Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Proposal for Conservative Bloggers

I have browsed a lot of the sites that deal with SBC Issues. Most of them are either personal, like this one, or represent a viewpoint (SBC Today or Outpost).

What I think we need is a site that would be a place for discussion of the issues. I know, that is what everyone says, just before the cream pies start flying through the air. But I would like to propose a site for CONSERVATIVE Southern Baptists to discuss the future of our denomination in a Christlike manner.

Here is what I propose.

1) A site for those who support the conservative direction of the SBC to discuss if there need to be changes made in some of the policies and practices of the SBC.

*This would not be a site for those who want to return to the days of the moderate SBC or for those who want to forge a "brave, new world" SBC that would abandon the theological underpinnings that have made us what we are.

*This would not be a site for mud-slingers on either side. We would invite anyone who wants to comment and any idea that needs to be broached. But we would be brutally intolerant of character assassination and mud-slinging. I could criticize Dr. Patterson's actions on that site, but the kind of virulent hatred of him that dominates certain bloggers would not be allowed. Someone might criticize what Wade Burleson says or does, but Wade-bashing would be verboten.

*Our goal would be to be the kind of site Frank Page thought SBC Outpost was going to be, before he withdrew his endorsement - a place for calm, Christlike, but direct discussion of the issues of the SBC.

2) The editors of the site would be chosen based on their blogging history. On the (for lack of a better term) "Baptist Identity" side, I would love to see men like Bart Barber or Robin Foster or SelahV (if she gave up the Red Sox). Those who seek reform within the context or the conservative movement could be represented by David Rogers, or a couple others I have seen who write about ideas and concerns, not about "Defendant Patterson."

3) We would adopt a very specific format. One of the editors would write a position piece, then submit it to the other editors. Someone else, who might disagree in some way, would write a "counterpoint" piece. Any one of the editors could throw a penalty flag if he thought there was anything that hinted at harsh rhetoric or personal attack. When the blog is ready, it would be posted.

We could even ask for guest editorials from SBC luminaries. Maybe, if we behaved ourselves, they would come and write for us.

4) A general discussion would ensue. The editors would delete any comments they felt that were in the nature of personal attacks or inflated rhetoric, regardless of whose side the rhetoric was on.

It is interesting, I have been a fan of reform for several years (way back to the days of Jim Henry's presidency). But I have never felt great kinship with some of the current reform leaders. I find I sometimes disagree with the writings of Tim Rogers or Bart Barber, but have found myself feeling more at home with the conservatives I disagree with than the reformers I agree with.

I guess I realized I am a Southern Baptist Conservative. I don't want to change that. But I do want to change a few things about Southern Baptist Conservatives and the way we relate. I would like to broaden our tent A LITTLE. I would really like to discuss those issues without all the New Baptist Covenant or Antioch Network distractions. Just one conservative Southern Baptist talking to another conservative Southern Baptist about the direction that conservative Southern Baptists need to go.

Does that seem like a good idea to anyone else?

(NOTE: I have discussed this with no one. None of the people I have mentioned above have signed on or even heard this idea. I am just floating an idea out here. )


Bart Barber said...

Hi, Dave,

I think the idea has merit. I would be interested if I were not so fatigued. A very large part of me would simply like to finish what I have started and "simply fade away" Doug MacArthur style.

CB Scott said...

So, Dave; What do you do with guys like me?


Rex Ray said...

I think you have a good idea. It’s a little like the idea I told Wade about a year ago. He said my idea was remote or something like that, but if it developed to count him in.

The idea went like this:
1. Introduce a subject to be debated on a blog and announced to all Baptist churches.
2. The subject would be debated by a panel for each side.
3. Anyone could blog their ideas to either panel and the panel could use their ideas if they chose.
4. The debate would have judges to decide which panel won the debate. They WOULD NOT decide which side was right or wrong, but only which side was more skilled in presenting their debate.
5. The RIGHT or WRONG would be decided by a vote of churches that participated.
6. Each church would turn in a ‘vote count’ of how many voted ‘for’ and how many voted ‘against’. That way each voter’s vote would count in the total number.
7. The purpose of the idea is to get Baptist informed on the issues, and a better representation of churches ‘running’ the SBC instead of a chosen few.