Movie Night: 1985 Southern Baptist Convention, Part 7

According to the video description, “This is the Thursday afternoon and final session of the historic 1985 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, held in Dallas, TX. Charles Stanley presided and was re-elected president.”

Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism (Darryl G. Hart)

In this podcast episode of Christ the Center, non-SBC author, “Darryl G. Hart speaks about J. Gresham Machen’s classic work, Christianity and Liberalism. In becoming familiar [with] the content and historical context of this book, people will gain an understanding not only of twentieth century Presbyterianism but also of global Christianity to a degree. And in contemplating the lessons of this era, people will also be better equipped to meet the challenges that face the contemporary church.”

The Importance of Your Gag Reflex When Discussing Homosexuality and “Gay Marriage”(Thabiti Anyabwile)

In this article, Thabiti Anyabwile writes, “I think it would be a good thing if more people were gagging on the reality of the sexual behavior that is now becoming public law, protected, and even promoted in public schools.”

The Fatherly Act of Preaching

Mary Kassian wrote a fine essay recently in which she poses the question, “Where can women teach?” She lays out eight principles to guide our answers to that question in various situations. The principles flow from her central conviction with regard to the question, which she states in the beginning of her essay as follows:

As a complementarian, I believe that God wants us to honor his design for men and women by following the principle of male headship in our homes and church families. The church is God’s family and household (1 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 3:6; Galatians 6:10). The family part is key. The Bible teaches that in the nuclear family unit, as well as in our corporate church families, the father — or multiple fathers in the case of the church — has the responsibility to lovingly lead and humbly govern the family unit.

Kassian’s argument here goes deeper than exegetical observations on a handful of Pauline commands (as important as those are). By tying her conception of gender roles in the ministry of the church to the concept of fatherhood, Kassian advocates for a broad, rather than a narrow, complementarianism. Or, in my preferred terminology, a “thick,” rather than a “thin,” complementarianism.

Continue reading “The Fatherly Act of Preaching”

Coffee and Cream Podcast Episode 29: Is Critical Theory A Threat? with Neil Shenvi and Matt Warner (Neil Shenvi)

In this podcast episode, the hosts focus on, “Ideas like: intersectionality, whiteness, and privilege, among others. All of these ideas have their roots in something called Critical Theory. Today, we talk with Neil Shenvi and Matt Warner, who discuss whether Critical Theory is a threat or is something that can be edifying for Christians to employ.”

Interacting with Beth Moore’s Remarks about Complementarianism at the 2019 ERLC National Conference (Bart Barber)

In this article, SBC author Bart Barber makes plain the contours of the complementarian discussion in relation to the issues of Scripture and abuse, writing, “Beth Moore asserted in her remarks that certain corruptions of complementarianism lead to or exacerbate the abuse problem that the Southern Baptist Convention faces. I think that perhaps I agree in part and that I disagree in part.”

The Spirit of Conservatism

The Conservative Resurgence (CR) of the Southern Baptist Convention, an organized movement among grassroots churches to reclaim their institutions from a liberal drift, left us with a convention that is conservative in theology. The revisions to The Baptist Faith and Message from 1998 and 2000 testify to that reality.

But conservatism is about more than theology. It is also about a mindset, or even a “spirit,” that guides our perception of the world. As a teacher, I make a distinction between the ability to memorize information and the ability to synthesize that same information and apply it to new, unforeseen questions. Most students can memorize a list of facts from a study guide and repeat them on a test, but those who truly learn what they have studied can also apply their knowledge to questions that weren’t on the study guide.

Did the CR leave us with a conservative denomination only in the sense that we know how to check all the right theological boxes? Or did it leave us with a denomination that knows how to address new challenges from a posture of conservatism, i.e., in a manner consistent with a deep understanding of our theological confession? The former would be a hollow shell of a short-lived denominational reformation, but the latter would leave us with lasting generations of faithfulness. Which one we will ultimately become remains to be seen.

Continue reading “The Spirit of Conservatism”

Lines Are Being Drawn in the SBC’s Battle for the Credibility of the Bible

To put it mildly, these are strange days in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Here’s what I mean:

I grew up after the Conservatives were fighting the Liberals in a battle for Scripture’s authority.

I came of age when the Traditionalists were fighting the Calvinists in a battle for Scripture’s sufficiency.

Now I’m watching a whole new battle take shape – the battle for the Bible’s credibility.

Continue reading “Lines Are Being Drawn in the SBC’s Battle for the Credibility of the Bible”

The Christological Heresy of Critical Theory

Critical theory locates the sin of oppression in systems rather than in individual acts. Consequently, it argues that guilt accrues to all who belong to an oppressive class, regardless of their personal intentions or actions, due to the benefits they receive from the oppression of minorities. To take a prominent example, white men in America are to be regarded as stained from birth with the sins of racism and misogyny by virtue of their (involuntary) participation in the two privileged categories of “white” and “men.” In order to be imputed with the guilt of these two sins, a white male need not actually perform any racist or misogynistic actions. All he must do is exist in a society that grants him privileges for his ethnicity and gender. Therefore, he relates to members of other groups (minorities and women) with a vacuum of moral authority that requires him to humble himself, repent, and seek atonement and absolution from them. This is the basic framework by which sin, guilt, and justification are understood through the lens of critical theory.

Continue reading “The Christological Heresy of Critical Theory”