Apprising Ministries continues our coverage of an accusation made by Wade Burleson in his post Forcibly Removing the Tulips at SWBTS. One which Robin Foster of SBC Today has referred to as Tabloid Blogging:

Because of the recent tabloid blogging that has occurred at this site here and here, we at SBC Today have been busy answering questions on when we would respond to what one Calvinistic professor called, “lies and slander” of the aforementioned postings. (Online source)

At his Grace and Truth to You blog Burleson had written:

Yesterday Dr. Paige Patterson met with professors in the theology school at SWBTS and said that the seminary would be letting go the five point Calvinist professors from the seminary, claiming that the lack of funds and the need to reduce faculty as the rationale for the impending releases. Odd, however, was the chosen method of reduction. (Online source)

I’ve previously pointed out that this immediately caught my attention because, as a former Roman Catholic, I now happen to be an SBC pastor myself holding the doctrines of grace being discussed in Burleson’s post. In addition, it’s also no secret in the Christian blogosphere that I’ve been quite critical of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The main reason is my contention that it’s filled with CEO-type leader wannabes who comprise a “good ol’ network” largely advancing each other’s businesses, oops, ministries. And along with this pragmatic semi-pelagianism the SBC, ostensibly the largest Protestant denomination in the country, is slowly embracing Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism whose rotten root draws much of its spiritual poison from the antibiblical monastic traditions of apostate Roman Catholicism.

This is necessary background as to why I’m very carefully watching this developing story. In my original piece I also brought out that Dr. Greg Welty, a Calvinist on staff at SWBTS, is denying any such meeting took place. Then yesterday in Forcibly Removing the Tulips at SWBTS (Part II)Burleson would share “a couple of observations.” The first of which was:

(1). This expressed intent to use the downturn in the economy to rid the faculty of Calvinists has been known by various SWBTS professors and administrators, but not all professors, for at least ten days. Meetings with professors were both individual in nature, and in a couple of instances, several professors at one time. (Online source)

Also yesterday in Are Calvinist Professors To Be “Let Go” At Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBC)? I mentioned a phone call I had received from J. Randall Easter, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Briar, Azle, TX. Pastor Easter, came recommended by a pastor on AM’s board of directors and both have stood shoulder to shoulder with Paul Washer for the advance of God’s Gospel preaching with him in Peru.

Pastor Easter is also a student at SWTBS and gave me permission to publish an email, which he sent me following our talk. In his letter he shares his firsthand information from speaking personally to some of the professors involved in what Easter called “meetings between the President of SWBTS and Faculty” of SWBTS.

Now today let me draw to your attention a post at the aforementioned SBC Today called A Brief Visit with Dr. Paige Pattersonwhere Wes Kenney informs us:

One year ago yesterday, we posted an interview with Southwestern Seminary president Dr. Paige Patterson, as Tim Rogers talked with Dr. Patterson in Jacksonville, Florida. Today, we present another. Dr. Patterson was in Hugo, Oklahoma for the Frisco Baptist Association’s annual evangelism conference, and I was able to talk to him briefly after the conference had ended. We talked about issues ranging from ecclesiology to ecumenism, the characteristic passion for missions that has always defined Southwestern, to the future legacy of the seminary as envisioned by the school’s eighth president. We even talked a little about some of the silly rumors generated by recent tabloid blogging. (Online source)

One is able to listen to that interview from a link to the side of the above piece at SBC Today. And finally, in closing this for now, AM now points you below to a partial transcript of that interview with Patterson mentioned above. It appears in a new article by Wade Burleson, who has “spent the last twenty five years pastoring in Oklahoma,” called Are Southern Baptists Blind or Blindfolded? :

Interviewer:“I’ve been asked recently about a rumor that these economic challenges have been used as an excuse uh… to weed out certain professors at Southwestern who hold to a soteriological viewpoint with which you disagree. Is there any truth to that rumor?”

Paige Patterson: “Ummm… eh you… you know… eh uh… I certainly hope not. Uhhh… eh uh… eh… I’ve lived my entire life… of life in a goldfish bowl… and… as boldly as I know how to do it. Uhhh… we’re not certain at all that we’re going to have to eliminate any professor. We have been working very, very hard to… ummm… to cut everything else in the world so we don’t have to cut professors and… uh… we don’t know yet what we’re gonna have to do, but we… we’re hopeful that we don’t have to cut any professors. If we do… ummm… I will not use a… uhhh… screen… uh… to do that with. Ummm… if if if… every decision that I make regarding faculty would be made with a view to assisting the school to be the best school it possibly can be. Ummm… we have every conceivable soteriological view on the campus… uhhh… in terms of five points of Calvinism. We have one-pointers, two-pointers, three-pointers, four-pointers, and five-pointers. Uhhh… I will say this. Uhhh… Southwestern will not build a school in the future around anybody who could not look anybody in the world in the eyes and say, “Christ died for your sins.” If there is a problem there, then I believe there’s a problem that Southern Baptists would not want to fund.

Interviewer: “True.”

Paige Patterson: “And so uhhh… uhhh… that would be the case, but I wouldn’t be hidin’ behind a screen of economic matters… if I had to deal with that”.

Interviewer: “Sure.”

Paige Patterson: “And uhhh… uh… God willing… ummm… if He’s gracious to us… God’s people continue to give… maybe we won’t have to lay off anybody else.”

Interviewer: “That’s what we’re prayin’ for. Yes.” (Online source)

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