On the matter of chattel . . .


Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold: for there is none end of the store and glory out of all the pleasant furniture. — Nahum 2:9

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary trustees have reportedly changed the locks, and seminary employees now face the daunting task of cataloguing the inventory of the presidential home, Pecan Manor, and the personal residence and archives of Paige and Dorothy Patterson. Email and campus server access for the former president and First Lady Emerita have been restricted.

This is both wise and proper.

When Paige and Dorothy Patterson left Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in the summer of 2003, the seminary’s presidential home, Magnolia Hill, was empty. When incoming SEBTS President Danny Akin arrived, the seminary had to spend nearly $140,000.00 to replace furniture, furnishings, and decorations the Patterson’s took with them to Fort Worth. At the time, reports were spreading like wildfire across the Wake Forest campus. Not only had several cars been taken to Fort Worth, as well as taxidermy paid for with seminary funds, but files had been stolen under cover of darkness by Dorothy Patterson’s personal aide. Some even reported that the hardware on Magnolia Hill’s cabinetry had been removed, in addition to seminary-purchased table settings.

Southwestern Seminary is in trouble. The trustees have acted prudently to contain the damage to the seminary’s reputation and its real property assets.  Knowing the Pattersonian penchant to plunder, the only way to ensure that seminary property is not improperly taken by the Pattersons or their aides is to lock the place down.

Nobody in. Nobody out.

At least not without the written permission of Interim President Jeffrey Bingham and only then under strict supervision.

The Pattersons have a well-documented history of confusing corporate property and personal property. It’s understandable. The popes had a tough time with that too back in the 14th century. But we digress.

In a strange twist of events, Southwestern Seminary’s erstwhile First Couple has come to resemble another First Couple.

To view some of the evidence The Baptist Blogger has documenting costs to replace, refurbish, and repair Magnolia Hill click here and here.


All good things . . .


In 1998, I sat in Paige Patterson’s office weeping. He came around from behind his desk and sat in the chair beside me. He pulled out a note pad, and a pen from his pocket.

And he began to write. Reading upside down through watery eyes I could tell the first words he was writing:

“Concordance Study”

Then he wrote down six enumerated words and handed the notecard-size cardstock to me.  The words were simple: quiet; peace; silent or silence; still; tongue; and mouth.

He told me to take the next few days and with an open Bible and concordance and go through the entire bible looking for every use of those words. And then he told me to pray that God would cultivate in me the virtues of a quiet soul, a peaceful approach to other people, and the ability to be still and trust God before ever opening my mouth (or using my pen).

For the past several months, that notecard has been on my desk. I’ve kept it in my briefcase. I’ve used it as a bookmark in my Bible. I’ve taken it with me to Florida, and Scotland, and London, and Texas, and North Carolina and Washington, D.C.

This morning — with that notecard on my nightstand — I read the sixth chapter of Galatians:

“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, each one looking to yourself so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one will bear his own load.

The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him. 

Be not deceived. God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith . . . ”

Many years ago Leighton Paige Patterson tried to teach me in the Word, and I confess I was a stubborn student. Nevertheless, he patiently sought to instruct me how to respond when my own actions had brought me embarrassment and shame. At a very precise moment in 2000, I realized that I did not want to follow Paige but rather forge my own path.

But twenty years later, I’m still trying to learn some of the things he taught me.

So this post is for him.

  1. Quiet
  2. Peace
  3. Silent or Silence
  4. Still
  5. Tongue
  6. Mouth

A reader responds . . .

This morning over coffee, The Baptist Blogger received a message from a long-time reader.  The reader was also enjoying coffee, and had some interesting thoughts on last night’s developments at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

And then, I receive this picture on my phone.

Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 9.16.35 AM

Well played, sir.  Well played.