Were the "Moderates" Right?

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Were the "Moderates" Right?

Postby Sandy » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:12 pm

So I've been visiting the SBCVoices blog site since Jon posted the pic of the JD shirt, and talked about the campaigning for the SBC presidency. There are some comments there, and some posts, which may indicate that the predictions of moderate Baptists during the conservative resurgence may have been prophetic.

They predicted that the inerrancy controversy would not be the last, and there would be other theological controversies that would erupt. They predicted that the resurgence leadership would not be successful in their efforts to reduce membership and attendance decline in the convention's churches, or the declining CP revenues. They predicted that churches would follow the example of the megachurch leadership in cutting cooperative missions giving in favor of a "do your own thing" way of giving, and that CP giving would decline to the point where it put mission programs and seminaries in danger of financial insolvency.

Wander over there and take a look.
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Re: Were the "Moderates" Right?

Postby William Thornton » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:26 am

Sandy wrote:So I've been visiting the SBCVoices blog site since Jon posted the pic of the JD shirt, and talked about the campaigning for the SBC presidency. There are some comments there, and some posts, which may indicate that the predictions of moderate Baptists during the conservative resurgence may have been prophetic.

They predicted that the inerrancy controversy would not be the last, and there would be other theological controversies that would erupt. They predicted that the resurgence leadership would not be successful in their efforts to reduce membership and attendance decline in the convention's churches, or the declining CP revenues. They predicted that churches would follow the example of the megachurch leadership in cutting cooperative missions giving in favor of a "do your own thing" way of giving, and that CP giving would decline to the point where it put mission programs and seminaries in danger of financial insolvency.

Wander over there and take a look.


1. No question about future conflict. Some of the con brethren thrive on it. It's in their DNA.
2. Reduction of decline, sort of correct. One might compare the CBF and other groups. National CBF is weak. Long term survival is uncertain. CP and other revenues are flat but still huge.
3. Churches have reduced CP percentages. Does this "follow the example of the megachurch leadership" or does it follow other broad trends and causes? Probably more of the latter. None of the six seminaries, neither mission board is close to insolvency. Some have reduced employment levels.
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Re: Were the "Moderates" Right?

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:09 pm

Sandy wrote:So I've been visiting the SBCVoices blog site since Jon posted the pic of the JD shirt, and talked about the campaigning for the SBC presidency. There are some comments there, and some posts, which may indicate that the predictions of moderate Baptists during the conservative resurgence may have been prophetic.

They predicted that the inerrancy controversy would not be the last, and there would be other theological controversies that would erupt. They predicted that the resurgence leadership would not be successful in their efforts to reduce membership and attendance decline in the convention's churches, or the declining CP revenues. They predicted that churches would follow the example of the megachurch leadership in cutting cooperative missions giving in favor of a "do your own thing" way of giving, and that CP giving would decline to the point where it put mission programs and seminaries in danger of financial insolvency.

Wander over there and take a look.


Given that almost every Christian denomination is experiencing decline, both in numbers and finances, that isn't unique to the SBC.

I agree with William about controversy being in the DNA of some Christian groups, particularly those born out of controversy and/or those who have a theology which demands some form of theological purity.
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Re: Were the "Moderates" Right?

Postby Jon Estes » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:19 am

Tim Bonney wrote:
Sandy wrote:So I've been visiting the SBCVoices blog site since Jon posted the pic of the JD shirt, and talked about the campaigning for the SBC presidency. There are some comments there, and some posts, which may indicate that the predictions of moderate Baptists during the conservative resurgence may have been prophetic.

They predicted that the inerrancy controversy would not be the last, and there would be other theological controversies that would erupt. They predicted that the resurgence leadership would not be successful in their efforts to reduce membership and attendance decline in the convention's churches, or the declining CP revenues. They predicted that churches would follow the example of the megachurch leadership in cutting cooperative missions giving in favor of a "do your own thing" way of giving, and that CP giving would decline to the point where it put mission programs and seminaries in danger of financial insolvency.

Wander over there and take a look.


Given that almost every Christian denomination is experiencing decline, both in numbers and finances, that isn't unique to the SBC.

I agree with William about controversy being in the DNA of some Christian groups, particularly those born out of controversy and/or those who have a theology which demands some form of theological purity.


I do think it is safe to say that controversy is born from both those who demand theological purity and those who don't.

One, more often, gets a pass on being controversial because it plays to human rather than theological sympathies.
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Re: Were the "Moderates" Right?

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:33 am

Jon Estes wrote:I do think it is safe to say that controversy is born from both those who demand theological purity and those who don't.

One, more often, gets a pass on being controversial because it plays to human rather than theological sympathies.


I’ll have to think about that Jon. There can be theological purists both on the left and the right. Openness to the idea that the world isn’t black and white isn’t actually a liberal idea, its a moderate/middle of the road idea. Far left liberals can be as doctrinaire as far right fundamentalists.
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Re: Were the "Moderates" Right?

Postby Dave Roberts » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:24 am

While I'm not directly involved with the SBC any more, one thing that I realized during the Takeover was that the structure of the SBC lends itself to continuing conflicts. Truth and process are both continually being defined by majority vote. Just look at the process of the Baptist Faith and Message statements. The original was adopted in 1925 to address the modernist controversy. When new controversies arose in the 1950's, a revised Baptist Faith and Message was adopted in 1963. When family became a focus, revisions were adopted in 1998. Then, to establish the power of the new controllers of the convention, another Baptist Faith and Message was adopted in 2000. That's four revisions in 76 years which says that controversy is the only SBC structure for solving things, always by majority vote. What intrigues me is that the scriptural witness is almost always that God was working through minority movements.
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