Things continue to spiral out of control in SBC world as many top guns are chiming in on the Driscoll issue. Because I do not think I can do it in charity I am not going to link any of the opposed voices (though you shouldn’t have trouble finding them), but I do want to give a shout out to some more who have stood up for the inclusion of Pastor Mark as a friend to the SBC.
Dr. Alvin Reid is the first voice I want to share. He gives his view in an article which describes the problems Dr. Reid has with many great theologians, then with Driscoll, then with himself, and then with the SBC; the ultimate point being that he is comfortable with learning from and conversing with other imperfect people (since only Christ is perfect) who, though he may not always agree with them, share with him in a common bond of “love [for] the Word and the Gospel.”
Probably my favorite line in his article is one that I think proves awfully prophetic. Speaking of the problem he has with his convention (which is also my convention, the SBC), he says, “I am tired of talking good younger men off the ledge from leaving the SBC.” Is this not what we see happening, and will see happening evermore if things like the Baptist Press article smearing Mark Driscoll go uncorrected? I tell people all the time, this generation doesn’t care nearly as much about being Baptist (at least in name) as it does about seeing the gospel spoken effectively into the culture of today, and as long as the SBC refuses to do this they will continue to see diminishing numbers of young leaders within their churches.
The second article I would point you guys to is the one written Friday by Ed Stetzer. Ed is always a hammer on these issues, and with as many connections and as much clout as he has inside the convention, when he swings, people either listen or get hurt. He is very unapologetic about his distress at the BP article and about how unfair, even unchristian, it is to keep trying to tag Driscoll with the “cussin’ pastor” moniker. He also delves into the cursory issue which some have tried to move onto now in attacking Driscoll, that being his handling of sex from the pulpit, and once again offers support to Driscoll and rationality to the discussion. I love the way Stetzer says what is on his mind and says it forcefully without simultaneously being uncharitable to the party he opposes (a quality I am constantly trying to refine in myself).
Finally, I want to point you to a pair of articles from Baptist21 that deal with the Driscoll issue in another light, as part of a growing generation gap between those over-40 and those under-40 within the SBC (1 and 2). Some deny this, claiming it is a problem of a “discernment gap” between the Driscoll/Acts 29/Calvinism proponents and the traditional conservative core of the SBC. I whole heartedly disagree with this (in fact, I think there is even greater discernment on the part of the new generation in issues of regenerate believers and cultural engagement), and if you don’t already feel the same, hopefully you will read the B21 articles and better understand why they (and I) feel this way.
Enjoy reading and I will keep things up-to-date as new posts continue to be published.