Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Getting to Know Dr. Frank Cox

I have not yet decided how I will cast my presidential ballot in Indianapolis. Indeed, I'm not yet certain that the field is completely set for me to know what all of my options are. At this point, my deliberations are between voting for Dr. Frank Cox and voting for Dr. Johnny Hunt.

It would really help to be able to get to know these men better.

If you live within driving distance of Fort Worth, TX, then you are about to have that opportunity with regard to one of your voting options: Dr. Frank Cox. Birchman Baptist Church will host a reception with Dr. Cox on Thursday, May 29, 11:00 AM.

I hear a lot of great things about Dr. Cox, and I look forward to meeting him face-to-face on that day. It would be great to see you there, too. Who knows? Maybe things will wrap up just in time for me to visit Papasitos for lunch!

56 comments:

Dave Miller said...

How could the field NOT be set? Is there anyone attending the convention who is not already an announced candidate?

Except you. Hmmm...

Bart Barber said...

Dave,

Shhhhhhhhh......

You're blowing my super-secret plan wide open.

Bart Barber said...

You know, Dave, "within driving distance of Fort Worth, TX" is a relative term. You could come down.

Uncle Versey said...

Do you know what the good doctor's position on the month of February is? This could be a deal breaker for me.

Ben Stratton said...

Bart,

What will be voting process for these six SBC President candidates? Will the top two in receiving votes then have a runoff against each other? Or will just the one who gets the most votes of the six become president?

Todd Benkert said...

Why not Avery Willis? :-)

Bart Barber said...

Uncle Versey,

I don't know for sure, but I can reassure you that he is against canned biscuits.

Bart Barber said...

Ben,

The first candidate to receive a majority of the ballots cast will be elected. If, in the first ballot, no candidate receives a majority, then the convention will hold a runoff election between the top two vote-getters. In a two-way contest, of course, the winner must necessarily receive a majority of cast ballots.

Bart Barber said...

Todd,

Does the emoticon mean that you do not desire an answer to your question?

Dave Miller said...

I was born in Ft. Worth, TX. Graduated from school there. But the police have my photo and I am not allowed back in.

Dave Miller said...

Actually, one good thing about not being able to make it to the convention is not having to decide.

And, my streak would be in jeopardy. I have voted for the winning presidential candidate at every convention I attended (starting with Adrian in 79).

this year, who knows?

John Killian said...

Frank Cox did not sign the Global Warming Letter. I appreciate that.

John Killian said...

I have not always voted for the winner in SBC Presidential elections. I voted for Fred Wolfe in 1994 and voted for Jerry Sutton in 2006.
But I am in support of the conservative resurgence and won when it counted most

Jonathon said...

As a young pastor in the SBC, I have no idea where to get some straight answers about all those running. The BP News brief that anounces the runner is always a positive look at them.

How about giving me some reasons your not looking at Avery Willis, Les Puryear, and Bill Wagner. I like all three for different reasons.

I don't know much about Frank Cox, but Johnny Hunt will not get my vote. I think that he is just another "good ol boy" in the convention. Plus, with the resolutions on regenerate church membership being pushed this year how can we elect a guy who has 16,000 on his rolls, has 6,000 at church and 10,000 sitting at home?

Seems a bit useless to seek the passing of resolutions that call the convention to practice regenerate church membership and then let someone run the convention who isn't doing a good job of that himself.

Just some thoughts....which I know carry little weight.

You didn't take me up on the lunch offer....sad.

Bart Barber said...

Jonathon,

Here are my responses to your questions:

1. I'm concerned about Avery Willis's cavalier attitude toward the Camel Method as expressed in his interview over at SBC Today, as though the difference between contextualization and syncretism is a trivial question. I'm further concerned by reports I hear about his ordained daughter pastoring a congregation in the Kansas City area and the source of her beliefs about women in ministry.

2. I've already expressed my concerns about Les Puryear's theology, Peter Lumpkins has aired concerns about his theology, and I anticipate that these are only the beginning of the commentary about Les's presidential bid.

3. I think that Bill Wagner is an evangelical ecumenist, as evidenced by his concurrent teaching service with a Southern Baptist seminary and a pedobaptist seminary. I should think that a Baptist body would be able to find at least one person within its midst who is convinced of its foundational principles when looking for someone to preside over its deliberations.

Anonymous said...

As a layperson, I find his service at one church for the majority of his ministry to be extremely appealing. If the convention hall were filled primarily with laity, I'd bet that would be a significant issue.

That said, I'm no longer in a SBC church (no angry ex-SBC here, just a particular location issue), so I won't be voting for him. ;)


Mike

Quinn Hooks said...

