Sunday, February 18, 2007


One of my earlier mentors in the Wonderful World of Insurance told me that every organization needs a Resident Idiot. An ordinary sort who doesn't understand much but does know how to drool. What my mentor suggested was the the R.I. should be locked in a Padded Cell and when the Suits dream up some new plan, toss it in there with the R.I.

See ... if the R.I. could understand it, then the managers might be able to manage it, the administrators might be able to administer it, the sales force might be able to sell it, etc. And maybe even the rank and file guys out there might understand it.

So here comes, from R.G.C. the R.I.'s P.C..

First, I thought the Conference on Baptist Identity was outstanding. There were plenty of good talks and lots of ideas were floated. I've poked around here and there and there are probably 48 hours of audio available from the dozen or so hours of dissertation. You can find them. And listen. Sure you can. So I'll leave that stuff there. But .. other general observations:

1) The Bloggers are really a great bunch of (mostly) youngish guys. And when you stand and talk with them, which side of issues you're on doesn't seem to make one whit of difference. I talked here and there with folks who have staged an electronic WWIII in the BlogBog, and I could not possibly have guessed from their demeanor, who was on which side of what. ATTENTION ALL BLOGGERS: remember that, please.

2) Everyone and I do mean everyone that I met from Union University was friendly and accomodating. I spent a most enjoyable 90 minutes or so talking with Dwight McKissic (Pastor, Cornerstone Baptist, and SWBTS Chapel Speaker Extraordinaire) and Charles Fowler, (Sr. VP of the University), at the Blogger's Coffee House Thursday night. I promise you that no one looking on could have told who was a HighGuy and who was the R.I. from the P.C. It was a delight.

3) Bloggers respect people even if they don't agree with them. On a personal note, C.B. Scott named a couple of guys he'd had KnockDownDragOuts with over the last year, and said they'd be welcome to come preach in his church any time. And C.B. don't blow no smoke. And they were all most respectful of me and even though we had some shall we say interesting chats, I never felt like any sort of outsider. While some factions of the SBC may think that the BlogBog is the worst thing to come along since original sin, I can tell you that the bloggers I met are some of the best things I've seen, about the SBC. And the all want to stay!

4) The tone of the speeches were uniformly positive. There seems to be a realization that folks have led the SBC to a place where it shouldn't be, and needs some changin'. That's a good thing. Of course, changes in the culture and the world have contributed to that, and I can wonder why anybody had to wake up SBC leadership to that, but at least they seem to see it. (NOTE: all generalizations are false, so don't expect everybody to be on board with anything. Ever).

5) I sat at a table with usually 3 and occasionally 4 guys who had the laptops fired up and were "live blogging". I don't know how they do that. I was sitting jotting down notes from the speeches; mostly ideas I'd want to write about later. I tried not to do too much, as I have a hard time writing down one idea while and letting another one in my brain via my ears while the speaker goes on. And here these young guys are typing most of it while listening to it and not missing anything, that I can tell. Maybe the P.C. IS the right place for me, after all.

6) I'd made a room reservation a long time ago, when C.B. said he'd like to go. Alan Cross rode up with us and hadn't counted on no rooms being available so we got an extra bed rolled in and we all roomed there. One of the real highlights of the trip was sprawling around the room with those two, sharpening each others' iron until a quarter til one on Saturday morning. That alone was worth the trip.

From the stuff I've heard from various sources, it's apt to get messy. Surgery usually is. Chemotherapy gets ugly pretty quickly, even when the cancerous body still looks ok. And I think it may well be that's an apt description of the SBC.

But I'm optimistic about the SBC now; more than ever (at least since I've known there was anything to know). The Medical Staff is alive, well, and strong, and the Pharmacist is knowledgable and has all the strong medicine he needs.

Oh, boy. I do like a fun ride.


At 9:44 PM, February 18, 2007, Blogger Kevin Stilley said...

Pink Hat Man, thanks for the positive reflections. ;)

At 9:57 PM, February 18, 2007, Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

I wish I could have been there.

At 10:26 PM, February 18, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Thanks, Kevin. You too, Kevin.

There are some links here & there, to the speeches. Listen to them; they're worth the time.

The big part for me was what I wrote about. But I must also confess that I have ELEVEN full pages of 8-1/2X11 lined pad ... ideas I wrote down to steal and bloviate on later. I kid you nyet, that's 5 times as much as any meeting I have ever been in.

At 11:56 PM, February 18, 2007, Blogger CB Scott said...


The conference was great, but the time spent with you and Alan was of much more worth to me as food for my spirit. Thank you both.

Now, I will sing you a song:-) "Is anybody going to San Anton' or Phoenix, Arizona...."


At 8:39 AM, February 19, 2007, Blogger Paul Burleson said...


I've read a ton of blogs with reference to the conference and, while all were good in their unique way, your comments, being both personal and positive, have given me a fun read on it all. Don't hear me say the others were NOT personal OR positive, just in a different fashion. Maybe our experience level [age] gives us a unique approach, but whatever it is, I appreciate your report.

At 9:06 AM, February 19, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

CB: Same here. The conference was interesting, maybe even fascinating. Not only for what was and was not said, but the fact that folks were there, saying it. And for the elephants in the room that were only mentioned in passing. It was all worth doing.

None of that challenged me, though. None. But you did, so did Alan, and so did Art. Similarly, the 90 minutes or so chatting with Charles Fowler and Dwight McKissic.

Ben Cole challenges me when he says anything. Or just sits there. Or shakes the hand of an old white-haired guy standing behind the Table of the Forbidden Fruit.

I can hardly wait for San Anton'. I think I'll go to Memphis to stay amused, and then to Arlington to hone up for Alamo City.

At 9:21 AM, February 19, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Paul: Thanks for the kind words, and it's good to hear from you again. The Conference woulda been better if the attendance had increased by one (particular parson).

(Note .. that's FUNNY .. I meant to type "person". "Parson" was a typo. Or providence.)

Hope things are well with you. I'm still the world's oldest Kid Having Fun, as you can probably tell.

At 11:04 AM, February 19, 2007, Blogger Paul Burleson said...


You may be right behind me in this WOKHF thing...age wise that is. :)

At 12:24 PM, February 19, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Good. I wish you a long, long life, as this is a neat place to be.

At 12:24 PM, February 19, 2007, Blogger Scotte Hodel said...

Hi Bob,

Thanks for your summary. My day job doesn't give me the flexibility to attend a lot of these events (so far: none), so it's good to get a view from the gallery.


At 7:56 PM, February 19, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Y'welcome, Scotte. Good to hear from you again.

At 10:14 PM, February 19, 2007, Anonymous tim walker said...

Bob, I read your comments a lot and appreciate your take on things going on with us baptists. Hey, I am encouraged that you are encouraged by what you heard and experienced at the conference.
Thanks for the reporting.

At 6:35 AM, February 20, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Tim: Thanks for looking in, and commenting.


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