Thursday, April 26, 2007

One Motion I Will Make in San Antonio

OK...so I've never been very good at honoring a hiatus. :-) At San Antonio I will offer the following motion:

I move that the President of the Southern Baptist Convention, elected in our 2007 annual meeting, appoint a committee consisting of the Council of Seminary Presidents, four seminary professors, and three members in good standing of cooperating Southern Baptist churches who are not denominational employees, to research and bring recommendations to the 2008 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention regarding how the Southern Baptist Convention can best enable our seminaries to raise professorial salaries to the median values of the latest salary survey published by the Association of Theological Schools.
By the way, I did have a white paper published yesterday (see here).

21 comments:

volfan007 said...

bart,

your white paper was very good. i too hold with the trustee system. it may not be perfect, but i cant think of anything better, nor have i heard of anything better.

david

Les Puryear said...

Bart,

Excellent defense of the party line.

Les

Les Puryear said...

Bart,

My earlier comment was referring to your white paper.

BTW, would not your motion tend to go against your statement as follows: "Neither individual Christians, nor individual churches, nor the convention as a whole may direct the convention agencies—that is the sole prerogative of the board of trustees."

I thought the trustees had the power to study and recommend raises to profs. Just wondering. :)

Les

Bart Barber said...

Thanks, David.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Bart,

Count me down to yell "SECOND". And then Brother Les will yell "CALL-FOR-THE-QUESTION"

:>)


Blessings,
Tim

David Rogers said...

Bart,

I was hoping there would be somewhere to comment on your White Paper. I am assuming this is the place.

In essence, I am in agreement with what you have written. The trustee system is indeed, if we agree with the idea of inter-congregation cooperation for ministry objectives, the most practical and sensible way of carrying it out.

However, I believe that modern technology has brought along with it a few possibilities that did not exist when the trustee system was first devised. With the advent of blogs, and other newer forms of communication, there are greater possibilities for more direct and immediate accountability between the believers and churches in the convention and the various agencies than before. In the interest of greater representation and participation, I believe we should seek to open up, and take into consideration, more lines of communication in this regard, rather than fewer.

For example, irregardless of one's particular views the policies of PPL and baptism at the IMB, I think it is overall a good thing that more people in SBC life have become informed on these issues, and are discussing them in a public forum, and corresponding with the IMB trustees about them. And my hope is that the trustees feel a certain corresponding responsability to keep abreast of the opinions being voiced in these forums, and to take them into account, as they carry out the responsibilities that have been delegated to them by the convention.

Of course, there are some items that are more of a personal and security-sensitive nature. But, those items, which are the majority of what is dealt with, that are not personal or security-sensitive, should, in my opinion, be handled as openly as possible, with maximum opportunity for input (within reason) from Southern Baptists who are not members of the various Boards of Trustees.

In light of this, the whole way the Wade Burleson fiasco last year at the IMB was handled, is quite unfortunate, in my opinion. Wade actually did Southern Baptists a service by brining these issues to the attention of Southern Baptists at large, and providing a forum to interact, and communicate with the Board of Trustees about them.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother David,

You know something? I can agree with you mostly on everything up to the point you say; "Wade actually did Southern Baptists a service by brining these issues to the attention of Southern Baptists at large" Does it not make any difference that the entire BoT voted on this matter and Wade exposed it as a small group getting their way and that small group is controlled by an outside influence sitting in the presidential seat at SWBTS?

Blessings,
Tim

David Rogers said...

Tim,

Don't you know the difference between "brining" these issues to the attention of Southern Baptists and "bringing" these issues to the attention of Southern Baptists? ;^)

David Rogers said...

brine

Bart Barber said...

Les,

Thank you for the "excellent" part. As for the "party line" part, I'll trade your perjorative phrase for "what Southern Baptists have believed and practiced for over 160 years."

:-)

Bart Barber said...

David,

Certainly there has been some brine involved at a few points along the way.

Nevertheless, other obligations prevent me from a detailed response at this time. Suffice it for now for me to say that I am sympathetic to the possibility of electronic enhancements to our system, but the blogging scenario of the past year bears very little resemblance to what would constitute an improvement to the methods of the past. I'll be glad to elaborate after the conference is over.

Bart Barber said...

Tim,

God bless you, brother! (not to be taken as the equivalent of "Bless your heart").

Tim Rogers said...

Brother David,

You got me. :>) Please note the time stamp. I am 1 hour ahead of Bart so it was actually 5:45am when I posted. I was trying to get caught up with my chores as my wife is out of town and I have to get breakfast ready for a 9-year-old, and then I forgot to prepare her lunch. On the way to the car she asks; Dad, are you having lunch with me today?" No, but now that you have reminded me, yes I will have lunch.

So, that should be "bringing" instead of "brining". However, as Brother Bart, our kind host, has alluded there appears to be much "brine" as the motivation to bring this to the SBC.

Brother Bart,

I will receive your "God bless you, Brother" and give you a

Blessings my Brother,
Tim

Tim Rogers said...

Brother David,

I have to get going, but I just remembered, after my response, I copied your "brining". I missed your inside point completely. I will have to get back to you, if that was your original intent and not a typo.

Blessings,
Tim

David Rogers said...

Tim,

Just joking about my original typo (and your copying of it). That's all.
No "inside point" that I can think of.

Nathan Finn said...

John Brine?

Tim Rogers said...

Brother David,

You got me good! I was trying hard to think how I would respond if the use of that word was a point. :>)

Also, thanks for your help, I will be emailing. Will you be in San Anton?

Brother Nathan,

I guess this is what I get when I venture into a Historian's blog. Another Historian reminding me of a Paticular Baptist Preacher that left orders for no sermon to be preached at his funeral.

:>)

Blessings,
Tim

David Rogers said...

Tim,

No, we will not be able to make it to San Antonio. We don't leave for Stateside until July 20.

Jon said...

Bart,

I've been mulling over this sentence in your (great) paper:

"The convention messengers can communicate with boards of trustees, expressing opinions or making requests, but only the trustees may give binding direction to the agency employees."

Is it improper to direct agency employees from the Convention floor? Or just unwise in most cases? (And if the former, doesn't that include shanghaiing them for a convention study committee?) :-)

Les Puryear said...

Bart,

I know you're busy in Arlington at the conference. Tell Dwight I said hello.

I'm assuming in your busyness that you inadvertently overlooked my comment about your motion. Here it is again:

BTW, would not your motion tend to go against your statement as follows: "Neither individual Christians, nor individual churches, nor the convention as a whole may direct the convention agencies—that is the sole prerogative of the board of trustees."

I thought the trustees had the power to study and recommend raises to profs. Just wondering. :)


Les

Bart Barber said...

Les,

I typed a response earlier, on the rather shaky wi-fi at SWBTS's Roberts Library. The connection died for the 37th time as I was trying to post the response, and I decided that you weren't worth it. :-)

Of course, you are worth it, but I was just so frustrated with the connection.

But now I'm on my solid connection here at home, and I am happy to respond quickly before leaving to rejoin the conference and present today.

My motion does not direct the agencies, nor does it set the salaries for professors. My motion merely establishes a study committee. And furthermore, that study committee quite specifically deals with whether there is anything that the Southern Baptist Convention, not the seminaries, can do to enable the seminaries to offer this kind of raise, if they should ever choose to do so.

If the trustees do not wish to raise professorial salaries, the committee can report that there is no need for the SBC to do anything differently, since the seminaries are quite happy to remain well below average in professorial remuneration.