Les Puryear, pastor of Lewisville Baptist Church in Lewisville, N.C., posted his apology to SBC leaders on his blog (sbcview.blogspot.com) on April 28, stating simply:
"On April 14, I wrote a post which condemned SBC leaders for what I viewed to be as their hypocrisy. After much prayer and pondering, I have concluded that my position was extreme and wrong. Thus, for my remarks, which I have removed from this blog, I humbly apologize, repent, and ask forgiveness from SBC leaders."
On April 27, Puryear devoted two paragraphs to his apology to SBC Reformed pastors:
"On April 15, I wrote a post which concluded that Reformed Baptists should leave the SBC. After much prayer and pondering, I have concluded that my position was extreme and wrong. Thus, for my remarks, which I have removed from this blog, I humbly apologize, repent, and ask forgiveness from Reformed pastors in the SBC.
"Although I do not hold to the biblical interpretations of Reformed pastors, I believe it is possible for us to work together to reach the lost for Jesus Christ. It is my wish to cooperate with and work beside those Reformed pastors who have the same desire. Though we differ in theology, we have the same Lord and the same Spirit and Christ has commanded us to love one another. In obedience to His command, I humbly offer this apology to make peace with those whom I may have besmirched with my previous post."
Blogger-pastor Dave Miller of Southern Hills Baptist Church in Sioux City, Iowa, responded to Puryear at a blog site he shares with several others (sbcvoices.com): "I appreciate Les' humility in issuing this apology. I think this spirit of grace is exactly what we need as we try to work together in the future.... I have Calvinistic theology, but could in no way be called Reformed. But I think that this irenic spirit is the one that needs to prevail in the SBC."
Puryear led a self-described grassroots group named SBC Majority Initiative that endorsed several nominees as Southern Baptist Convention officers at the 2010 annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. None of those endorsed by the group were elected. Puryear also was an unsuccessful nominee for SBC president at the June 2008 SBC annual meeting. In April of that year, Puryear was an organizer of a conference for small-church pastors, "Impact 2008," at Lewisville Baptist Church which drew 110 participants from 13 states. The conference was cosponsored by several Baptist entities, including LifeWay Christian Resources and the International and North American mission boards.
UNION TO LAUNCH JOURNAL -- Union University will launch a semi-annual academic journal titled "Religio et Eruditio" in 2012.
The journal was approved by Union's trustees during their spring meeting April 29.
C. Ben Mitchell, Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy, and Hunter Baker, associate dean of arts and sciences, will serve as the journal's senior editors in conjunction with an editorial board of Union faculty members as well as others from outside the university community.
"We think this is a big and exciting step," Union President David S. Dockery said, "and one that will advance the Christian intellectual tradition and the mission of Union University."
Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston. Join Baptist Press' Facebook page or Twitter feed to comment on this and other articles. Visit facebook.com/baptistpress or Twitter.com/Baptist Press.
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