June 28, 2006

A New Page for the SBC?

Heh heh...little pun there in the post title. Ahem.

(For those who haven't kept up with what's taking place in the Southern Baptist Convention, check out CT's Weblog from June 14 for lots of links .)

New SBC president Frank Page is getting his message out to the (Christian) world. Christianity Today has a brief piece that is worth your attention: A Kinder, Gentler Conservatism. I'm cautiously optimistic about the situation–optimistic because it appears to represent a populist shift in the SBC that I think is healthy, cautious because of comments like this:
In 2000, new SBC president Page wrote Trouble with the Tulip: A Closer Examination of the Five Points of Calvinism. Some have interpreted Page's election as a backlash against the growing influence of Calvinism. However, Page rebuts that idea.

"It is not a blow to [Calvinists]," Page told CT. "I do not believe [Calvinism] is grounds for breaking fellowship nor [barring] participation in leadership."

Gender, however, is grounds for barring participation in pastoral leadership, and egalitarianism is grounds for breaking fellowship. (Page hasn't said as much, but given his vocal support of the convention's current theological trajectory, I think this is a safe assumption.)

The Southern Baptist Convention's new president is promising broader participation from the ranks of its 42,000 churches. "I'm not talking about broadening the tent theologically, simply numerically," said Page. "There's a huge number of people who have been kind of kept out because they're not in a big enough church or whatever."
Hmm. Sorry, CT, but I'm not sure what exactly is "kinder" or "gentler" about this new direction the SBC is taking. Maybe "quieter" would have been a better adjective?


At 9:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new direction for the SBC is Young, Conservative, and Cool (slang) for Great and Pro-Life.
SBC follows the "via media" or "middle way" between Calvinism and Arminianism. Now that's sweet.
Thanks CU


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