In the Aftermath of Paige Patterson’s Reign, Wade Burleson Asks Some Hard Questions of the SWBTS Board of Trustees

It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. (Gandalf)- Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

This weekend, I will be speaking at the Courage Conference in Raleigh.The title of my talk will be “Kicking at the Gates of Hell.” Ashley Easter persuaded me to come out from behind my computer. You see, I feel quite safe in my kitchen, surrounded by my pugs dogs. Although I have taught Sunday school classes, I fear standing before a large audience. I look with great suspicion upon that little portable microphone thingy that can squeal or make me sound like I’m shouting.

Tomorrow, a reporter from the Washington Post is visiting my home to interview me at my kitchen table surrounded by my pugs. Once again, I am waaaaay out of my comfort zone. I almost feel like an invasion is at hand.

However, as I contemplate my own safe spaces, I have decided to speak at the conference about being willing to give up feeling safe in order to address the unsafe topic of abuse in the evangelical church. As I think about the last 9 1/2 years of blogging, I have come to the conclusion that I gave up my safe little world on the day that I confronted my Baptist church which I believe mishandled a horrific sex abuse situation. Even today, I think it is among the worse abuse cases I have heard. The title of my talk will be “Kicking at the Gates of Hell.”

So, as I begin to make sure my kitchen is extra super duper clean for my interview, I decided to post this important article by Wade Burleson. He addresses number of issues at SWBTS that were the direct result of Paige Patterson’s actions and the inability of the SWBTS trustees to carry out their responsibility of oversight.

Be sure to visit the links.


The Official End of Paige Patterson’s Control and Domination of the Southern Baptist Convention

United States President Donald Trump has sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to ask direct questions about the disappearance and presumed murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.

In the Saudi world, opposition to the absolute power and authority of the royals means imprisonment or death.

In the Southern Baptist world, at least for the past forty years (1978 – 2018), opposition to Paige Patterson meant occupational, personal, and vocational banishment.

The forty years of wandering in a spiritual desert are officially over for the Southern Baptist Convention. The trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will open the doors to their first plenary session since the historic 2018 Southern Baptist Convention.

They will have to answer some questions of their alleged “oversight” of former President Paige Patterson while he served as President of their institution, all the while seeking to control every other institution in the SBC world.

I started this blog in 2005 when I saw for myself how Patterson lackeys fawned over him and did his bidding in banishing opposition from positions of leadership. For nearly 15 years I’ve been writing of the travesty of what our Convention has become.

Finally, people have listened.

I have heard that there is now freedom among entity heads to speak freely. No more intimidation. No more power plays. No more control.

He’s gone.

But now, SWBTS trustees, you must be prepared to answer some tough questions. Rather than comment on the questions that must be answered, I’d encourage readers to peruse the documentation attached to the links and formulate your own opinions.

And listen closely to the answers given by SWBTS trustees.

1. How could you allow your former President to have 18 full-time employees in the “President’s Office” tasked with hospitality, transportation, and assisting the President and ‘First Lady”?

2. How could you approve either directly or indirectly (by your non-action) the astronomical decrease in enrollment and millions of dollars in ‘pet-projects’ and creature comforts for the President and ‘First Lady’ which had no direct bearing on the purpose and mission of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary?

3. Where were you when female professors were fired for their gender?

4. Where was your oversight when bylaws were violated and student admissions to SWBTS by Presidential fiat occurred, allowing students to enroll at Southwestern when they couldn’t even give a profession of faith in Jesus Christ?

5. How could you ignore the financial crisis that has been building for at least a decade, approving capital investment in new buildings, while not even able to fund the retirement accounts of current employees?

6. Will you do your due diligence and prevent institutional files from being removed by the Pattersons, or will you fall back to bad habits of either ignoring or allowing harmful actions to occur at the very institution you are tasked to oversee?

7. What are you going to do with the stained glass windows you allowed to be installed at a chapel allegedly devoted to the worship of Christ?

8. What are you going to do with the  “amateurish imitations” (Dr. Arstein Justnes’ phrase) of Dead Sea Scrolls your institution purchased and placed on display?

