Friday, May 23, 2008

Blog Fatigue

This isn't 2006.

As we did in Greensboro, Southern Baptists find before them a SBC presidential election spread to the four winds. Some of the candidates are serious contenders, while others are also-rans. The chance of a second-ballot election for president is high. Dissident support is aligning behind Avery Willis, with some portion going to Les Puryear. Conservative support is falling behind Frank Cox and Johnny Hunt. I have not yet made my selection.

I have heard people draw comparisons to 2006, the last contested election, suggesting that the outcome in 2006 offers some prediction of the outcome this year—the first-ballot victory of an unexpected candidate. Certainly there are some parallels between 2006 and 2008, but I believe that there are more important differences.

Primary among them is the blog fatigue that has gradually spread across the Internet. WIthout authoring a history of the blogging dropouts of the past two years, I'll direct your attention to the difference in tone on blogs this year. In 2006 Johnny Hunt was the focus of heated blogging conversation. This year the same candidate has experienced hardly any criticism at all online. In 2006 Ronnie Floyd was vivisected by various blogs in the months leading up to the election. Has any candidate experienced anything similar this year? Not that I can tell. Apparently the worst that any candidate has endured has been my premature outing of Les Puryear's candidacy.

It isn't that the blogosphere is fawning over the presidential candidates with glowing praise. The evidence suggests rather that Southern Baptist bloggers and blog readers just aren't that interested in the presidential election. The prominent group-blog SBC Today has conducted interviews of all of the announced presidential candidates to date. The latest, of candidate Les Puryear, has generated only twenty-nine comments, only three of which mention candidate Puryear at all. An interview with candidate Avery Willis resulted in the revelation that Willis's daughter is the ordained co-pastor of a church in Kansas City, yet even that stunning bit of news generated a paltry eighteen comments. The interview with Johnny Hunt elicited nine comments. Bill Wagner was able to provoke forty-two comments by insulting SBC Calvinists. Leading the pack was the Frank Cox interview, where the pseudonymous "Bill Kiffin" took it upon himself to denigrate in his comments all of those with D.Min degrees or with degrees from Luther Rice.

Perhaps the national presidential election is sucking some of the oxygen out of SBC presidential politics. I think that the departure from blogging of some voices and the maturation of others has led to greater civility in the medium. The impending failure of some of the more extreme leftward campaigns for SBC change has alternately provoked spikes in blogging ferocity and taken the wind out of more than a few sails. Furthermore, blogging is an intense business. It wears me out. And the longer I do it, the less it takes to wear me out. I blog less frequently, and when I do blog, I blog with less intensity.

I predict that things will pick up between now and the Convention—I expect at least two major controversies between now and June 10—but any issues that arise between now and Indianapolis will serve only to push the presidential election even further into the background.

So, it isn't 2006. History is ultimately linear rather than cyclical, even if the past is sometimes a clue to the future. I am confident that the author of history's end can control it all even throughout our fits of passion and apathy. It will be interesting to see how we choose to attempt to follow Him this year.


Pastor Hilliard said...

"Dissident support is aligning behind Avery Willis, with some portion going to Les Puryear. Conservative support is falling behind Frank Cox and Johnny Hunt. I have not yet made my selection."

Need I point out how slanted, unfair, unChristlike, and unnecessary the quote above is?

To label any and all who vote outside Hunt and Cox as dissidents (and those who vote for them as conservatives), is simply wrong spirited.

I, for one, do not know where my vote will land yet. But I can assure you that I fit the "label/definition" of a conservative. And I am very open to voting for candidates other than Hunt/Cox.

Come on, man. This type of stuff simply fuels fire. It does not unify the family.

Bart Barber said...

I'm merely analyzing the endorsements on blogs that have been made so far. Of course, you're free to vote however you see fit.

Baptist Theologue said...

Bart, I've also noticed the blog fatigue. I've been wondering if all the major issues have been discussed and if there simply isn't much left to say at this point. I've also been wondering if high fuel prices are going to keep some people away from the convention who might have come with lower gas prices. Most of us preacher types are not wealthy.

Dave Miller said...

I would not go as far as pastor Hilliard above, but I would quarrel with your designation of parties. I would probably vote for Avery Willis and I have certainly quarrelled with some of the actions of leadership, but I am not sure I accept the label "dissident." And, like Pastor Hilliard, I would claim to be conservative, even though I would not probably support Cox or Hunt as a first choice.

