June 23, 2006

A Few Good Resolutions

Centuri0n has a few great ideas for resolutions at the next SBC convention (next year in San Antonio -- hope I get to go this time!). My favorite one:

Resolved: Baptism is necessary in the life of the believer for the sake of the believer’s spiritual growth; it is a result of the Holy Spirit’s work in the second birth, not a cause. When we make Baptism into anything else – like a measure of the effectiveness of our evangelism, or a repeated ritual from which we derive pleasure or reassurance – we make baptism into a fraud and dishonor God.

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June 13, 2006

Thoughts on Day One of the Convention

And I promise that I'll post something non-SBC related here tomorrow. I NEED to get back to my "This Week in Church History" posting that I've neglected for so long...

Day One saw an historic presidential election. Three men, all conservative, committed to Biblical inerrancy, ran a good race. One man, supported by many outside of the normal "sphere of influence" won over 50% of the votes on the first ballot, which many doubted would happen. Frank Page defeated "establishment" candidate Ronnie Floyd and Jerry Sutton, who many thought was intended to draw votes away from Page. Sutton and Floyd split half the vote, and Page went on to win.

It's refreshing for me as a Southern Baptist to have an election where there is more than one option -- and more than one option that I would have been happy with. The days of "conservaitve candidate vs. moderate candidate" are gone, for now at least. We can fine-tune the direction we want the SBC to go in, and that is a very healthy thing.

One vote that didn't get a lot of blogging attention today was the WMU issue. The Executive Committee, as I understand it, wanted the WMU to become a Southern Baptist entity, similar to Lifeway and Guidestone, rather than an auxiliary as it is now. I'm not sure why that was brought forward -- the WMU is doing wonderful things for the SBC as it is, and there would be no real benefit to it becoming an official entity. It would also have caused some problems internally with the WMU, as they would have had to drastically change the way they operate. I'm not sure that anyone at the convention outside of the Executive Committee was in favor of the motion, and it went down in flames pretty quickly. If anyone understands the rational behind the motion, please leave a comment, or email me (address is on the right sidebar).

This promises to be an exciting year for the SBC. I'm hoping that after Greensboro we can all unite and purpose to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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SBC 1st VP is ....

... I know, who really cares about the first VP position, anyway? I've been in the SBC for close to ten years, and I still have no clue what anyone after the president actually does.

But I've been interested in this race, just because one of the candidates is someone who I'd love to have seen run for president, but who chose not to. I really think Mark Dever would have made an outstanding president.

But he's not going to be Veep, either. Dever and pastor Jimmy Jackson advanced to a second ballot, where Jackson edged Dever by just a few votes (1107-1030).

Tip o' the hat to Thoughts and Adventures for the update on this vote. I'll be referencing them a lot during the convention, as they seem to be pretty reliably live-blogging, and their posts are coming through the RSS feed. For some reason, I'm not getting Marty Duren's blog in my RSS reader -- have to check on that one.

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SBC President is ...

Dr. Frank Page of South Carolina with 50.48% of the vote. Dr. Ronnie Floyd and Dr. Jerry Sutton split the remaining vote pretty evenly.

Bobby Welch reminded everyone present that Dr. Page is the president of the entire convention, not just his 50.48%, and that we are striving for unity among Southern Baptists even as we celebrate our diversity.

I'll have more about the blogging reaction to Dr. Page's election later this evening. I head out in about twenty minutes and will be out with my pastor on visitation this evening until probably 8 or so.

Congratulations to Dr. Page.

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June 12, 2006

Pastors Conference Linkblogging

I REALLY wish I could be there.

The one breakout session that has garnered the most blogging attention so far has been (duh!) the Mohler/Patterson "debate" on Calvinism. Agent Tim has a really good outline, as does Scott Lamb. Dr. Mohler participated just one day after emergency surgery on his eyes -- he told us in Systematic Theology that he has an eye disorder that requires him to wear two contacts in each eye, so I'm sure that the surgery was somehow related to that. Word from Ryan DeBarr (who isn't blogging the convention, but called me to fill me in on the Pastor's Conference) is that Dr. Mohler arrived wearing dark sunglasses which the doctors told him he had to wear all the time. He removed them on the platform. Someone needs to tell Dr. Mohler to take care of himself, and listen to the doctors!

Others who are blogging the convention are Wade Burleson (of course), Joe Thorn, Steve Weaver, Marty Duren, and Steve McCoy. As I find others, I'll post 'em here. If you find some I missed, let me know!

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June 10, 2006

SBC Convention Time

So it's that time of year again. The Southern Baptist Convention is meeting in Greensboro next week -- Pastor's Conference starts on tomorrow evening, and the main convention starts on Tuesday.

And I'm stuck at home.

I'd planned on going this year, because I think that there are going to be some important votes come up. I really wanted to go to the Pastor's Conference this year, because there are some outstanding sessions being held (including the Mohler/Patterson discussion on Calvinism and Arminianism). But finances won't allow me -- we can't afford to miss work to go down, especially with a baby on the way.

There are plenty of Southern Baptist bloggers headed down that way, though not all of them will be blogging the convention. I'll have links to what they have to say, and as I have a chance to watch the streaming video of the convention, I'll have my own comments, too.

I think it's a great reflection on the SBC that we've got three men running for president this year, each supported by some very distinguished SBC members. This year's election will be more than just rubber-stamping a candidate that "everyone knows will win." I think that's one thing that has always bothered me with the SBC elections -- it never seemed like there was a real choice.

The fact is, Southern Baptists are pretty unified in their basic theology. We have disagreements about peripheral issues, but we all start with the basic premise of the inerrancy and infalibility of the Bible, the sovereignty of God, and the sufficiency of Christ's atonement. We agree on (dare I say it?) the "fundamentals." But that doesn't mean we agree on everything. Our biggest problem right now is making sure that we don't make the peripherals into hills on which to stand (or die). We can agree to disagree, and still work together.

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