9. Will the retirement house you were building for the Pattersons on the campus of SWBTS now be used for educational purposes?

10. Will you now hold accountable the gentleman you allowed Dr. Patterson to place in a faculty position of authority and oversight, ensuring all things were done according to his wishes?

These are serious questions.

And thankfully, we live in a country where those who ask them aren’t murdered.

But the era of blackballing opposition to Fundamentalist SBC Leaders is officially over.


Comments

In the Aftermath of Paige Patterson’s Reign, Wade Burleson Asks Some Hard Questions of the SWBTS Board of Trustees — 77 Comments

  1. I am a big CR participant and supporter.

    But these are good questions that need to be answered or addressed going forward.

    My hope, in addition to answering these questions, is that the SWBTS Board does not become so swayed by public opinion and perception that it does things that are equally unwise to gain public approval and street cred.

    That is a serious issue in SBC life nowadays.

    If we swap excusing authoritarianism for pandering, that will be a bad day.

    There is a clear path forward that avoids both of these pitfalls.

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  2. Pingback: The post-Patterson SBC | Civil Commotion

  3. Oracle at Delphi,

    Don’t expect the Board of Trustees to answer any of these questions. SBC entity boards basically rubber stamp anything the entity head wants. Patterson would still be there if not for media reports and opportunism lead by another wing of the SBC.

    As I posted at Wade’s blog:

    Yes, Paige Patterson is gone.

    All hail Pope Albert I of Louisville and the new SBC motto:

    “Where else are they going to go.”

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  4. In 1987, as a proud graduate of SEBTS (’81 & ’86; ie, when it was still a seminary) I attended the trustee meetings when Randall Lolley and my professors were “grilled” for their supposed “liberalism.” Despite attempts for students and alumni to speak words of reason or support, we were not heard. In other words, the end of the meeting was determined before it ever came to order.

    Oracle said it correctly: “Don’t expect the Board of Trustees to answer any of these questions. SBC entity boards basically rubber stamp anything the entity head wants. Patterson would still be there if not for media reports and opportunism lead by another wing of the SBC.”

    The more things change, the more they stay the same . . .

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  5. Meanwhile, Owen Strachan over at MBTS is launching a new website featuring his teaching “ministry”:

    “Reformanda Ministries maintains substantial agreement with the historic Reformed creeds, particularly the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith.”

    https://www.reformandamin.org/teachingfellows/

    Frankly, I don’t understand a word of Strachan’s first article:

    https://www.reformandamin.org/articles/2018/7/24/sola-fide-the-extent-of-faith

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  6. Whatever the SWBTS board does is going to show if they really want to do the right thing, or if they are just going along with the New Cals to get rid of Patterson. I suspect it’s the latter.

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  7. Jerome:
    Meanwhile, Owen Strachan over at MBTS is launching a new website featuring his teaching “ministry”

    The New Cals have been getting a lot of criticism lately from classical Calvinists about not upholding the confessions. But I don’t think they really want to uphold the confessions, particularly paedobaptism. So my guess is that, like with any other topic where they are widely criticized in social media, they are just going to bluff and/or lie about it.

    Strachan has also gotten them into a good bit of trouble because he’s in the club because of nepotism, not because he’s a very good strategist. They’ve been trying to hide their ties to eternal subordination of the Son, but he keeps slipping up and saying that’s what they believe, such as in this podcast: https://relevantmagazine.com/podcast/christianity-masculinity-problem/

    So not surprised he’s continuing to bumble around like he gets it….

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  8. 2. How could you approve either directly or indirectly (by your non-action) the astronomical decrease in enrollment and millions of dollars in ‘pet-projects’ and creature comforts for the President and ‘First Lady’ which had no direct bearing on the purpose and mission of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary?

    To flesh out this matter further, this is from last year:

    http://www.bpnews.net/49862/swbts-cuts-staff-due-to-health-care-utility-costs

    “After making “low-hanging fruit adjustments” that included reductions in dining services, copy center hours and the fleet of vehicles at the 200-acre campus, Patrick said the administration decided not to fill positions from natural attrition, including student employees who are graduating and staff and faculty set to retire. In order to continue providing health care benefits to employees and their dependents, a third round of cuts involved laying off 30 fulltime staff “in selected areas where functions can be covered in other ways or by organizational change,” Patrick said.”

