The bee in Owen’s bonnet

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Dr. Owen Strachan, associate professor of Christian theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, is very concerned about church order and protecting the flock of God. The responsibility of the teaching and preaching ministry of the gathered church, according to Dr. Strachan (and the Apostle Paul, we might add), must be shouldered exclusively by those who are biblically qualified.

Which is why, according to Dr. Strachan, the biggest crisis facing the Southern Baptist Convention are the hundreds of ordained sexual predators, rapists, and pedophiles who have been teaching and preaching to God’s people on the Lord’s Day.

Oh. Wait. That isn’t what he said, is it?

No, regrettably, it’s not.

Rather, at a time when Southern Baptists are facing the ugliest, nastiest, most disturbing revelations about the careless handling of sex abuse, the hasty ordination of sexual perverts, and a systemic failure to protect innocence, Dr. Strachan has climbed onto his little platform to denounce with all Boanergian thunder Beth Moore, of all people.

In fairness, it is possible the screams of child victims aren’t heard as clearly at the altitude of sixty five inches.

Indeed, the tone-deafness evidenced in Owen’s latest broadside on women is not just mystifying, it is reprehensible and should be roundly condemned by every thinking Baptist. That any theologian living off the Cooperative Program could survey the ecclesiastic scene at this moment and decide that now was the time to whine about a godly, gifted Southern Baptist teacher exercising her proclamatory calling is worthy of the strongest reproof.

Instead, he’s been given some degree of cover for these ill-timed musings by those who should know better.

This is not to say that Owen’s fringe views are not worthy of consideration, even debate, in the Southern Baptist Convention. To be sure, he is a gifted writer; even an articulate, if curious representative of that narrow slice of Southern Baptist life where the Danvers Statement and the Baptist Faith & Message don’t adequately put women in their place.

But his views, so long as he does not attempt to squeeze Southern Baptists’ confessional framework to make these tertiary aberrations normative, are no threat. In fact, listening to Dr. Strachan expound on themes of masculinity and manliness can be amusing. Particularly when he’s all coifed up with designer hair products and besuited in his best gingham shirts and fancy plaid jackets.

Upon his election to the Midwestern faculty, Dr. Strachan was touted as “a serious man” who would lead a “serious center” that would engage the most “serious and urgent theological and cultural issues of our generation.”

Which prompts the question: is this what a serious scholar does?  Is Beth Moore’s speaking at a church on the Lord’s Day one of the “most serious and urgent” issues of our generation?

But Owen Strachan has a bee in his little Baptist bonnet, and now the convention is buzzing.

Hopefully, by the time we get to Birmingham, other “serious” scholars will address the more “serious issues” that threaten our collective witness and perpetuate cycles of abuse in our churches. And Dr. Strachan can go back to the serious work he was actually hired to do.

7 thoughts on “The bee in Owen’s bonnet

  1. From Strachan’s article: “For a woman to teach and preach to adult men is to defy God’s Word and God’s design. Elders must not allow such a sinful practice; to do so is to bring the church body into disobedience against God. Southern Baptists have no such historic practice; John Piper has encouraged no such practice, nor has any leading complementarian affiliated with the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood;”

    Several Points:
    He has to know that there are plenty of examples of Southern Baptist women teaching men, so it appears that he is being intentionally deceptive.

    Labeling a practice that he disagrees with as “sinful” is being deliberately inflammatory and divisive (but that is the way fundamentalists role).

    What does John Piper have to do with anything?

    Based on this comment, there is no hope for a “Big Tent” approach on these issues at SWBTS since Greenway’s first action was to appoint someone with strong ties to CBWM (sic – sinfully defying the created order) as Provost and Academic VP.

    One wonders if Strachan sits silently in protest when the congregation sings “To God Be The Glory” or any of the other hymns by Fanny Crosby. The congregation is, after all, internalizing doctrine through texts penned by a woman.

    I deeply regret that I cannot find the smoking gun that connects all this to the SBC Deep State.

  2. What does Owen have to say about primary doctrines, such as the Trinity or the Incarnation? Is he angered that there are professors in the SBC who argue that there are three wills in the Godhead? (This view is often referred to as Tri-theism.) What about those who deny fundamental doctrines about the Incarnation, there is a well-known and influential theologian who denies the eternal generation of the Son. Where is Owen’s outrage over this? Now, I realize that your rank and file SBC pastors will claim that the these doctrines are esoteric and what really matters is that one merely loves Jesus. I would suggest that Beth Moore loves Jesus. So then the doctrine of the Trinity or the Incarnation is less significant to Christian faith than the notion that women shouldn’t preach from the pulpit. The SBC practice betrays its orthodoxy. I would suggest that this is the case for Owen and others of his like; the primary doctrines of the faith are the doctrines which involve the family. Traditional orthodox doctrines, i.e. the Trinity, Incarnation, are merely optional. This is why the SBC has no future.

    1. Walter,

      You are right. This isn’t ‘Nam. The doctrines you mention are over the line. You are not the only one who cares about the rules. Sounds like some of these professors are a bunch of amateurs. And yet, I must disagree about the future of the SBC as I am reminded of the wise words of Theodor Herzl: If we will a better future for the SBC it is not a dream.


  3. All I can say, is that this man, Dr. Strahan has evidently drunk deeply of the Paige and Dorothy Patterson koolaid… AND he sounds like a Platonist as well.
    I suggest that he needs a refresher course in reading both the Old And New Testaments in the ORIGINAL languages and contexts. He might (hopefully) realize he is utterly wrong about the gender roles in ministry that he is spouting.
    God have mercy on the SBC if they continue to denigrate and limit the practice of the spiritual giftings of 50% of the human population (perhaps more).

  4. From Strachan’s article: “For a woman to teach and preach to adult men is to defy God’s Word and God’s design. Elders must not allow such a sinful practice; to do so is to bring the church body into disobedience against God. Southern Baptists have no such historic practice”


    Baptist have no historic practice? Here is an example…

    For your listening enjoyment, here is a link to Bertha Smith’s sermons….SBC Foreign Mission Board Missionary to China and Taiwan.

    There is some history for you!

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