The Backstory to the Great Commission Resurgence

Three months ago, I took the time to collect the digital paper trail regarding the development of a Great Commission Resurgence (GCR) that has dominated denominational news in Southern Baptist life.  For many Southern Baptists, the talk of GCR has just hit their ears, and yet the impetus for the GCR began nearly five years ago.  Let me explain.

I. Dr. Thom Rainer (May 2005)

In 2004, Dr. Thom Rainer, then Dean of the Billy Graham School of Evangelism, Missions & Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, conducted a study to examine the evangelistic effectiveness of Southern Baptists since the Conservative Resurgence.  The results revealed that although evangelism would have been much worse without the CR, Southern Baptists since 1979 were failing in evangelism.  The analysis of Dr. Rainer was eventually published in the Spring 2005 edition of The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology in an article entitled “A Resurgence Not Yet Realized: Evangelistic Effectiveness in the Southern Baptist Convention since 1979.”  It was in this article that Dr. Rainer argued,

“When we are passionately obedient about Christ’s commission to share the Gospel in all that we do, then the resurgence will have taken its full course.”

Through the sober realization and honest analysis of our current state, the battle cry for a Great Commission Resurgence sounded forth from a leading voice in the SBC.  For more background info, check out the following articles:

II. Baptist Identity II Conference (February 2007)

The next significant moment came during the Baptist Identity II Conference held at Union University where various speakers addressed various issues in Southern Baptist life (Crossway has recently published these presentations in a book edited by Dr. David Dockery entitled Southern Baptist Identity: A Denomination Faces the Future).  Dr. Rainer continued his call for a resurgence of the Great Commission, Dr. Timothy George addressed “retrieval for the sake of renewal” and an “ecumenism by conviction,” and Mike Day presented an illumining vision for future of associations and state conventions (which is still relevant to the discussion of GCR, especially Article IX).  Interestingly enough, Dr. Paige Patterson took the opportunity to present a paper on what we can learn from Anabaptists–a narrative soon to be replaced with the Baptist Identity movement.

III. Building Bridges Conference (November 2007)

The third significant moment occurred at the Building Bridges Conference sponsored by SEBTS, Founders Ministries, and LifeWay.  It was at this conference when Dr. Danny Akin, president of SEBTS, picked up the baton of the GCR with his message, “Answering the Call to a Great Commission Resurgence” (MP3 | PDF).  Joining in the same spirit of Dr. Akin, Dr. Tom Ascol followed up with his message, “Working Together to Make Christ Known” by Tom Ascol (MP3).  The stage had been set for the embrace of a GCR that transcended the deepest doctrinal divides.

Or so we thought.

IV. Baptist Identity Narrative Takes Full Swing (Fall 2007-Spring 2008)

Just about the same time the GCR call was spreading among informed Southern Baptists, a competing vision emerged, largely from SWBTS voices (Drs. Patterson, Yarnell, Barber) and those affiliated with the group blog, SBCToday.  I don’t want to delve into the details of the BI vision (that’s for another post) but simply want to make the point that the two competing visions (GCR vs. BI) surfaced between Fall 2007 and Spring 2008.  To give you an idea of how aggressive the alternative BI vision was, here’s a sampling of their blogposts:

V. SBC Presidential Election of 2008 (Frank Cox vs. Johnny Hunt)

The two competing visions came to showdown of sorts at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the SBC (Indianapolis) with the Presidential nominees–Frank Cox for Baptist Identity and Johnny Hunt for Great Commission Resurgence.  Prior to the election and partly due to the sheer blogging volume, it appeared that Cox and the BI constituency would clearly win the vote.  At least that is how they perceived it. Consider their comments (most of them within one week of the convention):

Of course, the outcome was quite a surprise with Hunt winning on the first vote with over 50% affirmation (contrasted to Cox’s 24%), even with five nominees in the running.  With all the talk about Baptist Identity and the stumping on the SBC blogposhere, the loss of Cox dealt a severe blow to the BI vision, and it was reflected in the changing of their narrative.  I should mention also that LifeWay published and distributed at the convention an important little book called Great Commission Resurgence (2008) with articles by Thom Rainer, Danny Akin, Chuck Lawless, Jeff Iorg, and Jerry Rankin.

VI. Post Annual Meeting Narrative Change (from BI to GCR)

Immediately following the Convention, the BI bloggers turned their attention to the GCR, writing numerous articles as seen below:

It seemed at this point everyone was behind the GCR, or at least willing to talk about it as they ride the tidal wave that came from Indy.  From the Fall 2008 to Spring 2009, the discourse became relatively quiet with the exception of a new group blog from SEBTS called Between the Times (BtT).  For the next year, it was here at BtT that the GCR nuts and bolts would be regularly explained (e.g., the 22-part “Contours of a Great Commission Resurgence”).  One particular moment during this period which perhaps encapsulates the difference between BI and GCR was Reformation Day (actually October 30, 2008) chapel sermons respectively preached at SWBTS and SEBTS. Dr. Yarnell preached on “The Essentials of Christianity” (MP3) while Dr. Ascol preached on “Living on the Gospel” (MP3). Juxtaposition through listening to these two sermons preached on the same day (and at the headquarters of the competing visions) reveals just how stark the divide had become.

VII. Great Commission Resurgence Campaign

Fast forward to April 16, 2009 where Dr. Akin preaches in chapel at SEBTS a messaged entitled, “Axioms of a Great Commission Resurgence.”  Shortly thereafter (April 27 to be exact), BtT announces the GCR website and posts the declarations for Southern Baptists to read, and, should they agree, join the movement by signing the GCR document (in full disclosure, I’ve signed the document).  Since that time, over 3,600 Southern Baptists have signed in agreement, though not all have done so with as much fanfare as those who signed “with caveats.”  Some of the more significant articles of late in favor of a GCR include:

VIII. Counter-GCR Campaign

I know, I know. No Southern Baptist is against the Great Commission.  But there are Southern Baptists against a Great Commission Resurgence–in particular one that is not envisioned by their own leaders.  The greatest handle of the counter-GCR crowd of course has been Article IX which speaks to the restructuring of the SBC bureaucracy (something which Bart Barber recently called “a great blunder”).  To the critics, the tone is just not politically correct.  Most notable among the dissenters has been Morris Chapman, President and CEO of the Executive Committee, who has publicly expressed his differing opinions from that of President Johnny Hunt (others include David Tolliver from Missouri Baptist Convention, John Sullivan from Florida Baptist Convention, and Will Hall, managing executive editor of Baptist Press–the official paper of the Executive Committee which Chapman oversees).

