Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Predictions, Plodder is no genuine prophet

...but would win the batting championship if this were baseball. My predictions for this year and evaluation of the same:

1. Fred Luter will be reelected. Nothing big to happen here. In a moment of prescience, I got this one right.

2. There will be contested SBC vice president elections. Got this right as well. A little known blogger elected as 2nd VP in a session that clearly lacked a quorum. While the 2nd VP is a rather obscure and meaningless position, we should follow our own by-laws in the future. Parliamentarians and presiding officers please pay closer attention.

3. The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission will get a new leader. Whomever he is will have some work to do to restore credibility. Right again. Russell Moore, and he has started well, although unprepared for the Housing Allowance court decision.

4. Frank Page's Calvinist Advisory Team will issue a report early this year.  Whatever they end up with will probably be quickly forgotten. Right again. They issued a report that I judged to get some things right and missed the mark on some other things . Quickly, what did the report say? That's what I thought. It's all forgotten now. There was a bit of an eruption over damnation of infants but that has subsided. 

5. I predict that Calvinism in the SBC will look back on 2012 as their high water mark and that SBC Calvinist news for 2013 will be mostly unhelpful to their movement. On the first part, it is too early to tell. Judge me guilty of making a macro prediction. On the 2013 Calvinist news being unhelpful, maybe. Jason K. Allen, new head of Midwestern Seminary made some remarks I thought unhelpful.

6. Some SBC agencies will hire senior level staff who are African American. Well, if they have they are under the radar. 

7. In contrast to the above, the only high profile females in SBC life will be wives of prominent pastors. Name any senior staff level females in any SBC entities. Right on this one.

8. The Cooperative Program will continue to be flat, which is a welcome improvement. Wrong. The CP showed another decline, only about 2%, but that is not flat. It's more of the gentle downward incline. Some states, Georgia for one, showed surprisingly steep drops in CP giving. 

9. State conventions will continue to feel the most pressure financially and more churches will use various methods to fund NAMB and the IMB directly without diluting their giving to these through the Cooperative Program. True and correct. Both major mission offerings increased last year while the CP dropped. If the trend lines continue for a decade or so there will be as much given to Lottie Moon alone as to the entire SBC portion of the CP. 

10. What is euphemistically termed "complementarianism" will have a bad year, mainly due to a few high profile Calvinist churches. Nah, nothing much happened here. 

11. GuideStone will finally accede to political realities and get around to addressing the reality of Obamacare as it relates to their comprehensive health insurance for ministers. The outcome will not be good. I give myself a neutral grade here. GuideStone was rather quiet on ObamaCare except for the abortion/birth control mandate. They have announced that they will no longer write individual policies. Only God knows what is ahead for SBC ministers and GuideStone comprehensive health coverage, although we all know it will continue to cost more if they offer it.

12. Southern Baptists my age will continue to lament the absence of Adrian Rogers or anyone of his stature. Since I so lamented, I judge myself correct here.

What I did not see coming?

The housing allowance, our Sacred Clergy Tax Break, being ruled unconstitutional. I will certainly have a prediction for 2014 on this.


Ed T. said...

Still following your stuff, William, just so you know. ET

William Thornton said...

Thanks...and feel free to straighten me out on things if need be. Have a great 2014.

Lee said...

How about a prediction on who's the next SBC President in 2014? Any speculation or guesses on that? Do you see anyone who has been positioning themselves for this, or will it be a spontaneous nomination?

Anonymous said...

Notice the appointment of Ken Weathersby

Kevin Peacock

William Thornton said...

Ken Weathersby is the Xcomm's new VP, African-American. Thanks Kevin.

No idea on SBC prez other than there will absolutely not be any spontaneity.