    (But some areas were well taken care of:)

    “Patrick indicated the seminary had fielded questions about “the perceived dichotomy of making budget adjustments that affect staff positions while concomitantly embarking on campus building projects” such as the recently opened Mathena Hall and renovations to Reynolds Auditorium and Barnard Hall. Donor funds designated specifically for those projects cannot be used for operating the seminary, Patrick said. Furthermore, “all newly constructed buildings possess a maintenance and operating endowment to defray the impact on Southwestern’s operating budget,” he clarified.”

    Priorities on display, perhaps? Quite possibly, given that issues and shortfalls were discussed by Patterson back in 2008, we see Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary “making difficult decisions in an effort to protect the institution from future financial crisis” (which we know from the 2017 article didn’t forestall more cuts, pain, and risk):

    http://www.bpnews.net/29530/southwestern-announces-budget-cutbacks

    “The seminary is working to cut its budget by approximately 10 percent, or $3.5 million to $4 million. Among reductions being made to the budget are “temporary suspension of many overseas travel programs and adjustments to campus facilities.””

    Some cuts — and perhaps subsequent fundraising by some for dedicated projects to shield them from future cuts — may have been more equal than others.

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  9. https://swbts.edu/news/releases/presidential-search-committee-approved-executive-committee-actions-ratified-during/

    “The general session of the trustee meeting began with a report from [interim president] Bingham…Bingham said that, with the past behind, Southwestern now presses on with a fresh commitment to the institution’s core mission: ‘to train God-called men and women for service to the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention’…Following Bingham’s report, the board of trustees voted to ratify the actions of the executive committee since the board’s last full meeting. The board then voted to affirm the presidential search committee, appointed by chairman Kevin Ueckert this past August…committee chairman Danny Roberts…shared about the progress of the committee…a ‘presidential profile,’ Roberts said…will be ‘an important part of what we use to discern God’s man for this position’.”

    “Beyond the general session and individual committee meetings, the trustees also engaged the campus community through such activities as a ‘Tacos with Trustees’ dinner led by an ‘Open Mic Night’ student talent show, and a faculty-trustee dinner…Finally, Southwestern welcomed trustee Jonathan Leeman, editorial director for 9Marks, as its chapel speaker on Tuesday, Oct. 16.”

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  10. JDV,

    …and then there’s this:

    (in the words of Diane Montgomery)

    “During my 4 years there, we experienced many budget cuts, layoffs, and the shutdown of important programs. Enrollments continued to wane and money became tighter and tighter. Meanwhile, students continued to see the Patterson’s driving Escalades, hosting fancy dinner parties and luncheons, enjoying private chefs, traveling the world at the seminary’s expense and living comfortable lives while the students were suffering, losing jobs, and some employees were barely able to put food on the table for their families.

    I was invited to many luncheons, dinners, and teas hosted at Pecan Manor and other locations on campus. During these events, the First Lady would raise millions and millions of dollars for their pet projects. Meanwhile, the seminary couldn’t afford its current staff. I never witnessed her raising money to help the school meet its budget. I only witnessed her raising funds for multi-million dollar buildings and ancient scrolls.”

    https://speakingthetruthofherheart.wordpress.com/2018/05/28/the-journey-begins/

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  11. JDV,

    “…a third round of cuts involved laying off 30 fulltime staff “in selected areas where functions can be covered in other ways or by organizational change,” Patrick said.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    …and then there’s this, too.

    after doing a a good deal of a man’s functions for him (for which he was paid, but she did the work), Diane took on the functions of many staff who were no longer there. she wasn’t paid for this extra work, and was shamed for asking to be compensated.

    apparently Patrick thought this was all well and good.

