According to Baptist Press (BP), Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary's weekly chapel service focused on circumstances surrounding the tragic arrest of seminary student and Southern Baptist blogger, William "Billy" Birch. Before expulsion, Birch was an MDiv student at the Wake Forest campus but was arrested Saturday afternoon after allegations he performed unwanted sexual advances toward a 25 year old male undergraduate student, crimes he apparently confesses to have committed.
President Danny Akin clarified what he suspects to be "misconceptions and misinterpretations" stemming from media reports about the weekend's circumstances. According to BP, Akin said:
"It has been alleged by some media sources," Akin said, "that Southeastern acted irresponsibly in notifying our student body. Honestly, we moved very quickly and the sexual perpetrator was quarantined and no one was in further danger after his apprehension. Since then, our primary concern has been to protect the victim and the seminary family. Also, I pledge to you, the Southeastern family, that I never, nor will I ever cover up any facts that concern our institution and family at Southeastern."
Furthermore, after meeting with Birch in his office, Dr. Akin indicated "Not only did I forgive him for what he had done...but I want to let you know that Birch's victim has already forgiven him as well."
Other speakers at the special chapel service dealing with the tragedy include Sam Williams, professor of counseling and Mark Liederbach, dean of students and associate professor of ethics.
Birch was one of the few Southern Baptist bloggers who specifically claimed to be a theological Arminian. For several years, Birch wrote vigorously against what he perceived as the "Calvinization" of the Southern Baptist Convention1, including Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. However, Birch apparently softened his earlier perception of a "Calvinization" of Southern Baptists going so far as to ridicule those who spoke of it. After several blog "re-launches" over the past year, Birch attempted to scrub his website archives of his own literary contributions which proved (at least to him at that time) that a "Calvinization" of Southern Baptists was indeed taking place.2
With that, I am...
1but then again, Birch also wrote vigorously against homosexuality, same-sex attraction, gay rights, and any number of other homoerotic themes
2Birch's old pieces on the "Calvinization" of Southern Baptists are relatively easy to find in the cached versions of his blogs