Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Dr. Eitel's First Paper w Cover Letter

Let me first apologize for not being able to reproduce the Tables Eitel used for his paper. Also, I have edited out the footnotes for space. Other than these two corrections the following is Dr. Patterson's cover letter and Dr. Eitel’s first paper. The purpose for posting it is to dispel the continuous and erroneous criticisms of Dr. Eitel and Dr. Patterson apparently for political purposes. Truth shall prevail. I have recieved multiple e-mails this week from M's on the field expressing appreciation for this blog...as one put it, he had been very discouraged with what he had been reading in the blog world but then he came across this blog and his spirits were lifted by truth. He was so grateful for Dr. Eitel and Dr. Patterson defending their students. The second Paper will be coming soon. Read and judge for yourself.


Dear_____

Without a doubt, the keenest thinking in missiology occurs on the staff of the International Mission Board. Southern Baptists continue to be the leader in the field of international missions, and that is exactly how we want it to be.

However, some profitable thinking and planning is also done elsewhere. Dr. Keith Eitel, one of the cutting edge missiologists of our day, who is professor of missiology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, has written a white paper, which focuses on one of the current major discussions. The critical importance of his paper, especially in light of the conservative movement in the Southern Baptist Convention, will be apparent to you as you read it. Because of your strategic position as a trustee of the International Mission Board, I wanted you to have the benefit of his thinking. May God be good to you as you continue to serve our denomination in so many ways.

Until He Comes,
Paige Patterson



White Paper - by Keith Eitel

Early on I would argue with Adrian Rogers about that [basis for unity in the SBC] and he’d say no, ‘the theme that has held us together is not missions, but doctrine.’ Well, historically I don’t think that’s accurate because historically the SBC is composed of people with varying theological perspectives . . . . My assessment is that they’re [conservatives in the SBC] from an independent Baptist viewpoint where conventions are built around doctrine [sic] than from the heritage that we as Southern Baptists have had that the convention is built around missions. And so after arguing with Adrian several times, I finally came to realize that for him and I think for Paige [Patterson] and for others the unifying element ought to be a unifying perspective of theology . . .according to the Scripture, the Living Word is more important than the written word . . . it’s a mistake in my estimation to elevate Scripture above Christ . . . .(Keith Parks).

Since 1979, the Southern Baptist Convention [SBC] has been engaged in a struggle to rediscover and reassert it’s heritage. The citation above reflects the prevailing opinion of many within the convention at the beginning of the conservative resurgence. Conservatives would easily take issue with R. Keith Park’s assessment because he is basing it on a limited historical perspective of the heritage of the SBC.

Gradually, after World War I, the theological climate began to shift as the thought of Karl Barth and Emil Brunner and other Neo-Orthodox scholars took root in American theological schools. Our SBC schools were not immune to these trends. In essence, Barth introduced a dimension to theological methods and thought that would enable intelligent people to affirm simultaneously contradictory opinions. Bart claimed that the Bible is true and applies to the individual’s life yet, he claimed, there is no need to jettison the conclusions of nearly a century of classical liberal thought, particularly emerging out of Germany, which used a higher critical methodology and challenged the integrity of the actual text of the Bible. By moving the location of revelation from the text to an “encounter” or experiential truth, it could be insulated from higher critical attacks. Hence, the Bible is no longer viewed as revelation; it is just the envelope or carrier of revelation that comes to us through an “encounter” with God. What has normally been deemed as the doctrine of illumination became the Barthian view of inspiration. The net effect of this subtle but significant shift in theological method was to tolerate, and even embrace, a wide range of theological opinions since truth became highly personalized and freed from the critical eye of biblical scholars or even objective comparison to the text of the Bible. Theological pluralism, in a hot-house environment, became the ideal aim of theological education.

These basic tenets of belief permeated the SBC’s theological seminaries, especially after World War II. Whenever controversy erupted regarding the theological integrity of the seminaries, there were cries regarding the loss of academic freedom, as though that value superceded the truth of the Bible. Parks was a product of this more recent development in Southern Baptist theological circles. His statement reflects clearly what seems to be the pivotal point of difference between the Neo-Orthodox influenced SBC (1918-1979), and the heritage that preceded, and later followed, that development (1845-1917 and 1979-present). The older heritage is where contemporary conservatives root their beliefs and actions. In essence, Parks was saying that doctrine or theology divides us but missions unites us. Rodgers, however, was indicating that unless our theological convictions are solidly established squarely on an inerrant Bible, we will have no legitimate or reasonable basis for doing missions.

These variances are more than just incidental. The Parks attitude seems pervasive within the day-to-day operations of the International Mission Board [IMB] and represents the greatest future challenge to redirect Biblically the IMB and re-root it firmly in the older theological heritage of the founding fathers and its contemporary conservative commitments.

