I Agree With Danny Akin

Danny Akin began his report by saying something to the effect that Paige Patterson does not owe me an apology for sharing the gospel and fulfilling the Great Commission. Ditto for me, Danny.

Now, I’m pretty much a rules guy. I believe in asking permission, not forgiveness. Clearly, Patterson made an executive decision he was not authorized to make. Just as clearly, he offered one of the most profoundly moving and sincere apologies you will ever, ever hear. I was literally moved to tears.

Think about it… The bold and courageous, wild game hunting, lion hearted general of the Southern Baptist Conservative Resurgence humbling himself tearfully and apologizing for the sorrow he brought to the very convention he saved from the devastation of liberalism.

If I ever get in trouble for something and find myself in the middle of a scandal, I hope it will be for the offense of doing everything I possibly can to win a lost soul to personal faith in Jesus Christ.

Both Patterson and his Board Chairman handled that situation with grace.

Comments

  1. Dwight McKissic says

    Rick,

    Amen. I agree with most of what you’ve written here. I believe Dr. Patterson was sincere. It was a heartfelt apology. I had the privilege to tell him that his apology modeled for all of us as pastors who have found ourselves at times in a position to have to apologize to our congregations, how to do it. I fell in love with Paige Patterson as he was giving that apology. It was sincere. It was directed to the right categories of persons. It was an admission of having violated established policy and trust. It did not appear to be a forced apology, or only done to maintain position and power. It was simply a masterful, moving, and again, modeling type of apology that will forever be remembered in the annals of SBC history. It moved me to want to give a small donation to SWBTS as a gesture of saying I-as one Southern Baptist-accept your apology.

    And that is where I have a variation of agreement with you and Danny Akin. The apology was absolutely necessary for all the reasons he mentioned. He was guilty of doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. However, he did the wrong thing. To admit that was absolutely necessary. I publicly in a Star Telegram interview spoke out loudly that he was wrong to have violated the policy for various reasons. I am grateful for the Voices venue being available to me to also loudly say that, I accept his apology. Many of us in the SBC could learn a great deal from his apology.

  2. Todd says

    The question does remain on the table. Will this student be allowed to continue his studies at SWBTS? If this student was admitted for the sake of evangelism, then will future unbelievers be admitted as well? Will the requirements of applicants that they be active members in an evangelical church while enrolled as a student be rescinded for all students or just the few that the President hand selects? Will future pastor search committees understand that just because a candidate has a theological degree from SWBTS does not necessarily mean that he is a believer in Jesus Christ as his Lord? Is the President of a SBC Seminary free to operate above and in contradiction to the rules? How valuable is a confession without repentance?

    The question on the table is not Dr. Patterson’s devotion to evangelism; I believe he has settled that question with his life’s work. The question is about the role of a seminary, the responsibility of a seminary President to operate in submission to the rules, and the role of the Trustees to hold the President accountable.

  3. Tarheel says

    Rick and Dwight,

    I agree wholeheartedly. I was enamored in a good way with PP as he humbled himself in a way that I’ve never seen from him. I think it was dean who said that humility and PP do not typically belong in the same sentence. Paise The Lord for his convicting power within the hearts of man. They’ll be, and should be a price to pay – but forgiveness is certainly granted for his overstep and operating under faulty assumption of power.

    Still it needs to be completely investigated as to whether there was also inappropriate use of power to intimidate or silence dissidents and whistleblowers… What’s the old saying; “it’s the coverup that’s worse than the crime and could really get you.”

    I hope the remaining accusations are not true. If they aren’t kll be calling for public apologies from the accusers.

    I hope he remains president (I’m not and have not) calling for his scalp or head. As Dwight said – his motives were good – but his actions are wrong- and in employment situations it’s actions that bring consequences.

    I’m praying for him and the trustees as hard and uncomfortable days are certainly ahead.

    • Tarheel says

      Further, Aikens comment only dealt with PP’s motives (which everyone I know embraces as good) it did not address PP’s action. For THAT he DID owe an apology.

      • says

        Tarheel
        Right on all counts. I agree with both comments. Again I say it is time to let the trustees do their job. At this point that is the decent and orderly thing to do.

  4. Chris Johnson says

    The lips of the righteous feed many,
    But fools die for lack of understanding.
    It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich,
    And He adds no sorrow to it.
    Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool,
    And so is wisdom to a man of understanding.

    Proverbs 10:21-23 (NASB)

  5. John Wylie says

    I know this is off subject and at the risk of revealing my nerdiness, I was watching CSPAN this morning and was pleased to watch the president of the SBC open the House of Representatives in prayer.

    • Tarheel says

      Yea, he tweeted about his doing that.

      I think it’s a tradition for the new SBC president to do that.

  6. Tarheel says

    Just to clarify another one of my infamous phone posting misspellings – Clay Aiken has not taken over the President at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary thankfully the President is still Danny Akin. ;-)

  7. says

    While I thought the apology was necessary I still felt like it was more of a sorry I got caught and an acknowledgment that he did the wrong thing. Instead it seemed like a defense of the ends justifying the means. I don’t doubt Patterson’s passion for the lost. That came through loud and clear yet what also came through loud and clear was that a good motive can justify the use of bad means. Should we invite muslims to preach at our churches in hopes that they might hear the gospel? Should we invite homosexuals to study at our seminaries so that they might be saved? I felt like the issue was not dealt with directly. A heart for the lost does not justify breaking the trust that the convention establishes with the school. Uzzah might have had good motives in trying to keep the ark from falling on the ground yet he disobeyed God’s approved methods and was killed for it. We as a convention have got to get past this idea that any old means will do. I wish he would have stopped at his apology without going further and justifying his actions. That would have been truly remarkable in my opinion.

    • says

      That first sentence should read “While I thought the apology was necessary I still felt like it was more of a sorry I got caught instead of an acknowledgment that he did the wrong thing.” I am still getting used to the fact that we can’t edit our comments on here.

      • Tarheel says

        That’s exactly right Joseph.

        The apology was tremendously humble and gracious however he kept talking and I think that was the problem. It was by the end of his speech seeming, perhaps not his intent, but seeming to be an argument for the end justifying the means.

        If he had stopped talking before saying “all that being said – or having said that” or whatever his transition to justification was – it’d have been much better….IMO.

      • Rick Patrick says

        Joseph,

        Brother, I marvel how two people can experience the same event and come away with such differing interpretations. I have heard many apologies before that were truly *non-apologies* where the person was not broken, humbled or sincere–just mad they got caught.

        I, for one, absolutely *did not* get that impression here. Yes, after making his sincere apology for causing sorrow and overstepping his authority, he did provide some background information about similar situations at Criswell College and an explanation of why he did what he did. I received that information as helpful in evaluating the whole ordeal.

        Finally, the discussion about standing before God one day is certainly apropos. In fact, it should govern all our actions, right? As I’ve shared elsewhere, when the missionaries claim to be in a closed country merely to teach or engage in business, while all along they are secretly there to share the gospel, the only ethical justification I can find for such a hidden agenda is that indeed “the end justifies the means.” If an ethicist could weigh in with another one, I’ll be glad to yield. Until then, if the end justifies the means for our missionaries, maybe the same can be said for a Seminary President.

        He did the wrong thing for the right reason, but it was still wrong, and he apologized for it sincerely. At least, that’s how I saw it. Judging from the standing ovation, I was not the only one who saw things that way.

        • Tarheel says

          Rick,

          Given that logic – I have a question.

          Do you support changing the charters and missions of all six seminaries to allow and encourage unbelieving persons to enter our seminaries for Christian ministry training?

