Category Archives for Ecclesiology

The Shot Heard ‘Round the SBC (Part A)

September 4, 2017


Steve Lemke, Provost Emeritus

Vice President of Institutional Assessment
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

[This article was first published here at SBC Today on April 5, 2011. It highlighted the groundbreaking “shot heard ’round the SBC” when Dr. Brad Whitt wrote an article expressing how marginalized and irrelevant many Traditionalists feel in today’s Calvinist-led Southern Baptist Convention. Six years later, not much has changed.]

Brad Whitt fired the shot heard ‘round the SBC about a month ago when he published his article “Young, Southern Baptist, . . . and Irrelevant?” in the South Carolina state Baptist Courier and on his own blog.  In essence, Whitt expressed the concern that traditional Southern Baptist churches like his own were feeling marginalized and trivialized as “irrelevant” in many forums in Southern Baptist life. It created quite a furor, with some thanking Whitt for voicing “how I’ve felt for years,” while others criticizing him or saying that the concerns he voiced were unfounded.

Six additional state Baptist papers published the article, and discussions in blogs and Facebook from all over the country weighed in on the validity of Whitt’s concerns.  Whitt, a graduate of Union University, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, serves as Pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Simpsonville, South Carolina, and has been the President of the South Carolina Baptist Pastor’s Conference. He has now posted his response to these many comments on his blog in an article entitled, “The Challenge for Contributing, Committed Southern Baptists.”

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Pastor Search Team Questions Already Helping

March 1, 2017

 Dr. Rick Patrick, Senior Pastor
 First Baptist Church, Sylacauga, AL
 Executive Director, Connect 316

The recent SBC Today post entitled Helps For the Baptist Search Committee is already making a significant impact in fostering greater understanding between churches and candidates. This article pointed to a resource entitled Questions For Non-Calvinist SBC Pastor Search Committees. The following is a brief testimony showing how effective this questionnaire can be in preventing yet another theologically-driven church split tragedy.

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Testing Our Commitment to Congregational Polity

February 8, 2016

Robert Hutchinson | Pastor
Faith Baptist Church, Harrisonville, MO

Congregational Polity – that form of church governance wherein the general membership of the church participates in governance by voting.

Suppose First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, Mississippi, gave one million dollars to the Southern Baptist Convention and that the Convention accepted this generous gift. Subsequently, First Presbyterian Jackson asked to cooperate officially with the Convention so that her members could be sent as messengers to the SBC and could serve as committee members or trustees within the SBC. Should the Convention receive First Presbyterian Jackson as a cooperating church and entitle her to messengership and service because of her financial gift to the Convention’s work? Continue reading