Other Voices

Seminary alums disagree on whether Paige Patterson should stay

Paige Patterson on Wednesday, May 30, was removed from all positions with the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Paige Patterson on Wednesday, May 30, was removed from all positions with the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Star-Telegram file

Editor's note: As the Southern Baptist Convention prepares for its convention in June, former students of the seminary led by Paige Patterson differ on whether he should be removed as president.

Patterson should step down

As a 2014 graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary who is now living on the East Coast, attending graduate school in Princeton, New Jersey, I have been watching the events unfolding around Dr. Paige Patterson and my beloved alma mater Southwestern Seminary with tears in my eyes and a broken heart.

The good people of Texas are a proud people with an incredible heritage of hard work and rugged individualism, summed up in the quintessentially Texan phrase “Come and Take” it written in January 1831 by Green Dewitt to Ramon Musquiz showing indefatigable defiance against overwhelming numerical forces during the Battle of Gonzales.

It is this unfaltering love for Texas and the good people of the Southern Baptist Convention that I, with a heavy heart, much now ask one of spiritual fathers, Dr. Paige Patterson, President of Southwestern Seminary, to resign due to his inappropriate comments about women and for advocating that abused women return back to their abusive husbands.

While there are now many sharks in the water, enemies of the Southern Baptist Church, calling for Dr. Patterson’s resignation, I will not take that approach here. I will appeal to Dr. Patterson as a father and patriarch of my Southern Baptist faith. As one Baptist to another, and a son to a father, I now must plead with Dr. Patterson to resign as President of Southwestern Seminary.

Dr. Patterson has served Southern Baptists and the state of Texas well. His historic stand for the truthfulness of the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Southern Baptist Convention is a good work that will echo throughout eternity (2 Timothy 3:16). However, due to the gravity of the situation and for the good our Convention, I believe Dr. Patterson must now resign or be removed as President by the Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Dr. Patterson has apologized for his imprudent comments and if he resigns, he should be received back into the good graces of the Southern Baptist Church, with open arms. For the Church of Jesus Christ goes on, its message endures, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Jesus Christ died and rose again to give eternal life to all those who believe in Him.

Lee Enochs is a 2014 graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and graduate student in Princeton, New Jersey.

In defense of Patterson

I write in defense of your (SBTS) president and my friend, Dr. Paige Patterson.

I have known him for about 40 years. I knew him when, at great sacrifice, he and many others stood for the inerrancy of God’s Word, in the SBC Conservative Resurgence. Of course, he is not perfect, just like us all. But he has stood for the faith, evangelism, revivals, missions. He is a first class scholar, and has lived an exemplary moral life.

Now, because Dr. Patterson has not said some things exactly right in our extra sensitive climate, he is being condemned by his enemies. They attack him for things they overlook in others. They negatively magnify anything he says that could be taken the wrong way. This is now in spite of the fact Brother Paige has apologized for, and clarified, his statements that have been hurtful. Who of us could withstand withering criticism and publicity of any misstatements we have made over the last several decades? Who of us could withstand having our statements taken in the absolutely worst light?

Please be aware of the multiplied thousands who support, and have been blessed by, Dr. Patterson’s ministry. I and my family are some of them. I am currently using Dr. Patterson’s NAC commentary on Revelation and finding it of great value.

When someone, whether Paige Patterson or not, makes an edgy statement — you can interpret it in the worst possible light. You can interpret it in the best possible light. Or somewhere in between. You can also take an 18 year old statement and interpret it in light of the current climate of political correctness, or not. You can show kindness, understanding - or strict condemnation.

One day soon, we will each give account to Almighty God. My prayer is that God will continue to bless, guide, protect Paige Patterson and SWBTS, and give you, the trustees, wisdom, love, mercy.

David R. Brumbelow is a pastor in Highlands, Texas, and a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.