          Shouldn’t we just change the policy if if we all ascribe to what Patterson said that “yes I broke the policy I was wrong and I’m sorry for breaking the policy …. but hey God approves of my decision to break the rule because of its evangelistic motives. ”

          If that’s the case should we just change the rule?

          • Rick Patrick says

            That is one excellent question I hope the Trustees will consider. Changing the policy would seem almost a necessity in the case of the seminary classes being offered in prison, as referenced by the question asked by Jim Richards. I hope the trustees at least consider clarifying both the charter and the process for making any exceptions.

          • Christiane says

            “If that’s the case should we just change the rule?”

            “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
            “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
            “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – – that’s all.”
            (Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 6)

          • says

            I sure hope they do not change from their purpose of training Christians for ministry by accepting students who are not Christians. If so it will not be long and the seminaries will go the way of Harvard.
            I really want to address the idea that the ends justify the means. If that is true than we can justify a lot of means. Pastors can out right lie in the pulpit because the ends justify the means. This is a very dangerous precedent. The fact that God can use wrong or sinful actions to bring about good does not mean therefore that we do wrong things and hope for good things. Ultimately I think this attitude comes from a mistaken priority. Our first priority as baptists is not evangelism as important as it is. Our first priority is to glorify God and to love him with all of our hearts, souls, and minds. Then the second commandment is to love our neighbor which includes evangelism. However when we invert these two commandments then several mistakes usually happen. Liberals do invert these priorities and become accepting of all kinds of sin in the name of love. While we are not liberals, we can place such an emphasize on evangelism that we would allow all kinds of mistaken and God-dishonoring practices in the name of evangelism. Our first priority must be to God and obeying his commandments. Evangelism will naturally flow out of that priority but we will remain focused on doing it in God-honoring ways. Bringing this back around, our seminaries were created by the SBC primarily to train Christians for ministry. They do not exist as institutions to evangelize the lost by opening classes to non-Christians. The churches of the SBC have placed in trust these seminaries for specific purposes and to change these policies is a major breach of trust. I am not calling for Patterson to resign but I do want the trustees to make it clear that this practice will not happen again. Which is why I strongly disagree with Patterson’s reasons for breaking the trust of the convention.

          • Tarheel says

            Rick, that question by Jim Richards (which I am actively choosing and working real hard to not view as a plant to soften the blow of the issue with regard to the on campus Muslim) is a totally different matter. I view it as 1) a prison ministry – and if it is as Patterson described it is for “lifers” to be taught the scriptures and 2) gives opportunity for Christian students learning how to proclaim and preach the word to gain training in that setting.

            Both of those missions are in keeping with the charter. However, I still think that prison ministries should be headed up and done by local churches and not a seminary…the seminary should give aid to the church…not the other way around.

            I cannot however go along with you and accept your notion of ending our distinctively Christian and Baptist education taking place at our seminaries by making it too inclusive.

            Ending the distinctively Christian education and ministry training centers is exactly what your notion would do.

          • says

            Much of what we are saying IMO is academic. Our seminaries have a strong history and heritage of providing distinctively Christian education for Southern Baptist pastors. The average SB will desire to keep that heritage. The “Patterson Incident” is a glitch in the system. The trustees will deal with that single issue. However, there will be no change in the direction of the schools.

        • Chris Johnson says

          For better, or for worse…Paige Patterson has forged his own legacy. That has been his way all the way through. No surprises.

          Blessings,
          Chris

  8. Bill Mac says

    As I’ve shared elsewhere, when the missionaries claim to be in a closed country merely to teach or engage in business, while all along they are secretly there to share the gospel, the only ethical justification I can find for such a hidden agenda is that indeed “the end justifies the means

    Is that happening? Is that what our missionaries do? For real?

    • Rick Patrick says

      Bill Mac,

      I am more than willing to be corrected, but my understanding was that certain closed countries needed English teachers, engineers, businessmen, agricultural training, medical personnel, etc., and that the way we get them in those countries is to avoid calling them “Christian Missionaries.” These are the people whose names are not fully listed on the Missionary Prayer Calendars. If the countries knew they were missionaries, they would not be allowed to enter.

      Again, if I’m wrong about this, it wouldn’t be the first time. Also, if there is any other ethical justification than the ends justifying the means, I’m all ears as well. Personally, I think these ends do justify these means. But then again, I watch too much Jack Bauer on 24, and he’s always doing terrible things to people and justifying it in order to save the world, so I may need a remedial Christian Ethics class.

      • says

        In the situation where a government does not allow Christians to speak their faith then our duty is to disobey that government. Therefore in the case of these missionaries I do not think this is a case of the ends justifying the means because the means used are no evil or sinful. It is not evil or sinful to disobey governments when they require of us what belongs to God. We talked about this issue in my ethics class and I am sure there are some good sources regarding the issue of missionaries going as businessmen or teachers and the ethical implications of it. Our prof made sure to make it clear that this was not a case of the ends justifying the means. I will try to see if I can go back and get my notes.

      • Stephen says

        If the missionaries are truly and legitimately about the businesses they tell the government they are about, I don’t see it as lying. We would do better in America if we viewed our jobs as a means of entry and provision so we could be about our “real work” as missionaries and disciple-makers in this country, while maintaining our jobs as good work and part of our created design.

        It would be very unethical and perhaps un-Christian if a missionary was directly confronted by an official and denied his gospel proclamation.

        • Tarheel says

          Right on, Stephen.

          We’re all missionaries no matter what profession we practice by trade.

          So long as the missionaries are actually trading in what they say they are – they aren’t lying.

          I also appreciate and agree with your last sentence.

          • Bill Mac says

            It seems like walking a fine line. Disobeying a government and taking the consequences is one thing, deception (either by commission or omission) is another.

        • Stephen M Young II says

          Here are some scripture worth thinking about to that end.

          So they ordered Peter and John to leave the council room and began to discuss the matter among themselves. They said, “What should we do to these men? Clearly, they’ve performed a miracle that everyone in Jerusalem knows about. We can’t deny that. So let’s threaten them. Let’s tell them that they must never speak to anyone about the one named Jesus. Then the news about the miracle that they have performed will not spread any further among the people.” They called Peter and John and ordered them never to teach about Jesus or even mention his name. Peter and John answered them, “Decide for yourselves whether God wants people to listen to you rather than to him. We cannot stop talking about what we’ve seen and heard.” The authorities threatened them even more and then let them go. Since all the people were praising God for what had happened, the authorities couldn’t find any way to punish Peter and John.
          (Acts 4:15-21)

          Everyone will hate you because you are committed to me. But the person who patiently endures to the end will be saved. So when they persecute you in one city, flee to another. I can guarantee this truth: Before you have gone through every city in Israel, the Son of Man will come.
          (Matthew 10:22-23)

      • Adam Blosser says

        “But then again, I watch too much Jack Bauer on 24,”

        I found another point of agreement between us, Rick.

    • andy says

      I think Wyman has some very good points here.

      Also, Rick…I hate to point out the obvious, but seeing as Danny Akin is basically a 4pt Calvinist, you are prohibited by SBC article 316 from ever agreeing with him. Sorry. ????

    • Greg Harvey says

      One of the responses on his blog actually pretty much states my feelings:

      “We did not clap nor stand in support after the apology, not did many others. At first, it seemed genuine. But when there’s a “but”…is it really an apology? It was almost as if PP was saying “I’m sorry you are upset, but I did it for God.” The end doesn’t justify the means.”

      An apology without a but is an excuse, not an apology.

      • Greg Harvey says

        Excuse me: An apology WITH a but is an excuse. Without one and without qualifications and with repentance–i.e. a commitment not to go across the line again–is an apology.