Nomenclature is always difficult in these situations. But I do think that using "conservative" to designate those who are supporting Cox and Hunt is a little unfair.

Dave Miller said...

As to blog fatigue, I think many of us got very tired of the blustering and bickering of the blogosphere.

I have a question about that. I wonder if there is actually less blogging, or if it is just decentralized.

Alan Cross said...


Blogging has died down because most of those with anything to say see the futility of it. Opinions are entrenched and the sides are polarized. Why continue to converse? I am one of the few from the 2006 days that chooses to continue to say anything to you guys and most people think I'm crazy to do so. They're likely right.

I felt a great deal of futility the other day when I was encouraging you to make Jesus Christ more prominent in your Fifth Century Initiative and amongst the Baptist Identity conversation. That was not meant adversarially, but it became that. It is clear that our polarization makes debate impossible at this point. Why bother? The SBC has charted its course and it will go where it goes. We are all just bystanders and it have become clear that our lives can be better used for other things.

Baptist Theologue said...


I agree that a polarization has occurred. There is now a Baptist Identity group and a reformer/dissenter group. I would hope that dialogue between the two groups can continue in some form. I recall that you and I have had edifying, civil conversations in regard to our theological differences. I think that such conversations have value. Unfortunately, with polarization has come some uncivil remarks and an uncivil tone on both sides. I think most people tire of that lack of civility, but a minority seems to thrive on it. We now have a two-party system just as we did during the conservative resurgence. In the future, candidates for offices will probably line up with one side or the other in their emphases. The two-party system is not all bad; each side helps keep the other side accountable. I hope, however, that most of us will be able to disagree agreeably and learn from each other.

Alan Cross said...


I too have enjoyed our discussions and they have helped me. The problem with a two party system is that a party never completely defines your position. It works relatively well in politics because political opinions are all about compromise. But in spiritual matters, compromise is anathema. I will not give my allegiance to anyone but Jesus Christ. I will not join a faction or a party because I cannot align my conscience to the activities of another for political gain. We must all be our own people and only align ourselves with Jesus. Our unity is in Christ, not in political opinions or denominational distinctives. Some see those things as the same, but I do not.

I am not disagreeing with you. I think that your analysis of the situation is correct. I am just offering my take on the ineffectiveness of such a system in ecclesial matters.

Bart Barber said...


I simply do not consent to the idea of a Christ-without-content. He did say some things, you know. Yet when I try to advocate allegiance to the things that He said, you accuse me of supplanting Him.

Bart Barber said...

Soon this post will have generated more comments than some of the presidential posts, underscoring my point in the original post.

Micah Fries said...


I'm curious to know how in the world you would consider John Marshall to be anything other than a conservative?

Alan Cross said...

When did I advocate Christ without content? I am not against your content. I am just saying that you should make sure that Jesus is present in your statements lest those who do not know you grow confused.

Again, it does not have to either/or. I never disagreed with the content of your declaration. The thing that has caused blog fatigue is the impossibility of saying to someone on the other side, "good point," or, "I see where you are coming from." It isn't even possible when someone says that a statement on Baptist Identity is conspicuous by the absence of Christ and it might be a good idea to include devotion to Him as a priority. Somehow that has been taken as an advocation of "a Christ-without-content". I would never advocate that. You are proving my point, Bart.

Dave Miller said...

Alan, I usually agree with you, but on this one, I am not sure I do.

I think that polarization actually causes comments. I have read your blog frequently in recent days. Sometimes I leave a comment, just to let you know I came by. But while I usually appreciate and agree with what you write, I don't always comment, because I agree with what you have already said, like the spirit of it and do not have anything to add.

The same is true with several blogs I have been reading recently.

I commented here, above, because I disagreed with what Bart said in identifying conservatives and Cox/Hunt supporters.

My point is that I think I read blogs more recently, but comment less. When there are really good conversations going on (Bart and David Rogers have had a few, Malcolm Yarnell has gotten into a couple) I tend to read and not comment.

I have actually been encouraged recently at the quality of the blogs I have been reading and the conversations on those blogs.

Bart Barber said...

Look, guys, words mean things. I did not say, "Everybody who likes Avery Willis is a liberal." I said, "Dissident support is aligning behind Avery Willis, with some portion going to Les Puryear." SBC dissidents simply are not lining up behind Cox or Hunt. These are GENERALIZATIONS, not intended to convey the situation with every particular, but not devoid of meaning, either. In general, along the "aisle" that has emerged in the past two years, one side is going for Willis and Puryear, while the other side is going for Hunt and Cox.

