List of Trustees for Southwestern Seminary and the Executive Committee

A number of people have asked about the trustees of Southwestern Seminary as well as who are the trustees that make up the Executive Board. Here is a list from the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention Annual. The names that are highlighted make up the Executive Committee of the SWBTS Trustee Board.


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A Statement from Dr. Paige Patterson



Dear Southern Baptist Family: 

 On May 22 the trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary met together in a board meeting called at my request.  At that meeting, in which I briefly participated, I was asked to assume the position of President Emeritus of Southwestern, and I accepted this reassignment. One week later, May 30, the executive committee of the board met, though this time I was not asked to participate and was unable to address or answer questions for committee members since I was in Germany for a preaching assignment. While in Germany, I received a phone call informing me I had been relieved of all responsibilities with and compensation from the Seminary effective immediately. 

 Since much has been reported and written about these matters in recent weeks, I wanted to address briefly a few points. It is not in my spirit or my heart to debate or revisit the decisions of the trustees to whom I was accountable as president of Southwestern, other than the brief comments that follow. 

 Recently, I have been accused, publicly and privately, of a number of things—none of which I acknowledge as having done in the way portrayed, and others that I am confident I absolutely did not do. I’ll just speak to several examples. First, a poor choice of words has occurred, in and out of the pulpit, over decades of ministry.  I regret each case in which my heart and message were not clearly presented.

 On the other hand, I take exception to accusations that I ever knowingly ignored or failed to follow appropriate protocols in cases of reported abuse of women, students, or staff at any institution where I have served. Indeed, the Southwestern trustees confirmed as much in their public statement of May 23, 2018: “The board affirmed a motion stating evidence exists that Dr. Patterson has complied with reporting laws regarding assault and abuse.” 

 For my words, demeanor, sentiments, or disposition to have been twisted to suggest the very antithesis to who I am and the biblical message I have presented over half a century not only is crushing to me and my family but also inevitably proves hurtful to others in the process.  I have never sought to inflict hurt upon a woman or man. 

 For the last 43 years, through service in three institutions, I have attempted to prepare pastors and missionaries academically, evangelistically, and spiritually for kingdom endeavors.  Today, on behalf of my sweetheart Dorothy, who has labored faithfully by my side through both sorrows and triumphs, and on behalf of my children and grandchildren, I want to express my gratitude to God for Southern Baptists.  You have often encouraged our hearts.  You have prayed for us in a multitude of ways.  I would ask of no one of you more than you have given.  What I have given back is a pittance compared to your kindness to me. 

 I wish further to thank the faculties and administrators who have held high my arms during both calm and raging waters.  I love you all.  To all of my students, including nearly 10,000 graduates whose diplomas I have personally signed, I thank you for your uncommon love for me, and more important, your unwavering devotion to our Lord. 

 To those who have ever opposed me or have embraced a different vision, I would be remiss if I did not thank you also.  Your opposition kept me on my face before God, reminded me of just how very human I am, and outlined in tantalizing colors the mercies of God, which I have received in profusion from our Lord.  I pray for heaven’s kindness for each of you.  

 At age 75, while my occupation has changed, my calling and passion have not been disturbed.  Soon Southwestern will have a new president.  I am riding off into the setting sun—but with a Bible in my hand and a witness from my heart until He comes for me individually or for us all in the air.  I ask Southern Baptists to hold the new president of Southwestern before God in earnest prayer.  He will be a great man, but the level of his attainment will be dependent to a large degree on your concert of prayer.  I know that you will not fail in this endeavor.  

  In a few days, for the first time in 66 years I will not attend the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention – having begun attending when I was nine.  As many of you know, I was elected in 2017 to deliver the 2018 annual convention sermon, but I have now respectfully requested to be released from this high privilege because I do not want my role as a preacher to detract in any way from the important business of our convention and because my desire is to work toward biblical harmony at our annual meeting. Many messengers have implored me to carry out this assignment, but this convention is not about me, and I have every confidence that this decision is best and right.  

 Now, may I just leave you with a challenge?  I have with stumbling step, limited ability, and stuttering tongue desired to bequeath to the world an orthodox denomination with a heart and message for a world of lost people.  My part is small in the amazing history of the people we call Baptists.  But as insignificant as it may be, I will be praying every day that you will cling to the whole Bible as the Word of the living God and at the same moment give that Word to every lost person on this globe, knowing that Christ died for all and that every man, woman, boy, and girl who comes to the Lord Jesus in saving faith will be saved. Would you join me in that endeavor?  Please link your hearts with Dorothy and me in expressing thanksgiving to our Lord for His abundant mercies to us all. 

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An Open Letter to My Southern Baptist Brothers and Sisters by Dr. Thomas Hatley


(Posted with Permission)

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Dr. Allan Moseley: “I don’t recall the lady telling me that.”



In an article published on June 6, 2018 in the Baptist Standard, which can be read in its entirety here, the following was written:

“Dr. Patterson first learned of the charges that he allegedly did not report a rape at SEBTS during the May 22 board meeting” of Southwestern’s trustees. “Dr. Patterson’s response was that he had no recollection of a rape being reported to him.”