  9. Tarheel says

    I did not stand nor clap and I’d venture to say at least 40% of the other people in there did not either. I was on the very back row and could see almost every corner of the seating area.

    I wAs prepared to stand and clap when he apologized…. But he immediatly ruined it with his quick transition to rationalization. IMO

    The link Mark posted could have been written by me (of course it wouldn’t be near as beautifully articulated had it been ) – it asks exactly the same questions I have!

    • Dwight McKissic says

      Tarheel,

      I am glad we met. When I read your comments now, I give them a more open and fairer interpretation. I got great insight into your personality at the dinner gathering. You and I are both highly opinionated, strong will, and “I’m absolutely right” kind of people. As long as we share the same opinion, you and I are fine. When we don’t, we are like bulls in a China shop. Just wanted you to know that you are alright in my book, and for the times I blew up at you on this blog, I apologize.

      • Dwight McKissic says

        I gained great insight into your personality? Would have been a better way to express my thought, rather that “I got great insight……”

        • Tarheel says

          Lol. Dwight. I Thought for a moment there you was going all charismatic on me and were professing some sort of revelation…. Oh, nebpvermind. ;-)

          Seriously, likewise. You’re a good guy.

          Wrong a lot but a good guy none the less. :-)

          GREAT speech for Dr. Kim, BTW!

        • says

          Dr. Dwoight
          I echo Tarheel on your speech. It was to the point and delivered with passion and style. I would love to hear you preach, but you are a long way from the mountains of Montana.

          Blessings my brother.

  10. parsonsmike says

    At my church, we have a mission house that we use to house missionaries on furlough. Once the missionaries we housed were known as Humanitarian Workers in the foreign country where they served. We were not allowed to even know the name of the country, and in any email exchanges with them were forbidden to use the word ‘missionary’ or speak of that work. They certainly were humanitarians, aiding and helping the poor in their designated country. But they were also missionaries for Christ. But to speak of that openly would at best to get their visas revoked and kicked out of the country, and at worst, they and their children could be imprisoned and possibly tortured and killed.

    The witness for Christ is important and one way it can be made is by saying that this seminary is for believers only who desire to be Christian Pastors, and missionaries, and workers. It speaks to the inclusivity of the Lord, that He alone is the way to the Father.

    Evangelism doesn’t break proper rules, it magnifies them, because in magnifying them it points all of us to our great need for a Savior who never broke a proper rule. But what is a proper rule?

    A proper rule is one made by a body of believers [a church or a seminary for ex.] in which its membership has agreed to abide by the rule. A church may decide that it does not want its members drink alcohol. If one wants to join that church, they should abide by that rule. And if they think it needs modified or abolished, they should seek to change the rule from within the membership, EVEN as they continue to obey it.

    Otherwise it is a sin.

    • Dean Stewart says

      Parson, to break a body of believers’ rule of which you are a part is sin. Can you substantiate that? Our rule is all who use church bus clean it out when they return it. We may have a rule to set copier on black and white unless desiring full color. If the custodian takes a bottle of water in the sanctuary that has a sign that reads no food or drink allowed has he sinned? The body of believers can take action in these instances but I’m not sure these actions constitute sin.

      • andy says

        I would say if you agree upon joining a church not to drink alcohol, then it would be a sin to do so, since you are effectively breaking hour word.

        If you agree to clean out a van and don’t due to some reason other than forgetfulness, it would be sin for the same reason. A Sign that says please don’t do something (eat in a certain room, leave the copier empty, etc.)…that may be in a different category.

        • Dean Stewart says

          Andy, if you make a commitment not to drink and do it is sinful. However, I am not persuaded I have to believe or do everything the local church I belong to does. For example, the BF&M is clear that we believe baptism is a requirement for the Lord’s Supper. We have leaders and employees of our convention who attend churches that do not require baptism for those participating in the Lord’s Supper. Under your belief system they are sinful. Anyway, when the Mosaic law and the church constitution are equated I am going to exit the conversation.

  11. Tarheel says

    I might add a few more questions;

    Has “evangelistic fervor/motivation” become the new SBC trump card that will be played anytime things like this are discussed to end any questions? Is this a good thing?

    Will actions undertaken beneath the auspices of evangelistic passions be deemed universally acceptable – with a mark of exclusion being put on the forehead of anyone who questions actions undertaken under that heading?

    What if a seminary president decides that in order to witness to alcoholics best we must go into the places they go and do what they do to gain influence….therefore he waives the prohibition against student/faculty drinking of alcohol and unilaterally institutes a “moderation” rule then sending off our students to the bars to drink moderately without intoxication?

    What if he unilaterally decides that in order to witness to strippers…..

    Its evangelically motivated….so its OK?

    See where this COULD go….yes we are to be witnesses – but there are restrictions as to how “becoming all things to all people” is practically applied – no?

    • Tarheel says

      I would argue that a Seminary President allowing unsaved people into our Christian ministry training centers (that is what all the seminary presidents call them) is much more detrimental to the gospel than would his relaxing of the alcohol prohibition to a moderation rule….but I bet had Patterson or any other President done that he would not be getting support he’s getting here nor would very few have given him a standing ovation.

    • Tarheel says

      I also find it problematic that Patterson felt that “ensuring that the student abide by our conduct policies” was enough to let him in – that, although I do not think was his intent, threatens the gospel in that it communicates to an unbelieving world that the ‘first step” to Christianity is keeping a moral code.

      I think his decision was boneheaded and wrong for a number of reasons….but thankfully boneheaded and wrong decisions can certainly be forgiven.

      I would have liked to have heard a promise to never do this again so long as it violates policy. Then if he wants to work to change the policy within the system – I say have it….but he should promise to honor it while it is in place.

  12. parsonsmike says

    Dean,
    I am speaking of those things one agrees to when they join fellowship. If we bind anything here, is it not bound in Heaven? And if we loosen anything here, is it not loosened in Heaven?
    So if we are not faithful in the small things, how can we be trusted in bigger ones.
    Do you have that rule about copiers? Do those using the copier know about it? Then why are they not following it? If someone uses it w/o knowledge of the rule, then it isn’t sin. But if someone deliberately ignores what they know is right, yes, it is a sin. It speaks to their heart. Why are they disregarding the rule?

    Of course, the rule may be a bad one. But if your congregation thought it important enough to make that rule, then they should abide by it, no?

    As to the water. Is the rule for everyone? What was the intent of the congregation in making it? So why does anyone think the rule does not apply to them? Maybe it doesn’t apply to them? Maybe he thinks because he has to clean the room, any problem with the water is his problem alone? Or maybe the rule was not made to restrict those who needed water to do their assigned task. Another example, might be that the preacher and/or the song leader are also exempt from the rule. Do they have water available to them?

    Purpose and intent of rules set the boundaries. Without that understanding, I can’t give you definitive answers.

    Another example of a rule rightly broken has to do with David and the showbread. Starvation trumped ceremony. Thus purpose and intent of the those who are to obey the rules also set the boundaries.

    peace,
    mike

  13. parsonsmike says

    Dean,
    So what is the purpose of the admissions policy at a seminary?
    Is the intent to bring in Christians to train them for ministry?
    If so, then to break that rule is a sin.
    If it is broken in ignorance [one admitted is not truly a Christian despite their testimony] then there is no sin.

    Does a Muslim need to go to a seminary to hear the Gospel? Couldn’t he be told the Gospel at the time it was explained to him why he was being refused acceptance?

    Yep.

