"Witness to the Truth" book by religion journalist...

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"Witness to the Truth" book by religion journalist...

Postby William Thornton » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:13 pm

New book of interest to both SBCers and present and former SBC mod/libs (starts with the 'skybox' and Pressler, mods will be hooked).

Witness to the Truth by Louis Moore (he has a brand new blog here that covers both the release of his book and general comments on SBC presidentian elections), a religion reporter.

I haven't read it but would like to. One of the SBC bloggers has, his review is here, couple of exerpts of the review below.


He labors to narrate for us a tale of entrenched religious bureaucracies that regularly lie to their constituencies and stab their colleagues in the back in order to protect their own power. Moore probably wouldn't put that fine of a point on it—never did in the book—but that's the bottom line if I read it correctly.


He criticizes the secretive nature of SBC trustee governance, advocating a "sunshine law" to make all meetings in the SBC's governance system completely open to reporters denominational and secular. Moore further suggests that board standards for evaluating entity heads are mercurial and vulnerable to political abuse (although Moore does not regard all politics as inherently abusive). He advocates greater use of professional consultants to develop consistent, objective guidelines for our entities to follow in evaluating the performance of our entity heads. Throughout the book Moore communicates well his concern that conservative Southern Baptists might (have?) become little more than a rightward-nuanced variety of their predecessors in terms of the basic ills of "Baptistdom." Repeated references to George Orwell's Animal Farm dot the landscape of the book.


If you guys read it, let's hear about it.
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Wasn't there a strong rumor

Postby Stephen Fox » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:00 pm

back in late 80's that Moore slanted his writing toward the takeover cause Pressler was big chunk of money in scholarship for Moore's higher ed pursuits; and didn't Pressler scholarship Richard land as well, or am I creating historical fiction here??
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Re: Wasn't there a strong rumor

Postby Mark » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:38 pm

Yes, Louis Moore has been a longtime supporter of Patterson/Pressler. He wrote the preface to one or more (no pun intended) volumes from James Hefley's Truth in Crisis series about the SBC controversy.
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Re: "Witness to the Truth" book by religion journalist...

Postby Big Daddy Weaver » Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:19 pm

Hefley published this new book by Moore.

Notice Hannibal Books is the publisher. (The Truth In Crisis, Witness to the Truth, notice the theme...)

Bloggers out there are claiming that Moore is Independent.

With Hefley doing the publishing, I have a hard time believing that claim to be true.
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Re: "Witness to the Truth" book by religion journalist...

Postby Jonathan » Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:59 am

Big Daddy Weaver wrote:Hefley published this new book by Moore.

Notice Hannibal Books is the publisher. (The Truth In Crisis, Witness to the Truth, notice the theme...)

Bloggers out there are claiming that Moore is Independent.

With Hefley doing the publishing, I have a hard time believing that claim to be true.


What is your problem with Hefley?
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Re: "Witness to the Truth" book by religion journalist...

Postby TimR2 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:20 am

William; Here is another review of the book
http://sbctoday.com/2008/06/05/witness- ... ok-review/
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Re: "Witness to the Truth" book by religion journalist...

Postby Gary » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:08 am

Jonathan wrote:
What is your problem with Hefley?


Jonathan,

Past tense. "was". Hefley died in 2004. Dunno who is running the company now.

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Re: "Witness to the Truth" book by religion journalist...

Postby Big Daddy Weaver » Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:53 am

I didn't realize that Hefley himself had died. Here is from the website:

Hannibal Books was founded in the mid-1980s by Jim and Marti Hefley, authors of more than 50 books. At that time, the Hefleys lived in Hannibal, Missouri--hence the name of the company. In 1999, the Hefleys sold Hannibal Books to Louis and Kay Moore, veteran newspaper journalists and book editors and authors. The Moores moved Hannibal Books to their hometown--Garland, Texas. Today the company has grown and continues to publish quality Christian books at affordable prices.


So Louis Moore literally self-published.

As to my beef with Hefley, I recently had to go through the whole Truth in Crisis set. I'm amazed that so many people on the blogs cite Hefley as a disseminator of Truth. His books are poorly footnoted and he relies heavily on what he was told in conversations being had by fundamentalists that he happened to overhear in the "hallway." He could have at least offered some balance to the gossip by telling his readers what the moderates were chatting about in the "hallway."

I trust the contents of his book about as much as I trust the contents of the gossip mags at the grocery store. But I think we've had this conversation before and somewhat recently.
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Re: "Witness to the Truth" book by religion journalist...

Postby Dave Roberts » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:54 pm

Hefley and Robert Tenery wrote everything in "National Enquirer" style with about the same support. I read most of it when it came out.
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Re: "Witness to the Truth" book by religion journalist...

Postby Jonathan » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:35 pm

Gary wrote:
Jonathan wrote:
What is your problem with Hefley?


Jonathan,

Past tense. "was". Hefley died in 2004. Dunno who is running the company now.

Gary


I know Hefley is past tense (at least for this earthly coil) but BDW's problem with him is current.

I've heard several times that folks had problems with his history of the controversy but in every case, the problems were that he didn't report what he saw and heard (or researched) in a desired way. I've not read anyone refute something he wrote.

His stuff remains the most thorough and least biased of any of the histories of the controversy I've read. For those who are now foaming at the mouth over my use of "least biased", catch your breath and show me where his writings were biased.
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Re: "Witness to the Truth" book by religion journalist...

Postby Haruo » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:48 pm

Jonathan wrote:I've heard several times that folks had problems with his history of the controversy but in every case, the problems were that he didn't report what he saw and heard (or researched) in a desired way. I've not read anyone refute something he wrote.

