Keeping up appearances . . .

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As far as we know, Southwestern Seminary’s erstwhile First Lady will continue as hostess for the fourth annual “Tea @ Three” event at this year’s annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. We originally assumed that the First Lady Emerita would step aside, perhaps allowing one of her proteges to emcee the event. But they will both be fully engaged Monday afternoon as the two female members of this year’s Resolutions Committee.

We are reliably informed, however, that Southwestern has cancelled events scheduled on the seminary campus for Wednesday evening during the convention. (Click here for a PDF)

‘Tis a pity, really. We were so looking forward to the SWBTS Outdoor/Indoor Luxury Barbecue with Finger Buffet.

Weren’t you?

ARCHIVE: The Future of the Southern Baptist Convention

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The paper below was written to complete a course requirement at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. The Spring 2001 course title was “The Doctrine of the Church.” The professor was Paige Patterson.

I was twenty-five years old.
_______________________

The 15-million member Southern Baptist Convention, having just emerged victorious in the now famous ‘Battle for the Bible,’ is boldly pushing forward with reinvigorated and revitalized mission thrust to take the ‘more certain word’ (2 Pet 1:19) to the nations in an unprecedented strategy of indigenous church-planting and missionary zeal. As her armies now march forward, their backs are still warmed by the soft glow of the smoldering coals of camp-fire controversy and strife, which though regrettably necessary has removed the dross of ‘liberalism’ and ‘neo-orthodoxy’ from the holy armor now adorned in exuberant triumph. Before they journey too far, it seems appropriate for those young soldiers yet unmarked by the scars of ‘holy war’ to ask themselves whether or not the smoldering coals of yesterday will rage again, lest in their own crusade they be summoned home to find the territories conquered by their forefathers reclaimed by interlopers and destroyed. This question is as troubling as it is rewarding. The wisdom to be gained by critical analysis of the strategies of yesterday’s battles provides both insight and warning for battles that lay (sic) ahead. The past does indeed shape the future, and this paper is more an exercise in preparation than anything.

To read the rest of the paper click below:

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To read Patterson’s hand-written comments on the cover and back page, click below:

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FBC JAX Pastor announces boycott of SWBTS conference center

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Heath Lambert, the senior pastor of the historic First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL, has notified Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary that the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors — an organization Lambert concurrently serves as Executive Director — will not host their annual meeting on the seminary’s campus despite earlier plans.

The reason, according to Lambert:

Like so many others, I was watching with great interest as the Southwestern trustees met to determine the path forward for their president. I was disappointed by the decision of the trustees that sent a confused message to all those who have been hurt by the abuse of another. Since that decision, we have been working very hard on an alternative location for our conference this October 1-3. I have communicated  with the leadership of Southwestern Seminary, and let them know that ACBC will no longer be convening our annual meeting at their campus. Instead, our conference, Light in the Darkness: Biblical Counseling and Abuse will now take place at Countryside Bible Church, which is also in the Fort Worth area.

Click here to read more.

The trustee decision to continue enabling and supporting Paige Patterson is now costing the seminary the opportunity to host conferences on campus that deal with the critical issues of ministry to victims of abuse.

A time for choosing indeed.

We are curious if Patterson will be getting any more invites to preach at the annual pastor’s conference in Jacksonville. #boycottswbts

ARCHIVE: An unpublished letter

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This letter was sent via certified mail to Paige Patterson more than 11 years ago. A response was never received.

February 7, 2007

Dr. Paige Patterson
Office of the President
PO BOX 22000
Fort Worth, TX 76122

Dear Paige:

This letter is as difficult to write as it will be to read. You and I alone know the conflicts that have separated us, and it is certain that you are as frustrated by my actions as I have been by yours. I hold no hope that this letter will repair the personal breach that has severed our reciprocal affections, though I wish you to know that underneath my harshest criticisms there is a love for you that eternity will reveal.

I will not use the occasion of this personal letter to enumerate my concerns regarding your leadership at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, or your previous administration at Southeastern. My public critique of your public behavior has been sufficient to apprise you of these concerns. Rather, I intend to notify you of the presence of other matters not yet revealed publicly and the evidentiary preponderance of which will warrant investigation into your administration of two Southern Baptist seminaries. This investigation will either be conducted by the trustees of those respective institutions and result in a full report to the convention, or will be conducted by secular media with a report to the world.

Specifically, I will be requesting that the boards of trustees of Southwestern and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminaries look into possible misappropriation of funds, sufficient evidence of which I have obtained, and that occurred under your immediate supervision at both schools. I will also be requesting an investigation into negligent fiscal mismanagement of Cooperative Program and other seminary resources.

Paige, you have done much to advance the cause of Christ. You have contended earnestly for the faith, and fought the good fight of scriptural authority. Why you would have succumbed to the love of money — as it appears you have — grieves my soul. That you have proven Lord Acton’s thesis about the corrupting influence of absolute power surprises no student of history, but it shocks those who have known you most intimately through the years.

I am pleading with you, Paige. Desist from this present course that you have chosen. Allow your legacy in Southern Baptist life to go untarnished by closing chapters of shame. Come clean with Southern Baptists about the questionable way you have “dwelled in paneled houses while the house of God lies in ruins.” If you would assume the role of retired statesman rather than the persistent eccentricities of an aging warrior, you will preserve our convention the embarrassment of a prolonged inquiry into your leadership that will only weaken your limbs for battles more nobly fought and honorably won. God may not choose sides between us, but he will never regard your irresponsible stewardship of the widow’s mite.

Should you wish to respond, I will wait fourteen days to receive that response. After that, I will copy you on all correspondence to convention trustees.

Sincerely,

Benjamin S. Cole