Breaking News: Dr. Russell Moore Elected President of ERLC

by Dave Miller on March 26, 2013 · 86 comments

In a move that shocked and amazed absolutely no one, Dr. Russell Moore was elected today as the eighth president of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. You can read the details in Baptist Press. From the time that Dr. Richard Land announced his retirement, Vegas odds-makers had Dr. Moore as the prohibitive favorite to be elected to this position. (No, Vegas does not make book about Baptist politics – relax!)

The Baptist Press article has a series of quotes by a wide range of SBC leaders, all praising the selection.

From Dr. Land:

“I am delighted that the Holy Spirit has led the ERLC’s trustees to Dr. Russell Moore as the commission’s next president. Dr. Moore is a godly Christian minister, a devoted husband and father, and a convictional, committed Baptist. His excellent academic preparation, combined with his keen mind and his tender heart for God and His people, make him a person uniquely suited to serve our Savior and Southern Baptists in this crucial role at such a critical moment in our nation’s history. I join the trustees and ERLC staff in committing to pray for Russell and his dear family as he prepares to assume the tremendous responsibilities of the ERLC presidency.”

From Barry Creamer of Criswell College (chair of Search Committee):

“After praying, planning, meeting and working for months to find the man we believe God would have lead the ERLC, we are blessed by the board’s election of Russell Moore today and confident that God will use his message to impact churches and the public marketplace of ideas for what is right, true and desperately needed today.”

From Dr. Frank Page:

“Welcome, Dr. Moore to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. As an ethicist myself, I am always concerned about this particular area of our ministry. I am delighted that someone with Dr. Moore’s cultural awareness and concern for God’s people has been appointed to such a post for such a time as this. I encourage all Southern Baptists to pray for him during this time of transition, for the need has never been greater.”

From Dr. Paige Patterson:

“(Moore) has uniquely prepared himself spiritually, theologically, academically, and politically for just such a moment as this. Placing a leader with the right convictions, a razor-sharp mind, and a moral compass that will not fail paints a bright picture for Southern Baptists’ future.”

From Johnny Hunt:

I have one choice only for the ERLC, and that’s Dr. Russell Moore. He has the Christ-honoring qualities to lead us into our best years.

There is a press kit available that has 17 pages of endorsements from every corner of the Southern Baptist world, from family-issue parachurch organizations and from a wide range of politicians, all expressing support and enthusiasm for Dr. Moore’s election. There seems to be a general agreement among Baptist leaders that Dr. Moore was the right choice for this job.

He is a man of both high intellect and gracious spirit. He has strong convictions, but I believe he will demonstrate tact in expressing them. Southern Baptists are, in this Iowa pastor’s opinion, well served by this election.

1 Mike Leake March 26, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Though I assumed this was coming, I am ecstatic about this. Mostly because I am picture Dr. Moore being on CNN and other places speaking for Southern Baptist on these issues. That is a really good thing for us. Dr. Moore is very articulate and always brings things back to the gospel. He will speak with grace, charity, and strength.

I’m stoked.

2 Dave Miller March 26, 2013 at 4:19 pm

You young whippersnappers are always “stoked” about everything!

Seriously, this seems like a great hire. I’m sure there will be some grousing about his Mohler/Southern roots, but I think most folks realize he was the right man for the job- at least among the leadership.

3 Zack Stepp March 26, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Ditto to everything that Mike Leake said.

Having been critical of the ERLC on this blog before, I will now say unequivocally that this is a wonderful choice. Moore’s temperament, clarity, and insight will serve the SBC well in the coming years.

4 William Thornton March 26, 2013 at 4:21 pm

How long before we get the comment everyone expects? It has probably already been made, just not here.

5 William Thornton March 26, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Well, it was being posted while I was typing.

6 Dave Miller March 26, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Yeah. I thought about saying something in the post, but decided against it. Then, I went the other direction in my comment.

7 Tommy Rucker March 26, 2013 at 4:46 pm

I have to say I didn’t see this coming, but I’m very happy for Dr. Moore. Now maybe ERLC can be taken a bit more seriously.

