A Progressive Theo-Political Blog Bringing You The Best and Worst of Baptist Life.

Thursday, May 31, 2007


Georgie Ann Geyer: A Spreading Terror - via Dallas Morning News.

The White House sees terrorists as born, not created by history, bearing the mark of Cain, not the mark of circumstance. There is a scarlet "T" written on their foreheads at birth and the only answer is to destroy them. This kind of thinking, of course, relieves the thinker of any responsibility for the presence of the insurgent-terrorist-whatever in our innocent midst.

What's more, there is not much real give in the administration's policies. True, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other American diplomats met Memorial Day weekend with the Iranians in Baghdad (a good first move but limited, since the Iranians have most of the power because of our incredible stupidity in Iraq). But by all reports, President Bush is more convinced than ever of his righteousness.

Friends of his from Texas were shocked recently to find him nearly wild-eyed, thumping himself on the chest three times while he repeated "I am the president!" He also made it clear he was setting Iraq up so his successor could not get out of "our country's destiny."

Bush's wild-eyed I AM THE PRESIDENT spill reminds me of Denzel Washington's profanity-laced tirade at the end of his Oscar-winning performance for Training Day.
I am the man up in this beast. Who do you think you're messing with? I'm the police! I run {stuff} here. You just live here...King Kong ain't got {nothing} on me!
Pound your chest a time or two, Mr. President. We know all too well who you are...

HT: Texas In Africa

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Recovering E.Y. Mullins

From the Spring issue of The Whitsitt Journal:

According to E.Y. Mullins...

The right of private judgment is a dangerous word, but it is a winged and emancipating word. It is the sole guaranty that humanity will pass out of the childhood to the adulthood stage of religion…It was the hammer with which Roger Williams broke the chain which united church and state…the right of private judgment; yes, a dangerous word, but a word which started humanity on new voyage of spiritual discovery. (From “Baptist Life in the World’s Life,” 1928)

On pastors and deacons: “These are not masters, but servants; they are not rulers, but guides; they are not officials clothed with authority, but teachers. They are simply first among equals, selected to perform certain duties because of their special fitness, and not because they exercise any authority. They are spiritual leaders.” (From “Baptist Theology in the New World Order,” 1920)

Religious liberty excluded the imposition of religious creeds by ecclesiastical authority. Confessions of faith by individuals or groups of people, voluntarily framed and set forth as containing the essentials of what humanity believes to be the Gospel, are all right. They are merely one way of witnessing to the truth. But when they are laid upon people's consciences by ecclesiastical command, or by a form of human authority, they become a shadow between the soul and God, an intolerable yoke, an impertinence and a tyranny. (From “The Baptist Conception of Religious Liberty,” 1923)

What, then, is the Baptist conception of Christianity? Is it best expressed by Luther’s great discovery of the doctrine of justification by faith? It is this but more. Is it in the doctrine of the right of private interpretation of Scripture? Yes, but more. All depends on what you find when you interpret. Is it soul-freedom? Yes, but more. For the free soul may grope in darkness in its quest for truth, and the question of freedom is what humanity will do with his freedom. Freedom does not imply capacity for self-government. Is it individualism? Yes, and more. A person is more than an individual. He is a social being and must live and work in a social order. Is it the separation of Church and State? Yes, and more. For the separation of Church and State may involve tyranny in the Church and tyranny in the State.

There is a larger and better statement of the Baptist position. It is inclusive of all the above, and more. It is this: The competency of the soul in religion. This, of course means under God. It is the assertion of sublime truth that humanity is capable of himself to work out his destiny under the tutelage of God alone. As an individual and as a social being, humankind is competent. (From “The Historical Significance of the Baptists,” 1906)

Editor’s Note: Inclusive language was inserted (e.g., humanity for man).

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Frank Page Takes The Gloves Off

Brian Kaylor addresses Frank Page's lash out at the New Baptist Covenant. First, read what Page wrote:
I will not be a part of any smokescreen leftwing liberal agenda that seeks to deny the greatest need in our world, that being that the lost be shown the way to eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
I'm glad Brian took the time to respond.

Admittedly, Frank Page hasn't made many inflammatory remarks in the past year.

But irenic my butt. His latest BP op-ed sounds like the old Frank Page. The fightin' fundy Frank that I heard speak to a sleepy group of mediocre college students about 7 years ago. The guy that gave the Calvinists a 70-page whoopin in The Trouble With The Tulip (which by the way, I sold my signed copy for $35!). That Frank Page.

Well Frank, thanks for playing nice....for a while.

Read Wade Burleson: Is It a Rebuke or a Response?

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Southern Baptist Covention - God, Guts, & Guns

Check out this article from the Baptist Center for Ethics.

A snippet below...
The Air Force denied it was a sponsor of a Memorial Day weekend festival at Stone Mountain, Ga., honoring the military and featuring introduction of a new paperback Bible designed for military personnel published by the Southern Baptist Convention.

Holman Bible Outreach International, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources, announced plans to give away 3,000 copies of its new Holman CSB Military Bible, "designed to meet the specific needs of military personnel and was created a format that is easy to carry," at the May 26-28 event honoring active duty and veteran U.S. troops and their families.

Featured speakers at the three-day event, expected to draw 100,000 people, included former SBC President Bobby Welch, a decorated Vietnam War veteran and author of You, The Warrior Leader.

LifeWay said it was sponsoring the event with the United States Air Force, Task Force Patriot USA, General Motors and others. The advance press release described the Task Force Patriot Salute to the Troops as "an official U.S. Air Force 60th anniversary event." At least one military publication, from Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, called it an official Air Force event.

Let's forget (for a moment) about the church-state issues that surround this event.

What the heck is a CSB Military Bible?

From the article...

"For these perilous times, for the men and women who serve the cause of freedom around the world, Holman Bible Publishers is pleased to provide the entire Bible in a format that is easy to carry, and that is designed to meet the specific needs of those who serve in the most difficult of situations," said a product description on LifeWay's online store.

LifeWay has for some time carried the New Testament and Psalms customized with the particular seal of the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines and containing hymns including the "Star Spangled Banner," "America the Beautiful," "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "Onward Christian Soldier."

Other special features in all editions, according to one on-line vendor, include the Pledge of Allegiance, plan of salvation, prayers of General George S. Patton and President George Washington and quotes from current Commander in Chief President George W. Bush.