Yes, a conservative or two will vote for Willis or Puryear.

And my Republican father-in-law voted and caucused in the Texas Democrat primaries.

But exceptions do not overturn the rule.

Alan Cross said...


No, you're right about controversy driving comments. I know why I don't get a large number of comments on my blog and I am happy with my quiet little front porch in blogtown where I express my ideas and have gentle conversations. It suits me well and I have intentionally chosen to keep it that way. But, to address Bart's idea of "Blog Fatigue" my point is that the rancor has led to a throwing in the towel among many. Plus, as BT says, many of the issues that we are passionate about have been thoroughly discussed. I remember debating BT for days on multiple blogs over the PPL policies. It was a grand discussion. Those types of denominational/theological debates are rare these days. They have been overtaken by political wrangling and many have grown tired, at least compared to what it used to be.

Baptist Theologue said...

Alan, you said,

"The problem with a two party system is that a party never completely defines your position. It works relatively well in politics because political opinions are all about compromise. But in spiritual matters, compromise is anathema."

I agree that a particular party does not completely define my position. Nevertheless, I identify more strongly with the BI group because that group seems to agree with my positions on theological issues that are very important and relevant to the SBC these days. It seems to be a human tendency for a person to identify with ideological/theological groups with which he agrees. As has been pointed out numerous times, no one agrees with us in every detail, so to require complete agreement would lead to absolute individualism. I think most of us agree that cooperation in a group context requires some degree of compromise. We disagree, however, on where the lines should be drawn, i.e., where compromise can occur. During the CR, the key theological line was drawn in relation to inerrancy. Now lines are drawn in regard to other key theological issues which have become relevant in our time. We disagree not only on the theological issues, but also on how much compromise is possible in regard to these issues. I don't think that who wins or loses as a candidate at the convention will settle these issues. We will be discussing them off and on for a long time.

Tim Guthrie said...

And so Bart you have now proved that even in making observations, debate is caused as to someones perspective due to their alignment or group or????? regardless of the observations which were being made outside of such alignments or groups or????

Nice touch!

Debbie Kaufman said...

All who vote for Les or Avery will be Conservative. I may not agree with you, Robin or others on many things, but I am a Christian Conservative. I think you are changing the meaning of the word. I am not a moderate, I am not a liberal, I am very Conservative. Just ask my kids. :)

I am dissenting on certain issues, not all. I do not believe that battles and wars against each other is the Biblical way for anything, yet that has been our history and it still continues. We are supposed to war against culture, war against wrong doctrine, war against...the list goes on. By nature I am not a warrior, I would much rather discuss civilly and hammer it out no matter how long it takes than continue to do battle. I love Christ and I love people, that would include you Bart. There is not a person that I have spoken to that I could not be approached by, I would shake their hand, and have lunch or just sit down and talk our differences with. These issues lately have been more war than talking, and the talking just isn't doing any good. It's too divided. I would like to see unity and I'm not sure it's going to happen. I would also like to see honesty in numbers and I'm not sure that is going to happen either. I continue to attempt to talk because I want these things so much, but at the same time I can't agree with what you have been saying for example. Shoot, even resolutions are divided between the Yarnell/Barber and Ascol resolutions. I would like to see the two put into one, yet that isn't happening either.

Dave Miller said...

My problem was not with the designation dissident, though I think it might be a word that is a little loaded.

The statement that conservatives support Cox and Hunt seems to clearly imply that those who support the others aren't.

I really don't think that is what you meant, but I think it is the clear implication of what you said.

Bart Barber said...


It is merely intended to convey that, by and large, conservatives are lining up behind Hunt and Cox. There are exceptions, but I do not believe that they disprove the rule.

Dave Miller said...

I have one more question to beat this discussion into the ground. Then I have to go be my wife's house-servant. We have a graduation party tomorrow and she has a "honey-do" list a mile long.

How are you defining conservative in this case?

I am guessing we are working from two different definitions.

I am defining conservatives as those who believe in inerrancy and generally supported the conservative resurgence in the SBC.

One more thing: if you want more enthusiasm about the Indy convention, allow Quinn and I to put "Operation SBC Haircut" into effect.

Tony Kummer said...

Two years is a long time in the blog world, and there are many more Southern Baptist bloggers now. That will be true in 2010 also.