8 Rick Patrick March 26, 2013 at 5:38 pm

On November 3, 2010, Dave Miller suggested the elimination of the ERLC.
http://sbcvoices.com/a-great-commission-suggestion-pink-slip-the-erlc/

Today, with six of our eleven SBC entities firmly under the control of Reformed leadership, I finally agree with him.

I am the opposite of stoked…unstoked, nonstoked, antistoked, stokeless, unstokeable, whatever it is.

And it’s not really personal. I do not dislike either Russ Moore or Jason Allen. It’s the principle. A doctrine held by 20% of the convention (at best) is now embraced by 55% of our entity leadership.

That ain’t right.

9 peter lumpkins March 26, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Rick,

Brother I can’t stop laughing. My belly just busted…

With that, I am…
Peter

10 Bart Barber March 26, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Rick, does a 4-pointer count as “Reformed” now? The doctrine held by 20% of the SBC (at best) is not, I guess, Limited Atonement, since Moore doesn’t hold that viewpoint either.

I believe in Perseverance, Depravity (by some definition), and Election. I refuse to define myself by reference to a dead Genevan, but for those who do so, they would probably regard me as a 3-pointer (and as a basketball fan, I’m comfortable with that label). I do not agree with Irresistible Grace nor with Limited Atonement.

I’m curious, where does that put me, by your measuring stick? Am I accompanied by only 20% of the convention? Do I now qualify as “Reformed”? Is 80% of the SBC made up of 1-pointers, do you think?

11 Dave Miller March 26, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Maybe we should call you “trey”?

12 Dave Miller March 26, 2013 at 6:41 pm

And may the spirit of these words, “I refuse to define myself by reference to a dead Genevan” infect the SBC like a virus.

13 Rick Patrick March 26, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Then why do they all have his picture up in their church office?

14 Rick Patrick March 26, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Bart,

Yes, I pretty much count four pointers as Calvinists. Unconditional Election and Irresistible Grace are the linchpins for me, provided that our definitions of atonement, perseverance and depravity are pretty close.

I do not believe, for example, that 55% of the SBC believes in Irresistible Grace.

15 Nick Horton March 26, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Four pointers are not Calvinists.

At any rate, how does a person being or not being a Calvinist affect their ability to perform the duties of president of the ERLC?

16 Rick Patrick March 26, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Nick,

The issue for me is not the single Moore election, but is seen in the larger picture of SBC leadership. Six of eleven entities.

17 Chris Roberts March 26, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Just a few more to go and we can finally go public with our grand scheme…

18 Rick Patrick March 26, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Chris,

So at eight, you’ll believe me? Nine? Ten? All eleven? The odds of this happening by chance are pretty weak. The design suggests a designer. This is not some random pattern or a typical sampling of Southern Baptists. There exists a statistically significant number of new leaders who are Calvinists with ties to Southern.

19 Rick Patrick March 26, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Chris,

To elaborate on the above thesis, let me share this summary, from one of your own, Ben Simpson:

SBTS – Mohler
SEBTS – Danny Akin, Mohler’s Dean of Theology
MBTS – Jason Allen, Mohler’s VP for Institutional Advancement
NAMB – Kevin Ezell, Mohler’s pastor
LifeWay – Thom Rainer, Mohler’s Dean of Missions, Evangelism, & Church Growth
ERLC – Russell Moore, Mohler’s Dean of Theology

20 svmuschany March 26, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Rick have you heard of the Bacon theory? I am willing to bet I could get every single SBC entity, and most SBC affiliated colleges/university within 2 connections to Paige Patterson, Adrian Rodgers, Dr. Cainer, ect. Shoot, I bet with 4 connections we could connect all those entities with Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

21 Nick Horton March 26, 2013 at 10:25 pm

“Chris,

So at eight, you’ll believe me? Nine? Ten? All eleven? The odds of this happening by chance are pretty weak. The design suggests a designer. This is not some random pattern or a typical sampling of Southern Baptists. There exists a statistically significant number of new leaders who are Calvinists with ties to Southern.”

