If you are a young Southern Baptist minister who loves the Bible, the Gospel, the local church, your city, and the nations, then you owe a great deal to Paige Patterson. Humanly speaking, as a pastor or minister, if it were not for Dr. Patterson, then you would most likely not be where you are today. You would not have studied at the seminary that you did or received the theological training that you have. As a church planter or missionary with one of our SBC agencies, you would not be in the city you are in, among the people group that you are, or using the strategy you are using if it were not for him. As a young seminary or Bible college professor, you would not be employed where you are today without the work of Paige Patterson. The debt of gratitude our generation owes him is immense! There would be no Baptist21 if it were not for men like him.
In the 20th century every mainline denomination was moving away from the truth, inerrancy and sufficiency of the Bible towards liberalism, including the SBC. Major leaders and institutions within the SBC denied the inerrancy and complete truthfulness of the Bible, denied the exclusivity of the Gospel, and re-negotiated the ethical demands of the Bible. The mainline denominations were destroyed by this course, and the SBC was on the same trajectory.
If you want to know where we were heading just read some of these stories about Southern Baptist seminary graduates, former Southern Baptist churches, and agencies with whom the SBC used to be in partnership. They are arguing for gay marriage and eliminating the doctrine of Hell.
These are just a couple of examples of the trajectory the SBC was on before Dr. Patterson and other key leaders engaged in a “Battle for the Bible.” They contended for the faith once-for-all delivered to the saints and turned the SBC back towards orthodoxy. The movement called the “Conservative Resurgence” was unprecedented. In fact the famous Romanian preacher, Joseph Tson said to Dr. Mohler at Southern Seminary, “I told Dr. Mohler that the greatest event of the 20th century was the downfall of communism in 1989. Never in history was there such a sudden turn of direction. What you are doing in the Southern Baptist denomination generally, and in Louisville particularly, is of the same magnitude. It will have the same kind of impact on history. I want to assure the young students here that you are witnessing one of the greatest turns in history.”
All of this happened because of architects like Paige Patterson who fought for the inerrancy of the Bible. In the book edited by Tom Nettles and Russell Moore entitled Why I Am a Baptist, Dr. Patterson wrote a chapter “Shoot-out at the Amen Corral: Being Baptist through Controversy,” in which he talks about this battle that was fought in the SBC. At the B21 panel in NOLA we will be talking about this again, and asking why it was so significant and what it means for the future of the SBC and the battles our generation will have to fight. We will also discuss the most relevant current topics in SBC life.
In order to promote the panel and to encourage you to attend, Dr. Patterson in this video playfully takes up the theme of the fight at the Amen Corral. For more details about the panel go here and register here.
I didn’t expect that! Classic Dr. Patterson. Was that his idea? Thrilled he is on panel.
I’m sorry, but as a SBC pastor I find your opening remarks offensive. We are where we are because of God’s grace and providence Dr. Patterson is a man.
It is classic! Yes, that was Dr. Patterson’s idea. I’m thankful to he and swbts for doing the video for b21.
I am sorry that you took offense. My comment in the opening paragraph is “humanly speaking” because God uses means to accomplish his purposes. Certainly I attribute what’s happened in the sbc to God’s grace and goodness, but God used Dr. Patterson in a tremendous way and we are grateful.
Indeed, Robin Jackson. as I was reading the first paragraph I was expecting to find that its all just humor, but the author of this article was serious! Honestly, are you really attributing the grace of God to a man?
This will be my last comment on this.
Clearly we see both in scripture and history that God uses human agents as a means of his grace. Paul is the means/instrument to carry the gospel to Gentiles. Luther and Calvin were the means whereby the reformation happened.
Perhaps it’s not true for you but I know hundreds of Pastors, planters, missionaries and seminary students for whom the opening paragraph rings true.