I almost expected the US presidential elections to give added heat to the blogosphere. But I can definitely see your point. I was tired of the primaries before Huckabee dropped out, even though I had been watching an unhealthy amount of CNN.

In the 20 days before the convention things will heat back up, and the 20 days afterward. As the Baptist News sources start paying more attention we will all find our voices again.

NativeVermonter said...

As a layperson, there's only one word that really comes to mind when discussing the SBC presidency...irrelevant. I say this with the utmost respect for your office of elder/pastor but sometimes it seems like you guys (and I do mean guys) don't quite connect with the rank-and-file.

I vote for a bi-vocational or layperson for SBC president, someone who Joe Six-Pack (of Diet Pepsi) can identify with. Granted, it will most likely never happen but it would certainly generate the base and change things from the status quo.

John in St. Louis

David Rogers said...

I think it is merely a reflection on where we have drifted as a convention when someone with as strong of a reputation and spiritual leadership credentials as Dr. Willis is being viewed as the candidate of "dissidents" as opposed to that of "conservatives." It makes you wonder how many of the so-called "conservatives" of today will be viewed as "dissidents" a few more years down the road.

Baptist Theologue said...


Do you think it would be fair to ask Avery about whether he agrees with all the CPM methodology? Guy Muse asked for comments on the methodology, and I listed three concerns. I admire Avery, but I think it would affect my vote if I knew how he felt about the concerns listed below.


First, I want to say something positive about New Directions/SD 21/CPM methodology. I arrived on the field as an IMB missionary in March of 1996. I was one of the only church planters in our mission. Many of our other IMB missionaries there were in liaison work with the national convention. Thus, I think a positive outcome of the new paradigm was to move many missionaries back into a more direct church planting role.

Now the negative. . . . I'll summarize my concerns and then talk about each of them in more detail:

1. New converts serving as pastors
2. The vision thing
3. Lack of emphasis on receptivity

David Garrison's book (Church Planting Movements) has been viewed by many of us as the definitive description of the methodology, so I'll quote from it.

1. New converts serving as pastors

"Relying on local leaders can be difficult for missionaries. . . . Those who are reluctant to transfer this kind of authority quickly point to Paul's instructions in 1 Timothy 3:6 where Paul advises young Timothy that a bishop 'must not be a recent convert. . .' However, Timothy's church was already well established enough to reference several generations of believers (see 2 Timothy 2:2). In such an environment it was natural for Paul to delegate church oversight to those who had been closest to the original message delivered by the apostles, but nowhere does Paul place church authority in the hands of outsiders. When a new church is started, Paul does not hesitate to appoint local leaders right away. . . . Likewise, he urges Titus to appoint elders, local men with families whom everyone new for every town of Crete. Meeting with the Church Planting Movement taskforce we posed the question, 'When do you pass the torch to new leaders?' Their unanimous response was, 'In a Church Planting Movement you begin with the torch in their hand.' The nods of approval around the room testified to the shared experience." (pages 187-188)

Thus, Garrison is saying that Paul's instruction in 1 Timothy 3:6 not to use new converts as pastors is not normative for us today. The 2000 BF&M, however, lists 1 Timothy 3:1-15 as a relevant passage as part of Article 4, which describes the office of pastor. Also, Titus 1:9 says that the pastor must hold "fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict" (NASB). This is not the description of a new convert. Titus was supposed to appoint pastors on the island of Crete in new churches there. Some Cretans were converted on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:11) so there were some qualified men on the island. Speed should not be overemphasized to the detriment of Scriptural guidelines for the pastoral office.

2. The Vision Thing

"Vision Driven -- Church Planting Movement practitioners often speak of their vision or end vision. This describes where (sic) they hope to see when God's vision for their people or city is fulfilled. One brother put it this way, 'If you can't see it before you see it, you're never going to see it.' Jesus filled his disciples with great expectations and a vision of the end fulfilled. He taught them to pray for the vision's realization, 'Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.'" (page 200)

