Saturday, April 14, 2007

Conference on the Holy Spirit

Note of Clarification: Nobody has been anything but loving and cordial to me with regard to this conference. I fear that I might be giving the wrong impression. My nervousness comes from the inside, not the outside. My image of things "going badly" has only to do with me getting flustered and messing up. I've no worries about being tarred and feathered or run out of town on a rail. Indeed, I'm looking forward to enjoying Pastor McKissic's hospitality, which has always been world-class in my experience. Re-reading this post, I wanted to make crystal-clear my utmost confidence in the charity of Pastor McKissic and my expectation that all present will honor Christ.
Two weeks from today I will be presenting at the Conference on the Holy Spirit in Arlington. I would welcome the prayer support of anyone willing to give it. I'm a little nervous for a few reasons:
  1. Robin Foster and I are about as outnumbered on the panel as Martin Luther was at the Diet of Worms (although the disagreements are, I hope, much much friendlier).
  2. I am slow mentally. By that, I do not mean that I am unintelligent—I'm just vain enough to think that I am somewhat intelligent—I simply mean that I do best when I can ponder things slowly and at leisure rather than immediately in a high-stress situation. Oral exams were…well, I haven't seen a therapist about the experience…yet. My oral exam for my pilot's license was even worse. On the other hand, my dissertation was one of the most fun things I've ever done. I much prefer to sit down, take my time, and write. My participation in the panel discussion, Q&A, or whatever else might be planned, makes me nervous.
  3. If things don't go well, I have a really long list of people who have advised me not to participate in this conference under any circumstances, and it will be August before I've been through all of the "I told you so"s.
  4. Most importantly, my confidence in the position I am defending makes me even more nervous. As far as this conference goes, this entire viewpoint rides exclusively on the shoulders of Robin and myself. Do poorly, and detractors will attribute as weakness of the position what is in reality the weakness of the presenters (I am speaking of myself, Robin).
So, I suspect that Robin would appreciate your prayers. I know that I would.

21 comments:

davidinflorida said...

Hi Bart,

What do you mean by being outnumbered? By who or what?

By the way, thanks for not coming to sun n fun, it will make my job a little easier...

Anonymous said...

Bart,

Baptist Theologue has a couple of very well written posts on the subject on his blog on blogspot that you might want to read to sharpen your thinking. I will pray that you will be able to present your understanding clearly and persuasively.

Tim B

Les Puryear said...

Bart,

I'm with you on this one. Go get 'em. :)

Les

Bart Barber said...

David,

All but two of the panelists are continualists, and I expect that the majority of the attendees will be continualists.

Bart Barber said...

Tim B & Les,

Thanks for your encouragement.

Debbie said...

I am going to be praying for you Bart. I desire that you and Robin present your view clearly and with no nervousness. I especially pray that you do not feel outnumbered. I don't think that is how anyone desires you to feel.

volfan007 said...

bart,

i'm sure that you and robin will do fine. just tell it like it is, bro. you have a lot of smarts about you, and so does robin. make us proud.

david

Bro. Robin said...

Thanks Bart

I will be needing prayer also.

God Bless

Bro. Robin

R. L. Vaughn said...

I looked at the Cornerstone website for info, hoping I might find time to attend. But I see I already have something at that time. My nephew was asking about support of the cessationist viewpoint (especially in relation to I Cor. 13:10) awhile back. Though I've always held a cessationist view, I've always had some nagging questions as well [so I just stick my head in the sand and don't think about it! ;-) ].

#2. I understand completely. I could have written that myself.

But I'm sure you'll do fine. May God bless you all as you discuss this important topic.

Colin said...

Bart,

Everyone has the right to be wrong. Remember this when they disagree.

Todd said...

If this helps any...
I will be one of those present who considers himself to be a continualist. However, I am grateful that you are on the panel for a couple of reasons. First, I appreciate your spirit on your blog and how you respond to those who agree with you and disagree with you. Second, I regard you to be a learned man whose opinion is worth hearing. Third, I fully anticipate that there is more that we agree about than there is that we disagree about. Finally, I expect to learn something from your presentation. So, come in peace for all of us are eager to hear what the Lord will share through you.

Bart Barber said...

Thanks to you all for your encouragement. Please see the clarifying note I have now put at the beginning of the post. For those of you who have mentioned that you will be in attendance, I look forward to seeing you there.

selahV said...

He will keep you in perfect peace...though you stand before kings...may God fill you with His Spirit and give you wisdom to answer questions with grace. May you and Robin both rest in the knowledge He has given you and let the Spirit direct your words. And may you have the recall necessary, to give clarity to your thoughts. God bless...selahV

cameron coyle said...

Now Bart, if you are "slow mentally" then I must be about as quick as a slug on a salt block! I'm sure that if anyone on the panel will be able to hold their own with no trouble it'll be you brother.

I might come out to support you if I can, but you know how things go with newborns in the house...

Bro. Robin said...

Bart

Let me say Ditto on your clarification. Bro. Dwight and his staff have been more than cordial on the whole affair.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Bart,

Do not worry! The worst that could happen is that you and Brother Robin get a youtube video about you on Baptistblog.

I am praying for you.

Blessings,
Tim

joerstewart said...

I pray that all your nervousness cease rather than continue.

art rogers said...

I think you are mixing two perspectives.

On the one hand, you readily affirm the welcoming and gracious attitude of Dwight and the expectations of congeniality.

On the other hand, you are concerned about an "us vs. them" competition between viewpoints.

Remember that this is a time where Southern Baptists are going to gather and discuss the issue of Pneumatology in an intentionally gracious and cooperative way. I do wish that more cessationists were able/willing to participate, but that is another story. Don't worry about that.

I personally am looking forward to meeting you and to hearing what you have to say. I am sure that you will represent your viewpoint well and that it will be well received even if many disagree.

In the end, we are all the same side - Southern Baptists working out our faith. I hope you see it that way.

Bart Barber said...

Art,

Nobody could be any more gracious, loving, and supportive of me than Karen Bullock, Jim Spivey, Stephen Stookey, James Leo Garrett, and David Kirkpatrick. Yet I was nonetheless terrified to sit in orals before these four people.

I am nervous. It need not have a rational basis.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Brother Bart,

Don't worry. If something you say in the Q&A is unintelligent, maybe Brother Robin will have an interpretation! :)

Love in Christ,

Jeff

Bart Barber said...

Jeff,

You confuse "unintelligent" with "unintelligible" :-)