Article IX is not the only tool in the counter-GCR tool belt.  Paige Patterson and Jerry Vines have signed the document “with caveats” – in essence including a disclaimer while signing.  In addition to more attention given to caveats than the document itself, counter-GCR Texans (most from the BI spokesmen) have argued that “our resolution on GCR is better than your GCR document.”  Most recently, the counter-arguments have simply to play down the GCR just a political move or take an ambivalent stance on it.  Perhaps the enthusiasm expressed by the BI bloggers prior to Indy was a lesson that playing safe is to stay indifferent – except when criticisms, caveats, and concerns are raised.  In any case, the use of caveats, the alternative resolution, the downplaying of GCR’s importance all play a role in concert with Article IX in the counter-GCR agenda.

IX. Louisville

I suppose it is fitting that my last point be my ninth point.  I guess you could say here’s my article IX. 🙂 But seriously, many are speculating what will come of the GCR initiative.  Will there be a task force to examine the structures of the SBC so that IMB missionaries won’t be held back from the mission field due to mismanagement of the Cooperative Program?  Will some of the restructuring include a possible merger of NAMB with the IMB?  Will there be significant momentum to take the GCR beyond a campaign and into genuine resurgence of the local church as well as significant reformation of the SBC bureaucracy?  These are questions that remain to be answered.  But mark it down.  We Southern Baptists will always find something controversial, even the Great Commission.  There will always be critics just like there will always be politics.

But hey, at least you know the backstory to the Great Commission Resurgence. 🙂

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88 Comments on “The Backstory to the Great Commission Resurgence”

  1. Todd Benkert Says:


    Thanks for this helpful overview. Just a note, to be fair, not all the blog posts and objectors to the GCR you list can be rightly identified with the BI guys.

    Morris Chapman, for example, can hardly be accused of being in the BI movement — he’s been on our side on many of the most important issues. Also, some of the opposition/indifference to the GCR statement(Tony Kummer’s post from SBCVoices for example) comes from younger evangelicals who are not yet sold on or indifferent to the SBC or are skeptical about the importance of denominational life. That is quite the opposite of the BI guys who are very pro-Convention and are fighting for a particular vision of SBC life.

    Still, your article is quite helpful historical overview. See you in Louisville where I’ll join you in casting my ballot for the GCR.


    • Todd Benkert Says:

      BTW, I recognize that you are not identifying all GCR opposition with BI, but without a careful reading, your post can leave that impression. I just wanted to clarify that not all GCR opposition is created equal 🙂


    • Todd,

      I don’t think I referred to Chapman as part of the BI movement but part of the counter GCR movement of which the BI guys are included. As far as Tony goes, we are good friends and of course would not fit that category either. I did, however, think his post on SBCVoices was more indicative of his skepticism than GCR’s agenda. I believe I suffiiciently proved by documentation that the GCR is NOT what he presented it to be.

      • Todd Benkert Says:

        Yeah, I realize you didn’t do that and thus the second comment. The thrust of the post seemed to focus on BI opposition and I just wanted to make sure no one reading it lumped everyone in to the BI camp. Sorry, I’m just always on the side of clarity, hope I didn’t offend 🙂

        See you in Louisville.
        — Todd

  2. Tim,

    Thanks for putting this info together. Interesting “paper” trail.

    Part of me wants to say that there is at least a hint of institutional idolatry. I dunno…

  3. Tim Rogers Says:


    Next thing we know you will identify the shooter on the grassy knoll.

    Do you realize that Frank Cox has nothing to do with BI? Also do you realize that Morris Chapman will not give any of those you have tried to tie him to the time of day? It seems that it was your group that met with Morris Chapman after the 2006 presidential election and announced a fresh wind was blowing across the convention. Of course that was after your group stood up on the floor of the convention and with consternation against faithful Southern Baptist presented an argument about how backward we all are because we do not believe the Bible teaches the social drinking of beverage alcohol in moderation.

    I agree with you that Dr. Akin is a leading voice in the Great Commission Resurgence. I agree that Dr. Finn and those who receive financial remuneration from SEBTS are on board as leaders in the GCR. It appears from Dr. Finn’s Part I article (I know for a fact that a fellow blogger has extensive documentation that this took place, and I hope he decides to post his findings in the near future (you know who you are-hint, hint).) that SEBTS and Founders is more than just partners in the Building Bridges Conference. So, I guess, since it is those who are paid by all Southern Baptist that are leading in the GCR and they appear to bowing to the whims of Founders Ministries as Dr. Akin (a publicly professed non-Calvinist)is speaking at this year’s Founders Breakfast, while the official SEBTS blog is being controlled for content by Founders, you seem to have an inside line on this GCR. Of course it is Dr. Johnny Hunt who is leading in this, the same Johnny Hunt that was your and other Founders favorite whipping boy in 2006. What concessions have you worked out with the other Founders to stop speaking ill of Brother Johnny? He still believes that Jesus’ death on the cross was sufficient for all the sins of the world. Where are the articles of venom and sarcasm you had for him? You have now proven what I have suspected all along. Founders is the controlling force behind the GCR not SEBTS and Dr. Akin. As you guys move on, the next thing you know, you will have Dr. Ronnie Floyd invited to headline the T4G conference. You will then have to go and hide all of the fire truck baptism articles.


    • Do you realize that Frank Cox has nothing to do with BI?

      Perhaps, but BI certainly had a lot to do with Frank Cox, and the links verify that to be the case.

      It seems that it was your group that met with Morris Chapman after the 2006 presidential election and announced a fresh wind was blowing across the convention. Of course that was after your group stood up on the floor of the convention and with consternation against faithful Southern Baptist presented an argument about how backward we all are because we do not believe the Bible teaches the social drinking of beverage alcohol in moderation.

      I do not belong to a “group.” I had nothing to do with either the Memphis Declaration or Joshua Convergence or any other group for that matter. But I do find it ironic that Baptist Identity this year is riding the abstinence platform (perhaps another resolution on alcohol this year?). 🙂

      So, I guess, since it is those who are paid by all Southern Baptist that are leading in the GCR and they appear to bowing to the whims of Founders Ministries as Dr. Akin (a publicly professed non-Calvinist)is speaking at this year’s Founders Breakfast, while the official SEBTS blog is being controlled for content by Founders, you seem to have an inside line on this GCR.

      Whoah. Bowing to the whims of Founders. Thanks for giving Tom and myself so much credit! In fact, we have just as much involvement as any other concerned Southern Baptist who wants to support renewal in our churches through repentance in the area of the Great Commission–repentance that extends throughout the systemic failures of our Convention.

      Trust me, GCR leaders are not bowing to anyone except Jesus. That’s, in fact, what I find especially encouraging about it. Whatever insider information you claim I have is, as I have documented through 75+ links online, in fact available online for anyone to read.

      Of course it is Dr. Johnny Hunt who is leading in this, the same Johnny Hunt that was your and other Founders favorite whipping boy in 2006. What concessions have you worked out with the other Founders to stop speaking ill of Brother Johnny?

