SBC Calvinism New Statement

Discuss current news and trends taking place in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Moderator: William Thornton

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Big Daddy Weaver » Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:09 pm

Definitions evolve because movements evolve. And moderate Southern Baptists certainly aren't the only ones to have offered a definition of fundamentalism. Even George Marsden - who is as evangelical as the come, lived his life as the most notable evangelical historian in the US, mentor to other evangelical historians - is comfortable with the term fundamentalist to describe many in the SBC. He adds an "ic" to the end - fundamentalistic - because he still puts a great amount of emphasis on separatism as a defining characteristic of a fundamentalist (no "ic").

Also, I didn't say that a majority of Southern Baptists are actual fundamentalists. I think a thorough survey of actual Southern Baptists would reveal a wide range of diversity including quite a bit of "heresy" with regard to who's saved and who isn't. I say that because I don't think Southern Baptists would prove to be that distinguishable from other studies of white evangelicals.

I do think, however, think there are quite a few fundamentalists in leadership roles at all levels of the SBC. Jerry Vines and Paige Patterson fit that definition.

Again, are we really arguing that Jerry Falwell stopped being a fundamentalist when he founded the Moral Majority as a response to government intrusion in its effort to regulate private Christian schools like Bob Jones and other institutions over their racially discriminatory policies?

Also, doesn't the relationship between ABA and SBTC just prove my point about movements evolving? Would the ABA have considered a fraternal relationship with SBTC just three decades ago, back when Falwell was still in his separatist shell? Does the fact that Bob Jones U. has involved itself in public life via a stopping ground for Bush/McCain in 2000 signal that Bob Jones has ceased being fundamentalist? No, I simply think that "separatism" has ceased to be dominant characteristic of fundamentalists.

That's not to say that all or most or a majority of Southern Baptists are fundamentalists. But there is felt the strong influence of fundamentalism in the SBC. Few honest informed observers familiar with fundamentalism are going to deny that.
User avatar
Big Daddy Weaver
 
Posts: 2494
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:15 am
Location: Waco, TX

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Gene Scarborough » Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:57 pm

My experience and observation of those I would put in the Fundamentalist category is:

Arrogant
Non-cooperative
Judgemental
Sepatist

To name the basics. I grew up in Atlanta. Served near Greenville, SC, where Bob Jones requested a permit for machine guns for their gate guards in the 70's. Jerry Falwell did his thing with the Moral Majority. Paige Patterson directed the Conservative Resurgence which by hook or crook took over the SBC.

It is "my way of the highway" with fundamentalists and they always have a king cheese who rules for a while---until another one comes along to displace the previous one. It is constant turmoil and struggle for supremacy. I can do without it!!! :)
Gene Scarborough
Gene Scarborough
 
Posts: 3087
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:54 pm
Location: Bath, NC

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:11 pm

Hey, you might as well have my definition of fundamentalism. This and $4 will buy you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

The major factor is an over literalistic interpretation of scripture particularly following theories of inspiration such as inerrancy and verbal plenary inspiration. Those two ideas lead to most of the other fundamentalist beliefs. I also see inclusion of men and women in church leadership as a line. Anyone who does not support women as pastors in the 21st century in my view is a fundamentalist at least in the area of gender.
Tim Bonney

First UMC of Indianola, Iowa - http://indfumc.org
My Blog - http://timbonney.com
User avatar
Tim Bonney
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5882
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:17 am
Location: Indianola, Iowa

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Gene Scarborough » Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:37 pm

I see real validity in your observations.

H.L. Menkin described them as "my contemporary ancestors!"
Gene Scarborough
Gene Scarborough
 
Posts: 3087
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:54 pm
Location: Bath, NC

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Sandy » Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:53 pm

I would disagree that Vines is a "fundamentalist." Again, it depends on the definition of the term, but if you're going to refer to Jerry Falwell as the best example of what exists in the SBC, Vines isn't that close. And as far as I know, though he might still have some influence, he doesn't have an official leadership position anymore. I don't think Patterson fits the more traditional definition of fundamentalism, either. And even though Falwell joined the convention, mainly via the conservative state convention in Virginia, there are no prominent "Falwellians" in leadership in the SBC. He may have had influence, but then, he had influence among some Southern Baptists prior to his entrance into the convention, in much the way he had influence over thousands of his viewers in denominations and churches all across the theological spectrum. Gee, I know a lot of Methodists who sent him money.

Tim Bonney wrote:The major factor is an over literalistic interpretation of scripture particularly following theories of inspiration such as inerrancy and verbal plenary inspiration. Those two ideas lead to most of the other fundamentalist beliefs. I also see inclusion of men and women in church leadership as a line. Anyone who does not support women as pastors in the 21st century in my view is a fundamentalist at least in the area of gender.


