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Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Daniel David, Jun 28, 2002.
Cooperative Baptists and idolatry?! Don't be surprised.
Sadly, once a person or a group loses their grip on orthodox, Biblical teaching, there's no telling where they might go doctrinally.
I would be surprised if this story is wholly accurate. Russell Moore has a poor track record of accuracy when it comes to the CBF.
I'll ask about some of these allegations tonight at the meeting.
By the way, he makes much of the book being available for sale at the meeting. If that's an issue, then the SBC needs to take a long hard look at LifeWay bookstores and the seminary libraries. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth has one of the "best" libraries of pro-occult literature in the area -- and you should see their Mormon section...
Having it available is not necessarily an endorsement.
Now he claims the book is recommended... I'll ask a friend of mine who was almost certainly in that women in ministry meeting. She can get me the straight story.
[ June 28, 2002, 04:53 PM: Message edited by: Baptist Believer ]
How sick!!!! I can't see where that has anything to do with christians!! But I'm way to the right. I see why alot of the left don't believe the Word of God to be the Word of God. How sad!!
I haven't researched this, so I can't speak with authority. But I have noticed that this is an issue that keeps cropping up with BWIM, so it's one of those things that makes me think that where there is smoke, there is probably fire.
Well I looked for the smoke tonight...
I investigated the assertions of Moore's story and have discovered some interesting things. I need to read the literature I picked up from BWIM tonight that I need to read before completing my investigation.
The short version: Moore seems to be putting a very serious twist on a few stray facts and trying to draw some false conclusions.
I'll post the details sometime tomorrow.
Wouldn't be surprised by it at all. CBF folks and other liberal baptists have embraced this thing before. But Bapt Believer is right: just because it's in the area doesn't mean it's been endorsed.
Russ Moore went to the Roger Moran school of journalism.
The book was for sale at the Zondervan display. No relationship to CBF.
[ June 30, 2002, 06:42 AM: Message edited by: Deitrich B ]
I hear what you're saying, but Zondervan wouldn't have had it there if they didn't believe there was a market for it there (Given past behavior at the CBF and associated groups, there would be a market it would seem).
While Lifeway is not perfect, does anyone know if Lifeway carries this book? I wouldn't think so, although they were slow about Tenney, Shamblin, et.al. What about the other conservative retailers?
From a related article:
How did Russell Moore know it was lifted word for word from this book? I suppose he's a good guy and all, but can we order this guy a life? Louisville has far too many good golf courses!
An analysis of Russell D. Moore's Baptist Press article, "ANALYSIS: Source of CBF leader's speech contains lesbian, erotic writings"
After reading Russell Moore's article, I decided to check out the story. Baptist Press and Russell Moore have a long history of trying to put the worst possible spin on any news item related to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
(In the spirit of disclosure and honesty, I want to inform the readers that while I'm technically a member of CBF -- I donated $10 to defray expenses for the 1997 General Assembly in Houston and they keep you on the rolls forever -- I do not consider myself a member of CBF. I am a Texas Baptist (BGCT).)
I was able to uncover the truth of many of Moore's allegations at the CBF General Assembly on Friday evening:
1.) Notice the title of his story: "ANALYSIS: Source of CBF leader's speech contains lesbian, erotic writings" All Moore is saying is that the *source* of the speech *contains* lesbian and erotic writings, not the speech itself. Moore give us more information: "The Wisdom of Daughters: Two Decades of the Voice of Christian Feminism, which was for sale in the CBF exhibit hall, is a full-orbed defense of the far-left of American religious feminism. The volume includes numerous essays advocating goddess worship, lesbianism, abortion rights, and even the integration of some elements of witchcraft into Christian spirituality." He makes two allegations here" a) the volume contains essays that most of us would find objectionable, and b) the book was on sale in the CBF exhibit hall.
