• Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  SBC

    Texas Baptists Offer Lessons to Southern Baptists on Female Pastors

    Here is an interesting development in the debate over female pastors among Baptists. At last week’s annual meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT), messengers considered a motion that calls the BGCT to… Affirm women in all ministry and pastoral roles, and that the BGCT Executive Board be instructed to have staff create programs, resources and advocacy initiatives to assist churches in affirming appointing and employing women in ministerial and pastoral roles. This motion is no surprise in the context of the BGCT. While the BGCT still has theologically conservative churches in its ranks, it also has a good number of progressive churches as well. It is the…

  • SBC

    Embracing Our Acts 15 Moment: The SBC and Female Pastors

    Some of you know that the SBC has been having an important internal discussion about churches with female pastors. Our doctrinal statement is clear that while both men and women are gifted for ministry, the office of pastor/elder/overseer is limited to men as qualified by scripture. That view was hard-won through the conservative resurgence of the 1980’s and 1990’s and was decisively inscribed in our confessional standard in the year 2000. That view was also overwhelmingly reaffirmed in our annual meeting last month in New Orleans as the convention voted to remove two churches with female pastors—one church with female pastors in associate positions and another with a female senior…

  • Christianity,  Culture

    How a Christian Patriot Might Love His Wayward Country

    I love G. K. Chesterton’s reflections on what it means to be a Christian patriot. If you have never read it, I encourage you to read “The Flag of the World” in his classic work Orthodoxy. Chesterton contends that love of one’s homeland is not like house-hunting—an experience in which you weigh the pros and cons of a place and choose accordingly. He writes: A man belongs to this world before he begins to ask if it is nice to belong to it. He has fought for the flag, and often won heroic victories for the flag long before he has ever enlisted. To put shortly what seems the essential…

  • SBC

    The “Narrative” vs. the Reality of SBC ‘23

    It’s been nearly a week since the SBC annual meeting finished up in New Orleans. I have been fascinated to read all of the “reports” and commentary that have come out over the last seven days. One thing that has become very clear. Even some of the “straight news” reporting has been beholden to a narrative that distorts what actually happened. According to the narrative, abuse reforms “slowed down” while Southern Baptists reasserted the “patriarchy” by excluding female pastors. The New York Times published a “report” that amounts to little more than thinly veiled contempt. The article frets about an “ultraconservative” take-over and reduces the SBC’s relevance to being “a…

  • Sermon

    John the Baptist – John 1:19-34

    “I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie… Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ And I did not recognize Him, but in order that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.”   –John. 1:26-31

  • SBC

    Amending the Baptist Faith & Message Shouldn’t Be This Easy

    In yesterday’s post about what happened at the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), I mentioned that messengers voted to amend our doctrinal statement, The Baptist Faith & Message (BF&M). For me, this was perhaps the most stunning and slightly terrifying things that happened at our annual meeting. What do I mean by that? I agree with the changes theologically but I don’t agree with what we did procedurally. All it takes is a motion and a simple majority vote to amend the BF&M. There is no way that it should be that easy to change our entire denomination’s doctrinal basis. Our SBC seminaries and mission boards already must subscribe to the…

  • SBC

    The SBC in the Big Easy: What Happened?

    The annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is now in the books, and this one was pretty epic. The reason we exist as a denomination is to partner together for the purposes of the Great Commission. Which is just another way of saying that we believe that like-minded believers can reach more people for the gospel and train more ministers for the work if we pool our resources together. That is what we have been doing for over a century and a half, and that is what we are doing now. That’s why the sending ceremony for our missionaries encapsulates for everyone every year why we do what…

  • SBC

    Evaluating a New Proposal for Restructuring SBC Cooperation

    Yesterday, Colin Smothers and I released a podcast previewing some of the items that will be coming before the SBC next week. Because it is the CBMW podcast, we focused entirely on issues related to gender and sexuality, and we spent the bulk of our time talking about Saddleback, Rick Warren, and female pastors. We spoke a little bit about the various proposals for structural change that have been circulating, and I reiterated my support for the Law amendment. But by far, I do believe that the most important matter before messengers on the question of female pastors is how the convention deals with Saddleback. It’s very important that the…

  • Theology/Bible

    A Critical Review of Matt Walsh’s Documentary

    Matt Walsh’s watershed documentary What Is a Woman? made its debut over a year ago, but he recently made it available for people to view for free on Twitter. It was supposed to be available only for 24 hours, but as I type this it is still available and has a staggering 161 million views. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend that you watch it. It really is a cultural watershed, as I tried to explain in my review a year ago: Matt Walsh has done the planet a great service by producing this film. It is a case study of what happens when fantasy meets hard…

  • SBC

    Warren at War with the BF&M

    Liberalism and pragmatism aren’t the same thing, but they often lead to the same destination. Liberalism guts the authority of Scripture by assaulting the Bible’s integrity. Pragmatism guts the authority of scripture by pitting “what works” against “what’s true.” The latter approach is on full display in a recent mass email that Rick Warren has sent to as many Southern Baptist pastors as he could find. If you haven’t read it yet, you can do so here. There are a number of howlers in this thing, but the gist of Warren’s message is that Southern Baptists have to make a choice between following a confession or doing the Great Commission.…