Southwestern Relocates the Windows

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Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Sandy » Thu May 02, 2019 10:17 am

http://mbcpathway.com/2019/04/30/remova ... om-donors/

The new administration of Southwestern Seminary has not wasted any time in "relocating" the egocentric window collection that was ostensibly to honor the leaders of the conservative resurgence. The criteria for being honored on a window was support for the conservative resurgence but apparently, according to at least one pastor, you could also get a window to honor someone if you gave enough money to the school, as he did. I don't see in the article where the windows are being "relocated," but personally, I think that is an extravagance that doesn't represent either the seminary, nor the individuals who are depicted in the windows, in a way consistent with Christian servant leadership and humility. I'm glad to see they've been removed.
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Dave Roberts » Fri May 03, 2019 2:10 pm

I think the Catholics have something right in requiring you be dead a certain period before canonization can begin. Stained glass is the Baptist canonization.
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Haruo » Sat May 04, 2019 6:38 pm

That at least used to be the rule for being honored with a (US) postage stamp. Have to specify US because UK is diametrically opposite; a silhouette of the regnant is de rigueur.
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Sandy » Mon May 06, 2019 3:47 pm

But even in a "Baptist canonization," you let someone else do the honoring. This whole thing was a bad idea from the start and now is a symbol of the extravagant wastefulness of the Patterson years at SWBTS.
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby William Thornton » Tue May 07, 2019 4:17 am

The honorees were uneven. It was a bad idea from the start.
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Rvaughn » Tue May 14, 2019 7:15 am

If I understand this article correctly, two of the windows have been retrieved by and moved to Liberty University:
https://www.prweb.com/releases/liberty_university_president_jerry_falwell_displays_stained_glass_windows_recently_removed_from_southwestern_seminary/prweb16305663.htm
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Rvaughn » Tue May 14, 2019 7:27 am

Pastor Bart Barber on the stained-glass windows (bold emp. mine):
...These are not stained-glass windows honoring leaders of the Conservative Resurgence.

They are stained-glass windows honoring people for whom there existed someone willing to pay money to depict them in a stained-glass window in the chapel, regardless of their relationship (or lack thereof) to the Conservative Resurgence.

These observations are simply factual. Please remember, you can acknowledge these facts (some of which are pretty much indisputable) and still remain hopping-mad at the removal of the stained-glass windows if you like. But fidelity to the ideals of the Conservative Resurgence is absolutely not (as some people seem to think) part-and-parcel with fidelity to these stained-glass windows...
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Sandy » Tue May 14, 2019 9:08 am

Jerry Falwell Jr. wrote:“We will continue to honor the conservative leaders who reformed the Southern Baptist Convention, and we place our hope in your generation to be the ones to step up and provide better leadership for the future."


Barber, who is currently a trustee at SWBTS, was a strong supporter of Paige Patterson (never would have been appointed if he hadn't been) and seems to be trying to change the record a bit. Yes, the windows were put in the chapel by donors who gave big chunks of money to the seminary, largely for wasteful, unnecessary extravagances, but they were encouraged to do so to honor the leaders of the conservative resurgence.

Liberty might want to wait to put up a few of those windows, until those depicted in them are cleared of sexual misconduct charges.

I'll add a quote from David Brumbelow, a pastor in HIghlands, Texas (Houston area) whose family made a major contribution to SWBTS to get a window honoring a family member. He clearly believed the windows were for the purpose of honoring the leaders of the conservative resurgence.

David Brumbelow wrote:The SWBTS stained glass windows were intended to permanently honor the SBC Conservative Resurgence (CR). Who better knew those involved than one of the most influential leaders of the CR, Paige Patterson. And, this was approved by the Pattersons and the SWBTS trustees.

That the windows depicted those involved in the CR is obvious to any familiar with our recent history. Just look at a list of those that were pictured. To argue one or two out of dozens is a weak argument.

There were different ways people were involved in the CR. Some openly, some quietly and behind the scenes. Some joined early, some later. Some slowly became increasingly involved the more they saw and learned. Many did so at great sacrifice. Most are not in the history books; they never made the headlines. I and my family were involved since before 1979.