I would agree that fundamentalists hold to a literalistic interpretation of the scripture, what they refer to as a "verse by verse" interpretation, but they are much more detailed in their belief in verbal dictation of the scripture rather than verbal plenary. If you're going to define fundamentalists by inerrancy and verbal plenary inspiration, then virtually all of those who fall under the banner of "Evangelicals" in the US would be fundamentalists as well. Virtually all non-denominational churches would fall in that category, the vast majority of the Pentecostal movement, all Baptists except for some in ABC-USA, CBF, the Alliance and perhaps some in the PNBC, Missouri Synod Lutherans, Evangelical and Reformed Presbyterians, The Reformed Church in America, the CMA, the Missionary Churches, Bible churches, most Charismatics, most Wesleyans, the Nazarenes, the Churches of Christ...essentially two thirds of Protestant Christianity in America have, in their doctrinal statement, the concept of an inerrant, infallible Bible and verbal, plenary inspiration. And few of those churches would consider a female as a pastor.

I'd say that fundamentalists interpret everything in the scripture literally, whereas conservatives follow the guideline of "interpreting the Bible in the literal sense until the context makes no sense." Looking at it that way, it takes Patterson out of the fundamentalist camp as well.
Sandy
Sandy
 
Posts: 8741
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:10 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:01 pm

Sandy wrote:I would disagree that Vines is a "fundamentalist." Again, it depends on the definition of the term, but if you're going to refer to Jerry Falwell as the best example of what exists in the SBC, Vines isn't that close. And as far as I know, though he might still have some influence, he doesn't have an official leadership position anymore. I don't think Patterson fits the more traditional definition of fundamentalism, either.


Sandy you are obviously using a very different definition of fundamentalism than BDW and I are. And I would suggest that you are using a definition of your own creation. I'm not sure why, given how you feel about moderates and liberals, but your definition seems to want to make fundamentalists into conservatives, conservatives into moderates and moderates into liberals. Is there something wrong with being conservative that makes you want to shift all the labels to the left?

"Evangelical" is now the term that many fundamentalists rather use because it seems less pejorative. But the original users of the term were Lutherans and German evangelical groups such as the Evangelical United Brethren who merged with the Methodist Church to form the UMC and groups like the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America who take their name from predecessor denominations.

Sure some fundamentalist groups have women clergy. But it is an exception rather than a rule. And I would still contend that if you don't believe in equality for women you are a fundamentalist.

Also your mixing of inerrant and infallible muddies the waters. You can believe the Bible is infallible without believing it is inerrant.
Tim Bonney

First UMC of Indianola, Iowa - http://indfumc.org
My Blog - http://timbonney.com
User avatar
Tim Bonney
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5882
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:17 am
Location: Indianola, Iowa

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Gene Scarborough » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:47 pm

Everybody tries to put on their best face. There is no "best face" when your use power politics to destroy a SBC which functioned well pre-1979.

The process may be excused by some, but the general public knows when power and control are the only goal.
Gene Scarborough
Gene Scarborough
 
Posts: 3087
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:54 pm
Location: Bath, NC

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Sandy » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:04 pm

I don't recall that the term "fundamentalist" was defined by "scholars and experts" back in 1979 when it was used as a means of deriding the leadership of the Conservative Resurgence and a "takeover" (with the implication of being hostile) provided somewhat of a plausible explanation for the moderates, or at least, it soothed the pain as the gradual realization that it was they, and not the conservative resurgence, who were way out of step with the mainstream of grassroots Southern Baptists. In 1978, when they were still in control, the moderate leadership of the convention would not have used the term to describe the churches of the convention. They dragged the term out to apply to the resurgence leaders, in what appeared to be an attempt to separate them from the rest of the SBC and to convince the rank and file to reject the leadership shift. The definition formed by "scholars and experts" now applied to the SBC is a post-resurgence definition designed to fit the earlier accusation of "fundamentalist takeover." It is such an overused term that it really has little effect or meaning.

The acceptance of female clergy is most definitely a distinction between the SBC's current leadership, and the remaining supporters of its former leadership. But in 1978, prior to the Resurgence, only a few churches on the very left fringe of the denomination would have ordained women to the ministry, or called them to a pastorate. Even today, in spite of lots of talk, opportunities among the moderate Baptists for ordained females are extremely limited, and some noted moderate congregations have passed up the opportunity to call a woman to the pulpit. Are they fundamentalists, too?

The term belongs to those who have, by practice, defined it. That excludes most evangelicals and most Southern Baptists.
Sandy
Sandy
 
Posts: 8741
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:10 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby KeithE » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:34 pm

Big Daddy Weaver wrote:Sandy,

I'll let you have your own definition of fundamentalism.

I realize you like to poo-poo on scholars and experts, so this statement will hold no weight for you (your loss): but the overwhelming majority of scholars of Protestant fundamentalism don't hold to your strict, narrow definition that requires separatism.

So, your statement that this isn't fundamentalism means little. I know even historians and theologians in the SBC who will tell you that there are indeed many fundamentalists in Southern Baptist life. Even their definition of fundamentalism is not nearly as rigid and strict as yours.

