This week’s Doyle’s Half Dozen has four topics relating directly to Southern Baptist Convention issues. I’ll cover some other stuff too, but I wanted to give you a heads up.
Let’s get to it!
- Patterson postlude
Leadership of Southwestern Seminary made a major decision this week, which came a week after a major meeting of SWBTS board members. Last week, Paige Patterson was given a nice consolation prize as the board chose to make him president emeritus. This week, members of the board’s executive committee chose to take Patterson’s prize away, stripping him of the emeritus title, financial compensation and on-campus residence.
Unsurprisingly, this abrupt decision was made because of a news report of an incident involving Patterson advising a female student at Southeastern Seminary years ago, when he was president of the N.C. Baptist school. The Washington Post said Patterson told the student to refrain from reporting an alleged rape.
Southwestern’s leadership made the right decision. However, it also caused quite a stir among many Southern Baptists, especially SWBTS alumni and Patterson supporters. Baptist Press reported Patterson’s dismissal caused major plans to be cancelled that were in conjunction with the SBC Annual Meeting in Dallas June 12-13.
As far as I know, Patterson is still scheduled to deliver the annual sermon at the SBC meeting. However, it is expected for change to occur, whether it comes as a motion from the convention meeting floor or Patterson saves what little dignity he still has and resigns.
- Patterson postlude part 2
I know my commentary may sound harsh, but whether or not you believe Patterson is being treated fairly, from my observations, Patterson has not responded in a respectful manner. I think it would have been better if he initiated a retirement announcement when this news was breaking at the end of April.
I can see how he may think his accusers have wrongful intentions, but they would have to answer for their intentions. He would be in a better light had all the board meetings and social media commentary, especially from outside the SBC, not come to fruition or materialized.
I know I’m doing some “armchair quarterbacking,” but the best scenario – and I’ve even discussed this with respected leaders – for Patterson would have been for him to retire years ago. And I share this in a way of respect for him. None of these accusations and past remarks would have been breaking news, and he would have been in a much more gracious position among the SBC at this point.
- Postlude Scripture application
In regard to Patterson’s critics, and I know many of them have respect and Christ-like love for the SBC leader, I struggle with how this has become such a messy national issue.
I keep coming back to a passage in Paul’s instructions to the Corinthians in 1 Cor. 6:1-8. I am still trying to study this in order to best communicate the message Paul is sharing to see if it is applicable. Paul is directly talking about Christians should not be taking other Christians to court. The main focus appears to be on airing conflicts in front of unbelievers.
I welcome feedback from those who have insight from studying this passage, and let me know if you think I am in the right direction as far as applying Paul’s message to how those in the SBC are handling this Patterson issue, as well as other conflicts.
- SBC Resolutions
I wrote a news story about Midwestern Seminary President Jason Allen submitting a resolution to be considered by the SBC Resolutions Committee. You can read it here.
I applaud Allen’s work, and his resolution was endorsed by a lengthy list of SBC leaders. I will be curious to see how the Committee handles Allen’s submission at the SBC Meeting.
As far as other proposed resolutions, Nathan Crietz, a church planter in New York, offers his thoughts on a list of resolutions.
Crietz has good points, but I am skeptical on the resolution about gun control. There’s some vague language in one of the points involving the Second Amendment that I’m not sure I could fully support in a clear conscience. And I don’t believe Crietz is right when he said the proposed resolution is entirely free of a political message.
The other resolutions seem solid, though I could see some backlash on the one involving immigration.
- Spelling Bee snag
I enjoyed watching the final round of the Scripps Spelling Bee Thursday night. Congrats to Karthik Nemmani for winning the national competition by spelling correctly “koinonia.”
This is a great scenario to help many understand the powerful theological emphasis of what koinonia presents, which means “Christian fellowship.” Don’t be surprised if you hear it in a sermon or Bible study lesson in the future.
However, I feel bad for Naysa Modi who got a difficult draw when she was asked in the final round to spell “Bewusstseinslage.” Check out the USA Today story here, and you can see a video of Naysa’s challenge.
- Go see Solo
I end with sharing Michael Foust’s review from last week on the movie “Solo.” All of Michael’s movie reviews are great, but it’s a great prepper if you haven’t seen the movie yet.
If you have, check out the end of Michael’s review and answer his discussion questions.