The best doggone dog in the West


The present conflict in the Southern Baptist Convention regarding the abuse and objectification of women owes its origin and escalation to one man alone: Leighton Paige Patterson.

He said what he said.

Not once. Not twice. But many times over many years.

Indeed, out of the heart the mouth speaks.

Yesterday, Steve Gaines spoke too.  And it clearly came from the heart.

And I’ve taken it to heart.

To allow the easing of these tensions in the interim while we wait for Southwestern trustees to deal with their rogue and recalcitrant president, The Baptist Blogger will facilitate a détente of sorts by instituting a brief suspension of planned postings and public releases of documents, audio, and video files.

Chapter 13 of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” concerns the cultivation and use of intelligence and the art of espionage. We certainly know something about how this works in practice. A wise general benefits from the kindnesses he shows to his enemy’s subjects, particularly when that enemy is cruel to his own people. When they perceive your steady, determined, and generous acts of kindness to them in contrast to their own leader’s capricious, intemperate, and ruthless despotism, they will whisper secrets in your ear.

And I’ve had a lot of calls from the 817 in recent weeks.

But that final chapter also contains one of the most important principles in any conflict:

The purpose of war is peace.

On May 22nd, the trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will be in the most precarious of predicaments. The reason they are there is because of one man and their own perennial inability to protect the trust of Southern Baptists by means of effective and unyielding oversight of the institution and its resources.  They have much to sort out: a 15 year precipitous decline in enrollment, the seminary’s financial straits, the consequences of their own foolishness, and the burden of taming a wild boar who’s been running too loose, for too long, in the Lord’s vineyard.

I feel, in some ways, like I did as a child when I watched Old Yeller for the first time.

Everyone knows what has to be done. But the doing of it is not made easier for the knowledge thereof.

So the Baptist Blogger will go silent for the days leading up to the trustee meeting in Fort Worth while we wait, watch, and pray.