The brilliant Mikey Lynch posted (AGES ago now) a couple musings on a post at The Sola Panel (har har) about the younger generation's responsibility in engaging the older generation. As I pondered his ponderings, I was reminded of what has been happening in the SBC over the last few years.
For those of you who don't know, the SBC went through a pretty dramatic and trying time in the 1990s. The denomination as a whole had really slipped doctrinally -- the seminaries were getting increasingly liberal (and not in a good way but in a "the Bible? Meh." kinda way), the missionary zeal that had characterized the SBC for generations was getting lost, and the whole thing was generally not going in a good direction. So a group of bold, courageous men decided that they were going to do whatever they could to put conservative leaders in positions of influence in order to steer the ship around, so to speak. Did they do everything with perfectly pure motives and methods? No. But the upshot of the whole "conservative resurgence" as it came to be known was a recapturing of the centrality of the Gospel and of the historical foundations of the SBC.
But that was almost two decades ago. So what's a veteran of the conservative resurgence to do? In too many cases, it seems, the answer to that is sitting around nursing war wounds, talking about "kids these days" and generally being grumpy. Which wouldn't be worth wasting bandwidth on, except that many of them are still in those positions of leadership they worked so hard to get in pre-resurgence days! Their grumpiness can't just be laughed off -- it's grumpiness with the power and influence to, for example, de-fund church plants that don't have such a hard line about alcohol as many SBC churches do. Or to carpet-bomb an entire state with anti-Calvinist propaganda dvds. Or to fire a trustee of the International Mission Board for not toeing the party line.
What's up with that?
Anyhoodles, the SP article and following discussion, as well as the discussion on Mikey's blog, are enlightening and interesting. Check 'em out.