    • parsonsmike says

      Dean,
      I missed the church bus rule.
      Yes it is a sin, unless of course there was an emergency and then of course the emergency takes precedence over cleaning out the bus. But otherwise the users are just being lazy and inconsiderate of the next users. They want a clean bus, but they want someone else to clean up after them. Golden Rule breaking! Sin.

      Why do you think the Mosaic Law had so many rules? Because the standard of God is so incredibly high. And though our sin doesn’t stick to us, and grace abounds all the more, that is no excuse for us not to seek to live up to the standards we are aware of.

      Selfishness [not cleaning out the bus in this case] is sin.

    • Dean Stewart says

      Parson I’m not interested in discussing the admission policy. You made a blanket statement that if one breaks a rule of a body of believers it is sin. Now if a person makes a commitment or oath not to do something or to something and then breaks that oath it is sin. However, your blanket statement cannot be substsantiated with Scripture. A church’s constitution may call for the reading of minutes from previous meetings. However the committee chair or moderator might say we handled no business in our last meeting so I will forgo the reading of the minutes. This is not sinful as you claim.

  14. parsonsmike says

    Dean,
    Nope.
    I am not claiming that.
    If the people agree on a rule, then they agree.
    So if they agree to forgo the reading of the minutes, where is the sin?

    You are tying rules to a written code. I am tying rules to a people’s will. Many times the will of the people is written, but the written rule has authority because the people have put in into place. If they choose to ignore it, then that is their will.

    In the case of the minutes, could someone ask for and receive the reading despite the moderator’s [who I presume speaks for the people] desire?

    If not, why not?

  15. Dean Stewart says

    Mike, we disagree brother. I see no where in Scripture where to break the will of a body of believers is sin. An oath or commitment is different. Anyway I respect you too much to get in a spitting contest over this. You believe it’s sinful to break the will of a body of believers you belong to; I do not. Blessings brother.

  16. Rick Patrick says

    Well, is everyone okay with the exception for the prison seminary classes? Granted, it’s a special case, but non-Christians are indeed enrolled.

    So we’re not saying “Under no circumstances will we do this.” We’re just further defining exactly when it is permissible to make an exception to the normal rule and when it is not.

    • John Wylie says

      I thought when Dr. Patterson brought up that the founder of SWBTS was admitting into Baylor by an exception being made to the admission rules was a very compelling argument.

      • Debbie Kaufman says

        Well John I have questions about that as well(the Baylor incident) as there is no way of knowing all the truth.

        1. Was there a policy in place to go through trustees? If so Did Rufus Burleson violate any policy that was in place? If not then that point would be mute in my opinion.

        2. Was BH Carroll truly an atheist having been brought up in a Baptist home? Having been brought up in a Christian home? If he was truly an atheist and only BH can answer that question or possibly Rufus Burleson I have no problem if no policies were violated.

        I think it’s clear I have a problem with Paige’s “apology” but I have a problem with a few others in the SBC who claimed they apologized when I heard with my own ears and I wouldn’t agree with them either. If I asked God forgiveness on a particular sin, and did it in the way Paige and others have done it, I don’t think he would say I apologized for the actual wrong doing but skirted around it.

        • Debbie Kaufman says

          By the way Rick, what exactly are you agreeing with Danny Akin on as the issue was never or will never be someone’s passion for the lost, we should all have passion for the lost. I know I do. The issue was not going through the proper channels. The issue was the firing and ostracizing of those who are Southern Baptists but having no grace for them. That is the issue.

          • Rick Patrick says

            When Akin said Paige does not need to apologize for evangelistic passion, the sense of his argument was clear to me and most of the convention–evangelistic passion trumped a procedural rule and was the very ground for the exception in the first place. So the two issues are inextricably intertwined.

            One cannot simply say, “He doesn’t need to apologize for his evangelism, but only for breaking the rule, without mentioning why he did it at all.” The “why he did it” aspect, my friends, is absolutely central to the entire discussion.

            He was broken, humble and contrite. His apology was moving and meaningful. Some of you are importing disagreements with him over other issues from days gone by.

          • Volfan007 says

            Debbie, you just don’t seem to like Dr. Patterson at all….plain and simple…. Correct? So, even if he gave food to hungry children, you would find probably find something evil about it. It seems like you just hate him.

            That seems to be the way people are….don’t like someone and they can do no right….they are a dog no matter what…and when they mess up, then go after them like an angry pit bull.

            David

          • Tarheel says

            If we change the rule – then we can no longer refer to out seminaries as “Christian Ministry training centers”. They’ll just become training centers/schools where Christian ministry is taught. That to me is a huge difference and fundamentally changes what we now have.

            I gotta say it’s ironic that the “baptist identity” crowd are the ones arguing for this fundamental change in mission.

            There’s also the legal issues I brought up before. The Federal courts have already ruled that once exclusive private Christian businesses (and that’s what our seminaries are) open to other faiths they lose certain exclusivities pertaining to religious liberty.

            Examples – Catholic hospitals and charities and colleges (and liberty university)- because they are non exclusive can’t use a religious liberty exception to the healthcare mandates.

          • Tarheel says

            Not only healthcare mandates but our “morality codes” will also be called into question. Might we lose the right to deny people entrance to our schools based on thier behavior choices once we cease to be exclusive?

            Think the homosexuality issue with the Christian baker and photographer recently.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            Some of you are importing disagreements with him over other issues from days gone by.

            Yes Rick. There are still some broken lives from those days gone by although one was recent, about the same time the story on the Muslim being admitted broke.

          • says

            The commentator formally known as Tarheel is dead on.

            And allow me to add something else to the discussion. I know many PhD programs have limited number of spaces available for applicants each year. This is to keep class sizes low (as needed in PhD work). Here is the question, were there any fully SBC students who applied to the Archeology program at SWBTS, who had the required grades to get in, and who were turned down for admissions the year that this Muslim student was accepted? If there was even one, than his admission was inexcusable. No matter what the program, SBC seminaries should be about educating SBC members first, then non-SBC Christians second, and if after all that, there are still seats available, then by all means let others attend too.

            A second issue is to answer whether the Patterson Administration put any pressure on, or used any kind of threat, including but not limited to removal/expulsion, against any of the whistleblowers who made this known to the SBC public at large. If this happened, than this too is inexcusable.

            It is my hope that we do not whitewash this incident “just” because of Patterson’s past accomplishments, or because of his “moving” apology. To do so would be a unbiblical injustice. Forgiveness for an action does not remove the consequences of it. Dr Phil Robertson is a good and godly man, but some of his actions as President of MBTS required his removal. Dr Patterson is a good and godly man, but his actions may require his removal as president of SWBTS. Yes it is in the trustee’s hands, and if they fail to act (if acting is needed) it will be in the hands of SBC folk, in terms of bringing those trustees to accountability next year in Ohio.

            But again I urge people to be against whitewashing this event, just because of who Patterson is, and what he has done.

        • John Wylie says

          Well Debbie,

          You ask some really great and valid questions.

          As to your first question, my answer is I don’t know. If I find that answer I will get back to you. I know that currently Baylor has no requirement that a person be a born again Christian to attend.

          As to your second question, I read a biography about BH Carroll probably 10 or 12 years ago and the biographer at least believed that Carroll was an atheist. But, on the other hand I just read part of a sermon by Carroll himself entitled “My Infidelity and What Became of It” and in it he says he was never truly an atheist, but simply did not believe the Bible. So, I guess Carroll would know.

    • Stephen says

      I am curious about whether they are getting “real” SWBTS B.S. degrees but the question is somewhat moot since all reports indicate the classes are only offered to inmates sentenced for life, so few students will have opportunity to actually “use” their degrees (parole, overturned convictions).

