Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Politics of the BF&M Recommendation

The topic of discussion this morning on blogs is the BF&M recommendation. Please note that the topic is not the greater than 2-to-1 victory of Jim Richards, because some are humble in victory while others cannot resist the temptation to gloat and grandstand even in contrived victories. So, I'm glad to speak about the BF&M recommendation, which I endorsed before it ever came to the floor. Ask yourself, friends—how is it "spinning" motivated out of "sour grapes" when one makes an endorsement long before the item even comes to the floor? By making this endorsement, I have apparently puzzled a large number of people of all blogging persuasions. I have offered an explanatory post that works through the text. Now, I offer a political explanation. Here, in my opinion, is what happened:

  1. People who would like to prevent trustees from addressing any theological measure beyond those addressed in the BF&M wanted the Executive Committee to adopt a statement to that effect.
  2. These dissidents wanted to craft their statement in such a way that one could not argue against it without, basically, arguing against the BF&M.
  3. A strategy was reached to borrow from the recent slogan "sufficiency of the Bible" and speak of the sufficiency of the BF&M.
  4. But to make the recommendation fit this strategy, it couldn't really say outright what the dissidents wanted it to say. But political considerations trumped accuracy and the statement went forward in this fashion.
  5. Last night, after the 1VP election was finished, I sat down to take a look at this motion and to determine how I was going to vote. SBC motions are too important for us to vote by emotional political reaction. Each vote ought to reflect a carefully reasoned and prayerful choice. When I cut through all the balderdash and read the actual text of the statement, I realized the mistake made by the folks with whom I often disagree—they had nuanced the statement so much for political reasons that it no longer said at all what they wanted to say.
  6. I immediately endorsed the measure, right from the floor of the convention.
  7. At least one conservative was at a mike last night to speak in favor of the motion from this vantage point, but, like many speakers last night, he did not get to speak to the issue because time ran out.
  8. We voted on the actual statement, but now we are being told that the interpretation is what will be enforced.
Many, many people on my "side of the aisle" are apoplectic in their opposition to this recommendation, largely because they know of at least a few people who will bring down yet another year of heartache upon the SBC by ignoring the text of the statement and asserting something else. But I am not bound by anyone else's reading of this. I have yet to see anyone show me where in the text of this statement it contradicts anything I am saying.


LS said...

I hope you are right... however some of the other folks are legalists, and their interpretation seems to be if the BF&M omits something then t,hat gives us license to do it! I fear that we have made a grievous mistake in passing this, because the trustees were already using it as a guidline.
Regardless, Dr. Paige did a horrible job in moderating this session. Confusion was abudant, and rather than voting on a well discussed motion, we voted on a poorly presented one. The moderator had NO control. I was very disappointed in his handling of this session. It was over his head!
Thanks for your prespectives. I appreciate all you are doing!

Wade Burleson said...

Uh, Bart, nice try.

Won't work.


Tripp said...


What I don't understand is the need by Wade and his group to claim victory and then shove it into the faces of those they deem the "losers".

What I continue to hear from Wade and his group is "cooperation" and "unity". Now, in the light of what they perceive to be a "victory" (which I don't see)...they have no trouble laughing at the other side.

That really troubles me. I don't see any unity coming from Wade's side today. Bart I see any comments on Jim Richards election!!

Jack Maddox said...

Hey Wade

Did you hear Dr. Mohler? His was a nice try and it will work! Was he clear enough for you!?


peter lumpkins said...


I posted a few thoughts om this myself.


Hello. Thought you'd never come out for a bit of fresh air! With that, I am...


Anonymous said...


What part of "the only consensus statement of doctrinal beliefs approved by the Southern Baptist Convention" combined with "sufficient to guide" leads you to think that anything more than this document should be used by trustees?

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Bart,

According to Brother Wade's interpretation, SEBTS will have to do away with the Danvers Statement, the Chicago Statement of Inerrancy, and the Abstracts. What a shame.