MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Friday, July 6th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from member-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher, It’s Friday, and that means our weekend program Listening In goes live today.
This week, our Warren Smith interviews J-D Greear. He’s the pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, and he’s also the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
REICHARD: Before we go, here’s an excerpt from that interview.
WARREN SMITH: Well, you’ve been in ministry awhile, and yet it has been sort of representative of a changing of the guard—sort of handing over the reigns to the next generation. There’ve been also some folks that—they’re concerned it may be not only changing of the guard from an older generation to a younger generation, but from a generation that took the Baptist faith and message seriously to one that might be a little more heterodox in their approach to that. Now you’ve obviously just now, actively, very clearly affirmed your allegiance to the Baptist faith and message, but there are a lot of younger pastors that sometimes don’t fit into that category.
GREEAR: Yeah, I would still say that might not be the most accurate read on kind of what’s happening. Obviously I spend a lot of my time with these younger Southern Baptists, and most of them, because they’re the product of Southern Baptist seminaries and good, gospel-preaching Southern Baptist churches, are not really wavering on their commitment to the historic Baptist doctrine. And let’s even broaden that a little bit, Warren, more into kind of evangelical doctrine—the inerrancy of the Bible, the sanctity of marriage and God’s roles for gender. I mean, the Southern Baptist Convention is unashamedly complementarian—believing that God has created men and women differently—you know, the sanctity of how God structured marriage. There’s pro-life—and just all these issues—the exclusivity of Christ. I don’t see my generation or the one coming behind me is really wavering on those things.
I do think there is a sense in which there is a different cultural posture that some of us are taking. Like what does it mean to be active politically, but not to be politically defined? We believe that the gospel compels us to get involved in politics, but at the same time, we recognize that the church only has certain bandwidth to be identified by its community for something. We don’t want the gospel message to be encumbered by any other secondary message, no matter how good it is. So let’s make the basis of our identity and the focus of our mission—to have that be the gospel, and not politics one way or another.
REICHARD: That’s Pastor J.D. Greear, speaking with Warren Smith. To hear the rest of the interview—and take a tour of Greear’s library—just search for Listening In on whatever podcast platform you use.