Talk about some God and Country! The publisher of the Southern Baptist Covention is selling a Bible that contains quotes from George W. Bush! What to say?

I thought I'd heard it all. Seriously. Wow. Folks, this is Civil Religion at its finest. This is just one of many examples that prove that the misguided focus of the SBC on the notion of a Christian America has resulted in an insiduous form of civil religion. Civil Religion is simply the mixing of traditional religion with national life until the two become indistinguishable. That's precisely what we have here - the Holy Bible combined with a heavy dose of American Nationalism. For what purpose? To serve whose militaristic desires? As one wise Baptist said years ago - "This idolatrous religion depends upon patriotic fervor to be its Holy Spirit and Adam Smith its prophet...When the largest Baptist body in the nation, historic champions of religious freedom, officially and blatantly turns to accommodation rather than separation, and CIVIL RELIGION rather than prophetic witness, it is ALARMING."


For more on the SBC's own military B-I-B-L-E

Levellers - Idolatrous Nationalism From SBC Publishing House

For God's Sake Shut Up! - Militaristic Christianity

Also, take a minute and contact Lifeway with your displeasure. I am.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Baptist Blogging - The Whitsitt Journal

Below is my article from the Spring issue of The Whitsitt Journal, a semi-annual publication of the William Whitsitt Baptist Heritage Society.
Founded in 1992, following 12 years of denominational infighting among Southern Baptists, the William Whitsitt Baptist Heritage Society was birthed by moderate Baptist historians concerned that fundamentalism endangered much of traditional Baptist heritage. The Society publishes a Journal, meets annually during the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly, and presents the annual Courage Award.
Baptist Blogging
Aaron Weaver

Since the turn of the 21st century, internet blogs have become a major facet in American politics. Some blogs, such as Arianna Huffington's “Huffington Post,” report the breaking news of the day while others serve merely as online gossip hubs. Bloggers are often the first to report on seemingly obscure stories. Beginning in 2002, mainstream media outlets began covering stories made popular in the blogosphere. In early December 2002, Senator Trent Lott (R-MS), Majority Leader of the United States Senate, praised Strom Thurmond at a party in his honor by suggesting that the United States would have been better off had Thurmond been elected President in 1948. Prominent bloggers like Josh Marshall (talkingpointsmemo.com), Atrios (atrios.blogspot.com), Glenn Reynolds (instapundit.com), and their 200,000+ readers viewed Lott's comments as a tacit approval of racial segregation, a policy advocated by Thurmond's 1948 presidential campaign. Ultimately, the efforts of these bloggers and their readers helped to create a political crisis that forced Lott to step down as Majority Leader. The role that blogging played in Lott's fall from grace gave greater credibility to blogs as a medium of news dissemination.

Since 2004, blogs have become increasingly mainstream as political consultants and candidates have begun using blogs as tools for outreach, fundraising, and opinion forming. Blog communities such as the Daily Kos (dailykos.com) have been quite successful in electing grassroots candidates at both the national and state levels. In fact, Howard Dean used his blog and other bloggers to help raise over $20 million in contributions via the Internet alone. Politicians such as Eliot Spitzer of New York even announced that he was running for Governor via his blog.

Blogs have also become an extremely popular and influential means of communication, especially as a medium of exchanging ideas, among Christians. Of the more than four million blogs in the constantly expanding blogosphere, thousands belong to Christians. Commonly referred to as “Godblogs”—blogs whose content is primarily of a religious nature—these bloggers actively seek to influence and impact the world around them. The power of the blogosphere lies in its interconnection. Admittedly, only a small percentage of the “Godblogs” generate thousands of visitors daily. However, through blog communities, group blogs, blogrings and other networks lies the power of less popular blogs to influence others.

Just last summer, Time Magazine wrote that bloggers contributed significantly to Frank Page's election as President of the Southern Baptist Convention in the first seriously contested presidential race since the Fundamentalist Takeover. Over the last two years, blogging among Southern Baptists has become increasingly popular, but not without controversy. Hundreds of Southern Baptists have become bloggers and many have dared to publicly challenge the decisions and motives of prominent fundamentalist leaders such as Paige Patterson and Roger Moran. The most influential and controversial Southern Baptist blogs belong to Wade Burleson (kerussocharis.blogspot.com), Oklahoma pastor and embattled trustee of the International Mission Board, Marty Duren (sbcoutpost.com), a Georgia pastor, and Ben Cole (baptistblog.wordpress.com), a young Texas pastor who quite frequently expresses strong disdain for his former boss Paige Patterson.

Unfortunately, most moderate Baptists have not chosen to jump into the cutting edge waters of the blogosphere to disseminate their views. Robert Parham of the Baptist Center of Ethics has described this condition, but also issued a challenge to moderates to make greater use of internet technology. In 2006 he wrote, "A few centrist Baptists are (blogging), however. They're a small tribe who apparently believe that moral opinions matter, that moderate avoidance of conflict is moral indifference, that candles shouldn't be hidden under bushels. They are young. They are outnumbered 10-1 by the fundamentalist bloggers."

Younger Baptists can be reached by blogging. They blog; they read blogs; they like blogs. They are exchanging ideas with each other, and they are willing to read blogs from other Baptists of all ages. Their blogging is of course not limited to Baptist or even religious subjects, but some bloggers are thinking and writing about topics of interests to moderate Baptists.