Notice that he mentioned that the book was a collection of *essays*! If you go to Amazon.com and read the editorial description you will find the book is a collection of essays that had previously appeared in a magazine called "The Daughters of Sarah." This magazine apparently had a varied range of topics written from multiple points of view (even the crazies) and had few, if any limits on content. In the same way, the book likely (I could not locate a copy, but I'm guess Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary here in town has a copy!) contains a broad cross-section of opinions from the 20 years of publication, as most books of this nature do. So all Moore is really telling us is that Reba Cobb got her material from a book which also contains views most of us would not agree with... Big deal. The real issue here is whether or not Reba Cobb knew she was plagiarizing and what role her assistant (who apparently "wrote" the speech for her) played in this drama. ("Conservatives" are not immune from plagiarism charges, W.A. Criswell had problems with originality with his "Why I Preach the Bible is Literally True".)
Second, Moore makes much of the book being available in the exhibit hall. I looked for it in the exhibit hall and could not find it. The Smith & Helwys representative I talked to said they don't carry it. The Cokesbury representative checked her manifest and noted that she came to the CBF meeting with three copies, but they had all been sold. (I'm guessing Russell Moore made one of the purchases.) So this part of the story checks out... three copies of the book were available at the exhibit hall, but were sold out. Of course, having a book for sale does not mean you or your company agree with everything in the book. (I've seen Benny Hinn books at SBC meetings...) So while Moore is correct about the books being available, there were only three copies brought to Fort Worth.
2.) Roughly half the length of the story deals with the content of "Daughters of Wisdom" instead of Reba Cobb or Baptist Women In Ministry. He's clearly trying to connect the most radical essays with BWIM. Yet, if there was an affirmation of those radical ideas by a BWIM member, don't you think he would have reported it? All he can do is put them side-by-side and make insinuations.
3.) This is the final assertion Moore makes: "The Wisdom of Daughters was not only sold at the General Assembly, but was highlighted in the Baptist Women in Ministry magazine Folio, distributed in the exhibit hall. The Folio review of the book, written by Roxanne Renee Grant-Atkinson, notes the recent experience of the reviewer being asked to read 'A Prayer to God Our Mother' aloud to a friend, because 'I just need to hear it in a woman's voice.' The review hails the book as 'a valuable gift,' noting that 'Reading this book, I rejoice.' Grant-Atkinson is listed on the Folio masthead as a member of the Board of Directors of Baptist Women in Ministry. "
I obtained a copy of Folio and read the review. Here's an excerpt of the review that reflects one of the reasons Grant-Atkinson enjoyed the book:
"I read a poem by Kathy Coffey of maternal God, mirrored by human mothers -- God of extravagant love and faithful midnight feeding; God delighted in her children's growth and grace; God cushioning our falls, dispelling fears in the night, with us in pain, sleepless over our torment; God calling us to account; God waiting for our returning with hope; God indwelling the aging mother; God who meets our seldom expressed but intense yearning with her nurturing embrace ... I read, and I recognized God...in me. Can that be? Myself, in God's image? I wept. Thus, I began my reading of 'The Wisdom of Daughters'. For twenty years, the magazine 'Daughters of Sarah' provided a forum for thoughtful Christian feminist reflection. No topic was off limits if it related to Christian feminism, and the magazine presented a varied range of positions within particular themes. Articles were current, scholarly, provocative, sometimes passionate, sometimes poetic, always creative." [Skipping to the final paragraph of the review] "Reading this book, I rejoice. Reading this book, I wept. Reading this book, I wrestle with fundamental issues. I am inspired and stretched, strengthened and challenged. And I recognize God within the community of women, and I recognize myself there, too."
It is a positive review of the book, but it does note that some of the material is provocative and challenging. Grant-Atkinson does not advocate any of the positions in the book except for what I have reproduced here. While many of you may disagree with her perspective (I don't know if I would agree with her either) her views expressed in the review do not seem to directly relate to the positions Moore cited in his story, except perhaps to mention that there is provocative and challenging material in the book. She does not claim that the book is solid doctrine cover-to-cover or suggest taking things at face value -- in fact her review seems to indicate wrestling with "fundamental issues" and being challenged.
As Moore indicated, Grant-Atkinson is a member of the Board of Directors of BWIM.
I was not able to get a copy of "The Wisdom of Daughters" for myself, but simple investigation seems to reveal that more is trying to do guilt by association with the content of some of the essays in the book, The review of the book did not advocate any of the viewpoints presented by Moore. the speech by Reba Cobb apparently didn't discuss the themes discussed by Moore. (I asked two friends -- one male and one female -- who heard the speech and they did not have any problems with the contents -- they are both, in general, a little more conservative than me.
