Wednesday, June 6, 2007

My Blog Journey So Far

In May 2006 I embarked upon a conversation with my computer. Even my wife wasn't reading my blog. I told nobody about it. So why would any rational person start writing essays to nobody? I read a document entitled the Memphis Declaration. I differed with its analysis of the Southern Baptist Convention. It made me feel better to express my thoughts in writing—so I did so. Thus began what is now more than a year of periodic contributions to this forum. I have provided here the barely-filtered sentiments of my mind and heart. Some of it has been personal (the birth and adoption of our daughter, the discovery that our congregation included a sexual predator preying upon our community), a bit of it has been embarrassingly wrong, a bit of it has been prophetically correct, all of it has been very human, and the vast majority of it has been denominationally political. So, here we are today, a year later. Some of you comment, so somebody somewhere is reading with regularity (I don't use a hit counter for fear of the sin it might provoke in my ego, either by being too high or by being too low—thus, I don't really know who all is reading. Maybe I should commission a poll? :-) ). The denominational politics continue. An historic meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention is right around the corner. It is important for every voting messenger to understand the issues. Between now and Monday, I will provide a series of posts seeking to articulate my views on the topics that seemingly differentiate myself and those with whom I have disagreed so often throughout this journey. Although the themes will obviously cover ground that I have treated before, I do hope to bring some fresh insight to the task. I trust that every reader will digest these posts carefully, if you wish to be an informed observer of current events. Unlike Bro. Burleson's latest posts do with me, I will not at all seek to caricature his position. I am simply going to speak for myself about some things that are important to me. After the convention is over, I am going to be presenting a multi-post series entitled The Fifth-Century Initiative. Most presently-living Baptists trace the origins of the modern phase of Baptist life to John Smythe's Baptist church, founded near Amsterdam in 1609. Two years from now, we will embark upon the fifth century of modern Baptist existence. Now is a good time to contemplate how the New Testament witness will endure until Christ's coming. The Fifth-Century Initiative will close with a set of proposals to be considered at the 2008 meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.

17 comments:

rjphillipssr@yahoo.com said...

Bart,

Having been somewhat unaware of the vitriol coming from the blogsphere, until recently seeing it come across our local newspaper, I asked around about what is going on. I also asked if there is any conservative voice in the blogsphere who is consistently standing firm on Baptist distinctives. Your name was listed prominently and I have been reading you ever since.

Thank you for the most excellent work that you are doing for our Lord and for the SBC. I am deeply grateful.

Ron P.

selahV said...

Bart: this is exciting. I look forward to reading the next year of your posts. and maybe next year I'll get to attend the Convention and see how much of what you write comes to pass. selahV
P.S. I started reading blogs in August of last year and was absolutely shocked at the behind the scenes stuff going on. It's too bad more Southern Baptist aren't reading the blogs. Many that I share stuff with are quite heartbroken at the political maneuvering and hatefulness shown brothers and sisters in Christ. I don't even tell them what I think of an individual. I just have them read for themselves and they draw the same conclusions I have drawn. Vindictiveness has no place in Christian living. I'm wondering how discipline in the SBC would be if we were to adopt a discipline as characterized in the NT.
thanks so much for all you do and the clarity in which you do it.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Bart, congratulations on your journey thus far. Though I find the SBC controversies interesting, I am certainly looking forward to your Fifth-Century Initiative series (even though I believe Baptist history is older than our "modern existence").

Bart Barber said...

Ron P. and Selah V,

I greatly value your readership and input.

R.L.,

I have no problem characterizing the New Testament period as the dawning of Baptist history (defined properly). As to whether there are any gaps in that story along the way...it would not surprise me to learn that we differ on that question.

Les Puryear said...

Bart,

If you want to know about your readership try statcounter.com.

Les

Sean M. said...

Bart,

Looking forward to your upcoming series. I am still sorting through many of these issues. I always appreciate your informed approach on them. Certainly, your integrity in dealing with these issues lends credence to conservative views and helps bring some balance to the Baptist blogging voice.

Put a hashmark on your reader list for me.

Sean

Sean M. said...

Bart or anyone else:

I am going to be leading a discussion at church Sunday night called The SBC Pre-Game Show. I hope to highlight the primary issues (not necessarily as measured by number of blog posts on said issue)for this year's SBC.

Could anyone point me to some good articles, lists, blogs, websites, etc. that might help me make preparations?

Sean M.

Bart Barber said...

Sean,

One good place to go would be the latest online edition of the Southern Baptist Texan. It is a special edition.

http://www.texanonline.net

Bart Barber said...

It is a special CONVENTION edition, that is.

Bart Barber said...

Les,

The point is that I deliberately avoid knowing about my hit count.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Bart, I doubt with differ substantially. I just feel compelled to put in a disclaimer once in a while.

joerstewart said...

I'm much newer to blogging and much more of a novice. I guess I thought if an Arkansas native could blog . . . oh well.

Kevin Stilley said...

Bart your agnosticism regarding your readership is probably wise, but just so you know, I read your blog every day even though I rarely comment.

Debbie said...

No Selah you are right, vindictiveness and hatefulness doesn't have a place in SBC life, but I think your pointing in the wrong direction.

Are you wanting to pull the reigns even tighter? I think what you perceive as hatefulness etc. from those who disagree with you such as myself would be that we are standing firm(not hateful) and toe to toe. How is willingness to include those such as yourself with your view hateful? I guess I'm confused. The ones who wish to exclude those who would disagree with them are not even the enemy, we are not the enemy but I can point to blogs that are as you have described. We aren't going away. That may seem hateful to some. :)

Debbie said...

BTW: Congratulations Bart, I do have a high respect for you and am an avid reader. Congratulations on your appointment as well. I am sincere in this.

Debbie said...

Now this is the kind of thing that is hateful and this is the kind of the thing that those who are being accused of hatefulness are attempting to stop from happening. Show them this:

www.founders.org/blog/2007/06/denominational-integrity-and.html

GuyMuse said...

The reason I have a statcounter is to see all the places where people are reading from. It has been fascinating to find that people from Alaska to Zimbabwe bother to read what I have to share.