Unusual Suspects

October 29, 2007

Earlier this month, the trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary voted to establish The Richard Land Center for Cultural Engagement. Although there could be some question as to if Land's model of cultural engagement is a good one for Christians (like cozying up to one political party and making false statements), there was a comment from the announcement that seemed particularly ironic. Southwestern's president, Paige Patterson, offered his opinion as to why the center was needed. He claimed

Religious liberty is under attack today in our own country where we never thought it would be.
He is correct, but the irony of the statement is that it is Patterson's movement that has created some of these places where religious liberty has surprisingly come under attack. It used to be that Baptists were among the strongest proponents of religious liberty. Now, unfortunately, some Baptists are leading the charge to undermine true religious liberty. These individuals have included Rick Scarborough, W.A. Criswell, and even Patterson. Our Baptist ancestors--who literally suffered for religious liberty--likely never expected that Baptists would someday be among those causing the problems. For some more thoughts about this, check out a couple of my columns:

Preserving religious liberty
What have we "Plutoed"?
Majority rules