Published March 16, 2006
I want to share two points regarding the dissolution of our final ties with Mercer University. Much has been said already, but Iíd like to add another comment. I was on the state Executive Committee for my final meeting back in November. I was in the room as the discussion regarding ties with Mercer arose. Here is what immediately came to my mind.
In his book The Baptist Reformation Jerry Sutton writes a detailed and historical account of the conservative movement of the SBC, beginning with the 1979 election of Adrian Rogers as president. He confesses that he comes from a conservative viewpoint. Yet, for someone who was an unsaved teenager during the 1980ís, it was extremely enlightening to me.
What I saw was a battle that took place that was about Scripture. My heartbeat as a pastor is the expository preaching and teaching of Godís Word. The conservative movement was a national battle for a national denomination. As evidenced by events on the state level today, we see that the national battle that was fought in the 1980s and early 1990s, is still being addressed on a state level today (i.e. Texas, Virginia, South Carolina, etc).
I encourage every pastor, leader and Southern Baptist under the age of 40 to get a copy of Suttonís book. I believe that, if we do not address these matters on the state level the same way we did nationally, it will be a big step backwards to a more liberal era.
Second, Jesse Mercerís name has been thrown around a lot. I would suggest that you secure a copy of A Piety Above the Common Standard. It is a biographical look at the evangelistic fervor and passion for missions Mercer carried.
By the way, Jesse Mercer was a five point Calvinist. Some may not like that, but you cannot deny that he was a big part of the founding of the Georgia Baptist Convention and a man of the Bible.
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