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On the other hand, Baptist Press ain't much these days. They have been strangely silent about the theological wrangling in SBC ranks. I suppose they don't want to deal with divisive issues among the membership, but steering clear of theo-politics is to not inform the masses which rely on this publication for Baptist news that matters (and this matters!). Southern Baptists would do better to tune into Associated Baptist Press ... even though liberal/moderate in most reporting, it has accurately reported on SBC's theological drift. While the blogs are contentious at times, articles found on SBC Tomorrow, SBC Today, and SBC Voices paint a good picture of the state-of-the-church ... may God help us!


As a conservative, I guess I'd call myself "complementarian lite" woman I can tell you that there is more than a hint of misogyny in the SBC. Women not afraid of voicing strong opinions are treated very poorly and very differently than men who give strong opinions. Why do you think woman don't comment all that often over at SBC Pravda? Through the years Miller always singles out the woman at Pravda when they push back against his boys.


Mary, I have always considered you as one of most godly men I know ;^) Please accept this as a complementarian (I mean compliment). You have definitely been light years ahead in spiritual maturity and insight in your blog comments than the brethren who challenge you.

I've been closely monitoring a few SBC New Calvinist church plants near me. It doesn't take a lot of discernment to see the oppression on the faces of the young women who have followed their husbands into these works. This may very well prove to be the Achilles heel in the NC movement ... when the sit down & shut up wives/girl friends wake up and declare "Now, wait just a darn minute here!" and begin to drag their sorry mates out of the mess.

Scott Shaver

How can we honestly be expected to take seriously a guy (Dave Miller) that just posted an article on his "VOICES" website recommending himself (he will claim in jest) as "President" of the SBC?

How is anybody not embarrassed to go to these convocations? These guys absolutely seem to live for lifting themselves up once a year at these closed-circuit or "circus" events.

Frankly, in the context of blogoworld, I would doubt Dave Miller if he gave a negative report on Attilla the Hun.

Scott Shaver


I gotta agree with you about the proficiency of Baptist News Global (formerly ABP?).

Some of the opinions they (authors) post make me grit my teeth but the news organization itself has followed the SBC's current theological drift with some good relevant articles.

Scott Shaver

The "disinvitation" was typically unclassy of the inner "SBC" circle.

However, Dr. Carson's time and ideas at this point are much more important to many Americans than having them sullied by having coffee with a pack of egotists.

Scott Shaver

"SBC Voices" amounts to how many actual voices?....6-10 at most?


Max, thank you for the compliment. Coming from you it really means a lot.

Watching all these Calvinist church plants is really discouraging. You can see so clearly where they're headed and you know warnings have been given and yet they think somehow all the old people around them know nothing and they are the generation who finally has all the answers and know everything there is to know.

We are close with a family who went through a "situation" at a church over these last few years. Our kids and theirs were close so we found ourselves having conversations with out teenagers about what was happening and what we thought was wrong and how it would all end. It ended just the way we told our kids (nasty split) and our children thought we must have been psychic the way our predictions turned out to be very very accurate. It's not psychic ability but years of being in the SBC. We joke that all churches have the same personalities that go by different names.

There is a reason why the Bible puts an emphasis on Elders leading those who are younger. The word Elder doesn't mean "graduate of Southern Seminary." But these guys think "correct doctrine" trumps wisdom gained from experience and if an Elder is too dumb to reject Calvinism than they don't know anything worth knowing.

Scott, no you misunderstand, Miller is just telling everyone how "others" want him to run for President. It's not his idea really - it's just "others" think he is so great that he has to tell everyone "no, no, not me" What's funny is the reason he gives why he couldn't do it seems to indicate that his church is soooooooo dependent on him that the church would just collapse if he had increased commitments over a couple of years. How's that for hubris - his church wouldn't survive without him. I've known lot's of small churches who have supported their pastors not giving full time effort for seasons so they can work toward degrees and such. One church supported a full timer giving part time effort while he cared for an aging parent. For a lot of churches if a Pastor were simply upfront about the commitment that church would consider it an honor that they were supporting the SBC in such a way. Of course saying your church doesn't care about the SBC says volumnes about a Pastor doesn't it?