Cauthen (1954-1979)/Parks (1980-1992): Bold Mission Thrust

M. Theron Rankin died suddenly only eight years into his tenure as the head of the Foreign Mission Board. Baker James Cauthen followed him in this role and remained there for twenty-five years. Cauthen inherited a program designed to encourage SBC churches and missionaries to catch the spirit of enthusiasm that developed in the wake of World War II. Cauthen further developed this inherited plan during the first decades of his presidency. Near the end of his years of leadership, he charged the SBC with responsibility for a new vision of Bold Mission Thrust (1976-2000). This was the final strategic plan designed and implemented by the Cauthen administration. It was an all out call for full mobilization to push to the end of the century and complete the task of global evangelization, as far as humanly possible. Parks assumed the president’s role in 1980 and in his first address to the Board, he drew upon Cauthen’s bold initiatives but showed he was planning to update the mission models used. While advancing toward the same stated goals in the Bold Mission Thrust campaign, Parks was influenced by trends among other Christian agencies. He advocated the use of strategic planning techniques and invited David B. Barrett, author of the World Christian Encyclopedia, into the Board’s facilities in Richmond. Barrett’s own Anglican theological persuasions are far more ecumenical than those traditionally held by Southern Baptists. Barrett quietly influenced several strategic planners at the Board and his methods were used to analyze the remaining task of global evangelization. It was not until the early 1990’s that Barrett was removed from the Board, yet his influence still lingers in the office of strategic planning and research to this day.

Cooperative Services International (CSI), the concept of the non-residential missionary, and people-group foci were all contributions to the process gained during Parks’ era. Yet, as the Board began to work in and with the broader Neo-Evangelical groups (now called Great Commission Christians), the cross-pollination of ideas without a careful analysis of the biblical and theological soundness of the trends that depicted the end of the last century missions world, began to erode even further the commitments Southern Baptists have historically had to a real need for personal evangelism, church planting, and discipleship of the nations. While the stated aims sounded familiar, the means and modes of accomplishing them revealed a theological drift away from biblical moorings. In the background of these developments, during the 1980’s, the SBC was struggling to recover the theological commitments that would, when applied, serve as a filter or corrective to detrimental trends. Parks’ view of doctrine as divisive while the causes of missions are unifying, enhanced the uncritical acceptance of these and other missiological trends.


Rankin (1993-Present): New Directions

Trustees elected Jerry A. Rankin as the Board president on 14 June 1993. For the first four years of his administration, Rankin built his team and pointed the Board to the early stages of a “New Direction”. In the spring of 1997, Rankin acted to dissolve CSI, reconfigure the entire Board structure, and openly advocate a set of new directions. What was new was an emphasis on church planting that resulted in movements or the contagious exponential expansion of churches. The means of accomplishing these new directions were to streamline the administrative operation of the Board on the field by dissolving the archaic localized mission administrative structures in the countries where the Board traditionally worked, move toward the unevangelized edges of each region by city or people group segment, and to move to the unreached areas more intentionally.

Rankin’s “New Directions” campaign drew the Board more directly into the network of GCC’s, again with no mechanisms in place to filter or check the entry of unbiblical practices other than the specific theological preparation of the individual missionary. Yet, under the Rankin administration, there has been an obvious and apparently intentional move away from requiring seminary training for the key roles related to church planting or church development. Pre-Rankin, the normal requirement was an MDiv or equivalent plus two years of pertinent experience. Today one may assume such roles with as little as 20-30 semester hours and there is a spirit or culture within the Board that downplays or undermines the need to even go to seminary at all. If it weren’t for the Trustees holding the line on this requirement I am afraid that seminary requirements would be dropped completely. In lieu of seminary training, business management techniques and/or secular training in a variety of fields are much more highly prized and encouraged. While not meaning to demean the value of such backgrounds in general, I am concerned that evangelism, church planting, and discipleship are in the hands of theological novices. It raises serious questions regarding whether the end justifies the means when the types of churches planted increasingly do not reflect a biblical ecclesiology, Baptist values, or in some cases even appear Christian.

Additional issues surfacing as the Board has progressed more deeply into “New Directions” ideologies relate to the role of women in missionary ministry, especially in the strategy coordinator (SC) capacity. SC’s, or Strategy Leaders (SL’s) in some regions, are the heirs of the earlier non-residential missionary model. The concept has evolved in numerous ways and is never quite the same from region to region or missionary to missionary. In one sense, this kind of flexibility is the strength of the concept. In another sense, it has little or no structure in place to regulate theological concerns. Women, while certainly capable in numerous ways to do ministry, should not be placed in doctrinal or ethical authority over men, and the SC role often causes this to happen. Additionally, partnering with GCC’s is supposed to be guided by concentric circles of levels of partnership as outlined in David Garrison’s book on church planting published by the IMB. Yet, there is no theological statement of boundaries. By default the structure collapses and SC’s frequently lead their teams to partner with theologically suspect organizations. Again, without clear boundaries regarding GCC’s and guidelines for partnering, with many who are theological novices guiding the process, problems emerge.

