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Mar 10, 2011

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Tim Rogers

Brother Howell,

Allow me to add to your two definition groupings and tell me if you agree or not.
Nominal Southern Baptist make pragmatism their guide when deciding theological positions. Nominal Southern Baptist hold fast to a theological triage system that allows them to cooperate within the fuller Evangelical world. Nominal Southern Baptist prefer the classification "Evangelical" over the classification "Southern Baptist". Nominal Southern Baptist are more ready to embrace a "green" theology due to their desire to fit into evangelicalism. Nominal Southern Baptist hold to a "conservative" theology but openly accept and work closely with others who do not espouse a "conservative" theology.

Traditional Southern Baptist will work outside the SBC structure with other evangelicals in social ministry causes. Traditional Southern Baptist do not consider evangelical and Baptist synonymous. Traditional Southern Baptist view the BF&M as a document defining our cooperation guidelines for our pool of mission money. Traditional Southern Baptist do not allow worship style or dress dictate cooperation within the convention.

You have produced a great document defining the terms, something Dr. Finn said was desperately needed. I also like your term "cooperating Southern Baptist" and "Nominal Southern Baptist". These two terms clearly articulate our differences.

Blessings,
Tim

boB Cleveland

If your definitions are correct, then I'd conjecture that the Convention would probably adopt some sort of action de-emphasizing de facto the Cooperative Program, while promoting de jure the same, and then recognizing everything a church does, monetarily, as a new form of missional giving.

I guess, were that to happen, it'd sort of confirm your premise, right?

:)

Howell Scott

Bro. Tim,

As it was late when I finished this post and I was over my word count (lawyers turned pastors can get wordy), I did not include all of the differences between nominal and traditional Southern Baptists. I view your suggestions as friendly additions and have no problem adding those to the ever growing list that identifies us as Southern Baptists. Thanks for the kind words.

Bob,

You are on top of things this morning! I could not have said it any better than that.

God bless and have a great day,

Howell

Rick Patrick

Howell,
Thank you for seeing the world so clearly and making entirely too much sense. Ed Stetzer and others like him are clearly not addressing the issue of nominal Baptists and the erosion of denominational cooperation they are ushering in. You and Brad Whitt have precisely articulated the problem with eloquence and boldness. You should both run for office -- one for President and one for Vice President. You have my vote if you will work to restore Southern Baptist denominational loyalty and cooperation.

Tim,
You are so right about the Nominal Baptists "holding fast to the theological triage system." Their fascination with this one idea almost borders on idolatry. While theological triage may be beneficial in evaluating certain doctrines, I think it fails as a tool for evaluating methodology. More specifically, Nominal Baptists tend to place various types of methods (rapping sermons, Bible studies in bars, alcohol use, poker night outreach, etc.) in the third tier of theological triage. These things, they say, are the less important disputable matters that we should not allow to divide us. Here is the mantra we have all heard repeatedly: "The MESSAGE never changes, but the METHODS do." Fine, but does that mean we cannot have a rubric to evaluate the methods?
What if methodology is not in the third tier at all? These are not really doctrinal matters, but practical ones. What if methodology stands apart from the theological triage model entirely, since it deals not with orthodoxy but with orthopraxy?

Les Puryear

Howell,

Nail on the head, brother. Nail on the head.

Les

Brad Whitt

Howell,

Great article and much needed clarity to the spin surrounding my recent article in the Baptist Courier. As you so aptly pointed out, the 2011 SBC Pastors' Conference is not the issue, but it does however point to the deeper issues that are threatening our mission as a convention. I find it funny that everybody assumes that I wrote this article as a knee-jerk to the speakers at this summer's Pastors' Conference in Phoenix. Truth be told, I wrote my article at the end of October, 2010 as I became even more frustrated with the direction (or lack thereof) in our SBC leadership. So, thank you again for helping to set the record straight and giving much needed definition to this discussion.

HIS.
Brad Whitt

Howell Scott

Brad,

Thanks for the kind words. Your recent post, "Young, Southern Baptist . . . and Irrelevant" articulated what many of us (both younger and older than you) have been thinking and experiencing, particularly in the last year. I appreciate Peter asking me to contribute a post whereby I could do my part to help set the record straight and present facts in a way that people can decide for themselves what is going on in the SBC, minus the spin. Thanks again and God bless,

Howell

aaron

You said under the heading Fact #1 "” Brad Whitt’s article did not even mention the upcoming SBC Pastor’s Conference in Phoenix. The Pastor’s Conference is a nice diversion, one that both Nathan Finn and Ed Stetzer use to deflect attention away from the real problem that confronts the SBC."

