Re: [asa] Southern Baptist resolution

From: Michael Roberts <michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk>
Date: Mon Mar 10 2008 - 19:08:54 EDT

This is excellent news. It is rather better than the deposition to Senate last year by Russell Moore of the SB theol seminary with an appendix largely written by Beisner.

Things are going in the right direction but still along way to go.

Michael
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Randy Isaac
  To: asa@calvin.edu
  Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 1:14 PM
  Subject: [asa] Southern Baptist resolution

  Do any of you have a copy of the full declaration?
  Note particularly in the following article the comments by Merritt on his epiphany and that the declaration says they are not letting "lack of scientific unanimity" preclude action! Swallow hard! They'll take the moral high ground and recommend prudent action even before those scientists can get their act together.

  Randy

  From the NYTimes:
  Southern Baptists Back a Shift on Climate Change
  By NEELA BANERJEE
  Published: March 10, 2008
  Signaling a significant departure from the Southern Baptist Convention's official stance on global warming, 44 Southern Baptist leaders have decided to back a declaration calling for more action on climate change, saying its previous position on the issue was "too timid."

  The largest denomination in the United States after the Roman Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, with more than 16 million members, is politically and theologically conservative.

  Yet its current president, the Rev. Frank Page, signed the initiative, "A Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change." Two past presidents of the convention, the Rev. Jack Graham and the Rev. James Merritt, also signed.

  "We believe our current denominational engagement with these issues has often been too timid, failing to produce a unified moral voice," the church leaders wrote in their new declaration.

  A 2007 resolution passed by the convention hewed to a more skeptical view of global warming.

  In contrast, the new declaration, which will be released Monday, states, "Our cautious response to these issues in the face of mounting evidence may be seen by the world as uncaring, reckless and ill-informed."

  The document also urges ministers to preach more about the environment and for all Baptists to keep an open mind about considering environmental policy.

  Jonathan Merritt, the spokesman for the Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative and a seminarian at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., said the declaration was a call to Christians to return to a biblical mandate to guard the world God created.

  The Southern Baptist signatories join a growing community of evangelicals pushing for more action among believers, industry and politicians. Experts on the Southern Baptist Convention noted the initiative marked the growing influence of younger leaders on the discussions in the Southern Baptist Convention.

  While those younger Baptists remain committed to fight abortion, for instance, the environment is now a top priority, too.

  "In no way do we intend to back away from sanctity of life," said the Rev. Dr. Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Ala.

  Still, many powerful Southern Baptist leaders and agencies did not sign the declaration, including the convention's influential political arm, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

  Dr. Barrett Duke, vice president for public policy at the commission, played down the differences between the declaration and the Southern Baptist Convention's position.

  The declaration says in fact that lack of scientific unanimity should not preclude "prudent action," which includes changing individual habits and giving "serious consideration to responsible policies that effectively address" global warming.

  The declaration is the outgrowth of soul-searching by Mr. Merritt, 25. The younger Mr. Merritt said that for years he had been "an enemy of the environment." Then, he said, he had an epiphany.

  "I learned that God reveals himself through Scripture and in general through his creation, and when we destroy God's creation, it's similar to ripping pages from the Bible," Mr. Merritt said.

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Received on Mon Mar 10 19:10:35 2008

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