In the final analysis, the “New Directions” campaign seems to reflect the same theological position inherited from the Parks era. Theological definition is minimized and that which is “new” reveals it’s roots in the very theological heritage that influenced Parks to conclude that doctrine divides and missions unites.

IMB Future: Biblical Renewal

In order to synchronize the IMB with the theological convictions of the SBC, consistently expressed since 1979 and to set the Board’s course directly back into the evangelical roots that were the convictions of the founders of the convention, then there must be a system set in place whereby biblical and theological inquiry is not minimized in importance. Rather it should be affirmed and elevated to serve as a critiquing mechanism for setting the policies, practices, and procedures of the IMB in line with Bible as true Truth that instructs, informs, and determines the IMB’s worldview and culture. At this juncture, I can only present a rough set of ideas for doing this, but that does not minimize my commitment to the desired outcome. At least the following should be serious considerations:

• Recruit administrators committed to theological renewal of the Board.

• Change the appointment criteria and procedures to encourage theological preparation. Enlarge and encourage development of the 2+2/3 programs in the six SBC seminaries and Mid-America.

• Revise the entire curriculum and teaching staff at the MLC to create a coherently biblical foundation for missions, cultural adjustment, cross-cultural communication, and church planting. Procedures used at the MLC should be more “family friendly” and not use secular personnel management techniques that are thoroughly unchristian in nature (e.g. negative peer review processes).

• Renew the office of strategic planning to inculcate proper research techniques, move away from trendy data analyses (e.g. Barrett’s model), and bring a balance to the view of the world needed to engage global harvest fields, especially among the unreached, that is untainted by ecumenical premises and thoroughly biblical.

• Generate theological definitions and boundaries for partnering with GCC’s, review the nature of the SC/SL position and create alternatives suitable for women that are in line with the sentiments of the BF&M 2000, and create guidelines for church planting that will insure healthy theological development and be reflective of Baptist distinctives.

• Create a budget and planning process that prioritizes transparent use of funds and one that causes everyone to sense an accountability even to the little children in VBS programs or widows that faithfully give to the Board, as well as everyone else.

• Additionally, budgeting should balance the work in established areas with those in pioneer areas. The nature of the work in each will necessarily be different and the budgeting processes should reflect that reality.

• Create a synergy within the Board’s culture that will minimize the competitiveness and enhance the value of a “koinonia” spirit generated from a common, likeminded faith.

• The aim of these types of changes is to solidify the foundation for engaging in missionary activity. Hell is real. Heaven is real. Everyone that has ever lived, or shall someday live, will spend eternity one place or the other. We’ve been charged with the responsibility to make sure everyone knows The Way to salvation through Christ’s finished work on the cross alone. Shaky theological foundations that erode confidence in the integrity of the text of the Bible soon undermine the integrity of Jesus as the main character of the Bible and His exclusive statements regarding the need for salvation in and through Him. So the goal is to do our share of winning the world to Christ and to see His church established in every city, town, and village, thereby pleasing Him without care for the ways of the world.

48 comments:

dwm III said...

Brad,

Thanks for the post.

dwmiii

HarveyTheRabbitt said...

Brad,

Dr. Eitels paper is awesome. Only 1 comment so far? It is no wonder the liberals are not commenting on it. It shows just how much trouble the IMB was in back in 2003 and beyond. Lord have mercy!

I hope they really got it all cleaned up. Between those wine-bibbing liberals, woman pastor promoting heretics and charismatics, this could have been a real mess.

The Rabbitt Out

Les Puryear said...

Brad,

Thanks for the post. I appreciate your integrity and sense of fair play.

Regards,

Les

Anonymous said...

Why does anyone pay one second of attention to what Ben Cole has to say? What has he accomplished (other than showing his bitterness, lack of respect for fine men and smart mouth) that deserves any type of acknowledgement by people?

For the life of me, I can't figure this out.

Was he terminated from SWTBS by Paige Patterson? If so, why?

Just a little food for thought.

brad reynolds said...

anonymous,

I get frustrated at Ben also...and believe he has slandered Dr. Patterson...he was released from SW and I know why, but I don't know that it will benefit anyone else to know.

Ben is also very intelligent and witty. He worked for Dr. Patterson for years and offers his experiences as reason to be heard - however, he shares things in a most unChristlike way, which is what will ultimately cause Southern Baptists to stop listening.

I think it would be better if we pray for him then speak of him. I will be the first to address his slander (and he knows I'll speak to him face to face on it) when it needs addressing, but at this point let's just take it to the Father.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Harvey
Dr. Eitel's paper is totally different from how it is being presented on some blogs and especially how it was presented in the ABP article. I will show the misquotations soon.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Les
Thank you. I have enjoyed reading your blog. I highly recommend it.

