In the days leading up to yesterday’s action by the Southwestern Seminary board of trustees, I proffered a solution to the crisis and articulated this five-part plan to numerous Southern Baptist leaders, trustees, seminary faculty, staff, and students:
- Paige Patterson and his wife Dorothy retire, effective immediately, with no honorific title or “theologian-in-residence” designation. Someone other than Craig Blaising (whom Patterson told faculty would be his interim replacement) is appointed to lead the school. The trustees issue a reprimand of Paige Patterson (much like happened to Dick Land), making it clear that his words and actions do not represent the seminary or the Southern Baptist Convention. Paige Patterson receives no greater severance than was given to Russell Dilday or Ken Hemphill.
- The Pattersons are allowed to remain in the presidential home through the summer until the Baptist Heritage Center is complete, at which time they will move to the private residence inside the center for a period of time not to exceed one year. They are allowed on other campus property and may participate in other seminary meetings/events only at the invitation of the interim president. They will receive no administrative or household staffing support unless they pay for it personally.
- Paige notifies SBC President Steve Gaines that he will not preach the convention sermon nor give the report of the Evangelism Task Force. The interim president will give the Southwestern Seminary report.
- Southwestern Seminary will host an open reception for Paige and Dorothy Patterson after the convention on the seminary campus to allow faculty, staff, students, and friends to recognize the contributions they’ve made to the Southern Baptist Convention.
- Paige Patterson is allowed to attach his name to a resolution before the Southern Baptist Convention that addresses the issues of sexual harassment, abuse, rape, etc. and the duty of ministers to report such crimes to the proper authorities. He is allowed to speak to his resolution for the standard 3 minutes on the floor of the convention as a messenger from his church.
3 thoughts on “The proposal . . .”
Very reasonable. The trustees, however, have failed the institution, the convention, and The Kingdom. Using CP funds to pay a “President Emeritus” when missionaries have been recently recalled from the field due to a lack of funding is one of the biggest acts of poor stewardship conceivable. In light of this, the trustees need to make public the compensation and benefits being granted to Patterson.
I hope the trustees in time will reconsider the “president emeritus,” “theologian in residence” and living on the campus things.
Patterson would never have wanted Hemphill to have those things when he came. Also, Patterson having that status would be like Criswell being “Pastor Emeritus” and staying at First Baptist Dallas when he retired. We saw how well that worked out for everyone.
Paige Patterson has measured out penances to those he had influence over; shall he measure to himself the same cup? Or will he, apparently, ignore his own advice to those who retire to step down and step away?
We know now.