      Whipping boy. Tim, I’m loving your rhetoric here. Is this why you guys took down the comments on SBCToday, because you cannot dialogue with those who disagree with you in a cordial manner?

      The concessions worked out between Johnny and Tom in particular is called the gospel of Jesus Christ. You would surprised to know what God has done over the past year between Founders and Johnny, as God has grown everyone involved in ways that displays the kindness of God and the grace of Jesus. Some things, you see, are cannot be explained through political lenses. It isn’t posturing or making concessions. It’s called repentance and love for one another. Those are Jesus lenses.

      You have now proven what I have suspected all along. Founders is the controlling force behind the GCR not SEBTS and Dr. Akin.

      I’m sure that’s what you *want* everyone to believe, but actually Founders (or to be more specific Tom and myself) have our sights set on how we can help churches plant churches. Whatever “controlling force” behind the GCR we might have, we pray it has to do with controlling our efforts to plant and revitalize churches in our convention with a passion for the centrality and sufficiency of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

      Thanks for speaking so bluntly on this matter and allowing everyone to read for themselves the kind of rhetoric and hermeneutic behind those in the BI camp. Do join me in praying that those in the GCR–warts and all–will love the lost, love the church, and love our Savior with an undying love.

      • Tim Rogers Says:


        I will pray with you that all desiring a GCR will love the lost enough to present the gospel, love the church enough to serve her, and love our Savior enough to surrender to His authority.

        As to our apparent disagreements, maybe you can do a paper trail for us into the shooter on the grassy knoll. But, I believe you would have to get Dr. Finn’s approval before you could do that. Or is it that he has to get yours before he produces that thesis? 🙂


        • Tim,

          That’s right. Everything I do and say and write has to be pre-approved by my friends and authorized by King Akin.

          It is striking to find you guys coming out with these amazing comments without the ability to say anything all at except conspiracy theories and conjecture. The more you write, the less credible you are becoming my friend.

    • It seems that it was your group that met with Morris Chapman after the 2006…

      It appears from Dr. Finn’s Part I article…

      So, I guess, since it is those who are paid by all Southern Baptist that are leading in the GCR…

      …and they appear to bowing to the whims of Founders Ministries as Dr. Akin…

      …while the official SEBTS blog is being controlled for content by Founders, you seem to have an inside line on this GCR.

      You have now proven what I have suspected all along.

      I guess that’s all the proof anyone needs. 🙂

    • Tim,

      As I reflected more on your comment, one more thing comes to mind, namely the spirit of togetherness and cooperation between those who yes, in the past, have expressed theological differences. The anti-ecumenism or catholicity of the BI movement chastises Southern Baptists from having anything to do with men like Mark Driscoll or having an evangelical identity other than the “truly Baptist type.”

      But your comment reveals that you are not only against the togetherness of all those redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, but you are also against the togetherness of fellow Southern Baptists who want to see a Great Commission Resurgence. That kind of isolationism and fundamentalism will not only alienate the BI vision from the broader evangelical world but also Southern Baptists who would love see the unity Jesus prayed for realized around His gospel and Great Commission.

      • Tim Rogers Says:


        The anti-ecumenism or catholicity of the BI movement chastises Southern Baptists from having anything to do with men like Mark Driscoll or having an evangelical identity other than the “truly Baptist type.”

        No, I am not anti-ecumenism. As a matter of fact I am in contact with some Methodist brothers about doing some events together, not church planting events mind you. Let’s speak about the “chastising” of Southern Baptist. Any Southern Baptist church is free to do whatever they desire with whomever they desire. Any SB entity is not free to do such because, as Dr. Hunt says; the church is king. The purpose of questioning and calling attention to Mark Driscoll has nothing to do with any rhetoric you may desire to throw out here. It has to do with righteousness. Any pastor that stands in the pulpit and allows questions of sexual perversion to be asked and then gives an affirmative answer to such a question should not stand in any SB entity chapel and speak as one whose ministry is worthy of following. Next thing you know you will be telling us that John McArthur is a BI guy bent on destroying the reformed movement.

        As to the togetherness of others within the convention. Does it not seem strange to you that just two years ago on Tom’s blog you could go and find any article you wanted that presented Dr. Hunt as a person that did not build a true church? However, today one would be hard pressed to find anything negatively at Founders concerning Dr. Hunt. Has Tom repented of all the harsh rhetoric he said toward Brother Johnny? If yes, where is it? If no, then this cozy little get together is doomed. This isn’t getting together for the gospel, it appears to be selling out the doctrinal farm on which Founders was built.


        • Tim R.,

          Why do you keep making this about Founders?

          And WHAT IF the Founders are somehow the “men behind the curtain” and their resolutions, etc. get passed? How would this some how pose a problem?

        • tom ascol Says:


          Will you please point me to the “harsh rhetoric” I “said toward Brother Johnny?” My question is sincere and I assume your accusation is sincere. You should at least know that I took accusation to heart and have spent the last 30 minutes every post in which I even named Johnny Hunt. If you can help me see my harsh rhetoric, you will have served me well and I will be very grateful.


          • Tim Rogers Says:

            Brother Tom,

            You said; These are interesting comments and observations. My post was not intended to invite criticism of Johnny Hunt and let me discourage any more of that here. in this post.

            The interesting thing about your comment was that it came almost 40 comments into the stream of 372 comments. Oh, that comment stream took off again with no other word from you.

            You made this statement; Welcome to the blogosphere! Thanks for making us aware of your pastor’s announcement. You are correct in your statement about many conservative churches giving small percentages to the CP. That practice was defended on the basis of local church autonomy. Those arguments still make sense to me. in this post when Dr. Hunt announced that he was not going to allow his name to go forward in 2006. Where was this same concern last year? His giving % had not increased that dramatically.

            I can go on, but two links is usually all allowed in comment threads.


            • tom ascol Says:


              Thanks for responding to me. Let me see if I understand what you are saying. You wrote:

              Has Tom repented of all the harsh rhetoric he said toward Brother Johnny?

              When I asked for examples of my “harsh rhetoric,” you cited these words of mine:

              My post was not intended to invite criticism of Johnny Hunt and let me discourage any more of that here.

              Was that harsh? Are you suggesting that I need to repent for that statement?

              Your second citation of my words indicates that you misunderstood my point completely. In fact, I meant the very opposite of what you take my words to mean. Here is what you quoted:

              Welcome to the blogosphere! Thanks for making us aware of your pastor’s announcement. You are correct in your statement about many conservative churches giving small percentages to the CP. That practice was defended on the basis of local church autonomy. Those arguments still make sense to me.

              I DO NOT think that the percentage given to the CP should be used as a litmus test for the suitability of a SBC presidential candidate. Adrian Rogers didn’t. Charles Stanley didn’t. The arguments to that effect that conservatives used back in the days when those men were nominated are what “still make sense to me.” In other words, I still find them valid. Thus, your accusatory question is out of place:

              Where was this same concern last year? His giving % had not increased that dramatically.