This doesn’t diminish God’s providence or sovereignty in any way
I will have to add my “Are you serious?” to those of the commenters above. Your affirmations are completely overstated. Obviously you love the man, but your love has colored your perception of reality. Was Dr. Patterson instrumental, along with many others, in the conservative resurgence? Yes. Am I where I am today because of him? No. What has taken place in the SBC has been a work of God. He has used men and women- many men and women. Among those who led the way was Dr. Patterson. I thank God for him, and for all the rest. I still marvel that, year after year, election after election, God led us forward in reclaiming the doctrinal heritage and biblical fidelity of the SBC. “To God be the glory, great things He hath done.”
God uses men and by His grace He chose to use Dr. Paige Patterson. Thankfully Dr. Patterson chose to be used. Few wil know thisdried of heaven the sacrifice Dr. Patterson made for the Kingdom and for all of us who continue to reap the benefits there of. No one is trying to give to him the credit that is only due to our Father. But worthy of our thankful hearts and deep appreciation, he is.
Thank you Dr. Patterson.
List of Signers of “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation” The PaPa? Who signed this? a believer in inerrancy? Bwaaaaaa! If anything PaPa is the reason the SBC lost the war against liberalism. God used him alright.. to show just how little Southern Baptists take the bible seriously.
Agree with Robin, we owe it all to God preserving the saints. Would also like to see a debate between Patterson and Mohler on Reformed soteriology b/c of Patterson’s endorsement of “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation”
I’m saddened that Dr. Patterson has put his name to this paper. Does he need more people to say “Look at me!”? Is he seeking to glorify himself? I don’t know. It does seem so, because what I do know is that he’s an intelligent man who knows the consequences of his actions. He KNOWS he is joining the posse that is starting a spiritual civil war, when he should be glorifying His Father. Does this glorify God? That I do know the answer to- NO! Anyone who’s read the bible and then read that paper knows it is a twisting of the Word. Whoever puts their name to it is knowingly participating in sin. I didn’t even watch his little ‘invitation vlog’. His sitting there holding the rifle seems to say enough to me. God help us all!
Ok, One more thought. I’ve been discussing this with my husband (southern baptist pastor) and he told me that in his opinion I shouldn’t be upset, because there’s probably many folks who don’t know what Calvinism is and now with this coming into the theological limelight, people will become curious and want to know what Calvinism really means according to the scriptures. He continued that many will learn the truth that Calvin brought to light for us many years ago and that it’s happened before through the generations. Prayerfully, I hope he’s right. I’m not mad at anybody, but I am upset that the truth of the gospel is being turned around by learned men who are popular and can influence others to believe whatever they take a whim to say, as truth. May we all know we are in the hands of a holy God, and live accordingly.
Jon, finally got around to watching the video. Great stuff.
BTW, you comments in the opening paragraph are entirely warranted and appropriate. We owe a lot to Paige Patterson and Paul Pressler and many others who endured insult, heartache, and many things we’ll never understand because we didn’t go through it.
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Awesome video! Truly, classic Dr. Patterson!
I also agree that the opening paragraph was completely appropriate. I thankful God raised up leaders like Paige Patterson and Paul Pressler, both instrumental in returning our denomination back to orthodoxy and historic Baptist theology. I can’t wait for the B21 panel in NOLA. See you then!
I am a young Southern Baptist minister and I am truly offended by this video and article, but not surprised. Time after time these panels offer little diversity, hero worship and did this video really reference western insight in New Orleans where we are currently experiencing multiple murders every week. I understand the tremendous impact the conservative resurgence has had on the SBC and our seminaries. I also understand that the Southern Baptist, which I am proud to be is not the “only” entity that fought for the inerrancy of scripture and biblical integrity. But as a African American, I consistently find little encouragement on the issues facing the multicultural world we live and minister within. Even with the potential new president being Fred Luter I have never seen him on a panel for the discussion of the Great Commission Resurgence or race relations within the SBC. I just would love to see our denomination for the sake of the gospel and embrace diversity within our seminaries and churches thoughtfully and responsibly.
Great Article. Thanks. I went to Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary during the CR and could apply many of the same things you said about Patterson to Dr. Gray Allison.
Steve in Montana
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