Fellow blogger Big Daddy Weave reports, on Baptistlife.com today that Randel Everett, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, will speak in chapel at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary on October 15. This is welcome news.
This is a definite sign that relations between the BGCT and the SBC, and particularly Southwestern Seminary, are warming a bit. This is as it should be. The BGCT and SWBTS had a close, longstanding relationship from the time that the SBC incorporated the school as one of its institutional ministries. The fighting that has occurred between the school and the BGCT in the wake of the “controversy” has appeared to be petty and selfish on both sides. It has been duly noted and reported in the state’s secular media.
It has been my personal opinion that our battles have not been so much about doctrine, or about “fundamentalism” as they have been about who has power and who calls the shots. Perhaps some doctrinal perspective has been mixed up in that. But how far apart can we really be when the executive director of the BGCT has been invited to preach to ministry students in a Southern Baptist seminary?
There are some who did not like the outcome of the controversy in the SBC. But aside from the formation of the CBF and the Alliance, there has been no “mass exodus” from the SBC. As it is, even 90% of CBF’s congregations retain some sort of SBC affiliation. Attempts to move the BGCT away from cooperation with the SBC have been met with resistance, resulted in a major split in BGCT affiliation and the formation of the SBTC, and are now meeting with resistance in the BGCT itself. The fact of the matter is that, even though there may be some changes that have occurred in leadership, and in the way the convention is led, most Baptists would still rather cooperate where we can, than resist and fight over the direction things have gone.
We are not as far apart as we might think. I am looking forward to seeing the podcast of Dr. Everett’s message.