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Feb 14, 2009

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Chris Poe

Peter,

I thought the reference to Independent Fundamental Baptists in the SEBTS response was another example of fanning smoke, as you put it.

The responses you linked amount to this: Saying the critics may have a point, but ultimately dismissing the concerns, blaming the messenger, and warning that the “young leaders” are upset by all this fuss and if it keeps up, they might just pick up their toys and go play elsewhere.

The repeated assertions that BP printed "inaccurate" information or "old news" seem to clearly indicate that they either didn't read the BP article at all, are pursuing an agenda of their own in which the truth is a casualty or that they have no problem with Driscoll's actions in this instance. After all, people are getting saved aren't they? Look at how he packs 'em in. Why nitpick over these little peccadilloes?

When “young leaders” are more alienated by editorial judgment than they are by Driscoll’s actions, then I submit that it isn’t Baptist Press who has the problem. They keep harping on the critics having an agenda. But I ask, who's playing politics now?

Todd Burus

Peter,
You say


"Second, the by-no-means-endorsing-all-he-does-or-believes-defense is a hollow shell, containing no reasonably helpful content whatsoever. Name one individual--including any Southern Baptist you wish--about whom this defense could not potentially describe. This honestly sounds more like a disclaimer than it does a defense. Such an animal is used in the advertising industry to prohibit disaster just in case something goes woefully wrong."

It is because of people like you that these things have to be said. If they weren't then your strict literalist interpretation of what everybody does and does not say would have them painted with agreeing to all that Driscoll believes. If Danny Akin (SEBTS) were not to say this then we would see someone, you or another blogger, tag him with believing that it is okay for pastors to drink, a view Danny doesn't endorse but Mark does. The difference is, Danny doesn't agree but doesn't see this as a war to be fought. People like the Missouri Baptist Convention and many hard-line SBCer's do.

I don't think any of these men would have an issue with enumerating their disagreements with Driscoll. The reason what you and others are doing is being attacked is not because you are naming quibbles with his beliefs, it is because you are placing it under the banner of "This is why Driscoll's ministry is unacceptable" or "This is why Mark should be disqualified from ministry" (and yes, these are generalizations, not your exact words). Where Danny Akin or Alvin Reid or JD Greear disagree with Mark it is on nonessentials (ah, it turns to that again) and so they see no need in dueling it out when instead they can team up together, learn from one another, and see more people come to Christ as a result of this mutual exchange of influence.

peter lumpkins

Chris,

Thank you, my brother. Your point is well taken about "fundamentalist." Also, I never connected the dots about a possible political coup d’état from Dr. Finn & Co. That is worth reflection. Once again, thanks Chris.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Todd,

Let's see now. What's the issue here? "It is because of people like you..." Exactly! I'm the issue; I'm what's wrong! Excellent, bro. That's just great.

With that, I am...

Peter

Chris Poe

Peter,

In comment #2, you wrote,

"I never connected the dots about a possible political coup d’état from Dr. Finn & Co."

I think maybe you've connected the dots a little further than what I intended. Although I was responding to your post about SEBTS, my comments weren't specifically directed toward them or Dr. Finn, but were aimed in general at those who have complained about the BP article. I merely meant that continually dismissing concerns that a prominent evangelical minister who has influence among many in the SBC linked to a borderline porn site and instead blaming the messenger appears to me to be an example of playing politics and evidence of party spirit on the part of those who accuse others of the same thing. Ironically, some of Dr. Finn's previous writings came across as rather favorable toward at least some aspects of "Baptist Identity" with their defense of close communion, etc.

Again, I write all of this as basically an outsider who has only recently joined a Southern Baptist church. However, I've been an interested observer of SBC happenings for several years. It was my surprise at the response (or lack thereof) of those who in my view ought to know better that has spurred me into action on this issue.

In the past year, several times I've watched W.A. Criswell's 1985 Pastor's Conference Address, "Whether We Live or Die." I commend it to everyone who wants to know what the Conservative Resurgence was all about, and what Dr. Criswell was all about. He discusses the Down-Grade controversy and the Crawford Toy controversy at length. With all the talk of whether the SBC will live or die today, it may do us well to listen to Dr. Criswell today. It can be found here:

http://www.wacriswell.org/Search/VideoTrans.cfm/sermon/1517.cfm

Toward the end, Dr. Criswell said the following in spurring the Conservative side on toward victory, and it came to mind when I read your reference to a coup:

"No battle was ever won by retreat, or submission, or surrender. When Alexander the Great lay dying, they asked him, “Whose is the kingdom?” And he replied, “It is for him who can take it!” It will be we, or somebody else."

In a political sense, I suppose that's what's going on here, (a struggle for the SBC "kingdom") just as in 1985, although I wouldn't consider either side to be equivalent to the liberal/neo-orthodox menace of those days. (However it does appear that some today are too quick to surrender at least some of the hard won ground of the past.)

This dust-up over the Driscoll article in BP is a skirmish in struggle for the heart and soul of the SBC, or in other words, a struggle over the direction of the SBC in the 21st Century. Wade Burleson and others decry a coup attempt by the BI people. The BI people see a possible coup by what some have referred to as the "ecumenical evangelicals."