When Jerry Falwell decided to come out of his shell and found the Moral Majority in 1979, he didn't just up and cease being a fundamentalist. Even the concept of "separatism" is extremely complex with varying definitions of what separatism requires and entails.

Since you like to throw out numbers. I'll throw out this chart for everyone. Take what you will away from em.

Image

Analysis is here.


I like the graph!

And in all likelihood the drop since 1990 is even greater since many of us who do not want to be associated with today’s SBC are still counted as SBC members since our church still is an SBC member.

James Dunn commentary on the graph above says a lot:

Following World War II, the Southern Baptist Convention experienced great growth especially in its percentage of the United States population. As this graph reveals, the SBC enjoyed a 30.098% increase in its share of the U.S. population. In 1950, Southern Baptists comprised 4.679 percent of the U.S. population. By 1980 that number had grown to 6.087.

For many years, Southern Baptist conservatives/fundamentalists have claimed that liberalism crept into the SBC in the decades following World War II. Their response to this supposed era of liberalism was a “Conservative Resurgence.” This resurgence which coincided with Ronald Reagan’s own conservative resurgence (dubbed the “Rise of Baptist Republicanism” by conservative activist Oran Smith) was described as a “Battle for the Bible.”

During this “Battle for the Bible” or “Southern Baptist Controversy” which kick-started the summer of 1979 and spanned the 1980s, the SBC’s share of the U.S. population increased by .657 percent.

Following this Conservative Resurgence or Fundamentalist Takeover, the Southern Baptist Convention has enjoyed a 14.572% decrease in its share of the U.S. population. In 1990, Southern Baptists comprised 6.127% of the total U.S. population. By 2010 that number had declined to 5.254%. Southern Baptists last comprised this percentage of the U.S. population in the 1950s.


The Takeover has not been good for the SBC in terms of membership; the supposed “liberal times” were good.
Informed by Data.
Driven by the SPIRIT and JESUS’s Example.
Promoting the Kingdom of GOD on Earth.
http://www.weatherly.org/discoverycenter
User avatar
KeithE
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8795
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:53 pm

Sandy wrote:I don't recall that the term "fundamentalist" was defined by "scholars and experts" back in 1979 when it was used as a means of deriding the leadership of the Conservative Resurgence and a "takeover" (with the implication of being hostile) provided somewhat of a plausible explanation for the moderates, or at least, it soothed the pain as the gradual realization that it was they, and not the conservative resurgence, who were way out of step with the mainstream of grassroots Southern Baptists.


Wow Sandy, you really drank the cool-aide. You know the takeover was almost complete before I started hearing the term "conservative resurgence" being bandied about. It is funny, in fact comical, for you to talk about Moderates spinning the term "fundamentalist" a term that has been defined since the modernist-fundamentalist controversy (Do go read some history Sandy!) when the fundamentalist takeover crowd was created terms like "conservative resurgence" out of whole cloth and adopted new and novel interpretations of the inspiration of scripture like inerrancy and pretended they were ancient.

This is the value of following long held creeds and faith statements. When you don't have a foundation of doctrine to stand on then suddenly someone comes a long and says "Oh, 5 point Calvinism, we've always believed that!" "Oh, inerrancy we've always believed that!" "Oh, this is a conservative resurgence!"

And now, ironically, SBC Fundamentalists like Vine and Patterson probably wish they had some means of stopping a Calvinist infiltration of the denomination. But the same lack of doctrinal standards which allowed them to take over the SBC will allow Calvinists to takeover as much of the SBC as they can get away with and they'll call it what, "the Calvinist resurgence" and they'll declare Patterson and Vine to be out of touch with the "one true faith."

So what you have here is that the SBC is vulnerable to become more and more fundamentalist as the purity squads anathematize any slightly to the left of them. Scary!
Tim Bonney

First UMC of Indianola, Iowa - http://indfumc.org
My Blog - http://timbonney.com
User avatar
Tim Bonney
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5882
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:17 am
Location: Indianola, Iowa

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Sandy » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:08 pm

KeithE wrote:
Big Daddy Weaver wrote:Sandy,

I'll let you have your own definition of fundamentalism.

I realize you like to poo-poo on scholars and experts, so this statement will hold no weight for you (your loss): but the overwhelming majority of scholars of Protestant fundamentalism don't hold to your strict, narrow definition that requires separatism.

So, your statement that this isn't fundamentalism means little. I know even historians and theologians in the SBC who will tell you that there are indeed many fundamentalists in Southern Baptist life. Even their definition of fundamentalism is not nearly as rigid and strict as yours.

When Jerry Falwell decided to come out of his shell and found the Moral Majority in 1979, he didn't just up and cease being a fundamentalist. Even the concept of "separatism" is extremely complex with varying definitions of what separatism requires and entails.