              You said you could go on. Please do because, Tim, you have made a serious charge and I take it seriously. Please show me an example of “harsh rhetoric” I have used toward Johnny Hunt. Or, if I am missing something from your first example, please help me to see it.


  4. Bart Barber Says:


    My apologies for having an opinion about the Great Commission Resurgence and sharing it. Maybe a good way to prevent this kind of transgression in the future would be for you to file a copyright on Matthew 28 so that you guys could defend your intellectual property rights as the sole defenders of the will of Jesus. While you’re there, perhaps you could secure a patent on “grace” as well.


    Perhaps I’ll see you in Louisville. God bless.

    • Bart,

      Again, like Tim, I appreciate the candor in which you write. The sarcasm and cutting commentary is quite telling. I recall a time when we conversed when it wasn’t so bitter, and unfortunately today appears to be a new day – in a not so good way.

      • Bart Barber Says:


        There’s sarcasm there, but it isn’t bitter. The post, it seems to me, proceeds from two false presumptions (at least, the way it reads to me).

        1. It presumes that all are obligated to receive this particular GCR document without question or criticism, or else they are opposed to the IDEA of a Great Commission Resurgence. There are those who triumphally embraced this document with no questions, and then there are the opponents.

        Against this presumption, I might note something you couldn’t have known. After I wrote my original analysis of the document, which had far more praise than critique in it, and a couple of press organs began (not at all at my behest) to quote it in criticism of the GCR, I declined to be interviewed on the topic. Why? Because although I was sorting out questions about the matter in my own mind, I had no desire whatsoever to lead any kind of opposition movement against the document.

        My brother, you’ve taken what are my honest and transparent wranglings with this document and have presented them as some sort of a calculated and disingenuous political ploy. This is an error on your part.

        2. It presumes that all of the past three years can be subsumed under a myopic and revisionist schema of “Baptist Identity” vs. “Great Commission Resurgence.” Personally, I read a great deal of “Baptist Identity” IN the “Great Commission Resurgence” document, and have made not a single critique of that document that had any ideological connection with “Baptist Identity”

        Your historical analysis is deeply flawed, ignoring as it does Burleson, Cole, McKissic, Klouda, Islamic Syncretism, IMB policies, the Garner Motion, and a whole host of other things. A lot has happened in the last several years. Very little of it is simple enough to treat in the manner in which you have treated it.

        Perhaps I’ll write a post speculating a Brister vs. The Great Commission connection from Bro. Johnny’s FORMER contemplation of the SBC Presidency? Would that be fair? How would you react?

        No, it wouldn’t be fair. Because times change, partnerships change, and today’s events, while often connected in some way with what happened four years ago, are just as often driven by very different things.

  5. John Says:

    Thanks for the helpful post, Timmy! Not having been at last year’s SBC, I was wondering if you knew the original Great Commission Resurgence booklet is available online anywhere? Thanks!

    • John,

      I am not sure if it is available online or not. It was published by LifeWay in 2008, so I would check first with their website. If you find anything, let me know if you don’t mind.

      • John Says:

        I did a search around Lifeway and didn’t come up with anything. But I talked with a nice customer care specialist who is trying to track it down for me. I’ll let you know if they come up with anything.

  6. […] (For background to this discussion and call for a resurgenc, see Timmy Brister’s excellent post). […]

  7. tom ascol Says:

    Well, Tim, based on a couple of the comments here your post has again proven the adage that if you can’t engage the arguments, attack the messenger. It is obvious that shining the light of history on this subject has caused some folks to feel attacked and even fall into a sort of conspiratorial paranoia. If it weren’t so sad, it would be laughable. Actually, I must confess, as sad as it is, I can’t avoid laughing.

    • Tim Rogers Says:

      Brother Tom,

      While you are laughing go to this link and tell me that Dr. Finn did not know Timmy was going to post his article.

      Now, would you like to say that Founders is not receiving or giving instruction to/from SEBTS?


      • tom ascol Says:

        Of course Dr. Finn knew of Timmy’s research. What is funny is that you think you have uncovered something that was clandestine. Timmy told several people that he had done this research–largely for his own benefit–and wasn’t sure he was ever going to publish it. Nathan simply called him out on it…in a humorous way, I might add.

        Your leap in logic from friendly banter between two friends to a conspiracy theory involving a seminary and ministry defies both common sense and every rule of argumentation. It demonstrates the painful accuracy of Mark’s expose of your “seems..appears…guess…appear” therefore “proven!” method of reasoning.

        You can do better than this, brother.

        In Christ,

  8. all4hisrenown Says:

    Great post! The need for the GCR is evident by the comments above. I think Tim gives a little insight into what this is really about. The BI guys disdain the fact that Founders play a part in this resolution. The reason for the cooperation with Johnny Hunt (whom I don’t agree with on many things)is based on the fact that he to desires to see our convention and churches grow and become healthy. I can stand with any Southern Baptist on that, BI or Founders.

  9. Timmy,

    What I just don’t get is the demonization taking place as we head into Louisville. Suddenly the BI guys are nothing more than political hacks intent on maintaining their political connectedness…while the same could never be true of your crew.

    I’ll admit that there has been a fair share of ‘rhetoric’ from all avenues. As has been discussed elsewhere, I do not believe that you will find one BI guy who is anti-GCR…we are all for a literal Great Commission resurgence. Having questions about the vagaries of the GCRD is not a BI-BE (Baptist Ecumenicalist) issue.

    With all the desire to talk “the other side” down, it’s no wonder that I often find myself, as a Baptist Identity Five-Point Calvinist, to be dissatisfied with the ongoing, endless desire for trash talking.

    I am not a “can’t we all just get along” person, but when will this extraneous nonsense end? If there have been true reconciliatory advancements in a relationship such as Dr. Ascol and Pastor Hunt, then I just might be encouraged.

    Sola Gratia!

    • Scott,

      What are you talking about in “demonization” brother? I laid out the history, provided a long list of documentation, and reported on how I understand the backstory to have evolved over the course of the past 4-5 years. I have not attacked any person in my post, and if you want to see demonization, look no further than what your fellow SBCToday contributors have offered in this comments stream.

      Oh and regarding Hunt and Ascol, you have every right to be encouraged.

  10. Wade Rials Says:

    As a young pastor who hasn’t “arrived” like the rest of you, I have some serious issues with all the “discussion” surrounding the GCR. First, I read the GCR thought it was a good document and signed it. I really don’t understand the controversy surrounding it. What exactly within the document causes such alarm. I have heard Article 9 is a controversial point although I don’t understand why. We teach our churches stewardship what’s wrong with applying the same principles to the convention. If denominational entities are not practicing good stewardship we should correct. If they are then praise the Lord. It makes someone on the outside like me wonder why we are afraid of open discussions.

