Monday, October 26, 2009
Danny the Demythologizer — Akin on the Great Commission Resurgence

Rudolf Bultmann, one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century theology, was known for his program of “demythologization.”  A committed theological liberal, Bultmann was convinced that modernity meant the end of supernaturalism. As he explained, modern people who use electric razors and electric lights (both fairly new in his day) do not believe in a literal Heaven and Hell, he advised. He called for modern interpreters of the New Testament separate a continuing existential message from the “mythological” supernatural elements.

Bultmann called this method of stripping the supernatural from the New Testament “demythologization.” Dispel the myths, Bultmann commanded.

Well, theologically speaking, there is hardly a figure more oppposed to Rudolf Bultmann than Danny Akin, President of Southestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Dr. Akin is a staunch defender of the inerrancy of Scripture and a defender of the faith. When it comes to the supernatural claims of Scripture, Dr. Akin stands firm. Yet, in his own way, he knows a myth when he sees one.

In a series of short articles, Dr. Akin has recently responded to various myths about the Great Commission Resurgence. He gave leadership to framing many of these issues, and his article series is well worth the reading. Danny the Demythologizer sets the record straight.

GCR Myth #1: The goal of [particular members of] the Task Force to get more money to the nations is only a smoke screen to get more money to the seminaries.

GCR Myth #2: The goal of [certain members of] the Task Force is to turn North American church planting over to Acts 29 or to at least enter into a formal partnership with them.

Myth #3: The Great Commission Resurgence Task Force is attempting to influence and even control the search committee process at the Executive Committee, the IMB and NAMB.

Myth #4: The goal of the Great Commission Task Force is to dismantle if not destroy the Cooperative Program as we know it today.

Myth #5: The GCR is actually a grand Calvinist plot to infiltrate the SBC and gain control or at least greater influence in the Convention.

Myth #6: Many members of the GCRTF are fundamentally opposed to the work of local associations and state conventions.

Myth #7: The GCRTF is about diluting our Baptist identity and distinctives so that we begin to look more like the American Evangelical Convention than the Southern Baptist Convention.

Myth #8: The GCRTF plans to abolish NAMB or dissolve it into the IMB.

Monday, October 26, 2009
Pray for GCR Task Force Meeting in Dallas/Ft. Worth

The Great Commission Task Force is gathering in Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex for important meetings as we continue the work assigned to us by the Southern Baptist Convention.  Please pray for the Task Force to be granted wisdom as we seek to discern what will help Southern Baptists to be more faithful in obeying the Great Commission.

On Tuesday we will be meeting with the majority of the Executive Directors of the state conventions for a very important session. Please pray that we will all hear each other, speak honestly to each other, and hold each other accountable to a Great Commission vision that will require the very best and the very most from all of us.

We face hard questions. Questions of finance and structure are secondary to the missional questions of reaching North America and the world beyond. We are living in a denominational house built long before the revolutions in transportation, communications, and geopolitics that have simultaneously made the world smaller and larger than ever before.

We are privileged to be able to ask these questions — and even to ask what questions we must ask. We are drowning in data.  Please pray that we will be led to the insights, judgments, and proposals that will best serve Southern Baptists as we face the future together.

I’ll report back as we make progress.