CBF to serve on the CBFVA Coordinating Council. Most of those now serving have no memory of the old days of the SBC and are going in new routes. The second thing is national. CBF is taking a group of the most promising future leaders and involving them in a 2-year program called CBF Fellows that helps them make the transition into churches and into serving in ministry. Almost half of the younger ministers today, without regard for denomination or theology, never make it to their second place of service and often leave ministry. This is often because they are not heard or accepted. This cultivation of younger leaders is helping them to negotiate the waters of church life and letting their voices be heard. BTW, there are people on some of the national councils of CBF who are under 30.
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Texas Baptists of the Right and the Holy War

Postby Stephen Fox » Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:52 pm

I have a thread started in Public Policy that I think vindicates much what I have been saying on this board for ten years and in other venues for thirty years now. Just came across it today, an easy google for Tom Powers on Wuthnow and Texas Baptists. Direct link is in public policy
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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby Sandy » Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:49 pm

Jon Estes wrote:Sandy - I am of the opinion, that like the SBC, the CBF did not know how to connect with and retain young leadership. The SBC is making strides but I do wonder if it is to late to carry us where we could have gone (church support and that type of stuff).

As a pastor who is aging (very slowly), I need to remind myself that I can use all I have used previously (traditions) and keep what I have or find a way to speak to the upcoming generation.

Having just relocated to Dubai, the way of doing church here is different - an a great way. The way to do church in US is losing younger people quickly. Go look at the church profiles. They are not coming a a result of an identity crises of those sitting in the pews. They believe they can be who they were when they were young and the kids will come. Nope.

the SBC needs to do better and I wonder what the CBF is doing to reach that generation.


I agree. I see initiatives in the SBC, similar to what Dave speaks about in CBF, but I have to wonder if that's even the right way to go. The leadership of the organization sees the need to attract and retain younger leadership, but the approach, in the SBC and in what Dave speaks of in CBF, is still the same--to try to get them to buy into the organization as it exists, and preserve the current structure. What will have to happen, to retain younger leaders, is to give them the leadership and let them take the organization where they see it going. It's their vision that will carry it into the future, and they've got to be trusted with it. There's a strong core group of churches in the SBC, especially in the cities, that are models of how to reach the younger generation and win converts in the 18-35 age group, but so far, their approach has only generated arguments with associations and state conventions about whether they want to help with funding and planting more similar kinds of congregations. It is amazing to me that there is quibbling over wanting to help a congregation that has baptized 1,200 people in three years, has six satellite congregations, and gathers 3,000 people for worship each week because they sing different kinds of songs, have Bible study in breweries and bars, and don't order the standard literature series or the hymnals.

The SBC is large enough, viable enough, and has a large enough seminary student population to be in position to make this kind of transition. Whether it will or not remains to be seen. Current leadership at the national level seems to be moving in this direction, at both the executive offices under Frank Page, and at Lifeway under Thom Rainer. But the SBC is also a tangle of state conventions, associations and local churches, and top down initiatives haven't always been successful bringing about change. Here in the Northeast, where the churches are small, the state conventions and associations are not as restrictive or traditional, and younger pastors and leaders are seeing some amazing results. College friends of mine, working in Arizona, are saying the same thing. The problem is in the areas where Southern Baptists are the major church group, the South and Southwest. Tradition grips are strong there.
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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby Jon Estes » Mon Oct 06, 2014 3:44 am

Dave Roberts wrote:Jon, two things are happening in CBF, one in my part of the world and one nationally. First, younger leaders are being encouraged to share in CBF at the regional and state level. I was the last of the founding generation of CBF to serve on the CBFVA Coordinating Council. Most of those now serving have no memory of the old days of the SBC and are going in new routes. The second thing is national. CBF is taking a group of the most promising future leaders and involving them in a 2-year program called CBF Fellows that helps them make the transition into churches and into serving in ministry. Almost half of the younger ministers today, without regard for denomination or theology, never make it to their second place of service and often leave ministry. This is often because they are not heard or accepted. This cultivation of younger leaders is helping them to negotiate the waters of church life and letting their voices be heard. BTW, there are people on some of the national councils of CBF who are under 30.


In your final sentence, what do you mean by "some"? I have not kept up with the SBC appointments in a while and it is likely that percentage wise, the numerical makeup of the SBC vs the CBF in putting under 30 people on committees at a national level goes to the CBF.

I get the sense that those who were in their 30's when the CR was going on wanted to bring the SBC back to what they remember it as, they cared deeply about the organization. Those in their 30's now do not have that passion for the SBC. Gosh, I'm in my mid 50's and I don't have that passion for the SBC as I did in my 20's and 30's and early 40's. There are more important things. I have watched the megas of my younger days do their thing and send little to the CP, this is something I think, and in some ways hope, the smaller churches will find a way to do so they actually become missional outside the walls instead of only through the nursery. If not, there will be many empty buildings in the next 20 years which could have been.

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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby Dave Roberts » Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:01 am

Jon, the reorganization of the past three years has placed the work of CBF under three councils--Governance, Ministries, and Missions. I know there are people under 30 on Governance and Ministries. I do not know about missions, so I did not address it.
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Re: Honeycutt's holy war

Postby Ed Pettibone » Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:22 pm

Ed: Dave If I where not a CBF enthusiast I might think, sure it sounds good but how real is it. Well I just posted an announcement on the CBF Board for the 2015 Assembly under the title of Early registration is open. On the page to which I linked there are also links to reviews of the four Assemblies immediately prior to 2014. 2013, 2012,2011 & 2010 For any one who has not attended an Assembly for a number of years or never, I would suggest spending some time over the next few days examining those reviews. They are informative even for me and I attended two of those four, but as others who have been there know it is not possible to take in all that goes on.
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Jonathan Merritt has enaged the Holy War

Postby Stephen Fox » Tue Oct 07, 2014 4:45 pm

And it s legacy in an interview with Robert Wuthnow about Texas Baptists and how they morphed the SBC into the Tea Party. Google Merritt, even better read the teaser for Wuthnow for Thomas Powers at nybooks.com
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