The way the resurgence leadership acted with regard to Southwestern Seminary in particular was a disgrace which led to ruining it. Southern Baptists always like to breath positive spin but I'm not really sure, at this point, whether it can recover. The windows are better suited to a place like Liberty....
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Rvaughn » Tue May 14, 2019 2:54 pm

Sandy wrote:...they were encouraged to do so to honor the leaders of the conservative resurgence...
Whatever Bart's motivation for doing so, I think he is historically accurate about the persons. Some had no real impact on the resurgence -- Frank Page, Rick Warren -- and whatever impact Jerry Falwell might have had from afar, he was not even a member of the Southern Baptist Convention at that time. That wouldn't change the fact that the plea was put out for the money under the name of the conservative resurgence.
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Sandy » Wed May 15, 2019 10:56 am

HIs analysis of it may be correct, though it was promoted that way when the chapel was being built and the money was being raised. Patterson's position in the resurgence movement and his connections to people who had money to give ran deep. I'm sure he was willing to give up a few window panes in exchange for big checks.

As a Southwestern alum, I am glad to see the windows gone. Genesis 20:4-6 can be interpreted in various ways, but it seems inconsistent for someone who claims to be an inerrantist, literalist, verbal, plenary inspiration theorist to place windows in a building dedicated to Christian worship honoring human achievements. And while you might scratch your head over the actual involvement of some of the people who were included in the windows, in the provincial backwardness of the SBC there are the highly visible elites and prominents and there are a lot of wannabees (like David Brumbelow) who no one knows and whose names have never been heard but have money to buy a window and get to put a graven image in it of anyone they admire. There are a lot of Southern Baptists who think Jerry Falwell was one of the main characters in the conservative resurgence and facts won't convince them otherwise. Rick Warren's success means that his name has to be included as well, since the conservative resurgence is a synonym for success in ministry and since he made himself a rich man by writing the best-selling Christian book ever, that the people in the pew absolutely love, someone had to claim him as one of the resurgence leaders as well. Frank Page the peacemaker was, perhaps, the most popular individual to serve as SBC President since 1979, he was the "guy they got from the other side", his personal career ambitions within the SBC notwithstanding, and since he succeeded the ubiquitous Morris Chapman, also had to be numbered among the resurgence brethren. Barber, himself an insider who, like most every other trustee of Southwestern Seminary currently on the board, knows all of this because he wouldn't have been on the trustee board had he not been hand-picked and approved in advance by Patterson himself. He was one of many sycophants on that board. As the old saying goes, "Methinks thou dost protest too much."

Where was he when Southwestern's enrollment was tanking, the bills were mounting and the incompetence ruining the school?
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Rvaughn » Wed May 15, 2019 12:10 pm

I can't answer for Bart's motives and reasoning. That you'll have to ask him.

Here is an interesting clip from a comment at SBC Voices. The one who wrote this appears to think the initial idea was a bad one, but seems to also think that since they did it, packing up the windows in storage is also a bad idea.
I learned some information a week ago from a friend whose father was honored in one of those windows.

This man is now deceased. The seminary reached out to his friends and family, and elderly members of the Sunday School class he attended. Something like $25,000 was raised toward the purchase of the window.

This man gave much of his life to the CR. He sacrificed. Lived a good life. Finished well.

The window is now sitting in a warehouse somewhere. Wrapped up. Not to be seen in institutional SBC life.

The windows etc. were approved by the trustees who were approved by the Convention.
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Sandy » Wed May 15, 2019 7:56 pm

What happened at Southwestern, appropriately represented by the windows, is the result of giving a seminary presidency as a reward for denominational political activity. The use of "honoring the leaders of the conservative resurgence" as a money-raising ploy and then inventing stories about how they really actually were in some way contributors to the conservative resurgence is characteristic of the whole mess at Southwestern. Southern Baptists have paid a high price for the stacked board of trustees and the blank check given to Paige Patterson at Southwestern as the spoils of a denominational controversy The school is still teetering on the brink of survivability. They finally have a president with academic credentials and leadership experience in theological education but it may be too late.

The best thing that Southwestern's trustees can do for the school at this point is step down. Bart Barber should lead the way. Get out. Let J.D. Greear's committee select trustees who have no connections to Patterson, Pressler or anyone in the resurgence group. Give them a fresh start.
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Rvaughn » Sun May 19, 2019 1:40 pm

South[west]ern Baptist seminary turmoil leaves stained glass artists picking up the pieces
Stained glass is fragile. So, too, are the fortunes of a stained glass artist.