BR

Anonymous said...

Brad,

I know why he was released, too.

I'm not suggesting you or anyone say why, but if people really knew the truth behind him and his "campaign," he would lose all credibility he has, which isn't saying too much.

Jerry Corbaley said...

Brad,

I am watching with great interest as our generation adds our contribution to church history.

I agree with you that sharing things in an unChristlike way will ultimately cause Southern Baptists to stop listening.

Christ's New Commandment says that all men will know we are his disciples if we love one another. God defines love as, in part, kindness and a lack of rudeness. The fruit of the Spirit is revealed in the church (as a whole) as, in part, gentleness.

I hope the blogging of "the other side of the story" is loving.

I appreciate your work. I am praying that we all can discuss issues lovingly.

A possible topic for future discussion and personal reflection could be: If we establish every matter by testimony, is anonymity true testimony?

sbc pastor said...

Brad,

The thesis of Eitel’s paper is extremely relevant to the current discussion within the SBC: Indeed, what does hold Southern Baptists together? Essentially, there are two distinct thoughts as to the answer to that question and thus there are two completely separate blocs within the convention today. One thought, as was espoused by Keith Parks, is that “missions” is what holds Southern Baptists together. Another thought, as was held by the late great Adrian Rogers (“The Prince of Preachers”), is that “doctrine” is what holds Southern Baptists together.

Parks’ view is, and was leading up to the Conservative Resurgence, the prevalent view among moderates and liberals within the convention. However, Rogers’ view is, and was responsible for the Conservative Resurgence, the prevalent view among conservatives in the convention. Although not everyone who espouses a particular view can be so easily labeled as such, there are amazing similarities between the divergent viewpoints of Parks and Rogers and those views espoused within the SBC today.

It certainly appears that this is the question of the hour, and therefore it must be answered if there is to be true unity in the Southern Baptist Convention: “What unites Southern Baptists?” – Missions or Doctrine. Our answer to this question today will ultimately determine the SBC of tomorrow. In my opinion, if we answer “missions” instead of “doctrine” then the SBC will once again find itself in a “1978” kind of predicament – a convention in need of a Conservative Resurgence. However, if we answer “doctrine” instead of “missions” then we will establish that the Word of God is foundational for our “cooperative missions” endeavors. I, like both Rogers and Eitel, hold firmly to the latter.

It was no coincidence that the SBC’s statement of faith originated in the very same year as the Cooperative Program (1925). The very nature of cooperation through the sharing of resources necessitates the sharing of responsibility. Thus, doctrinal accountability is absolutely necessary in order for cooperation to flourish. If the SBC slacks in its requirements of doctrinal accountability, then to that extent cooperation will no longer be possible. God forbid!

Thanks and God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

brad reynolds said...

Anonymous,
You are right, Ethos is important. And without addressing those who are attacking Dr. Patterson, let's just say Dr. Patterson has it.
BR

brad reynolds said...

Jerry
Wise comment and well recieved.
God bless you my brother.
The only anonymity I am sensitive to is our M's
BR

brad reynolds said...

Jeremy
You hit the nail on the head.
The broadening the tent crowd seem to want to broaden the tent for missions and in my opinion weaken our doctrine.
BR

CB Scott said...

Anony Boys,

Brad has produced what he promised. Now let us deal with the substance and see how it pans out.

Your statements about Ben are those of a pure coward if you do not use your name. That goes for you too Rabbit Guy.

Brad I am asking you to support me on this. Your opinion of Ben's actions are well known, but your name is attached to every one of your statements.

Frankly, I am asking that we just deal with the material you have posted without the blood letting this time. This is very important. It is more important than many understand.

Ben, I beseech you my brother not to take up the sword against these little boy cowards atleast not on this post. If you comment let it be to the substance of the white paper and nothing else.

I know you will read these things and if I have overstepped my relationship with you email or call me and rip me up for butting into your business.

I know your heart and so does Brad and others. These rude children that will not let us know them really do not matter.

CB Scott said...

SBC pastor,

That which Dr. Parks espoused about missions holding us together was actually held by some rather strong conservatives up untill Dr. Rogers along with others pointed out the error of such thinking.


That was one of the problems. Many theological conservatives were just going along to get along before the wake up call hit them in the face like a dead cat on a cold November morning.

Baptist were following this kind of thinking to below the Mondoza Line untill that major wake up call after the Peace Committee report.

cb

Les Puryear said...

CB,

I agree with you about let's do this without the blood letting. Too much blood has been spilled already on both sides.

Regards,

Les

brad reynolds said...

CB
You know my feelings about anonymity. I feel Missionaries who need to be, should...other than that I'm not big on the concept.