      I also assume the decision to offer courses at the prison was discussed and gained approval from trustees and faculty alike before going through.

      • Stephen says

        I should add onto this that I think prison ministries are wonderful and we should always take joy when those that society considers the worst of sinners are given the good news that Christ has covered their sin.

        A formal education is probably not the most efficient means to that end, but I imagine that it is actually easier for an accredited institution to gain maximum security access than, say, a few staff pastors.

        • says

          I cannot delineate a rational argument for what I m about to say. There seems to me to be a difference in having classes in a prison for lifers than breaking the rules by admitting a candidate to the Doctoral program who is a professing muslim. Like I say I have no rational argument but my “gut” tells me these are different. The practical application is that having classes in a prison does not justify the “Patterson Incident”.

      • Tarheel says

        Stephen….PP said these inmates were “lifers”.

        The NOBTS ministry at Angola in La. Is also to lifers.

    • Stuart says

      I agree with Rick that there are times/circumstances when exceptions can or even should be made.

      I think one could reasonable argue that taking an Associate’s level program to a prison where there could be practicing Muslims in the program is a quite different circumstance than bringing a practicing Muslim on campus where he will rub shoulders with students who are about to put their lives at risk to go serve as Ms in his home country.

      I also think one could reasonable argue that operating a very publicly disclosed prison program is a different circumstance than admitting a particular student and warning faculty and staff not to disclose it publicly.

      In other words, comparing the current situation at SWBTS to the NOBTS Angola Prison program may not be apples to oranges, but it’s oranges to limes at best.

      Comparing BH Carroll or any other student who enrolled thinking he was a believer only later to be genuinely saved…that’s apples to oranges, if not apples to dumptrucks.

  17. dr. james willingham says

    Since I was unable to go, and since I only heard about the apology by reading SBC Voices, I will not comment except to say that the Trustees had better pay close attention to the rules in this case. Dr. Patterson is much admired by many, and he has said some things already that should have brought peace but evidently had some other intentions. Consider his theses on Election. I wrote a response to that article on another blog which shall nameless as they kicked me off without my having done anything offensive or insulting to anyone. In any case, I pointed out that Dr. Patterson had said much that would allow for Calvinists and Traditionalists to work together. I now have to question both the sincerity and the intention of those theses on Election. I shan’t review the times that I have had problems over this very issue. Thus, I shall cease with a mere caution which I am sure will earn me an abundance of censures and very few kudos. Look to the future, and consider what could be the result of those missionaries being exposed, should such a thing happen.

  18. says

    Dr. James,
    Exactly right.
    We had a couple and their children stay in our missionary house while on furlough, and their safety was so delicate, we weren’t even allowed to know what country they were assigned to.
    These humanitarian workers lived and worked in a dangerous place for Christians seeking to share the Gospel.

  19. Mary C. says

    As a doctoral student (not at SWBTS), I cannot imagine this situation. As some of you know, it is very difficult as it is. Doctoral work is physically, emotionally, and financially draining. Your head is on the chopping block at each seminar presentation. But we are family. We are on the same team. We share our dreams, prayer needs, discouragements, successes. I cannot imagine having a Muslim (or Mormon, or other non-believer) thrown into that setting, whether the subject is theology, archeology, our anything! Doctoral work at any seminary is not geared toward evangelism. I DO pray the guy converts! I just think this all could have bergen done a better way!

  20. Tarheel says

    Let me say this.

    If Akin meant by his statement (and I think he did) to praise PP for his obvious, undeniable and godly passion for lost – I too agre with Akin.

    If Akin meant, as Rick is arguing, that Akin meant to justify PP’s actions in assuming and making a presidential decision to over rule a written convention policy as somehow acceptable because of that passion – then I disagree with Akin.

    I don’t think we want ANY of our seminary presidents to think that they can over rule policies because they disagree with them or because they think they are driven by good motivation. That could lead us down roads we dare not go down, IMO.

    Evangelistic zeal can’t become a “presidential” trump card for doing what they want.

    BTW, I truly believe Akin’s intent was the former not the later of the two intents listed above.

    If PP ONLY violated this policy I think a moderate slap on the wrist including with a written agreement by PP to abide by the rule and not over ride it again is probably sufficient.

    However, if he intimidated and or took action on whistleblowers or dissenters – that’s a different matter all together and severe punishment should follow.

    I hope the trustees settle this matter with a reasonably swift, fair, and transparent investigation.

    PP, SWBTS, and our convention deserve no less.

    • John Wylie says

      I know we are not supposed to judge people’s hearts, but it seemed to me that Dr. Akin’s intent was to put this matter to rest.

      • Tarheel says

        I hope not.

        I think he was moved by the apology as we all were – and has a perspective that we don’t….he’s a fellow seminary president.

        He likely felt deep compassion at that moment for various reasons.

        These are valid reasons to not read too much into what he said and accept it for what he actually said. Ya know?

        He commended his brother for having an evangelistic heart. That’s all he said.

        • John Wylie says

          Also, the chairman of the of the board of trustees only said that they were going to have a meeting about it in Sept. It sounded more like a discussion than an investigation. Also, if you listen carefully to his statement he said he was behind the president.

          • Tarheel says

            Yea, we all are behind him. He’s apologized for his transgression and asked forgiveness. The only thing left on that front now is whatever punitive action the trustees may take and (I think) a promise by PP that will not violate the policy again.

            As for the other remaining questions…. I truly, truly hope the allegations are proven baseless and we can all move on.

            I am not calling for his head by any means. I hope the allegations of intimidation and such are proven false. But, I will contend that for the good of everyone – they should be PROVEN false – and for that to happen there needs to be an investigation where those who are grieved are interviewed and the higher ups are questioned. Absent that this will linger – and THAT is not a good thing.

      • says

        I may be wrong, time will tell, but I think Akin did PP more harm than good. I was on live stream not in the hall so I do not know the mood. But it came across to me as Seminary Presidents sticking together. What PP said was very eloquent and more than adequate to determine future action. Akin should have left it alone.

  21. Dean Stewart says

    As an attendee of the convention I was amazed at the mood and demeanor of the convention. There was not one bit of controversy or animosity that was evident. Dr. Patterson affirmed all of the seminaries, Dr. Mohler nominated a traditionalist and all the reports were given with a sense of excitement. Our convention was made up of attendees that were young, old, white, black, Asian, reformed and traditionalist. It seems everyone was committed to getting along.

    Since the convention there are some who seem to care nothing about getting along. Some have said Patterson’s apology was not sincere because he gave an explanation afterwards; a “but” if you will. Let me tell you why such a claim is ridiculous. Patterson’s remarks were not an apology with an explanation added. They were an explanation with an apology given before. He was asked by the messenger to give a clear, concise explanation why he allowed a Muslim to enroll. He gave an apology and then fulfilled the request as to why he enrolled a Muslim.

    What seems apparent to me is that some care more about their reform theology than they do peace in our convention. It is frustrating. In truth Dr. Patterson’s greatest is he is one of the faces that rejects reform theology in the SBC. Some have camouflaged their dislike of the man with passive aggressiveness while others like Greg and Debbie don’t attempt to hide their disdain for the man. We could have a tit for tat and compare Mohler and Patterson. One enrolls a Muslim while the other partners “the” seminary with a group of Sodomites. One says reform is truncated the other says to correctly study the Word results in reform. Such a conversation will not accomplish a single thing. However, I loved my time at the convention. What a great atmosphere.

    • Chris Roberts says

      “One enrolls a Muslim while the other partners “the” seminary with a group of Sodomites.”

      I see you’re working hard to practice that peaceful, truth-loving spirit you talked about.