In the interview with Baptist Press, Sharpe said Patterson didn’t “remember a lady reporting a rape” while he was at Southeastern, so he called Allan Moseley, Southeastern’s dean of students in 2003.

“Dr. Moseley said, ‘I don’t recall the lady telling me that.’ And then the lady who became Lively’s accountability partner” said, when she was queried May 22, “‘I don’t ever remember this student telling me that.’”

Sharpe alleged Lively, in 2003, confessed to consensual sexual conduct and “referred to it as a sin on her part.”

In 2 Corinthians 13 the Apostle Paul faced severe criticism from those who challenged his authority to speak charging his accusers with this statement, “you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me”. He made this appeal to his accusers in verse 1, “This will be the third time I am coming to you. ‘By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.’”

Take one more look at the statements of 2 individuals who should have had more information regarding an allegation of rape than Dr. Patterson would have had.

“Dr. Moseley said, ‘I don’t recall the lady telling me that.’ And then the lady who became Lively’s accountability partner” said, when she was queried May 22, “‘I don’t ever remember this student telling me that.’”

“Dr. Patterson’s response was that he had no recollection of a rape being reported to him.”

“By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.”

As a people of the Book, are we not obligated to stand by the words of the Book? If Patterson, Moseley and the accountability partner ALL say the same thing, should that not confirm Patterson’s original statement on May 22? It certainly should put the actions of the Executive Committee of the SWBTS trustees in question.

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The release of facts in response to further accusations against terminated SWBTS president Paige Patterson


Contact: Shelby Sharpe, Sharpe & Rector P.C., (817) 338-4900

June 4, 2018

Given the wide-spread misrepresentation and misinformation regarding Dr. Patterson, it is important to set the facts straight. Insofar as they continue to be misrepresented publicly, accurate and appropriate responses will be issued.

This media release is in response to a release late Friday afternoon, June 1, 2018, from Kevin Ueckert, chairman of the board of trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS), concerning an executive committee decision of May 30, 2018, to terminate Dr. Patterson immediately.

The sole purpose of this release is to set forth facts and to put into perspective the committee’s decision and the way in which that decision was made.

Following is an itemization of the facts regarding the middle of the night termination made by the executive committee without all the relevant documents on which to base a decision:

– Chairman Ueckert states in the release that the executive committee received student records from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) that contradicted an answer Dr. Patterson gave to a trustee’s question during the full board meeting of May 22.

– Dr. Patterson was terminated without an opportunity to see the material or to respond to it.

– Neither Dr. Patterson nor his legal counsel was notified of the existence of this material allegedly incriminating Dr. Patterson prior to his termination.

– To date, requests by Dr. Patterson’s legal counsel to see the material have been denied.

– At Dr. Patterson’s request and after being made aware of the name of the Southeastern student making the accusation against Dr. Patterson, Dr. Patterson’s staff checked the
terminated president’s personal archives for any related correspondence. Letters found from the accuser to Dr. Patterson appear to validate that Dr. Allan Moseley, the SEBTS Dean of Students, and not Dr. Patterson, handled the matter. The accuser also apologizes for what she called her sin and makes no mention of or reference to rape.

– Copies of these letters were provided to Southwestern’s legal counsel on May 31, 2018.

– Because the executive committee did not give Dr. Patterson an opportunity to respond before his termination while in Germany for a long-standing commitment, the committee did not have in hand all relevant documents on which to base its decision prior to making that decision.

Following is an itemization of the facts pertaining to the charge in the chairman’s release that Dr. Patterson lied in answer to a trustee’s question at the May 22 board meeting:

– The incident in question concerns a time period in which Dr. Patterson was in the process of moving to Fort Worth, Texas, from Wake Forest, North Carolina, approximately 15 years ago.

– A personal ‘thank you’ letter to Dr. Patterson provided to Southwestern Seminary’s legal counsel plainly states that a student at SEBTS first interacted with a faculty member and then with Dr. Moseley. She thanked Dr. Patterson for being able to stay in school and for the way in which the school handled the matter.

– No reasonable reading of the letter suggests that the student had reported a rape to Dr. Patterson and certainly not that he ignored it, as is alleged.

– Dr. Patterson first learned of the charges that he allegedly did not report a rape at  SBTS during the May 22 board meeting. Dr. Patterson’s response was that he had no recollection of a rape being reported to him.

– To date, as far as we are aware, all parties with direct involvement and knowledge of the situation have stated rape was not mentioned. These individuals include the Dean of Students at SEBTS at the time, a woman assigned to meet with Mrs. Lively, and several staff members.

– Thus, when Dr. Patterson was asked about this charge during the May 22 meeting, he did not have a recollection of any such accusation.

– Significantly, one of the trustees sent a communication during the May 22 meeting to the SEBTS woman assigned to counsel the young woman, and this former SEBTS staff member further confirmed what Dr. Patterson shared.

Following is an itemization of the facts in response to the accusation that an email from Dr. Patterson to the SWBTS chief of the campus security department contains a statement that is “antithetical to the core values of our faith and to SWBTS”:

– The fact that an isolated statement from an email is being widely distributed by SWBTS trustees without providing adequate context is unfortunate.