You also know how I feel about ad-hominal approaches - however, that's not just applicable to what people say about Ben, it is also applicable to what people say about Dr. Patterson. I think you and I agree on this.
BR

tim rogers said...

Brother Brad,

I agree with Brother CB. I also thank you for your response to Annoy. While some M's are in need of Annonity, not everyone that posts Annonymous comments fall into that category. I believe you can tell the difference this way. An Annonymous comment by a missionary will deal with the issues and ask questions that require thought. An annonymous comment by one that is not a M is like a drive by shooting. Questions are asked and statements are made for one reason and that is to cause as much damage as quickly as possible and escape the scene.

Let's keep it on the issues.

Speaking of which. With Dr. Pattersons cover letter stating specifically his intentions, why are there so many questions as to his motives? David Rogers clearly stated that IMB Trustees were contacting Dr. Adrian Rogers before his death to get is insight on these issues. Would Dr. Patterson not have been contacted by a few about theological issues at the Training center? Also, and I am not saying this is what happened, My thinking would be if I am Dr. Patterson and three or four people out of a group contact me for some insight, I am certainly going to make available to the entire group my thinking on the subject. We all would do that. That is why the blogs have become so popular.

Blessings,
Tim

volfan007 said...

may the Lord keep us from going back to a pre-1979 existence. may the Lord help us to always keep doctrine and love first and foremost in our hearts and minds.

volfan007

Jim said...

Rule #2: Any anonymous comment will be removed unless the commenter gives his name.

Hoping with Volfan that the subject would change,

Jim

Anonymous said...

Commentary from a M serving in a level III security area:

1. David B Barrett:

Eitel said "Barrett’s own Anglican theological persuasions are far more ecumenical than those traditionally held by Southern Baptists."

In his statistics on the status of world evangelism, Barrett would include groups he identifies as Christians that Southern Baptist would not call Christians (i.e., Mormans). Barrett's work is still valuable in that the areas of the world that he identifies as unreached are most certainly unreached. Dr. Eitel argues that because of Barrett's Anglican background, he did not need to be working for the IMB and funded with cooperative dollars.

2. Cooperative Services Int'l (CSI),

CSI was formed in the early 80's as in response to targeting people groups and cities located in countries that were not open to missionaries. By the mid-nineties, more M's were being appointed to CSI than to the traditional missions....and so went the funding. This two-pronged approach caused division and tensions and was unhealthy for the organization.

CSI did not have to play by the same set of policy and procedure manual that bogged down the traditional missions. IMHO, this was a good thing. CSI was given latitude to do some creative strategies that didn't require a full vote from everyone in the mission. Change took place at a rapid pace under this paradigm. The downside to CSI was there was no set policy and procedure.

3. New Directions:
The tensions between the traditional missions and CSI gave way to new directions. Basically, the outcome was that the traditional missions and CSI were disolved, new regions were drawn up and everyone was to join a people group team or a city focused team. The direction was to adopt the CSI model for the entire organization.

The making up of new regions and appointing regional leaders also gave Dr. Rankin the opportunity to make some sweeping changes in his leadership team.

IMHO, new directions was one of the best moves the IMB ever made. Basically, the organization was turned upsidedown. Strategy could now be directed from the field and individualized for each city and people group.

4. Missionary education requirements.

Eitel said "under the Rankin administration, there has been an obvious and apparently intentional move away from requiring seminary training for the key roles related to church planting or church development."

This is true and was a pragmatic response to the need to fill strategy coordinator positions. There is an expectation on all the regional leaders to move quickly to engage more and more cities and people groups. Unfortunately, the pool of seminary trained M's is far to small to meet the demand. Therefore, the board lowered the requirements to a college degree, plus 30 hours of seminary. Prior to the publishing of Eitel's white papers, there was talk of doing away with the 30 hours of seminary as well.

5. Women SC's.

Eitel's concern was over the fact that sometimes the SC is "placed in doctrinal or ethical authority over men".

This is a valid concern, but does not negate women from serving in the SC role. It does complicate things for her. She needs to have a husband and wife team unit working on her team so that the husband can model doctrine authority over the local men. Unfortunately, this does not happen on some female SC led teams and results in mostly women coming to faith.

6. GCC partnerships.
The IMB has always maintained strategic partnerships with partnering organizations like Campus Crusade and Wycliff. Under New Directions, SC's were (and still are) encouraged to development partnerships with other Christian denominations. The M's were given some guidelines outlined in David Garrison's book Church Planting Movements. However, some theological novices unknowingly wondered into some partnerships on theological training where non-baptists were doing theological training for them.

Since the publishing of the White Papers, this issue has been addressed by the trustees and the regional leaders. Over the past two years there is definitely a hightened awareness of the guidelines for GCC partnerships.

There is no doubt in this M's mind that the White Papers made a huge impact on the changes that have been made at the IMB since they were published in 2003.

