Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Tennessean Looks at SBC Decline

Today's Tennessean has and editorial and Op-Ed's by Ed Setzer and Robert Parham about the declining membership of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The editorial assumes that the SBC's decline is the result of its failure to reach out to a diverse ethnic population and faults the SBC for failing to commit resources to outreach.

Ed Setzer, director of the SBC's Lifeway Research, attributes the decline to an unwillingness to change, a lack of focus and a failure to find new leadership. Ironically, Setzer denies that loosening the stranglehold of fundamentalism would help the denomination catch its breath.

Robert Parham, editor of Ethics Daily, succinctly summarizes the dead weight that is slowly dragging the SBC under the currents of a globally changing environment. Here's a quote:

Positive growth requires that an authentic inclusivity must replace a rigid exclusivity for women in leadership. Civil ecumenical and meaningful interfaith engagement must supplant arrogant theological purity. A genuine commitment to nonpartisanship must be swapped for the claim that God's Only Party is the GOP.

4 comments:

Asinus Gravis said...

I expect a turn around just as soon as the "good ole boy" Baptists are safely dead.

Rhology said...

I sure don't care about the political affiliations all that much, but...

Setzer denies that loosening the stranglehold of fundamentalism would help the denomination catch its breath.

It's "Stetzer", btw.
And yes, that's a great idea! Let's attract more people by being LESS biblical!!!! Where do I sign my church up?!?!?!?

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...

Rho,

You seem to confuse fidelity to biblical revelation with fundamentalism.

Many of us view fundamentalism as an infidelity to the gospel.

Rhology said...

I'd love to see you do a post wherein you define the Gospel. Or here in a comment, whichever.