Perhaps a Sovereign God?

22 Rick Patrick March 26, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Nick,

While I am comforted by your suggestion that all this is simply due to the Sovereignty of God, the alternative view is that God has chosen, in His Sovereignty, to endow Southern Baptists with the free will to select whomever we wish, and unknowingly, that selection process has been orchestrated by one who is arguably the most powerful Southern Baptist in history, and the closest we have ever come to a Pope.

If you are right, then God REALLY, REALLY likes Al Mohler.

23 Chris Roberts March 26, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Rick,

Granted, I doubt very much I could be convinced unless perhaps some of the alleged designers of this alleged design stepped up and declared outright they were carrying out such a design, and even then I’d be suspicious that someone had kidnapped one of their prized pet petunias and forced them to make the admission.

Southern is a large, high-quality institution. It does not surprise me in the least that people connected with that school are popping up all over the place. Mohler himself is certainly an influential individual and I’m sure his recommendations carry quite a bit of weight, but seeing people connected to him – perhaps even recommended by him – popping up around the SBC does not mean he is trying to design some sort of Calvinist takeover (if for no other reason than one wonders how many of these are Calvinists anyway), it just means he is doing what people do – recommending the individuals he thinks would be the best fit for the job. If the various duly appointed and elected trustees of the various entities happen to agree with him, so be it.

24 Ben Simpson March 27, 2013 at 12:53 am

Rick,

Since you quoted me with no citation so folks could get my whole quote from SBCtomorrow, I thought I’d post it here.

One commenter there said, “SBTS, SEBTS, MWBTS, NAMB, LifeWay … and now ERLC.” So, I responded with the following:

I have to admit that it really is amazing that every single one of the men leading those entities served closely with Mohler directly before they got the position.

SBTS – Mohler
SEBTS – Danny Akin, Mohler’s Dean of Theology
MBTS – Jason Allen, Mohler’s VP for Institutional Advancement
NAMB – Kevin Ezell, Mohler’s pastor
LifeWay – Thom Rainer, Mohler’s Dean of Missions, Evangelism, & Church Growth
ERLC – Russell Moore, Mohler’s Dean of Theology

Only GGBTS, SWBTS, NOBTS, and President of the Executive Committee are left. Astounding! Paige Patterson is in his early 70s and is sure to retire soon. Just imagine if somebody connected to Mohler was to get that presidency!

Mohler certainly surrounds himself with great men, and I don’t doubt every one of these men were the best qualified, but I think it’s undeniable that his influence is very great (unprecedented?) in the SBC. I ain’t mad about it. In fact, I’m deeply thankful for all that Dr Mohler has done in service to the SBC. I’m just calling a spade a spade.

Dr Moore will do an amazing job, I believe, and I’m glad that in God’s providence, he has gained the appointment to the ERLC.

25 Bart Barber March 26, 2013 at 6:54 pm

I don’t know. I try to be careful about predicting percentages in the SBC, because every time I do, Stetzer commissions another poll for the sole purpose of discrediting me (he can’t overcome his envy of my good looks and savoir-faire). Nevertheless, I’d offer my guess that most Southern Baptists who are bothered by Calvinism are far-and-away bothered MOST by Limited Atonement.

Hey, I’m generally friendly toward Calvinists, but Limited Atonement bothers ME quite a bit.

26 Alan Cross March 26, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Bart, I am probably with you on TULIP but I have some nuances as I read scripture. I don’t see why we are defining ourselves according to Calvin either.

My understanding is that Russ Moore is NOT a Calvinist. Now, there is complaining because he affirms 4 points? Lots
and lots of Baptists affirm 4 points, 3 points, and even 5 points. Why would this be an issue? Odd.

27 Bill Mac March 27, 2013 at 9:47 am

Are any of those folks mentioned in Ben’s comment self-professed 5 point Calvinists other than Mohler?