I am concerned about the allegations of plagiarism. There should be no tolerance for stealing another's work. (I personally have very little tolerance for people who have others completely write their speeches. I have no problem with people working with writers -- I'm a writer by profession and occasionally help others write sermons and articles -- but completely relying on someone else to do the work and then presenting the material as something that you have done seems a little bit less than honest -- even if you did pay for the right to use it.)
After careful analysis of the information presented in the article and received from witnesses and materials I gathered, I do not think Moore's article presents a fair or balanced analysis of the issues.
Interesting. Such as? Curious.
One thing I'm wondering about is that you saw the book at Cokesbury and Dietrich apparently saw it at Zondervan. Were there more copies available? Again, just curiousity.
I can't comment on the specific contents since I haven't read the book, but bbvious theological questions aside, I agree that the plagarism is a serious issue. When you take the work of another and present it as your own, you're really doing something lousy. Then again, the old adage about "Stealing one person's thoughts makes you a plagarist; stealing several makes you a scholar" is worth plagarising, I mean repeating
[ June 30, 2002, 11:59 PM: Message edited by: TomVols ]
Interesting. Such as? Curious.</font>[/QUOTE]I don't want to say much until I find the information... I don't remember all the details clearly, but apparently Criswell used some materials one of his professors had written as the basis of the book. There were entire sections of the book that were word for word copies of his professor's work. As I remember, Criswell said that his former professor must have given his class lectures from the materials in question and Criswell simply repeated the notes in his book. The explanation is a little strange, but it might be true... I will track down the information and post something here in a within a few days.
Yes, that was strange... I didn't see a Zondervan display area... Dietrich may have made a mistake since the only two book retailers seemed to be Smith & Helwys and Zondervan. Maybe he can clarify what he meant.
Totally agree with all you said!
This is very strange... I'm starting to like you!!!!
This must be a sign of the Apocalypse!
I was mistaken. My RA told me Zondervan
Baptist B Two thoughts,
1. Nice work on the research. Thanks
2. Tom is a good guy, he just has issues when it comes to SBC and SEC football. He plays golf which in my book makes him OK no matter what his theology. On the rest of the board he demonstrates rational thought, here in the denomination forum he is confused
I forget, which team do you like in the SEC? Thing about it is, we SEC folks stick together against the rest of the world, but we fight like crazy with each other.
Hey, maybe this is how we in the various Baptist denominations should be.
Nah, maybe it's just that you realized I'm pretty harmless
Have you read the article about CBF and open theism? Seems the CBF is ready to give it a try!
You can't make blanket statements like that because the CBF does not impose a theology on its members.
Talking about it is a much different thing than endorsing it. For what it's worth, apparently my theology is somewhat compatible with what is now called "open theism".
[ July 02, 2002, 08:47 AM: Message edited by: Baptist Believer ]
I don't think anybody is surprised by the inclusion of such material at the CBF meeting. The fact that it is even available in beyond belief unless the group is non-Christian.
As far as Open Theism goes, just check out the CBF homepage. It seems to be that the CBF is about 3-4 years behind theological movements and then embraces whatever the heresy would be. Apparently, if a Christian believes it, the CBF votes to not believe it (inerrancy, absolute deity of God and Christ, virgin birth, sinless perfection, bodily resurrection, absolute knowledge of everything, Christ is the only Savior, etc.). Why am I not surprised?
[ July 02, 2002, 02:59 PM: Message edited by: PreachtheWord ]
Who exactly is Reba Cobb? Does anyone know any biographical info on her and basic beliefs?
Wow... It was a discussion of what Open Theism is all about. Why are you even discussing it yourself if it is unChristian to discuss it? If you even investigate such material does it make you unChristian? Your view is very strange.
You're repeating a bunch of lies. You need to be careful about called good people evil. Remember, there is a day of judgement coming. If you are not willing to discover the facts, you may be hurting God's work and God's people. You will not go unpunished.
Check it out for your own sake!!
[ July 02, 2002, 03:39 PM: Message edited by: Baptist Believer ]