When I went through IMB strategy coordinator training in May of 2000, we were instructed to obtain a detailed endvision first and then work backwards from that vision. Our endvision was required to contain a CPM. Now, consider the fact that only about 2% of our IMB missionaries have seen a CPM. If the other 98% have not seen their endvision come to pass after years of work, then it is obvious that their morale would be adversely affected. In the Bible, the word "vision" when used in this sense always refers to supernatural revelation. In the Old Testament, it normally referred to detailed prophetic predictions/revelation that became Scripture, and such visions always came to pass exactly as God described. In the New Testament, a vision was still supernatural, but it might be a short message such as Paul's vision of the man from Macedonia asking for help (Acts 16:9). What we have called an endvision seems to really be a prayerful, detailed goal for the future. Why don't we call it a goal instead of a vision? There are warnings in the Old Testament about predicted visions that do not come to pass (Jeremiah 23:16, Ezekiel 13:9)

3. Lack of emphasis on receptivity

"The Church Growth Movement has directed many missionaries to focus on perceived 'harvest fields' or 'responsive fields' at the expense of unreached and what may appear to be unresponsive fields. By contrast, our descriptive analysis reveals that God has chosen to launch most Church Planting Movements among the least likely candidates--unreached people groups, which have often been dismissed by those looking for responsive harvest fields. . . . The Church Growth Movement advocates pouring resources (particularly missionaries) into responsive harvest fields. The rationale being that there are limited harvesters and so we should conserve them from difficult areas and invest them instead into people groups that have already proven to be responsive to the gospel. Once again, as you'll see in the case studies that follow, the approach of pouring more and more resources into the harvest is actually contrary to what we see God doing in Church Planting Movements." (page 25)

Actually, the receptivity principle which Garrison opposes is simply another way of stating what Henry Blackaby has said: Join God where you see Him working in a special way (paraphrase mine). This CPM paradigm does say that the missionary should look for receptive individuals (men of peace, Luke 10:6-7), but it ignores the command in the same passage to quickly leave resistant/unreceptive groups (Luke 10:8-12). Paul shook off the dust during his missionary journeys when he encountered resistant groups of people (Acts 13:51, Acts 18:6).

David Rogers said...

Also, I see a certain parallel with calling into question Dr. Willis's credentials as a conservative, due to his daughter's position as co-pastor with her husband, to someone hypothetically calling into question Adrian Rogers's conservative credentials, due to the fact that his son does not believe in closed communion.

Is anyone out there willing to go there?

Baptist Theologue said...


I don't think Avery should be held responsible for the beliefs of his daughter. I made a mistake in my last post (should be Article 6 rather than article 4).

Dave Miller said...


I think this comment stream is strong evidence that we need to be careful about our terms. That's why in the baptism study I am doing, I took the time to start with defining terms and giving people a chance to correct my premises.

If we can't agree about definitions of words it becomes much harder to discuss ideas.

Dave Miller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Rogers said...


Sure, I imagine it would be fair to ask Dr. Willis those questions. At the same time, though, I think we should be willing to hear his (or anyone else's) responses with an open mind and heart. Also, in the interest of fairness, we should probably ask the same questions of the other candidates as well.

Also, though I don't see the context of this post as the best place to get into a full-blown discussion on the merits or lack thereof of New Directions and CPM missiology, I will limit myself to saying your whole point about the use of the term "end-vision" seems overly "nit-picky" to me. The term "end-visioning" is a play on words of the term "envisioning." Yes, we could just as well call it a "goal" instead of a "vision." But speaking of someone with a big "vision" for the future, and "visionary leadership" are merely terms that everyone understands in today's world, and communicate an idea we all pretty much agree on, at least, as I see it.

All of this, in spite of the fact that I have already publicly endorsed, and still endorse, Bill Wagner's candidacy.

David Rogers said...


Thanks for agreeing on the point about Dr. Willis's daughter. It was not to you I was alluding when I brought that up, though.

Baptist Theologue said...


I agree with you that these questions about the CPM paradigm should be broached to all the candidates. I also agree with you that the questions about receptivity and new converts serving as pastors are more important than the terminology about endvisions. I still think the vision terminology is important, however, because of possible confusion in regard to how the term is defined. Many of our SBC folks know that the biblical term "vision" refers to supernatural revelation. Of course, secular businesses and schools use the term "vision" to refer to non-supernatural goals that they hope to achieve. So, when IMB personnel make a report in an SBC church and refer to a detailed, prayed-over vision, what are our people to think? Are our IMB missionaries referring to supernatural revelation that always comes true, a prayed-over goal that might come true, or something in between? Using the term "goal" rather than "vision" would help us avoid unnecessary confusion. The vision drives the master plan for the IMB team, so it is important for that particular team.

Pastor Hilliard said...

