Visions from the Vincents

June 13, 2008

Southern Baptist Convention 2008

Two words describe the 2008 Southern Baptist Convention: honest and encouraging.  Six things in particular struck me as provocative.

  1. The Convention chose to pass a resolution repenting of gross error in membership numbers–a decision that was mocked just 2 years ago in Greensboro, North Carolina.
  2. Frank Page was the model of humble leadership during the convention.
  3. Danny Aiken, president of Southeastern Seminary, pointed out ten points of agreement all Southern Baptists shared and then demanded that Arminians and Calvinists quit disagreeing in such an ungodly way that it is inhibiting the missional purposes of the Convention.
  4. Al Gilbert stood in front of the messengers of the SBC and challenged them to rethink how churches give to the Cooperative Program and state conventions.  I am not sure what kind of practical outworkings he has in mind.  He clearly wasn’t seeking fame in the convention.  More than that, his heart wrenching plea for parents to pray for their own children to become missionaries coupled with his own testimony of struggling to desire after that for his own children (three of which are now involved in missions) left me just short of tears.
  5. Eric Redmond 2nd Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention preached an edifying message at the Founder’s breakfast preceding the Convention at 6:30 am on Tuesday challenging pastors not to loose the book of the law like those of Josiah’s day had.
  6. Southern Baptist elected the first American Indian, Johnny Hunt, (from the Lumbee tribe) as their president.

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