However, if you read the comments on Brad Whitts blog (posted on February 28, 2011 at 7:07 pm), he says the following, " A very simple way to back up my claim is to simply look at the guests on this year’s SBC Pastors’ Conf."

So, yeah.

Howell Scott

Aaron,

I'm not sure if you were serious or joking with your "So, yeah" comment. If joking, no problem. If you were serious, did you not read Brad's own comment (#6 above) regarding the incorrect belief that others have had in linking his article to the Pastor's Conference. Again, we can try to deflect and divert attention away from the real issues by bringing up the Pastor's Conference, but the re-framing of the debate in this way will not work. Thanks and God bless,

Howell

peter lumpkins

Aaron,

For the record (again), if any blame is to be made for connecting dots to the 2011 PC, please address those to me, not Brad.  Here's a post to get you started. Nor may you unfairly slice a comment from Brad's thread apart from the OP as if the comment alone becomes indicative of Brad's entire piece.

Thanks. 

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Job,

Here's the deal: you wrote a long, rambling rant about what you personally feel is wrong in the SBC which goes 1100 words plus without once actually engaging Howell Scott. Unhappily for you, SBC Tomorrow does not exist as your personal megaphone. I asked Howell to post a guest article. I do not recall sending you an invitation to blow your horn here.

Now, if you'd like to make a reasonable contribution to this thread which engages Scott, I heartily welcome it. If you want to blog on my nickel, I encourage you to go blog on your own.

With that, I am...
Peter

Paul

I guess I'm confused with regards to Fact #2 (yes, Peter, I opened the door. Feel free to step on in). You (Howell, in the article) state that Dr. Stetzer uses the label "traditional" without defining it "To label someone as 'traditional' (or 'contemporary' for that matter) without ever defining the term" and then turn in the very next paragraph and say that he wrongly defines it "Dr. Stetzer and others prefer to define traditional/contemporary in terms of hymns or choruses, ties or Hawaiian shirts, pulpits or stools." Yet, what's confusing is how he can be blamed when Whitt himself doesn't "define" the traditional label he uses either, at least not by the standard you are using here, but does describe it, at least partially, with these descriptions: "I don’t mind wearing a coat and tie when I preach (at least on Sunday mornings), and I still love to hear a powerful or dynamic choir special. I believe in giving an invitation at the end of every service. Public invitations are still effective. The church where I serve baptized more than 100 people just last year.

I like for the auditorium lights to be on so that I can read my Bible. Also, I don’t get so tired from preaching on Sundays that I need a stool, and I still preach from a pulpit (or, technically, a podium)."

Does Dr. Stetzer not have the same freedom as Dr. Whitt in this regard? Can he be blamed for what Dr. Whitt is not blamed for? If he follows a similar trajectory is he more culpable? Or has he just missed the point "more" than Dr. Whitt?

Bottom line, I don't really think Drs. Whitt and Stetzer are talking past one another as much as you want to make it appear. I'm not saying there are on the same page in every respect, but both mention points of style as a part of their definitions and I can tell you from knowing him that theological matters are no less important to Dr. Stetzer than they are to Dr. Whitt.

Honestly, my first impression from reading Dr. Whitt's article was that it sounded rather odd for a guy who admits to serving in positions of leadership in his association, state and on the national level, to suggest he is irrelevant and increasingly marginalized. That just sounds a little like Lebron James complaining that he doesn't get enough playing time because they've got Juwan Howard on the roster.

I think it also bears saying that if your real beef is between churches that are cooperating nominally via the CP and those that are cooperating fully via the CP that one only needs to look at the CP giving of convention Presidents over the past 30 years and I think it would turn your thesis a bit on its head.

peter lumpkins

Dear Paul,

You are welcome to comment at SBC Tomorrow. Why you insist on coming here immediately flicking cigarette butts in my face--"yes, Peter, I opened the door. Feel free to step on in"--is entirely another issue. I suggest if you want my input, Paul, to solicit it a tad more seriously...

I trust your day a good one in the Lord.

