Wow… That is really all I can say about being at the SBC in Louisville this year.
For starters, I forgot what happens when you put 8,000 preachers in a room together. I also got to see a lot of people who have labored and been faithful for more years than I have lived (and then some!). I also got to be part of a movement called the Great Commission Resurgence which I think can really be a catalyst in the SBC. I got to see motions made on the floor by everyday men and women, one of the beautiful things about the SBC. It was encouraging to see what happens when all have equal footing. Laymen and Seminary Presidents were equal in the discussion, praise the Lord!
I was saddened to hear so much slander and attack against Mark Driscoll and the Acts 29 network. While I certainly agree that Driscoll may go too far in some of his discussions, and that he may border on “crude” at times, I really do want to give him grace and applaud him for taking his stand for Biblical Truth and the Gospel of Christ. I do support my brother for asking the SBC to invite Driscoll to address the Convention next year in Orlando, and I hope that does happen. Perhaps when Southern Baptists see they have an ally and a brother instead of a foe and thorn, they will cast their support for his work as a missionary in a pagan culture within our US border. Shooting our own will not help us in the war against Satan, and we must stand united (even with people we disagree with at times) for the cause of Christ.
I was greatly encouraged by the movement known as Baptist 21. Thanks to God for raising up some young men with a passion for the Gospel and a passion for Baptist distinctives and Great Commission ministry. The panel discussion at Sojourn Church was very encouraging, to see men of God linking arms with a younger generation and preparing them to stand in the gap of leadership within the denomination but more importantly within the local church.
I was also encouraged by the unity within the Convention body, that even when there was disagreement it was done with Christian character and the utmost respect. We differ across a wide spectrum of theological differences, and we should not let those divide us. Rather, our similarities and support for Baptist distinctives should be a unifying force. I was grateful to see that played out on microphones and the stage.
I was also blessed in an incredible way by another younger minister who is way beyond me and almost anyone else his age, Dr. David Platt. God is using him to be a voice crying in the wilderness, and a voice for those without a voice in the world. I am deeply humbled after hearing from him.
SBC 2009, success! Wonder what 2010 will hold?