"Thinking Out Loud"
To sum up my feelings on his expressed thoughts, I can say that looking at the whole of his thoughts, I don’t really see anything different than what ABCUSA has or is now. He has used some “Shared Table” language but his picture of the “Shared Table” is not the picture those of us who read the Lancaster Proposal have envisioned, and that original Lancaster pic was not what Bible evangelicals, at least this one, were looking for in the first place.
In his critique of the SCODS overlay indicating that “Baptists don’t respond well to command and control,” he lays the groundwork for the weakness of his own ideas re: “By-laws guaranteeing perpetual relationship with the larger denominational ABC family,” and the “Board of General Ministries” nominating national leadership, and “some form of annual proportional assessment on covenanting ministry partners.” Baptists don’t respond well to command and control structures, especially those that are more Presbyterian, Episcopal, etc. than baptistic.
His thinking does not lay the biblical foundation that the average ABC church is seeking, a foundation, which takes seriously the authoritative role played by scripture upon Baptist theology and practice. His position appears to extend the kinda “do what you want under the rubric of soul freedom without any fear that the denomination will expect you to be in observance of and obedience to the teaching of the Bible” situation that currently defines ABC connection.
In fact, the references to theology in this paper “theological diversity,” “theological moderates and progressives,” clearly indicate that theologies that do not base their understanding of God’s revelation in the actual words of the book are not only more than welcome, but sought after. Just like today.
Actually, as I envision what is here being thought, I see the same old ABCUSA with a few label changes for boards and regional and/or other staff positions. The average ABCUSA church that can stomach remaining with the denomination as it is today will notice little or no difference (except the nomenclature changes, and maybe the assessment) after this set up takes affect.
Now, please, I understand that Aidsand is just thinking out loud, bouncing things off others, brainstorming, but since he is on the committee to rewrite what ABC structure should be, it is evident that his thinking will be pivotal in what evolves out of the mix, so it is fair game for pre-mortem evaluation.