Some moderate/progressive Baptists are already making an impact. A few of the more significant moderate Baptist bloggers are as follows:

  • Dr. Bruce Prescott, Executive Director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists, hosts the blog Mainstream Baptist (mainstreambaptist.blogspot.com) and is the “Father of the Baptist Blogosphere.” Blogging daily for three years, Prescott posts on a wide range of issues from the “New Baptist Covenant” to the need for a “Living Wage.” No friend of fundamentalists, Prescott frequently chides Southern Baptist leaders for their unwavering support of the Bush Administration. Prescott is also the founder of the “Mainstream Baptist Group Blog” (mainstreambaptists.blogspot.com) which features posts from a dozen "mainstream" Baptists who are committed to the separation of church and state, soul freedom, and compassionate justice.
  • Brian Kaylor, a Communications Specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Missouri and doctoral student at the University of Missouri, hosts the blog “For God's Sake Shut Up!” (forgodsakeshutup.blogspot.com). Kaylor’s blog is designed to teach Christians how to communicate effectively, which includes knowing when to remain silent. All too often, Religious Right leaders make outrageous statements that damage the image and witness of Christians around the world. Kaylor confronts these harmful statements regularly on his blog.
  • Melissa Rogers, Visiting Professor of Religion and Public Policy at Wake Forest University Divinity School, hosts a widely-read blog (melissarogers.typepad.com) on religion's intersection with public affairs. Recognized on Capitol Hill as one of America's top church-state experts, Rogers’ blog offers daily insight into the happenings of religion and politics both inside and outside of the beltway in Washington, D.C.
  • Dr. Michael Westmoreland-White hosts “Levellers” (levellers.wordpress.com), a blog named after the religiously-inspired political movement for democracy, human rights, and peace led by Richard Overton. A former theologian (SBTS '95) turned peace activist/educator, Westmoreland-White focuses mostly on politics with a special emphasis on peace and justice related issues. Recently, Westmoreland-White started a “Christian Peace Bloggers’ blogring with over 50 active members.
  • “Blog from the Capital” (www.bjconline.org/cgi-bin), hosted by the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, is another noteworthy blog. Run by Don Byrd, “Blog from the Capital” provides the most comprehensive coverage of religious liberty issues and church-state jurisprudence in the entire blogosphere.
  • Two more notable Baptist blogs are “Moral Contradictions” (moralcontradictions.org) hosted by Nathan White, a student at Baptist Theological Seminary of Richmond, and “Texas in Africa” (texasinafrica.blogspot.com), hosted by Laura Seay, a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas and member of the First Baptist Church of Austin. Both bloggers regularly write on social justice related issues.

Baptist blogging: add the phrase to your vocabulary.

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When Do We Get To Practice What They Preach?

A comic or commentary on Baptist Life that can be found in the latest edition of The Whitsitt Journal brought to you by the William H. Whitsitt Baptist Heritage Society.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Julie Pennington-Russell Leaves Texas For Georgia

After almost nine years as Senior Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, Julie Pennington-Russell (my pastor) is leaving Texas for Georgia (my home state).

Starting in late June, Pastor Julie will begin as the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Decatur, Georgia. Over 140 years old, FBC Decatur allows its members to contribute the national and international mission portion of their offering through either the CBF or the SBC. According to their website, 80% of mission funds are directed through the CBF and about 20% through the SBC. A good-ole fashioned "Choice" Church. Keeping the peace with those who still love Annie and Lottie ain't a bad idea. My childhood church does the same. FBC Decatur lists 2,696 current members.

In 1998, Pastor Julie became the first female senior pastor of a church affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. A graduate of Golden Gate Seminary, before coming to Calvary, Pastor Julie served as the pastor of Nineteenth Avenue Church in San Francisco (1993-1998) and as the church's associate pastor (1984-1993). During her tenure in California, Southern Baptist fundamentalists failed for three consecutive years to have 19th Avenue Baptist Church removed from the state convention. Upon Pastor Julie's arrival to Waco, dozens of protestors from God Said Ministries picketed Calvary's Sunday services. In addition to her pastoral duties, Pastor Julie has served on the board of the Baptist Joint Committee and on the CBF's Coordinating Council. Recently, Pastor Julie was announced as a speaker at next January's Celebration of the New Baptist Covenant.

While living in Atlanta, I visited First Decatur a handful of times. Nice church. The folks were friendly. One of my best friends served as Decatur's College Minister before becoming a full-time pastor. Surrounded by Emory and Agnes Scott and with Georgia Tech nearby, Decatur is a great place to minister to college students and young adults. For years, Molly Marshall was THE woman pastor emulated by many young Baptist women including Pastor Julie. Now, many many young Baptist women look to Julie Pennington-Russell as a role model to emulate. Pastor Julie will indeed be widely missed by Calvary and the Baylor community. FBC Decatur is getting a gem in Julie Pennington-Russell.

-"I am a pastor, not in spite of what the Bible says, but because of what the Bible says." - Julie Pennington-Russell

Friday, May 25, 2007

Obama v. McCain - An 18 Month Pissing Match?

From MotherJones....

After Barack Obama opposed the recently-approved war funding bill that replaces timelines for withdrawal with toothless benchmarks, John McCain said the position was "the equivalent of waving a white flag to al Qaeda." Mitt Romney also had harsh words.

Obama responded:

"This country is united in our support for our troops, but we also owe them a plan to relieve them of the burden of policing someone else’s civil war. Governor Romney and Senator McCain clearly believe the course we are on in Iraq is working, but I do not.
"And if there ever was a reflection of that it's the fact that Senator McCain required a flack jacket, ten armored Humvees, two Apache attack helicopters, and 100 soldiers with rifles by his side to stroll through a market in Baghdad just a few weeks ago."

(For background on what Obama is referring to, see these blog posts.) McCain shot back less than two hours later:

"While Senator Obama's two years in the U.S. Senate certainly entitle him to vote against funding our troops, my service and experience combined with conversations with military leaders on the ground in Iraq lead me to believe that we must give this new strategy a chance to succeed because the consequences of failure would be catastrophic to our nation's security.
"By the way, Senator Obama, it's a 'flak' jacket, not a 'flack' jacket."

Who needs policy analysis, right? We've got eighteen months of petty sniping to look forward to!

Actually, this should take the humor out of this whole situation -- the insurgents made an example out of that bazaar McCain visited in a flak jacket, ambushing, binding, and murdereding 23 workers shortly after the Senator's visit.

Well, at least McCain showed up to vote. Before voting aye on the war funding bill, McCain had gone 5 weeks without casting a vote. In fact, McCain has missed nearly 50% of the votes in the 110th Congress - compared to Hillary at 1.8% and Obama at 6.4%. Apparently he's the first Presidential candidate to be absent for such a high percentage of votes.