I hope this helps shed some light on some of the issues highlighted in the White Paper.

Yours for the XXX people in XXX country,
Anonymous M

tim rogers said...

Anonymous M in Level III area,

Praise God for you and your family. I am praying for you.

Thanks for the information. It clearly shows this White Paper was the catalyst for change.

Blessings,
Tim

Bro. Robin said...

Brad,

I have wondered why people have blasted Dr. Patterson for forwarding this report to the BOT. He took substantiated concerns to the people who would be able to investigate and correct such issues.

But, when a preacher stands in a seminary chapel and declares the decision of a sister agency as tragic and then issues a public letter to the president of that seminary, who has very little to do with the policy that is made by that agency, he is declared a hero of "principled" dissent.

Is it me or does anybody else see the term "principle" loosely applied?

Thanks for your efforts Brad.

brad reynolds said...

Tim and Bro. Robin

Excellent insights! Interestingly Dr. Patterson and Dr. Eitel were responding to concerns from their students. When is it not the responsibility of an administrator to protect their students. Further, one would be wise to ask Dr. Patterson’s wisdom. Finally he states clearly his motives. Finally, “principled dissent” according to a group of bloggers apparently doesn’t apply to those who may disagree with them or to those who may disagree with their friends but only those who disagree with Dr. Patterson (an interesting hermeneutic).

brad reynolds said...

Anonymous M
Thank you for your insights
BR

brad reynolds said...

Jim
I have been slack in enforcing my rules, hoping many will correct their comments with some encouragement. I may have to tighten up.

The subject matter will move to tongues after we deal with Eitel's second letter.

Many blogs just do drive-by's on topics. I have tackled alcohol thoroughly and allowed all to post comments so it could be viewed all-encompassingly.

I will be doing the same here and on tongues.

For SB's to make informed decisions on these important issues I think they need to be thoroughly informed. For those who already know the issues thoroughly I apologize but let's bear with others who may not have read anything of Eitel's second letter or know nothing of his first paper except what they read in ABP.

Thanks my friend
BR

Jim said...

Brad,

Thanks. I know many have enjoyed these posts. I was just letting my preference be known.

Jim

CB Scott said...

Brad,

You may or may not know that Marty has removed two comments from his most recent post that were overboard and in poor taste about Dr. Patterson.

It is my opinion that it was one or two rude children whose parents failed to beat them often enough for their rude behavior and now they are lacking proper character in their adulthood.

I do agree with you about such things. If you notice I never refer to Dr. Patterson unless I use his official title. I do not do that for all.

cb

sbc pastor said...

Brad,

I believe that this post is very relevant to the current discussion in the SBC and hope that many will read it. BTW, I have provided a link to your post on my blog. God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

brad reynolds said...

To All

A correction:

I feel if I am going to point out where other bloggers have erred by making assumptions, I certainly must be willing to own up to my mistakes. I have made one.

Earlier on this strand of comments I stated “(Ben) was released from SW and I know why.” This comment, according to Ben, caused Marty Duren to contact him. Ben then called me and confronted my with it (it provided a good opportunity for me to speak to him also concerning the erroneous implications he made concerning Dr. Patterson – although I feel we reached an impasse there).

I was wrong. I know what I have been told as to why he was released (whether I heard it from individuals Ben has told or not is really not the point). The point is: I said “I know” and he was correct in maintaining I do not “know” because I have not seen the personnel records. I certainly have not shared the reason with anyone and have no desire to…I don’t think it benefits the kingdom at this point.

Ben, I apologize for making the statement, and thank you for pointing out my mistake.

My desire has always been to speak truth and seek truth without spinning it. That is what this blog is all about. Therefore I gladly make the correction and will try even harder with God ‘s help, to be more diligent in this area and thereby provide a model for other blogs.

BR

brad reynolds said...

Jim
Thanks for your input.
Be patient with me...we will move on in time:)
BR

brad reynolds said...

Jeremy
Thanks
BR

brad reynolds said...

CB
Thanks for the update my friend, but until Marty removes the slander toward Dr. Patterson implied by Ben I believe his removing is subjective.

CB - you have always been gracious to Dr. Patterson in the comments I have read, even when you disagree with him. Thank You
BR

David Rogers said...

Jeremy (and others),

I believe the whole issue of Doctrine vis a vis Missions, and my father's dialogue with Keith Parks, can be better understood from a framework of "triage." That is, if we are talking about 1st tier doctrinal issues, then "doctrine" definitely takes priority over "mission" in what joins us in our cooperative efforts. If not, we would be working on essentially different "missions." However, when it comes to 2nd and 3rd tier doctrinal issues, the relative priority of our cooperation based on a common "mission" begins to take more precedence. I do not believe my father would have said we need to "cross every t and dot every i" the same in order to cooperate in missions. But, on the great fundamentals of the faith, yes, we MUST be in agreement.