And while you're at it, let's see a really well-documented refutation of the Bat Boy stories. (...alluding to someone's reference to the National Enquirer supra...)

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Re: "Witness to the Truth" book by religion journalist...

Postby Stephen Fox » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:06 pm

I got along with Hefley the couple times I was in Press Room with him. He gave me the whole set up till that time in New Orleans, but I lost them on the way home.
For better or worse Hefley was the only person to report best I can remember on the volatile Council for National Policy meetings of Pressler and Patterson that Neal Rodgers reported in Baugh's (Laity Journal); lot of intrigue with James Dunn and Pressler and Patterson in San Antone the Weds Morning of the Convention about 11Am

Dunn and Neal Rodgers were holding a press conference as several were interviewing Patterson in the corner.
Babs Baugh and her then husband Bob Morrison, former prez of the Baylor Alum Association were there in the audience of a hundred or so.

In some ways that press conference in 88 was precursor to everything sinister to come with Bush 43, Rove and Land; and you can now read all that in Weisberg's chapter on rel right in The Tragedy of George Bush, or Chris Hedges great lecture at Furman May 28; or Brandt Ayers in the Anniston Star I link in the Hedges/John Dean thread.
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Re: "Witness to the Truth" book by religion journalist...

Postby Jonathan » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:15 pm

Haruo wrote:
Jonathan wrote:I've heard several times that folks had problems with his history of the controversy but in every case, the problems were that he didn't report what he saw and heard (or researched) in a desired way. I've not read anyone refute something he wrote.

And while you're at it, let's see a really well-documented refutation of the Bat Boy stories. (...alluding to someone's reference to the National Enquirer supra...)

Haruo


Not sure how that's a response to my comment to the allegations about Hefley...but what the hey.
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Re: "Witness to the Truth" book by religion journalist...

Postby Big Daddy Weaver » Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:25 pm

Hefley is biased because he interviews fundamentalist leaders ad nauseam but RARELY IF EVER gives moderate leaders the chance to give their side of the story. That's the most glaring example of bias.

I don't have a few hours to flip through to find specific examples. But to speak from my specific area of expertise, you'll notice that in 5 volumes, Hefley carries just one interview with James Dunn and that interview was conducted by another reporter. Instead of interviewing Dunn, he frequently went to Paige Patterson, Paul Pressler and Jerry Vines for their thoughts and comments about Dunn and the BJC. Dunn is not afforded the opportunity to folks like Paige Patterson who compare Dunn & the BJC to "Sodom and Gomorah." When Dunn is accused of befriending pornographic smut peddlers, he gets no chance to respond again.

I think anyone who knows James Dunn also knows that he is not a man of few words and he's not one to turn down an interview request.

If it was the "least biased" - why is it that fundamentalists love it and moderates hate it?

It seems the "least biased" take on the Controversy would probably tick off both sides to an extent. I haven't heard any "conservatives" complain about Hefley...
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Re: "Witness to the Truth" book by religion journalist...

Postby Stephen Fox » Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:48 pm

I'm on your side with James Dunn against Jesse Helms, Pressler and the SBC takeover.
However, I doubt Dunn was "available" to talk to Hefley in those days.
Dunn helped deliver Texas to Jimmy Carter in 76, as one biographer has noted. That for sure got under Pressler's skin.
Dunn can politic with the best of them and for the most part, with you BDid, I thank God he did.
Henlee Barnette stood up to Duke McCall and the Southern Board when the matter of King came up in the early 60's. I doubt Baptist Press had much of a prophetic voice about it at the time.
For sure folks like Hefley had lot of room to be "confused".
My friend Ellen Rosenberg did a great job explaining a good bit of this in 88. I'm sure you and Ben Cole went through it thoroughly in Hankins class.
Right now I'm a little confused with Fisher Humpheys book being editted by Tim George and Eric Mason, though I think Mason is a good fellow.
Would love for you and Hankins to explore Fisher thoroughly on the matter of George's ERLC pamphlet being a building block for the dismissal of Paul Simmons at Southern.
If Hankins couldn't come to a stronger weighing of deceit and mediocrity in his assessment of Land and Mohler and George convictions in Uneasy in Babylon; then as a friend I don't see a lot of room for your heavy handed dismissal of a struggler like Hefley just because he didn't have the "Baylor" brand or imprimatur on his work.
As my friend (almost gore's speechwriter, Richard Marius) said in the 81 Esquire mag article, lot of the Babdiss mess came down to class resentments as one moderate pastor disdainfully said, these fundy boys aren't even considered for the Rotary Club in their local hamlets.
And if the SBC in a sense was just one big Rotary Club wannabee in the 60's and early 70's; then just where do folks like you and me get off the bus???????
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Re: "Witness to the Truth" book by religion journalist...

Postby Haruo » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:38 pm

Jonathan wrote:
Haruo wrote:
Jonathan wrote:I've heard several times that folks had problems with his history of the controversy but in every case, the problems were that he didn't report what he saw and heard (or researched) in a desired way. I've not read anyone refute something he wrote.

And while you're at it, let's see a really well-documented refutation of the Bat Boy stories. (...alluding to someone's reference to the National Enquirer supra...)

Haruo


Not sure how that's a response to my comment to the allegations about Hefley...but what the hey.

It wasn't a response your comment. Rather it was an codicil to your comment, a request directed at the same "anyone" you mentioned not having seen a refutation of Hefley. And it was meant in jest, as your what the hey correctly suggests.

Haruo
who has not read Hefley, and hasn't read the National Enquirer for many years...
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