We'll have to wait and see if McCain's Hawkish ways can win him that nomination. I have my doubts. If he does, I look forward to the possibility of an Obama v. McCain race. Meanwhile, we get to enjoy many more months of this pissing match between the two.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bloggin Richard Land, Part 2

What Liberals Are Missing

That's the title of the second chapter of Richard Land's new book, The Divided States of America

And, well, it's far from being fair and balanced. Sam Harris is Land's first target. Thankfully, Land acknowledges that Harris "does not speak for all liberals." So, Land moves on to attack Jim Wallis and Jimmy Carter. For the next few pages, Land gloats about the booty (i.e. ERLC) he won as a result of the Fundamentalist Takeover. Jimmy gets deemed a hypocrite and Wallis gets kicked a time or two.

Land writes...

It's a cheap shot to criticize the Right for narrowing the litmus test to abortion and gay marriage, because narrowing and prioritizing are two different things. Can there be a more compelling issue than three thousand six hundred babies dying every day?....

Again, I would contend that supporting traditional marriage is not narrowing but prioritizing. Marriage is the basic building block of human society.

So, the Right has prioritized not narrowed? Land is going to have a hard time selling that argument. Beyond abortion and gay marriage, what other issues have been on the Right's agenda for the past two decades? If the agenda has not been narrowed as Land claims, what happened to priorities #3, #4, and beyond?

Continuing, Land places the pro-life movement as the successors to the 19th century abolitionists. He declares that conservative Evangelicals will always be tied to the Republican Party as long as the Democratic Party remains "pro-abortion."

More gloating:

Liberals have been losing their grip on the levers of power. They have been challenged concerning the moral high ground in this society, and they are fiercely on the defensive. That is why they put up such a big fight over Samuel Alito's Supreme Court nomination: they lost the Congress, they lost the presidency, and now they have lost their last refuge, the Supreme Court. You can resist the will of the people for a while, but eventually the will of the people will prevail. Every two years President Carter, Senator Danforth, Jim Wallis, and their followers get an opportunity to make their arguments and convince the American people they're right. I'm perfectly content to leave the decision to the will of the people in every election cycle.

I guess Land was unable to edit this passage before The Divided States of America hit the printing press. The people spoke and well a few changes were made.

More to come....


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Jimmy Carter Meets With Southern Baptist Bloggers

From Associated Baptist Press

ATLANTA (ABP) -- Former President Jimmy Carter met with several well-known Southern Baptist bloggers May 17 in Atlanta to solicit support for an unprecedented gathering of Baptists in North America.

Carter, perhaps the world's most prominent Baptist layman, invited the bloggers and other Southern Baptist leaders to become part of the planning for the "Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant," scheduled for next January in the Georgia capital.

The invitation comes even though some SBC denominational leaders have rejected official participation in the event.

"I think it was extremely constructive," said Dan Malone, an attorney from El Paso, Texas, who helped facilitate the meeting. He added that there was "a good spirit among everyone and a recognition that you don't have to agree on every single theological issue or doctrinal issue that's out there to agree to cooperate in evangelism and missions with other Baptists, with like-minded Baptists."....

The Atlanta meeting included Oklahoma pastor Wade Burleson, Texas pastor Benjamin Cole, Georgia pastor Marty Duren, and Alabama pastor C.B. Scott. Organizers said other non-blogger Southern Baptist leaders had been invited but were unable to attend.

The leaders of the New Baptist Covenant effort have said they hope to draw as many as 10,000 Baptists from various denominations to Atlanta. They plan to discuss ways of working on a "compassion agenda" to address social justice and human rights rather than squabbling over doctrinal or political differences.

When Carter and former President Bill Clinton announced the effort in January, some Southern Baptist leaders denounced it as an attempt to advance Democratic hopes among Baptist voters in the 2008 elections.

But some bloggers -- including Cole and Burleson -- who are popular among younger SBC leaders have criticized the dismissal....

According to Cole, Carter's overtures were well-received.

"…Southern Baptists will do ourselves and the world a great disservice if we continue down a path of provincialism and evangelical megalomania whereby we dismiss providential moments for collaborative efforts…," he said in an e-mail shortly after the meeting ended. "I am thankful for the way that President Carter understands and appreciates the tightrope that younger conservative Southern Baptists must walk in these difficult days of self-definition, and I look forward to participating in a new forum to explore our shared commitments with Baptists across the racial, political, and ecclesial divides in North America." Read full story here.

Also, according to the Associated Baptist Press, 3 prominent Republicans have accepted invitations to participate in the Celebration of the New Baptist Covenant.

Republican Senators Lindsay Graham (S.C.) and Charles Grassley (Iowa) join Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee as recently named participants for the Jan. 30-Feb. 1 New Baptist Covenant Celebration in Atlanta, billed as the broadest Baptist meeting in America since Baptists divided over slavery before the Civil War. Organizers hope to attract 20,000 people to the gathering.

Carter already has enlisted former President Bill Clinton and Al Gore, the former vice president who came within 537 Florida votes of succeeding Clinton. They all are Democrats, as is ‘60s-era presidential adviser Bill Moyers, now a journalist and author....

In additiona to the slate of Democrat and Republican politicians, 3 pastors have been announced as speakers. My pastor, Julie Pennington-Russell of Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, Texas is on that list. Also included are two African American pastors - Charles Adams, pastor of Hartford Baptist Church in Detroit and past president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, and William Shaw, pastor of White Rock Baptist Church in Philadelphia and president of the National Baptist Convention USA Inc., largest of the four main black Baptist denominations.

Renowned Texas Baptist, Joel Gregory - preaching professor at Baylor's Truett Seminary, is also scheduled to speak. Add to that list Marian Wright Edelman, civil rights leader and founder of the Children's Defense Fund, and Tony Campolo.

Great list thus far.

Someone needs to give civil rights legend John Lewis a call. How many ordained Baptist ministers are roaming the halls of Congress these days?

Atlanta is his city after all.

These new developments are indeed interesting. I'm waiting to hear Southern Baptists respond to this turn of events. Kudos to Jimmy Carter for keeping his promise and finding three Republican Baptists to speak. And Kudos to Wade Burleson and Ben Cole for being willing to cooperate with other Baptists.

Note: The man on the far-right of the picture is Mercer University President Bill Underwood. Underwood has been an instrumental figure in organizing the New Baptist Covenant and next January's Celebration.


