Jonathan Merritt, who writes On Faith & Culture for RNS, invited Seth Haines — author of “Coming Clean: A Story of Faith” — to write this guest column on his blog.
I was not surprised by the news coming out of the Southern Baptist Convention over the last few weeks. I wasn’t shocked by Paige Patterson’s comments about spousal abuse, or his objectification of a 16-year-old girl, or the fact that the 75-year old president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary allegedly terminated a PhD seminary student for tweeting about the controversy. I wasn’t blindsided by Patterson’s initial refusal to apologize, or his far-too-late late apology “to every woman who has been wounded by anything I have said that was inappropriate or that lacked clarity.”
I wasn’t surprised by any of it, and tellingly, many Southern Baptists weren’t either. But to understand how I got to this place–and how Southern Baptists got here–you’ll need a little bit of history.