January 19, 2006

IMB Event Horizon

In his immortal classic Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, in book 2, Douglas Adams writes of a world whose economy was crushed because of something called "Shoe Event Horizon."

Many years ago this was a thriving, happy planet - people, cities, shops, a normal world. Except that on the high streets of these cities there were slightly more shoe shops than one might have thought necessary. And slowly, insidiously, the number of the shoe shops were increasing. It's a well-known economic phenomenon but tragic to see it in operation, for the more shoe shops there were, the more shoes they had to make and the worse and more unwearable they became. And the worse they were to wear, the more people had to buy to keep themselves shod, and the more the shops proliferated, until the whole economy of the place passed what I believe is termed the Shoe Event Horizon, and it became no longer economically possible to build anything other than shoe shops.

I was looking through my blog stats today, and was kind of surprised by what I saw. Ever since I started blogging about the IMB/Wade Burleson controversy, my hits have increased by about 20% each day. Now, that's not as big an increase as it sounds, but it's still significant. The number of hits I get from searches on the subject, and from other blogs who are talking about it, is fascinating to me.

It got me thinking about the Shoe Event Horizon, and it's application to blogging. There are some events and some subjects that, once people start blogging them, end up taking on a life of their own. Traffic increases, and bloggers, being the attention hounds that we are, write more about that subject. Blogs start up just on that subject. And it continues.

I'm not saying that the topics aren't important -- I think that this current controversy is very important for all Southern Baptists , especially those of us who are going to be in Greensboro this year. It's just an interesting sociological phenomenon. I think that we're close to the IMB Event Horizon, where many of us aren't willing to write on any other subject lest we lose the new audience that we've found. I wonder how many will stick around ...

I wonder if the Internet will ever hit Blog Event Horizon -- where there are so many blogs that it becomes unfeasable for anyone to introduce any 'Net application not geared toward bloggers. Of course, some people think we're already there.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 08:02 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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January 17, 2006

I Was Afraid of This ...

{And I promise to blog something nonSBC related later today.}

Ryan DeBarr over at xIFBx has a heartbreaking story of a missionary couple who have been asked to resign because of the new policies at the IMB.

Ryan and I come from similar backgrounds in fundamentalist churches; in fact, he attended the church I was baptized in (though he was there after we moved south). And I think we're both getting an uncomfortable feeling of deja vu with a lot of things that are happening right now in the SBC. We're forgetting that there are some things worth fighting for, and some things that we need to simply agree to disagree about.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 03:53 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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January 16, 2006

Baptism

And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?"
(Acts 8:36 ESV)

And Phillip answered and said, "The International Missions Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, because you must be baptized in a local church."

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 09:18 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Principles and Integrity

This is a sermon that all of us need to hear. In light of the IMB/Wade Burleson controversy, it is educational for all of us to hear these words from Bro. Burleson. Many things have already been said, here and elsewhere. Much more will be said in the weeks to come, before the annual meeting of the SBC in Greensboro, NC later this year. Motivations will be questioned and accusations will be made. What is said in this message needs to be heard by every Southern Baptist. But it's valuable for all Christians to hear this, as a man stands on his convictions in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

{edit: Note that Burleson STILL does not name names or discuss confidential information. Still no evidence of slander or any wrongdoing on his part, other than disagreeing with the power lobby on the trustee board.}

(Hat tip goes to Ryan at xIFBx)

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 08:59 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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January 13, 2006

Interesting Quote, and some Background

I read an interesting post concerning the whole IMB controversy today at Scott Bridwell.com. The most interesting was a quote from a current IMB trustee, as published in The Northwest Witness associational paper. more...

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 06:01 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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January 12, 2006

Nothing Good Can Come of This

So they've done it.

THEY being a majority of the trustees of the IMB of the Southern Baptist Convention.

IT being booting Wade Burleson.

Of course, they can't just end his service as trustee -- that can only be done in Greensboro this year, at the annual Convention, by a majority of messengers. But they've effectively silenced him.

If you're looking for the "official" reports, here are the links: Baptist Press, Associated Baptist Press. If you want Wade's side of things, read his blog. Marty Durden at the SBC Outpost has also been covering this for the blogosphere.

Wade Burleson is under attack because people don't like the message he's sending to the SBC. I've read no slander, no gossip, no breach of confidence in anything he's written. He's mentioned only two names of people who disagree with him, and has presented their views in a very fair manner. When he's noted potential imporprieties, he has never mentioned names. He has never revealed anything that happened in an Executive Session.

We need people who are willing to expose problems. We need Wade Burleson as an IMB trustee.

I'll be in Greensboro for the Convention. I'll be supporting Wade Burleson. When we start censoring those who reveal problems in our organizations, we have a major problem. The last thing we need -- the last thing we should want -- is a trustee board filled with Yes Men who won't dare stand up for what they really believe, for fear of being run out of town on a rail. This is not a good way to deal with dissent.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 01:19 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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