Monday, January 01, 2007

Mike Bird on the SBC and Fundamentalism

About a year ago now, I researched and wrote a paper on the conservative resurgence in the SBC for Baptist History. My primary motivation was to discover first hand just how conservative the SBC really was. I kept hearing from fundamentalists that the resurgence was largely overexagerated and the majority of the SBC was still liberal. My own exposure to the SBC seemed to suggest otherwise, particularly seeing most of the books I was reading were by professors from within the SBC schools. Having begun to come to grips with the realization that the trajectory I was on would put me outside of the fundamentalist orbit before too long, I was interested in seeing if the SBC would be a good place to plug in. After several weeks of reading and almost 30 pages of writing I came to the conclusion that not only was the conservative resurgence genuine, but perhaps the pendulum had swung a bit too far. I began to suspect that the SBC was moving culturally in the direction of fundamentalism and that a move to the SBC would result in little forward progress. This assumption was largely confirmed when the convention took the unbiblical position on alchohol that exploded in the blogoshpere last year.

While I may not have spent too much time online in the last two weeks, I did make time to keep up with Euangelion and Jesus Creed. Though I recognize the post I'm about to reference is a week old, it's significant enough to point out, especially since I'm assuming that I'm not the only one who was out of the blogosphere last week. As I read Mike Bird's post on Russell Moore's evaluation of the SBC, fundamentalism and evangelicalism I was encouraged (though perhaps ultimately discouraged) to see that my conclusions on the convention were not too wide of the mark (according to both Bird and Moore). You can read Mike Bird's response here if you haven't yet (I reccomend you print it off; it's pretty long), though I suggest you start by listening to Moore's lecture first here.


Michael F. Bird said...

Nate, thanks for the plug. I'm glad that I'm not the only one thinking along these lines. So when do ya think you'll be able to start a Ph.D?

Nate Mihelis said...

Hoping to do so soon, but I've heard on several fronts that I need to get another (research) degree first. I've got some general ideas for a thesis, but I keep hearing I need to narrow it down more before I'd be accepted. Since we can't afford to do 2 degrees overseas, I may have to do it here. Either way, I'm hoping to be back in school this fall.