Since you like to throw out numbers. I'll throw out this chart for everyone. Take what you will away from em.

Image

Analysis is here.


I like the graph!

And in all likelihood the drop since 1990 is even greater since many of us who do not want to be associated with today’s SBC are still counted as SBC members since our church still is an SBC member.

James Dunn commentary on the graph above says a lot:

Following World War II, the Southern Baptist Convention experienced great growth especially in its percentage of the United States population. As this graph reveals, the SBC enjoyed a 30.098% increase in its share of the U.S. population. In 1950, Southern Baptists comprised 4.679 percent of the U.S. population. By 1980 that number had grown to 6.087.

For many years, Southern Baptist conservatives/fundamentalists have claimed that liberalism crept into the SBC in the decades following World War II. Their response to this supposed era of liberalism was a “Conservative Resurgence.” This resurgence which coincided with Ronald Reagan’s own conservative resurgence (dubbed the “Rise of Baptist Republicanism” by conservative activist Oran Smith) was described as a “Battle for the Bible.”

During this “Battle for the Bible” or “Southern Baptist Controversy” which kick-started the summer of 1979 and spanned the 1980s, the SBC’s share of the U.S. population increased by .657 percent.

Following this Conservative Resurgence or Fundamentalist Takeover, the Southern Baptist Convention has enjoyed a 14.572% decrease in its share of the U.S. population. In 1990, Southern Baptists comprised 6.127% of the total U.S. population. By 2010 that number had declined to 5.254%. Southern Baptists last comprised this percentage of the U.S. population in the 1950s.


The Takeover has not been good for the SBC in terms of membership; the supposed “liberal times” were good.


That's because population growth has moved ahead faster than church growth has, but that's not a problem unique to the SBC. And compare to other Protestant denominations. The SBC comes out better than the rest in terms of numbers.

As a percentage of the total US population, the SBC has seen a smaller decline than any other major Protestant denomination except the Assemblies of God. Everyone else has fallen even further and faster. Though I don't like the term "Largest Protestant Denomination in the United States," since the total membership of the SBC doesn't really match the average weekly attendance, the total membership of the SBC reached its peak in 2005, 26 years after the conservative resurgence began, 16 years after it had gained total control, at 16,600,000. That's an increase of 4 million over what it was when the conservatives came to power. In 2011, it reported 16,160,000, a drop of 440,000 over a six year period. That's disconcerting, but the second largest Protestant denomination, the United Methodist Church, lost more during the same period of time. http://www.ucmpage.org/articles/rwall.html Given that the percentages of United Presbyterians, Evangelical Lutherans, Episcopalians, and virtually every other organized Protestant denomination has fallen off at least as steeply, I would say the problem of membership decline is related to something other than who is in control of the denomination.
Sandy
Sandy
 
Posts: 8741
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:10 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:49 pm

Sandy wrote: Given that the percentages of United Presbyterians, Evangelical Lutherans, Episcopalians, and virtually every other organized Protestant denomination has fallen off at least as steeply, I would say the problem of membership decline is related to something other than who is in control of the denomination.


The above I would agree with for the most part (though I think you mean PCUSA rather than United Presbyterians). And it is because of the factors that Keith mentioned at the top. But honestly I believe that the SBC will see a growing decline in numbers as the denomination becomes even more like what younger people don't like about church.

The SBC had social southern demographics in its favor. It was the church of the South and that protected it for a while. But no longer.

Face it, Christians are spending their time arguing and wrangling about stuff no one cares about but other active church people. We are arguing about whom can marry whom and most young people don't care, we argue about esoteric stuff like Calvinism and Arminianism and most people have no idea what we are talking about and don't care. We argue about if women can preach and teach while women are running top companies and corporation and those outside the church think churches are old fashioned and out of touch for trying to keep women in the 19th century and therefore don't care.

Add on to that the desire in many congregations do to things the way they've always done them and cater to the already existing membership over new people and you can see why most churches aren't growing.

The figure I heard at Annual Conference is that 10% of US congregations are growing but 90% of those 10% are growing by transfer growth. Only 1% of US congregations are really growing by conversions.
Tim Bonney

First UMC of Indianola, Iowa - http://indfumc.org
My Blog - http://timbonney.com
User avatar
Tim Bonney
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5882
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:17 am
Location: Indianola, Iowa

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Gene Scarborough » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:02 pm

Golden Spur material, in my view!

It gives the stats that answer the question: "Why is America so corrupt these days?"
Gene Scarborough
Gene Scarborough
 
Posts: 3087
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:54 pm
Location: Bath, NC

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:24 pm

Gene Scarborough wrote:
It gives the stats that answer the question: "Why is America so corrupt these days?"