Wade Burleson meets Jimmy Carter: "That Which Unites Us Is The Gospel Of Christ"
Ben Cole on meeting Jimmy Carter, New Baptist Covenant Part 1
Marty Duren of SBCOutPost meets Jimmy Carter
Brian Kaylor - New Baptist Covenant (MUST READ INSIDER TAKE)
Melissa Rogers - Huckabee, Grassley, and Graham to Speak at Celebration of NBC
EthicsDaily.com - Politicians, Preachers Headline 2008 Baptist Confab Program
Texas In Africa - baptists, baptists, baptists!
Mainstream Baptist - Republican Baptists Joint Democrat Baptists at NBC Celebration
Jesus Politics - Jimmy Carter meets with Southern Baptist Bloggers

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bloggin Richard Land, Part 1

I'm weak. Tonight, I gave in and purchased Richard Land's new book, The Divided States of America?: What Liberals AND Conservatives are missing in the God-and-country shouting match! For the $25 spent, I hope it's worth the money. We'll see...

Over the next week or two, I will be blogging about Land's seemingly "moderate" contribution to the shelves of your local bookstore.

Chapter 1: What's God God to Do with America

Land begins by pointing to those popular authors who blow a great deal of hot air and tend to aggravate many. Dick Land is an equal-opportunity offender. He takes short pot-shots at everyone from Al Franken and Michael Moore to Ann Coulter, Bernard Goldberg, and Michael Savage.

Noting that these colorful figures rarely raise the level of discourse, Land writes:

The problem with nasty shouting matches is that eventually they get boring for all except the few principals juicing their adrenaline and the followers feeding off the vicarious thrill. The most thoughtful inevitably turn down the volume simply by turning away.

Continuing, Land criticizes the media for "misleading the country into thinking there is greater divisiveness and less common ground than actual exist." Two examples of how the media does this follow:

I remember being questioned for an interview in which producers wanted me, as an Evangelical, to say that Pope John Paul II - one of the greatest historical and religious figures of the 20th century - was the head of a "false religion." I was not prepared to say such a thing because I don't believe it. Rather I said, the pope is the head of a doctrinal understanding of the Christian faith with which I disagree - a position that disqualified me from participating.

During another pre-interview I was asked if I, as an Evangelical, believed that Islam was an evil religion. I said, "No as a Christian, I believe that Islam is a wrong religion - Christianity is right about the truth, and Islam is wrong." I described "evil religion" as somebody doing something evil in the name of religion, whether the KKK burning crosses to terrorize African-Americans in a blasphemous distortion of Christianity or terrorists recruiting children to be suicide bombers in the name of Islam. That response wasn't what they had in mind. It was far too reasonable and not nearly extreme enough. "That's not really what we're looking for" the producer said to me, "but thank you for your time."

Wow, with comments like those - Richard Land sure doesn't sound like many of his fundamentalist brethren who run the Southern Baptist Convention. How many Southern Baptist leaders would make such a statement about Catholics or Islam?

After a little dumping on Jim Wallis and his so-called "leftist" politics, Land spends a few pages praising every conservative Evangelical's hero - Francis Schaefer. Yuck.

Land and I part ways with his characterization of the "liberal view" of church-state relations (aka the traditional Baptist view). He writes...

Separation of church and state means that God shouldn't have anything to do with American politics and public life, so we need to take God out of this country - and keep it that way.

To back up this nauseating statement, Land uses the example of militant atheist Sam Harris. I do wonder what Richard Land would say to fellow Texas Baptists from generations past such as G.W. Truett, T.B. Maston, and James Dunn who have consistently stated that separation of church and state does not mean separation of religion from politics. In fact, these Texas Baptists who adhered to the separationist principle understood that in a pluralistic democracy, religion and politics will mix, must mix, and should mix.

Land has done an excellent job of furthering the myth that separationists (like myself) wish to boot religion and God out of the public square. That's hardly the case. And Dick Land knows better.

Land concludes the first chapter with this:

So let's take a closer look. What's God got to do with America? Well, not everything...

but far more than liberals may think,
and a lot less than conservatives may assume,
in much different ways than either side acknowledges,
and for far more important reasons than you might imagine.

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Daniel Vestal Responds to Death of Jerry Falwell

Daniel Vestal, National Coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, has issued a statement following the death of Jerry Falwell.

You can read that here.

Vestal writes...

The death of Jerry Fallwell means the "homegoing" of a brother in Christ and a Christian leader. It also marks the end of an era where Christian faith, and the evangelical tradition in particular, will be controlled and domesticated by one political party. It is no accident that the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention, the emergence of the Moral Majority and the election of Ronald Reagan all occurred at the same time. Jerry Falwell was a significant player in this convergence, and for the past 27 years has been an influential presence on the American religious and political scene.

At times Falwell spoke and acted like a biblical prophet challenging the presumptions and presuppositions of secularists, relativists and hedonists. This led to his active engagement in the political process where his power reached all the way to the White House. I personally appreciate and respect his prophetic and political influence. Where I have had serious problems with Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority is the partisan nature and use of their influence. They so identified evangelical Christian faith and party politics that they have become inseparable in the minds of many. As I see it, a kind of degeneration took place where prophetic witness evolved into harsh partisan rhetoric and raw partisan power.

We are living in tumultuous and tense times. Perhaps it has always been so, but I feel keenly the stress and strain of the world that is ever present and ever pressing upon us. In reaction to these times there has been this rising tide of fear and fundamentalism that offers partisan politics as the solution to long standing and complex problems....

Bruce Gourley of Mercer University's Center for Baptist Studies also responded to Falwell's death in the latest edition of the Baptist Studies Bulletin.

For more read:

Jerry Falwell, Moral Majority Leader, Dies at 73 (New York Times)
For New Generation of Evangelicals, Falwell Was Old News (Washington Post)
Falwell, Symbol of Religious Right's Influence and Excesses, Dead at 73 (ABP)
SBC Leaders Voice Appreciation for Falwell (Baptist Press)
Falwell Leaves Mark on American Religion, Politics (Ethics Daily)
The Next Jerry Falwell (Ethics Daily)

And a few noteworthy quotes:

"Anywhere you stick a pin in Jerry Falwell, he would bleed Jesus Christ."

- Dr. James Merritt, former SBC President

"It is ironic and a bit sad that the man who stayed on the sidelines during the civil rights movement – saying pastors needed to preach Jesus, not politics – became the leading person marketing Jesus for political ends in the '70s, '80s and '90s, and that he will be remembered not as a great spiritual leader but a powerful political one."

