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2007.05.02

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Luke

Good Morning Peter,
I've been giving some thought to all this about confessions and the BF&M and I have arrived at this point for the time being. I do not have a problem having the BF&M to which employess of the SBC must confirm, adopt, sign or whatever you want to do to signify adherence. This list would especially include Seminaries, Colleges, Missionaries, both home and foreign, AND Trustees and Presidents of all the different SBC entities.

When it comes to the Associational level, I believe it ought to operate in pretty much the same way. Associational employess ought to have a specific standard, the BF&M being good for that as well. Church's within the associations would be entrusted with the concept of monitoring their own association.

Why? I believe there is a certain amount of "conformity" required in order to ensure "unity". One faith, one baptism...even Paul taught unity through conformity if I may put it that way. But I confess, that when we as individuals start trying to relegate issues to first tier, second tier and so on, subjectivsm will tend in the second generation to rule the day. My ramblings at least.

Luke

volfan007

peter,

very interesting and thought provoking stuff.

david

peter

Luke,

Thanks for the input. I tend to agree up to a point that some type of "conformity" seems necessary for cooperation. The question remains, how loose or how strict does it need to be?

That said, I have the Separate Baptist DNA in me that knaws against credalism. It is a razor's edge between embracing creeds and embracing confessions but, ever how thin, I think, at least for me, it is still wise to hold the distinction.

Know, of course, Luke, I am not suggesting your fine comment leans toward credalism.

Grace today. With that, I am...

Peter

peter

David,

Thanks always for dropping by. Our history is facinating, is it not? I had no idea SBTS was split on the issue of confessionialism.

I'm posting next a great essay arguing for the need for confessions written by another professor--not E.Y. Mullins, by the way.

Peace. With that, I am...

Peter

Michael Westmoreland-White

I tend to side with Carver. Or, more exactly, I agree with those who argue that, for both the 1925 and 1963 BF & M statements, the introductory statement was the most important "article of faith" since it showed how Baptists had historically been confessional without being creedal.

Yes, SBTS was split on this, always. Even when they finally agreed with Boyce to have the "Abstract of Principles" several of the articles had to be re-written as compromises. For instance, Art. 1 of the Abstract on Scripture was taken nearly verbatim from the 2nd London Confession (the first Baptist confession to put Scripture before GOD!), but the word "infallible" had to be dropped. Boyce and Manley liked the word since they were Princeton inerrantists. But Broadus refused to sign until the word was dropped and "authoritative" was used in its place.
Over the years, the role of the Abstract was a point of contention repeatedly--long before the struggle over inerrancy of the 1980s.

As for me, I still resonate with John Leland's remark calling confessions and creeds "Virgin Marys" that attempt to take Christ's place as One Mediator!

The Baptist Union of Great Britain has no confession of faith; nor do the American Baptists, the Canadian Baptist Ministries or many other Baptist bodies. German Baptists only finally wrote a confession (again with a huge prologue denying that it was a creed) after WWII, when they felt compelled to distinguish the gospel from the errors of Naziism that captured so many of Germany's churches.

Luke

"Know, of course, Luke, I am not suggesting your fine comment leans toward credalism."

Okay. I'll have to let my ignorance shine but for a moment. I'm not sure if I'm creedal, confessional or something else since I do not presently know the distinctions between the two. But rest assured, no offense taken, unless of course being creedal is theologically a cussword.:)

Seriously though, I am going to have to research the different nuances. I wish I hadn't skipped theology that moment. Oh wait, I didn't skip, we just never covered that aspect. I graduated from the Baptist College of Florida and studied theology under Wiley Richards, who also authored, "Winds of Doctrine". I'll just blame it on him since he isn't here.

Luke

peter

Michael,

Thanks. How intriging about the evolving of the Abstracts. Especially of interest to me is the rejection of Professor Broadus to sign the AP until it was toned down.

I must admit, I am a deep admirer of Dr. Mullins. His systematic theology is still useful to me. Yet, I cannot rid myself of this yacking little voice in me saying we need no creed but the NT. That stated, Professor Carver's essay resonates with me.

Dr. Dement's advocacy of the confession--which I post next--is a great piece, however. I'll look forward to your remarks, Michael.

With that, I am...

peter

peter

Luke,

I read an essay recently by Dr. Richards in Baptist History & Heritage on the waning of Calvinism in the SBC. Very interesting. Is he still teaching there?

Peace tonite. With that, I am...

Peter

Luke

Peter,
Unless he does some adjunct work or anything like that, he does not teach there any more. I have not read the article you are talking about, but I'll get to it. I'm not sure what your impression of his writing skill or thought process is but I can tell you from personal conversation, he truly attempts to write from and objective position. A compliment to him would be, "having read your article, which position do you take about....?"

Thanks for the interesting post. You still have me thinking.

Luke

Michael Westmoreland-White

I like much of Mullins, although his view of church is too individualistic, lacking the earlier Baptist emphasis on covenant community. Mullins, I think, was trying to moderate two extremes. He had seen the fury of the Fundamentalist/Modernist controversy in Baptist circles in the North when he pastored FBC, Newton Centre, Mass. Now that was threatening to move South full force, especially in a controversy over biological evolution. There were proposals to tie the SBC to a scholastic Calvinistic creed.
Mullins tried to head all that off with the BF & M, but he appended the huge preface to try to prevent creedalism. It worked for years--most Southern Baptists completely ignored the BF& M.
It wasn't until the 1980s that the BF& M began to be treated like a creed.

Michael Westmoreland-White

BTW, that's a great pic of Mullins, Peter. I had only seen photos of him as an old man.

peter

Michael,

I think you are correct in Dr. Mullins' emphasis on local church "autonomy"--a term he may have coined. Interestingly, I do tend to agree with that, though surely not to the exclusion of the people of God as community motif.

For experiential theology in distinction to propositional revelation, Mullins may be our greatest apologist.

And, the picture is becoming, I agree. Grace. With that, I am...

peter

volfan007

peter,

how do you like the fact that we are treated as villains over at wade's blog? to hear many over at his blog, we are bad, bad, bad boys....even though we are the ones being talked down to, ridiculed, and have mean, ugly things being said to us. it's amazing to watch sometimes.

peter, i'm sorry, i guess i should have commented on your previous post about this...it fit better on that one. but, it's amazing to me to watch people attack and spin everything said and twist it around. hang in there, bro.

david........volfan007

peter

David,

I am unsure precisely why they would lump us together. Perhaps it's because we are both from Tennessee. Or it may be because we ask more questions than we offer answers. Unfortuantley, that happens to be my personal constitution.

And, as for hanging in, thank you for the encouragement, David. Like anyone else, constant attacks can start to hang on one like beggar lice. But, I learned from Daddy to just be patient and pick them off one by one. After all, beggar lice is quite harmless in the long run.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

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