– Dr. Patterson explained the full context of the statement to the apparent satisfaction of the full board, as evidenced by the fact that the full trustee board voted to name Dr. Patterson “president emeritus” instead of terminating him without salary, benefits, or residence as the executive committee later did on its own.

– The student in question had given several different accounts of her story to authorities, school administration, and her family. Dr. Patterson was seeking to understand what actually occurred among the many contradictory statements.

– Anyone who knows Dr. Patterson knows that he never meets alone with women without clear accountability practices in place. He preferred that there be no police presence so the young women would not feel intimidated. One must wonder what transformed the explanation of this statement from satisfactory at the May 22 meeting of the full board to “antithetical to core values” when considered by the executive committee May 30.

Following is an itemization of the facts related to the accusation that Dr. Patterson failed to deliver documents belonging to SEBTS in his possession:

– Dr. Patterson flatly denies that private SEBTS archives were ever stolen.

– Curiously, these accusations are now surfacing after more than 15 years, which raises the question of motive. Why raise the issue of supposed missing archives after all this time when correspondence shows that the question was raised and settled in 2004.

– This request was actually made to Dr. Patterson’s legal counsel.

– Dr. Patterson’s legal counsel immediately began an investigation which included contacting Dr. Chris Thompson, who supervised the transfer of Dr. Patterson’s library and personal archives from SEBTS to SWBTS.

– Dr. Thompson provided a letter (included below) referencing what transpired. In the letter he writes emphatically that the materials transferred included no SEBTS materials.

– Dr. Thompson had an obligation to SEBTS that no SEBTS papers leave its campus, and he attests to that in his letter.

Following is an itemization of the facts responding to the chairman’s charge that the papers given to the SWBTS’s legal counsel are SEBTS papers:

– Any reasonable reading of the letters reveals that they are personal, not institutional.

– Many officials of organizations receive ‘thank you’ letters.

– The fact that an official responds on institutional letterhead does not change the personal nature of the letter received nor any response to it.

To resolve the dispute about the true ownership of the documents in question, Dr. Patterson’s legal counsel has requested Southeastern Seminary join with him in having Peacemakers Ministries provide an arbitrator agreeable to both parties to decide the ownership of the records in accordance with 1 Corinthians 6, which prescribes how Christians are to settle disputes rather than using the secular court system. So far, SEBTS has not accepted this request.

While confident that no SEBTS documents were taken, Dr. and Mrs. Patterson are glad for SEBTS to have copies of any appropriate correspondence that they are unable to locate.

It is regrettable that these matters have been handled in the manner that they were. Had Dr. and Mrs. Patterson been included in the process and given an opportunity to respond, a much more amicable and less public outcome could have been achieved.

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UPDATED: Paige Patterson: “meeting with the student alone so that he could “break her down” 30 Days AFTER Rape Reported


UPDATE: June 6, 2018

In an article released by the Baptist Standard that can be accessed here, gave the following statement concerning Patterson’s unusual comment in an email:

During the May 22 Southwestern trustee meeting, Patterson “explained the full context” of a 2015 email concerning a rape allegation by a female student at the Fort Worth seminary, including his alleged statement that he wanted to meet with the accuser alone to “break her down,” he said.

Patterson’s explanation was “to the apparent satisfaction of the full board, as evidenced by the fact that the full trustee board voted to name Dr. Patterson ‘president emeritus’ instead of terminating him.”

Sharpe said the accuser met “with Dr. Patterson and with others and reported the rape. The guy was immediately expelled from school and it’s reported to law enforcement. A week later, she sends an email to Dr. Patterson thanking him for the way he handled the delicate matter.”

More than a month later, Sharpe said, Patterson made the “break her down” statement to express his desire to more fully understand circumstances “concerning a forthcoming meeting that had nothing to do with the reporting of the rape.”

Original Article from June 4

In a statement from Kevin Ueckert, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of SWBTS, concerning the decision of the Executive Committee of the trustee board, he wrote the following:

“In addition, as previously disclosed, a female student at SWBTS reported to Dr. Patterson that she had been raped in 2015. Police were notified of that report. But in connection with that allegation of rape, Dr. Patterson sent an email (the contents of which were shared with the Board on May 22) to the Chief of Campus Security in which Dr. Patterson discussed meeting with the student alone so that he could “break her down” and that he preferred no officials be present. The attitude expressed by Dr. Patterson in that email is antithetical to the core values of our faith and to SWBTS. Moreover, the correlation between what has been reported and also revealed in the student record regarding the 2003 allegation at Southeastern and the contents of this email are undeniable.”

I read this statement and shook my head and thought, “Wow; I cannot believe someone of Dr. Patterson’s stature and position would say something like this.” Perhaps I am missing something here. This perceived careless cold-hearted comment is not one a seasoned, statesman of the SBC would make. A story was shared with me. Evangelist E.J. Daniels told the story of a deacon who was driving past his preacher’s house one evening and glanced at the house and saw the silhouette of the pastor’s wife through the window jump up on the bed and the pastor began striking her with what appeared to be a broom. He saw this with his own eyes.

