http://www.txbc.org/Currie%20Newsletters%202008/2008May20.htm

David Currie makes the following statement in the May 20 edition of A Rancher’s Rumblings:

“I recommend that anyone who runs for office in the Baptist General Convention of Texas begin by making clear to Texas Baptists first, that he or she loves and supports the mission, ministry, and institutions of the BGCT; and second, that he or she opposes SBC-style Fundamentalist control. They can give their mission money where they want to give it, but they must publicly commit to firmly opposing Fundamentalism in any form. That is only fair and right. People have a right to know where these candidates stand on Fundamentalism. “

Is this somewhere in the BGCT bylaws or constitution?  Obviously, we are working with Currie’s definition of “fundamentalism” here.  Whether or not I might agree with that, it seems a little bit presumptuous to this Baptist to see another Baptist telling other Baptists they must accept someone else’s definition of a term, and that if there are those who fit that definition in the BGCT, they can’t run for office without explaining themselves.  And they also can’t run for office if they fit that particular definition of the term. 

I would suggest that Currie make this recommendation in the form of an amendment to the bylaws of the BGCT, and use the influence of the officers who support TBC to make the appropriate parliamentary maneuvers to see that it gets a better than fair shot at a vote from the convention floor.  If this is going to be the criterion for candidates for BGCT office, it should be voted on, and approved by the convention. 

Currie says, “The BGCT should be a “big tent” convention that offers a place at the table for churches that support CBF missions, SBC missions, or both. Support of CBF or SBC is not – and should not be – an issue in the BGCT. We have worked hard to protect local church autonomy and protect every local church’s right to give cooperatively as it chooses, in whatever percentage it chooses.

“The reality is that there should be no Fundamentalists remaining in the BGCT. Frankly, if you are a Fundamentalist, there is a convention that was created just for you – the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. That is where you belong, and you should join it with our blessing. You can leave the BGCT, and there will be no hard feelings on our part. “

So much for the idea of a “big tent.”  Regardless of the apparent analogy, the tent is clearly not big enough for some, including anyone Currie deems a “fundamentalist,” and anyone else who might welcome those into the tent.  I’m a little bit confused.  Isn’t that the same attitude exhibited by SBC leadership toward those they have labelled “liberals”?  There’s the door, don’t let it hit your rear on the way out? 

Good grief!  Are we ever going to get to the point where we can get along, and work and play well together, like good little Baptists should?  How does labelling people with your own pet definitions of a term, and then suggesting that they head for the exit enhance our almost non-existent evangelism, advance the Kingdom and glorify the Lord?  The BGCT is already operating on 90% of a budget that was already reduced because of the previous year’s slump in giving.  How is this going to help that?

TBC, and other moderate Texas Baptists have been highly critical of the tactics and methods used by those who took over the SBC, and formed the SBTC.  Even in this particular blog, Currie points out the “balance” and diversity of the officers who have served in the BGCT for the past five years.  BGCT leadership has emphatically denied that the search committee formed to find a new executive director was “stacked,” though the majority of its members had ties to both TBC and CBF.  Though there are fewer than 350 CBF-contributing churches in the BGCT, out of 5,700, the proportion of members of those churches represented on the boards and committees is much greater.  We keep seeing the same names, and multiple appointments from the same churches, appearing on boards and committees.  Those kinds of things don’t match up with the language of “big tents, inclusiveness, diversity and free and faithful Baptists.”  The only apparent difference between the fundamentalists of the SBC, and the moderates of the BGCT is  the type of people they disenfranchise and exclude.

And tell me, how is the Kingdom of God advanced by all of this turf protecting?

I’ll close with this statement from the blog of Michael Chancellor, a pastor in Abilene.  It says what I want to say a whole lot better than I can say it.  You can read the whole post here: 

http://chanceymike.blogspot.com/2008/05/baptist-general-convention-of-texas-my.html

“The organization that has propped up the incompetent leadership grew out of the onslaught of fundamentalism that began to take over state conventions after they have taken over the national Southern Baptist Convention. However, the problem is that in the words of Martin Luther King Jr. the organization has “become the beast in order to defeat the beast.” They stifle dissent, they threaten, promise to destroy and ostracize those that disagree with them. They raise doubts about their motives and finally, when all else has failed, they outmaneuver them while talking about the need to have a free and open discussion which they will not permit.”