    (again, in the words of Diane Montgomery)

    “Misogyny and Discrimination in the SWBTS Workplace

    Whenever my immediate supervisor left his position, I asked if I might be considered for the job since I had been doing much of his duties at the time. I was told by my immediate supervisor, however, that I would never be considered because I was woman. There was no mention of my lack of maturity or experience needed for the position, but it was solely because of my God-ordained sex. I was told that women were never considered for managerial positions on campus because Dr. Patterson would never allow it. I was also told that women would never be taken seriously as managers in the SWBTS workplace; that was just the way it was and I needed to accept that.

    By the end of my time working on campus, I was assigned the responsibilities of several other staff members who no longer worked there. I asked the director for a raise considering that I was taking on many more tasks; my previous male coworker made more than me (“Because he had a family to take care of” I was told) and I thought it would be fair to be given the same salary considering I was working far more and had taken on his tasks. I was immediately rebuked and accused of “manipulating” him into giving me a raise. I was told I needed to adopt a more “smiles and sunshine” personality like the other girls in the office and just be grateful that I had a job instead of asking for a raise.”

    https://speakingthetruthofherheart.wordpress.com/2018/05/28/the-journey-begins/

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  12. JDV,

    “a third round of cuts involved laying off 30 fulltime staff “in selected areas where functions can be covered in other ways or by organizational change,” Patrick said.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    …and, well, there’s this, too.

    functions were covered by turning a scholarship award involving a mentorship into free labor for Dorothy Patterson.

    (again, in the words of Diane Montgomery)

    “My last year at SWBTS, I was awarded the Priscilla scholarship. Part of the scholarship entailed one-on-one mentorship meetings with Mrs. Patterson. The meetings turned into me becoming wait staff, serving hors d’oeuvres in the dining room corner at parties where Mrs. Patterson barely offered me a nod. Many noted the lack of kindness and sincerity shown by the Patterson’s hospitality; rather it was seen as a chance for the Patterson’s to entertain and impress. When you entered their door, you were given the perfect smile, the perfect greeting, but behind closed doors you heard the snaps at staff, the criticism, and the lack of grace and love shown towards those deemed less important than the big names and big pockets invited to the events.”

    https://speakingthetruthofherheart.wordpress.com/2018/05/28/the-journey-begins/

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  13. 5. How could you ignore the financial crisis that has been building for at least a decade, approving capital investment in new buildings, while not even able to fund the retirement accounts of current employees?
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    (from Wade’s link, a letter written by Benjamin Cole)

    “It has also come to my attention that in recent years the seminary president has authorized cuts to faculty retirement benefits and reduced matching employer contributions to faculty annuities.[7] These reports are troubling, nor does it seem that seminary trustees have made provision for the retirement of long-time faculty and staff on par with the generous provisions made to the current seminary president.”

    So, a question to add to the list:

    5a) What are Paige and Dorothy Patterson’s retirement packages?

    (i can ask, at least)

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  14. “… I will be speaking at the Courage Conference in Raleigh … a reporter from the Washington Post is visiting my home to interview me …” (Dee)

    Your gift will make room for you (Prov. 18:16). God will use your gifting to bring glory to Him.

    The New Calvinists are mistaken to think they have come into the world for such a time as this. It’s The Wartburg Watch which is right on time!!

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  15. Jerome: “one of the most significant events in 20th century church history: the rise of Albert Mohler to assume the presidency of SBTS.” —Justin Taylor

    Oh, brother!! The Mohlerites trip over themselves to flatter their master! Within Christendom, Dr. Al is but a small blip on the radar compared to 20th century notables like Billy Graham, Martin Luther King, and Mother Teresa. Justin Taylor is looking at a flash in the pan with the New Calvinist movement; its glory will fade and iconic leaders will slip into obscurity. The legacy of real-deal Christian influencers of the 20th century like Graham, King, and Mother Teresa will be reflected on for generations to come.

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  16. Praying for you, Dee! God will give you His strength and courage as you meet with the reporter and, then, step up to the podium! Thank-you for your obedience! I believe the LORD loves it when one of His children, while full of anxiety, moves ahead in faith anyway! All glory to Him! God bless you and all who will hear and be validated through your message. I know the love of Christ compels you!!

