For seven years, scandals and public rifts have rocked the declining Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The spectacle of division and embarrassment continued at the just-concluded annual meeting of Baptists in Anaheim.
Now, for the first time, the establishment class of the largest and ostensibly conservative protestant denomination in America is visibly divided against itself. Albert Mohler, the president of the denomination’s flagship seminary, has publicly broken ranks with SBC elites who have rushed to defend megachurch pastor Rick Warren. Warren is accused of violating the denomination’s doctrinal standards.
Warren’s Saddleback church boasts some 20,000 in attendance, making it the largest congregation in the SBC. His 2002 publication, “The Purpose Driven Life,” with more than 30 million copies sold, is one of the bestselling nonfiction