 

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About LS

I'm 56, happily married for 25 years, B.A., M.A., career educator with experience in education as a teacher and administrator, native Arizonan living in Pennsylvania, working on a PhD and a big fan of the Arizona Wildcats, mainly in football and basketball.

23 responses

  1. Ken Coffee says:

    Let’s see, now. Isn’t it the Fundamentalists who invite people who do not agree with them to leave? Isn’t it Fundamentalists who suggest that opposing the power structures that are in place is unacceptable? Isn’t it Fundmentalists that seek to prevent anyone with an opposing view getting elected or appointed to any board, commission or committee? Here’s a qquuestion? At what point do we become what we hate?

  2. Todd Pylant says:

    Is it really true that there are fewer than 350 CBF-contributing churches in the BGCT (out of 5,700) but that the proportion of members of those churches represented on the boards and committees is much greater? The BGCT is becoming what many have always hated about the SBC. They are in danger of become fundamentalists in their CBF-ism.

    Todd Pylant

  3. Ellis Orozco says:

    Lee:

    You make some valid and salient points. I agree. In fighting the dragon you are always in danger of becoming that which you are fighting. In fact, I’m not sure that it is possible to avoid it. To some degree, any movement takes on certain characteristics common to all those engaged in a battle (right, left … they all look a certain way when fighting a war).

    And there is such a thing as a liberal fundamentalist (just try showing up to a pro-choice rally with a pro-life voice and see what kind of vitriolic reaction you get). The better word is probably zealot (the far left would prefer “passionate,” yet they would refuse to use that word of a conservative who feels just as “passionate” about her cause).

    Anyway … what we are really talking about is the difference between a theological fundamentalist (one who believes in certain, narrowly-defined fundamentals of the faith), and the “spirit” of fundamentalism. The “spirit” of fundamentalism knows no boundaries … it is a malady that can attach itself to the right or left. It tends, however, to breed and fester in one of three places: 1. The extreme right; 2. The extreme left; 3. Parties at war.

    David Currie and many of the leaders in the BGCT are NOT extreme right or left (that’s why they’re called Moderates) … but they have been through a terrible war. Unfortunately, that war has come to define their generation (and mine, to some degree). David Currie is a hero of that war (in my opinion). Were it not for him (and others like him) I would no longer be a Baptist in Texas. Period. If the leaders of the current SBC were in charge in Texas … there would be no room for me.

    The difference between the “spirit” of fundamentalism in the SBC and the “spirit” of fundamentalism in the BGCT is that in the BGCT it is the remnants of the war … in the SBC it is an entrenched way of life. I have some hope in that leaders like yourself, David Lowrie, Wade Burleson, Ben Cole, etc. have not given up hope and are working to change things (in the SBC). But the “spirit” of fundamentalism that lives and breaths in the SBC will not give up without a fight … to the death.

    In short, the “spirit” of fundamentalism in the SBC is endemic … in the BGCT it is the dying remnants of a generation that had to become the dragon in order to fight the dragon. And thank God they did.

    The endemic type of “spirit” of fundamentalism is a cancer. Many BGCT leaders remain concerned that it will attach itself anew to the BGCT family. When you’ve had cancer and defeated it … every once in awhile you need to get checked to make sure it hasn’t come back.

    Now here’s the problem: How do you work together with people who have the “spirit” of fundamentalism? The “spirit” of fundamentalism says that if you disagree with me on certain points then I must cut you out of the body. The “spirit” of fundamentalism must gain control so that the “proper” theology can be officially adopted, and those who disagree can be systematically shut out. We see it alive and well in the SBC.