I don't know that America is corrupt or that the church is necessarily corrupt. What I see is that the church has developed its own culture which is a snapshot of the way the church has done things since the 50s or 60s. The culture around us is now 40 years or more beyond the church's culture in many cases. So the world inside the walls of the church no longer matches the world outside the church. Major portions of the church are now being seen as at the best quaint at the worst out of touch and anachronistic. Yet our mission has not change. We are still responsible to make disciples of Jesus Christ. But we can't do that if we can't communicate effectively to the culture we live in.
Tim Bonney

First UMC of Indianola, Iowa - http://indfumc.org
My Blog - http://timbonney.com
User avatar
Tim Bonney
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5882
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:17 am
Location: Indianola, Iowa

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Sandy » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:44 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:The SBC had social southern demographics in its favor. It was the church of the South and that protected it for a while. But no longer.


Among the traditional, caucasian Southern population it still is the "church." The problem is that demographic, white, native born Southerners, is aging and declining. It's in those Southern states now where the SBC is losing members. It is in areas that NAMB once labelled as "pioneer areas for Southern Baptist work" that the membership numbers are increasing. That's why I don't understand the way NAMB cut funding subsidies to state conventions. In places like New England, New York, Penn-South Jersey, church planting and church growth is at the exponential increase level. Perhaps they will shift some of the funding to church planting, but the associations and churches also need assistance for leadership until things get going well. There are close to a dozen SBC affiliated churches in the Philly area now that run over 500 in attendance on Sunday, a decade ago, there wasn't a single SBC church in the state convention that ran over 250.

Tim Bonney wrote:Face it, Christians are spending their time arguing and wrangling about stuff no one cares about but other active church people. We are arguing about whom can marry whom and most young people don't care, we argue about esoteric stuff like Calvinism and Arminianism and most people have no idea what we are talking about and don't care. We argue about if women can preach and teach while women are running top companies and corporation and those outside the church think churches are old fashioned and out of touch for trying to keep women in the 19th century and therefore don't care.


There are lots of things that Christians spend time arguing about that do indeed interfere with evangelistic growth, and I would agree that Calvinism and Arminianism are among the things that few people outside the church care about. I think David Kinnaman did a good job with research and presentation in his book unChristian in showing that right wing politics and judgmental attitudes about social issues are detrimental to church growth. It's not necessarily the issues themselves that cause a problem, it is the church's approach to them.

Opening the door to women in the pastorate hasn't contributed to the growth of any denomination that's done it. Denominations that are loaded with welcoming and affirming churches, and which approve of gay and lesbian clergy, are declining more rapidly than the SBC. It would seem that its "Southern-ness" (if there is such a word, but you know what I mean) is the main thing holding back the SBC from growth. Its state conventions in the Northeast, Upper Midwest, Northwest, Desert Southwest (Arizona and Nevada) and California are growing in both new churches and total membership. Other conservative evangelicals not based in the South, or which don't have a heavy concentration of churches and members in the South, such as the Christian and Missionary Alliance, the Assemblies of God, the Bible church fellowship, GARBC, the Church of the Nazarene, are experiencing almost exponential growth. None of them call women as pastors, or ordain gays and lesbians to the ministry, and they all accept inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible as a key doctrinal point. More than half of the new members recorded in the CMA in the past year have come via the baptistry, and more than 2/3 of them are adults, not children of church members. The CMA is equally conservative to the SBC, though a tad bit more influenced by Calvinism. But, there aren't many CMA churches in the "mega" category. Perhaps that may also have something to do with it.
Sandy
Sandy
 
Posts: 8741
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:10 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:59 pm

Sandy I don't think having women clergy effects church growth one way or another. Methodists have had women clergy long enough that half of the pastors at our retirement recognition this year were women. While it is still a hot button issue for Baptists and some others it hasn't been even an issue for Methodists and other mainliners for a long time. I know it is hard to believe in a Baptist culture but most mainliners give no more thought to their pastor being a man or woman than they do to the pastors hair color. People are a lot more concerned with how you work as a pastor than your gender. It is irrelevant. Making it an issue is what makes it an issue.

I know I'm very impressed with the Rector of our local Episcopal parish here in Cedar Falls. I attend her church sometimes when I'm on vacation. She has a packed church, she is a great preacher, and her worship leadership is excellent. And I can always guarantee I'll get communion, another plus. My current and former DS are both women clergy. It just isn't an issue in the mainline.

However, when I was in Des Moines I had at least one couple transfer to my church from another congregation (Evangelical Free) that wasn't supportive of women when they found out their daughter was being taught subordinationist theology. That was enough for them to move to an ABC congregation where they knew we supported women in leadership roles. At that time our Associate Pastor was a woman and she now pastors her own church in Indiana and I'm willing to bet she is one of the best ABC pastors in the state. She is just that good.

Frankly you all would benefit from letting talented women lead churches. It is your loss!
Tim Bonney

First UMC of Indianola, Iowa - http://indfumc.org
My Blog - http://timbonney.com
User avatar
Tim Bonney
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5882
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:17 am
Location: Indianola, Iowa

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby William Thornton » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:57 pm

Sandy wrote:It is in areas that NAMB once labelled as "pioneer areas for Southern Baptist work" that the membership numbers are increasing. That's why I don't understand the way NAMB cut funding subsidies to state conventions.