    On another note, I have taken some heat within certain circles because I have not gotten involved in denominational life. This sentiment and these arguments are the very reason why I don’t get involved often. The cynicism and vicious personal attacks on others have driven me to take the autonomy doctrine we preach as Southern Baptists to an extreme. I am trying to get involved, but I refuse to play the which side are you on game. It made me sick when it was the Calvinism debate and now we are drawing lines in the sand over the Great Commission. Seriously!

    I have a question to ponder and maybe my ignorance will show itself, but is this about power or the Kingdom? It seems to me that the SBC has become a good old boy network where you are allowed into the circle if you buy the corporate line, but if you don’t you get labeled and now with he apparent shift in power there is even more resentment and volatility.

    Here is my prediction for what it’s worth. Those that are fighting for the Cooperative Program are going to be the very ones that kill it. The constant bickering and infighting will continue the trend of young emerging (don’t take that as a theological label) pastors leading their churches to loosely affiliate with the SBC. The bottom line is the Cooperative Program will be underfunded because many churches will find more efficient ways to fund missions. I realize I am opening up a can of worms, but I truly feel this way.

    I was not raised a Southern Baptist. I grew up in a mainline denomination and became a Southern Baptist because of doctrinal convictions. I believe in the autonomy of the local church. I like the cooperative way of doing missions although I have become more and more convinced there is far too much waste.

    I am supporting the GCR because I think it focuses us on those things that are important. I realize by signing my name to this I open myself up to attack, but I am ok with that. My prayer is that Southern Baptists will rally around the mission of Jesus rather than fight over the control of a man’s institution or a systematic way of understand theology.

    Wade Rials

  11. DR. PAUL FOLTZ Says:

    ”No drunkard has a part in the Kingdom of God.”

  12. If the points in the GCRD are valid, they should be addressed by people already in a position to do so. Trustees, Administrators, Employees, Deacons, Elders, etc. And that should happen right now.

    But I must admit it would be tempting were I, say, a Trustee, to vote for a study committee. That’d get me off the hook for actually having to DO anything about the ideas the GCRD sets forth.

    On the other hand, voting FOR such a resolution and then not immediately addressing the ideas would amount to hypocrisy. Not to mention the glaring statement that we don’t trust the trustees, administrators etc that we now have, to do the right thing and be good stewards. The tacit assumption seems to be that the ones in place now will only want to maintain the status quo.

    • Greg Alford Says:


      Sounds to me like the trustees are out of touch with the churches…

      The trustee system is broken… In my opinion this is due to the fact that trustees are appoint and not directly elected/approved by the churches.

      Graces Always,

  13. […] An extensive background to this discussion at Timmy Brister’s site. […]

  14. Alan Cross Says:


    Good synopsis. As someone who is very supportive of the tenets of the GCR and a signer of the document, I have also developed some concerns as I have seen this play out. I wrote a post that was published on SBC Impact a couple of weeks ago that took the call for racial diversity in Article III and asked why there was no discussion on this issue or other very important issues in comparison to the firestorm over Article IX. Article IX has dominated the discussion and going that route and locating the effectiveness of the GCR in the restructuring of the SBC will guarantee its irrelevancy.

    I don’t think that that is what the architects of the GCR intended, but your opponents very skillfully pushed you there. I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but it did well to obscure the point. Discipline is needed to keep the main point the main point. Stop trying to build consensus with critics who will criticize everything that doesn’t come from their leaders. Hold up the Gospel and bypass the politics. Let the critics flail away – their agenda will be seen for what it is.

    WAY too much time was spent engaging over Article IX and a lot of us are starting to think that this is business as usual. If this thing doesn’t become grassroots, it won’t matter one bit.

  15. Dave Miller Says:

    This was a fantastic summary and analysis of history. Thank you for the research. This was one of the most helpful posts I have read in putting all the pieces together.

  16. Tony Kummer Says:

    Amazing post. You are the most important Baptist historian on the internet – really!

    Great work.

  17. Timmy,

    You article is quite insightful, a delightful read, and well documented. Thank you for taking the time to do the research and writing it.

    The couple of ad hominem attacks presented in comments to your article are quite unfortunate, especially given we are brothers and sisters in Christ who demonstrate our discipleship by our love for one another. Instead of presenting their understanding of the situation, they sink to the tactics of the world and throw “bombs” at you, the messenger. How sad.

    Personally, I have signed the GCR (without caveats), including Article IX. I took a quick look at Cooperative Program giving from Missouri Baptists and that has convinced me we need restructuring ( For each $1 given by a Missouri Southern Baptist, almost 64 cents STAYS in the state of Missouri! Of the 36 cents sent to Nashville, 18 cents will go to international missions while 8 cents goes to North American missions. We tell our people giving to the Cooperative Program supports missionaries. But do we tell them at what rate? Something is wrong with this picture.

    Keep the faith, my younger brother, and ocntinue to tell the truth. May the Lord bless your efforts.

    • Tim Rogers Says:


      Have you ever thought that only Missouri Baptist can release more funds to the SBC? The SBC has no say so over the state convention in the amount of money that remains in the state.

      No recommendation from any committee will insure the release of extra funds from the state conventions. That is the rub of Article IX.


      • Tim,

        Yes, I understand that which is one reason I agree with the GCR. In a day when we can’t fund international missionaries, how dare we keep almost 2/3 of our money in our state!

        I was wondering if other state conventions have a similar percentage to Missouri’s. If anyone would care to determine that percentage and post it as a comment on my blog (see previous post), I would appreciate it.

        Keep up the great work!

        • Micah Fries Says:


          This is not an issue that is isolated in Missouri. I’ve posted on your blog examples of a multitude of other states that keep significant percentages in state.

  18. Greg Alford Says:

    Tim (I’ll ban you from my blog, burn your cooperation bridge, pour out your glass of wine, and stand passionately against you for the Gospel) Rodgers,

    You really are an angry man and you need to get some help…

    I heard Bill Ascol once comment that Calvinist go through a stage of their maturing in the faith called the “Cage Stage” where they should be locked away for a while so that they will not hurt themselves or others… I think this may be some good advice for you “B.I.” guys at this point…. (just saying)

    Grace Always,

  19. Marty Duren Says:

    Oh. My. Word.

    While you are laughing go to this link and tell me that Dr. Finn did not know Timmy was going to post his article.

    Now, would you like to say that Founders is not receiving or giving instruction to/from SEBTS?

    Really. Does any more need to be said or written? This is incompetence masquerading as ignorance in the guise of irrationality.

    I sure glad you didn’t list those links in order of importance ;^)

    • Tim Rogers Says:

      Brother Marty,

      This is incompetence masquerading as ignorance in the guise of irrationality.

