The firing of Dr. Russell Fuller brought additional scrutiny to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary due to his field leading expertise in ancient Hebrew and stance against Social Justice. Fuller along with other terminated professors would be required to sign non-disclosure agreements in order to receive severance. But earlier this week, it was made apparent that Dr. Russel Fuller and one other colleague would forego the severance. This news was followed by the first of three installments of Dr. Fuller blowing the whistle on what he believes is heterodoxy within the Southern Baptist Convention’s most influential seminary.
The first of the three installments focused on Dr. Dominic Hernandez and his dissertation. The nature of Fuller’s claims are at the crossroads of theology and academia. The dissertation articulates a view of Job and its relation with ancient near eastern mythologies. Fuller claims that the dissertation articulates that the Book of Job is viewed by Hernandez as contradicting the rest of Scripture. Al Mohler and SBTS responded to this by with a scripted interview where Dr. Hernandez affirms orthodoxy. But the accusation by Fuller is not he said he said. Instead it is a question of whether Dr. Hernandez contradict orthodox beliefs in his dissertation. The chart below created by Jon Harris indicates that he did. Pastor Sam Jones of Shining Light Ministries and the American Conservative Movement has also written a response to the dissertation stating as much in greater detail. Read the dissertation for yourself here.
In part two of three in a series of interviews where Dr. Russell Fuller discusses the heterodoxy within Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the focus was on postmodernism and its most notorious proponent of postmodernism: Dr. Jonathan Pennington. Watch the video below.
There are two major bombshells worth discussing in this video. The first is the shady endorsements. Staff at SBTS, most prominently Al Mohler, endorsed Pennington’s book despite knowing how theologically problematic it was in its promotion of a postmodern view of the Old Testament whereby authorial intent is denied and in this instance, the Messianic presence in the Old Testament is seen as a New Testament invention. Dr. Fuller explains that Jewish scholars are more convinced of the Messiah in the Old Testament than seminary professors.
The second major takeaway was the division in SBTS described. Fuller discusses a nearly even split within the SBTS faculty to make Jonathan Pennington a full time professor, but since that divide, enough of those who opposed Pennington have been removed, that Fuller predicts when Pennington is up for promotion, he will receive near unanimous support. This would be because of the removal of the more orthodox professors would silence oppositions.
Jonathan Pennington is a more notorious professor when it comes to the rise of theological liberalism within the Southern Baptist Convention seminaries. What’s a stinging coincidence is that the Babylon Bee wrote an article titled Man Bravely Abandons Unpopular Christian Belief To Affirm Extremely Popular Cultural Belief where the fictional character satirized was named Jonathan Pennington.
So the contribution of Dr. Fuller is not the exposing of the postmodernism but the behind the scenes support for postmodernism at SBTS as well as a thorough explanation of how postmodernism undermines the gospel.