Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Mutiny at SBTS?

An OT prof. at SBTS has signed the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel:

That's significant because it's been reported that Al Mohler privately threatened to fire faculty who signed the statement (a report Mohler denies). So this will be a test. 

The Statement on Social Justice is a poorly-formulated manifesto, although it says mostly good things. Is there a duty to sign it?

Insofar as the evangelical ruling class has drawn a line in the sand over this document, there's something to be said for signing it, even though it's a flawed document, as a statement of protest and defiance. The hostile reaction to the document lends it a significance above and beyond the document itself. It has become a symbol. 

An analogy would be saying and doing things that Muslims find provocative or offensive just to prove that you still have the freedom to do so (e.g. satirical cartoons of Muhammad). Occasionally, if someone dares you not to do something, that's a reason to do it. Sometimes you need to put it to the test. If you're afraid to exercise your rights, for fear of reprisal, then you already lost your rights. Likewise, the only way to keep your rights or reclaim your rights is to stand up to bullies.

I've been told that Mohler can fire faculty without due cause because SBTS uses at-will employment. At-will employment should be abolished at SBC seminaries. It subverts doctrinal standards. Termination of employment should be based on violating the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message and/or ethical misconduct. In effect, at-will employment replaces the statement of faith with the seminary prez. The seminary prez. becomes the operating creed. It reminds me of something Roger Olson said about ORU. ORU had no formal creed because Oral Roberts was the creed. Whatever he taught from one day to the next was the de facto statement of faith.


  1. Hi Steve, could you elaborate on what you find to be poorly formulated in the Statement? Thanks appreciate it.

  2. http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2018/09/why-im-not-signing-statement-on-social.html

  3. Included within the link above is a video of a panel discussion involving Dever, Duncan, and Mohler, together with Phil Johnson, Ferguson, and McArthur. It becomes clear that even though they are politically and theologically and philosophically indistinguishable, the two groups are on different "sides." And, quite honestly, I think both sides are mistaken on how to engage the culture.

    The "Statement" is indeed as shoddy as Steve proposes, but rebuttals (such as Mohler's) are just as shoddy. Mohler says idiotic things like we can't talk about an unbiblical "Cult of Victimhood" because many African-Americans can be said to be genuine victims.

    I think the problem is that there are almost no African-American Calvinists (other than Viddie Baucham) who are willing to accept the invalid nature of (so-called) progressive solutions to racial inequities. And the TGC/T4G/ERLC faction wants desperately to gain the acceptance of Reformed blacks in terms of seeking racial reconciliation within the church.

    Someone should write a better statement that neither coddles nor ostracizes black contributors to what must be seen as a necessary project, though a long-term and difficult one.