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  17. In other, but closely related, news: Several of the charges against Paul Pressler and other parties (including Patterson and SWBTS) have been dismissed due to statute of limitations. Pressler was the co-conspirator with Paige Patterson in the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention.

    https://baptistnews.com/article/judge-dismisses-5-of-8-claims-in-pressler-lawsuit-citing-statutes-of-limitations/#.W8iDiHtKjcs

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  18. Another way in which I would like to see the SBC entity trustees held accountable is through transparency in salaries like we have in our public institutions. If I want to know how much the president at UT-Arlington makes, it is public information. My guess is that there would be a great public outcry if Paige Patterson’s base salary as prez at SWBTS was known.

    I was totally flabbergasted earlier this year to learn that a director of something or other at a state convention was making 130k per year. Not my state so it is not my business but it does make me wonder how the pew sitters hard earned dollars are being stewarded.

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  19. elastigirl: I was told by my immediate supervisor, however, that I would never be considered because I was woman.

    I fail to understand why ANYONE would stay in a place that made this statement openly.

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  20. elastigirl: I was told I needed to adopt a more “smiles and sunshine” personality like the other girls in the office and just be grateful that I had a job instead of asking for a raise.”

    I hope you left them in the lurch when she was done and gave them zero notice and left a bunch of important stuff undone because that is how disgusting this is.

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  21. Dee, Which day and time do you teach this weekend? If it is not sold out, I may want to come hear you. I have been reading here at least 6 years and live in Raleigh.
    Do not be nervous! Believe me you will know more about your subject that most the attendees! Plus if you can wrangle your pugs while being interviewed, this weekend will be a piece of cake. Just stick with what you know to be true and you will be great! Big hugs! Ann

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  22. FW Rez: Several of the charges against Paul Pressler and other parties (including Patterson and SWBTS) have been dismissed due to statute of limitations.

    There should be no statute of limitations in America for child abusers and those who cover up their sin. Regardless of the judgment in this case, the Pressler/Patterson combo will always be the face of the shameful strong-arm fundamentalist takeover of the SBC. Couched as a defense of Bible inerrancy, the “conservatives” were downright ugly to the “moderate” SBC brethren. The same thing is going on now with the New Calvinist movement under Mohler’s reign. God has little reason to bless the SBC these days.

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  23. Ooooo, speaking at a conference and a WaPo interview! Wow!
    Dee, that ought to tell you that you are definitely doing something right!

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  24. Dee,

    Good luck and prayers for your conference this weekend, but to be REALLY successful at conferences (like T4G), you need to charge a lot more money!

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  25. Bridget: someone else who can’t keep his fingers off the twitter trigger.

    Saying “someone ELSE” means there must be a someone. Any particular someone in mind?

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  26. ___

    “Aliteracy Plus, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    “Many are the strange chances of the world,’ said Mithrandir, ‘and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter…” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion

    *

    ‘Nuts’ – Lt. Col. Harry W.O. Kinnard

    *

    Take now God’s Holy Spirit, —for thy labours and thy cares will be heavy, but in all He will support thee and defend thee from weariness. For this is the Very Spirit Of God, and herewith, maybe, thou shalt rekindle hearts to the valour of The Old One in a world that grows strangely chill…

    *

    ATB

    Sòpy

    “And The Sky Will Unfold…”
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bP4eWOEnY9Y

    ;~)

    – –

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  27. Dee, thrilled that we *finally* get to connect in person at The Courage Conference, even if just to say hello. I’ve been following since fairly early on the work you and Deb have presented over the years, and it has made a tremendous difference in my understanding of the dynamics in abuse of power. Looking forward to your presentation, and know it will be Deenomite!!

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  28. ishy: Taylor is probably looking for a job promotion to seminary professor or something…

    There’s a bad case of brown-nosing in New Calvinist ranks. They gush all over each other in social media. The up-and-comers like Taylor want to sit at the right hand of Mohler and shower flattery upon him at every opportunity to get his attention. Such behaviour is so not-God.

