Letter to the Editor
February 2, 2023
It is refreshing to read well-written, unbiased articles about things in life that truly matter. You and the team at BNG always do that.
I was initially motivated to write this letter after reading an opinion piece by Greg Garrett. It contained an interview with Matthew Potts, a Harvard professor and Episcopal priest who has authored a book challenging the usual paradigms Baptists have held on the subject of forgiveness, the simple name of his new book, which I hope to buy soon. It didn’t hurt one bit that my own lay opinions and life experiences supported his “new” paradigms.
It really impressed me that two Episcopalian Ph.D.s, one from Baylor and one from Harvard, could seem to agree about much of anything, since my current perspective comes from my own Alabama roots at Samford University, whose Baylor alumnus president recently “disinvited” Episcopalian author Jon Meacham from speaking there, and not long afterward expelled from its campus student ministry clergy from the Episcopal and Presbyterian (USA) churches. I am old enough to recall when Samford’s non-denominational Beeson Divinity School was named for its lifelong Presbyterian (USA) benefactor about six years before Truett Seminary was named for a Baptist and immediately hired Baylor alum Russell Dilday.
Then before I got this off, I read Mark Wingfield’s story about the requirement of a signed oath at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Fla. As always, Mark’s writing was journalistically neutral, well researched and fact based. Many news outlets control the narrative by what they publish, since no coverage at all means the issues go unnoticed. Not so with Baptist Global. The contrast among a bunch of strident Baptists and a couple of men who were not was a striking one.
Kudos all around from this former Baptist, who at times has been stuck in the moderate middle being shot at from all sides.
James L. Hart, Birmingham, Ala.