Here are some pictures from the convention this past week. The chapel picture on the top is from the Sesquicentennial (150th) Dedication of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. This was my first time at a chapel service at the seminary. The other two shots are pictures from our “best” seats at the convention on Tuesday afternoon.
What are my thoughts on the convention?
1. It was not as highly attended as I thought it was going to be. I have a book that I had to read for the seminary class that had on the cover of the book a picture from the 1988 SBC Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX. In that picture, there is an entire stadium filled with SBC messengers (looks like well over 20,000 people). This convention only had a little over 8,000 messengers and it was in a convention hall at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, KY.
2. There was not all that much controversy. This is not a bad thing. But, due to the preparation seminar that we had at the Seminary class on Saturday (6/20/2009), Dr. Russell Moore (Dean of Theology at Southern Seminary) mentioned what to expect and I left with the impression that there would be some debate on the floor especially with the Great Commission Resurgence and also about the possible disfellowship of Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX. As it turned out, the Broadway Baptist Church disfellowship recommendation by the Executive Committee passed without discussion and the Great Commission Resurgence was passed whole heartedly without much debate (it was the only “controversial issue).
3. There was one resolution that was most publicized in the media. It was a resolution on President Barack Obama. The resolution celebrated the fact that an African American was elected to the highest office in the United States. However, it also lamented the positions that the Obama administration was taking on the abortion issue and pro-gay rights. Here is the Baptist Press article about the resolution [http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=30759]. You will notice in the article that Dr. Roger “Sing” Oldham is in the picture with Danny Akin and Richard Land. Akin is the President of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and was also chairman of the Resolutions Committee for this year’s convention. Richard Land is the Chairman of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC.
4. The Exhibit Hall of the SBC was absolutely amazing! There was an entire Lifeway Christian Store in the middle of the hall. Also there were unbelievable exhibits from every seminary and entity of the SBC and also all the Christian Colleges in the states. I am proud to announce that Union University probably had the best location in the entire hall, right at the entrance! Bonnie and I especially enjoyed the International Mission Board exhibit. There was a huge board that had a map of the entire world with indications of the percentage of evanglical Christians in each location. Each messenger had the opportunity to sign his or her name in a region of the world to pray for the missionary effot to reach that part of the world for Christ. I picked Russia, since Breanne Oldham (Dr. Sing Oldham’s daughter and fellow classmate) is currently in that country as a journeyman missionary.
5. Bonnie and I attended the Union University Alumni dessert reception on Tuesday evening. It was a wonderful event. Dr. Dockery informed the guests that Union is having a record Freshman enrollment this year. Things are doing great for my alma mater!
6. I got to meet a bunch of new ministers my age throughout the country and also got to meet and “rub shoulders” with some of the leaders of the convention. It is neat to be walking around the exhibit hall and then turn around and there is R. Albert Mohler walking right by you, or Thom Rainer, Jerry Vines, Paige Patterson, Richard Land, etc. I also got to see some familiar faces. It was definitely great to see Brother Wayne and Linda Perkins and also Eddie Mallonee and his wife. We also saw Jim Barnhouse from Macks Grove Baptist Church.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the convention and am thankful that the church has allowed me to go. I look forward to the next time I will be able to go.