Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Plodder's Top Ten 2012 posts

What caught attention in 2012? Well if it wasn't on my blog it didn't count, at least in this summary. In order of page hits here are the things that got the most attention in 2012:

1. Sniveling Wimps
That would be young SBC males who refuse to hear God's calling to overseas service through our misnamed Journeyman program allowing the program to be dominated by females who do answer the call. Danny Akin, SEBTS president, tweeted my blog on this and thereby jacked up the page views to the top of my list.

2. Vast numbers of Georgia pastors sign 'Traditionalist' statement
The HQ blog of anti-calvinism in the SBC, SBC Today, breathlessly touted that more Georgia pastors signed the "Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation” than pastors from any other state. How many? Oh, about three dozen, proving that if you are going to tout something it would be helpful to find something significant before doing so.

3. Pastor jailed for holding Bible study in his home
I called this story touted by Fox News for what it was, phony, and cautioned readers not to be suckered by it. The better title would be "Stubborn pastor jailed for lawlessness." SBC pastors are suckers for stories like this and ought to be set straight.

4. Anti-Calvinist Headquarters now in Georgia 
Truett-McConnell College, one of the Georgia Baptist Convention's schools bought the website SBC Today which formerly had connections to New Orleans seminary. Clearly, the site is dedicated to promoting "traditionalist" SBC doctrine and to combating Calvinism in the SBC.

5. Autonomy and Clergy Sex Abuse 
9. The changing landscape of clergy sex abuse in the SBC
Whenever I write on clergy sex abuse, some of the people who have an interest in seeing children safer in SBC churches pick it up. Two such posts made the top ten. First, when a  church in Missourt affiliated with a Southern Baptist association, state convention, and national SBC kept as their pastor a man who has credible accusations and pending charges for child sex crimes it was news here and elsewhere. Nothing has changed. The man is still the pastor...and no one can do anything about it but the church. That's local church autonomy. Second, a jury in Florida found a local Baptist association and the Florida Baptist Convention liable for damages in a church's sex abuse case. It is being appealed but you can bet that SBCers are paying attention to this.

6. How do you explain your government tax break?
8. Are you messing up on your housing allowance?
The minister's housing allowance, our sacred government tax break, always gets some attention both from my fellow pastors who think that by writing about it your humble, plodding blogger may trigger a repeal of it and by those who read about housing allowance abuses by a few pastors and would like to see the laws changed to eliminate abuse. The former need not worry too much and the latter have a good point. I am accustomed to being shot at from both sides.

7. Four more years of Obama
We lost. They won. I'm not going to spend four years whining and complaining about it. Associated Baptist Press picked this blog up for their guest commentary and thereby completely dashed all my ambition to be SBC president. I'm trying to cope, brethren.

10. Secret Calvinist meeting
Calvinists and Calvinism are guaranteed attention getters. Toss in a provocative title like "Secret Calvinist meeting" and folks want to know more. The meeting was of Frank Page's Calvinist study group, the one he appointed after the convention back in June and which group is meeting on background. Let me get this straight: the subject that about everyone in the SBC discusses publicly (Page wrote a book on it for crying out loud) has to meet privately so people can speak freely? Ridiculous.


RLBaty said...

I'm glad I was able to do my little part to make the housing allowance issue one of your big stories for 2012.

By the way, Peter has just posted a Forbes column dealing with the issue and a recently initiated, White House sponsored petition to ask Obama to ask Congress to give him legislation repealing IRC 107.

If there are 25,000 signatures by January 25, 2013, Obama has promised that someone in his administration will publicly address the issue.

Here's the link to Peter's column:

Here's the direct link to the petition:

Stephen Fox said...

Darn it, I was hoping to be the first comment on your top Ten list but I guess I will be second. First, Dr. Thornton You know I have a great deal of affection for you else how would I thought of you when I recently stopped in Brazelton, Ga. I was with friends so Dinner at the Winder CBarl was out of the question.

That said when you put the SBC in larger framework of Diarmaid McCulloch's last 150 pages of the History of Christianity it don't come to much.

Third. Richard Land is a brownshirt. In a few years when his friend Fisher Humphrey's nephew Charles Marsh's bio of Bonhoeffer is digested; Land's alliance with the tea Party will only be a matter of degree analogous to the Coopted Church DB resisted in Germany in the 30's.

4th: The Recent Sandy Hook massacre and the tough examination of the NRA--google Wills at on the God Moloch--shows just how sordid the whole SBC takeover has become as Pressler and Patterson's historic ties to the Far Right in the Country in a sense were on display in Newtown, Conn.

5 Dan Cathy sat beside me in Bob Crapps religion class the fall of 71 at Furman. Connect the dots to JackFlanders and Pressler at Baylor in 66 and you start to get the picture. I will link your blog on Dan's facebook wall. You may want to read his assistant Billy Ivey's Protagonist blog on Newtown.

All the best to you in 2013. I have a copy of a recent Barrow Journal I will be studying closely for kerygma and emanations