Greetings, everyone. Sorry things have been quiet on the blog lately. I've been quite busy with my own personal and professional duties (which include a collaboration with Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners on a course for Georgetown undergraduates). It's actually a good thing: If we're not loudly protesting, then hopefully things are going about as well as can be expected.
In early November, I'll release the results of our BGCO pastor/church staff survey (taken in April). There is very little appetite among the rank-and-file for a fundamentalist takeover of OBU, and large majorities of people want OBU to have autonomy over its own affairs, without external BGCO or SBC influence.
We should also start talking about Homecoming (Nov. 9-10) and the BGCO Annual Meeting (Nov. 12-13). My sense is that a combative protest or aggressive media strategy would not be the most fruitful way forward at the moment. But I know many of us are angry and devastated at the recent changes and I'm open to the consensus of the group. In any case, it would be smart to coordinate some kind of collective effort, activity, and/or information sharing.
I had hoped for Save OBU to be further along organizationally in advance of the BGCO meeting. We need to convene an Advisory Board to share the workload and confer legitimacy on the group. (Right now, Save OBU is easily dismissed --- and mocked --- as a few peoples' online rantings.) But we're on a long time horizon. The fundamentalists have mobilized for a long, long battle over the future of OBU. There's plenty of time to stave off the level of destruction that the Georgia Baptist Convention-controlled colleges have recently experienced.
We saw a huge spike in blog traffic in late August and early September when students and faculty returned to campus. I haven't been able to keep up with daily postings. But I'll be ramping up blog activity over the next few weeks.
I'm reading a couple books that I'm sure many of you know well. One is The Future of Baptist Higher Education, which arose out of a conference on the subject at Baylor in the mid-2000s. The other is The Future of Christian Higher Education, an edited volume from the late 1990s by Mercer ethicist David Gushee and Union University President David Dockery.
As always, if you have comments, ideas, inside information, or would like to contribute, please let me know!