Not sure what you mean here. NAMB has cut some of the kickback money to state conventions but mostly in heavily churched states. States with a low church/population ratio now have priority and are given increased funding.

Some state conventions are complaining because NAMB will no longer fund a top-heavy, centralized administrative structure.
My stray thoughts on SBC stuff may be found at my blog, SBC Plodder
User avatar
William Thornton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12025
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 9:30 pm
Location: Atlanta

Niebuhr and Albert Lee Smith on definition of fundamentalism

Postby Stephen Fox » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:08 pm

Famous exchange 1990 at a D.C. event of the BJCPA. Gus Niebuhr and Sam Donaldson are on panel.
The Bircher Albert Lee Smith who Jesse Helms folks and Pressler had gotten on the trustee board of the BJC goes to a microphone.

He asks Gus Nieuhr, Richard's Grandson--then working as rel writer for NY Times, maybe WSJ--to call SBC fundamentalists; call them conservatives.

Niebuhr replied that would do injustice to the English Language and the definition of words.

All the Presidents of the SBC since the takeover with the possible exception of Jim Henry are fundamentalists, and Henry is too close to call.

It is what it is. Know way your creed is First 11 chapters of Genesis are Science and History and Not be a Fundamentalist.

It is what it is.

I used to take issue some with my Dad sayin it was a reach to call the takeover leaders Norrisites. But they were and they are. Look at Jerry Vines sermon in St. Louis 1987. He ought to own what he is, and to say otherwise is to beg the question.
"I'm the only sane {person} in here." Doyle Hargraves, Slingblade
"Midget, Broom; Helluva campaign". Political consultant, "Oh, Brother..."


http://www.foxofbama.blogspot.com or google asfoxseesit
Stephen Fox
 
Posts: 9129
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:29 pm

For Instance William Thornton is a fundamentalist

Postby Stephen Fox » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:14 pm

But on some Sundays I might feel at home listening to his sermon that I would say, Amy Butler. But I know in my heart and moreso in my Head Amy and Fleming Rutledge have a sounder revelation than Dr. Thornton, though I have come to have great affection for his grace and charity toward me on key occasions in the fellowship on this board.
Likewise with Adrian Rogers son, David, and Harry Dent's daughter, Ginny Brant.

They are responsible for the Light given them and in many ways they have honored their pilgrimage with more integrity than I have done with the best light Furman shone on me.
But that doesn't make them less fundamentalists, or cloudy in their articulation of what they are and what they have upbraided in the last 30 years.
I hope yet, Ginny and David will be on panel, two days if that's what it takes with Randall Balmer and Nathan Hatch; cause as yet still seems folks like Sandy don't quite get it; and folks like Gene Scarborough, well who would want to be in the same congregation with him. :wink: :wink: :gavel: :gavel: :wall: :thumb: :wave: :wave:
"I'm the only sane {person} in here." Doyle Hargraves, Slingblade
"Midget, Broom; Helluva campaign". Political consultant, "Oh, Brother..."


http://www.foxofbama.blogspot.com or google asfoxseesit
Stephen Fox
 
Posts: 9129
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:29 pm

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Stephen Fox » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:47 pm

Seriously, Has Bryant Wright read Giberson and Stephens the Anointed. And if he has what is his application to the disaster just 45 miles north of him at Shorter College?



Sandy wrote:
Big Daddy Weaver wrote:There are fundamentalists within the SBC.


In a denomination composed of independent, autonomous churches, institutions and agencies, with various layers of denominational relationships largely based in the Southern and Southwestern states, I'll concede that point. Some are within local churches where they've found a niche, some pastors have found their way into pulpits. Their practices and doctrines distinguish them from what I would call Traditional Southern Baptists in many ways and they would represent a very small fragment of a percentage of the whole in Texas, Missouri and Kentucky. Interestingly enough, the few fundamentalists you would find in Kentucky, mostly in the eastern mountains, are also Calvinist.

Big Daddy Weaver wrote:There are fundamentalists in leadership positions in the SBC who have influence. This is a fact that even actual Southern Baptists themselves will concede.


What I have read from moderate Baptists who have attempted to define the term "fundamentalism" as it pertains to the SBC is based on the misconception that they themselves are the Southern Baptist traditionalists. They have allowed an evolving definition of their own theology to be overlayed on top of the pre-1979 SBC and then define "fundamentalism" out of what remains when they are extracted from the equation. Essentially, anyone who is to the right of their version of Baptist history or theology is, by their definition, "fundamentalist." If you reject women serving as pastors, or ordaining gays and lesbians to the ministry, and hold to the belief that the Bible "has, for its matter, truth without any mixture of error and is entirely trustworthy in matters of faith and practice," then you are a fundamentalist. I have difficulty discerning whether or not Nancy Ammerman is a universalist, and I'm not sure that her definition of fundamentalist might just include a fair number of CBF'ers as well.