    I remember an interview several years ago where Al Mohler was promoting Greg Gilbert’s book “What Is The Gospel?” on his radio program. At one point, Mohler asked a question and Gilbert responded “Oh, Dr. Mohler, what a sweet question!” Sweet question?! Creepy. (I hope Gilbert finally discovered what the Gospel is, rather than the one they push in New Calvinism)

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  29. Max: Couched as a defense of Bible inerrancy, the “conservatives” were downright ugly to the “moderate” SBC brethren. The same thing is going on now with the New Calvinist movement under Mohler’s reign.

    “Evil is the side most obsessed with Purity.”
    — comment over at Internet Monk a few weeks ago

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  30. Hi Dee – I am also going to the Courage Conference and am really excited to hear you!
    The Washington Post’s religion reporters are all great (I know one of them personally), so you don’t have much to worry about 🙂

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  31. Ken P.: All hail Pope Albert I of Louisville and the new SBC motto:

    “Where else are they going to go.”

    Where else?
    Hopefully as far away from Mohler and neo-calvinism as they can get.

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  32. drstevej:
    1

    Looks like Dee needs to clean under her kitchen table a little more before her interview!
    There may not be enough room for her, the pugs, the interviewer AND drstevej!

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  33. ishy:
    Whatever the SWBTS board does is going to show if they really want to do the right thing, or if they are just going along with the New Cals to get rid of Patterson. I suspect it’s the latter.

    I agree with this…I think they’ll just continue to be “yes-men”, only it will be for a different man. It does make me wonder, though, which Neo-Cal, Al Mohler-worshipping bootlicker is going to be tapped as the new president of SWBTS?

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  34. On to more important matters: The Conference this weekend. Hope it all goes well, Dee!

    Mind and get a photo of Futuristic Brad eating haggis…

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  35. Root 66: I think they’ll just continue to be “yes-men”, only it will be for a different man.

    The trustees of the various SBC entities are hand-picked because they will be “yes-men” to entity leaders. It’s a process that has been going on for generations within SBC. There is no true accountability system in place at any SBC entity (seminaries, mission agencies, publishing house, etc.). Even the annual convention of messengers from across the denomination is becoming a joke … they make resolutions, sing kumbaya, hold hands and pray, return to their home churches, and the entity heads proceed as usual with their agendas – the most recent, of course, is to Calvinize the SBC even though most SBC members remain non-Calvinist. It’s the darnedest thing I’ve ever seen.

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  36. elastigirl (quoting Diane Montgomery):

    My last year at SWBTS, I was awarded the Priscilla scholarship. Part of the scholarship entailed one-on-one mentorship meetings with Mrs. Patterson. The meetings turned into me becoming wait staff, serving hors d’oeuvres in the dining room corner at parties where Mrs. Patterson barely offered me a nod. Many noted the lack of kindness and sincerity shown by the Patterson’s hospitality; rather it was seen as a chance for the Patterson’s to entertain and impress. When you entered their door, you were given the perfect smile, the perfect greeting, but behind closed doors you heard the snaps at staff, the criticism, and the lack of grace and love shown towards those deemed less important than the big names and big pockets invited to the events.

    I have met people in more or less traditional full-time christian ministry, who were accustomed to working at large events in front of thousands of people – but who were also entirely down-to-earth, kind, courteous, and more than happy to speak at a small event in someone’s home and then wash the dishes afterwards. (Literally, BTW.)

    Then, of course, you have the people described by Diane Montgomery in the above quote. I don’t know whether they are drawn towards ministry because they’re vain and self-important to start with, or whether they start out with honest intentions but are seduced into vanity and self-importance by the toxicity of some christian environments. Or both, or something else entirely. I’ve never met either Diane or Mrs Patterson, but I have certainly witnessed church settings that courted the rich and famous while using indigenous christians as unpaid staff and treating them like dirt.

    It strikes me that these events, as described, are acts of liturgical worship. In them, the hostess gives a practical demonstration of her real love for Jesus – in the way she treats “the least of these”.

    It’s a sobering thought.