      • Dean Stewart says

        Chris, You are right. I guess that was a little of that passive aggressiveness I spoke of. I should apologize but it probably would be picked a part by some so I will just skip it.

    • Tarheel says

      I hope you are not including me in your comments, Dean.

      I am trying very hard to be fair in my comments. This has ZERO to do with reformed theology.

      This is about whether or not a seminary president feels that he can violate policy any time he thinks he can justify it using ‘evangelistic zeal”

      This is about the exclusivity of our seminaries.

      This is about whether Patterson will promise to not violate again -his apology did not include such a promise or commitment. I think it should have.

      This is about whether Patterson or his representatives intimidated (some say threatened firing) to keep the matter quiet. IF and I say IF that happened there must be serious consequences…the only way to to determine that happened is to actually investigate it.

      I trust the trustee system to do that…I hope it will not be whitewashed in anyway…that is not good for anyone. Not PP, not SWBTS and other seminaries, not good for our convention, and most importantly not good for the advancement of the gospel and the glory of God.

      Please take not that I have not intimated or stated one single thing about reformed theology. Nada, Zilch. Honestly now I will say that I have other issues with PP regarding his anti reformed stances – but this has nothing to do with that.

      ______________________________________________
      I would like to discuss maybe in another appropriate thread the comments that PP in his official capacity as a seminary president in an official report to the SBC identified those within the SBC who ascribe to reformed theology as being unsaved purveyors of a false gospel. But this conversation ain’t it.

      • Dean Stewart says

        Tarheel, you are one of the ones who I speak of in not receiving Dr. Patterson’s apology for what it is. Here is a quote from you,

        “The apology was tremendously humble and gracious however he kept talking and I think that was the problem. It was by the end of his speech seeming, perhaps not his intent, but seeming to be an argument for the end justifying the means.
        If he had stopped talking before saying “all that being said – or having said that” or whatever his transition to justification was – it’d have been much better….IMO.”

        Paige Patterson was asked to give an explanation of why he enrolled a Muslim student. He first apologized for enrolling the student because he hurt people of SBC. He then gave the explanation of why he enrolled the Muslim. HE WAS ASKED WHY HE ENROLLED THE MUSLIM. HE GAVE AN EXPLANATION AT THE REQUEST OF A MESSENGER!!! To discredit the apology because it was followed with the very answer the messenger asked is unfair. Now, I pause to ask why would a person discredit the apology because of the explanation when the explanation was asked for? The answer that satisfies me is that a person who does such a thing simply doesn’t like or appreciate PP. The ones who are discrediting the apology all have one thing in common. They are reformed.

        It is fair game to discuss intimidation and even the enrolling of the Muslim. However, all who attack the apology because of the explanation discredit their objectivity IMO because the explanation was asked for. However, Tarheel, we are good. Dining with you was a highlight of the convention.

        • says

          I dont think it was necessarily the explanation that called into question the nature of his apology but the last part about standing in front of God and defending his actions. It was heavy handed in my opinion and the whole thing came across as only he was sorry he was caught. It was kind of like saying “sorry you were offended but I am not sorry for what I did.”

    • Adam Blosser says

      Dean, please don’t dismiss legitimate concerns regarding this issue by making it about Calvinism. I am telling you that it has nothing to do with Calvinism as far as I am concerned. Are you willing to take my word for it on that or will you question my motives and the truth of what I am telling you?

      I want Paige Patterson to remain the president of SWBTS. I want him to be found innocent of any wrongdoing beyond accepting a Muslim student against the will of SWBTS policies and charter. If the trustees specifically address that issue and say there was no wrongdoing, I will believe them and move on. If they do not address those allegations, the convention will need to act in Columbus. I will be writing a letter to the trustees to express this same sentiment.

      • Tarheel says

        Ditto, Adam.

        Dean, I am sorry that you seem to be unable to separate these issues in your mind.

        This has nothing to do with Calvinism. I wish you could accept that.

        • Dean Stewart says

          Tarheel, may I ask you a question, are you justified in discrediting PP’s apology because he gave an explanation of why he enrolled the Muslim when the messenger asked him for an explanation? My contention this morning has nothing to do with your concerns over enrollment practices, intimidation or anything else other than the apology. What is it that motivates a person to discredit what seems to be a sincere apology? I believe, my brother, you are the one failing to see my point of view. I am sorry you are not able to see that as well.

          • Chris Roberts says

            Does an apology excuse someone from the consequences of wrongdoing if wrongdoing is found to have occurred? Does an apology preclude the need for any further investigation into possible misbehavior?

            I think we’ve found the solution for overcrowded prisons!

          • Dean Stewart says

            Chris, I have repeatedly stated that the apology does not excuse the consequences of actions and that the trustees should and will deal with the issue in the Fall.

          • Chris Roberts says

            Reminds me a line from The Greatest Movie:

            Delmar: “But they was witnesses that seen us redeemed.”

            Ulysses: “That’s not the issue Delmar. Even if that did put you square with the Lord, the State of Mississippi’s a little more hard-nosed.”

          • Dean Stewart says

            Chris, “I’m with you fellers” and “ain’t this a geographical oddity its two weeks from anywhere.”

    • says

      No DeanI am not in that group. I am not a Cal. Our institutions have rules etc. that should be honored or changed. I have a problem with a leadership style that feels the latitude to unilaterally break procedure, especially when the person knows that it is going to be controversial.

      • Dean Stewart says

        aaahhhhhhhhhh, D.L. please, please, please, please read what I have written. I addressed the apology and only the apology of Dr. Patterson. I went further asking what motivates a person to reject an apology that seemed sincere. One may receive the apology for enrolling the Muslim and still call for his dismissal as president as far as I am concerned. One can receive the apology and still ask the trustees to investigate intimidation. However, up and down some of the threads I have read THE APOLOGY has been discredited because PP gave an explanation after the apology. My argument is that PP’s explanation was given at the request of a messenger who asked for a concise explanation as to why he enrolled a Muslim. The messenger asked for an explanation not an apology. I mused out loud that I believe those who reject the validity of the apology do so out of a dislike of PP. I concluded the dislike has to do with theology. PP should not have enrolled a Muslim. I have said that from day one. If he threatened or intimidated others he should be dealt with harshly. However, I see no reason not to accept or discredit his apology. I must not be able to type in coherent sentences. For this, I am sorry.

        • says

          Its not that he made an explanation but he went beyond an explanation to a full on emotional appeal as a defense of what he did. If he would have stopped at the brief explanation before launching into “I wonder what God would say about this” then his statement would have done exactly as you have stated. But he didn’t stop at a simple explanation. His apology was not that he was sorry that he broke the rule and trust of the convention but that he was sorry some people were offended. Its not much of an apology. If you want you can go back and watch it again to see if what I am saying makes sense. And for full self-disclosure, I am thoroughly reformed but I also have a great admiration of Paige Patterson and the work he did in the Conservative Resurgence. I do not want him fired or forced to resign I just want assurances that this will not happen again and that he realizes why what he did is wrong. It is not because some people got offended. It is because as Seminary President he has received from the convention the trust that he will maintain the purpose of the seminary. Dr. Jason Allen in his report gave an excellent summary of the purpose of our seminaries. They are to train Christians for ministry. This is a sacred trust that the churches through the convention have placed in Patterson’s hands. I think he usually does an excellent job but in this case he broke that trust by de facto changing the purpose of the seminary from training Christians to training non-christians.