Thus, I do not think it is fair to classify those who are calling out for broader parameters on 2nd and 3rd tier issues in the same group as my father was addressing in this dialogue with Keith Parks.

As my mother said at the Pastors Conference in Greensboro:

“Adrian Rogers would not have been a part of what is going on in some parts of our convention today, getting narrower and narrower about very highly interpretive issues. He would try to convince you of his view, but not to exclude you from service and fellowship, or to prevent you from going around the world with Southern Baptists to share the Gospel if you disagreed on these controversial issues.”

By the way, I posted my own thoughts on Eitel's Vision Assessment paper several months ago here.

I look forward to reading the Second Paper, as I have not seen it yet.

brad reynolds said...

David

I think your father was the President of the SBC in 1988 when NAMB (at that time the HMB) gave its report. The previous year they implemented a policy where a person could not be a NAMB missionary if they spoke in a private prayer language.
I don't think your father spoke against it at the convention...do you know if he ever spoke against it?

Thanks
BR

sbc pastor said...

David,

I appreciate your comments. As always, you state your point of view in a kind and gracious manner – that is definitely commendable. I too would agree that we do not “need to ‘cross every t and dot every i’ the same in order to cooperate in missions.” I also agree with you that 1st tier doctrinal issues, the fundamentals of the faith, definitely take “priority over ‘mission’ in what joins us in our cooperative efforts.”

Likewise, I would also contend that 2nd tier doctrinal issues are essentials for Southern Baptists. In my understanding, agreement with 1st tier doctrinal issues is what makes one distinctively Christian; agreement with 2nd tier doctrinal issues is what makes one distinctively Baptist (especially Southern Baptist); and 3rd tier doctrinal issues are those which are not essential in regards to cooperation.

As you know, your father (and our beloved Dr. Rogers) served as the Chairman of the committee that brought forth the current Baptist Faith and Message. The Preamble of the BF&M clearly states that our confession of faith is an “instrument of doctrinal accountability” because it contains those “doctrines we hold precious and as ESSENTIAL to the Baptist tradition of faith and practice” (BF&M, 5) (emphasis mine).

Thus, it would appear that Dr. Rogers, the entire BF&M committee, and the overwhelming majority of Southern Baptists that voted to adopt the BF&M would maintain that all doctrines contained in our statement of faith, whether 1st or 2nd tier (none of which are 3rd tier), are essential beliefs for anyone that seeks to serve our convention as a trustee or as an employee.

Thanks and God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

David Rogers said...

Jeremy,

For the most part, your latest comment in response to me is well taken. I hesitated when I wrote "2nd and 3rd tier doctrinal issues," due to the very point you mention. However, I decided to leave in both, because I believe much of the questions being discussed in SBC life as of late have to do with a tendency to confuse 2nd and 3rd tier issues. What is my 3rd tier issue may be your 2nd tier issue, and vice versa. Also, there are 2nd tier issues that define our "in house" cooperation as Baptists that I do not feel should necessarily limit our cooperation with others who disagree with us, in, for example, many international mission projects. Also, in my opinion, there are still some details in the BFM that, at the moment of truth, I believe most Baptists would still consider to be 3rd tier rather than 2nd (i.e. closed communion).

Once again, though, with the exception of these caveats, for me, your point is well taken.

David Rogers said...

Brad,

No, I do not know of my father ever openly speaking against the NAMB policy. However, I do not think that necessarily proves one way or the other how he might have felt about it. What I wrote earlier about him expressing his opinion to IMB trustees, was solely in answer to questions brought to him on a personal, private basis. He did not, as far as I know, make any public stand on IMB policies either.

brad reynolds said...

David
Thanks for your insight and transparency.
God bless you my brother,
BR

Anonymous said...

Mr. David Rogers,

I have delayed getting involved in this mess as long as I could. Please know the spirit in which write is one of sorry and brokenness.

I loved your father, as did most of our fellow Southern Baptists. He was a man of great integrity and honor. SBC owes much of who we are today to his wisdom, influence, and leadership.

I knew your dad and spoke with him on several occasions. In fact we sat together for a time at the convention in Nashville in 2005.

The things they he conveyed to me and other Southern Baptist are a bit different than you are portraying.

Please do not dishonor him or his memory. He would not be in favor of all that is taking place on these blogs. Some of your comments on Wades and Marty’s blogs are just wrong in the way you use Dr. Rogers to defend your position. Please stand on your on convictions and do not drag his name into this.

Dr. Reynolds has been truthful and forthright with all of us. Please Mr. Rogers, let it go.

Tommy Johns

I do not have a website or webname, sorry

Anonymous said...

Mr. David Rogers,

I have delayed in getting involved in this mess as long as I could. Please know the spirit in which write is one of sorrow and brokenness.

