Friday, February 13, 2009

Southeastern and Baptist Press

Following Southeastern Seminary's 20/20 Conference, which featured Mark Driscoll among others, Baptist Press (BP) released a one-sided article resurrecting old controversies and blindsiding interviewees who didn't know they were going to be quoted in this piece. Southeastern responded to the BP article with a statement on their blog:

"One of the speakers, Mark Driscoll, has received significant criticism from some Southern Baptists in recent days. At first the criticism was limited to ill-informed bloggers, but yesterday Baptist Press entered the fray...We were very disappointed in the BP piece, which we believe was inaccurate in content and harsh in tone."

Ed Stetzer, Director of LifeWay Research, also responded on his blog by saying he was disappointed in BP and noting that one of the interviewees were unaware that they were being interviewed for this story.

Finally, I wrote a response to the article in an op-ed entitled, Unfair, Unbalanced, and Unacceptable, with the Biblical Recorder, the Baptist newpaper for North Carolina. This article outlines how the BP article is simply part of a larger trend toward biased journalism that is discrediting Baptist Press among many.

If you are plugged into the crazy Baptist world, leave your thoughts. For everyone else, we will return to regularly scheduled programming shortly.

8 comments:

Micah Fries said...

Jonathan, you're right on. Unfortunately, I believe that at least two people interviewed for the BP article were unaware that their quotes would be used for an article against Driscoll. It is concerning to me as it appears we are comfortable using unethical methodology to insure the results we are pushing for. Here's hoping the massive publicity it's receiving will cause some folks to think twice before they resort to this methodology in the future.

Jonathan Moss said...

I'm glad that Mark Driscoll could come here and stir the pot because this needs to be addressed, this division in the SBC.

I love Mark's heart, and I'm glad that Dr. Akin can agree and disagree with a few things that he does. I'm really glad that as a SEBTS student that Driscoll was able to come and encourage and remind us what the gospel looks like in a culture like ours today.

There will always be people nitpicking at every small thing that someone does, especially if it doesn't align with their worldview, but we have to remember that we are of Christ, and we are united under the blood of Christ as brothers and sisters united to spread the gospel to every single person.

Susan C. said...

I feel rather uninformed about Driscoll. After reading the BP article yesterday, it made me wonder about him. Thanks for pointing out its bias. I also want to do more research on him.

Matt Snowden said...

Jonathan,

Thanks for this post. You are correct in calling the SBC world crazy. It's my denominational home and family but it gets very frustrating. Sometimes I just shake my head.

chadwick said...

Jonathan,

I was scratching my head because the 'controversial article' BP was attacking was posted by Driscoll in November, 2008.

Why did BP wait until NOW to attack Driscoll? . . . Oh, I've got it; BP is attacking SEBTS! (It makes perfect sense now!) :(

chadwick

Jonathan Merritt said...

Bingo, Chadwick. It is the same type of stuff that was being done by bloggers after SEBTS had their Calvinism conference last year.

Tim Faulted said...

I think Micah is correct about the quotes being out of context. I know Ed Stzer has mentioned this, and I just talked to someone from the MBC who has the same suspicion that Tolliver's quotes were out of context. Its a shame on baptists everywhere and shoddy journalism at best.

Daves World said...

I read your article about the decreasing membership in the Southern Bapstist denomination. I think you guys do have a serious problem with extremist positions. I refer to Southern Baptists as "Christian Taliban" based on converstations I've had with some of your more outspoken members. I think, like the Republican party, you are doomed unless you can find a way to attract more moderates. "Right Wing" views are the same kinds of craziness that Iranians are firghting against.