          • Dean Stewart says

            Joseph, I care nothing of discussing the issue of the Muslim student and his enrollment. I am on record for weeks now as saying I believe PP made a mistake. I believe the standing before God was part of his explanation. I am convinced that if he had not apologized but was offering just an explanation of why he admitted the Muslim student he would have made the exact same statement beginning where the apology ended. The explanation was asked for and should not diminish the apology in my opinion.

    • Debbie Kaufman says

      I am not calling for anyone’s head. I am however wanting the SBC to clean up it’s act among it’s leaders. So far that is not happening which is causing me to leave the Convention to it’s own demise.

      • Debbie Kaufman says

        My achilles heel are the words it’s and its. I meant to use the latter. Sorry. And I mean sorry for the action of it’s vs. its with no further explanation. :)

    • says

      What partnership with homosexuals are you talking about that Mohler has done? It seems like you have some bitterness towards Calvinists from your post. But if you will got above and look at those questioning the a”apology” not a one brought up calvinism except you.

      • Dean Stewart says

        Joseph, I do have bitterness toward some Calvinist. I openly admitted my frustration. I am frustrated that some have been critical of PP’s apology when what I saw him bathed in humility and contrition. It is ungodly to be critical of a man’s apology who sincerely asks for forgiveness.

        My comment about Southern and Sodomites was out of line. I apologized for it. It will take you about thirty seconds of research to discover of what I am speaking. It does not honor Christ for me to discuss it so I am going to leave that issue alone.

        • says

          Alright no problem I had not seen your apology. And I figured you meant Sovereign Grace. But no worries I don’t hold it against you.

          I replied to you below so I wont belabor the point here.

          • Dean Stewart says

            I answered your statement below, Joseph. Please no I am not proud of my wisecrack. I do not want to attack but rather to edify.

  22. Dean Stewart says

    Adam, please go back and reread my first comment this morning. I never attacked the legitimate concerns that you and others have. I am annoyed because I witnessed a broken man apologize with humility. Since that very moment many have attacked the apology; I’m dealing only with the apology. IMO those who do such a thing do so out of a dislike for Patterson. The intimidation, the Muslim enrollment and any other concern should be addressed and it will be. However, to discredit the apology of a broken man is unfair. I have never once seen PP display what I call humility. He did on Wednesday. Yet some have attacked even the apology. I am convinced that those do so because they don’t like PP and that probably is because of his theological position.

    • Adam Blosser says

      Thank you for the clarification. While I initially had reservations regarding the second half of Patterson’s response, I appreciate your perspective and likely agree. I was there, but will have to go back and listen again in light of your explanation of the way you viewed it. Thanks.

      • Dean Stewart says

        Thank you for seeing my point Adam. I have been signing VBS certificates for an hour and probably just annoyed about that. In all sincerity, I am sorry for the shot at Southern and SGM. That was not necessary.

    • Debbie Kaufman says

      Dean: That is ridiculous and untrue. Tell me do you hate Calvinists so much that you can’t see the forest for the trees?

  23. Dean Stewart says

    Ms. Debbie, can you tell me exactly what is ridiculous and untrue? Then I will be glad to defend my position. To answer your question, no ma’am, I do not hate Calvinists at all.

    • Debbie Kaufman says

      Dean: I was responding to this:

      IMO those who do such a thing do so out of a dislike for Patterson.

      • Dean Stewart says

        Ms. Debbie, that conclusion is not drawn from hatred toward Calvinist. Paige Patterson gave an apology, let me add the apology does not dismiss him from any future actions of the convention or trustees on this matter, the apology has been attacked and criticized. Paige Patterson was broken and contrite and the apology should be accepted. I feel very comfortable in pointing out that the ones who are critical of his apology are Calvinist. They offer the excuse that he went on to justify himself following the apology. He was asked by a messenger why he admitted a Muslim on campus as a student. He apologized and then gave his rationale for admitting the Muslim student. I am persuaded the only reason to be critical of this apology is because of a dislike for Patterson.

        • Tarheel says

          Dean,

          If he apologized, said he was wrong, and promised to not do it again….and then said “next question please” …. The explanation would have been rendered unnecessary. Seriously.

          But while he apologized for the “pain, grief and discomfort” he caused. He did not admit he was wrong – nor promise to not do it again. Instead he went on to attempt to justify his action, leaving us with the assumption that he’d be fine doing it again.

          Those are my problems with this, Dean. Nothing to do with Calvinism.

          • Tarheel says

            Had he done that, I’d be with you on what you’re saying.

            But now, I think you’re ignoring a large part if the speech. The context is important. The apology did not stand alone. Had it, we’d be on the same side of his discussion.

            That’s about all I can say. I don’t know exactly why you seemingly don’t want to accept my concerns as legitimate except for a basis in mistrust relating to soteriology.

            Ive tried real hard to be fair, I think I have been.

            Maybe we should just leave it alone.

            Go Braves! Go Spurs!

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            Dean: Read Tarheel’s response. His concerns are my concerns. To say it is because of a dislike for Patterson is to dismiss the concerns which I think are legitimate if anyone will go see the video of 18 minutes.

          • John Wylie says

            Tarheel,

            I have vacillated back and forth on this issue, but I do think that you have been fair in your comments.

          • says

            Tarheel
            I too think you have been fair. I would like to point out that I view this situation almost exactly as you do. I would further point out that you are a Cal and I am a Trad. Does that speak to the issue that this is not a soteriological issue?

          • Tarheel says

            Thanks John and DL.

            And DL, yes. Calvinism was not invoked, implied or referenced by nyone expressing concerns.

            John, the fact that your unsure on the issue speaks to the need for a legit investigation, does it not?

  24. says

    As we all think about PP’s evangelistic motivation for breaking some rules/policies, should the same kind of allowance be given for all seminary staff and students?

    If PP is leading by example and training future Christian leaders, it seems within the realm of acceptability for staff and students to follow PP’s example.

    Several questions would then follow. How far is one allowed to go? How many rules may be violated? Which rules may be violated?

    • says

      Mark
      I suspect the underlying motive in your question is to reveal the utter confusion this line of think can produce. If that is what you are trying to point out I most definitely agree. This has an endless maze of problems.

      A question: Does Paul’s admonition to do thing decently and orderly speak to this issue?

  25. Tarheel says

    Dean,

    “Tarheel, may I ask you a question, are you justified in discrediting PP’s apology because he gave an explanation of why he enrolled the Muslim when the messenger asked him for an explanation? My contention this morning has nothing to do with your concerns over enrollment practices, intimidation or anything else other than the apology. What is it that motivates a person to discredit what seems to be a sincere apology? I believe, my brother, you are the one failing to see my point of view. I am sorry you are not able to see that as well.”

    I am not sure I’m discrediting his apology. I’ve said it was sincere and moving. I’ve accepted it. I only wish he had not went on to say…(in summation) “having said that …. I’m justified because I did because I did it with evangelistic motivation and I didn’t wanna stand before God having displeased Him.”

    That explanation implies that his obedience to this policy is displeasing to God and his disobedience to it pleased God. I disagree. Strongly. I am disagreeing with his explanation/justification – and that in my view that does impact, at least somewhat, the apology.

    Additionally, his apology did not include something I think it should have – namely a promise to not do it again – but in fact – since he cearly feels his disobedience honored God – there’s a good chance he’d do it again.

    Now people who object to his actions and desire they not be repeated are placed on the defensive.

  26. Tarheel says

    Dean,

    You quoted me above.

    “The apology was tremendously humble and gracious however he kept talking and I think that was the problem. It was by the end of his speech seeming, perhaps not his intent, but seeming to be an argument for the end justifying the means. If he had stopped talking before saying “all that being said – or having said that” or whatever his transition to justification was – it’d have been much better….IMO.”