The recent attempted merger between the SBTC and the American Baptist Association (ABA) is an excellent example which illustrates the clear differences between fundamentalist Baptists and Southern Baptists. There is a fraternal relationship that didn't exist before, mainly for the benefit of the institutions and agencies of both groups, but neither group is willing to accept without caveat the doctrinal statement of the other. The ABA insists that the BFM2000 doesn't cover everything it should related to the fundamentals of the faith, and the SBTC isn't going to go along with the ABA statement which binds its churches to closed communion, rejects the practice of miraculous spiritual gifts, and requires premillenial dispensationalism, among other things. Those are all defining doctrines of Independent Baptist fundamentalism, and most Southern Baptists aren't going to buy at least two of the three.

So I'm wondering what definition of "fundamentalist" the majority of Southern Baptists would accept that would apply to themselves, and then who among the more influential leaders in the convention fits it. Maybe there are a few in some of the more obscure corners of the trustee boards and committees. Currently at the top, Frank Page and Bryant Wright are clearly not fundamentalists. On the executive board, the Vice-chair, Ernest Easley, who is just down the road from Wright, is not fundamentalist. Roger Spradlin, current chair, doesn't appear to be. If the convention elects Fred Luter as its next President, he isn't.
"I'm the only sane {person} in here." Doyle Hargraves, Slingblade
"Midget, Broom; Helluva campaign". Political consultant, "Oh, Brother..."


http://www.foxofbama.blogspot.com or google asfoxseesit
Stephen Fox
 
Posts: 9129
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:29 pm

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Sandy » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:27 pm

William Thornton wrote:
Sandy wrote:It is in areas that NAMB once labelled as "pioneer areas for Southern Baptist work" that the membership numbers are increasing. That's why I don't understand the way NAMB cut funding subsidies to state conventions.


Not sure what you mean here. NAMB has cut some of the kickback money to state conventions but mostly in heavily churched states. States with a low church/population ratio now have priority and are given increased funding.

Some state conventions are complaining because NAMB will no longer fund a top-heavy, centralized administrative structure.


What do they consider "heavily churched" ? I would guess Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, etc. But I think they cut New Mexico as well. I have a friend who is a DOM out there in an association that includes a couple of Reservations and his budget got slashed. I assumed it was because of the NAMB subsidy. New Mexico is neither a "heavily churched" state, nor is its state Baptist convention as large or as well established as that of its neighbor, Texas. Likewise, where I grew up, in Arizona, Southern Baptists are the third largest church group in the state, behind the Catholics and Mormons, and the state convention is almost 70 years old. Its added about 30,000 members in less than a decade, but still hasn't reached anywhere close to the point where conventions in Southern states have reached. I don't know if their NAMB subsidy got cut or not, the formula used to be $7 back for every $1 the state gave. Arizona's population has just about doubled in two decades, and Phoenix has grown into the fifth largest city in the country. I would hope the money is still there.
Sandy
Sandy
 
Posts: 8741
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:10 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Big Daddy Weaver » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:33 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:The SBC had social southern demographics in its favor. It was the church of the South and that protected it for a while. But no longer.


This is an astute observation. And I think this point really distinguishes Southern Baptists from the mainline Protestant denominations that have suffered decline. No doubt that many mainline denominatoins have experienced surprisingly steady declines over the years, generally in the range of .5% to 1%.

But those groups lost their cultural influence many decades ago.

The SBC on the other hand has enjoyed a completely different relationship with the culture. Yet, despite that positive and affirming relationship of solidarity with the culture, SBC has been on the slide for 20+ years now in terms of its percent of total American population. And now - ABP reported today - the SBC has lost members for the sixth consecutive year, dipping below 16 million members.

And what was the rate of decline? 1%

That number is significant. A 1% decline.

After six straight years edging up to 1%, how do you turn that around?

And if this trend continues, what do we do with the declines of mainline denominations? Does the theology-sunk-the-mainline really hold any water if the SBC continues down this path over the next 5-10 years? I don't think so.
User avatar
Big Daddy Weaver
 
Posts: 2494
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:15 am
Location: Waco, TX

16 million

Postby Stephen Fox » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:43 pm

About 5 million attend church routinely, and of them about two million if that know a hat from a Hole in the Ground; and you'd have to shake em good to find 25,000 who have read Giberson and Stephens, and only about ten who have read Evolving In Monkeytown.

But a lot of em have read the 11th Chapter of Hebrews, even Nancy Ammerman gave em that much, and they do have a sense of the Exaltation of the Individual when they embrace their community of faith; so what do you do with them.

