CTR on Tongues of Fire

Criswell Theological ReviewThe newest edition of the Criswell Theological Review will be released next week. Our editor, Dr. Alan Streett, has put together a timely set of articles addressing the issue of tongues-speaking and Southern Baptists.

We will be making one or two of the articles available online in the coming weeks and months. Already, you can download the introductory essay from the editor and an interview with Tom Hatley, former chair of the Trustees that govern the International Mission Board (SBC).

The editor describes why CTR is taking a look at tongues-speaking, and he previews the interview with Hatley:

Ever since conservatives regained control of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), America’s largest Protestant denomination has found itself embroiled in a variety of theological controversies. Critics claimed that once the battle had been won, the conservatives would turn and start taking aim at each other. Their prognostications were not far off the mark. Heated debates have ensued over egalitarianism, Calvinism, elder-rule, the Emergent church, social drinking, and support for President Bush’s Iraq policy.

While some applaud the conservative direction in which the SBC is moving, others interpret the Convention’s rightward swing as a move toward a rigid fundamentalism.

The latest controversy to surface is speaking in tongues. The SBC International Mission Board recently banned anyone who prays in tongues from being appointed as an IMB missionary. This action has caused a groundswell of reaction from the religious media as well as from bloggers who use the internet to make their voices heard.

In an effort to separate fact from fiction, we have chosen to examine the tongues issue in the Fall 2006 edition of the Criswell Theological Review. We open with an exclusive interview with Dr. Tom Hatley, who served as Chair of the IMB Board of Trustees when the tongues resolution was passed. Tom tackles some difficult questions and gives us an insider’s account into the reasoning behind the decision. Whether one agrees or not with the new tongues policy, all who read this interview will come to view Tom Hatley as a man of God who serves the Lord with a clear conscience (source).

You should go and read the entire interview with Dr. Hatley. Actually, you should just go ahead and order a copy of the whole journal right now. Or even better yet, request a subscription. You can see from the past issues posted on the CTR website that you will not want to miss out on another issue of this important journal.

Update: Wade Burleson has responded to CTR‘s interview with Hatley. You can read it here.


  • Mike Bird


    Well done to yourself and Alan for having the courage and ambition to dedicate a whole issue to this topic. I’m confident that CTR will again give adequate voice to both sides of the argument so everyone can make a reasoned and informed decision about what the key issues are. I’m sure readers, esp. those within the SBC, will benefit immensely from this issue. Bravo fellas!

  • Jeremy L. Green


    Thanks for posting the interview with Tom Hatley – it is truly enlightening. In my opinion, the direction of the Burleson-Blogger coalition is one that would have our convention take a leftward turn theologically (I have written about it in my post, entitled, “Wade Burleson: Why I am Concerned”). Thanks again and God bless!!!

    In Christ,

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