    I stand by that quote 100%.

    Dean,

    Imagine a scenario where I slapped you in the face. Lots of people cam down on me for doing so. The pressure was mounting on me.

    Then this happened. I said;

    “Dean, I’m sorry I slapped you, I have caused you pain, I have caused your family pain….my family has been caused pain by this kerfuffe and for all that I’m deeply sorry. But, having said that you made me so mad, I just couldn’t help it.”

    Would you and others be justified in saying….. Hold the phone he should have stopped before the “but”?

      • Dean Stewart says

        Mark, first of all that comment is funny. I do not want to bring the subject of the apology back up, however, I do want to address Tarheel’s comment now that you have replied. I’m sure your comment was mostly in jest, yet, I have a comment or two for you to interact with if you will. Through the years I have seen you debate enough to know you would never allow someone to make such a flimsy comparison of two situations. First, I believe Tarheel has committed “begging the question” fallacy. Where is it written that an apology with an explanation is not a valid apology. That is a claim without support. It could very well be that as Tarheel explains his anger that I realize I indeed was wrong and apologize. Tarheel’s anger might be justified; his slapping in anger would not be. Secondly, in Tarheel’s scenario he does something that is never reasonable for a believer to do, in anger slap a person. It is unreasonable to attempt to explain slapping someone in anger. It is not unreasonable for an entity head from time to time to make a decision contrary to policy. It happens regularly. Finally, in Tarheel’s story no one asked for an explanation. The imaginary slapper apologized and then offered an explanation. PP was asked for an explanation and he did give one, however, he preceded the explanation with an apology. PP is guilty of doing what the messenger from GA asked.

        • Tarheel says

          Dean,

          Lol….analogies always break down. But the point is apologies are somewhat cheapened when followed by attempts at justification.

          Apologies that say I’m sorry you were hurt, but I’m not wrong in what I did and I’d likely don’t again because my doing so pleases God – certainly are, or should be open to criticism.

          • Tarheel says

            I also think there’s a difference in explanation and justification.

            Guess we should have defined our terms earlier.

            His explanation was one thing but the entire second half if his speech was justification…making his case that what he did was somehow OK.

            I accept his apology, understand his explanation, but reject his justification.

        • says

          Dean, tough I’ve mostly agreed with Tarheel my comment was in jest. I was hurried and reading on my phone so I didn’t read the comment in question thoroughly. My apologies for misleading you or anyone else, but my comment served it’s purpose.

          I may consider your reply though I’m not sure my theological education is up for it. ;)

  27. dr. james willingham says

    One thing Southern Baptists do not understand is how their institutions actually work. When the head of an institution has in place those trustees who will support him regardless, he can pretty well do as he pleases. And it won’t take anyone long before finding out that an individual must check to the man with the power. I was carrying on a discussion with a president of one of our state conventions recently, and he admitted that he could do little as the power was really vested in the committees. What I was discussing was the breakdown of communications with as well as knowledge of what our churches and pastors think. We are on the verge of losing our associations, our state conventions, all in the interest of streamlining, supposedly, for missions. Knowing something of the history of structures, especially Southern Baptists structures, meaning after the local church the next step is the local association which ensures unity of faith and practice or, at least, use to. Within five to ten years, the SBC will be a beautiful member and the largest mission force will be diluted, etc. Or, that, at least, is how I view things from the perspective of our denomination’s history along with other churches. The removal of the local association will kill the means of fellowship and faith among local churches; it will finally remove all means for coping with variations in beliefs. Sure wish you folks had studied Baptist History and Conspiracy History. You all might be dumbfounded at how liberal biblically orthodoxy believers could be and yet how faithful they were to their commitments. There are folks who want this outfit destroyed, and some are playing right into their hands. Suggest you all read Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope. A while back you could even down load the whole thing. Check their belief system and the belief system they oppose.

  28. Dean Stewart says

    I have typed more on this site today than I have in the previous 3 years combined. I want to be clear on my point of view about this issue and why I am concerned about what I am reading.

    Willaim Bolsch (sp) a messenger of 1st Newark in Thomasville, GA addressed Dr. Paige Patterson on Wednesday afternoon of the convention, “I would like to ask for a straightforward explanation as to why at your discretion the seminary admitted a Muslim student on campus in violation of the seminary’s charter and admission policy?”

    Paige Patterson answered, “Thank you very much for your question my friend. You are asking for an explanation and you certainly deserve one. First of all may I say Mr. President….” He gave an apology for hurting people of the convention. At the end of the apology he says, “Having said that let me tell you what the situation is….” He goes on to state why he admitted a Muslim. The explanation was asked for by William Blosch. Dr. Patterson clearly distinguished his apology with first of all at the beginning and having said that allow me to tell you of the situation at the end.

    This is not good enough for some. They are critical of the apology. I have no idea why it is not good enough. I have been told it has nothing to do with soteriology. I trust those who say it is not theological and apologize for stating I believe it did. I have no way of knowing if that is the case or not. What I do know is this, if a man broken asks for forgiveness and the convention floor is moved to tears and rises to give him an ovation and that very apology is criticized then we have no chance of being a unified convention. Having left the convention excited about the direction we are going, two days later I am convinced we have greater issues than becoming cultural diverse. We can’t even agree on what to do with an apology. That is my last word on the subject. Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads.

    • Bill Mac says

      I have to agree. Dr. Patterson was asked for an explanation by one of the people who support the institution he leads. He owed the messenger an explanation.

      Honestly, I think I would be more critical of Dr. Aiken. If Rick’s interpretation is the correct one, Dr. Aiken basically dismisses Patterson’s apology as unnecessary, and poisons the well by suggesting that to oppose Patterson’s actions is to oppose evangelism.

      Dr. Patterson clearly thought his actions were wrong and he owed the SBC an apology. It is not right to simply dismiss that. It is more honorable and gracious to simply accept the apology in the spirit in which it was given.

      • says

        Bill

        I agree completely. Regardless of what one thinks about Patterson’s comments he spoke with passion and clarity. He needed no help from anyone. Not only was Aiken’s comments dismissive of the apology but it had the appearance of presidents good ole boy support. IMO Aiken’s comments weakened what Patterson had said. In addition Aiken was out of order from a parliamentary position and added to the assumption that Seminary President’s are not bound by the rules, the very thing for which Patterson apologized.

      • Tarheel says

        Bill,

        The poisoning of the well is exactly what I’m talking about.

        Patterson poisoned it with his justifiable rule breaking defense – and if Rick is right in his reading of Akins comments (I don’t think he is) – Akin threw a little more poison in the well.

        Also, PP never said “I was wrong”….in fact in his justification/explanation he argued that he wasn’t.

        He offered a defense that suggests he’d do it again (remember he implied his disobedience was pleasing to God and said he’d done it before, and others allegedly had done it before).

        I believe he’s sorry. I’ve said that. I’m just not sure (based in his explanation) that he’s realizes 1) he was wrong 2) that he shouldn’t do it again.

        • Tarheel says

          And the whole intimidation issue is still out there.

          I’m only hoping there is no whitewash, a full investigation, and an appropiate and open report of that investigation released.

    • Donald says

      “I trust those who say it is not theological and apologize for stating I believe it did”

      And yet there is a clear dichotomy…

    • Donald says

      “I have been told it has nothing to do with soteriology. I trust those who say it is not theological and apologize for stating I believe it did.”

      And yet there is a clear dichotomy…

  29. dr. james willingham says

    My response is simply to wait and look down the years ahead. Having been rather dumbfounded and befuddled by well-meaning comments and apologias only to find them a preface to some real griefs, I prefer the wait and see attitude.