Scott Shaver


Ironically, Not caring about the "SBC" seems to be a recurrent theme I'm hearing from a lot of young "SBC" pastors. See "Confessions of a Rogerist" thread currently running on SBC Today.

If these "Voices of the SBC" have limited time with and limited knowledge of SBC history....and their church members "don't care about it".....why are they dressing up in lime green suits and racing off to conventions every year while tweeting messenger voting instructions with bagels stuffed in their mouths?

Scott Shaver

Miller will tell you its for the free I-PADS


"Is it because Miller gets to choose who is actually "bullied" and who is not? "

Yes. Haven't you been reading there for the last several years? :o)

I have long thought he gets cues/suggestions on what to write from some of the big boys. Sort of the water carrier. He has the knack of writing as if he is not divisive but he is and that is evident by this piece-big time-considering what he left out.

I read the piece but did not bother to look up anything on Hannigan. My bad. I did think it was a piece meant to send a message to a certain segment of the Voices faithful on what to think and how to think about something. As in Baptist 21/Barber coming off looking a bit to grandiose in their pressure. (Baptist 21? Seriously? The Akin empire!)

But that is typical voices. Had he given her bonafides instead of positioning her as some sort of uninformed volunteer with no writing experience then he would have had a harder time making his case.

Glad you wrote this. She deserves better.

Scott Shaver

Isn't SBC Voices kinda like Barber's political base of operations?


Scott - Yes Baptist News Global (BNG) was formerly known as Associated Baptist Press. I check it every day for timely pieces about SBC happenings, which are ignored by Baptist Press. BNG has been brutally accurate in articles pertaining to SBC Calvinization. And extremely honest regarding the reformed influence of Drs. Mohler, Moore, Ezell, Platt, et. al. Baptist Press wouldn't touch these fellows with a 10-foot pole!

"These guys absolutely seem to live for lifting themselves up ..." Yep, Scott, there is no lack of arrogance in the New Calvinist ranks ... a characteristic of reformed adherents since the 16th century.


When you have a movement who actually believe that congregationalism is from Satan than of course they don't care about a big ol' national congregationalist business meeting. How long before there's a movement in the SBC to stop wasting resources on an annual meeting and just let a group of SBC Elders run the whole thing? The meeting already functions with our betters not allowing the rabble to get too rowdy. It's very tightly controlled and the outcomes are predetermined by those Louisville before anyone arrives.


"The "disinvitation" was typically unclassy of the inner "SBC" circle.

However, Dr. Carson's time and ideas at this point are much more important to many Americans than having them sullied by having coffee with a pack of egotists."

Scott, IMO, it goes even deeper than that. The YRR are taking on the issue of race. Voices has had some very intense articles about the SBC's lack of racial reconciliation and promoting black leaders.

I want to make it clear, I am not fond of having political leaders speak at all. I think it is a mistake. But Carson was asked and scheduled. Is he the wrong kind of black to them? They are the ones who have been making a big deal of race including Moore. Then they go and dismiss a black keynote speaker! Remember, it is all about "race" to them and how we treat blacks.

Perhaps the bandwagon effect of making race a huge issue for the SBC was simply political posturing all along. A cultural context to gain credibility and make them look compassionate to the culture? If so, dismissing Carson was a good move because he is not known for being a black activist.

They are so hypocritical I cannot keep up.


"The word Elder doesn't mean 'graduate of Southern Seminary.'"

Mary - There are SBC church plants in my area with "lead pastors" in their early 30s and "elders" in their 20s-30s! The 40-somethings are the old guys in their congregations.

The whole thing reminds me of the story of King Rehoboam in 1 Kings 12. Faced with unrest in Israel, Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon. However, he "rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him." When the young guys ended up running things, it didn't turn out well for Rehoboam or Israel.

Without multi-generations in place, many SBC church plants are at an unhealthy balance (regardless of theological flavor). I realize age doesn't equal wisdom, but it helps. Our churches need the energy of youth coupled with the wisdom of age ... young guys to speed things up a bit and old guys to slow it down.