Tim G

Peter,
I posted about this mess last night. I am not sure how anyone can defend the junk coming out of his web site. This is not about BP or ???! It is about the garbage he is teaching and promoting.

My big question is this: "Where are the ladies, Calvanist, Liberal, Moderate, Conservative, etc.., in decrying this garbage?

peter lumpkins

Chris,

Thanks,brother. Yet, know I wasn't "officially" drawing connections; rather, just acknowledging reflection is warranted.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Tim,

I read your post. It captures it well--prayer rather than promotion is an excellent exhortation.

Also, Tim, take note of Chris Poe's contribution here and my former post thread. He makes some very good observations.

With that, I am...

Peter

Chris Poe

Tim,

I am a Calvinist decrying this garbage.

selahV

Tim, I am a conservative woman decrying the garbage. selahV

peter lumpkins

Tim,

Also, note SelahV's position as well.

With that, I am...

Peter

Bart Barber

Peter,

I was dismayed to find myself—a mere three clicks from the Mars Hill site—confronted with pornographic advertisements and services offering to hook me up with sordid liaisons. I just thought I'd make note of that on your web site, so that if anyone from the church looks at my browser history, they'll know that it was a church web site that sent me there!

Benji Ramsaur

Tim, I need to take out the garbage.

Tim G

Benji,
I am not sure I get what you are saying. I think you are agreeing but I am not sure.

I am thankful people are taking notice of this junk!

Great job Peter.

John Daly

Oh great, so now when I check my teenagers cookies and see questionable material then can rightly say: "Dad, I was just checking out Mars Hill sermons."

Jim Champion

Peter

Kudos on your exchange over at Baptist Life - very interesting discussion, good give and take and very respectfully done - by all I thought.

Its kind of funny, when you engage in discussion with a group that happily labels themselves as mostly liberal or at the worst theologically moderate (or at least to the left of me!) I find myself agreeing with you much more than when it is conservative vs more conservative - as is typical amongst most of the blogs I read.

Have a great day

Jim

peter lumpkins

Jim,

Thanks. Yeah, I agree. It was interesting. I also agree that we learn to like the green pastures on our on side of the fence!

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Nathan

I find it interesting that so many of you have been quick to run SEBTS in the ground on the topic mentioned here, however there was nothing mentioned about the fact that Sinclair Ferguson (Presbyterian), Peter Kreeft (Catholic), or CJ Mahaney (Charismatic), were all on SEBTS' campus...while I am personally thankful for the leadership of SEBTS to bring these men on campus to learn from these particular disciplines, this site was obviously silent when these people came, and what some of these men are advocating are much more serious than discussions on sex when Driscoll would sign off on ever dot of the BFM2000...sounds incredibly inconsistent...I would encourage you to stop and examine your heart friend, you are blinded on this issue it seems.

selahV

Nathan, I'd say most of us find it a far cry from challenging the words, doctrines and theology of folks in entirely different faiths than the Southern Baptist and those actions, attitudes and persuasions being offered up for dinner by a fellow Southern Baptist. Personally, though, I'd rather hear a pro-life Catholic than a mamby pamby liberal Baptist any day of the week. selahV

Byroniac

SelahV, I do not know much about Mark Driscoll, but based on what I have heard I do not consider him to be a liberal or "mamby pamby". Several theologians I respect consider him orthodox. I listened to one sermon of his on Trinitarian theology and enjoyed it, and he did not use any sharp language or colorful metaphors that I remember. And I do not think he is SBC but I could be mistaken.

Having said that, I think I am going to go John MacArthur on this one. Though I respect Mark Driscoll and even like him, I think he should seriously consider the constructive criticisms of an elder saint with a long ministry (and I think he will). I admire Mark Driscoll for showing us that a "churchy" Baptist culture is not always needed, and for being a powerful communicator, and I think he will go far. But there is no need to reinvent the gospel (which I do not believe he is attempting) or Christianity in general in order to communicate to the lost. The Word of God will cut its own path clear through to the sinner's heart, and even the Apostle Paul did not seek excellency of speech (1 Corinthians 2:1).

selahV

Byron, I'm sorry for the confusion in my statement, Byron. I wasn't calling Driscoll mamby pamby or liberal. I was speaking to the point Nathan made about why Peter had not challenged the other speakers he'd listed. Probably should have written and A and B because now that you thought I'd meant Driscoll, I can see where my writing could have been taken that way. Sorry. Not SBC? this is even more ludicrous now.

"The Word of God will cut its own path clear through to the sinner's heart". Amen, my friend. Amen. I was discussing this whole thing with my husband and we were talking about a time when we had a revival in our tiny rural church in Kentucky and twenty-five people were saved, including Peter Lumpkins brother. It wasn't a fancy church--just a country church with those old familiar hymns, hard pews (no cushions), very traditional ways. But Peter came and preached a week of sermons (the evangelistic, Jesus saves kind of sermons) and God showed up and blessed that revival and our little church. She's still going strong too. They've baptized several in the past few months and it's still a small church. But what really amazes me is that it doesn't take anything spectacular to reach those lost folks there, just the Word of God and the love of Christians reaching out in Jesus name. selahV

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