      It seems that a noted person, who makes a living at researching things and then reporting them for public consumption, has read this comment thread. (See Will Hall below) Oh, and the only thing he pointed to as inaccurate information was found in Timmy’s contribution. It seems that Timmy and others, like yourself, are so quick to marginalize those that disagree with you that you end up making up “facts” in order to further your cause.

      And to get you to come out of retirement to comment on something little-ole-me has presented. I am honored. The next thing you know Ben Cole will show up to “Bless my heart”. 🙂


    • Marty,

      You certainly are important, my friend. Thanks for all the consultation and co-opting of this blogpost, btw. I’ll stop moderating your comments and phone calls now. 😉

  20. Great article.

    Personally, I was so glad to see Dr. Hunt and other non-Calvinists working together with Calvinists for the propagation of the Gospel. If nothing else, this document gives our convention a singular goal to accomplish so that the infighting over non-essentials will become secondary.

    It personally gives me great hope for the future of our convention. I honestly thought that when Dr. Hunt became President and the John 3:16 conference took place that my days as an SBC pastor were limited. I thought a witch hunt for SBC Calvinists was about to take place. (Maybe I’m misguided?)

    We all believe the Gospel has to be proclaimed for people to be saved. Let’s work on making that our main purpose.

    I believe that the people involved in the GCR are setting a great example for cooperation across theological lines. This model of cooperation and the spirit behind it is going to be important in the future and I hope is taken note of by both pastors and local churches of differing theological views.(Second and third tier)

    As for, all the fuss over article IX It is ridiculous in my opinion. It is only common sense to look into the efficiency of our own programs. If we don’t do that from time to time we are bad stewards. Also, if we can do a better job and be more efficient with what God has given us WHY WOULDN’T WE WANT TO KNOW THAT? Likewise, if our programs are as efficient as possible WHY WOULDN’T WE WANT TO KNOW THAT TOO?

    Any one who is opposed to Article IX explain to me why you are offended? Why wouldn’t we want to look into the efficiency of our programs? Please, give me a good reason? I honestly don’t think you are able to.

    I’m not trying to stir up anything but I just don’t get it. Maybe because I’m not an elite SBC denominational leader that I don’t understand everything. Need I remind you, however, that’s the very position MOST of us are in.

  21. Trevin Wax Says:


    Thanks for the link to my article “Screwtape on the Southern Baptist Convention.”

    Just for the record, that article was not written as an endorsement of the GCR (I wrote it weeks before Akin’s speech).

    On another note, I am not convinced that the Baptist Identity and Great Commission Resurgence movements are “competing.” Could we not choose to see these, at least at some level, as complementary? I don’t know of any GCR guys who want to do away with Baptist distinctives. Nor do I know of any BI guys who are against the Great Commission.

    All I am saying is… theologically, I find too much in common between someone like Bart Barber and Danny Akin to label them as “competing” in some way.

    Do these camps disagree at times? Yes. But I believe there are plenty of us who want to see a Great Commission Resurgence of a distinctly Baptist flavor, and do not like being forced neatly into political camps within the SBC.

    You owe me 2 cents now… 🙂

    • Trevin,

      You are correct about your article. Regarding Baptist Identity (the substance, not the group) and Great Commission Resurgence, I certainly do see complimentary vision, and Nathan Finn has done a great job putting those together in his blogpost series on “The Gospel and Baptist Identity.” I would commend his thoughts on how they work together. One would also notice a great deal of Baptist Identity issues communicated in the articles/axioms of the GCR as explained by Akin et al.

      Regarding competition and political camps, I do not like to see the division, but it is what it is. Ask anyone leading the GCR and they will affirm the reality of competing visions (not necessarily people). As always, thanks for sharing your thoughts brother.

  22. Will Hall Says:


    On what basis do you state your opinion that I am anti-GCR? Please correct your blog unless you can point to a public statement of such.

    Also, please correct these other misstatements:

    (1) There is no “managing editor.” I am the executive editor as well as a vice president on the profesional staff of the SBC’s Executive Committee. Art Toalston is editor and Michael Foust and Mark Kelly are assistant editors.

    (2) Baptist Press is not a “paper” nor is it limited to the service of the Executive Committee. Baptist Press is a wire service that is the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. Oversight of its operations are vested in the 8o plus members (pastors and laymen from SBC churches) of the Executive Committee.

    If you aren’t sure of the facts in the future, feel free to contact me to avoid your misrepresenting the truth.

    In Christ,
    Will Hall

    • Point 1. Correction made.

      Point 2. Baptist Press is a representative product of the Executive Committee whether it is a paper or a “wire service.”

      Regarding being “anti-GCR,” I did not say. I did connect you with the counter-GCR campaign which is not the same thing. Your last four articles, as I understand them, are a rebuttal to the research and conclusions of the GCR and its very need in our convention. Informed Southern Baptists who read your articles can tell that the issues your seek to address seek to cancel out the impetus or importance of a GCR in the SBC today.

  23. volfan007 Says:

    You know, what’s so funny about Timmy’s post, and some of the comments in here, is that it was not that long ago that ad hominem attacks against Johnny Hunt was raining down from all over the Founders types. I mean, to read their comments about Johnny Hunt, without knowing something about Johnny Hunt, would make you think that Johnny Hunt was nearly as bad as the Devil, himself. And, Ronnie Floyd??…whew…yall got after him big time, and yall got after just about anyone that had anything to do with the John 3:16 conference. Now, look at what’s happening? before the SBC takes place?


    Timmy, why are the Founders now willing to work with non-Calvinists and semi-Arminians when they’ve been so against them in the past? Is this truly a change of heart from the Founders crowd?

    And, do you all trust the Johnny Hunt’s and Ronnie Floyd’s of the SBC to be inclusive of five pointers now? I’ve seen much suspicion on this down thru the years. Are you all now trusting that Johnny Hunt and his posse doesnt want to exterminate five point Calvinists from the face of the SBC earth?

    I would really like to know.


    • David Worley,

      First of all, the personal correspondence of Hunt and others is none of your business. For the record, there is a whole lot more going on offline than online, so don’t assume that you can accurately read between the lines things that are not there.

      • Tim Rogers Says:


        So, while you were personally corresponding off line did you correct the following?

        And this is why I believe that Johnny Hunt should not be the next president of the SBC. He has shown himself to be quarrelsome from the pulpit and in person. He has consistently and persistenly derided anyone who disagrees with him and exercises his leadership authority in an autocratic manner which does not lend itself to cooperation and consideration of others. I believe Johnny Hunt is a godly man and a great pastor, but I also believe he has disqualified himself because of his words and actions. Because of his anti-Reformed campaign, he has rallied his followers to even more diviseness, as even tonight he is preaching in a “bible conference” where one of his followers (my former pastor) has taken the same Arminian rhetoric to attack those in the Reformed tradition without basis, substance or warrant – a tradition which is growing, and a tradition which they denounce. Oh, it can be found here.


