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20 Responses

  1. JD says:

    I recommend a reading of the book of the prophet Isaiah at the current time to enlighten the current crop
    of believers.
    It’s an eye opener how much God loves his people, sometimes called The Gospel of the Old Testament.

  2. Linn says:

    If we can learn from Teresa, we will relax more about the everyday choices that seem to matter and become much more serious about our relationship with God in prayer. (copied from the article in LInk-A-Thon)

    I just cleaned out a book shelf and came across my three Teresa of Avila’s books (two biographies and “The Interior Castle.” I read them for a paper I wrote about her for a spiritual disciplines class that I took many years ago.) I didn’t agree with all of her theology, but the entire thread about being more serious about my relationship with God in prayer made a big impression. I think we all get a bit jaded in our faith after a decade or two (it was three in my case), and Teresa brought me back to the essentials. I need those essentials now more than ever!

    I struggle with both Avila and Loyola in the sense that their campaigns to purify the Catholic Church also led to many of the atrocities towards Protestants and other groups during the Spanish Inquisition. That was not a happy time, hisotorically.

  3. Michael says:


    Excellent post.

    this is how we should think about all theologians…

  4. Josh the Baptist says:

    Surely there was a time when the SBC was not an ongoing nightmare.

  5. Linn says:

    Josh the Baptist at 1:13 pm
    In my memory, the SBC has always been a mess. Dating myself a bit, the convention came under fire for not supporting the civil rights movement of the 50/60s, the 70s was the Battle for the Bible, the 80s was joining the Christian Right, and on it has gone. I briefly joined a Southern Baptist church and lasted six months. They lost both their pastors, had constant changes in the board, and were always fighting among themselves. I retreated to an EFCA church. It’s not perfect, but we have had three senior pastors in the 20 years I have been there, and the board talks things out vs. blowing up the congregation.

  6. Josh the Baptist says:

    Geez, seeing it laid out like that is depressing. When you consider we were founded because we were pro-slavery…yep, we’ve always been a mess.

  7. Dread says:

    Memorializing the SBC mess I lived through – graduated SEBTS 1982

  8. Dread says:

    80s takeover
    90s makeover
    00s decline
    10s re-division
    20s a new split is inevitable

    Lots to fill in for those years the end for me was 2000

    They banned women’s ordination, banned charismatics from missionary service, and edited the BFM concerning interpreting the scriptures by Jesus Christ.

    I was out within one month.

  9. Josh the Baptist says:

    I didn’t realize you came to Southeastern. Very cool! I hope it was a good experience. Things got really hairy a few years later. I have some older friends in ministry who went through during the darkest period. Akin really seems to have done a fantastic job there.

    My granddad was a pastor of a small SBC church. He died in 1980 when I was 5. I didn’t come to know the Lord until Nov. 93. It was another 10 years or so before I started working in SBC churches. I missed the big controversy of the 80’s and the turmoil of the 90’s. I came during a relatively peaceful times when we were celebrating the victory of “The Conservative Resurgence”. We were readying Paige Patterson for Sainthood.
    20 years later, the picture isn’t so rosy.

  10. Dread says:

    I transferred to SEBTS for a year got an MDiv then stayed another year for ThM seminars but never did the thesis.

    I was from Mid America and our mission students would transfer to southeastern trying to gain approval of the foreign mission board.

    So when I left I had 2 MDivs and 145 hours of masters studies but never got approved for missionary service.

    Southeastern was as avant-garde as advertised and I had a great experience — the more liberal profs were quite good for me and we got along well.

  11. Josh the Baptist says:

    That’s right, I remember you being a Mid-America guy. I the MABTS and Luther-Rice were sort of birthed from the same movement, at a time when a lot of people thought the SBC seminaries were getting too liberal. Schools like MABTS and LRS popped up and filled a gap with solid theologically conservative education.

    You ended up finishing a DMin though, right?

  12. Dread says:

    My DMin was from United Seminary though I also did work at Fuller.

  13. pstrmike says:

    I’m second guessing our becoming SBC. I have recently connected with a few within the SBC that the ultra-conservatives would consider liberal (they don’t appear that way to me) and so there is hope for me to remain. The locals are good people but I am too much a moderate for their liking. . . they too conservative for mine. My future has an exit plan and I question if the SBC fits into it.


  14. Eric says:

    The story about Brian Houston is sad because he is about the biggest name in the Australian protestant church. What he’s done (that we know) is not as bad as Bill Hybels but will have a similar effect.

    Celebrity is not healthy for the Christian life and should be considered hazardous to Christian leaders.

  15. Eric says:

    The gaslighting for God series (largely about narcissism in the church) was a good read and I look forward to later instalments.

  16. Josh the Baptist says:

    pstrmike – that is one good thing about the SBC structure, that the national goofiness doesn’t usually have to affect anything that is happening locally. Over the past year I have been involved with our local association for the first time in my career, and I’ve loved it. Our church is hosting the bi-annual conference for the first time in our 150 year history next month. So in one sense, I’m more involved in SBC life than ever, and in another sense, I am more disgusted by the SBC than ever. For me it comes down to how much of the nightmare am I willing to be associated with in exchange for getting to do the good stuff locally. I’m wondering if Russell Moore’s leaving was supposed to be my canary in the coal mine.

  17. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    and the trippy/sad thing for me about Brian Houston was that prior to his 2015 decision to let the Driscolls explain how God “released” them from Mars Hill and how “a trap has been set” I hadn’t heard of Houston that I can recall. It didn’t seem to bode well that, whoever this guy was, he gave Mark Driscoll a chance to re:boot.

    I’d say that given the state of Christian pop publishing across the board a Door reboot seems appropriate. I’ve been reading the gaslighting for God series, too.

  18. pstrmike says:

    The Baptist,
    Thanks for your response. I interjected into the discussion you and dread were having because I was hoping to read a response. I would agree, I am still wrestling with the idea Russell Moore leaving, and then Beth Moore as two Canaries in the coal mine. There seems to be closed mind in both of what I consider to be ultra-conservative and liberal camps. I’ll connect with you soon via Facebook and perhaps we can Further this conversation off-line. Thanks.

  19. Officerhoppy says:

    “Celebrity is not healthy for the Christian life and should be considered hazardous to Christian leaders.“

    I’ve been on the pastoral staff of a church about 5,000, then pastored a church of 450. I finished my 35 years of ministry in a church of about 2,500 people. Except for the church of 5k, we survived we the celebrity pastor challenge. After retiring from full time ministry last Sept., I think a church of about 200 is the perfect size. I stepped down from all leadership roles to do the simple tasks I feel is my job—discipleship, prayer and teaching.

    Tied of subcommittees, white papers, long meetings, strategy sessions, etc.

  20. Josh the Baptist says:

    Sure thing. Be glad to.

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