The Pen

Crying Wolf on SBC Prez JD Greear

JD Greear, the President of the Southern Baptist Convention…is certainly awful in many ways. Websites like Pulpit & Pen regularly report the problematic statements and actions of high-profile Christian leaders and influencers like Greear. I won’t speak for other writers but personally I am disturbed at the state of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) as reflected by Greear’s leadership.

I am also frustrated by the realities of blog-based polemics. Were I to write a detailed exposition of this man and the greater SBC’s theological problems, complete with carefully crafted arguments and supporting links, it would take a long time and few would read it. Ours is, unfortunately, a sound-byte culture. Accordingly, sound-bytes and short statements are most effective at spreading a polemical message. Today, social media provided just the type of sound-byte need to warn people about JD Greear.

A Twitter user provided a video clip of a television interview of JD Greear in which he expressed a view that the Bible has changed over time. The clip was retweeted with great disdain by many Greear detractors. There was but one problem. The tweet, since deleted, was #fakenews. The video clip was truncated and the interviewer’s question to Greear was misreported.

Greear was simply making the uncontroversial and historically obvious statement that the Bible has been understood differently over time. What looked to be polemical red meat was actually a deceptive misrepresentation. Polemicists and discerners should remember the story of the boy who cried wolf. It’s hard enough convincing America’s pew-sitters that there really are wolves in their churches. One false alarm could ruin the credibility of the one who made it and leave him unable to warn people when real trouble does arise.

And there is plenty of trouble with JD Greear.

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

Seth Dunn

Masters of Divinity in Christian Apologetics, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Member of the Evangelical Theological Society Certified Public Accountant