Don Young and his wife, Debora, were reminded of that lesson last month with the abrupt cancellation of a lucrative, once-in-a-lifetime commission to produce a series of stained glass windows for the J.W. MacGorman Chapel and Performing Arts Center on the campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The project, launched in 2013, was to take a dozen years or more and could have brought the Youngs, who run a small studio out of their Fort Worth home, as much as $2 million in income.
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun May 19, 2019 1:54 pm

This man gave much of his life to the CR. He sacrificed. Lived a good life. Finished well.


That says a lot to me. "He gave much of his life to the CR." Not he gave much of his life to the ministry, to pastoring, to teaching, to lead people to Jesus. He gave much of his life to a political movement. So what? That has to be one of the worst lines of praise I've ever read.

I guess to the winner go the spoils. (And stained glass for leaders of an internal church political movement, very spoiled.)
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Rvaughn » Sun May 19, 2019 1:57 pm

From the previous link:
Don Young, a Texas native, said he was raised as a Baptist but that neither he nor his wife is an adherent to the church.

“We’re spiritual,” the 67-year-old artist said, “but I’d describe our religion as ‘bohemian.’”

The Youngs had planned to complete “about three dozen” windows before the project was cancelled. Don Young said no one from Southwestern told him or Debora that the windows were coming down. They learned about it after the fact from an online news story.


“When people ask me if I’m sorry about what happened, I tell them, ‘Honestly, I’m sorry about the money.’ We have no complaints. We did really well for these past few years. We made enough to pay off our house 10 years early.

“But we were counting on working on this for several years more. That was going to be our retirement.”
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun May 19, 2019 2:38 pm

I do feel sorry for the artists. You’d think there could be redesign and put other people in stained glass. Maybe Jesus? The Apostles? Founders of the Baptist faith?
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Haruo » Sun May 19, 2019 5:21 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:I do feel sorry for the artists. You’d think there could be redesign and put other people in stained glass. Maybe Jesus? The Apostles? Founders of the Baptist faith?

I don't know if Roger Williams counts as one of the latter, but if so, beware! He campaigned for giving Muslims the vote, and provided sanctuary to a notorious woman preacher when the Congregationalists quite reasonably wanted to pillory her.
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon May 20, 2019 3:40 am

Haruo wrote:I don't know if Roger Williams counts as one of the latter, but if so, beware! He campaigned for giving Muslims the vote, and provided sanctuary to a notorious woman preacher when the Congregationalists quite reasonably wanted to pillory her.


He is less of a hero to Southern Baptists than he is to American Baptists. And even that always seemed a bit odd in that he is a Baptist hero who didn't stay a Baptist.
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Haruo » Mon May 20, 2019 7:16 am

Yeah, he only remained a Baptist church member for less than a year, I think, but then proceeded to give them pulpit supply for years thereafter, leastwise that's what I was taught as a Northern Baptist.
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Sandy » Mon May 20, 2019 1:04 pm

Rvaughn wrote:From the previous link:
Don Young, a Texas native, said he was raised as a Baptist but that neither he nor his wife is an adherent to the church.

“We’re spiritual,” the 67-year-old artist said, “but I’d describe our religion as ‘bohemian.’”

The Youngs had planned to complete “about three dozen” windows before the project was cancelled. Don Young said no one from Southwestern told him or Debora that the windows were coming down. They learned about it after the fact from an online news story.


“When people ask me if I’m sorry about what happened, I tell them, ‘Honestly, I’m sorry about the money.’ We have no complaints. We did really well for these past few years. We made enough to pay off our house 10 years early.

“But we were counting on working on this for several years more. That was going to be our retirement.”