He called an emergency meeting of the deacons without consulting the pastor. The deacon related what he had seen with his own eyes to the deacon board and they voted to fire the preacher on the spot. Well, someone had called the preacher and said, the deacons are meeting to fire you. In shock, he came to the church walked into the meeting as it was about to conclude to learn of his fate. The deacon who saw what he saw, related that to the pastor.

Here was the pastor’s response. “You saw what you saw but you did not see what you saw.”

He went on to explain. My wife walked into the bedroom and a mouse jumped onto her back and she jumped onto the bed and I grabbed a broom to knock the mouse off her as quickly as I could. “You saw what you saw but you did not see what you saw.”

Today many are guilty of “hearing what they hear but not hearing what they hear.” We all have a tendency to hear “what we want to hear” and not “hear what we do not want to hear.” Those who make these kinds of accusatory statements public are aware of how powerful they are especially in the days we are living in today. Once again, this perceived careless cold-hearted comment is not one a seasoned, statesman of the SBC would make. We were intentionally led to believe it was.

I want to make two comments with respect to the statement in the email that Mr. Ueckert has made public. The first is to my own thought when I read this statement, meeting with the student alone so he could “break her down” and that he preferred no officials be present.

It was explained to me that the phrase Patterson did use had a much different idiomatic meaning for Patterson’s generation than it does today. This phrase can be an expression to say, “let me ‘break her down” or “get the details”. The statement that “no officials be present” also seems problematic depending on how it is heard as well. Did this mean that Dr. Patterson intended to meet with this lady alone or with someone else other than “officials at the school” or “law enforcement” with the intent of finding out what the circumstances were before other outsiders were brought in. We do not know. Dr. Patterson knows.

This brings me to the second and more problematic issue with all this: Dr. Patterson has not been allowed to adequately respond to these allegations. It has been stated that Dr. Patterson has been given very little opportunity to defend himself against these allegations and to share his side of the story. Even in the 13-hour meeting of the full trustee board, it was reported that Dr. Patterson was in attendance for roughly 2 and a half hours of the 13 and was given very little time to respond to these issues. He was only allowed to respond to specific questions of board members in the May 22 meeting and He had no opportunity to respond to the May 30 meeting of the executive committee because he was in Germany. This is absolutely inexcusable by anyone’s standards.

A final question is this. Mr. Ueckert said in this latest press release that the email Patterson sent to the Chief of Campus Security was shared with the full trustee board on May 22. What changed between May 22 and May 30 that would constitute a convening of the Executive Committee that would change the decision of the full board on the 22nd? If the email in question was available to the full board in their first meeting, what would justify dismissing the provisions made by the full board with respect to Dr. Patterson’s future as laid out initially on the 22nd? Ueckert’s public statement did not say.

This email saying, “let me break her down without any officials present” is one of two things. It was a calloused cold-hearted comment or a cautious, concerned statement made by someone who cared about the individual involved before jumping to conclusions and prompting public exposure irresponsibly. That is the response of a seasoned statesman of the SBC.

The latter was the confirmed intent of Dr. Patterson’s statement.


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Petition In Support of Dr. Page Patterson




The malicious attacks against Paige Patterson have brought to attention the need to vocally and verbally support the President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Here is an open letter of support for Dr. Patterson in his role as President of Southwestern Seminary.

The Right Thing for the SBC and Paige Patterson

An Open Letter of Support for Paige Patterson to the Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; forwarded to the Vice Presidents and Deans of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Convention President, Steve Gaines

by Samuel L. Schmidt

Brothers and Sisters of the Southwestern Board of Trustees;

I write this letter to you, not in a spirit of malice or anger, but of tremendous grief. I am burdened beyond explanation of all which has recently transpired against Dr. Patterson. Please receive this letter in the spirit of which it was written; one not born of ill intent, but of a desire for wrongs to be righted. You are in the position to fix the evils of the recent wave of malicious assaults and words against a common father in the faith: Paige Patterson.

Nothing But A Vicious Onslaught
The immediate past days on Twitter have been rather interesting for us, haven’t they? Decades old comments from one of the SBCs most polarizing figureheads have been circulated, examined, retweeted, and for many, have been determined to be grossly inappropriate, malicious, and downright abusive.
Of the 330 million active twitter accounts, a couple thousand individuals such as self-proclaimed news journalists (writing for the most liberal of newspapers in existence) homosexual bloggers (who have repeatedly marginalized the Southern Baptist Convention) church growth experts (who have zero experience actually growing churches) and social justice warriors (seeking to capitalize on a politically correct drama) have taken it upon themselves to urge Southern Baptists to end the courageous leadership of Paige Patterson.

The Greatest Among Us
Should we be surprised Paige Patterson is yet again the target of another string of unnecessarily evil attacks? Why wouldn’t our common enemy want to destroy Paige Patterson? Satan hates Paige. Satan despises him, and would not be content with anything less than the total destruction of Patterson. No wonder.
Patterson – with key individuals – just so happened to save the Southern Baptist Convention from liberalism and the decline of the authority and sufficiency of Scripture.