With that, I am...
Peter

Howell Scott

Paul,

Thanks for the dialogue. I believe that "traditional" and "nominal" Southern Baptists are talking past each other, so to speak. In fact, I think we are speaking two different languages that are becoming more and more difficult to translate. At its heart, it is about cooperation. A large part of cooperation is how we do ministry together. As a life-long Southern Baptist, I believe that the best way that we can fulfill the Great Commission is to cooperate together. That does not mean that the local church does not have responsiblity in that matter, but that we can do far more together than we can separately. I'm not sure that many Southern Baptists believe that. I think that many, particularly in the larger churches, feel they do not need to cooperate with other Southern Baptists; that they can do it on their own and have in fact become de facto independent Baptist churches, nominally cooperating with other Southern Baptist churches.

As to past SBC Presidents and their CP giving, it is true that only a handful (Morris Chapman, Jimmy Draper, Jim Henry, Bobby Welch, and Frank Page) led their churches to contribute 10%+ to CP. In the midst of the CR, the cooperative effort was focused on inerrancy. However, once conservatives were firmly in control, I am not aware of a public bashing of CP or a move to weaken CP as is happening today. If you or Peter or anyone else is aware of SBC Presidents publicly speaking ill of CP, please let me know. Otherwise, I think my thesis is just fine. Thanks and God bless,

Howell

peter lumpkins

Howell,

Others have raised the issue of CR leaders' poor giving to the CP. What is fundamentally overlooked in my view is, the Cooperative Program was not at stake during the CR. Rather the fundamental issue for CR advocates was the issue of biblical fidelity. On the other hand, with CP gifts continuing to slide, the GCRTF embedding in their recommendations "Great Commission Giving" but nonetheless explicitly proclaiming the Cooperative Program to remain the "primary means" of missions funding, it does, in fact, become a huge issue when over half the platform of the PC gives very little to nothing through the CP.

Nor is it possible to find a single CR voice who gave nothing through the CP like some appear to imply. I'm willing to stand corrected on that and welcome it. On the other hand, out of 13 scheduled speakers on the platform, over half report absolutely nothing to the CP (7/13). Hence, the difference between now and the CR era is not only striking but pronounced.

Couple the miserly record of the majority of the platform speakers with the stated goals of the Pastors' Conference to "plant churches," and a reasonable conclusion is, a subtle but real deemphasis of the way Southern Baptists historically do missions--cooperatively through the CP.

With that, I am...
Peter

Paul

Peter, I wasn't really soliciting a reply from you. I just imagined myself typing that I was "confused" and you responding to that in one way or another.

Paul

Howell,

I agree that there is a lot of "talking past" that's probably going on, but I just don't see it in the articles you referenced between Whitt and Stetzer. It seems to me, from the quotes I've given, that they were talking largely about the same thing. I would go further to say that I think Ed Stetzer would give you a big "Amen, Brother" on what you say here in this comment. In fact, as I read his post I hear him saying exactly what you are saying here: how can a diversity of pastors and churches cooperate together even when they come from differing places and perspectives? I think Ed is just saying that the SBC is surely big enough for traditionalists and contemporaries (or whatever we want to call them) to cooperate together for the sake of the gospel - without it becoming some sort of alleged ecumenical movement in all of the negative connotations that often carries.

I can also heartily agree with what you say about the larger churches feeling a lesser need for those cooperative ties, but that has virtually nothing to do with the "traditional/contemporary" divide that is the basis of Whitt's original post or Stetzer's response (if it was, indeed, a response to Whitt). In fact, the very ones who led the GCRTF push to redefine CP giving to include money not given through the CP has come largely from 1)pastors who are much, much closer to the "traditional" label than the Hawaiian-shirt wearing, goatee-sporting, stool-sitting crowd; and 2)those firmly entrenched in the power structures of the SBC, not those sitting on the fringes. In fact, as far as the Pastor's Conference is concerned (if it concerns any of this at all) this year is a glaring aberration, not a sign of some power shift.

Lastly, I don't hear anyone bashing the CP. I've never heard anyone bashing the CP. Often the most effective method of getting your point across is not to bash a thing (take a look at Rob Bell's book sales figures. He can thank a whole lot of "bashers" for the success of his new book). The best way to undermine a thing is much more subtly. Make a shift from talking about CP giving to "Great Commission giving," for instance. That may not be "speaking ill" of the CP, but it most definitely weakens it. At least in my opinion. And that task force was chock full of SBC leaders and Presidents past and present.