Ben Carson was uninvited because of his conservative politics which many of the younger SBC disagree with. They just used the doctrine issue as cover.

James McDonald called our form of ecclesiology evil and he gets a pass because he got around to writing an "apology." Of course we're told by those at Pravda that we should blindly accept his apology and not question his motives or timing. You can accept his apology but you don't have to give him the prize. But since he's from the correct "tribe" and most of that "tribe" agrees with him on his views about ecclesiology he gets a platform.

The big elephant in the room with the race issue is that the SBC doesn't promote black leadership because of a problem with race but because of soteriology. Only certain people are now qualified for positions of authority in the SBC and they aren't going to widen that net to include anyone with the wrong doctrine.

Scott Shaver

You ladies are like walking encyclopedia brittainicas....thank u very much for dialogue.

Scott Shaver

Miller is......still trying to figure out the ropes of responsible, scourced writings? Barber appears to be another denominational opportunist ....God help us.


"James McDonald called our form of ecclesiology evil and he gets a pass because he got around to writing an "apology." Of course we're told by those at Pravda that we should blindly accept his apology and not question his motives or timing"

Yes, I saw that. Move on nothing to see here. But what a convenient apology. It does nothing to erase the other glaring problems like the "elephant debt", gambling, etc. On the elephant debt site some insiders who left said the "congregationalism is from Satan" came after he lost some vote that would have plunged them even further in debt. Don't forget that it is no secret that James MacDonald lives very high on the hog and is a millionaire off the Name of Jesus and from the fruit of others labor.

This is the sort of man (unlike Driscoll) of which this YRR crowd is enamoured. He was an advisor on the Gospel Project(was he paid?) and for some reason is very protected by the YRR esteemed and powerful clergy class in the SBC.

What is telling to me is that very few seem to be asking what these celebrities are paid by the SBC. Or for that matter, what are the breakdowns in money paid to Acts 29 church plants, for example? Of course I understand why the YRR faction asks no uncomfortable questions of their leaders. They have been trained to be good little lemmings and adore/obey their leaders.

What I cannot figure out is that guys like McDonald are well known rogues yet promoted by the Neo Cal leaders. They should be embarassed to pay him to preach! Says a lot they aren't.


oops. Meant to say (like Driscoll) and yes, don't forget Mahaney. The YRR crowd has promoted many a rogue. Of course I do not have DNA proof as the YRR demand..... just years of patterns of behavior and their very own words.

But good little lemmings know that they hold the keys to the kingdom for the rest of us. They know best. Seems God has given them special annointing to be the Holy Spirit for rest of us and for the entire SBC.

Scott Shaver

Funny Lydia:

The YRR taking on the issue of race while many of them, I assume, are still wanting us to return the theology of Boyce?

Max mentioned Rehoboam who, shall we say....preferred mosh-pits over meeting tables?


"The YRR taking on the issue of race while many of them, I assume, are still wanting us to return the theology of Boyce?"

There is so much cognitive dissonance in that movement and in their doctrine I hardly know where to begin. However, could it be after years of people pointing out this very problem with the idea of "going back to our founding" they decided they needed some deflecting good PR and the current race issue was just the ticket? Of course, it also means Moore will be invited to more DC, do's. Have you had the dishonor to come across one of his non SBC staffers, Joe Carter? He is some piece of work. Those guys scare me.

You cannot seek good PR in the world of race baiting by being seen to affirm a successful person of color who believes in personal responsibility and accountability. And also believes in a person's ability to overcome great odds by working hard and taking advantage of opportunies. Ben Carson is seen as an Uncle Tom to that world. Not an example.

The more I see/read of Carson (I met him many years ago at a conference), the more I am convinced he really is a classy man. He seems to always take the hits with such grace and integrity.

Scott Shaver

To bad he was treated so "unchristian" by those who claim to have a corner on the market.

Their doctrines, divisions and trips to the "Cheesecake Factory" are as sounding bells and clanging cymbals in this particular public display.


Seems like an enormous amount of hair splitting. I don't have the time or the patience to try to sort it out. The practical effect is that I don't much read the blogs on either side. I read what passes for objective news and decide for myself.


"I read what passes for objective news and decide for myself."