Patterson, by the grace of God, has traveled and preached the Gospel in over 125 countries, seeing untold numbers come to Christ – probably more people than all of you serving on this board combined.

Patterson holds to the Scriptural importance of the permanence of marriage, and is committed to helping couples resolve whatever tension exists in their God-ordained covenant, believing Scripture is sufficient.

Patterson, who advised Christians in chapel (the first I ever attended), “you would be better off dead than to bring dishonor and shame to the kingdom of God.” He’s right, trustees. We should all seriously consider Patterson’s words.

In such a volatile culture, journalists are often looking for the “next big story,” with which they can captivate audiences and generate clicks, likes, shares, and retweets. With the growing prominence of the #MeToo movement, any comment concerning women which might even remotely be perceived as aggressive, inappropriate, or morally unethical, has the chance of coming under tremendous scrutiny.

Paige Patterson has made numerous comments in his half-a-century ministry, many of which relate to the God-ordained institution of marriage.

Naturally, such comments in a politically correct twitterverse, are now more relevant than they have ever been, even though the culture perceived them as irrelevant two decades ago.

Abuse or Marriage?
Why have these comments raised a few people to uproar? While many individuals would try to steer the discussion toward abuse, they are wrong. The issue at stake here has nothing to do with abuse; we all know this.

Paige Patterson strongly condemns abuse in any circumstance or situation. As a matter of fact, comments on Twitter have surfaced of late of ladies who personally attest to Patterson helping them get out of abusive relationships. Ironic that the writers of the Washington Post have yet to capitalize on these remarks of individuals who have personally been helped by Patterson in abusive relationships. Perhaps these comments do not fit their narrative and witch-hunt? Perhaps they don’t fit yours either?

If the core issue in this discussion is not abuse, then what is it? The issue is marriage.

Is marriage permanent, or can a marriage be dissolved? The root of all these arguments goes back to the ever-penetrating question; is divorce permissible?

Dr. Patterson believes marriage ought not to be dissolved in any circumstance. He is right. I, and a host of other conservative evangelicals, agree wholeheartedly. Most importantly, we believe Scripture agrees.

To paraphrase Dr. Patterson’s recent remarks, “as ministers of the Gospel how could we believe otherwise?” Scripture is sufficient, and we need not step outside Its bounds in dealing with any matter!

Fortunately, this issue is minute and we can still serve Jesus together. Marriage has been an issue Christians have agreed to disagree while moving forward. For millennia, Christians have worked cooperatively together regardless of their views and opinions on divorce. If we have stood hand-in-hand for the sake of the Gospel before, why then, is the issue of divorce causing problems weeks before the annual meeting in Dallas and the sermon slated to be delivered by Paige Patterson?

The Real Problem
The members of the Southern Baptist Convention are not stupid. We can read between the lines; we understand what is happening. This is a coup to forcibly remove Dr. Patterson from his position at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary by discrediting his ministry, from outside sources who are now putting pressure on you, as trustees. Some of you stand with those outside sources. Some of you ARE in bed with those outside sources. This isn’t about divorce at all with some of you; this is about removing Paige Patterson. You know who you are; the Holy Spirit is calling you by name.

There is never a right time to do the wrong thing. Will the trustees of SWBTS now bow to the culture warriors, and worship their idol of political correctness at the expense of the glory of the Gospel?
Will we cowardly cringe at the sight of a few “social-media experts” who have no interest in the Gospel whatsoever, at the expense of a father in the faith?
Will we shamelessly follow the leading of outside sources who have personal vendettas against Dr. Patterson and have had an axe to grind for decades?
Is our Lord and our Gospel so weak and futile that we shudder at their words? Will we stand with those maliciously assaulting Dr. Patterson or will we stand with Jesus?

Strengthen your hearts Trustees, and be courageous! Paige Patterson does not stand alone. Neither do you. Demas may have forsook Paul, but Luke was him. Even greater, stood the Lord. Some may forsake Paige Patterson, but the Southern Baptist Convention stands with him. Greater yet, the Lord stands with him all the more. God will honor this saint’s commitment and courage to the Gospel.

I knelt by the chapel as I left graduation on Friday and I asked God to rightly judge the heart and attitude of every trustee at SWBTS. That includes you. I asked Him to search your hearts, and to decisively execute a divine standard so powerful among you, all who see it would recognize His glory. I pray He does so quickly. I pray you are found on the right side of God’s mighty standard. I pray you are found standing with Jesus. There is never a wrong time to do the right thing. The right thing to do, today, is stand with Paige Patterson.

In closing, I want to commend Dr. Patterson, for a lifetime of service he has given to King Jesus. Not content with just preaching the Gospel, he has given his ministry to defend Its glorious truths and oftentimes been found standing alone.

As long as I am alive, Paige Patterson will never stand alone.
Praise God for Paige’s faithfulness.

Thank you Dr. Patterson. Your consistent faithfulness in the midst of gross opposition and heartbreaking mischaracterization, reminds us you will remain faithful to the end. We are eagerly anticipating your sermon in Dallas. God has a powerful word Southern Baptists desperately need to hear at this pivotal hour and it is you who must deliver it to us. Our denomination is at stake. No one else but you will do. Just as God has chosen you time and time again to be the sounding trumpet to a wayward denomination, so He has chosen you once more.