Paul

Peter, I can only say that people tend to follow the example of their past leaders, sometimes more extremely than those past leaders themselves. I think it's naive to absolve those past leaders who gave so little of any responsibility for those who give so little, and even less, today. When one only gives 1% or 2% it's not a stretch for many who follow them to tell themselves that 0% isn't considerably less. Yes, we do reap what we sow.

peter lumpkins

Paul,

I didn't realize I attempted to "absolve those past leaders who gave so little." Let me be clear: the percentages of many of the CR leaders to the CP during the era was, to say the least, dismal. Is this clear enough?

And I challenge you to find a single place where I suggested their percentage was acceptable. While you're at it, please find me a platform where most of the CR speakers gave nothing--i.e. ZIP--to the CP. If you can produce such, then we'll talk again.

Even so, such poor giving on their part to the CP did nothing to take away from their unwavering conviction on biblical fidelity which, may I say again, was the watershed issue. Hence, I don't give two shakes of a gnat's behind if moderate/liberal churches gave 25% to the CP while the CR leaders gave 2% for the simple reason the issue was not the demolition of the CP. Instead it was the forfeiting of Scripture concerning which every CR leader rightly expressed his concern, a concern obviously held by the SBC. So far as I know, there is presently no issue concerning biblical fidelity in the SBC with which to contend. There is, however, a pronounced washing away of CP commitment while at the same time a focus on church planting, particularly by the A29 Network which is very well represented by the platform personalities.

Hope this helps.

With that, I am...
Peter

Paul

Peter,

The thrust of this post, in the context of the links provided, appears to this reader to be something close to the following: what it means to be a Southern Baptist is being redefined and the new definition erodes our cooperative efforts primarily through the CP.

Howell says that the problem is deeper than whatever "traditional" or "contemporary" labels we want to give. That's all fine and good. But he defines a "traditional" Southern Baptist as one who gives strongly to the CP and cooperative efforts and suggests that the place where we are primarily losing CP commitment and support is among the young, reformed, restless, Acts 29 crowd.

Firstly, I have no idea whether that's true or just an assumption. Secondly, if a definition of a "traditional" Southern Baptist is one who "believe[s] in cooperating with like-minded conservative Southern Baptists through one of the greatest forces for mission advancement in North America and the World – the Cooperative Program," then the overwhelming majority of Southern Baptist churches and church plants also affiliated with Acts 29 almost certainly give something to the CP. If you have information to the contrary I would be interested in seeing it. If your beef is not simply that there are churches that give zero, but that there are also those that give very little, then my point to you is that you've drawn your circle too tightly and your critique should be fair in not simply pointing out one group, but all who give very little, whether they are affiliated with Acts 29 or whether they are, for example, megachurches that, on the whole, support the CP with minimal percentages and do a lot "on their own." Those seem to me to be closer to Independent Baptists than traditional Southern Baptists.

Lastly, I think you need to decide whether this is, or is not, about the Pastor's Conference. The post says that it's not. Another comment says that it's not. But the examples you keep using in response to me are exclusively about speakers at the Pastor's Conference. If the objection is that Acts 29 folk who give minimally, if at all, to the CP are gaining prominence in our convention then I think it's going to take more than one Pastor's Conference to prove that point. So far that's all I've seen presented. Of course, I don't hang around this stuff like I used to, so I've probably missed some things along the way.

peter lumpkins

Paul,

First, you'll need to take up the "thrust" of this post with Howell. He's quite capable of defending his own words. I speak only for myself.

Second, not sure of your point deduced that "the overwhelming majority of Southern Baptist churches and church plants also affiliated with Acts 29 almost certainly give something to the CP." I do not know that to be true. Nor presumably do you. What I do know is the A29 guys on the platform do not have such a good showing. That is what I mentioned.

Third, I didn't necessarily point out "just" the A29 reps as being miserly. Instead, I gave the numbers of *all* speakers, Paul, *all* of them. Hence your charge I am being unfair makes no sense.

Fourth, and I think you need to make up your mind who you want to dispute, me or Howell. For all you know Howell & I disagree about this very issue. And, your obvious attempt to pit my remarks against Howell's concern is nonsense. I didn't ask Howell if he'd post a piece on my blog explaining *my* view about CP giving, traditional vs. nominal Baptists, etc. He posted his thoughts not mine, O.K.