Would love to know where those are. Care to share links? And you think Miller's deceptive blog post about Harrigan is "hair splitting" or this one outlining her experience as a real journalist and pointing out what Miller conveniently left out of his piece?

dr, james willingham

Well, I am a strong believer in Sovereign Grace (some folks call it Calvinism), and I favor the idea of Dr. Carson speaking as Dr. George W. Truett had Woodrow Wilson speak in the pulpit of the FBC of Dallas. I also stress this openness to have whomever we please as our predecessors and (and in my case, at least, but I would think many others) ancestors were the cannon fodder during the American Revolution.
And as to Dave Miller's blog, as far as I am concerned, it was as much a defense of this blog and those who blog here as it was of those who blog there (which includes not only Dr. Barber but Rick Patrick as some of the writers and respondents). In fact, I do not like the idea Dr. Carson was disinvited, but Baptists, being who and what they are, must express themselves. Just think, if enough of those who favor hearing Dr. Carson speak had blogged everywhere, the whole outcome might have been different. Lately, I have been taken up with health issues. However, in this instance I stand with those who were not at all pleased by the disinvite. Hum, Calvinists and Traditionalists on the same side. Which is as it should be on many issues. Take, for example, verbal inspiration, inerrancy, and infallibility, the Trinity and Unity of God, the Deity and humanity of Christ, the substitutionary nature of our Lord's sacrifice on Calvary, congregational government, missions to the end of the earth and to every last person. I will go a little farther and say to the ends of the universe, that is, the starry heaven (our Lord said His angels would gather the elect from one end of THE heaven to the other and since God spoke in I Chron. 16:15 of a thousand generations we must have anywhere from 20,000-900,000 years to win the innumerable multitutde of Rev. 7:9 and the promises to Abraham of such numbers). We can and we will work out the differences to the point of being able to keep on working together just like Dave Miller has had Dr. Barber and Rick Patrick to write blogs for SBC Voices and just like I wrote a post for this blog commenting upon Dr. Patterson's Eight Theses on Election as a way to ameliorate the tension. If the information that I have been able to gather is true, we are already traveling to the stars.
Now is the time to pray for a world wide awakening, one that reaches every soul on earth and every soul that is in space, expanding our frontiers.


Dr J,

I don't think Carson's DISinvite had anything at all to do with Calvinism. I think it had to do with power politics and the attempt to reposition the SBC in the culture.

The rank and file are not SBC blogging and might not even find out about this unless they hear it from secular media sources. There used to be 30,000 people (mostly lay folk) at the conventions. Now there are an average of 6000 mostly those who make a living in ministry. They run the show now and make all the decisions for those who pay the bills. Al Mohler changed everything and has been free to insert his protege's and loyalists in most entities. He is our Pope.

dr, james willingham

Dear Lydia: You might be right, but I can remember when the attendance was 5-6,000 people. During the period when it was so high, the controversy, Baptists were more prosperous as individuals than they are today. Due to automation, computerization, and robotics, and the fact that it takes time to make a major adjustment to securing more advanced degrees and training, our Baptist people are suffering. It is true that both Calvinists and Traditionalists can be just like the Conservatives and the Moderates, who played hard ball or threw their weight around. The latter parties would even deal with their own in such a fashion, and the former two often do likewise. It is called human nature, a matter of total depravity that is with us even after conversion - unless you believe in perfect sanctification. O and I like the name, it reminds of one of the verses I use to describe my conversion. The verses are Rev. 3:20 and Acts 16:14

Scott Shaver

Uh Dr. Willingham:

I can't let you get by with this one:

"It is true that both Calvinists and Traditionalists can be just like the Conservataives and Moderates who played hard ball...."

Fact of the matter is "Traditionalists" ARE THE CONSERVATIVES who can't get along with their newly adopted brother (neo calvinism).

"MODERATES" are personna non grata even though they exist by multitudes in the pulpits and pews of currently affiliated "SBC" churches. Moderates are the previous blood-brothers of FUNDAMENTALISTS but maligned and banned from the system (exception their sbc $) in favor of the newly adopted brother.

Can we at least try to be historically correct here?