"Dissident support is aligning behind Avery Willis, with some portion going to Les Puryear." SBC dissidents simply are not lining up behind Cox or Hunt."

Who is to say that those who vote for Cox/Hunt are not the dissident group?

Your explanations are fine but your offense that your words have been read as blanket statements are not. You wrote it as such and it has been read as such. You should change it if that is not what you meant.

Calling either group "dissident" is incorrect and unnecessary. If you really believe this, then you are caught in the "political" trap of going with the "party line". Just because there are differences of opinion does not make them "dissident". We are all conservatives with different views. A freedom we should cherish and defend.


Quinn Hooks said...

Multicausality: The view that personal or social problems are caused by many interaction factors, often too complex to allow a precise assessment of causality (Mandrell and Schram, 2006).
What we see here in the events leading up to Indianapolis what could be the model for multicausality.

You have done a good job in assessing what is going on in the blogs but there are so many subtle things going on of which we are not aware that a precise diagnosis cannot be attained.

Mandrell, Betty Reid and Schram, Barbara. 2006. An Introduction to Human Services: Policy and Practice, Sixth Edition. Pearson Education, Inc. Boston, MA, USA.

CB Scott said...


I will go there.:-)

The truth is; Some children are just hardheaded. I have some of them myself. I don't know from where it comes.:-)


Anonymous said...


Your comment about "going there" made me laugh out loud!! I am sure David is not hard headed .... or at least not more-so than most other PKs. I have some MKs who can also be a little hard headed too. I am neither a PK or an MK, but you could crack coconuts on my head sometimes!!

David, I must say that even if you and all your siblings cut SB ties and joined the Episcopal church, that would not cause me to question Adrian Rogers' conservative credentials, and that is a very good thing. :-)


Anonymous said...

Dear Bart,


With that, I am...


Alex said...

I wonder whether Bart's post here may not come to be seen as historically significant.

More clearly than anything else I've read it uncovers the 'divide to purify' movement that was unintentionally (I believe) set in motion by the CR.

From now on the establishment calls itself Conservative. The others will always be pejorative. After each purification the Conservatives will subdivide another group to dismiss and so on.

How pure we are going to be! And how small!

Bart Barber said...

The blogging throughout the convention over the course of the past two years has made it clear that we are not all conservatives. I am willing to rise up to defend the word. We endured a seven-part series on a feminist view of the pastoral ministry from a "conservative" who had to try to decipher what the "authors" of Genesis were trying to say.

I think I've been pretty circumspect in my use of terminology. If you all only knew how many times people have encouraged me to call a liberal a liberal. Yet I've deliberately and carefully been very judicious in my use of that word.

I think dissident is a GREAT word to describe the tone of the Memphis Declaration, for example. The tone is one of dissent and the strategy is one of overthrow.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother David,

In the spirit of full disclosure, let me express some facts to you.

First, Dr. Willis had the questions he was asked for a full week ahead of the time he was interviewed. We at SBC Today extended that courtesy to him that we did not extend to any of the other candidates we interviewed. Of course, this came about because of a double booking on his part in his calendar and we accommodated his desire to re-schedule the interview. None of the other candidates saw the questions before we interviewed them. Thus, my point is that Dr. Willis knew the question was coming concerning women in ministry, it was not a surprise question to him. He knew he had a daughter that is ordained, he should have expressed that truth. As it is we were asked by an anonymous commenter about it and we investigated it. No where on our part did we seek to paint his as a moderate that believed in ordaining women as pastors. He painted himself in that circle by not revealing that bit of truth.

Second, I interviewed Brother Les Puryear. He never saw the questions, and when asked about ordaining women, he volunteered the information that he had women deacons in his church. He explained his position and graciously did so, I might add. No one has even come close to asking about Brother Les' commitment to not ordaining women. Why? He revealed that tidbit of information.

Had Dr. Willis responded like Brother Les, no one would be questioning his commitment to ordaining women in ministry.


Les Puryear said...


One slight correction. We have "a" woman deacon, not women "deacons." We only have one. :)

Interesting discussion.


Tom Bryant said...

I don't really get blog fatigue from reading the various posts. What I do get blog fatigue is that usually the same people respond in all the blog comments. And generally they drift away from any discussion of the main thrust of the post as witness the Q and A with the various SBC Presidential candidates.

I Mitchell said...

CB Scott,

Brother Bart Barber is saying that you are not one of the Conservatives in one of his comments!!!