While searching for some illustrations of misrepresentations of doctrinal convictions (which was like fishing in a stocked pond) I came across this jewel that provoked a few observations from me last year. In a brief critique of this terrible sermon in January of 2007, I made the following parenthetical observation.
[The preacher] equates modern Baptists with 16th century anabaptists (something of which, in the wake of the recovery of the true doctrinal heritage of Sandy Creek I predict we will see more and more from certain sectors of SBC life in the years ahead).
As was mentioned in my previous post last week, this is now happening, with the announcement that a Fundamentalist seminary is laying claim to that historical position (albeit, without yet dealing honestly with the Sandy Creek theological tradition). One need not be prescient to anticipate this new polemical strategy. All it takes is paying attention to the reactions to the credible research that continues to emerge that debunks long-held and largely unchallenged assumptions about Baptist origins.
The process goes like this: Assert your (tenuous at best and unfounded at worst) position on the authority of supposed expert opinion which typically has something to do with academic credentials. When the evidence refuting your position becomes embarassingly overwhelming, retreat and retrench with more nuanced assertions. When the remnants of your views are exposed as insufficient to sustain your assertions, either shout more loudly, employ a red herring or try to redirect the debate to attain the same agenda by new assertions.
Happened with Calvinism in the early SBC
-even Sandy Creek was more Calvinistic than we thought
Now go with anabaptists along with Sandy Creek (or downplay Sandy Creek)
Timmy Brister has the right approach in his comments in the last post