That says so much about the whole thing. That one of the seminaries was so cash strapped it couldn't afford to fix roofs or air conditioners, had to lay off professors and staff in droves, raised tuition (and debt) on its students but it spent money to put the egos in stained glass, enough to help the artist pay off his house and plan for retirement. What was its largest theological seminary is teetering on the brink of survival, but thank goodness for the conservative resurgence! Right?
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Rvaughn » Mon May 20, 2019 7:35 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:I do feel sorry for the artists. You’d think there could be redesign and put other people in stained glass. Maybe Jesus? The Apostles? Founders of the Baptist faith?
Sandy wrote:That says so much about the whole thing. That one of the seminaries was so cash strapped it couldn't afford to fix roofs or air conditioners, had to lay off professors and staff in droves, raised tuition (and debt) on its students but it spent money to put the egos in stained glass, enough to help the artist pay off his house and plan for retirement.
I don't particularly feel sorry for the artists. SWBTS sounds negligent in informing them of both the death of the project and the removal of the windows, but it seems like they made out pretty good on what they did get.
Sandy wrote:What was its largest theological seminary is teetering on the brink of survival, but thank goodness for the conservative resurgence! Right?
I'm not SBC and don't "own stock" in SWBTS, but have enjoyed use of the libraries at Southwestern. I'd hate to see something happen to jeopardize that as a future possibility. (And we attend a singing there annually which we enjoy.) While a good case can be made that a prominent leader in the conservative resurgence is largely responsible for it "teetering on the brink of survival," it does not logically follow from that fact that the conservative resurgence was a bad thing.
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Sandy » Mon May 20, 2019 9:17 pm

RVaughn wrote: I'm not SBC and don't "own stock" in SWBTS, but have enjoyed use of the libraries at Southwestern. I'd hate to see something happen to jeopardize that as a future possibility. (And we attend a singing there annually which we enjoy.) While a good case can be made that a prominent leader in the conservative resurgence is largely responsible for it "teetering on the brink of survival," it does not logically follow from that fact that the conservative resurgence was a bad thing.


I was Southern Baptist, for all but the last nine years of church membership and involvement, and I am a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. It has far greater value than its libraries and a singing. It had effective leadership when I enrolled there in 1987 and was known for the quality of the theological education it provided. It was also the largest theological seminary in the world at the time, twice the current size of Southern. There was no need for the "resurgence" at Southwestern, it was solidly conservative and about the only place you could get to the "far left" of Baptist theology there when I was a student was that one of the professors who taught eschatology was a preterist. Well, they didn't offer a Master's in homemaking then either, and women weren't restricted to the Christian education degrees and could earn a M.Th. And there was a rumor going around that a woman had earned the highest grade in third level Greek one semester.

The conservative resurgence did a few good things. It replaced what was a very narrow, exclusive and dominating group of power brokers, a small core of leaders drawn from a few prominent churches, rotating from trustee board to trustee board as their term limits caught up to them and they moved to the next institution. It did pull a couple of the seminaries, most notably Southeastern and Southern, off the track of a leftward lean that was getting pretty close to losing the trust of the Baptists in the pews. But it wasn't all good. Most of the SBC didn't need theological reform but there were rewards and spoils to hand out to the winners and they did exactly that. The North American Mission Board was badly affected by leadership that knew nothing about the organization or its work but knew how to spend the steady stream of cash flowing in. Because it was directly connected to positions where individuals could wield a lot of power, it became corrupted early and often and because its leaders knew nothing about the organization or what it was supposed to do, its ability to function was impaired and the only way to resolve the problems was downsizing and cutting budgets. What happened at Southwestern speaks for itself.
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby William Thornton » Tue May 21, 2019 4:14 am

Sandy always offers a clear-eyed, astringent view of SBC stuff.

The new administration at SWBTS acted decisively in regard to the windows but have yet to be forthcoming on the extent of the financial problems of the school and the role of former admin in that.

The SBCs pattern in entity meltdowns is to get a new leader that everyone likes and ignore the past and hope it just gets forgotten.
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue May 21, 2019 9:54 am

Sandy wrote:That says so much about the whole thing. That one of the seminaries was so cash strapped it couldn't afford to fix roofs or air conditioners, had to lay off professors and staff in droves, raised tuition (and debt) on its students but it spent money to put the egos in stained glass, enough to help the artist pay off his house and plan for retirement. What was its largest theological seminary is teetering on the brink of survival, but thank goodness for the conservative resurgence! Right?


Sandy, this is what happens when politics overshadows ministry/ (In any denomination. The UMC is in the midst of its own political fight that is not just about theology but control and power.)
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Re: Southwestern Relocates the Windows

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue May 21, 2019 10:00 am

William Thornton wrote:The SBCs pattern in entity meltdowns is to get a new leader that everyone likes and ignore the past and hope it just gets forgotten.


That seems to be the pattern of most denominations when there is regime change. Pretend your leadership was the founding leadership. Pretend your viewpoint was the original viewpoint and rewrite the history books to say so.
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