Now, I have no problem conceding the PC is not *the* issue but merely indicative of the issue as both Howell and Brad have mentioned. On the other hand, when the PC is broached, I have no problem addressing it either. Thus your complaint that the examples I "keep using" in response to you are exclusively about speakers at the Pastor's Conference is almost funny really. You are the one who originally brought up the subject! (#12). I then responded to a direct comment to me from you (#18). The subject? Well, it's the PC speakers again. So, yes, I guess you could say I "keep using" examples--examples pertaining to the very comments you "keep directing" toward me.

Ya gotta love it...

With that, I am...
Peter

Paul

Peter,

Howell didn't post this on his blog, but on yours. Thus, you bear some responsibility for what is contained therein, unless you, like is so often done in other forums, introduce the issue with something like, "The views in this post do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Peter Lumpkins." Now, if you included that somewhere I guess I missed it. Exactly how am I to know that you disagree with him on this? I don't see that stated in this article, and to be honest with you, haven't read anything else on your blog or nearly any other blog for that matter in quite a while. If you're asking me to wade through all of your past posts to know this, then, well, no thank you. I'll just claim ignorance and move on and you can continue your party here.

Second, the implication given in this post is that Acts 29 and the young, restless and reformed are the primary problem. Honestly I could care less if that's your point or Howell's point. If you want to dispute it, great. Then we'll let Howell respond to that point. Brother, trust me, I'm not asking you to respond to anything you didn't write.

Third, I'll just be quiet about the speakers at the PC because honestly I can't tell you who any of them are. I don't plan to attend, so I really have no interest in who they are. I imagine that, like most things in the SBC, it's much ado about nothing, so I'll leave it at that.

Fourth, see above. I still haven't seen the clarification and honestly don't much care either.

Finally, I'm simply saying that if your concern is broader than the PC I think it's odd that none of your examples come from outside the PC. By the way, I didn't bring the PC up. It was brought up in the original piece. It was brought up again in comment #6. Then again in #8. And then again, by you, in #10 asking that comments regarding the PC be directed to you, since you're the one who connected those dots. All of that, if my counting is correct, is well before my #12.

Listen, I'm not interested in a spitting contest about this. It's not worth it. You obviously take this way more seriously than I do. I simply meant to say that, if this blog is going to contend that nominal CP support is a growing problem in the SBC that laying the blame at the feet of Ed Stetzer, Nathan Finn, Acts 29 or the Pastor's Conference seems to me to be a mistake given the past 30 years of SBC life regarding CP support among convention leaders (who almost exclusively come from the "traditional" branch of the convention). If that's not your beef then I'm not asking you to respond to it. If it's Howell's beef then I'm more than happy for him to respond. If no one responds, I'm good with that too. You've made your point and now I feel like I've made mine. Whatever disagreements we may have about it are largely superfluous anyway. I just hate to see a certain segment of Southern Baptist life blamed for doing what "traditional" Southern Baptists have done for so long now. But, again, if that's where some see the problem, go right ahead. In the end, if you get all Acts 29 churches and all of the young, restless and reformed crowd to give 15% to the CP it's not going to fix the problem of nominal giving to the CP because the problem is much broader than that.

peter lumpkins

Paul,

First, Look. To remotely suggest I am responsible to argue someone's point who posts on my blog is patently absurd, guy. Perhaps this may come as a shock to you, but I do *not* require someone believe exactly as do I before they are allowed to post here, whether in the comment thread nor as a guest contributor on a main post. I didn't ask Howell what he would write (though I suggested a topic about our woes in the SBC, woes which he and I heretofore have shared similar views); nor did I edit his piece except for a couple of grammatical typos. Good grief man. Get a grip. Some of us "spooky fundamentalists" as you and your buds like to dub us are not the literary gestapos we've frequently been made out to be.

Second, you write "the implication given in this post is that Acts 29 and the young, restless and reformed are the primary problem." Which post? Where? Howell mentioned neither. So are you referring to my comments? Please. I can't read your mind.

Third, you brought up the PC in our exchange Paul, our exchange; I didn't. I was responding to you. Now, for somebody who says he'll "just be quiet about the speakers at the PC" you surely can understand my confusion when you continue to be anything but "quiet about the speakers at the PC."

Fourth, I explained my position in #comment 19 concerning your alleged conundrum between the CR leaders' low CP and today's GCR leaders, how the two are different, and why I am not giving some CR leaders a free pass on their miserly giving to CP while blasting away at GCR leaders for their poor CP record. I thought I was very clear. I have my doubts though given your bringing it back up as if I hadn't said a word.