In the GREAT name of Jesus and in defense of Paige Patterson,

Samuel Schmidt
SWBTS MDiv, May 4, 2018

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JD Greear for President of the Southern Baptist Convention: Since When Did We Become Southern Baptist?

Click on the picture below to hear Greear’s comments to his church.

Screenshot (111)

JD Greear announced to his church that he had been asked to allow his name to be placed in nomination for president of the Southern Baptist Convention. In his remarks he noted three questions that the church members would have and the third was an eye-opener. He said, “the third question many of you will ask is ‘Since when did we become Southern Baptist?” I get that. That is not something we wear on our sleeve here. There are obviously parts of the Southern Baptist Convention that do not excite us and represent who were are as a church.”

Here is a guy who pastors a multi-campus church that is not even aware that they are part of the Southern Baptist Convention and this is after he had run for the same position two years ago. So in the past two years, the Summit Church that Greear pastors still has no idea they are Southern Baptist.

It would also be interesting to note what there is about the Southern Baptist Convention that does not represent their church and who they are.

I do not know JD Greear. We have met. He seems to be a great guy and one that I do believe with all my heart loves the Lord and is faithful in being the servant God has called him to be. While this is a good start as a qualification to serve the SBC as president, there are other factors that do need to be considered.

Listen to Greear’s own words as he states why the Summit Church ought to be thankful to be part of the SBC. He notes that their church has 158 people serving on the foreign mission field. He notes that their church could not afford to send them and that the International Mission Board funds those members to the tune of $6 Million Dollars. What an incentive to continue to be part of such a wonderful organization!

Now, step back from Greear’s statement to his church for a minute. Understand something. The president of the SBC is not really a big deal with one exception. The president nominates the Committee on Committees that in turn nominates the Committee on Nominations who then nominates trustees to fill various positions of the entities of the SBC. 

Generally, the process described in the SBC Bylaws is as follows: 1) The president of the Southern Baptist Convention appoints the Committee on Committees; 2) The Committee on Committees nominates the Committee on Nominations [two members from each qualified state or region] to the messengers attending the next annual meeting of the Convention; 3) During the following year the Committee on Nominations reviews the qualifications of potential nominees to fill SBC trustee and committee vacancies whose names are brought to its attention by interested Southern Baptists; 4) The Committee on Nominations nominates to the messengers attending the next annual meeting of the Convention those nominees they believe to be most worthy of election; and 5) The Convention then elects its trustees and committee members for terms stipulated by the bylaws of the Convention and other appropriate governing documents []

This is important for one reason; the influx of Calvinism has brought the trustee nomination process into central focus because the direction the entities take with respect to Calvinism will determine the direction the SBC eventually goes and the Southern Baptist Convention is in serious trouble where the issue and influence of Calvinism is concerned, especially for those who are not Calvinist and have no interest in seeing the SBC become a Reformed denomination.

The truth is, JD Greear will in the selection process of nominating the Committee on Committees without question choose individuals who will advance the Mohler/Akin effort to Calvinize the entities of the SBC. This is a non-debateable statement. Some will argue that Greear is not a Calvinist but the Gospel Coalition would disagree with that position. In an article that lists the Top 125 Influences in the Gospel-Centered Movement, JD Greear is listed as number 52. Notice the following statement about the Gospel-Centered Movement: “Who has shaped this gospel recovery movement?”

Notice that phrase, “Gospel Recovery Movement.” Folks will say that there is no move to Calvinize the SBC but it appears the GC thinks there is. Ok. Some will argue that the “Gospel-Centered Movement” is not a Reformed Movement but rather a return to a solid Biblical Position. Once again, the Gospel Coalition clears that issue up very well with the following statement: “2. I tried to think keenly about all the folks whose voices have given shape to this still-developing movement, sometimes called “young restless and Reformed” (YRR), “neo-Reformed,” “gospel-centered,” etc.”

Note the top 15 influencers according to this article:

1. John Piper
2. Matt Chandler
3. Tim Keller
4. R.C. Sproul
5. Mark Driscoll
6. Al Mohler
7. D.A. Carson
8. John MacArthur
9. Justin Taylor
10. Francis Chan
11. Tullian Tchividjian
12. Collin Hansen
13. Tim Challies
14. Russell Moore
15. C.J. Mahaney

JD Greear is a Calvinist. He believes that God is the One who decides who does and does not get into heaven. He believes that men are totally depraved and totally incapable of repenting of their sin unless and until God gives them new life allowing them to THEN repent and exercise believing faith. In the Calvinist system, one does not repent and believe to be “born again”, one is “born again” so that he can THEN repent and believe. This is the direction the current tide is taking the SBC and a JD Greear president will further promote that agenda to move the SBC to a Reformed position.