David Kuo, former Bush official in the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

"He established the Moral Majority as one of the most significance vehicles of the New Political Religious Right during the latter decades of the 20th century. From sheer force of will he moved into the American political sphere accumulating great influence and exercising significant voice in matters religious and political."

Bill Leonard, dean of the Wake Forest University Divinity School

"Over the years we became friends; sometimes we had polar opposite points of view. ... I have many fond memories of him. He leaves a great legacy of service and a great university behind. He's left his footprints in the sands of time."

The Rev. Jesse Jackson.

"He was very pastoral and he had a great sense of humor. He never lost his cool in the midst of a debate. He often won debates simply because he maintained his calm."

-- David Key, director of Baptist studies at Emory University's Candler School of Religion

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Giuliani's Planned Parenthood Donations

Politico has reported that in the 90's, GOP Presidential hopeful (and one-time? drag queen) Rudy Giuliani contributed money at least six times to Planned Parenthood.

Last week, when asked during the GOP Debate whether it would be a good day for the country if Roe v. Wade were overturned, Rudy responded - "It'd be OK."

Talk about a wimpy answer!

From the article...

Asked how Giuliani could reconcile personal opposition to abortion with a contribution to Planned Parenthood, a Giuliani spokeswoman reiterated the former mayor's stump message and took what could be construed as a shot against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has recently become an opponent of abortion rights.

"Mayor Giuliani has been consistent in his position -- he is personally opposed to abortion, but at the same time he understands it is a personal and emotional decision that should ultimately be left up to the woman," said Maria Comella.

Dave Woodward, a political science prof at Clemson University had this to say...
"If he actually gave money to Planned Parenthood, boy, that puts him in a very precarious position, at least in the South Carolina Republican Party."

A Republican, Woodard noted that a personal contribution is something that is difficult to explain away to abortion opponents. "This isn't something like where your position is misunderstood," he said. "An overt act of giving money shows support for a position. That can't be a mistake or misinterpretation."

And more from Politico...
Following a speech Giuliani gave to the Heritage Foundation in Washington last night, I asked him why he would give money to the abortion rights organization.

"I'll have to look at that," he said before launching into his message about personally opposing the procedure but supporting a woman's right to choose.

When I followed up about why, if he was personally opposed to abortion, he would give his own money to an abortion rights group, he held firm.

"All's I can tell you are what my views are," he responded before again explaining again a stance of personal opposition but public support for legalized abortion.

Emory Professor Merle Black (my favorite Southern Politics author) stated in the article that Rudy needs to change the subject. Point taken. Any success at changing the subject may be short-lived. I hardly doubt McCain, Brownback, and others will hold back and ignore Rudy's abortion record.

Chris Matthews and other folks in the media don't seem to fully grasp the role that conservative evangelicals play and have played in choosing the GOP nominee. Abortion is THE wedge issue. I don't see Rudy overcoming that hurdle.

Can Rudy win the nomination without significant support from conservative evangelicals? If Rudy prevails next January-March, will the so-called "values voters" suck it up and cast their ballots for a TRULY pro-choice Republican? Vote Third Party? Or just stay at home?

I don't know. But my choice for the Republican nomination is John McCain. The guy likes the Beach Boys and Boxing. Enjoyed separately, who can go wrong with a little Brian Wilson and HBO PPV? Now, only if I knew whether he was rooting for Pretty Boy Floyd or not. Hope so.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Barack Obama and Reinhold Niebuhr

I came across this post today, courtesy of Jesus Politics. In my research on T.B. Maston, I discovered that many Southern Baptist progressives especially those from Texas claimed to be heavily influenced by the thought of the Niebuhr brothers. Maston earned his Ph.D. under Richard Niebuhr at Yale while both JimmyAllen and James Dunn studied the writings of both Richard and Reinhold. Anyways, a snippet below from the article.
David Brooks was delighted by the response he received when he popped the Reinhold Niebuhr question to Barack Obama a week or so ago. "I love him." Obama said. "He's one of my favorite philosophers." Needless to say, Brooks was impressed. "So I asked, What do you take away from him?"

"I take away," Obama answered in a rush of words, "the compelling idea that there's serious evil in the world, and hardship and pain. And we should be humble and modest in our belief we can eliminate those things. But we shouldn't use that as an excuse for cynicism and inaction. I take away ... the sense we have to make these efforts knowing they are hard, and not swinging from naïve idealism to bitter realism."

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Wiley Drake and The Google

Frederick Clarkson of Talk2Action has responded to Wiley Drake's denial with a thoughtful and timely post.

Like last time, I will post snippets below but read Clarkson's entire article before responding...

What public figures do when they get caught doing or saying something controversial is endlessly interesting. Sometimes they puff on a big cigar and blow smoke in your face. Sometimes they try to nuance their way out of it. Sometimes they toss out a series of evasions, red herrings and other distractions. Sometimes they just lie. This brings us to the strange case of Rev. Wiley Drake, a national vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). It was recently reported and widely blogged that he had signed onto a Declaration of Support for the confessed assassin of an abortion provider; and that the endorsement is featured on the web site of a domestic terror organization, the Army of God.

Rev. Drake has issued a denial via at least two of his SBC political allies, Wade Burleson and Art Rogers, who are now calling for apologies all around. But they will have to forgive us if we first apply some healthy reporter's skepticism to Drake's much-ballyhooed denial.


But before we do, let's briefly review what he is responding to: Intelligence Report, the quarterly magazine of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a leading civil rights and anti-hate organization, published an article detailing Drake's support for the assassination of Dr. Barnett Slepian, an abortion provider; by James Kopp, a prominent antiabortion activist. The text of the magazine is also available on the SPLC web site. Intelligence Report is authoritative, legally vetted, and its readership includes civil rights advocates, attorneys, police and other law enforcement officers charged with enforcing civil rights and anti-hate laws. (I know a bit about this since since I happen to have written for Intelligence Report about the Army of God and anti-abortion violence; but not the article about Drake.) The magazine reported that Drake is very publicly signed onto an outrageous Declaration of Support for James Kopp which is posted on the web site of the Army of God; a national network comprising convicted felons and those who advocate murder, bombings, arson and other crimes.