Fifth, to end your comment by suggesting that I naively assume if only the YRR starts giving 15% to the CP, nominal giving will cease in the SBC is so fundamentally ridiculous it's hard to imagine why I'm even responding. Paul, you haven't got a clue what I think are the substantial problems within the SBC or the CP, and I suspect you don't care. Your community wrote me off long, long ago as a fundamentalist wacko for any number of reasons I could easily cite.

The truth is, you self-confessedly have no beans in this pot, but you come to my kitchen trying to cook a batch up when you have no real interest. Why? Why not just ask a simple question if you want a simple response? I'll answer as best I know how. Instead you try to argue a point that in the end, it doesn't even make any difference to you. Talk about a colossal waste of time! Guy, you're got more time than I've got, I assure.

Now unless you have a *specific* question to something *specific*...written "specifically* by *me*, I bid you a good day.

With that, I am...
Peter

Paul

Peter,

With this I'm done and I don't really care whether you post it or not. Surely you understand that, when someone comes to your blog and reads a post, whether you wrote it or not, that they will naturally assume that the owner is in agreement unless he says otherwise. You did not say otherwise, so I assumed you agreed. If you don't, then you don't, but please don't assume that I should just know that.

Second, the PC was brought up long before I came along. Had I never commented on this post the issue of the PC is still there. All can see it. Your response was not to me because my first comment was number 12 and as I've already pointed out, the PC became an issue, even in your own comment, prior to 12. Your #10 was not a response to me.

Third, you are correct, I don't have a clue what you think are the problems in the SBC. I only know what you allowed Howell to post here and what the implications of that are. If you don't want to live with those implications then I'm at a loss as to why you allowed the post on your blog.

Fourth, I don't have a "community" and I don't have "buds." I've never called you a "spooky fundamentalist" nor a non-spooky one. Now it is you who make wrong assumptions, not that I'm terribly surprised. My primary beef with you has never been a brand of fundamentalism. My beef with you has almost exclusively been with the way you come across. You have never come across to me as living out the lines you've written in your "About Me" section about being open minded, honest, or especially loving others as Christ loves them. I'm not the only one who has suggested that, at least in writing, you come off as rude, condescending and obtuse. That's why I don't read your blog. Shouldn't have this time, except that someone asked me if I had, I told them I had not, and I probably should not have. The way you consistently respond to others simply isn't good for my spiritual well-being, though I confess it does provide me an opportunity to learn not to respond in kind - an opportunity that isn't always welcome because it is so difficult, even if needful for me.

I understand that I'm not particularly welcome and that you would prefer to just lump me in with whoever you've crossed swords with in the past so that you can put words in my mouth and accusations in my heart. But you need to go back, Peter. You need to see what all we've discussed in the past. I think you'll find that you're born false witness because I've never used the term "spooky fundamentalist" or "wacko" about you or anyone else. Since you can so easily cite it, however, perhaps you can correct me. I doubt it.

No. I do not have anything specific for you beyond anything I've already said.

God bless you, Peter.

peter lumpkins

Oh my.

O.K. Consider: 

A) If someone comes to my blog and assumes words I do not write are yet words with which I automatically agree, I'd say they were entirely presumptuous. And you would too when folks come to your blog, Paul. Come on...

B) I don't care when the PC was brought up, Paul. It doesn't matter. You queried about it to me for the first time in comment #18 which I gladly responded in comment #19.

C) I happily take responsibility for posts on this blog, along with all the implications. What is utterly ridiculous, however, is for you to insist responsibility for posts on this site includes my literally defending a guest's post as if the assertions and implications were my very own. That's pure nonsense, Paul. I have defended guest posts before but not because I was obligated to do so as if it were my own position at stake.  Rather I did it because I had time and wanted to, or the contributor could not for some reason.  Why you're milking such a dry cow as this seems fantastic to me.

D) You're perfectly welcome to conclude I do not live up to what's written on my profile page, Paul. So be it.  My life, my ministry, my historical cooperation with believers of all denominational brands would color such a conclusion with other tones I can confidently say. Unfortunately, my niche (if one may call it that) within the blogging community has necessarily been toward defending against what I believe to be a dangerous diluting of our historic Baptist heritage.  For that reason, I find myself engaged in the trenches where it is impossible to stay "clean," so to speak, from the filth of battle. Even so, I claim neither perfection nor non-responsibility for my actions, my attitudes, my words.