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  37. Nick Bulbeck: Then, of course, you have the people described by Diane Montgomery in the above quote. I don’t know whether they are drawn towards ministry because they’re vain and self-important to start with, or whether they start out with honest intentions but are seduced into vanity and self-importance by the toxicity of some christian environments. Or both, or something else entirely. I’ve never met either Diane or Mrs Patterson, but I have certainly witnessed church settings that courted the rich and famous while using indigenous christians as unpaid staff and treating them like dirt.

    It strikes me that these events, as described, are acts of liturgical worship. In them, the hostess gives a practical demonstration of her real love for Jesus – in the way she treats “the least of these”.

    It’s a sobering thought.

    This reminds me of a pastor’s retreat my wife and I once attended. Somehow, the keynote speaker wound up sitting at our table, and he treated the server like garbage–barking out commands and being rather curt with her. He then got up and spoke about “LOVE” of all things. I couldn’t hear a single word he said after he was such a jerk to that woman who was just serving our breakfast! He didn’t show a whole lot of love then!

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  38. Headless Unicorn Guy: “Evil is the side most obsessed with Purity.”
    — comment over at Internet Monk a few weeks ago

    Good lord isn’t that the truth!

    I just read the a disturbing relationship question online from a woman who recently married after she and her husband ‘saved themselves’ for marriage and found major sexual dysfunction and disregard for her feelings in that area and it’s making me so sad. I can just see this guy reading Driscoll or something and feeling totally supported.

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  39. Nick Bulbeck: I have met people in more or less traditional full-time christian ministry, who were accustomed to working at large events in front of thousands of people – but who were also entirely down-to-earth, kind, courteous,

    I recently met O.S. Hawkins (SBC entity head as president of Guidestone and former pastor at FBC Dallas). He was all this and more. Very unassuming and personable.

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  40. Root 66: I agree with this…I think they’ll just continue to be “yes-men”, only it will be for a different man.

    oceania has always been at peace with eurasia, comrades.
    LONG LIVE (the new) BIG BROTHER!

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  41. Max: The trustees of the various SBC entities are hand-picked because they will be “yes-men” to entity leaders.

    I wonder if some of them paint their noses bilirubin-brown to increase their chances of being picked?

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  42. Nick Bulbeck,

    I have spent 35 years in the academic world as a Scientist/Engineer, and have interacted with, worked with undergrads doing reserach for the first time to a recently award Nobel prize winner, and all levels of “worldly academc prestige” in between. It is my observation that whether the indivdiual is a pompous a$$ or a humble, down to earth person, has less to do with position/award, and more with to do with the “kind” of person they are… and probably the environment they were raised in… also, while in general, the people I deal with are very smart, some of the people with the most “prestege” are not nessairly the “smartest”, or most worthy… or put it another way, allot of luck is involved..
    So, my point is, ther is NO reason for “preachers” or relgious leaders to put on ANY “airs” or previlage as a result of their “abilities” or “specially called BS”…

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  43. Nick Bulbeck: Then, of course, you have the people described by Diane Montgomery in the above quote. I don’t know whether they are drawn towards ministry because they’re vain and self-important to start with, or whether they start out with honest intentions but are seduced into vanity and self-importance by the toxicity of some christian environments. Or both, or something else entirely.

    “It’s not so much that ‘Power Corrupts’ but that Power tends to attract the already-corrupt and the easily-corrupted.”
    — Frank Herbert, author of Dune

    I’ve never met either Diane or Mrs Patterson, but I have certainly witnessed church settings that courted the rich and famous while using indigenous christians as unpaid staff and treating them like dirt.

    It strikes me that these events, as described, are acts of liturgical worship. In them, the hostess gives a practical demonstration of her real love for Jesus

    Or a practical demonstration of what she is REALLY in love with.

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  44. Lea: Good lord isn’t that the truth!

    It is.
    As HUG and others have pointed out, They’re (biblical purity crowd) just as messed up as the porn-saturated-anything-goes camp, but in the opposite direction.