28 Rick Patrick March 27, 2013 at 9:58 am

I believe they are all Four Pointers. A normal distribution would include a few ones or twos, mostly threes and one or two fours and fives. It’s clearly skewed. Let’s not move the goalposts and act like Four Pointers are not on the Calvinist side of the equation.

29 Jared Moore March 27, 2013 at 10:19 am

Rick, you’re evaluating SBC leaders based on doctrines more narrow than the BF&M2K.

I think the best person for the job should be the one elected, regardless how close he is to my theology.

30 Bill Mac March 27, 2013 at 10:53 am

A normal distribution occurs with random selection.

31 Dave Miller March 27, 2013 at 11:48 am

Rick’s position (if I understand it) is that the SBC should employ some sort of quota system, based on the general populace of the SBC and their various soteriological systems.

To this point, the SBC has not instituted a quota system, and my hope would be that they never will. Ever.

32 volfan007 March 27, 2013 at 11:52 am

Dave,

I dont really think that’s what Rick is saying. I could be wrong, but I dont think so. He will tell us what he thinks, I’m sure.

I believe what Rick is saying is simply that a lot of Calvinist with close ties to Dr. Mohler are getting into leadership positions, which backs up his claim that Calvinists are slowly but surely taking over the SBC leadership positions. And, this shouldnt be, whenever the vast majority of people in the SBC are Non Calvinists.

I think that’s what Rick is really saying.

David

33 Nick Horton March 27, 2013 at 11:55 am

What, like affirmative action? Seems un-republican!

I hope my spirit of joking is coming through in these posts. Thinly veiled sarcastic humor and text don’t always come through.

34 Dave Miller March 27, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Well, I’ve seen a lot of Rick’s comments and they tend to focus on proportionality. That is the basis of most of his complaints. It sure seems like a quota system to me.

By the way, to believe that this is part of some kind of Calvinist power grab, you have to believe that the chair of the search committee, an ardent non-Calvinist, caved to Mohler’s pressure and went along with things.

I just don’t think most of us in the SBC operate with the strict Calvinist/Non-Calvinist dichotomy that some focus on.

35 Jared Moore March 27, 2013 at 12:01 pm

David, you mean Southern Baptists are “taking over leadership positions,” right? Not “Calvinists,” right? Because you believe Calvinists are equally as Southern Baptist as Non-Calvinists?

36 volfan007 March 27, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Jared,

Dont play games with me. Of course, Calvinists are SB’s. Rick is simply saying that a lot of the Calvinist kind of SB’s with strong connections to Dr. Mohler are the one’s, who seem to be taking over all the leadership of SB entities…whenever the vast majority of SB’s are Non Calvinists.

Now, if you wanna play semantic word games, and act like an ostrich with his head stuck in the sand, and such…well, I’m not interested.

David

37 Rick Patrick March 27, 2013 at 12:16 pm

There is a quota system right now. The quota is 100%. The criteria is a strong personal tie to Al Mohler and Calvinist theology.

All I’m doing is recommending a change in the existing quota’s percentage. If six of the last seven entity heads (not Eliff at IMB) have been Calvinists with ties to Mohler, can we not fill six of the next seven vacancies with those who are not Calvinists and have no ties to Mohler?

I think the imbalance here makes the convention less stable. We all would like a seat at the table. There are people who are not Calvinists who are very qualified to serve. They are being overlooked, and it appears to be intentional.

38 Bill Mac March 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Rick: You’re going to have to convince all the non-Calvinists who keep hiring 4 pointers to all these positions. They seem to be employing different qualification criteria than you are.

39 Dave Miller March 27, 2013 at 12:34 pm

I think you are seeing mirages in the desert, Rick. But I’m guessing there is as much chance of me convincing you that they are not real as you convincing me that they are.

40 Dave Miller March 26, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Rick, the fact is that for a lot of us, everything does not come down to whether someone is a Calvinist or not.

It seems that the leadership of the SBC, Calvinist and non-Calvinist alike, agreed that this was the right choice.