    So, if I allow those with the “spirit” of fundamentalism to join me … eventually, I lose my freedom. But if I “shut out” those who have the “spirit” of fundamentalism … then I look like one who has the “spirit” of fundamentalism. (go back and re-read the last two lines, two paragraphs ago … I sound like a fundamentalist!) It’s a no win situation.

    David Currie does NOT have the “spirit” of fundamentalism. He just sees the dilemma more clearly than most … because he has lived it for most of his adult life.

    I would end with this … I’m not sure what the answer is … but if we can’t find it with men like you and David Lowrie … we’re in big trouble.

    Blessings,
    ellis

  4. Lee says:

    Todd,
    The figure is hard to pin down. I’ve been told, by various individuals in leadership of CBF churches that it is as low as 25o and as high as 335. I’m going with the highest estimate, because CBF counts any church from which they receive any contribution during the year, whether that is from one or two families, or a majority of the congregation. And the 5,700 figure also includes churches dually affiliated with the SBTC, a number which is also disputed. So CBF supporters account for 5 to 6% of BGCT churches, at the most 7%, if you could pin down a comprehensive list. But they account for more than a third of the executive board, and that’s just by identifying churches that I am aware of which belong to CBF. I think there were only two or three exec director search committee members who were not members of CBF supporting churches.

    Ellis,
    I appreciate your kind words, and I have the utmost respect for what you have to say. I agree with most of it. When the conservative resurgence began in the SBC, it was supposed to be for the purpose of weeding out “creeping liberalism,” something that needed to be done, considering the evidence at the time. But the rhetoric led one to believe that the SBC was on the verge of a complete liberal “takeover,” when, as the evidence has shown, that wasn’t even close to being the case. It was a matter of firing cannonballs at gnats. And as time went on, even long after any liberals were long gone, the effort continued, first, to nail down as many board seats and powerful, high paying positions for the core leaders as possible, and now, to preserve the power and keep them in the loop. There has been a sudden, and rather dramatic, appearance among theological conservatives in the SBC who, while they may have agreed with the theological aims of the resurgence, no longer support its continued entrenchment in the leadership.

    Currie, TBC, and others kept the BGCT from falling into that same sort of spirit, and from experiencing the same kind of takeover. No argument there. But in the wake of the departure of the SBTC, the potential for a fundamentalist takeover of the BGCT has evaporated. There has been no move, over the past seven or eight years, from the BGCT’s congregations that remain uniquely aligned with, and loyal to the SBC to “take over” the BGCT. Most of them have remained in the BGCT to continue to support their colleges and universities, and the institutional ministries of the BGCT while at the same time desiring to continue to support the SBC’s institutions and missions. The biggest issue that I have seen has been the perception that the BGCT was “getting revenge” against the SBC by trimming the percentage of CP funds passed along. That was diffused by allowing churches to determine their own split, an option that my own church exercized.

    There are just some of us who are weary of all of this, and want to move forward, away from denominational politics and back toward cooperative missions. There has been enough weariness in the SBC to elect a non-resurgence aligned president for the past two years, and generate a wide-open election without an official endorsement for a third year. David Lowrie succeeded in getting almost a thousand votes in Amarillo last October, and I would guess that if he chooses to run again this fall, he will probably be elected. The events of Valleygate and the attempts to support the previous administration no matter what, Michael Bell’s ruling on David Montoya’s motion in 2006, the “protest” motion made against Michael Chancellor’s motion in 2007, the changes made to the Jackson motion regarding the future study committee, the attempts to head off meaningful budget discussion, these are all things which create the impression that the effort to protect the BGCT from fundamentalism has now become an effort to hang on to power. It is time to back away.

  5. Jack Matthews says:

    It does seem that there has been a shift in the SBC, though it remains to be seen how much of one, and how long it will be sustained. Some of the “big dogs” in that hunt are engaged in survival battles in their own churches (Jerry Sutton at Two Rivers here in Nashville is a good example, Mac Brunson at FBC Jacksonville is another). The other “side” now appears to be led by Wade Burleson, Dwight McKissic and the “SBC Outpost” group. How long will it be before they become their own form of “beast”?

