Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Press Reports on Transformation Ministries Split to Become Effective November 1

Today Glenn Layne blogged on the press response to the Transformation Ministries withdrawal from ABCUSA which becomes effective tomorrow (http://durabledata.blogspot.com/). The article, which originally appeared in an Inland Empire (aka the western part of San Bernardino County in CA), paper quotes pastors on the ABC side of the aisle (e.g., Joe DeRoulhac) and those with Transformation Ministries (formerly ABCPSW) or leaning toward Transformation Ministries (e.g., Tate Crenshaw and Joe Lutz). The article, seemingly objective and accurate, chronicles the change that becomes official tomorrow, November 1, 2006.

The challenge for Transformation Ministries will be to focus all of their attention on vision and gaining forward momentum. Conducting autopsies on what went wrong in the ABC will do nothing to concentrate attention around a compelling vision for ministry. Indeed, the temptation to look back, almost irresistible for some of us with more than 50 years in the organization, resembles the sad choice of Lot's wife, not the courageous faith of Father Abraham.

As a sentimental fellow, I watch in horror as former SBCers continue dissecting and obsessing on every intramural dispute within that denomination even a decade or two after leaving to join the ABC. They have already invited me to "shut up" now that Transformation Ministries has left ABCUSA. However, if their example teaches me anything, it would be that the grieving process can be protracted and the "letting go" can take more time than one might ever imagine (maybe more than a decade?).

One of my faithful readers, a theological giant who studied under Reicke, Cullmann, and Barth, has already lamented "What a dramatic change in the blogging landscape without God's Barking Dog." Hey, don't write me off yet! My blog will probably de-emphasize the old order of the ABC and move one with the exciting things God is already doing in Transformation Ministries. But, from time to time, whether as a way of exercising (or exorcising?) my grief or just to keep my friends on the left on their toes, you can count on some insider ABC news and analysis.

[As always, His Barking Dog does not respond well to the commands of his masters in the southwest to "heel." My compulsive chasing after ecclesiastical cars and yipping and yapping, however may be annoyingly my own impulse, but it is basically pretty harmless and always my own responsibility alone.]

No comments: