On February 28, South Carolina pastor, Dr. Brad Whitt, wrote a provocative piece entitled “Young, Southern Baptist…and Irrelevant?” Within a few weeks, over a half dozen state papers had picked up the young pastor’s essay. He obviously resonated with Southern Baptists all over the United States. Indeed his stated concerns shook loose a rebuttal from two Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary professors, Nathan Finn and Ed Stetzer >>>
Truth be told, Whitt has kept those in the convention who desire to change the methodology/ecclesiology of SBC churches from the top-down running for cover, all the while they're hurling rocks over their shoulders toward the courageous fresh voice for mainstream Southern Baptists. Whitt continues to keep his cool, however, and stays on message. Their continued attempts to marginalize him have thus far failed.
Now Dr. Whitt has done it again. On May 19th, Whitt posted a piece on his blog entitled, “What Makes Us Southern Baptists?” Brad’s forte is obvious: he speaks to the masses. In three clear and concise points, Dr. Whitt puts in simple terms what it historically means to be Southern Baptist. Whitt can do this because Whitt knows Southern Baptists. He doesn’t rely on charts, social surveys, or the latest tweet from celebrity gurus. Instead, Brad Whitt speaks the language of Southern Baptists because he is a Southern Baptist, loves Southern Baptists, and listens to Southern Baptists.
Demonstrable of Dr. Whitt’s connection with grassroots people is his newest SBC primer being picked up by The Christian Index. Writing as a guest commentator, Whitt’s piece was posted this past week on their website edition as well as made the hard-copy publication. His message is getting out and grabbing hold. In short, Brad's words stick like glue.
We’ll wait and see if other state papers pick it up just in time for the convention. Word has it Whitt’s piece was scheduled to be posted in Baptist Press. However, we ended up with Trevin Wax’s article instead. An insider’s view of things predictably offering the company's goods substituted for an outsider’s view representing grassroots Southern Baptists. Understand: I have a deep appreciation for the good folk at BP. Many of them I call my friends. And, they are just doing their job. For me that’s hard to criticize. On the other hand, it does perhaps reveal a bit concerning the political posturing putting our wire press service in a no-win conundrum.
Perhaps Brad Whitt may just be the voice for which mainstream Southern Baptists have been patiently waiting.
With that, I am…