  6. Tim Dahl says:

    I was interviewing a potential youth minister a couple of years ago. As soon as he found out that I was a Truett grad, he asked if I was pro-homosexual and anti-Bible. After I told him that I wasn’t, on both counts, I told him the interview was over.

    Lets not kid ourselves, SWBTS is anti-BGCT and pro-SBTC; and they are putting out ministers steeped in that kind of stuff. They are going into BGCT churches, so lets not pretend that the “threat of Fundamentalism has evaporated.” Blindness to what is going on at SWBTS, with the amount of ministers they put out (even though they are in decline) puts the freedom found in the BGCT in jeopardy. As long as there is fear, and the need for control, Fundamentalism will be alive and well.

    Also, please don’t legitimize the Fundamentalist Takeover by using other false names for it. It wasn’t Conservative, it was right-wing extremists. It wasn’t a Resurgence, it was something totally new in Baptist life. In a real way, it was/is anti-Baptist. For some to call it a Renaissance would be laughable, if not so sad.

    I will fully expect TBC to inform people concerning the candidates. If the candidates have any Fundamentalist tendencies, then I want to know about it. If the BGCT begins to turn into the black hole that the SBC currently is, then I will have little to no place there.

    Remember, not only Currie (and other TBC people) counts as the warriors of old. Other men, like Davis and Montoya lead crucial excursion in that horrible time of turmoil. We owe a huge debt of gratitude… I know I sure owe them.

    Tim Dahl

  7. Ellis Orozco says:

    Tim:

    You beat me to it. It’s just as well … you said it better than I could. Thanks for reminding us of the bravery of Davis and Montoya in the battle against fundamentalism. Well done.

    Lee:

    One family that was visiting my church asked me if we were a BGCT church. I affirmed that we were. They then asked me if we were pro-homosexual and if we allowed women to preach from the pulpit. They were coming from a church with a young pastor who graduated from one of our SBC seminaries.

    TBC has fielded dozens of calls from Texas Baptist laypersons reporting that their new SBC seminary pastor (who assured them that he had no fundamentalist political agenda) was now leading the church to the SBTC. How is he able to do this? Using the same false rhetoric of that youth minister candidate … he scares the poor church into moving to the other side. Often, the church suffers a terrible split.

    This is happening often enough to call it an intentional strategy (my opinion). One of the main reasons the takeover architects went for the national convention first was to gain control of the seminaries. They’re smart … Control the seminaries long enough and you will influence the churches. Here’s an interesting study: How many of the churches that have officially moved from BGCT to SBTC over the last five years have pastors who graduated from a SBC Seminary after 1990?

    It’s all part of the long-range strategy. Once they produce enough Paige Patterson “mini-me’s,” who can move churches to the SBTC, they (SBC) will refuse to do business with the BGCT. They’ll use some lame reason, spouting more lies about the BGCT being liberal. It’s the same thing they did with BWA … if they can’t control it, they don’t want to mess with it.

    The end result will be that churches will be forced to decide … some churches will split over it. The fundamentalists don’t seem to care about that … it’s just collateral damage to them. The goal is to get as many churches as possible so that they can cut all ties to the BGCT.

    To pretend that it’s not happening is unacceptable.

    You’re right about one thing: Most people are just weary of the whole mess and want to move on. I wish we could. But to cry “peace, peace,” when there is no peace is no solution.

    I reiterate my heartfelt conviction … if we can’t find a solution with men like Lee, David Lowrie, and Mike Chancellor … then we’re in big trouble.