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  45. YES. That is PRECISELY how Dorothy Patterson treated those who served at Pecan Manor. Rarely even said so much as “hello,” even though they served for free in her kitchen, but she poured on the syrupy charm for rich donors. #hypocrites #moneyhungry #wolvesInShepherdsClothing

    elastigirl,

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  46. At this point this comment probably won’t be seen by many, but over at phonexpreacher.com, Michael, a former Calvary Chapel pastor, has posted an article about pastors and women in that movement that readers here would be interested in. It is part of a series on history of the Calvary Chapel movement, entitled The Calvary Chapel Chronicles. This one is entitled The Calvary Chronicles: Crazy Women, and is at https://phoenixpreacher.com/the-calvary-chapel-chronicles-crazy-women/. The first of the series is at https://phoenixpreacher.com/the-calvary-chapel-chronicles/.

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  47. Anonymous: That is PRECISELY how Dorothy Patterson treated those who served at Pecan Manor. Rarely even said so much as “hello,” even though they served for free in her kitchen

    And then Payday Someday happened for the Pattersons and they received an abrupt “goodbye!” and speedy exit from the Manor.

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  48. Nick Bulbeck: I have certainly witnessed church settings that courted the rich and famous

    In many American churches, they become deacons/elders whether or not they meet the Biblical qualifications for that office. Money paves the way.

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  49. Jerome,

    Hahahaha When I had a WP blog, you could choose a template and there would be a fake article in what I thought was Latin or a Latin-Gibberish hybrid. This appears to be the case at Owen’s blog. So go check out Owen’s WP blog template.

    Also, the number of *PhD*’s listed as contributors really demands another revisit to the actual cost and value of this degree when conferred by American seminaries (or at least those that calvinism or TGC has touched). I say this with respect to and in defense of my secular friends who have earned their academic PhD’s.

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  50. Janet: Hahahaha When I had a WP blog, you could choose a template and there would be a fake article in what I thought was Latin or a Latin-Gibberish hybrid.

    <Off-topic, but possibly of general interest>

    Indeed; it’s generally known as “lorem ipsum”. With apologies to Wartburgers (quite likely including yourself, Janet) who already ken this, the idea of lorem ipsum is to create deliberately meaningless text that shows the look and feel of the template – the colour, design, layout, text-flow, responsiveness, etc – without the viewer being distracted by reading the content. Lorem ipsum is standardised for that purpose; there are websites you can visit simply to copy a big chunk of lorem ipsum to paste into your web design. (Interested Wartburgers may wish to google “lorem ipsum”.) It’s loosely based on Latin but, as you observed, doesn’t actually mean anything in Latin either.

    I’m surprised Park Fiscal didn’t publish a book consisting of it, then make a mistake with church funds to hike it into the best-seller list. It’s a great way of generating, as he put it, “content”.

    </Off-topic, but possibly of general interest>

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  51. Nick Bulbeck: It’s loosely based on Latin but, as you observed, doesn’t actually mean anything in Latin either.

    On a related note, it turns out that “nothing” is a palindrome in English. When you spell it backwards it you get gnihton, which means nothing.

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  52. So, just this once, I checked out Wee Strachan’s blog.

    It ACTUALLY DOES consist of lorem ipsum. I thought everyone was joking.

    Yer couldn’t make it up.

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  53. Nick Bulbeck: There must be a name for something that means the same thing forwards as backwards, without actually reading the same.

    Makes me wonder what would happen if one were to play a Piper sermon backwards. Would it be more or less comprehensible than playing it forwards?

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  54. Ken F (aka Tweed): Makes me wonder what would happen if one were to play a Piper sermon backwards. Would it be more or less comprehensible than playing it forwards?

    Two words:
    [cue reverb]
    BACKWARDS…MASKING…
    [end reverb]

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  55. Ken F (aka Tweed): Makes me wonder what would happen if one were to play a Piper sermon backwards. Would it be more or less comprehensible than playing it forwards?

    Well, it won’t sound like The White Album or Abbey Road, that’s for sure.

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  56. Muff Potter: Well, it won’t sound like The White Album or Abbey Road, that’s for sure.

    How about that old Backwards Masking demo standby, Stairway to Heaven?

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