41 BDW March 26, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Interestingly, Calvinism was very much a part of the search committee process, at least for Barry Creamer. Read his interview with SB Texan. The second question about Calvinism just kinda came out of nowhere – I didn’t see that coming when I was reading. I guess there is some context to that, specifically as it relates to Creamer.

http://texanonline.net/archives/4541/

Oh…and great choice, IMO. Dr. Moore is a great person, great model of civility, a real ethicist.

42 Chris Roberts March 26, 2013 at 6:35 pm

I laughed when the guy, praising Moore’s universal atonement, said, “He’s very particular about it.”

43 Dave Miller March 26, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Yeah, great wording choice. Or, maybe he had no choice….

44 Bart Barber March 26, 2013 at 6:40 pm

The reason for the question is, perhaps, easier to understand if you are involved in the SBTC. Every year at our annual meeting, Criswell College hosts a (very popular) dinner at which Barry Creamer dismantles a Calvinist in a debate. This year it was Tom Nettles. Last year it was Mark Dever. Creamer is—I think this is an accurate description—ruthless in those debates. And so, for an SBTC audience, seeing Barry Creamer elect a member of the administration at Southern is interesting. People in this state convention would quite naturally find themselves asking the question posed in that article.

45 Dave Miller March 26, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Are those debates online anywhere?

46 Bart Barber March 26, 2013 at 6:47 pm

I really don’t know. I’d check Criswell’s web site. The event is theirs, even though it occurs at the SBTC Annual Meeting.

47 Ben Simpson March 26, 2013 at 7:06 pm
48 Chris Roberts March 26, 2013 at 7:09 pm

“Creamer is—I think this is an accurate description—ruthless in those debates.”

Sounds fun. :)

49 Bart Barber March 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Hottest ticket in town. Every year.

50 Brent Hobbs March 26, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Listened to the Dever discussion. Dismantled? C’mon Bart. I was expecting a better showing out of Creamer than that after your discription. They spent more time agreeing over stuff than finding substantive disagreements. When disagreements were uncovered, the moderators cut off discussion.

51 Bart Barber March 26, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Expected Dever to do really well, but it was a temperament mismatch. Creamer won the debate hands-down, primarily because Dever was too irenic to engage fully.

52 Chris Roberts March 26, 2013 at 11:57 pm

I didn’t listen to the whole thing, stopped after 15 minutes or so because at that point they’d just been agreeing about everything. It did eventually turn into a debate?

53 Bart Barber March 27, 2013 at 12:03 am

Creamer tried to turn it into a debate.

I must admit, it has been at least 18 months since I sat there. I’m giving you my impression of the debate from having attended it. There was not much debate to it for quite a while, and then Creamer started trying to get to some items of disagreement. Dever tended to steer those toward agreement.

Don’t get me wrong: That’s why Mark Dever is such a really great guy. I think he’d probably rather be known as a good pastor than a good debater.

My whole point in bringing it up was simply to give the context in which the question about Calvinism makes sense in an SBTC paper.

54 David R. Brumbelow March 27, 2013 at 9:27 am

I was also at the Creamer / Dever Debate.
Creamer did a very, very good job.
Just wish they had more time.
David R. Brumbelow

55 Brent Hobbs March 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm

It was more than a temperament mismatch – they are in related but very different fields of expertise, no one seems to treat it like a debate other than Creamer (was it billed as such beforehand?), and any time the discussion was actually getting good the moderator cut them off to move on. I could see how someone who agreed with Creamer would think he did well, but you can tell from Dever’s response (and I agree with him) that he never thought Creamer landed a blow, in debate terminology.

Now I do wish the Nettles discussion were available online. I imagine someone really did get “dismantled” in that one. :)

56 Nick Horton March 26, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Indeed, Dave. Dr. Moore seems to me to be perfectly qualified for this role. Whether he be more particular or more general; he’s a baptist. He’s a well spoken, theologically conservative, politically savvy, and critical thinking baptist. Perfect man for the job, in my estimation. Glad he will represent our values as Christians well.

