The Internet Monk (Michael Spencer) gives a straight forward and devastating honest assessment of the decline of the SBC. Michael Spencer is not a Southern Baptist, but in my opinion the Executive Committee of the SBC should fire whomever they have been listening to and hire this guy as a consultant.
All of Michael’s article is worth reading, however I will limit my interaction to the following paragraphs.
[Seriously, is it any wonder that so many younger Southern Baptists see Rick Warren as their de-facto leader, more than whoever the SBC is promoting this year? Warren has found a way to do church, be evangelistic, be a servant, affirm other humans, be useful and genuinely be likable to those he wants to influence. Contrast this with the SBC’s history of “leadership by loudest, angriest preacher” system.]
Michael is absolutely “spot on” in his understanding of how many younger Southern Baptists view the leadership of their convention. The Old, Angry, Arminians of the SBC, while remaining attractive to those who would force their own “Baptist Identity” upon all Southern Baptist, they are not very attractive to the younger generation of Southern Baptist who are in greater numbers looking elsewhere for someone to follow. This can be seen by the ever shrinking numbers and the graying of those in attendance at the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meetings, and the fact that many of those absent from these annual SBC Conventions are faithfully in attendance at such Conferences as Together for the Gospel, Ligonier Conference, and anything by John Piper and John MacArthur.
[And what about the many thousands of young SBCers who simply don’t want to hear the denomination’s way of doing things anymore? Most of them were on board for the “inerrancy” revolution, but now they see a denomination that reads the Bible and comes out with the theology of the John 3:16 Conference. When the SBC does theology these days, I want to dig a very deep hole and disappear. The words “SBC Theologian” are about to join “military intelligence” on a certain oft-quoted list.]
Again Michael is “spot on” in his assessment of the younger generation of Southern Baptist. The main difference between the Older generation of Southern Baptist who for the most part only preach “inerrancy” but practice whatever is “pragmatic” in their ministries, the younger generation not only preach “inerrancy” they believe and practice “inerrancy” in their ministry. That many of the younger generation of Southern Baptist are embarrassed by the theology, or “Anti-Theology”, that came out of the John 3:16 Conference is evidenced by the sheer number of bloggers who expressed their strong displeasure with it.
Whatever you think of Michael Spencer, it is hard to argue with his clear assessment of what is going on in the SBC.