SWBTS proposed chaplain changes mind

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Jimmy C, Oct 18, 2004.

  1. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
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    I bit of bad publicity seems to have caused Claude Thomas to change his mind about coming aboard at SWBTS. I think this decision is probably best

    NEWS RELEASE
    Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
    2001 West Seminary Drive
    Fort Worth, Texas 76115
    817.923.1921 ext. 4800

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
    Oct. 18, 2004 8:00 a.m. CST

    FOR MORE INFORMATION:
    Gregory Tomlin

    Thomas declines position at Southwestern
    FORT WORTH, Texas -- Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, announced early today that Dr. Claude Thomas has elected to decline his invitation to become special assistant to the president at Southwestern. Thomas recently resigned as pastor of First Baptist Church, Euless, indicating that he was accepting the offer from Patterson to serve his alma mater. Thomas responded to Patterson’s offer, saying, “Upon more mature reflection, I am not certain that this move is best for my family or for the seminary at this particular time. I have come to believe that I should not make such a commitment until I am certain about what I should pursue as the next step in my life and ministry.” Patterson responded by saying that while he was personally disappointed, he “fully understands the decision and prays heaven’s richest blessings on Dr. Thomas and his family.” Patterson added, “I am sure that he is making a wise decision for all.”

    Patterson also reminisced about Dr. Thomas’ ministry. “When I think of all the people who have come to Christ under Pastor Thomas’ ministry, all the young people whose weddings he performed, all the memorial services he preached, all the families he comforted, all the troubled souls that he counseled, all the wounded and hurting that he consoled and encouraged, I could not but covet his ministry to my young preachers.”

    Patterson also expressed the hope that God would “marvelously use Dr. Thomas and his entire family in increasingly significant ways in the years that lie ahead.” Patterson expressed his profound love and appreciation for Claude and Janice Thomas and wishes for them “heaven’s best for the future.”
    --30--
     
  2. Todd

    Todd
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    Jimmy, sounds like you've got an axe to grind with Dr. Patterson and now with SWBTS. I know Dr. P. personally and I attended SEBTS from 1999-2001. I can't help but believe that you've probably never met the man, or if you have then you've never really gotten to know him. Dr. P. has the reputation of being a ruthless "my way or the highway" kind of guy, but nothing could be further from the truth. Dr. P. is a committed soul-winner very much in the order of G.W. Truett, W.A. Criswell, and many other godly men. He believes firmly in the exegesis and exposition of Scripture in preaching. And as for compassion, I have witnessed him weep on several occasions for missionaries and church planters across this country and all over the world. The only reason gets a reputation for being ruthless is because he will not compromise the clear truths of the Word of God. He will not tolerate a professor or anyone on his faculty who will not teach in accord with the Baptist Faith & Message, and for this he has received the most attacks. For example, such was the case with Dr. Crutchley. He wouldn't teach in accord with the BF&M, so he was asked to leave. Is this not a fair requirement seeing as how SWBTS is a SBC school? Certainly!

    Simply stated, those who are most often found crying "soul freedom" and "autonomy" are usually the ones who can't stand Dr. P. because they know that he will not stand for false doctrine, no matter what flag you want to parade it under. I challenge you to get to know the man. Just watch - in 5 years, SWBTS will be just as strong as SEBTS was when he left it. God blesses faithfulness and integrity, and that's why God has blessed the ministry of Dr. P.
     
  3. Jimmy C

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    Todd,

    You seem to have some personal knowledge regarding Dr. Crutchley that has never before been known! Of all the people that I have talked to about Dr. Crutchley, including some who are very strong supporters of Dr. Patterson, I have never heard that he did not or would not teach in accord with the BF&M. The reason he was fired, or as my friend PreachinJesus would prefer - not rehired - was because he was such a strong supporter of the faculty and not a lackey for the most politically fundamentalist trustees. His other sin (and probably worst), was that he recognized what a great professor Dr. Bullock is and pushed her for tenure.

    I have met and spoken with Dr. Patterson on a few occassions and have found him to be very personable.

    I admire Dr. Patterson for being very missions oriented, and seems to be a stong soul winner. I strongly disagree with his postion that women should not teach men in the theology school. that said, I would not hire a woman to teach preaching classes, or even theology but languages, history etc shoud be taught by the best person available - if that person happens to be a woman great! A seminary is not a church, but an institution of higher learning. Patterson does not seem to have a problem with women teaching men in the school of education or music - but he may be biding his time until he can get rid of them as well.

    Patterson was saved a major mistake in the Claude Thomas situation by the media bringing out thomas's ethical lapse. Unfortunately, in the SBC to much of what we see is a political good ole boy network - you support me and I'll take care of you. That of course is the main reason, in my opinion, that Patterson wound up at SWBTS - his reward for the fundamentalist takeover of the SBC.
     
  4. WallyGator

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    Jimmy C,
    You bring up some valid points. I think it was very fortunate that Dr. Thomas withdrew. The good ol boy network still working, but just up to a point. Look for Thomas to resurface later.
    WallyGator
     
  5. Todd

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    Jimmy and Wally, I think you both allow your personal feelings about Dr. P and the SBC to cloud your judgment of how SWBTS is being led. I feel I stand on solid ground when I say that Crutchley was asked to leave because he would not sign off on the BF&M 2000. That info was confirmed to me by a close friend of Dr. P's who wanted to know the truth of the situation. He called Dr. P, spoke to him about it, and that is what he was told. Besides, all I need to know about Dr. Crutchley has been made known since he left SWBTS. He left a school that has now pledged itself to teach within the parameters of the BF&M 2000 and came to my neck of the woods (Carson-Newman) where he will join a religion faculty with only one self-professed inerrantist. His fellow faculty members fully support the CBF, egalitarian causes, and inter-faith efforts. Like I said, that tells me all I need to know about Dr. Crutchley.
     
  6. Anleifr

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    Dr. Crutchely was fired from his school because he held to the 2000 BFM. He held to the preamble of the 2000 BFM and used this as his hermeneutic for interpreting the rest of the document. He was asked about this and was fired. If you'll notice, the preamble to the BFM is downplayed by the SBC. If SBC leaders have a problem with the preamble they should remove it.

    No one ever accused Crutchley of holding a view different from the 2000 BFM. I never heard him teach a view contrary to the 2000 BFM.

    I have strong disagreements with the president over methodology but I do believe he is a strong soul-winner and is doing what he believes to be the best for his school, his denomination, and the church. We should not let differences of opinion dictate how we perceive others, but we should not allow agreement of opinion dictate these same perceptions.

    The president has not publicly limited the role of female students at his school. Unfortunately, he has not publicly assured students that he will not. I wish he would.

    With regards to the pastor not excepting a position at the school ... we do not know what the situation was with him and the school.
    With regards to the pastor and his church ... my information is that both sides of the issue made careless errors in judgment of perception but no ethical lapse occurred.

    And I like soul competency.
     
  7. gb93433

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    A lady is teaching Hebrew at SWBTS.
     
  8. Jimmy C

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    GB

    She will probably only be teaching for a short time, I have heard that she will not be back next year.

    todd,

    david Crutchley signed and taught according to the BFM 2000. All proffs at SWBTS have signed. It was not Crutchleys choice that he leave SWBTS. The fact is, he has a family and must put food on the table - if Carson Newman gets a great conservative theologian in the process all the better for them. I would think that you would cheer having someone with Dr. Crutchley's pedigree and strong view of scripture in TN!
     
  9. preachinjesus

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    This is one of the worst comments I've read around this board in a long time. You are making a poor rush to judgment and ridiculing a man who has the higest integrity and academic respectability of New Testament scholars in the SBC. Just because someone goes to teach at a school where there are differing views is not a warrant to libel them and bring caustic words against them. Dr. Crutchley is one of the kindest souls and bravest, competent biblicists out there. Thankfully he is going to an environment where he will both be heard and contribute to the process

    Thankfully there are far more people who disagree with this kind of an opinion than agree. The world would be a scary place if our academic instituions were staffed with folks who believed the exact same things all the way down the line.
     
  10. preachinjesus

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    BTW I am taking Hebrew Exegetical Methods with said instructor. She is an excellent prof and approaches class and the students therein with great care and academic respect
     
  11. Todd

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    PreachingJesus, I have never met one person who is a committed soul-winner and responsible scholar who could not get along with Dr. P. and teach on a faculty that he administrates. Many folks who post on here say a lot of things about Dr. P., but I happen to know the man personally and attended the school he was president of from 1999-2001. The bottom line with Dr. P. is if you love God, love people, crave scholarship, and commit to pursue said scholarship within the parameters established by Southern Baptists, then you will be a wonderful member of his faculty.

    For instance, take Dr. John Sailhamer at SEBTS (professor of OT). He has some very unique ideas about the creation account of Gen. 1-2, but he has not been asked to leave just because his view of creation is different than Dr. P's. In fact, Dr. Sailhamer was added to the faculty of SEBTS during Dr. P's tenure there as President. I mention that just to say that Dr. P. is not the narrow-minded glory hog that some posters here in the Baptist Board would like to make him out to be.

    While I realize that Dr. Crutchley may have accepted the position at Carson-Newman to try and bring some accountability back to the Religion Dept. of C-N, I seriously doubt that such is the case. For instance, the keynote speaker for the Fall semester Convocation Service at C-N was a man by the name of Dr. Charles Kimball (Head of Religion at Wake Forest University). Unlike anyone else posting here, I attended that chapel service and listened to Dr. Kimball bring a message on the value of inter-faith relationships in which he said that we should stay away from absolute truth claims, such as "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (Jn. 14:6). At the end of the lecture, I asked Dr. Kimball, "Do you believe that Christians, Muslims, Hindus, etc. are all worshiping the same God?" His reply was, "Young man, that is a complex question, and one that can't be answered with a simple yes or no." I'm sure that you may think that the views of Dr. Kimball have nothing to do with Dr. Crutchley, but consider this: Dr. Kimball had the endorsement of the Religion Dept. when he was asked to come and speak to the student body. And who is a part of that religion faculty? You guessed it...Dr. Crutchley.

    Hear me out: I'm not saying that Dr. Crutchley doesn't believe in the exclusivity of salvation in Jesus Christ...that's not what I'm saying at all. What I am saying is that he left an environment where such an inclusivistic message would never be tolerated to go and join a faculty that welcomes such a message. Guilt by association is never an absolute standard of ajudication, but I think it applies in this scenario. As for the motives of his leaving, I only know what I am told by those who are close to Dr. P. Jimmy seems to indicate that Dr. Crutchley accepted the position at C-N so he can feed his family. To that I reply that there are many more ways for a man to feed his family than to join the Religion faculty of a school that has no intention of honoring any doctrinally accountable Statement of Faith.
     
  12. Jimmy C

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    A Side note to PreachinJesus

    This conversation should open your eyes a bit into the whole fundamentalist / moderate contoversy.

    for instance, you have first hand knowledge that Dr Crutchley is a fine, covservative scholar. Yet our Brother Todd, who has been nothing but calm and rational in any of our discussions, has heard second hand that Dr. Crutchley did not sign or teach in accordance with the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. And since Dr. Crutchley has gone to teach at an institution that Todd does not respect confirms in Todd's mind that Dr. Crutchley is probably at best a moderate and at worst a liberal. And if Dr. Patterson is really saying these things about Dr. Crutchley, and I really hope he is not, it is nothing more than slander.

    this type of issue has charaterized the entire "conservative resurgence" in the SBC, there have been many good men and women who have been cast aside for some reason or another solely due to the fact that they would not play the political game. A couple of them were valid (Molly Marshall), but most were not. The overall smokescreen used was Biblical Inerrancy, but the real agenda was politics.

    I cannot think of a single professor - or president for that matter, of SWBTS that has left the school in the past 20 years that the label of liberal would have stuck to, yet the turnover has been horrendous.

    This also sheds light on Jimmy Draper's comments about the young guard not taking or being offered the leadership positions as the old guard retires and leaves the scene. The young pastors can see this type of situation and say why in the world would I want to get involved in this mess when I have church to tend to.

    I know several young pastors in the area, with thriving churches, some fairly new, some that have been around for awhile. All are experiencing great growth and touching the community - none has any interest at all in getting involved in this denominational mess.

    By the was, if you ever get the chance go check out 121 community fellowship, an SBC church up in grapevine I think. I dont go to the church, but the pastor is a friend of mine. They are doing a wonderful mentoring program all over the metroplex, and did a big project last month in totally renovating five houses in the community.
     
  13. Todd

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    A side note to PreachingJesus,

    Jimmy's reply is a wonderful demonstration of what happens when an old fundy (like myself) presents specific examples to those of the more moderate persuasion. Instead of dealing with the specific examples, they often begin to move the debate to personalities, allege politics, and try to reaffirm some sort of conspiracy theory that they believe is running rampant throughout the SBC.

    Jimmy,

    1. Do you actually classify Dr. Dilday as a conservative?
    2. If Dr. Crutchley is the fine conservative scholar that you allege he is, then why would he leave SWBTS when Dr. P's track record is that of a proven, Bible-honoring conservative? No matter what you may say or think about Crutchley, if you are going to persuade folks to your point of view on this one then the burden of proof rests upon you to answer this question - why did he leave?
    3. It is apparent that you think my grevience against C-N is personal one without much merit. That really causes me to laugh since you are in Dallas and I am in Morristown, just 10 miles East of C-N's campus. I know faculty at C-N. I know the head of Church Relations at C-N. I have attended several chapels at C-N. I have dialogued for several hours with students and Student Body Presidents at C-N. About 5 of my college students from the church I pastor here in Morristown are students at C-N. I feel that I am qualified to make an intelligent and informed statement about where C-N currently stands. C-N (especially the Religion Dept.) has proven that it does not want to teach within biblical parameters on MANY issues (women in ministry, evolution, open theism, exclusive salvation in Christ, etc.). Why would a conservative man of God want to join such a faculty when it is certain that the school has no intentions of coming back to the theological right?

    I challenge you to answer these questions rather than coming up with some type of moderate spin. I will try to do the same with your questions.
     
  14. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
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    Todd

    1. I know for a fact that Dilday is very conservative theologically. I have met and spoken with him on numerous occasions. I do not think that Patterson is any more conservative theologically than is Dilday. Now I dont think Dilday has the hangups with women teaching as does patterson, but Dilday believes in salvation only by faith, is actually an innerantist as the word is now defined (in the origional autographs - if you can find them) etc.

    The sad thing about the whole conservative resurgence is that in an effort to consolidate power, people had to be drug through the mud. If you ever took the time to actually speak with or correspond with Dr. dilday, you would find him to be one of the most gracious Christian Man you could ever imagine meeting. his faith is strong, and he loves people.

    2. Crutchley did not leave voluntarily, he was fired for two reasons, the main being that he thought very highly of Karen Bullock and pushed her for tenure when he was the dean of the school of theology - trustees and blaising did not like it. That issue essentially got hemphill removed as well (his wife took bullock for several classes and adored her, Ken liked her very much as well) second - Crutchley was a big supporter of his faculty and would not roll over for the trustees.

    3, I know nothing of C-N, did not mean to imply that I did. I think they are fortunate to have a man like Crutchley there.

    I dont think I hit you with moderate spin, I simply pointed out to a current student at SWBTS, and one who from my posts with him, seems to be a fan of the conservative resurgence and Paige patterson - but who has also seen a bit of the dark side of the conservative resurgence

    I also happen to have met Dr. Crutchley a couple of times and have know several students who have taken him for class. I dont like to see him characterized unfairly, which I think you did. I dont know why he chose to move to C-N, if it was a decision for a short time, or long term. They may have wanted to add a conservative voice to thier faculty for balance.
     
  15. Todd

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    Jimmy, you are certainly correct about one thing. Coming from someone who knows very much about C-N, they were definitely interested in adding someone to the faculty who is at least perceived as a conservative. You see, right now C-N has a huge perception problem within our Tennessee Baptist Convention (one they have earned). They are perceived as becoming increasingly much more liberal (which they are). Bringing on a guy like Crutchley was nothing more than a PR move on their part, though I certainly don't pretend to accuse Crutchley of making the move simply for matters of convenience. Yet, I still have serious doubts about someone who would be "forced out" by Dr. Patterson. I know Dr. P., and he doesn't "force out" those who are committed to the Word of God and remaining within the doctrinal parameters that have been set forth by Southern Baptists in the 2000 BF&M.
     
  16. Jimmy C

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    Todd,

    I posted on this board last year that Crutchly was being fired - many called for proof, as nothing was publised by the PR dept of SWBTS or the SBC, otherwise know as Baptist Press, but my sources told me that he had been fired, and evidently that is what he told any of his students that asked. Several on this board also offered to apologize to me if my sources proved out (to date no apologizes have been received - but I did not really expect them) The more genteel way of putting it is that Crutchley was not tenured at SWBTS and his contract was simply not renewed this year. but make no mistake about it, he did sign and teach according to the BFM 2000, and was Dean of the School of Theology under Ken Hemphill. As I said before, Crutchley had angered some of the trustees, they thought wrongly that they could control him, when they could not, they made sure that he was gone.
     
  17. Anleifr

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    I've always had a huge problem with Christians firing Christians. It seems others do as well. For instance, any time one mentions that person A was fired by person B one immediately gets denials. "No way. Who told you that? That's a lie." When one provides proof of the firing, the person says, "Well, person A probably deserved it." And when it comes to seminary professors the reason they deserved it is usually that they hold to some form of "heterodox." Yes, I think the gut reaction of many is denial, then explanation. I remember the letter sent to students from a certain seminary that stated if the school didn't receive tuition payments professors would be fired. "No!" everyone said. "That's a fake and forgery." The sheer list of SBC employees who have been fired over the past 25 years is breathtaking. How many of them have held heterodox views? Almost none. I have not heard of one but when you have so many the possibility that at least one held heterodox views can't be ignored. Yet, among Southern Baptist circles, they must all have been heretics because why else would our SBC leaders have fired them? Why indeed. Yes, on the positive side, it is good to know that most Baptists still disagree with such firings to the extent that they have to find theological reasons for it. Let us pray they never stop disagreeing.
     
  18. Todd

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    I don't know how long you would make it in the pastorate with that kind of an idealism. For instance, let's say you are the Pastor of a local church and you have a staff member that is clearly pursuing some sort of sinful lifestyle. You ask the staff member to repent and get things right, but he is not willing. What are you to do then...just let him stay because we have "a huge problem with Christians firing Christians." I think I understand the spirit in which your post was written in, that being that we need to seek reconciliation with our brothers and sisters in Christ even when we do have differences. But let's not forget that we live in the real world, a world filled with sin and all sorts of perversions. Occasionally, sometimes even godly men and women fall prey to these perversions - why do you think Jesus and Paul left us clear instructions for church discipline. At the seminary level, if a man is not willing to teach/live within biblical parameters, then he needs to be fired. By firing such an erring person, we do our best to insure that the leaven stays out of the bread (cf. 1 Cor. 5).
     
  19. Anleifr

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    Ah, walked into my trap (sorry about that). I was not talking about a sinful, unrepentful employee or an incompetent employee or an employee with heterodox beliefs. And no one has found evidence or even really accused Crutchley, Bullock, Stookey, Dilday, or Prescott of any of these. I have a problem about Christians firing Christians because A) we don't like them, or A) we want to get our own people in. That's how the world operates. That's how secular businesses operate. That's not how Christians should operate. And you just proved my point. When the scenario comes out that a believer was fired by another believer for either A or B, our first reaction (especially if we like the person doing the firing) is to deny the scenario and say the one fired must be either sinful, incompetent, or heterodox.
     
  20. Todd

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    An, if there are some folks who like to take sides when it comes to someone's hiring/firing just because someone they like did the said hiring/firing, then that is shameful. That is certainly not what I have done here with Dr. P., and so I'm afraid I haven't "walked into your trap." What I have done is formed my opinion of Dr. Crutchley based on first-hand info relayed to me by a personal friend of Dr. P's and based upon what I know of Carson-Newman's Religion faculty and many of their recent actions.

    This whole discussion still begs the question, "Why would Dr. C. leave SWBTS to go to an institution that has not proven that it has any interest in teaching within biblical parameters?" I know some have answered by saying that Dr. C. didn't want to play any of Patterson's politics, but don't you think that Dr. Crutchley and Dr. Patterson/the Trustees could've agreed to disagree on an issue of Christian liberty and still go about the business of pursuing quality Christian education together? The simple truth is that we don't all know what went on behind closed doors and SWBTS, and we don't need to pretend we know something about "political ranglings" and "conspiracy theories" when those are near always nothing more than urban legends. I'll choose to stick with what I've witnessed and make my judgments based on that.
     

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