Indeed, the "Declaration of Support for James Kopp" has been on the AOG web site since at least July 20, 2003, according to the web archive, Way Back Machine. And as my Talk to Action colleague Moiv pointed out: "Drake knows how to Google." After a little Googling of her own, she learned that Drake once berated someone for not Googling to get "background" information about him, and said a bit about what that person would find if he did Google Drake.

So, for all these years, a man active in public life, and often in the news, and who knows how to Google himself -- allows this easy-to-find but horrifically controversial use of his name that he now says is a "lie"? It doesn't seem likely, does it?


Third, Drake's claim to have never heard of James Kopp is very difficult to believe. Drake has been active in anti-abortion politics for many years, as well as being very involved in public life. Kopp was a long-time activist in Operation Rescue and the Lambs of Christ before his career as a world famous assassin. By the time he was named as a suspect in the Slepian murder; and after being put on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list (along with Osama Bin Laden); after being captured in France; extradicted; and tried once for murder and a second time for FACE violations; and his American AOG accomplices who helped him on the lam were also tried and convicted -- he is certainly one of the most famous, or infamous depending on your point of view, pro-life activists in American history. It seems to me, it would be almost impossible for anyone involved in abortion politics to have not heard of Kopp. It also seems highly improbable that no one would have sought to discuss with Drake the support he ostensibly expresses for Kopp on the AOG web site. And for that matter, if Drake had Google himself, (which it appears that he did) he would probably have learned about Kopp.

ME: Just read the entire article.

On other blogs, I have stated my skepticism as to whether Drake had ever heard of James Kopp. After reading Clarkson, let's go back to the original award-winning article written by Brian Kaylor. Drake didn't exactly have a firm grasp on the truth back then. He lied.

So pardon me while I remain skeptical of Wiley Drake's latest denial.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Sound of Silence Surrounding Wiley Drake

Please read this post from Frederick Clarkson of Talk2Action....

A Top Leader of the Southern Baptist Convention Endorsed Domestic Terrorism. Shouldn't That Be News?

Snippets won't do Clarkson's post justice. I'll offer a few tidbits below - but check out the fullversion at Talk2Action.
And now there is the vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention who publicly endorsed the assasination of a doctor by a member of an underground terrorist organization who had been on the FBIs Ten Most Wanted List. The first two scandals created international news, but not the third. Since Intelligence Report, the magazine of the Southern Poverty Law Center broke the story, there has been no press coverage that I can find, except for Ethics Daily on Friday; and only a handful of blog posts, notably Mainstream Baptist, Big Daddy Weave, Moiv and me. This merits further discussion.......

The silence is not limited to Baptists. There is silence across the entirety of the religious and political spectrum, at least as far as my Google searches indicate. To me, this is quite inexplicable. A top official of the largest protestant denomination in the U.S. endorses domestic terrorism -- and the nation is silent?


The Baptist blogger, Rev. Wade Burleson, a leader in the SBC election of a reform slate of candidates that included Drake, was challenged by several fellow bloggers to speak out about the Drake affair. In this comment thread at Baptist Life Burleson initially (see April 30th) declined to say a discouraging word about the man who endorsed the murder of a doctor; described the government and judicial system of the United States as "godless" and "oppressive," and hangs out with the Army of God. Here is part of his response:
I have personally visited with Wiley Drake about several issues that he has advocated and supported in the SBC (both before and after his election) with which I adamantly, publicly and vociferously disagree.... His positions politically, culturally and eschatologically are precisely the logical ends of the ideological and philosophical viewpoints of many in current leadership -- but not the majority of the convention herself. ... but I admire his compassion for those he considers downtrodden ... that will be my only comment on Pastor Wiley Drake.
I was struck by the quote that Burleson has as his signature line on his comments:
The world is too dangerous to live in - not because of the people who do evil but because of the people who sit and let it happen. Albert Einstein
Well, Rev. Burleson, one of the great evils in the United States is the terrorizing of abortion providers in violation of the laws and constitution of the United States, not to mention a few Christian principles. This happens because there are thousands of people who specifically encourge and enable these activities or do and say nothing in response. They let it happen.

Interesting that the conservative Baptist Burleson quoted the atheist, socialist, scientist Einstein in his signature line. So let's quote the conservative Christian philosopher of the Enlightenment Edmund Burke, right back at him (since Burke and Einstein are essentially saying the same thing):

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing."
If the leaders of the SBC, reform or otherwise, cannot speak out against the endorsement of domestic terrorism by one of their own elected national officers -- then how can they say that they speak with integrity on anything?

A little farther down in the comment thread, after several commenters challenged him, Burleson further huffed:

"I, Wade Burleson, strongly, vehemently, unconditionally, and eternally disagree with Wiley Drake's affirmation of a murderer, if indeed he ever made such an affirmation."
So Burleson said he "disagrees" with Drake, then casts doubt on the entire matter -- pretending that the facts might not exist, or if they do, he is not going to look into it.

The simple fact is an elected national officer of the Southern Baptist Convention is at least periferally involved with a domestic terror organization with a long history of violent crimes and has explicitly endorsed one of them. My hunch is that this that this is probably but the tip of the iceberg of Drake's involvement with the Army of God.

Given what is known, it would seem like SBC leaders and the national press corps, would want to get to the bottom of all this.

As it now stands, Wade Burleson, a leader of the reform wing of the SBC is publicly unconcerned that a national officer of his denomination not only supports domestic terrorism, but may have deeper involvement. Of course in fairness to Burleson, no other leaders SBC leaders have yet to emerge from the shadows, making Burleson the more courageous and forthright leader in the Southern Baptist Convention. But I am eager to learn of any others. I may have missed.

And in fairness to the Baptists, I have not heard any other leader from any sector of society say anything either.

Please read the rest at Talk2Action.

