Excerpt from Southern Baptist Identity: Is Jesus A Baptist? (Timothy George)

Given what I have said about my background, perhaps you will not be surprised that when I moved from Boston to Louisville in that historic year, 1979, I found myself a bit dazed and bewildered at the goings on in Southern Baptist life. I did not like the raucous tone and polarizing rhetoric generated on both sides of the Controversy in about equal measure, it seemed to me. But I was close enough to the center of gravity to know that there were legitimate concerns raised by conservative critics who, early on in the Controversy, were asking only for parity. I thought then, and I still think now, that had our denominational leaders at the time responded to this challenge with more discernment, constructively and proactively, the rupture in our Baptist fellowship which has strained our relationship to the point of breaking could have been avoided. Instead, a strategy of denial, and stonewalling, and then counter-insurgency was adopted. Perhaps I am wrong about that, but eventually when a more realistic direction was taken by the SBC seminary presidents in the Glorietta Statement of 1987, it was too little, too late. I have written perhaps more than I should have about the Controversy, and I do not retract anything I have said or written in this regard. I am glad this denomination no longer welcomes leaders who deny the miracles of the Bible including the virgin birth of Jesus, or who argue for abortion on demand as a tenet of religious liberty, or who tout a host of other issues that are tearing apart every mainline Protestant denomination in America today. But I have also come today to say something else. We will not meet tomorrow’s challenge by forgetting yesterday’s dilemma, but neither will we win tomorrow’s struggles by fighting yesterday’s battles.

– From Timothy George, Southern Baptist Identity: Is Jesus A Baptist?, 91-92

Published by Chris Bolt

Wretched sinner saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Husband, father, pastor, seminary professor, and author.

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