OBSERVATIONS FROM THE PADDED CELL
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.