E) I'd be glad to go back and gather some of the niceties of the past. Unfortunately, many of them are now defunct along with the old SBC Outpost. On the other hand, this one may work.  Now, understand Paul: while I do not necessarily hold that all contributors to a blog would be responsible for the blog’s content (see my denial above), given your passionate argument here, I cannot see how you’d object, especially since, as a main contributor to the blog I linked above, you did not attempt to correct any errors in the post--the one which had such nice things to say about yours truly. 

So, since I can’t go back to SBC Outpost, nor do I see the need to gather any others than the above, I’ll take your word for it that you never mentioned “spooky fundamentailst” or “wacko”.   You only were an accomplice in dubbing me  “Inane”, “Imbecilic”, “Moronic”, “Useless”, “worthless,” “Unloving,” and “Idiotic” to name but a few. And, even though it’s hard to see how “spooky fundamentailst” or “wacko” is not at least implied in some significant way(s) by the nifty list above (you'll need to follow the link to get the enormous effect the full list projects), in the absence of an explicit reference at my disposal, you, my brother, are correct.  I was wrong. Indeed I should not have said you referred to me as “spooky fundamentailst” or “wacko”; I should have been more careful and stated what you exactly implied: “Inane”, “Imbecilic”, “Moronic”, “Useless”, “worthless,” “Unloving,” and “Idiotic” to name but a few.

I am sorry, brother.

F) I understand about not reading here.  Some blogs I do not read either. And, many obviously follow your same procedure.  Others do not. In fact, many do not if traffic is any indicator (know I write what I write because I believe what I write; I do not write to “get more traffic”). What can I say?  That you feel I’m “condescending” or “rude” or “obtuse” does not move me, Paul. I’m sorry. Even so, I might say those descriptors are a few notches better than the ones I linked above!

I trust you afternoon a good one in the Lord. 

With that, I am…

Peter  

Ron Hale

Peter,
Paul and his pack over at MissioScapes know how to join together to slap a guy around. I read the link above as they used the lash of language to tear into you -- they even used the term "bottom-feeding" to describe you. Pardon the pun, but that's pretty low! And they begin the article by saying they will speak the truth in love -- I tried to find a little love there, couldn't find it.

Take care!

peter lumpkins

Ron,

Thanks for logging on. I think many of the engagements I experienced with some of the earlier popular bloggers a few years back inevitably poison the soup against much meaningful dialog now. I've found so many of these guys who howl loudest about another's "rudeness" or "condescension" have, shall we just say, little wiggle room in their own britches as the link above shows. They seem to have a short memory of their own words.

Anyways, while I'm not the fluffiest teddy bear to cuddle when engaged I admit, I nonetheless attempt to be considerate toward both newcomers to the blog and those who logon to offer sincere contributions to a question I might raise. Apparently, many like our brother whose link I gave above, like to pinch the thin skin on the back of one's arm and then condemn them for jerking.

Oh well. Baptist blogging is a mysterious enterprise, ah?

Have a great day in the Lord, brother.

With that, I am...
Peter

Mary

Peter,

That link you posted should seriously disturb anyone who claims the name of Christian. Let's just assume for arguments sake that you are the lowliest creature ever to have walked the face of the planet. Are men who call themselves ministers of the Gospel truly supposed to behave in such a manner? Some of the young punks are giddy that someone is resorting to just plain out attacking you, how bout they print that page and take it to their next interview for a position at a church and present it as evidence of how they think anyone on this planet should be treated let alone someone they should be able to claim as brother in Christ. It just mind boggling that these men don't shudder with dread with the thought that as ministers they will be held to a higher standard and they will face a holy God one day and have to defend that kind of nonsense and defend their imagined moral superiorioty at the same time. I wouldn't want to be in their shoes.

peter lumpkins

Mary,

Thanks. You speak worthy words which should make us all stutter before we click "post". I mean that...

Interestingly, so many of those who complain loudest about my self-conscious, self-chosen style of, let's just say, colorful engagement, will, when the opportunity arises for them, pick up their trusty pen of "humor," "satire," "irony," and "hyperbolic" rhetoric at the swat of a fly, all the while condemning me as condescending or rude or insensitive or dishonest or uncaring or hypocritical for my godless, unChristian folly in daring to similarly employ "humor," "satire," "irony," and "hyperbolic" rhetoric when in engagement.

One's really got to keep a balanced perspective to make it in Baptist blogging.

Grace, my sister Mary.

With that, I am...
Peter

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