        • Tim Rogers,

          What’s your point? So 3+ years ago I commented in a completely different context about something legitimate concerns regarding Hunt.

          What you do not recognize is what has happened since then. God has grown me, and I have good reason to believe that God has grown Hunt, and I’m grateful for the maturity that has taken place on both sides. Unfortunately, you choose to live in 2006 instead of 2009, and, as a result, dismiss the grace of God at work to bring a gospel consensus. For this and all the reasons aforementioned in other comments, you ought to be ashamed.

      • volfan007 Says:


        I see that you dodged all of my questions and chose to not answer any of them.

        I really would like to know the answer to the questions.


        • David Worley,

          There is no dodging of questions. Simply because you ask questions does not require me to answer them. Furthermore, because some things are important *to you* does not de facto make them important.

          I am fascinated by the barrage of comments from you guys to bring up stuff irrelevant to the substance of my post. Your ability to stay tangential is reflective your inability to make any profitable contribution to the post I’ve written. This reminds me of why I never read those long streams of comments on SBCToday and elsewhere.

  24. Robin Foster Says:


    I read your article early this morning as I was doing my normal exercising. Let me say that you put a significant amount of time into this post. I do want to add some clarification to my inclusion as someone who you consider anti-GCR.

    First, three of the posts that you included my name with were not written by me in total. If you would read the post, two were solicitations on my part from other authors (Drs. Yarnell and Barber) and another was a brief endorsement of Stan Norman’s book, “The Baptist Way” mostly with excerpts from the book. In fact if one takes time to read the articles in question, they will see that they had nothing to do with the GCR and that the thrust of the articles dealt with someone else’s thoughts and not mine even (except for the endorsement of Norman’s book) though both Yarnell and Barber wrote excellent pieces.

    The other four articles are my own thoughts and questions concerning the GCR. I engaged the dialog hoping to add to the discussion. Again, if one was to read my articles, I don’t think they would find much, if any, that is in disagreement with the current GCR doc. In fact, if you could show me how my articles greatly differ or compete in vision and purpose from what Dr. Akin or Dr. Hunt has stated, then please do so.

    I have to agree with my friend Scott Gordon when he states, “I’ll admit that there has been a fair share of ‘rhetoric’ from all avenues. As has been discussed elsewhere, I do not believe that you will find one BI guy who is anti-GCR…we are all for a literal Great Commission resurgence.” I would hope that what I have written will affirm this.

    Initially I was hesitant to sign on to the GCR. Then I was excited to see the faqs published on the site and interviews with Drs. Akin and Hunt addressing my concerns. Yet I don’t see where there would be any benefit for me to sign the document after reading your article here. Drs. Patterson, Yarnell and Tim Rogers have all signed onto the document in support of Drs. Akin and Hunt. Yet with this article you have marginalized them.

    I know that Drs Akin and Hunt want to work with everyone in this effort. If I know both of these men, they will not let the term “Baptist Identity” stop them from extending a hand of fellowship and cooperation. I hope you can reread my posts you have linked to and have a change of heart and mind about what I believe and desire.

    I hope to see you in Louisville and shake your hand.

    • Robin,

      First of all, I do appreciate the fact that you have taken a more irenic approach to discussing these matters here. Regarding your articles with additional authors, I put authors names based on what was available on the SBCToday website. There are times where it was written as “Administrator” or “SBCToday” and others where your name may have been mentioned where others contributed. In any case, if I have misrepresented you as the author when you weren’t, I apologize. Do give me specifics on those errors, and I would be happy to correct them.

      Also, I have not said that you guys are “anti-GCR” but that those in the BI crowd have shown themselves to be counter-GCR. Here’s what I’m discovering with critics of the GCR. We have more editors than we do contributors to the GCR. When the document came out, what I came away with from the BI blogs was that we are for the Great Commission and don’t want to give the appearance that we are not, but don’t like the document, so we are going to act as editors rather than contributors. There comes a time where there are so many caveats and personal revisions that the revisionists come away with an altogether different document and neutering the very purpose for which the original one was drafted. Again, that’s my take, and I don’t mean that harshly. From what I’ve read and the continued commentary offered, I have seen little in way of support for the GCR vision that sure is not perfect but what our convention needs. And what the SBC needs right now is contributors more than editors.

      Regarding Baptist Identity issues, no one in the GCR leadership has expressed disdain or chagrin about these matters. In fact, they have blogged about them and included them in the GCR document. In years past, many have championed them, such as regenerate church membership and church discipline. I share the concern to have a genuine understanding of what it means to be convictionally Baptist, but I am not going to isolate myself from other believers nor elevate all doctrinal issues as first-tier matters that preclude meaningful fellowship and cooperation with a healthy catholicity or ecumenism precisely because that is what I see Jesus praying for.

      Lastly, I do look forward to meeting you and shaking your hand as well. Grace and peace.

      • Robin Foster Says:


        Thanks for the reply. I hope I have contributed to the GCR with these articles you linked:

        6-17-2008: Defining the Great Commission Resurgence

        6-18-2008: Why do we need a Great Commission Resurgence

        6-27-2008 Going and Witnessing, Living out the Great Commission

        6-28-2008 The GCR: Understanding and Preaching Salvation

        I also would like to think my article dated May 5th 2009 where I dialogged with Dr. Alvin Reid also contributed to furthering the GCR. After the post, many of my questions were answered and I believe helped many come on board with the GCR doc. I have tried my best to be respectful and seek a voice in this new movement. Yet, I know I have failed in many ways also.

        Thank you again for your response and allowing me to post on your site.

        • Robin,

          You have approached this conversation with the most reason out of everyone from SBCToday, so do you mind me asking you of your thoughts about my breakdown of the backstory?

          Do you not see a marked contrast in what was being written before Indy and afterward? Is it mere coincidence that all the BI guys rallied around Cox while no one except Finn supported Hunt?

          What I have found is that proponents of the Baptist Identity movement have been unable to unreservedly or unconditionally support anything they themselves have not written or been at the helm in pioneering. A good example of this is last year’s resolution of RCM. Another example is the supplanting of GCR document while the Texas resolution. There just seems to be a reoccurring inability to rally around something that granted is not perfect but is necessarily good for our convention.

          I would love to see more cooperation and togetherness among BI guys rather than triumphalism and isolationism. What I am (and I believe others are as well) dealing with is being fully on board with Baptist distinctives but increasingly distanced from the BI movement.

          I guess the bottom line is that I have yet to be convinced that the backstory as I have presented it is inaccurate. To the contrary, I have received numerous comments and emails offline from informed Southern Baptists that I have been accurate and right in my compilations and assertions. Perhaps sometime in Louisville we can sit down and enjoy a few moments discussing these matters together.

