While President Kieschnick is in the middle of transitioning the LCMS into a "Purpose-Driven" denomination the Southern Baptists are actually waking up and realizing that so-called 'culturally relevant' and 'seeker-sensitive methods' are not growing their denomination but are instead shrinking it.
The Christian Post is reporting on statements made by Paige Patterson, the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. According to the Christian Post:
Weak preaching and cultural adaptability are just two of many reasons Southern Baptists give to explain the decline of membership and baptisms.
"[T]he shallow state of preaching has exacerbated the lethargy of the church and left the lost with no real Word from God," said Paige Patterson, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, in a column in Baptist Press.
"The pastor ought to be the major source of theological understanding and the most able teacher of the Bible,” he added.
"Anemic pulpits create anemic churches and denominations."
Since the release last month of the latest data on Southern Baptist membership and baptisms, both of which declined, Southern Baptists have speculated why the largest Protestant denomination in the country has been seeing lower numbers.
"Well, the time has come to identify the real problems," said Patterson.
Many church leaders have been calling for change to respond to what many identify as a shift from modern to postmodern culture. And the latest statistics showing shrinking numbers has made that call even more urgent. But cultural relevance has led many churches to lose the holiness of God and a thirst to be like God, Patterson noted.
A prominent conservative Southern Baptist, Patterson said he is the first to admit that "dullness and 'Baptist tradition' were too often the rule in our churches." But the suggestion that churches must chase after culture in order to be effective in evangelistic efforts is "misguided," he said.
"The more attune to culture Southern Baptists have become and the more we have incorporated the world into our worship, the more our baptisms have dropped!" Patterson noted. (Emphasis Added)
In other words, adopting Seeker-Sensitive methods viz. Rick Warren's Purpose-Drivenism or Bill Hybels Willowcreek methods will do nothing less than insure the long-term DECLINE of the LCMS.
15 May 2008
Over at "Save the LCMS" one "Athanasius" has posted this about the real, realized fruits of the purpose-driven, seeker-sensitive methods used by our Southern Baptist friends. Perhaps the most incisive comments would be: "Let him who has eyes to read understand," and "Let the buyer (of purpose-driven drivel and seeker-sensitive schlock) beware!" Here's the post: