1) Far and away the biggest news of today is that we elected our first African American president, Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church here in New Orleans. Many secular media outlets have reported on the story. You can read the Washington Post article here. It was a powerful and moving moment when Luter was elected by unanimous consent of the messengers. Everyone was standing and cheering and many were in tears. Understand the context. Our denomination was founded by slave owners in order to protect the institution of slavery. It hurts to say, but our origins are a cause of shame. Today was a day of redemption.
2) After passionate debate, messengers voted on whether or not to adopt a descriptor (alternative name) for our denomination - "Great Commission Baptists." The vote on the floor was close, and so a ballot vote was collected. Results will be announced tomorrow. If the motion succeeds, some local churches (and presumably SBC entities) will start going by the new name.
3) Much has been made of debates surrounding soteriology (doctrine of salvation) in the SBC leading up to this convention. So far, I have been pleased that all the leaders I've heard address the issue have emphasized the SBC tent is big enough for Calvinists and non-Calvinists alike to work together for the spread of the Gospel, as we have done since our founding. Amen and amen. (I especially appreciated Paige Patterson's and Al Mohler's comments at the B21 luncheon.)
4) Walked down to Canal and Bourbon Streets tonight. New Orleans definitely has a very unique vibe, and it is easy for me to see why it's called the "Big Easy" and why so many people love the city. Balmy evening air, palm tree lined streets, live music on every other corner, old buildings with lots of character. It's just cool! I must say, however, Bourbon Street, is not cool. It is wicked. Every form of debauchery you can imagine. The further I walked down the street, the worse it got. So I turned around pretty quick. Glad to say I've seen it, but can't say I need to go back.
5) Tomorrow morning I will be on the platform around 11:15 to make a three minute nomination speech for my friend/mentor, Jim Wells, for Registration Secretary. Say a prayer for me. :) If interested, you can watch it live at www.sbc.net.
I will try to blog more tomorrow night.