    But that solution must not turn a blind eye to the insidious nature of the spirit of fundamentalism. They have given up on taking over the BGCT (as an institution) … but they continue to go after our churches … and that will not stop until they are picking at our carcass.

    blessings,
    ellis

  8. Lee says:

    Tim, Ellis,
    I hear what you are both saying. Ultimately, in Baptist life, with local church autonomy being what it is, these kind of problems do not have any easy solutions. Shooting yourself in your own foot, so to speak, isn’t going to help, and the appearance of narrow, locked down leadership is responsible for making as many BGCT churches look to the other convention, particularly in the last two or three years, as the handful of Southwesterners who wind up pastoring BGCT congregations. The whole “Valleygate” episode has the appearance of first the old fashioned favoritism and favor granting by powerful denominational leaders that Patterson and Pressler successfully used as support for their takeover efforts. First, there was the favor granting to get around the established rules, then there was the appearance of cover-up to protect moderate political leadership. Then, over the course of two conventions, there are parliamentary maneuvers, chair rulings, and motion amendments that give a clear impression of a controlled convention. A lot of people walked out of last year’s convention in Amarillo long before it was over, disgusted by what was going on. That doesn’t help.

    As a Christian school educator and administrator for 14 years in Texas, I was once a big supporter of Baylor University. I still hope the football team can make something out of itself. But two years ago, my wife, who has taught in Christian school for 25 years now, all of that in Texas, and was also a big supporter of Baylor, came home from a TABS (Texas Association of Baptist Schools) convention held at Baylor extremely disappointed. Dr. Lilley, newly elected as president and on the job just a couple of weeks, had been the keynote speaker, and had opened up the floor to questions. He was asked about Baylor’s teaching of creation and, according to my wife, left the impression that Baylor doesn’t teach Biblical creation in the science department. The teaching staff of her school who were there got the same impression, and they are not fundamentalists by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve heard things from former students about what they’ve been taught in the Bible department, and in other classes, that trouble me, and I have encountered somewhat of a “padded cotton wall” when I have inquired. Is there a legitimate reason for Bible-believing, conservative, evangelical Southern Baptists to be concerned about what is taught and believed by some of our institutions and leadership, and is it possible that may be part of the problem?

    The way things sit at the moment, I would not be surprised to see a list of TBC candidates for office defeated in Ft.Worth this fall. Then what?

  9. Ellis Orozco says:

    Lee:

    I think you’re observations are valid and the leadership of the BGCT should listen carefully to what you have to say.

    I believe we can work together.

    Thanks for listening …

    blessings,
    ellis

  10. Tim Dahl says:

    Thank God they aren’t teaching creationism in the science department. What a horrible tragedy for BU to turn into another ORU. Personally, I think the whole thing about creationism being taught in schools as a science is just another extremist pseudo-issue, to give them something to fight about. I’m glad that BU knows the difference between real science, religion, and people trying to push a pseudo-science.

    Of course, people that don’t like that idea can go to the college at SWBTS and get a home-ec degree.

    Tim

  11. Jack Matthews says:

    What exactly does Baylor teach with regard to creation? Surely the “world’s largest Baptist university” doesn’t teach the pseudo-scientific views related to Darwinism, which isn’t real or accurate science, and deny the scriptural assertion that creation was a God-initiated process. But then, they did toss William Dembski, and the intelligent design theories off the campus.
    I’m not absolutely convinced that what is termed “creation science” or “creationism” is completely accurate, but I’ve read Dembski’s books, and I think he’s right on target. There is a difference between “creation science” and “Intelligent Design.”
    If Baylor has fallen victim to “theological evolution,” then it is not teaching real science.

  12. Chuck says:

    What threat? The threat of any minority’s gaining power in the BGCT was once-and-for-all eliminated in 1998 when the messenger-allocation system was changed–the event which precipitated the final pullout and formation of the SBTC as a convention.

    The ironic thing is that the SBC (not SBTC) was then, and remains, totally susceptible to a minority uprising, as any bona-fide contributing church (as little as $250) can qualify for the maximum 10 messengers based on EITHER its membership size OR its generosity in giving. The BGCT’s 1998 change requires that a church BOTH give enough (based on the previous calendar year) AND be large enough to gain more than the minimum number of messengers.

  13. Chuck says:

    Tim,

    It’s your type of response to the teaching, or even the legitimacy, of intelligent design–much less creationism–at Baylor that will insure the continued demise of the BGCT.