It doesn’t bother me a bit if he leans democrat or republican, because he honors Christ above all. He’s for marriage, and against abortion. He’s an ethicist. I’m really struggling to determine how a particular bent to his theology disqualifies him in the minds of some.

57 Ken Hamrick March 26, 2013 at 9:37 pm

The main disagreement is whether or not God ultimately and unconditionally determines the destinies of men. While 20% of the convention may be 5-point Calvinists, it is deceptive to implicitly coopt the middle (compatibilists/antinomists), making the percentage of libertarians (traditionalists) seem larger than it is. If the percentages were polled based only on this issue of divine determinism of destinies, you might be surprised to find libertarians closer to the 20% mark. Now, there’s a poll worth taking…

58 Debbie Kaufman March 26, 2013 at 6:37 pm

BTW: Would Moore really say he was Calvinist? Bart Barber asks a good question in the SBCVoice announcement. I think it more than answers Rick and gets to the heart of the matter. Either way, I have no problem with Russell Moore being appointed although I am one who thinks the ERLC job should be done away with. It isn’t and Moore is a good choice.

59 Dave Miller March 26, 2013 at 6:39 pm

I would have supported the elimination of the entire commission, but am certainly willing to give Dr. Moore the opportunity to demonstrate that I was wrong!

60 Rick Patrick March 26, 2013 at 6:51 pm

I’m mostly just having fun. Dr. Moore is articulate and smart. As I’ve shared before, his previous work for a Democratic politician stretches my comfort zone a bit, and the overall number of reformed leaders with ties to Southern grows a bit more disconcerting every time someone is chosen.

But I wish the ERLC well. I hope we will engage the culture both forcefully and biblically.

61 svmuschany March 26, 2013 at 9:17 pm

I assume you are talking about Gene Taylor there. From what I have seen and heard, Gene Taylor is of the same cloth as Zell Miller. That is a socially and fiscally conservative Democrat. THere are many parts of the country who are conservative, but were born Democrat, raised Democrat, and will die Democrat, and thus that is they way they vote (mostly older generations who are such but younger ones do exist). I hope you can then see how Dr. Moore’s support for a conservative politician is alright, even though such a politician had a (D) behind their name.

62 Nick Horton March 26, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Was Jesus a democrat or a republican?

On second thought nevermind. On top of calvinism we need not throw politics in the mix. The blog may melt down.

63 svmuschany March 26, 2013 at 9:38 pm

I would say Jesus was a Democrat because He went into Jerusalem ridding on a donkey. And God was a Republican because based on His omniscience, one could say he “never forgets” just like Elephants are said to do. What party the Holy Spirit is I dont know.

64 Doug Hibbard March 26, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Probably Libertarian. (2 Cor 3:17 in KJV)

65 Rick Patrick March 26, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Jesus was a Republican. Not only are the sheep are on the RIGHT while the goats are on the LEFT, but Jesus sits at the RIGHT hand of the Father. Furthermore, Jesus paid His taxes, and gave to the poor, even though he was poor Himself, rather than expecting the government to give money to Him. Jesus also believes in a strong defense, as He will wage war in the greatest battle of all time, and win decisively. He does not despise wealth, as heaven’s streets are of gold and gates are pearly. I need not even mention His view of the sanctity of human life and the appropriate definition of the institution of marriage.

66 volfan007 March 26, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Rick,

:)

David

67 Adam G. in NC March 27, 2013 at 12:15 pm

The Devil is probably a RINO (Matt 7:15)

68 jtilson March 26, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Rick Patrick
Could you please tell me how you think these entity heads were appointed? One assumes that they were appointed by their trustees. And who appointed their trustees? Do you think they were appointed by Presidents of the Convention who were in the 20%Calvinists or were they appointed in the Convention process by the 80% Non Calvinist or”Trads”? Could it be that the past dozen or so Presidents have simply recognized Trustees who could be trusted to do the right thing and they have in turn appointed entity heads who were trustworthy?

It is a question that has an answer.

