Southern Baptists: The Gatekeepers of Christian Orthodoxy?

 

The Southern Baptist twittersphere has been up in arms about the Revoice Conference. One of the most extensive criticisms is from Owen Strachan of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Strachan’s article has been approvingly retweeted by numerous other Southern Baptists, including Jason Allen and Albert Mohler. Since the conference is hosted at a PCA church and features a speaker who is a professor at Covenant Theological Seminary, Strachan implicates both the denomination and the seminary in his criticism.

The Southern Baptist reaction to this conference has led Anthony Bradley to ask why Southern Baptists see themselves as the church’s gatekeepers of orthodoxy – our doctrinal and moral exemplars who have the prerogative to regularly condemn other denominations, churches, and individuals for supposed errors. It’s a good question, and one that I have thought about recently.

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When God Seems Unjust

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Have you ever felt that God is acting unfairly or unjustly?  Looking at the world can create a disconnect between who we believe God is and what we see Him doing.  We believe that He is good, just and fair; yet when we read the news, we see an unsettling lack of goodness, justice, and fairness in the world.  If God is good, why evil?

Perhaps a tragic circumstance in your life has created for you a dissonance between who God is and what He is doing.  After all, He is completely sovereign over everything that happens, including tragedy and hardship (Prov. 16:33, 21:1).  Why do His justice and compassion not compel Him to step in and right the wrongs happening all around us?

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How the Gospel Reorients Our Definition of “Home”

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I have spent my life feeling like a wandering nomad with no permanent rootedness.  This is largely a product of growing up overseas in a context where many of my friends were also away from their home country.  When I was eight years old, my family moved to the Philippines, and I lived there until I was 16.  Many of my friends also were not native to the Philippines, and so we developed a sort of collective identity as being visitors in a land not our own.

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Charleston, Race, and Christian Responsibility

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I felt numb as I read the news of a church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.  Not only had a young man heartlessly shot 9 people at a Bible study, but his racial motivation was explicit.  During the shooting, he stood up and declared that he was there “to shoot black people.”   After his arrest, he made no effort to conceal his disgusting motives; he plainly told investigators that he wanted a race war.  Though violence of any kind is horrific, it is the blatant racial hatred that motivated this shooting which makes it so difficult for me to comprehend. Continue reading

What Do We Pray For Others?


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What we pray for reveals our hearts’ priorities.  The content of our prayers is an indication of where our treasure is.  This is why I have been convicted during this past year about how little I pray for others in comparison to how much I pray for myself.  It is not that I fail to pray for others; I do, but often I skim over those prayer requests before focusing on the real important issue: my needs.  That the majority of my prayer is self-focused reveals that my attitude is largely self-focused.  Praying for others is a means God uses to direct our naturally inward focus toward others.

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