Pursuing Answers to Questions of Faith & Life

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

SBC Convention Update--Tuesday

This is my first post from the Southern Baptist Convention. Let me say that I greatly enjoy coming to the convention with my family. For the first time, we put Gabriel in the children’s activities and he seems to have greatly enjoyed it. He even made the main photo on the front page of today’s Metro section in the San Antonio paper along with his good friend Lisa Arce. I’m still trying to find a copy of that photo to post.

I greatly enjoy meeting new people and catching up with old ones. The Arce family is truly a joy to see again. James Eagan was a brief catch up opportunity. Vicky and I were even able to share a few words with our former pastor Claude Thomas.

Overall, I’ve enjoyed the convention. Though, the food situation is not very good. There are not enough faster food places in close proximity to the convention. The other restaurants have long waits and long service—so we’ve been late to every session after eating.

President Frank Page has moderated a great convention and shared his spirit of how we are to cooperate for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Morris Chapman, the Executive Committee Chair shared a great message about uniting around the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 to fulfill the Gospel Mission while not dividing or excluding over issues that we can disagree on and still be Christians and Baptists.

The spirit of cooperation and unity felt lost by the time the report from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Paige Patterson came around. The crowd was worked up and jazzed for the report. Paige definitely knows how to work a crowd. Third Tier issues were specifically discussed and used as dividing issues in what came across to me as a very superior tone. It’s one thing to be confident in one’s conviction, it’s another to dismiss the possibility of another interpretation and exclude and dismiss those who are brothers in Christ.

Then came the questions. Even I was tempted to ask one, but upon seeing every mike with at least one and often 2-3 people by it, I didn’t bother. I expected some good and challenging questions that needed to be asked. A total of 4 questions were asked. Only one could be considered a fastball—the other three were softball questions with “home run” written all over them. It’s almost like they were placed to prevent harder questions from coming up. The first question was about homemaking being offered at the seminary as a degree class. I missed whether this was at the college or as a Master's level course. Either way, I find it embarassing for a prestigious seminary and insulting to the nature of ministry our women are capable of. If the class is anything like what I've seen in the Handbook for Minister's Wives, then it will not connect nor be realistic for the vast majority of families in real churches. The first softball did let me know of a good policy that faculty are required at least every 4 years to take a mission trip to a third world country however there was no discussion about the Klouda situation, the declining masters level enrollment, accreditation concerns, or several others. This was highly disappointing and not characteristic of the larger meeting.

Dinner went long and the kids needed some sleep so we missed the evening session. I’ll hopefully find out about what happened regarding some important decisions.

Pursuing Him,


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