Others have highlighted the CP giving of the Summit Church noting that their giving is half the national average of churches giving in the SBC. It should be noted that the Summit Church does give to other mission causes but to lead the SBC, one should first lead their church to support the Cooperative Program before asking the churches of the convention to do so. [See]

The Southen Baptist Convention simply cannot afford to have JD Greear nominating the Committee on Committees for the next two years. This election places our convention is a critical position and the outcome may well determine the direction the convention goes in the very near future.

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Free Will in a Response Driven World

I am not a proponent of any discussion concerning the subject, “free-will.” The term itself is vague and ambiguous in and of itself. The whole idea that men are “free” to will what they choose, is in and of itself a losing argument even outside the field of theology. A man cannot of his own accord, choose to fly. He cannot step off a 20 story rooftop and “will” to land safely on the ground. He will land.

The truth is, when God created man, He gave him the choice to choose. Man did not have a choice in that matter. Life itself is the result of the decisions we make that are themselves a response to everything that takes place round us. Those who argue against “free-will” in the theological arena are correct when they say, “man is a slave to his nature and is not ‘free’ to choose outside that nature.” That is an accurate statement, where our physical nature is concerned. It is not necessarily accurate where our spiritual nature is concerned. We have physical limitations and we have mental imitations. We are not omniscient so our choices are limited to our experience and our ability to assimilate information that is both available to us and understood by us. We can have accurate information available to us but we have to be able to understand how that information can help us to accurately make the best choice.

One has to recognize that even the task of “making the best choice” is relative. In this sense, the whole concept of “free-will” is both possible and impossible. We are not free to choose what we “will” or want to choose. We are only free to choose within the limits of the options we have at the time. For example, we cannot walk into a bank and freely will to take out any amount of money we want. We are free to choose to take out any amount of money that we have access to. We can withdraw money we have in an account at the bank or we may borrow more money and we may even choose to take what is not ours by robbing the bank. All of those choices may be valid choices and each of those choices carries with them certain consequences.

This illustration should accurately settle the whole notion of “free-will” where salvation or conversion is concerned. An individual walks into a bank to leave with some money. That is a “free-will” decision or better yet, a choice one makes. That choice in and of itself is really a response to some outside influence or more accurately, a number of outside influences. First of all, there is the influence of economics that makes money a necessity and then there is the social influence that necessitates the need to get money. If money was not a medium of exchange there would be no need for banks to exist and there would be no need to acquire money.

For example, cigarettes are not as valuable as money. Now, many choose to purchase cigarettes and then decide to smoke them. If one were to ask the question, “Which would you choose, a pack of cigarettes or $100” most would choose the $100. Here is the fallacy of “free-will.” Our choices are limited to our sphere of influence. We are only free to choose from among the choices we have to choose from and our ability to accurately assimilate information related to those choices. Let me explain what I mean. Is there ever a circumstance where choosing a pack of cigarettes is the better choice over choosing $100? Most would answer, “no.” In almost every circumstance, that would be the correct choice. However, if that $100 was in confederate money, the choice to accept the pack of cigarettes could be the better option. The problem with “free-will” is men are limited in their choices. Men not only have the ability to choose but he also has the responsibility to choose and then there is the need to make the best choice given the options he has as he understands them.

Here is another consideration. Our choices are responsive and relative. Is it ever bad to accept a $1000 gift? Some would conclude, “no.” While it is true that a $1000 gift would be universally accepted as being a good thing, that choice would be bad if it disqualified that person from receiving a $100,000 gift. This is where temptation comes into play. It is not that temptation necessarily offers us bad options, temptation always robs us of what God has in store for us and so the choice to choose to submit and succumb to temptation is always the wrong choice. When that which is good robs us of that which is the best, a good choice can be a bad choice. There are consequences to our choices. The consequences of our choices yesterday can have a lot to do with the choices we are forced to make today. For example, if we went into the bank yesterday and withdrew all our money and spent it at a casino, it is obvious that the choices we have to make today are heavily dependent on what happened yesterday! If we took out a loan and took that money to a casino, the consequences of those choices are probably going to be life changing! It is one thing to spend all the money one has in the bank, it is another to throw away all the money one gets from a loan that has future long term obligations tied to it. If one robs that bank, he may or may not even have the option of getting to a casino and the consequences of that choice is most certainly going to be life changing.

So, while we are indeed free to choose, we are not free from the consequences of those choices. So in that sense, we do not exercise “free-will” but we do have “free-will”” when it comes to the choices we are confronted with, given the options we are free” to choose from.

If it is true that men were created to respond, it would be difficult to argue that he is not response-able. To attempt to argue that man is not response able in a world that is response driven is like trying to argue that one can defy gravity if he chooses to do so. If one defines life itself as the result of the responses one makes in every single decision he makes, then it would be accurate to say that he is response able and responsible for every single decision he makes and every decision has the potentiality to impact some or even every future decision.

