The Florida Baptist Witness…

The Florida Baptist Witness has released the answers to a questionnairre sent to all candidates for elected offices in the Southern Baptist Convention. This morning, I have received a kind request to comment on a story set to release today on the Witness website.

Essentially, the FBW will reveal that the answers to the questions submitted by David Rogers had been edited by me. Apparently, David Rogers sent in the working copy that he used, and in which I tracked numerous changes and suggestions for his consideration as we discussed the matter of his responses via internet chat. Here is the full email response I supplied this morning to the Florida Baptist Witness:

“Over the past eighteen months, David Rogers and I have developed a friendship grounded in our shared commitment to the Southern Baptist Convention and foreign missions. I am enthusiastic about his nomination, and will do everything I can to help him become our next first vice president.

While you are technically correct that I assisted David Rogers in his response to the questions provided by the Florida Baptist Witness, the answers are his and his only. The document you reference does not show the extensive online discussion via internet chat and messaging technology where David crafted his responses while I cut and pasted them into the original document so that he could track numerous changes from his original draft response to those he finally submitted to the Florida Baptist Witness.

It is obvious to any that have followed David Rogers’ and my thoughts on the matters raised in the questionairre that we do not agree on every point. Our disagreement, however, does not impede my desire to see him elected. Indeed, I believe he will be elected, and I pray to that end.”

David Rogers has also released a statement in response to the Florida Baptist Witness’s article:

“The answers sent in by me to the Florida Baptist Witness represent my thought and mine alone. Upon receiving the questionnaire, I first wrote out my answers to each question. Believing that “wisdom is found in a multitude of counselors,” I then showed them to my wife and other family members who are here in Spain visiting, asking for comments and suggestions. During this time, I also responded to an internet chat message sent to me by Ben Cole. Although I have never personally met Mr. Cole, I have corresponded with him on several occasions during the past year. Knowing his talent as a wordsmith and knowledge of denominational issues, I mentioned to him the questionnaire I was working on, and asked if he had any comments or suggestions. In the midst of a chat conversation on the wording of several questions, I agreed to send him the entire text by e-mail. Mr. Cole then wrote out his suggested changes, using the edit function of the Word document. Upon receiving Ben’s comments and suggestions by way of e-mail, I carefully read through them, and thought about and considered which ones most accurately reflected my own views and which ones did not. Mr. Cole’s comments, thus, do not affect in any way the faithful representation of my own thoughts in the final document turned in.

Not having used the edit function of Microsoft Word in the past, I was unaware, when I sent in the final draft, that the history of edits and revisions would be visible to others.”

For those that wish to see some of the development of the final responses David Rogers supplied, I am posting all three versions.

First, here is David Rogers’ original draft response.

Second, here is the edited response that shows changes made while chatting with David online.

Third, here is a link to the final draft David sent to the FBW.

Finally, people should know in advance that several of us are working on ideas for the nomination speech. I promise, it will be an excellent speech that highlights the commendable ministry and leadership of David Rogers, masterfully delivered by one of Southern Baptist’s best preachers and pastors, David Dykes of Green Acres Baptist Church.

And one more thing:

I know for a fact, given the same circumstance, if I had received a questionnairre response from Jim Richards with editorial changes tracked under the name Paige Patterson, I would have made much of the “story” too. I would have used it to a political advantage to keep Jim Richards from being elected, and I would have made no apologies for doing so. In a way, I guess, Jim Smith is just another blogger with political instincts. Kudos, Jim. We’ve always known you had it in you.

By the way, Jim. Thanks for making sure that people read closely three different versions of David Rogers’ response to the questionnairre before they read casually the one version of Jim Richards. We at Baptist Blogger can’t pay for that kind of exposure for a candidate we strongly endorse and diligently work to elect.

5 thoughts on “The Florida Baptist Witness…

  1. Uh, Ben, may I ask why this is newsworthy and worthy of a story on the web site of the Florida Baptist Witness? The board of the Florida Baptist Witness may need to send their reporters and editor to journalistic school for a definition of news.

    A person gifted by God with writing skills, formerly on the administrative staff of Southwestern Theological Seminary Seminary in the public relations department, and known throughout these parts as the one who wrote the funniest nominating speech ever delivered in the history the Southern Baptist Convention helps David Rogers edit answers to questions at a state Baptist newspaper to insure correctness in style,

    If that is news, cancel my subscription.


    Of ourse I never had one in the first place.

    By the way, I’ve read the speech David Dykes has written for David Rogers.

    I predict he very well may give you a run for your money over the best speech nominating speech ever written. Of course, I can’t wait to read to read the Florida Witness article about you writing that one too. :)

    I guess I’m too old fashioned.

    I think official state papers should be news magazines and not gossip columns.

  2. Proverbs 11:14: Where there is no guidance, the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory. (NAS)

    So now someone seeking counsel is news? Maybe it is, in Florida.

  3. David Rogers is Ben Cole’s lackey! Stop the presses! Methinks something is rotten in Florida.


  4. Anyone who has ever had any interaction with David Rogers knows that he is his own man. I would believe that David was using Ben before I believed that Ben was controlling David. I know that neither is true, however.

  5. Since you’re helping come up with some ideas for the nomination speech Ben, I have one to suggest for you. The various bits of news I’ve seen concerning David’s nomination have all mentioned that he is Adrian Rogers’ son. We know that David is capable of standing on his own two feet, without depending on his father’s name, so how about a nomination speech that doesn’t mention who his daddy is? That way the election can be between Jim Richards and David Rogers, and not between Jim Richards and “Adrian’s boy.”

    What do you say?

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