The BaptistLife discussion can be found here. In my response to Burleson - I wrote:
Mr. Burleson forgets that as former-Southern Baptists, we still proudly claim the title - Baptist. When my non-Baptist and non-Christian friends from college hear about the shenanigans of Baptists like Wiley Drake - they give me a call. It's embarrassing. I have to defend the Baptist namesake for the umteenth time....
And for those looking for some Big Daddy positivity directed towards a Southern Baptist figure, please see my previous post:

T.B. Maston - Conscience For Southern Baptists

I'm quite proud of that post - as my paper was well received today.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

T.B. Maston - Conscience for Southern Baptists

Today at the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies at Baylor University, I will be presenting a paper entitled The Impact of Social Progressive T.B. Maston Upon Southern Baptist Life in the 20th Century. T.B. Maston was one of the most significant Southern Baptists of the twentieth century. More than any other figure, Maston was the preeminent shaper of Christian ethics and Christian social concern among Southern Baptists. His emphasis on applying the gospel to all aspects of life made his name synonymous with Christian ethics in the Southern Baptist Convention. A student of Richard Niebuhr at Yale, Maston taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1922-1963. Upon retirement, Maston continued to lecture at colleges and universities around the world. His 27 books and hundreds of periodicals have been widely read.

During his four-decade long teaching career at SWBTS, T.B. Maston taught around 10,000 seminarians. Several thousand of Maston's students took three of more of his courses. Many of his students served in high-ranking denominational roles. During the years of 1977-1978, three of the top elected officials to the Southern Baptist Convention - Jimmy Allen, Olan Runnels, and Lee Porter - were former students of Maston. Also during this period, four of the six presidents of SBC seminaries were former students: William Pinson, Russell Dilday, Milton Ferguson, and Randally Lolley. Many of Maston's students became professors and taught in virtually every field of study at the six Southern Baptist seminaries.

49 doctoral students at SWBTS received their Th.D. in Christian Ethics under T.B. Maston. Almost all of Maston's doctoral graduates have served as pastors, denominational workers, professors, or administrators in higher education. This influential list of ethicists includes 47 pastors, 21 denominational executives, 15 seminary professors, 15 college professors, 13 missionaries, 4 government officials, and 2 military chaplains. High ranking denominational executives among Maston's doctoral graduates include two seminary presidents, two college presidents, and four presidents of state Baptist conventions, two-vice presidents, and one president of the Southern Baptist Convention. All but two of Maston's doctoral graduates remained active Southern Baptists. 17 of the 30 professional Baptist ethicists working full-time for the SBC CLC were heavily influenced by Maston in its first thirty years of existence. In Texas, 3 of the first 4 directors of the BGCT's CLC received their doctoral degrees under Maston - Foy Valentine, Jimmy Allen, and James Dunn.

And a snippet from the paper....

Bill Moyers, former aide to President Lyndon B. Johnson and internationally known journalist who studied with T.B. Maston once said, “When I’m asked to define Christian ethics, my best answer is Tom Maston. What the Old Testament prophets taught, he lived. He showed us that the theatre of Christian ethics is not the pulpit, the classroom or the counselor’s corner, but all of life.”[1] William Pinson, another former Maston student, added “Frequently, he served as a conscience for Southern Baptists troubling us regarding our racism, materialism, and provincialism.”[2]

T.B. Maston was clearly a pioneering progressive on selected social issues for Southern Baptists. As early as 1927, Maston challenged the racial orthodoxy of the South. Based on the biblical premise that “God is no respecter of persons,” Maston urged Southern Baptists to accept the gospel truth that all races are equal. Consequently, he contended that spiritual equality involves social equality and churches should take the lead in integrating themselves and opposing racial discrimination.

As a voice for freedom of conscience and religious liberty, Maston continued the Southern Baptist emphasis on the principle of separation of church and state. His focus on religious liberty helped to keep Southern Baptists thinking about what their cherished principle meant. For example, he argued for a progressive application of church-state separation in his opposition toward tuition tax credits for students of private schools.

The impact of T.B. Maston upon Southern Baptist life is best seen in his influence upon subsequent Southern Baptist leaders and institutions. T.B. Maston was an integral player in the formation of the Christian Life Commissions of both the Southern Baptist Convention and the Baptist General Convention of Texas. In the 1960s and 1970s, when moderates dominated Southern Baptist life, the Christian Life Commission of the SBC followed in the footsteps of Maston’s progressive social ethic. Foy Valentine, the leader of the SBC CLC, was deeply influenced to his former professor, T.B. Maston. From its inception, the Texas CLC has articulated some progressive social views that were first voiced by T.B. Maston. James Dunn, who led the Texas CLC from 1968-1980 and who then went on to promote religious liberty for the Baptist Joint Committee in the 1980s has acknowledged his indebtedness to the teachings of T.B. Maston.[3] When students of Southern Baptist history analyze leading figures of the 1970s and 1980s, the names of Maston’s students are everywhere to be found. In addition to Foy Valentine and James Dunn, the list includes, but is not limited to, Jimmy Allen, Randall Lolley, and William Pinson.[4]

In 1979, then president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, William Pinson said “few men have been as widely known or as deeply loved as T.B. Maston. Few have blended ethics and evangelism, scholarship and pietism, a conservative theological outlook and a progressive social concern as well as he.”[5] At the dawn of the 21st century, however, Pinson’s words are likely no longer true. Many, and perhaps most, Baptists in the South have forgotten the contributions and impact of T.B. Maston upon Southern Baptist life in the 20th century. His progressive social ethic combined with a traditional evangelistic orthodoxy, is now seen as a position that is inherently contradictory. It is time once again for Baptists to review the contributions of T. B. Maston as they reflect upon the meaning of Baptist identity.

[1] Dunn, The Christian and the State, 29.

[2] Pinson, Texas Baptist Contributions to Ethics, 18.

[3] Oral Memoirs of James Milton Dunn, Waco, 1974, Baylor University Institute of Oral History, 1-5.

[4] Dunn, “Through Graduates,” 94-95. Throughout his ministry, Jimmy Allen served in various roles: Executive Director of the Texas Christian Life Commission, Executive Director of the Radio and Television Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the pastor of the First Baptist Church of San Antonio, Texas. Randall Lolley served as President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1974 to 1988. William Pinson served as the President of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (1977-1982) and as the Executive Director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (1983-2000).

[5] Pinson, Texas Baptist Contributions to Ethics, 17-19. Maston protégé, Jimmy Allen, demonstrated what his teacher taught: a strong evangelistic ministry (500 baptized his first year) and a strong social ministry while the pastor of First Baptist Church, San Antonio, Texas. Joe Trull, interview by author, 27 April 2007, Waco, Texas.

See The Impact of Social Progressive T.B. Maston Upon Southern Baptist Life in the 20th Century

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