"It is called human nature, a matter of total depravity that is with us even after conversion - unless you believe in perfect sanctification. "

I seriously doubt we are on the same page here. I do not think perfect sanctification means one does not need to practice integrity or character. Not sure what the point of conversion would be if we are not changed but continue on as totally depraved.

Was Jesus using a bait and switch when He said 'be perfect like your heavenly Father is perfect'? Or did He have a different understanding of what "being perfect" means for humans?

I personally believe we are MORE human, as originally intended, when we practice goodness, truth, justice and mercy and I view the resurrection as "ability" to do so in terms of living out the kingdom now as best we can. I also believe we are less human when we practice evil deeds.

Bill Smith

Didn't you follow a man who was a liar and well we won't go there will we? No.

peter lumpkins

Hi "Bill"

It's ignorant internet hyenas that make blogging and social media a hopeless cavern of depraved verbiage. You know. The kind of verbiage like you just logged, verbiage having nothing at all to say about whether Joni Hannigan's reputation was trampled underfoot by arrogant, over-jealous critics. Instead you want to change the subject to the writer of the OP.

NO Wait!

That's the exact tactic Miller, SBC Voices, and JD Hall did to Hannigan. They made their criticisms against her personally not the story she was reporting.

I suggest you move along to either SBC Voices or Pulpit & Pen. Perhaps they'll respect your valiant services there.

With that, I am...

Scott Shaver

If I understand another who understands Africa much better than me, "hyena" is pretty much bulls-eye description by Pete.

Wambugee of Tanzania believe every witch possesses one or more hyenas branded with his or her mark (invisible to the naked eye).

Even when they are not afraid of witches, there are some African cultures which regard hyenas with such nervous disgust that just speaking their name aloud can cause folks to snicker, as if at a dirty joke ... the main reason they give is similar to Europeans.

Namely, Hyenas eat human corpses.

Scott Shaver

You gotta admit that the brand of that hyena's witch read kinda like voices or P&P.

Scott Shaver

Looks like Montana's Semper Reformanda P&P has at least one thing in common with Miller and his quasi-baptist buddies over at Voices.

Both obviously like to take cheap and unsubstantiated pot shots at women..especially those willing to call a duck a duck.


I question my place among those who have commented, as I do not share your brand or type of faith. I do know that shaming is an act of violence. Those who experience this public shaming frequently experience trauma symptoms, and can develop PTSD. Is not church supposed to be a safe haven? Have I been mislead in that assumption? If the Church is the Body, then self-mutilation is a symptom of a larger issue. In my profession, we call that a symptom of borderline personality disorder (there are many more, and I see many of these present, to be honest, in the Church). This mudslinging needs to stop.

Scott Shaver

Well Kbshannon:

With all due respect.

At least you got your comment posted here.

Doubt you'll get the same consideration for the same exhortation at Voices or P&P.

A "safe haven" for what?......depends on what you mean. If your going to speak clinically with and about your fellow commentators, lets be a little more specific with our definitions of terms.

Scott Shaver


With all due respect, A "safe-haven" for what?

Additionally, I would hardly compare this blog site or any other to a "church".

If you're going to speak clinically with and about your fellow commentators in this thread from a "professional" perspective, how about being a little more specific with your definitions of terms?

Have you tried posting this same exhortation at P&P, Voices etc?

Scott Shaver

If "shaming" is an act of violence, my schnauzer is a daily victim.


"If "shaming" is an act of violence, my schnauzer is a daily victim'

Shaming must be akin to burning down buildings or beheading people. Get in touch with your inner hyperbole, Scott!

But wait. Wouldn't shaming someone for shaming be an act of violence, too?


" ... I do not share your brand or type of faith."

With this line, Kbshannon has really hit on two aspects of SBC's current theo-political climate: the dark side of blogging, as well as the primary reason most SBC blogs exist. SBC’s brand and expression of faith are up for grabs and the grabbers are aggressively out and about. The largest non-Calvinist denomination in America is trending toward Calvinism and many folks just don’t like it! Whether or not the majority of mainline Southern Baptists are engaged in the discussion, they would not share the brand or type of faith being thrust upon them. Somebody needs to speak up on their behalf – blogs have provided a way to bring this issue to the forefront.

