Danny Akin Does Video for Secular Group

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C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Senior
I would be very interested in hearing other's thoughts on this. The description of the video reads:
Danny Akin, President of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, is coming out in support of Openly Secular! He thinks we can all agree that people must be treated with mutual respect and love, and not be discriminated against for differences of belief.
Is this a good idea? Or is this harmful?

[video=youtube;7WJ-T2ZWGzk]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WJ-T2ZWGzk[/video]
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Is this a good idea? Or is this harmful?
Closer examination would reveal that every religion has to compromise in order for this secular idea to work, and so no religion ends up being properly expressive of its values and beliefs. Syncretism is inevitable.

"Secularism" is John Lennon's "dreamer."
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
I don't want to presume to know Dr. Akin's motives, but I suppose that some people see value in reaching out to others who appreciate freedom in hopes of preserving our own freedom. The trouble with approach is that appreciation of freedom is not the issue. Hatred for God is the issue, and only the gospel can remedy this.
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Senior
The organization Openly Secular seem to see this as an Evangelical endorsement of their movement. They gleefully declare, "Danny Akin, President of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, is coming out in support of Openly Secular!" Whether that was his intention or not is irrelevant. That is how it is being put forward.

And for Dr. Akin to say we agree and can "come together" on things like affirming the dignity of all human life, poverty, and the environment fails to appreciate the vast difference between the Christian and the secular worldview and their application to theses issues. Atheists do not affirm the value and dignity of all human life (abortion, euthanasia), they do not believe all human beings deserve dignity and respect, least of all those who hold views at odds with their own. The events of the twentieth century made this abundantly clear. They see poverty as the greatest evil facing the human race and environmentalism as its salvation. This can never be reconciled to a Christian worldview.

The irony of this video is that it appears to be the attempt of an Evangelical leader to speak up in defense of poor, persecuted, and marginalized secularists and atheists who suffer greatly at the hands of a bigoted theistic society. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is Christianity and the Church that are the objects of persecution by Western society today. And much of that persecution is driven by rabid secularists and atheists who will stop at nothing to see Christianity snuffed out altogether. I have a hard time understanding how a man as intelligent as Dr. Akin could allow himself to be used in such a manner by such a group as this. But I have a hard time understanding many things that go on these days.
 

MarieP

Puritan Board Senior
Sadly, I don't think the secularists mean the same thing as we do when we talk about "freedom of religion." We mean that we cannot make man believe the truth claims of Scripture. Ultimately, that's either the Spirit's job now, or it will be the job of Jesus on judgment Day :D But it doesn't mean freedom from religion, which many in our day would love. For the church to shut her mouth and speak no more of sin, hell, and a crucified and risen Savior is, in my thinking, exactly what they ultimately mean by "no discrimination." The group likens themselves to gay rights-- I think that is enough said-- as James White one said, it's not "rights" they are after but rather "uber rights."

The video makes me sad because I have deep respect for Dr. Akin, having known him personally when he was at SBTS. He has a deep heart for the Great Commission, and, while he disagrees on certain points of Reformed theology, I've admired his irenic spirit in that regard. I spoke with a friend who is more aware than I (though not by much) on the subject. He said that Dr. Akin had been on a local radio show hosted by another Christian. The host had introduced Akin to Todd Stiefel of Openly Secular. Akin and Stiefel developed a friendship, and he was asked to do the video.

I just don't see how it was helpful, though there may be reasons we don't know about (yet-- hopefully Dr. Akin will explain more). We know what the secular left is like. Honestly, what would be the difference between this and doing a video in support of a gay rights group (which I know Dr. Akin would never do-- for one, he is solidly opposed to gay "marriage").
 

MarieP

Puritan Board Senior
http://www.christianitytoday.com/gl...ist-seminary-president-supports-atheists.html


What made you agree to his request?

I did say, “If you want my perspective on this, the future isn’t on my side. It’s on your side. You’re worrying about things you don’t need to be worrying about. I don’t think you’ll face opposition in our culture in the days ahead. It’ll be people like me that will face opposition, and I hope you’ll be singing the same song on my behalf that I’m doing for you.”

I’m not going to endorse the organization [Openly Secular], but I’m happy to do a video as an evangelical who believes we all have the right to religious liberty. That’s all I endorsed.
My question is, why did he not say this in the video? I'm thankful he said this to Todd Stiefel. But I'm not sure any of the other secularists will read this interview.

He has lots of people thinking he endorses the organization...
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
For those who may be interested, I was at the SBC annual meeting today, and Dr. Akin was asked about this during a question and answer session. His response was brief, but essentially he said that an atheist friend accused him of hating atheists and wanting to silence them. He made this video as a way to show that this was not the case and that he supported freedom of religion, which includes the right to have no religion.
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
If I had a friend who professed to be an atheist and I wanted to demonstrate a heart of love and gentleness for the sake of my Christian witness to that friend, I think it's pretty understandable to make such a video. My only real fault with it is how Dr. Akin severely overstated the commonalities we Christians have with atheists. While I don't think the video is helpful at all, I also don't think it is going to do any real harm.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Does anyone want to defend Akin?

Some other headlines are worth noting:

Regardless of how he Akin might try to explain it, those headlines tell exactly how the liberal and secular media are interpreting his actions.
I will.

He said no one should be coerced about religion. That's very true! We should give them the Gospel and let the Holy Spirit do His work.

He said we shouldn't be disrespectful and put others down about their thoughts on religion. That's very true putting others down and being disrespectful isn't fulfilling the verse which tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves.

He talked about helping the poor....so did Jesus. He talked about the environment....so did God when He command we take care of it in Genesis. These all are true and we can be inline with the secular if they aren't crazy about being so green that's it's off the deep end.

I guess I would have to be like Paul Harvey....what's the end of his story
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
I think it was just a bad judgment call on his part. I like Dr. Akin but sometimes we make poor decisions for all the right reasons. I mean I see his motivation and comend him but a video like that is only going stir up people and be misunderstood.
 
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