A group of Southern Baptists have launched a new network with a “common goal of heralding the inerrancy and sufficiency of God’s Word and reaching the lost for Christ.”
“The Conservative Baptist Network is a partnership of Southern Baptists where all generations are encouraged, equipped, and empowered to bring positive, biblical solutions that strengthen the SBC in an effort to fulfill the Great Commission and influence culture.”
There will be a launch event on June 8 at the SBC Annual Convention.
In this post, Tom Nettles introduces a new edition of the Founders Journal featuring an article from Timon Cline on Critical Race Theory, explaining, “Timon’s work in law at Rutgers introduced him to critical legal theory. Soon he became aware of the far-reaching impact of Critical Theory in many disciplines and the implications it has for overhauling all the fundamental commitments of culture.”
In this article, the Texan addresses concerns over the 2020 SBC Pastors’ Conference, reporting that, “Mike Stone, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Blackshear, Georgia, and current chairman of the SBC Executive Committee, told the TEXAN, ‘Southern Baptists have spoken clearly through the BF&M about female pastors. The inclusion of a female pastor is in direct contradiction to our own doctrinal statement and has been officially for 20 years. There are other concerns but this one garnered the most attention.'”
If we care about conservative theology, then we will take care to hold our own ‘side’ accountable regarding orthodoxy and orthopraxy, as a bare minimum. But sometimes, holding our brothers and sisters accountable comes about through difficult words of rebuke. As Proverbs 27:6 reminds us, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” Other times, we merely provide some push back. And in some instances, a little humor might not be a bad idea.
Note that humor is softer than pushback, and that is as it should be. But biting humor often evidences hidden hatred within the heart of the one delivering rebuke. Enter, then, those who claim to be theologically conservative by holding their own side accountable. Some who do so spend much of their time punching right. One may also find them using humor of the more hateful variety. That is, they engage in mocking and scoffing more than they do in thinking, and they do so while punching right, which is in and of itself an evidence of sliding to the left.
By all means, have the integrity to question and correct your conservative co-belligerents. But be one, too. If we love the conservative cause, because we love the glory of Christ, and love people, then we will not constantly seek to demonize others through laughter, even when they become an embarrassment to us. All of us make mistakes and need correction, but it is also a mistake to be ashamed of our conservatism.
R. Albert Mohler, Jr. writes, “theological seriousness and maturity demand that we consider doctrinal issues in terms of their relative importance. God’s truth is to be defended at every point and in every detail, but responsible Christians must determine which issues deserve first-rank attention in a time of theological crisis.” We can understand this claim to refer to different areas of doctrine. For example, Mohler writes, “Third-order issues are doctrines over which Christians may disagree and remain in close fellowship, even within local congregations. I would put most of the debates over eschatology, for example, in this category.” But if someone claims Jesus already returned, physically, shouldn’t that eschatological issue be categorized as a first-level theological issue? Alternatively, Mohler allows room for disagreement over something he would categorize as a first-level theological issue, like the doctrine of the Trinity, at least with respect to, for example, the affirmation or denial of the eternal functional subordination of the Son.
Todd Benkert’s recent piece on Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality (CRT|I) at SBCVoices.com is helpfully clarifying in at least three ways. First, Benkert straightforwardly admits that both he and others within the Southern Baptist Convention are using Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. Benkert indicates they are not merely using the language of CRT|I, but its concepts, and intentionally so. Second, Benkert admits that these individuals are using CRT|I despite the fact that CRT|I is “dangerous.” Third, Benkert mounts a defense of CRT|I and the infamous Resolution 9, which he believes speaks of CRT|I in positive fashion. He would not change anything about Resolution 9, and does not believe it should be rescinded. Indeed, he believes doing so will actually set the SBC back in terms of “reconciliation work.”
Although Benkert attempts to take a middle way in his post, positing CRT|I as both an analytical tool and a dangerous ideology, his examples of using CRT|I as an analytical tool, some of which are discussed in this post, exemplify why CRT|I is such a dangerous ideology. This observation is not meant to impugn Benkert’s motives. Nevertheless, some (not saying this is true of Benkert) seem unaware of how far down the ideological rabbit hole they have gone. This series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) has highlighted some of the difficulties with doubling down on CRT|I in response to recent posts and podcasts pointing out its problems. This fourth and final post addresses Benkert’s defense of CRT|I by examining two examples he provides from CRT|I.
In this article, “members of the 2019 Resolutions Committee sought to shed light on both their purpose in addressing the topic and the process by which the resolution was developed, with the goal of clarifying any misconceptions.”