To address theological & ecclesiological shifts between what is and what some want it to be, this blog site focuses on anti-Calvinization rather than being anti-Calvinist. With emotions running high, blog moderators across the SBC landscape attempt to keep the discourse civil but “borderline personality disorder” and “mudslinging” occasionally raise their ugly heads. As an old and gentle sort of guy at heart, I am a reluctant commenter but uncomfortable with what I see heading our way – so I speak, but try not to cuss what needs to be cussed ;^)

In my 60+ year journey as a Southern Baptist, I have witnessed countless challenges to the brand and much weeping and gnashing of teeth by the brethren. Will we all grow weary and/or crazy before the dust settles again in SBC? When will this madness end?!

Scott Shaver

Lydia the ripper.....LOL

Scott Shaver


Attempt to keep the discourse "civil" or "censored"?

This site along with 2 or 3 others appear to be the only "baptist" blogs that allow sentiments regarding the current state of affairs in the SBC to be expressed in their raw, unadulterated forms.

"Borderline personality disorder" is exactly the SBC malady that some (even those of us with borderline personality disorder:) are attempting to address.

It's not always going to be...."civil" I'm afraid. "Civility" has become the alternative to having defend a prevailing status quo when its logic or value is severely challenged/questioned.

At which time also the "mudslinging" usually begins.

Scott Shaver

Having said that, have the utmost respect for Max and the genuinely Christian diplomacy he routinely displays. Need more of that blood in my veins.


"Attempt to keep the discourse "civil" or "censored"?"

Scott, agreed. There are certainly the blogs that manage dissent by censorship. And then there is the tribal pile-on which belittles commenters into retreat. This is certainly not the civil treatment one would expect in Christian circles. As a result, the millions of SBC voices which need to be heard are steering clear of the wrangling, leaving the debate to a relatively few characters ... and, boy, are there some characters in the mix! The "old man" is ruling the day - flesh, not Spirit. One thing is for sure, the Holy Spirit is steering clear of the mess - I don't sense much leading of the Spirit in the discourse. It appears that the future direction of SBC rests not in the hand of God but to which camp can out-maneuver the other. In the turmoil, a once-great denomination has surrendered the torch of evangelism.

Scott Shaver

Your last two sentences reflect past completed action I'm already assuming Max. I would include "historic theological and ecclesiological identity" along with "evangelism".

Consequently,at this point, I'm just trying to sort out which and what kind of "baptists" are actually left in the mix.

As far as cyberspace is concerned I guess, those too timid or disgusted to speak...will continue unrepresented.

I don't know, collectively speaking, that the actual affiliated churches of the SBC have been "represented" adequately by the "SBC" for decades now.


Scott - for most of my 60+ years with the SBC, evangelism was its driver and primary identity. SBC belief and practice reflected that. The Cross and message of Christ for ALL men has been lost in the theological mumbo-jumbo of the day.

I agree with your observation that the multitude of SBC churches have not been adequately represented. Nor have they been adequately informed about the theological drift that is occurring - I fault 46,000 local pastors for that. But, on the other hand, I'm not sure that the multitude is so much uninformed or misinformed as they are willingly ignorant. How could the giant be so silent? Perhaps they are just apathetic.

Scott Shaver

If the label remains intact, I wonder if "Southern Baptists" will at some point be classified as "evangelical" rather than "mainline" in the list of denominations?


SBC Bloggers aside, I would like to focus on the likes of JD Hall. I've read elsewhere of his treatment of Mr. Caner's son and have listened to more than a few podcasts...JD's got some anger issues, empathy issues and now he feels the need (or was he predestined to be an A$$?)to harass yet again. I've been a Calvinist for ten years and everyday, I find myself becoming less sympathetic of the theology because those who embrace this theology (at least actively in the public eye)run in packs and seem to be more interested in "defending God's 'freedom' " than ministering to people. So, what seems to have happened is preaching Christ is somewhat boring and has been replaced with "Christian A***oleism". Sorry for the creative expression, I'm frustrated with the whole Calvinist mindset.

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