  25. Timmy,

    Thanks for the synopsis. Good stuff.

    But what has really pushed me over wholeheartedly today to the GCR has been the response to it as demonstrated by the comments in this post.

    Good work.

  26. […] because their practical theology violates our teetotaling sensibilities. It even turns out the the movement de jour is also an arena of in-fighting among the power camps! And I am tired of […]

  27. My how this all seems like a distant dream. Good humor and a legendary mean streak compel me to ruminate further, and perhaps, make an occasional return in the next week in the corresponding fashion of Marvin Rosenthal’s eschatology.

    With that, I am

    Baptist Blogger

  28. Mike Leake Says:


    Thanks for all of these links. I am saddened by the direction of the conversation and the fact that we have politics surrounding the spreading of the gospel…but that is not my reason for commenting.

    I have no idea where he does actually stand towards the GCR…but I wanted to mention that the article sited as Don Hinkle is actually written by Missouri Baptist Executive Director David Tolliver and not Hinkle.

    Grace and Peace

    • Mike,

      Thanks for the correction about the MBC article. The issue regarding the gospel and the need of its recovery being shrouded in political posturing is indeed disheartening. Part of the reason why I blog so little about SBC stuff anymore is because of how quickly discourse degenerates. In any case, thanks for your comment brother.

  29. Anyone needing proof to see that Baptist Press is the propaganda outlet of the Executive Committee, one needs to look no further than this article that was published yesterday by Don Hinkle.

  30. volfan007 Says:


    The BP article was about Driscoll, and about Bott banning his crude sex sermons from the radio. How does this prove that BP is the “propaganda” outlet of the X-Com.? I dont see the dots being connected here, nor the conspiracy that you allude to, nor the reason that you would even make such a comment as this? Why make this comment?


    • David Worley,

      Because right before the Convention, Baptist Press is trying to throw as much dirt as they can on one of the leading influencers among the younger generation of Southern Baptists. Couple that with Roger Moran’s crusade (Moran who also recently served on X-Com) against “cultural liberalism,” you see the agenda against Acts 29 and Driscoll being laid out.

      Will Hall is directing Baptist Press to support the agenda of the Executive Committee plain and simple, and the continuation of article about Driscoll reveals the divide between those wanting a GCR and those pushing other agendas.

      • volfan007 Says:


        A divide between those wanting a GCR and those pushing other agendas???? What?

        I want to encourage you to go to Peter Lumpkins blog and see his response to your post, Timmy. I really would like to see your response to what he wrote.


        PS. Timmy, I count you my brother in Christ. I have no hate towards you, nor towards Tom Ascol. I’m all for a true, Great Commission resurgence in the SBC. I’m still waiting to see where this GCRD is heading….so, I havent signed on, yet. But anyway….

  31. Tom Bryant Says:

    This was a good collection of posts about the GCR. Thanks for the information.

    But I am afraid that the rancor of the comments shows an even greater need: genuine Christian kindness to each other. And one thing I am certain about is that no GCR or any other resolution/recommendation/document will ever be able to take care of that.

    It’s one of the real curses of the internet. We can’t see the person we are talking about and so it’s easier to demonize them or their position. I remember when the blogging thing was originally moving someone asked me which of the 2 sides I was one. I said I was part of a 3rd side: the pox on both your houses side.

    I signed the GCR for the same reason I voted for the resolution last year concerning Regenerate Church Membership. It was not because I thought it would solve the problem, but because it was a step in the right direction.

    I know that rhetoric heats up the closer we get to the convention, I just wish we could sit down at a Starbucks or in our own financial situation, a free cup of coffee from the exhibition hall and talk to each other.

    This has nothing to do with pro or counter or anti GCR, it has to do with one sad observer of most of the comments about it.

  32. Jeff Wright Says:

    Look at all the agendas being tossed around! First there is a secret Founders/SEBTS agenda, then there is a BI and anti-GCR agenda, and now BP is publishing in accordance with an agenda to discredit or dis-something young SBC leaders. It is a veritable sea of agendas in the SBC these days.

  33. Jeff Wright Says:

    Hit “Go” on the ol’ iPhone by accident too quickly on my reply. I want to add that everyone involved needs to be careful in alleging agendas and hidden motivations. It isn’t charitable and it just angers the various camps when they are charged with such.

  34. […] The Backstory to the Great Commission Resurgence. This blog article by Timmy Brister, discusses not only the background to the resurgence, but also the current debate among conservative-minded men regarding the Resurgence. There are two competing voices here. Be sure to read the comments to get a real feel for this debate. […]

  35. Greg Kappas Says:

    Theological precision and open dialogue is welcome and healthy for the church, including SBC life. Hopefully, we can move beyond emotional tags and simply focus on truth as it lays before us and not on just perception…perception may become reality in people’s minds but it is still far from the Truth. Jesus takes great passion in Truth, Mission and Relationships. May we do the same.

  36. […] sign that as well.  I caught myself yesterday thinking, “Well shoot, I like Bart Barber and Timmy Brister.  I like being Baptist and I like the Great Commission.”  Then I started to contemplate the […]

  37. Grady Bauer Says:

    Meanwhile…the world around us is hurting and trying to find hope. We’re so busy fighting about conspiracies, who is right, who said what…who is Baptist enough…while people all over the world don’t even know who Christ is. Shame on us.

    I’m embarrassed by what I read on so many of our blogs….backstabbing, blaming, self-righteousness, arrogance…nowhere do I hear a concern for the lost and a brokenness for those around them.

    We just cut people from the mission field…where is the outrage over this? We’re arguing and blogging about a document that says “we care about the great commission” meanwhile no one is saying a thing about the IMB cuts….at this point I don’t think voting on the GCR is required….we don’t really care about it. This is a sad day for the SBC.

  38. David Says:


    I have nothing to add to this particular discussion. I just wanted to encourage you to keep spending time in Solomon’s porch. Your efforts are, I believe, being well used for the kingdom,

    Much love my brother,

    DK (832 crew)

  39. […] 1. There’s a movement afoot in the SBC, if you haven’t heard.  It’s called the “Great Commission Resurgence”, and it’s centered around restructuring the Convention to funnel more money to the work of missions and specifically the International Mission Board.  See a very helpful Tim Brister recap post for more.  […]

  40. Rich Says:

    I wonder now that the GCR has officially passed if the MBC, Toliver, and the MBC Executive Board will extend an appology to Acts 29 for defunding them…As a Missouri Baptist I continue to be ashamed simply being associated with these people who would rather hinder church planting than set aside their Baptist cultural preferences.

  41. […] Danny Aiken’s contribution to what took place at the 2009 SBC cannot be overstated. If you follow the timeline you will see that it was Dr. Aiken that gave voice and direction to the grassroots movement calling […]

  42. […] Timmy Brister, “The Backstory to the Great Commission Resurgence“ […]

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