So here’s the deal. You are on a lifeboat carrying six Southern Baptist dignitaries other than yourself. Your ship was wrecked somewhere off the coast of Benin, West Africa. Your tiny raft is drifting toward a deserted island, and you know beforehand that your rations can only sustain five of you for 30 days. You have to decide whom you will throw overboard, ensuring your best chance of survival and hope of rescue. Assuming you will spare your own life, which two of the following six Southern Baptist higher-ups will you toss?

Comment your answers and rationales. I will post my response within 24 hours.

Anyone answering, “I’d throw myself overboard before I’d live on an island with any of them” will be disqualified.

1. Al Mohler

2. Richard Land

3. Paige Patterson

4. Bobby Welch

5. Danny Akin

6. O.S. Hawkins



So here are my thoughts about the lifeboat scenario listed above. I’m going to list my thoughts about why each person should/should not be cast overboard, then I will announce my choice:

1. Al Mohler — There is no question that Al Mohler is one of the brightest minds in the Evangelical world. He’s quick and resolved. When he sets his mind to something, he is not easily dissuaded. His tenacity would be an asset to any group, though Mohler is definitely less of a team-player than some of the other candidates. He has few intellectual equals, and he knows it. Mohler would serve better as a sniper than an infantryman. He also has children still at home, which would definitely give him a will to survive that others might not possess. That desire, and the recognition that he does have kids at home, might keep others from tossing him over.

2. Richard Land is brilliant, though largely useless when it comes to using tools or doing anything normally considered as a “man’s job.” By his own admission, his wife is far more the “handyman” than he is. Richard’s strength is, without a doubt, in leadership. He can plan and execute. He’s also an overachiever with a competitive edge, and if put in a situation where he has to compete with — say Al Mohler — he would work twice as hard to win. The only person in the SBC, however, who can rein Land in is Paige Patterson. If Patterson got tossed, Land would be incorrigible.

3. Paige Patterson is a survivor. He survived the firing at Criswell. He survived some tough spots at Southeastern. He’s surviving at Southwestern. He’s not as bright as Mohler or Land, but he’s much faster. Patterson’s aim is off, but his trigger is quick. He might miss you with the first shot, but he’ll have fired off three or four rounds before you’ve even taken aim. Not only that, but Patterson has an infectious sense of humor. When misery sets in on the little deserted island, Patterson will keep things light-hearted. If nothing else, he will pick a fight between the other survivors just to make things interesting. The downside to having Patterson is that if the food runs out, he’s likely to cannibalize you. The upside is that Dorothy is twice as tenacious as he is, and if she thinks he’s still alive out there, she will pull out every stop to find you.

4. Bobby Welch is a Vietnam veteran. He lived on boot leather for a few weeks in the Mekong Delta. His “pep talks” are tiring when you don’t think you need them. But facing certain death, Welch is probably the closest thing you’ve got to a general in Southern Baptist life. Welch stays. No question.

5. Danny Akin is courageous and resourceful. There has never been a hill up which he will not climb. There’s never been a challenge from which he ran. Faced with unsurmountable odds, Akin will find a way to surmount them. He’s perhaps the most physically fit of the group, which would serve your cause of survival well. He’s also quite disciplined personally. If an ally is what you need, Akin is among the most formidable. I really can’t think of a reason not to keep Danny Akin. He’s the youngest of the bunch, and he’ll carry his own load and then some. Akin stays.

6. O.S. Hawkins is a friend to everyman. He’s a remarkably fixed star in this shifting constellation we call the Southern Baptist Convention. You don’t have to worry about O.S. knifing you when your back is turned. He gets labeled by some as an “elitist,” but that moniker doesn’t really play out. He may wear perfectly tailored dress-shirts, but he knows how to roll up those French cuffs and get his hands dirty when necessary. He’s also among the most forgiving of the group, which means he will likely not hold it against you when you toss one of his friends. In a pinch, O.S. might even sacrifice himself for somebody else. You know, greater love hath no man and all…

So what is my decision?