69 Rick Patrick March 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm

I don’t know how all these leaders with Mohler ties were installed. Perhaps the trustees in each individual case were only looking at their individual nominee, without considering the cumulative effect. Perhaps there was enough influence, in each case, to sway those without strong feelings. On the ERLC Search Team, I believe two of the members were from Mark Dever’s church.

I guess if I had to speculate, I would say that a few influential trustees in each case strongly supported the Mohler candidate, while the rest more or less went along with it. If some such process was not at work, then it is difficult for me to attribute all the Mohler connections to coincidence.

70 Nick Horton March 27, 2013 at 2:16 pm

So, you’re ascribing an ulterior motive without any knowledge of the proceedings? Can you not presume the best from your christian brothers and sisters?

71 Rick Patrick March 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Nick,

Can you not presume the best from me?

I did not ascribe an ulterior MOTIVE. I only speculated regarding their ACTIONS based upon SBC entity leader election results.

I simply cannot accept that six entity heads with Mohler ties is something that happens by accident. I think it happened purposefully. Their motives may have been good, at least in their eyes. I’m just saying I believe it did not happen by itself.

72 Nick Horton March 27, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Perhaps its best I not answer the question.

Dave has already requested we move on from the speculation of Calvinism.

I’ll just say I’m happy Dr. Moore is President of the ERLC.

73 Mark March 27, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Rick said, “I simply cannot accept that six entity heads with Mohler ties is something that happens by accident.”

I suspected he believed in God’s divine providence. Took long enough to come out.

74 svmuschany March 26, 2013 at 10:08 pm

People are making a big deal over the “ratio” of “Calvinists” in leadership over SBC institutions. Others are making a big deal over how many of “Mohler disciples” there are. And maybe, yes it is true that the majority of SBC folks in the pews are not Calvinist(ic). But I would put forward that it is also true that the majority of SBC folk in the pews would not care, and/or actually be discusted with how some people have been attacking SBC leaders and Institutions. The average person in the pew is not going to care that Moore is a “4 point Calvinist” or what not, they are going to care if/whether he is articulate in presenting Southern Baptist morals and ethics to the world. If he can do that, he will have the support of the average SBC pew warmer. If he cant, then he wont. Just as most people did not care one way or the other that Dr. Land was, shall we say, less than friendly towards Calvinists, so too will people feel about Dr. Moore as long as he is good at the job he has been asked to do.

Furthermore what does it say to a world when we have such internal devisions? When easily 99% of the world does not care about how many “disciples” Dr. Mohler has, or how many SBC entities are headed by (3, 4, 5 point calvinists), how can the world take us seriously if we do make that the focus of our efforts, especially in an entity that has less to do about theology which we may disagree on, and more on morality and ethics which I dare say both sides agree on 99.99% of the time. The world would scream “GET YOUR OWN HOUSE IN ORDER BEFORE YOU LECTURE US!!!” And they would be right. We can have discussions on theology, but when it gets in the way of our witness to the world, especially as we try to save the world from perverse morals and ethical practices, we fail as the hands and feet of God. We fail! And that is sad.

75 Jared Moore March 27, 2013 at 12:11 am

I think the fact that several leaders of SBC entities at one time served under Al Mohler just proves that he knows a good leader when he sees one. There’s no way Mohler can encourage Trustee committees who are probably made up of a majority of non-Calvinists to vote in Calvinists. If there’s really a “Calvinist takeover” happening, then the non-Calvinist trustees are the ones who are doing it.

I think Moore got this job because he’s the most qualified to do it. To argue otherwise diminishes both Dr. Moore and the committee who chose him.

76 John March 27, 2013 at 8:36 am

I think hiring Dr. Moore to this position was a great move.

77 volfan007 March 27, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Dave,

I would dare say that many things in SB life are determined in back rooms, and many people are elected to many positions in SB life due to who you know, and where you stand on issues, a whole lot more than a lot of people want to believe. I think the same can be said of state conventions, as well. I think we see this kind of thing taking place in a lot of different places…..Churches(who the next Pastor will be); government; businesses; and Little League(who gets to coach, and who gets to pitch, and who gets to play and who doesnt).