Here is an example of what I mean. An individual makes the decision to get into an automobile and drive to the bank to make a withdrawal to go to the casino. His cell phone rings and he reaches for that phone and in the split second he takes his eyes off the road, a car pulls out of a side street and there is an accident that leaves the driver paralyzed for life. One decision that would have been fine in 9,999 cases out of 10,000 changes one’s options to choose for life. The same thing could be said of a decision to stop at a convenience store and in the check-out process, you tell the cashier to take the $2 in change and give you a power-ball ticket that could be worth millions and that ticket is a winner! In most cases purchasing a power ball ticket is absolutely a waste of money. It is in almost every case an irresponsible decision. The odds of being struck by lightning a dozen times is probably better than winning the powerball but someone does win and the consequences of that choice are life changing just like the choice to pick up a cell phone can dramatically change one’s life.

It is also interesting to note the choices one makes and the consequences of those choices are varied as well. The person who wins the powerball would seem to be on top of the world. However, statistics show that winning huge sums of money has proven to cost entire families dearly. On the other end of the spectrum, there are testimonies of individuals who have made poor choices that landed them in jail or prison, that ended up helping them come to Christ because they attended a bible study because that was better than sitting in a jail cell all alone. Now, most of us would certainly choose to win the lottery than go to prison. However, we do not have the benefit of hindsight. If we knew that winning the lottery would cost us the life of our children to drug abuse, we might choose not to purchase that lottery ticket and if going to prison brought us to a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus and impacted our eternal destination, we might look at that differently as well.

Life is nothing more than a series of choices we all make one right after the other. Decisions and choices are as essential to life as our heartbeat and the necessity of oxygen molecules to be taken into our lungs and delivered to our cells. One is no more important than the other nor is either any less important.

To attempt to argue that this is not true of conversion on any level is an interesting endeavor in and of itself. Logically, it makes no sense whatsoever that God would create man and give him life that is in its essence the sum total of the decisions he makes and then attempt to argue that the single most important decision in his life, is not his to make but God’s. It can be argued that the whole purpose of a man’s life is to get his soul to heaven. Since man is both response-able and responsible for every single decision he is confronted with in his life and his life itself becomes the sum of the decisions he makes, it would seem strange to attempt to argue that God would take that most important decision from him.

If God is a God of love as the Bible contends, there has to be the possibility of rejection where mankind is concerned; it is humanly impossible for love to exist without the option of rejecting love offered. That is true in our relationships one to another and it is true in our response to God’s initiatives of love toward us. God loves us unconditionally; our love to Him is everything but unconditional and that is certainly true of our love one to one another. To argue a Calvinist position of love, one would have the ability to walk into a room and simply walk over to a person and say, “you are going to marry me today and we will live happily ever after.”

Life does not work that way here and it does not work that way where our eternity is concerned. God has taken the initiative in redemption by sending His Son to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin and through the initiative of revelation He has made the way of salvation plain and simple enough for anyone to understand it and through His initiative in reconciliation the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and convinces us of His love for us so that we will in turn respond to those initiatives in repentance and find forgiveness or rejection resulting in our damnation. The choice to repent is ours, not God’s. The initiatives are his and the results are His but the choice is ours.

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My problem with Calvinism and Reformed Theology:

Calvinism as I see it is an indictment against the character of God; it portrays God as the One who decides who does and does not receive the “get out of hell” card that all deserve (hell) but only a few get. It is an illogical theological position that is based on a philosophical position related to the atonement and its efficacy. If Jesus’ death itself paid the penalty for the sins of the world, then there would be no need for eternal punishment in hell; since that is obviously not the case THEN Jesus could not have died for the sins of ALL MEN and walla we have the philosophical underpinning of the calvinist response.

The problem is simple; the atonement makes provision for forgiveness; it did not effectuate forgiveness not even for the extreme calvinist, whatever that is. For even in that system, the benefits of the atonement are bestowed on the elect; and until they are “bestowed” the elect is in an unregenerate state. If the atonement were in fact effectual, there would be no sins to atone for nor repent of IF they were atoned for on the cross. There is an ambiguity in the efficacy argument where the atonement is concerned in the theological system itself.

The position of total depravity and inability cannot be effectively defended Scripturally; especially in the OT… there is unquestionably no concept of TD in Jewish writing nor in OT Scripture. The whole notion that an individual is incapable of responding to God’s initiatives in redemption, revelation and reconciliation is ridiculous in and of itself and is not found in ANY other philosophical argument that I am aware of. Men are constantly making decisions in every aspect of their lives even down to the choice to read this statement; to argue one’s inability to respond to God of ALL entities seems so outrageously incredible to me and that anyone would even accept that premise today blows my mind. To me it smacks of God’s sovereignty… how powerful can He be if He cannot speak to the unregenerate? The statement, one cannot be responsible if he is not response-able deserves thought.

Finally… the Word says the “gospel is the power of God unto salvation; calvinism says regeneration is the power of God unto salvation for in that system… the gospel is POWERLESS to save the unregenerate. In the calvinist system… repentance and believing faith are first acts of sanctification NOT new life for new life is necessary FOR repentance and not the other way around. So the gospel is a manual for Sanctification in the calvinist system, not conversion since conversion is at the sole discretion of God’s efficacious will with no input from sinful man; God simply rebirths who He chooses to re-birth and they THEN take hold of the gospel and begin to grow from there.

God saves those who repent; He is not the One who decides who gets to repent. That is the problem I have with calvinism. PERIOD.


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