Dave Miller writes
How could the field NOT be set? Is there anyone attending the convention who is not already an announced candidate?

Bart,
If you send me a picture, I can make a campaign poster for you! :)

Dave Miller said...

If I were attending this year, I would have real trouble. I don't think there is a candidate yet who I could enthusiastically support.

All seem to be conservative. But...

1) Les Puryear was, by his own words, considering becoming PCA within the last year. If he has become convinced again of Baptist doctrine, great. But if he questioned our fundamental, defining practice within the last year, I am not confident.

2) Bill Wagner seems okay, but I know nothing about him. I just have no idea who he really is. His teaching as a non-SBC seminary doesn't bother me as long as he teaches our doctrine.

3) Johnny Hunt and Frank Cox have been seen by many as "establishment" candidates, though if that were really so, it seems strange that two of them are running.

My hope would be that the next president would appoint more trustees who would be solid in their Baptist theology but not be interested in (sorry for the cliche) "narrowing the parameters" of fellowship beyond, oh say, the "Fifth Century Initiative." I would love to see the IMB policies revoked, but that would probably take a few years.

4) That pretty much leaves me with Avery Willis. I respect him from Masterlife days. But I know very little about his politics. I did not know about his ordained daughter, but I don't know that that can be charged to him. But I just don't know what kind of appointments he would make.

I suspect that if it all came down, I would vote for Avery Willis.

As many others have said, it would not surprise me if the next president of the SBC has not even announced his candidacy yet.

Also, the nominating speeches of the candidates are going to be more important than ever. There will be a lot of people like me who may be swayed at the last moment by an enthusiastic speech.

Dave Miller said...

Quinn,

If Bart will allow his nomination, I will change my plans and attend.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I don't understand this questioning of Les' theology. We should be believing what we believe because we are convinced that is what the Bible teaches. We are constantly supposed to be growing and learning until heaven. It's called meat. I do not believe what I believe because of history or because someone told me, but because I am convinced it is Biblical. That is where Les is coming from as well, he was just honest about it. I find it adds to integrity and the strength of what Baptist believe. It certainly does not take away from. The last thing I question is Les' theology. In fact I appreciate the fact that Les basis his views on scripture and not on distinctive for the sake of solely being SB distinctive. I question those who do not question or search at times in their Christian growth. I have changed my own theology based on the fact that what is in scripture and what has been taught conflict. I could and will use slavery for an example. Baptist churches all over the South were preaching separation of black and white. They had the scripture to back it up. Scripture taken out of context. People bought it lock, stock and barrel. If there were not a group that searched scripture for themselves, questioned it and voiced it aloud, where would we be. It took too many years for that to happen even with people voicing their objection.

If we believe the Bible is inerrant and humans fallible, shouldn't we all be searching to see what it is we believe and why based on the Bible only?

Debbie Kaufman said...

I wouldn't be Southern Baptist, as I was not raised in a Southern Baptist church, had I not questioned what I was being taught through the reading of the Bible and begin to assess and change my doctrine accordingly. I'm Southern Baptist now, because I did.

Jonathon said...

Dr. Barber,

You didn't comment on Johnny Hunt?

I was wondering your position on him in light of the resolutions that Dr. Ascol and yourself are submitting respectively.

Bart Barber said...

Quinn and Dave,

Consider this my Sherman Statement.

Bart Barber said...

Debbie,

Of course it is fine for people to grow and develop in their theology. The question is, don't we have a person or two around in the SBC who settled these questions in their own minds long ago? And if so, I think that their names ought to appear on the list "People Who Ought to be PRESIDING over the SBC" above the names of people who are still sorting it all out.

Bart Barber said...

Jonathon,

Johnny Hunt affirmed the Resolution on Regenerate Church Membership. His church appears to have room to grow with regards to the meaning and significance of church membership. That puts him into the same category as...

ME.

Here at FBC Farmersville we're taking the trepidatious journey to recover regenerate church membership. It is not a sprint. We're really just starting out. Nobody has blazed the trail ahead of us.

Thus, I'm not about to start sneering at other people who affirm regenerate church membership but are trying to decide the best way to restore/preserve it without starting a new denomination of splintered-off churches.

kws said...

Bart,

I find myself in the same glass house with regards to church membership. It remains a matter of deep concern for me knowing that I will give an account to God for those in my care. I did sign the resolution for regenerate church membership. The church I serve is taking steps to address some of the most glaring issues. Last weekend, we had our annual deacon retreat at SWBTS and I spoke on church discipline for over an hour on Friday evening. We had some very fruitful discussion afterwards, and the end result was collective repentence by staff and deacons for our failures in this area. We had a workshop on Saturday which produced a working plan to change the way we receive and care for members. The next step is to take the plan to the church in a town hall meeting. I am very encouraged by what has taken place so far.

