The Pen

David Hankins Undermines Southern Seminary from the Inside

It’s interesting that David Hankins – the very same David Hankins who instituted a moratorium on Louisiana College hiring graduates from Southern Seminary (consult page one, paragraph 3) because of their advocacy for traditional Southern Baptist Calvinism, is now serving as a trustee at Southern Seminary and is being nominated again for a second term.

David Hankins, executive director of the executive board of the Louisiana Baptist Convention is serving as a trustee of an organization not only he clearly doesn’t believe in, but that he clearly stands opposed to. Typically, a trustee desires to advance the cause of an organization, not to stifle it. Attempting to put a moratorium on the hire of Southern Seminary graduates clearly opposes the spirit of Frank Page’s Calvinism Advisory Committee, which said the following in their report:

We should expect all leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention and all entities serving our denomination to affirm, to respect, and to represent all Southern Baptists of good faith and to serve the great unity of our Convention,” the report says. “No entity should be promoting Calvinism or non-Calvinism to the exclusion of the other. Our entities should be places where any Southern Baptist who stands within the boundaries of The Baptist Faith and Message should be welcomed and affirmed as they have opportunities to benefit from, participate in, and provide leadership for those entities.

Not only does David Hankins not exemplify this olive branch of cooperation, he again opposes the honesty and transparency promoted in Page’s Calvinism Advisory Committee:

In order to prevent the rising incidence of theological conflict in the churches, we should expect all candidates for ministry positions in the local church to be fully candid and forthcoming about all matters of faith and doctrine, even as we call upon pulpit and staff search committees to be fully candid and forthcoming about their congregation and its expectations.

Was David Hankins candid and forthcoming about denying the hire of Southern Seminary graduates at Louisiana College before agreeing to serve as a trustee at Southern Seminary? Why would a man serve as a trustee of an institution that he clearly does not believe is fit to contribute to his own state convention?

It seems that David Hankins has some answering to do to explain why – other than the obvious, nefarious reasons – he would serve as a trustee at Southern. It would also seem that Southern Seminary has some answering to do to explain why – other than political expediency and convictional, but foolish niceness – they would have Hankins (who stands clearly opposed to Southern Seminary) serve as a trustee.

As Calvinists in the SBC are often accused of being secretive, subtle or deceptive in their acceptance of various positions, David Hankins leads the way with these very tactics to accomplish his denominational goals.