Tuesday, July 13, 2010

SBC All-stars

All star game tonight. Big deal…actually not so big a deal. Omar Infante and Matt Thornton? I like the team of the former and the name of the latter.

These are not SBC rock stars, a group for which there is, lamentably, far too many to choose from.

Annotated SBC all stars, completely subjective:

Adrian Rogers: Though not the the conceptual guide or the organizing force, he was clearly the leading figure. Charismatic, resolute, and unflappable, no individual was more influential or compelling in motivating SBCers. I would love to have his reading on SBC things that have transpired since he died in 2005.

Paul Pressler: Though unimpressive in appearance and in speaking, his organizing skills were indispensable.

Paige Patterson: Solid in every defense of the CR, best I can see. Who else could have done better what he did during those years?

Jerry Rankin: Seems to me that what Rankin accomplished during his tenure – after following the moderate Keith Parks in 1992 and enduring all the changes and challenges since – is underappreciated. Not a compelling speaker but compelling in his steadfast commitment to taking the Gospel where it has least been heard.

B. Gray Allison: Not a man who got many headlines but he may have accomplished more as an individual than any Southern Baptist in the last half-century. Allison conceived, founded, and sustained a seminary (Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, would rank ahead of a couple of the SBC's six in enrollment) without a ready-made funding stream like the Cooperative Program, without a TV ministry that instantly generated millions and without well-fixed benefactors. I’m an alumnus, of course.

Al Mohler: Mohler has been for some time the go-to guy for the SBC when secular media want commentary on culture stuff and he always does well. Who else in SBC life in the last half-century has done as well, or would do as well in such a role?

Well, that’s only two-thirds of a starting lineup….


Anonymous said...


Great post. I to would love to know what Rogers thinks of what's transpired since 05. My guess is, none of much that has happened since 05 would have happened had he been around to watch it.

With that, I am...

foxofbama said...

Dr. Thornton, you know I am in the negative on this question, but in deference to you and the Cover story of the Atlanta Magazine this month on the 100 best bbq joints in the state I take up baseball and leave the Baptist thing at bay for today as it is near nuclear levels at SBCvoices.com
Our Friend Johnny Pierce had a great Ga Baseball blog couple days ago and in that spirit I refer you to current Print issue of Newyorker.com and the great profile of RedSox David Ortiz; and to the April Published book Chasing Moonlight, by Reisling and Freidlander about the doctor Graham who plays heavily in the Field of Dreams.
For the record you can easily google the online pamphlet keywording Inerrancy and the Takeover of the Southern Baptist Conventon.
Chapter 13 is the operative Chapter to put your hall of Fame in some perspective; also most times that turns up a link to a Robert Parham essay of June 09 with a sterling and most timely quote from Wade Burleson.

I was within 12 miles of Jesse Jackson on Sunday but didn't get by to see him. I wish I had; had a brief subject I wanted to share with him. Marshall Frady woulda been proud.

Hope things otherwise with you are well.

Lee said...

I agree with Peter's comment above regarding Adrian Rogers. His presence and his integrity were the balance that held the more agressive elements of the CR in check.

No doubt both Patterson and Pressler are, in terms of what they accomplished, "all-stars" in the SBC world, if accomplishment sans integrity is the means of measurement. Mohler is a sharp guy, and when he's speaking to an audience that he isn't trying to manipulate or where he doesn't need to campaign for a denominational political cause, that's quite obvious. I wonder, though, if he had been making his way through the corporate world, or in government, if he would have made it as far as he did as fast as he did. In a religious structure like the SBC, where a lot of the tests that must be passed are based on influence peddling and "who you know not what you can do" it doesn't take a high level of intelligence to fool the powers that be.

I would add Frank Page to your list. He, too, appears to be unflappable, in his leadership of the convention, which I observed at both over which he presided, he was one of the most Christian leaders we've had for a while. He's one of the first individuals to emerge in convention leadership who doesn't have deep connections to the old resurgence leadership which means he's in there without a hand up his back.

Norm said...

Norm: On another conservative blog the exasperated author lamented that moderates continue to speak about the Conservative Resurgence. They just can’t seem to let it go, other conservatives suggested.

foxofbama said...

Robert Marsh was Russell Dilday's successor at 2nd Ponce De Leon, a classmate of Adrian Rogers at NOBTS, and Fisher Humphrey's Brother in law.
Marsh's 1990 address to his deacons where then Ga Baptist ExDirector Griffith said: "I don't let no one blow grey smoke on my blue skies"; Marsh's assessment of what Adrian Rogers wrought for me is the plumbline of Roger's integrity and legacy.
You can google a pretty good take on that address keying Doug Weaver's History of 2nd Ponce.
That said, though I disagree with him; Adrian can be most proud of his son David, and David's gracious spirit as he incarnates the best of his family's tradition; one that woulda been much better in my view had he not gone after his version of Glory in the Takeover.
Would there have been an Adrian Rogers without Ed McAteer? I don't know but I think it more than a fair question.

William Thornton said...

I readily admit, Norm, that the CR, which kicked off while I was in seminary and was THE SBC issue for the first couple of decades thereafter is something I cannot let go.

Lee, Page is couple of tiers down. Thinking along those lines, Jim Henry would be closer to the first team.

I suppose only God knows whose work is really significant.

Dave Miller said...

Actually, Peter, Mrs. Rogers spoke forcefully at the Greensboro SBC to say that Adrian Rogers would not have supported the IMB policies and the Patterson/Yarnell/Eitel movement.

foxofbama said...

All the members of the Peace Committe are interesting in their own way for sure.
With the Jim Henry template, there remains to be a public discussion between him and his daughter, a disciple of Jesus Christ and Wayne Flynt; Daughter Kate Campbell about what it means to be Baptist in America at this moment.
And analogously Charles Pickering the Laurel Judge, former prez of the Miss Baptist Convention and Bush 43 Judicial nominee who is a board member of the Alliance Defense Fund, often at odd with Baptist Joint Committee on the nuances of Church State Matters.
Pickering conversation analogous to Jim and Kate; Pickering conversation that goes wanting with upcoming Bonhoeffer biographer, Charles Marsh, whose father Robert was Pick's pastor in the early 70's in Laurel.

David Montoya said...

Just thank, thank, thank you, thank you for not putting Richard "the comb over kid" Land on your list.

David Montoya said...


Steve is right. Without the Council for National Policy there would not have been a "CR". Both Patterson and Pressler bowed when Ed M. walked into the room.

foxofbama said...

Itwas good to see Dr. Thornton revisitting a previous stompin ground (bl.com) this mornin.
My Dad is no longer an SBC All Star, as for all practical purposes he walked out of the SBC a year after my Momma walked out on Jerry Vines sermon in Atlanta 86; but I did give him an All Star Tribute from his Days in Gaffney, of which the Good Doctor Thornton Himself was to pastor nearby not long after.

Dr. Montoya: You may want to testify in the 500 entries arisen in four days at sbcvoices on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of BFM 2000 where they take a Dissenting (LOL) opinion on the subject of CNP; holding Their Inerrant Bible High at every turn.
I fought the good fight and I'm trying to withdraw from that field (Insert an appropriate quote from Robert E. Lee at this juncture)

William Thornton said...

What do I know, David, I'm just a plodder. I always saw Land as a major beneficiary of the CR.

...and don't get me started on Baptist hair-dos.