    As long as BGCT’s elected leadership, TBC, even Truett Seminary, ties themselves to the Baylor-loyalty ball-and-chain, they will continue to lose the support of all but the truly left-wing, liberal Baptists. There aren’t that many, but since most seem to have a lot of green and gold, the school will be fine.

    Baylor may rank in the upper-half of Big 12 schools in terms of spiritual life, but that’s in jeopardy.

  14. Tim Dahl says:

    Chuck,

    I’m sorry that you’ve been misinformed. If you look around, all of the denominational structures are failing. So, whether I hold any particular opinion or not, it has little or no bearing on American Christianity’s demise. Last time I check, only the Assembly of God was actually growing…

    Also, last time I checked, there were few real “liberal Baptist” in Texas. We are all conservative. However, some of us like our Baptist roots, and such things as Separation of Church and State, local Church Autonomy, a healthy mistrust of Creedalism, etc. Sure, there has been an uprising of pseudo-Baptist in Texas, especially those that embrace Creedalism and desire to end the Separation of Church and State. But, everywhere you find extremism, that kind of stuff happens. That is one of the reasons that we always have to be on our guard against Fundamentalism.

    Along the lines of creationism. Personally, I’m a creationist. However, that is not a topic of science. That is a topic of Religion. Lets keep real science in the classroom, and lets have the churches step up and do their job when it comes to educating their people on the difference.

    You can make as many personal attacks as you want, but it really won’t change anything.

    Tim Dahl

  15. Chuck says:

    Tim,

    No personal attack was made–I’m critical of your response to the intelligent design stance of Baylor.

    You seem to miss the point Jack and I are making. Intelligent design is not equal to creationism, though both are better science than Darwinism / evolution.

    Why would you, or Baylor, or any university choose a pseudo-science that happens to deny a creator?

    Are you of the opinion that there should be separation of church and Baylor, like church and state? If so, you’ve made my point about BU’s standing among the Big 12! It would end up the equivalent of a fine state school like UT, A&M, and Tech.

    Churches separating from it should be no problem. Or a convention like the BGCT, if it chooses to act in its own best interests.

  16. Tim Dahl says:

    Evolution, in an of itself, does not deny a Creator.

    Science, in and of itself, does not deny God.

    The question that Science asks is, “How was this done?” not, “Who done it?” The Bible answers the “Who” part of the equation, but puts very little time into the “how” of it all. There are real differences between Science and Religion, and those have to be kept in mind. So, did God speak humanity into existence, or did he make us out of dirt? The Bible doesn’t care about that question. The most important thing is the “who,” that God is the who that did it. Get my drift?

    To try to say that there is little to no difference is disingenuous. To say that one Religion is Science is disingenuous. That would be the epitome of a pseudo-science. Christ calls us to be better than that.

    Everything else is skirting the issue. Your issue with whatever it is that Baylor teaches in its science class is flawed from your assumption about whatever “Evolution” is. Simplistically, it is about a creatures ability to adapt to its situation. There should be little to no argument about adaptation. But then again, for people that need something to fight about, it is easy to argue.

    Tim Dahl

  17. Chuck says:

    Tim,

    Not to make a vain assumption but, in case you were addressing me, your “drift” is obvious and I definitely get it.

    I also note your genuineness and simplicity.

    Science, you say, asks “How was this done?” Intelligent design answers, “With intelligent design.” Anti-intelligent design answers, “Without intelligent design,” thus ruling out any “who.” Therein lies the fallacy of your thinking and the incompatibility of your stance with your faith, since the Bible tells us who.

  18. Tim Dahl says:

    Chuck,

    I hate to break this to ya big guy, but “with intelligent design” isn’t an answer to “how.” Thats the equivalent to our parents saying, “because I told you so.”

    Thomas Aquinas once said that Faith begins where Logic ends. Granted, I believe that Faith precedes that, but there is something to it as well. Science will not answer all questions, and Scripture doesn’t attempt to answer all questions. Thank God, he meets us in the mystery.

    Some people can’t handle the mystery, so they need everything in concrete thinking. But, God calls us beyond stage 3 faith, to a better relationship with him in Christ. Something beyond the man made principles that we claim to find (in Scripture, or out of it).