And, it’s been going on for years and years and years.

A lot of times, there’s an agenda taking place. And, certain people are put into place to further that agenda. Or, friends and family are being placed in certain positions, because they’re friends or family. Many times, I’ve been told who the next leader of X would be by people in the know, before it was ever even voted on by a board, or by a convention, etc. How do you think they knew these things? How did they know that X was gonna be the next leader of Y, or Z; before anything was publicly said?

So, for Rick and Peter to say what they say about the SBC is not that far of a stretch in my mind. I’ve seen things like this take place before…many times…in many different situations….

David

PS. I like Dr. Russell Moore. I think he’s a fine, godly man, who is very smart, articulate, and a very good preacher. I think he’ll do a fine job as our new ERLC leader……

78 Dale Pugh March 27, 2013 at 12:54 pm

We can probably all recite situations where Satan got the blame for what he didn’t do and the Holy Spirit got credit for things in which He was only marginally involved…….
Not saying that such is the case here, but let’s not forget the “upward mobility” factor that is involved even in ministry.

79 William Thornton March 27, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Russ Moore was the obvious choice here, predicted by many and expected by most who follow such things. He will do well and I would only suggest that he pay more attention to religious liberty issues than to the culture war stuff.

I’m not with my colleague Rick on the quota stuff…yet. At the present, the most salient observation along these lines may be that some entities on the state level have made a practice of de-hiring Calvinists. This bears watching. Autonomous entities and trustee boards have that prerogative but I would prefer they plainly state what their institutional goals and policies are in this regard.

On the SBC level I recognize that some of my Traditionalist brothers are smoked rather than toked about the recent institutional CEO hires in the SBC. I don’t object to head counters (Rick keeps the batting average here, obviously) so long as they do not become head hunters.

I would ask Rick and others these questions:
1. After two major meltdowns, do you think that Kevin Ezell has put NAMB on the right track, or if you demur there, do you think that he has at least avoided the catastrophes of NAMB’s recent past and has the organization on solid footing?
2. If Jason Allen merely avoids repeating the embarrassing actions and resultant destructive actions of his non-Calvinistic MBTS predecessors and manages to not begin churning out rabid Calvinist seminary grads bent on destroying established SBC churches, will he at least get a grudging vote of approval?
3. If Russ Moore doesn’t morph into a talk show personality and acts credibly and responsibly at the ERLC, will he get a grudging nod of approval?

My Calvinist friends here and elsewhere will have to accustom themselves to the reality that points will be counted and scores will be kept. It is where some in the SBC are and I don’t see that changing.

80 Dale Pugh March 27, 2013 at 1:40 pm

If any of your Traditionalist friends are “toked” about anything, I’d be finding some new Traditionalist friends…….:-)

81 Dave Miller March 27, 2013 at 2:41 pm

I think we’ve worked this over long enough. Unless we have some new information or perspective, let’s leave the Calvinism issue behind for now.

82 Mike Leake March 27, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Dr. Moore once spoke of putting kittens in a woodchipper. Does that qualify as new information?

83 Nick Horton March 27, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Ahhh. That brought a belly laugh. Thank you, brother.

84 Chris Roberts March 27, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Did he say whether or not the kittens were predestined for the woodchipper?

85 Mike Leake March 27, 2013 at 3:45 pm

You know that wasn’t a point that seemed to concern him. Only that people don’t have to put baby kittens in a woodchipper to need the gospel of Jesus. He didn’t really seem concerned with much else.

86 Randall Cofield March 27, 2013 at 2:58 pm

With so many high-level entity posts being filled by those influenced by SBTS and Mohler…is it perhaps possible that this is a testimony to the quality of Mohler’s leadership and the quality of SBTS training? Perhaps?

If the trustees hiring these individuals are hiring the best-qualified individuals…what does that say about Mohler and SBTS?

Perhaps those asking if something sinister is afoot here are asking the wrong question…

Any board of trustees would be hard-pressed to find a better qualified President for the ERLC than Dr. Moore.

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