Shooting at Rubber Dummies

December 5, 2008

I love my iPhone for so many reasons, not the least of which is my ability to subscribe to podcasts and listen to them when I’m in my car. It’s terribly convenient, especially considering that I am too far from civilization to receive any talk-radio signals.

Recently I was listening to the podcast of a presentation by Ravi Zacharias in which he shared lessons learned from the allied invasion at Normandy during World War II. One of the tactics the allies used was to drop, ahead of their advance on a particular town, a large number of rubber dummies in parachutes, rigged with explosives and firecrackers. The German defenders would often spend most of their ammunition on this ruse, shooting at rubber dummies while remaining completely unaware that the real enemy was yet to attack.

As I look around our convention today, I think we ought to consider the possibility that the real enemy of the Kingdom has gotten so many of us involved in shooting at rubber dummies. While there are legitimate concerns on both sides of the Calvinist/non-Calvinist aisle, it is imperative that we recognize that these sides are, in fact, parts of a whole. The wisdom offered by Bart Barber in his recent post, The Barber Plan for Peace, is an excellent contribution to this recognition, and I commend it to our readers.

Another bit of wisdom that I believe can be helpful is an article we published in the wake of last year’s “Building Bridges” conference. The article, titled “Happy Southern Baptists and the Tricky Track,” was authored by Southwestern Seminary president Dr. Paige Patterson, and serves to remind us how necessary both parts are to the makeup of the whole we know as the Southern Baptist Convention.

Join me in my prayer that, through the wisdom God has granted to these men and to others, we may learn to save our ammunition for the real enemy, and ignore the rubber dummies that have occupied so much of our recent attention.