How do you wean them off Fox News, and isn't it post George Wallace approval rating of Baptist Deacons in the 60's gettin about time for a more sophisticated understanding of the Kingdom of God; or does the dance continue with the person who brought em to the Ball.
"I'm the only sane {person} in here." Doyle Hargraves, Slingblade
"Midget, Broom; Helluva campaign". Political consultant, "Oh, Brother..."


http://www.foxofbama.blogspot.com or google asfoxseesit
Stephen Fox
 
Posts: 9129
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:29 pm

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Sandy » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:42 pm

Big Daddy Weaver wrote:
Timothy Bonney wrote:The SBC had social southern demographics in its favor. It was the church of the South and that protected it for a while. But no longer.


This is an astute observation. And I think this point really distinguishes Southern Baptists from the mainline Protestant denominations that have suffered decline. No doubt that many mainline denominatoins have experienced surprisingly steady declines over the years, generally in the range of .5% to 1%.

But those groups lost their cultural influence many decades ago.

The SBC on the other hand has enjoyed a completely different relationship with the culture. Yet, despite that positive and affirming relationship of solidarity with the culture, SBC has been on the slide for 20+ years now in terms of its percent of total American population. And now - ABP reported today - the SBC has lost members for the sixth consecutive year, dipping below 16 million members.

And what was the rate of decline? 1%

That number is significant. A 1% decline.

After six straight years edging up to 1%, how do you turn that around?

And if this trend continues, what do we do with the declines of mainline denominations? Does the theology-sunk-the-mainline really hold any water if the SBC continues down this path over the next 5-10 years? I don't think so.


I have a whole shelf full of books on this subject from thirty different authors and thirty different perspectives. I don't think there's one among them, from Lyle Schaller (A Methodist) to Dave Kinnaman (the Barna group) who has put their finger on it. I've read Thomas Reeve's book, The Empty Church, and he may be one of the closest to the answer. He, at least, did some research, and writes from the perspective of a Wisconsin Lutheran, so its hard to pigeonhole him as an angry fundamentalist on the subject, and he's got credentials as a scholar and expert on the subject. The book is old enough that it's hard to find more than publisher-type reviews on it, though here is one: http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modu ... oryid=2414 . I think the numerical evidence, and the research done on the subject, including Barna, leads to the conclusion that theological shift contributed to the decline of the mainline denominations.

Lumping the SBC in with the rest of conservative, Evangelical Christianity in terms of theology, methodology and cultural connection produces a false picture of what is actually happening. The mainlines are still declining, at a faster rate than the SBC, and have, with stances on gay and lesbian ordination, hastened the departure not only of members, but of whole churches. The SBC is also experiencing decline, mainly in the region where it was most culturally connected to the predominant population group, middle-class whites. As the population of the Southern states has increased with sun-seekers, and has become more culturally and ethnically diverse, the Southern Baptist churches in the South haven't changed their cultural appeal. The traditional population is aging and declining, the churches are more or less stuck by their leadership into continuing to worship and do church the way they've always done. So the churches are also aging and declining.

On the other hand, Southern Baptist churches in the Northeast are thriving and growing, at least, those that have learned to take a different approach than "Sundie mawnin' church in Jawjuh." And along with them, most conservative, Evangelical denominations, and churches, are experiencing growth as well. Non-denominational churches are generally not encumbered with a lot of denominational baggage, or cultural tradition, and they appeal to a larger group of people. But as I have mentioned before, groups like the CMA, Nazarenes, Assemblies of God, GARBC, Bible churches, Evangelical Free, and a host of other small denominations, along with non-denominational churches, are experiencing rapid growth. They are reaching both the unconverted, and the younger generation that grew up in mainline churches. Their worship is contemporary, fresh, and engaging, their approach to organizing and operating is very efficient, they avoid formal clergy designations, multi-layered structures and multiple associations. Sermons involve practical application of scriptural principles. The number of people converted in, and worshipping in non-denominational churches has doubled in each of the last two decades. The Christian and Missionary Alliance, which has an extensive international missions ministry, and has learned from that what it takes to translate the gospel into a language and style the culture can understand, has also doubled its membership in each of the last two decades. Likewise, the Church of the Nazarene is increasing by that much, and the Assemblies of God, in spite of the scandals of the 90's involving Swaggart and Bakker, is still growing as well.
Sandy
Sandy
 
Posts: 8741
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:10 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: SBC Calvinism New Statement

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:52 pm

Big Daddy Weaver wrote:
And if this trend continues, what do we do with the declines of mainline denominations? Does the theology-sunk-the-mainline really hold any water if the SBC continues down this path over the next 5-10 years? I don't think so.


I agree with you BDW. It will be pretty hard to maintain that mythos if decline the mainline has experience is mirrored in the SBC just further down the road.
Tim Bonney

First UMC of Indianola, Iowa - http://indfumc.org
My Blog - http://timbonney.com
User avatar
Tim Bonney
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5882
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:17 am
Location: Indianola, Iowa

PreviousNext

Return to SBC News and Trends

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest