The post-Patterson SBC

Regular readers will recall that, a few months back, I devoted several posts to the slow-motion public collapse of SBC biggie Paige Patterson, the president of the denomination’s Southwestern Seminary and a co-leader of the so-called Conservative Resurgence that drove-out so many of the denomination’s smartest and most capable people. Wade Burleson, a Southern Baptist pastor and one of the few who doesn’t irritate me, speculates about the post-Patterson future.

In the Southern Baptist world, at least for the past forty years (1978 – 2018), opposition to Paige Patterson meant occupational, personal, and vocational banishment.

The forty years of wandering in a spiritual desert are officially over for the Southern Baptist Convention. The trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will open the doors to their first plenary session since the historic 2018 Southern Baptist Convention.

They will have to answer some questions of their alleged “oversight” of former President Paige Patterson while he served as President of their institution, all the while seeking to control every other institution in the SBC world.

I started this blog in 2005 when I saw for myself how Patterson lackeys fawned over him and did his bidding in banishing opposition from positions of leadership. For nearly 15 years I’ve been writing of the travesty of what our Convention has become.

Finally, people have listened.

I wish I could feel optimistic that the SBC will cease to be a destructive presence — but I’m skeptical. After all, membership in the SBC is wholly voluntary — and Patterson was able to exercise cult-like, near-dictatorial control because the SBC is comprised of the sort of people who like to be told what to do and allowed him to exercise dictator-like control. I wish them the best, but the most likely future is a few years of jostling and turmoil and then the appearance of another Patterson-like figure — because that’s what history suggests Southern Baptists actually want.

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