Friday, October 28, 2005

Lasering Lemke - Intro

This is the first of my eight blogs on Dr. Steve W. Lemke’s presentation, The Future of Southern Baptists as Evangelicals as presented to the Maintaining Baptist Distinctives Conference of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in April 2005. I realize that due to the hurricane damage at the seminary that it might be perceived by some to be an untimely resurrection of an old topic, but life's mere distractions and even death cannot be allowed to interfere with the discussion and debate of important ideas.

Thus, we begin.

Intro – In the months that have passed since Dr. Lemke presented his paper on the Future of Southern Baptists there has been much discussion among Southern Baptists on its merits and its warnings. Without a doubt the issue he raises with Calvinism in the SBC has been and remains the most discussed portion of his presentation, however to dwell exclusively on that aspect of his writing misses the most poignant points of the entire work. Southern Baptists are not in trouble mainly because of Calvinism in the SBC, we are in trouble because we have many problems that have brought us to this critical stage of our history and as I will attempt to point out in these blogs – most of those problems have nothing to do with a growing "hyper-Calvinism" in our midst but rather have everything to do with an ever enduring pragmatism and an almost blind and unholy preoccupation with numbers and noses which is slowly rendering us impotent as an Evangelical denomination.

Dr. Lemke touches on some of these points briefly but he seems to be afraid to grab hold and shake them till they give forth the truth. Only in his handling of the “Calvinism problem” where he knows he is on safe ground in the Amen corner does he dare to shake so hard.


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