    Keep on keeping on. Your attacks don’t offend me.

    Tim Dahl

  19. tpylant says:

    Tim,

    About darwinian evolution, you wrote “Simplistically, it is about a creatures ability to adapt to its situation. There should be little to no argument about adaptation.”

    I would suggest you read some modern, popular books by atheists (Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkin, et. al.). You will discover that darwinian evolution is not about a creature’s ability to adapt but is about how a creature came to be in the first place. If biblical creationism doesn’t belong in the science classroom, then darwinian evolution doesn’t either. They both make faith statements about the origins of life. Darwinian evolutionists are not people who are content with the mystery of creation. They are scholars who understand the physical world in such a way that it is impossible for a “god” to exist. Darwinian evolution is religion dressed up as science (a claim usually reserved for intelligent design) and is put forth as an unquestionable theory.

    Further, I would disagree your statement that “intelligent design” isn’t an answer to how. If you judge ID with the same criteria that we use for darwinian evolution (DE), then neither is an answer to how. Sure, adaptation over time is a theory to how life has adapted once it was created, but DE goes beyond that with a theory of the origin of life (primordial soup, etc.). ID gets ridiculed for simply raising the question that some things in the world give evidence of being intelligently designed and not possible through random adaptations over time. ID questions the theory upon which DE is built. In other words, it questions the “how.” ID is as much science as DE is.

    Todd Pylant

  20. Tim Dahl says:

    Todd, good to hear from you on the subject.

    I have Dawkins, but he’s about 5 books back on the shelf. I’ve other things I’ve prioritized first. However, I would suggest reading Origins of the Species before any of the current muscular atheists. That is kind of like reading only hyper-calvinists books, but never actually spending any time in the Institutes. It can be misleading.

    Also, I don’t believe that one should assume that the particular views of the extremists (like Dawkins, etal) are being taught in the class room.

    The Science Ph.D. students that I knew (in biology) were all strong Christians that have nothing to do with Dawkins-etal. They seem to have understood the limits of their discipline; I wish the same could be said of ministers. I reiterate, Science looks at the how, it is never really concerned with the who. We look at the who that is behind it all.

    Personally, I see all the hooplah around getting ID into the public school system as a the religious right extremists way of getting the society (Government) back for every imagined affront they can think of.

    What if God chose evolution as his means of creating and managing life on earth? What if God chose seeding? What if God chose a means that is yet to be discovered? Does that make less of God, or our ability to understand? From my point of view, Scripture says that God did it, and was intimately involved in the making of it (us). I’ll let the scientists figure out the “how” to their greatest, yet limited, ability. I’ll stick with the message of life, that Jesus saves. This other stuff (DE vs ID) seems to be smoke and mirrors of the enemy.

    I hope to see you again real soon. It was great to see you this past Thursday.

    Be Well,

    Tim Dahl

  21. KGray says:

    Honestly, incessant talk of “extremists” and “Fundamentalists” makes Mr. Currie’s invitation to leave BGCT look mighty tempting.

  22. Charles D. says:

    I agree with KGray!!! I’m just a ‘lurker’ that reads but seldom participates. This dialogue started with Currie directing my wife to leave the BGCT, and the subject changed to Baylor and evolution.

    Without changes in the BGCT, Currie’s invitation looks good to me too.

    Tim,
    Please read the statement on evolution on the BU Biology website (there is NO reference to a Creator God) and THEN see the alignment to the “American Academy of Science”. Read the AAS statement. No super-natural. To me, this has deep deep philosophical implications leading to atheism. Respond if you need the links.

    (I’ve spoken with Dr. Doyle at BU and he’s indicated that the statement might be revised in the future. He’s a very nice guy, and I trust him to put it up for review. Whether or not it changes is another matter. Stay tuned.)

    Lee:
    Independent verification: I have friends that were at the event you report. Their feelings to Lilly’s statements were exactly like yours.

  23. Overmodify says:

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Overmodify.