Dewayne said...

I heard today that on Tuesday Dr. Cox was at a meeting something similar to what will be in Texas. Any work on how that went? Comments good or bad from any Alabama people?

Dewayne said...

That should have read "...Dr. Cox was at a meeting in Alabama..."

Dave Miller said...

Maybe you have been predestined to be the president...

John Killian said...

Dr. Cox spoke in the Birmingham area yesterday, giving testimony and answering questions.
Dr. Cox reaffirmed his pledge to appoint grassroots conservatives to the Committee on Committees, to promote the Cooperative Program, and to connect with younger men in ministry.
All in all, the meeting in Birmingham was enthusiastic and informative.
As a side note, Frank Cox had no criticisms for any other potential nominees for office.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Dewayne,

See this post for the answer to your question.

Blessings,
Tim

Quinn Hooks said...

Bart!
You are a genius! I will put a picture of a Sherman tank going into battle and underneath write,

"Rolling like a Super 8 with Barber in '08"

Then Dave can nominate you from the floor with WWII footage on the power point of Sherman tanks taking on Tiger tanks. :)

Of course, I assuming that as a Southern, you are not making a reference to a famous statement made by that plunderer of our fair South known as General Sherman when the Republican party tried to nominate him for President. :)

The irony is that I graduated from The Citadel with one of his direct descendants. LOL

Debbie Kaufman said...

Bart: That will be something that you will have to decide. As for me, I question one who doesn't change his views as he studies scripture, finding scripture to teach differently than any long held belief. At any age. Even the SBC President.

Bart Barber said...

Debbie,

Inspired by your last comment I've decided to open my mind and embrace the possibility of change on my position as to whether salvation might be possible in the name of Buddha. I know it will greatly encourage you to know that I'm open to movement in my theology as I mature.

Bart Barber said...

Quinn,

Here are the rules of Southern etiquette: It is permissible to refer to William Tecumseh Sherman when referring exclusively to the fact that he never was President of the United States. That was a good thing.

Bart Barber said...

KWS,

That is great and encouraging news!

CB Scott said...

It was a few guys who most would call regular Southern Baptist pastors and ministers who asked Frank Cox to allow his name to presented as a candidate.

He was not approached by anyone who would be called an establishment personality.

cb

Debbie Kaufman said...

Bart: That is hyperbole at it's finest. I stand by the fact that if I read something in scripture that will always be my final authority. That is exactly the case with Les as well. I personally respect him for it.

Is Buddha in the Bible Bart?

CB Scott said...

Debbie,

Are you familiar with concepts such as Open Theism and Progressive Revelation?

Do you believe any biblical truth is so plainly revealed it is simply a mistake to seek to refute it?

Do you think anyone has ever been able to say "I know the Bible reveals or says or teaches......." rather than..."I think or hope or maybe or I see it possibly teaches....." after studying the Bible?

Well, if you haven't I just want to be the first to say I know the following:

I know the Bible teaches absolutes that are understandable to humanity by the illumination of the Spirit.

I know the only way to be at peace with God and go to heaven is by a faith relationship to Christ.

I know the only biblical way to be baptized is by immersion.

I know pedobaptism is not biblical.

I know the authority for baptism was mandated by Christ to the Church and is to be administered by local churches.

I know if I search the Scriptures and come up with a different idea on any of the above, I will be wrong, no matter how earnestly I search or for how long my earnest search lasts.

cb

CB Scott said...

Buddah is no more in the Bible than is pedobaptism.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Buddah is no more in the Bible than is pedobaptism.


And that is what Les believes too CB.

Debbie Kaufman said...

You guys either disagree with the truth of what Les believes or say nothing at all. This conversation is getting out into left(pardon the pun) field. We are Christians and let's either disagree as Christians or it's just going to blow up into nothingness. Whether Les wins or loses is in God's hands, but to speak on things that are partial truth is just wrong and no different than secular politics.

CB Scott said...

Debbie,

I, personally was not addressing Les. I was addressing you.

You obviously did not desire to answer the questions?

cb

Bart Barber said...

Debbie,

Nobody has disputed what Les believes now. I've simply stated that the one presiding over the Southern Baptist Convention might best be someone whose commitment to Baptist doctrine has achieved some level of demonstrable stability for more than a few months.

Jonathon said...

Thanks for the answer.

I guess I just want to know if Johnny Hunt, who affirms that resolution, is taking steps to put it into practice.

One can affirm the idea without seeking to put it into practice.