If push came to shove, I’d try to assemble a team with the best chance of survival. I’d keep Welch and Akin without a second thought. Patterson would stay because he’s got the most basic survival instinct known to men. I’d keep Hawkins just because I know he’d work as hard to get off the island as he would to keep the group from murdering each other. I’d probably toss Mohler because he’d swallow the bitter pill a little easier than the others, believing in exhaustive divine foreknowledge and providential sovereignty like he does. Land would go overboard because, well, you don’t really need to vote values on a deserted island.

Of course, I’d be doing the SBC a bigger favor by keeping them all to decide among themselves who gets tossed, and jumping ship myself.

Now there’s an idea…

9 thoughts on “Lifeboat…

  1. Well, frankly, I’m torn between two answers. The first, and the more frivolous one:

    Toss’em all overboard. All six. Then I’d have 150 days’ of supplies to figure out a story about that happened to them all.

    But the serious one: Leave everyone on the boat. We’d have 150 man-days of food, and if we weren’t rescued in 20-some days, we probably never would be, so might as well get on with it.

  2. Okay, I’m going to play your game by the rules and not try to find some politically correct way to save everyone. Two people have got to go, which two will it be?

    As the vote is put forth on the raft, I would vote to toss Bobby Welch and Danny Akin. Here’s the rationale:

    Paige Patterson needs to stay because he seems to be one whom people are most inclined to feel the need to rescue. Also, with his hunting skills, he could probably supplement the food rations available on the deserted island.

    O.S. Hawkins gets to stay because in his position in financial management he would be well put to the business of maintaining the food rations and keeping it sorted out evenly to all survivors.

    That left the other four to consider. Being isolated on an island could get pretty monotonous, so I made the decision on whom I thought would be more interesting to talk to or have the most interesting stories to tell over the days waiting for rescue. This was purely a guess from what I can discern of these men through my reading of the blogs, but it seems that Al Mohler and Richard Land would be more interesting than the other two in conversation.

    Therefore, Bobby Welch and Danny Akin would get the honor of taking one for the team Jonah style and abandoning ship. We wouldn’t throw them overboard at first, but we would give them the chance to jump on their own accord, sort of like a forced resignation from a job. So that the Baptist Press could run the story: “Bobby Welch and Danny Akin give their lives to save Paige Patterson … and some other people.”

  3. Not knowing all the background of the people but if I did not want to offend some one for knocking them off the boat and not having them mad at me: Then it would be Al Mohler because he would not me upset because he would of saw it as predestined. If there are other Reformed ones on the boat then I keep Al and knock them overboard. It always good to have Mr Bean in a sticky situation. Now for number two. If we throw Dr. P over then that could mean a few more days of rathioned food then what we anticipated and plus more leg room in the boat but he does have good hunting skills and we might want to keep him. There is really no need for investments but O.S. might find a way to invest our food and make last longer. What is the weather like on the island. If it is very extreme then you throw the healthiest over and hope one on th eisland goes and be with the Lord and you have more food in the long run. Let see, Bobby Welch because it seems like the right thing to do.

  4. I would throw you overboard, your blog is horrible, and your desire to bring down Paige Patterson is something that I don’t agree with. So please throw yourself overboard and end this tragic commentary on Southern Baptist.

  5. I suppose some iconoclast ought to inquire as the possibility that it wouldn’t do any good to throw certain of those guys you named overboard. Some of them would just walk to the island, nullifying any potential savings of supplies……..

  6. I really hope other people have commented and you just haven’t posted it yet, because I’m going to be really embarrassed if I just killed off Bobby Welch and Danny Akin and nobody else plays the game. :)

  7. Honestly, do you really not have better things to do than this? I am continually astonished by your lack of humility, harsh and ungraceful words, and lack of regard for great men of faith. You draw attention to yourself and your blog through hollow accusations and ridiculous videos. Although it may seem fun for you and your friends to to pick at great Southern Baptists, you may be more well off devoting time to your ministry. These are men with families. Wives, children, and those who admire them. Shame on you.

  8. This is really a no-brainer. Throw off Patterson and Welch. Patterson because most believe he can walk on water. He may even believe it himself. In that case he just walks to the island. And Welch because he’s a tough as a boot. In a battle between Welch and the sharks I’d only give the sharks about 500:1 odds. And he could probably hold his breath under water long enough to walk the rest of the way to the island.

    In the end, everyone survives.

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