I loved your father, as did most of our fellow Southern Baptists. He was a man of great integrity and honor. SBC owes much of who we are today to his wisdom, influence, and leadership.

I knew your dad and spoke with him on several occasions. In fact we sat together for a time at the convention in Nashville in 2005.

The things they he conveyed to me and other Southern Baptist are a bit different than you are portraying.

Please do not dishonor him or his memory. He would not be in favor of all that is taking place on these blogs. Some of your comments on Wades and Marty’s blogs are just wrong in the way you use Dr. Rogers to defend your position. Please stand on your on convictions and do not drag his name into this.

Dr. Reynolds has been truthful and forthright with all of us. Please Mr. Rogers, let it go.

Tommy Johns

I do not have a website or webname, sorry

CB Scott said...

Mr. Johns,

Sitting with Dr. Rogers at a convention is far different than being born to him and growing up in his home as did David.

Brad has been gracious with David. That is true, but you, sir, are guilty of rude behavior toward a brother that is not here to speak for himself and to his son and other family members, for that matter, in suggesting you would know Dr. Rogers' heart on any matter better than his son. Shame on you for you comment.

Even if you disagree with David some things are better left unsaid for the sake of honor and proper behavior.

You have not right to put David in any position wherein he may feel it necessary to defend his relationship to his father. It is you, sir that needs to stand down and you need to do so now.

cb

volfan007 said...

i have heard dr. rogers preach many, many times. i have heard him speak strongly against extremes like tongues and other charismatic practices. i have heard him speak strongly against women pastors and deacons. i have heard him speak strongly against five point calvinism.

i believe that a man that saw as much wrong and dangerous with these extremes and errors, and preached so strongly against them, would not be for our missionaries being involved in them. am i wrong to think this?

volfan007

Jonny V said...

CB,

Here's what I don't get - you said, "Even if you disagree with David some things are better left unsaid for the sake of honor and proper behavior."

So people are not allowed to disagree with something said because it came from Dr. Rogers' son? What if something totally different came from his other son about how Dr. Rogers felt? What if Mr. Johns is correct in what was told to him?

I mean no disrespect towards David, and certainly no disrepect towards Dr. Rogers and his legacy. So please don't take it that way, David. I love your family and admired your father more than any man on this earth, next to my own father.

It's just hard for me to imagine someone knowing everything their father felt towards the vast amount of issues facing the convention back in the '70's, '80's and up to this day. Is there a chance that other men who fought the fight together back in the day may know more about how someone felt than their own family?

If anyone is going to throw their opinion into an open forum, I'm sure they are prepared to listen to the opinions of others about what they espouse. I'm certain David is grown up enough to handle is own "fights," for the lack of a better word.

I can assure you I know my own father better than anyone in this world, after my mom. Having said that, I'm sure there are countless men who know where he stands on issues related to the convention and the faith far better than I. This may not have been the case with David and his father, so forgive me, David, if I am wrong.

However, CB, it's not your role to play "hall monitor" and tell others what they can and can't say in an open forum, especially Brad's open forum. If Dr. Reynolds finds something tasteless and out of line, then it is his prerogative to admonish and even delete a comment, just like it's Ben Coles prerogative to make childish and personal attacks ("increasingly bald and portly") against Dr. Patterson in his blog.

David Rogers said...

Everyone,

No, I do not know every detail of what my Dad thought about every issue. I do think I have a pretty good read on what his heart was, though, in general.

I believe I have been careful to differentiate between those things I have a pretty good idea about my Dad, and those I never got to talk to him about directly.

I also believe my Mother was not speaking out of turn when she said:

“Adrian Rogers would not have been a part of what is going on in some parts of our convention today, getting narrower and narrower about very highly interpretive issues. He would try to convince you of his view, but not to exclude you from service and fellowship, or to prevent you from going around the world with Southern Baptists to share the Gospel if you disagreed on these controversial issues.”

Anonymous,

If you could refer me to the specific quotes you mention on Wade's and Marty's blog, I could do a better job of responding to you.

David Rogers said...

One more thing,

To the best I can recall, I have never used my Dad's name on a blogpost or comment on someone else's post, defending a view of my own, with the exception of the original letter I sent to the IMB Trustees on Jan. 24.

On other occasions, I have merely responded to others who I believed had misrepresented my Dad, or taken something he had said out of context.

I am open to being shown otherwise, though.

CB Scott said...

John v,

My point is simple. Some things should be left alone, especially something that would make it appear that a son would misuse his father's history. If you cannot see that then stand in the corner with Ben Cole:-)

cb

CB Scott said...

J V,

One more thing. I did not tell anyone what they could or could not do. I said it was not proper behavior for Mr. Johns to say what he did. There is a difference. He has the right to speak and so do I have the right to be critical of what he says on an open forum. You have the same right. You just need to reference it correctly.

cb