I definitely understand that you cannot sprint in that arena, it is crawl, walk, crawl again, walk, and hopefully build some momentum. It will take time.

volfan007 said...

Debbie,

Let me try. If I say that I'm having trouble with believing in the eternal security of the believer, and I just got that settled in my heart about two or three months ago, then I should not expect to lead the SBC...which believes strongly in the eternal security of the believer. Now, that's wonderful that I came to that conclusion, and that I got that settled in my heart, but I should not think that people would want me to lead the SBC after just getting that settled such a short time ago. BTW, I have believed in the eternal security of the believer for a long, long, long time...so, I'm not talking about me personally.

Debbie, it would be like if a man said that he was running to be the leader of the PCA, and saying that he just came to believe the five points of calvinism three monthes ago, and that he just got the paedobaptism in his heart last week. I mean, I'm sure that the Presbyterian ministers would be thrilled to hear that, but I wouldnt think that they'd want someone like that to LEAD the PCA.

Do you?

Debbie, Les is a great fella, and we all love him. That's not the issue. The issue is should someone that just got baptism settled in his heart, and just became convinced about staying a Southern Baptist, be chosen as the LEADER of the convention.

David

Jonathon said...

How about we nominate Mark Dever for President...?

CB Scott said...

Jonathan,

Not a bad idea for 2010.

cb

Debbie Kaufman said...

CB: I'm very willing to answer, although I shouldn't have to. You know what I believe CB. I agree with you. I believe in immersion only being taught in the Bible. It does not affect my salvation if I didn't believe in immersion. I do, Baptists do, it is one of many reasons I am Southern Baptist.

I just don't agree that someone who believes in pedobaptism is a unrepentant sinner. No Christian is. They would not be a Christian. I'm not willing to say that RC Sproul, James Kennedy, or many other strong Christians are not true born again Christians. Are you?

david: Les does have it settled in his heart. Maybe moreso than some(I am not saying anyone here) who simply believe it because it was told to them that is what we believe. Baptism is a subject not to be taken lightly. No more lightly than salvation. To many do. He has said this. To spin it differently is risking dishonesty. That to me is even more of a concern.

CB Scott said...

OK, Debbie,

I thank you for your answer. We now have a place to develop a theological argument relating to the fact that there are absolutes in Scripture.

You have stated that Scripture presents immersion as the only mode by which Christians should employ to baptize converts upon their personal profession of faith in Christ.

You have stated that as an absolute. That is good. As you continue to study the Scripture you now know you do not have to question the biblical mode by which we should baptize.

Why then, do you deny others of us our right of inheritance as children of God the Father, by the adoption effected by the atonement of God the Son, as ordained by God's wonderful decree to bestow grace upon us and direct us by the illumination of our renewed minds effected by the presence of God the Spirit in our beings to understand the inspired Word of God and in turn declare to the world its glorious absolutes unashamedly?

It is my earnest prayer you see the great multitude of absolutes pertaining to the faith and declare them also as they are made known to you by your continued study of the Scripture.

cb

Debbie Kaufman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie Kaufman said...

Why then, do you deny others of us our right of inheritance as children of God the Father, by the adoption effected by the atonement of God the Son, as ordained by God's wonderful decree to bestow grace upon us and direct us by the illumination of our renewed minds effected by the presence of God the Spirit in our beings to understand the inspired Word of God and in turn declare to the world its glorious absolutes unashamedly?

CB: You are turning this around to make it about you and my comment was never directed to you. Show me anywhere in my comment that I said or implied anything you said in this paragraph? This was about your concerns on Les.

Too many times however, something is believed because it was taught in Seminary or this is just what Baptists believe and passages given that support. The HS is working when one longs to dig deep into scripture, drinking of all it's truths. Willing to change beliefs if necessary to align with scripture. That is what I believe Les does, and I want that type of leadership in our Convention. I think we are long overdue for such leadership.

CB Scott said...

iumbDebbie,

Again, I have said not one word about Les.

All of my comments have been directed at what you have said.

You have painted with a broad brush many people here.

Now you talk about what was or is taught in seminary.

The discussion between us was about reading the Scripture and knowing what it says to self evident.

cb

CB Scott said...

Debbie,

I have no earthly idea where the "iumb" came from.

cb

Quinn Hooks said...

Ok, back to the topic and something I found interesting in the Baptist Press article about Wiley Drake, especially when you consider the regenerate church membership resolution coming up.

Baptisms:
120
Primary Worship service attendance:
45

http://baptistpress.com/BPnews.asp?ID=28103

CP giving percentage:
0.25%

Quinn Hooks said...

Nevermind, I am way off-topic from the original subject of this thread. I'm sorry. :(