I've been around the SBC long enough to understand that if you're not up on the latest cliches, buzzwords, and catchphrases, you ain't nuthin' in this man's convention. So, Plodder will be happy to assist with an occasional primer on some of the words and phrases that are bandied about amongst we SBCers.
Albert Mohler used the phrase back in 2004 in his blog article, A Call for Theological Triage and Christian Maturity but I’m a little foggy on this one. Triage sounds French to me, so I thought I'd better ask my friend Brother Bubba to help me. He is a pastor in south Georgia and I think he once did a mission trip to France. Bubba squeezed me in between his last hospital visit and the wild hog bbq his men were doing.
“Bubba” I asked, “I’m having some trouble understanding this business of theological triage. I understand that Albert Mohler up at Louisville seminary coined it a few years ago and I hear the brethren use it all the time but don’t have a good handle on what it means. I need some help, bro."
“Yeah, I’ve heard it too,” Bubba answered while stroking his considerable beard, a South Georgia gesture indicating deep thought.
“I think it’s French, Bubba. You know, like foie gras and escargot. Didn’t you spend some time in France?"
“Yeah, I did,” he said, “and I remember being told we were having foie gras, which I thought was just French for fatback, and I was right disappointed when they put a pink slab of goose liver in front of me. I wasn’t too wild about the escargot either after I found out it was snails. But I didn't want to offend the locals, so I sucked the snail shells just like I would a crawfish head. The Frency guys got pretty excited about that but the women just left. Must of had something important come up."
“Now, on theological triage, people might not think that we're paying attention down here in South Georgia to what goes on in Nashville, or Richmond, or Louisville, but let me tell you sumpin, we doggone sure are. It's our money and those people work for us."
I've known Bubba long enough to know when he's getting stirred up. Bubba's stirred up.
"And, tell you sumpin else, I'm hearing that the president of our seminary, Albert Mohler, good guy, likes to be called Al-bair these days, and I get a little crosswise when our profs start cozing up to anything French be it names, food, or doctrine."
"I don’t know much about theological triage but I think it has to do with important stuff that we preach, teach, and believe."
"Yeah, Bubba, I think you're onto it."
"Well, you and Al-bair can count Bubba here as one hunnert percent for protectin’ what we believe. I thought we fixed all that back in the ‘80s, anyhow.”
"But,I tell you what, Plodder," Bubba's cocking one eye, fingering his dirty cap, and really getting stirred up and I know something with some South Georgia unction is coming next, "if Al-bair or any other of our seminary types starts messing with the stuff we believe - me, my momma, my church, and all us solid Baptists who pay the bills and do the work - he doggone better be careful."
"But, like I said," and Bubba had sorta calmed down, thankfully, "If theological triage has to do with three, and I won a baseball game back in ’72 by hitting a triple against Swamp Rat High School, count me as stickin’ with these three: The Book, The Blood, and The Blessed Hope. That’s the only tri-age I know for this or any other age."
"And if you hear of Al-bair eating foie gras, escargot, or messin' with the faith once delivered unto the Saints" (Bubba likes to quote the KJV when he gets hot) "you let ol’ Bubba know and I’ll take a trip up to Louisville to see him. And ain’t 'Louisville' French too? Sometimes these cemetery types worry me, you know?"
"Yeah, I know, Bubba. And I’ll let you know Bubba, thanks. Enjoy your wild hog bbq."
Theological Triage? I think I’ll stick with Bubba: The Book, The Blood, The Blessed Hope…and eat some pork bbq.
Hope this helps.