Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Dr. Frank Page: A Strong Voice of Reason in the Education Debate

Dr. Page has sought to clarify his stance on the proposed education resolution authored by Voddie Baucham and Bruce Shortt. Dr. Page's name is mentioned six times in the resolution and today he issued a statement clarifying his position on schooling issues.
"I am pastor of a church that has strong support for home schoolers and their families," Page said. "Many in my church go to Christian schools. Two of my three daughters graduated from Christian schools. However, I also support those who feel led to continue their children in public school education. I strongly support those Christian men and women who teach in our public schools and our young people who are seriously considering the teaching profession as a possible calling of God. Basically, I support a parent's right to decide where their children should be educated. There are many crucial issues involved. Parents must be very careful about where they place their children. They must carefully seek the leadership of the Lord in this important matter. I am also deeply concerned about those in our society who cannot afford to either home school (because of work schedules) or place their children in Christian education because of the costs. This is a serious issue to me.


Streak said...

Wait, what happened to the Southern Baptists? No dark horror of "government schools?" No fear of liberals like me turning all the kids into abortions and stem cells?

Sorry. Could not resist.

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Tony,

I hope you do not mind if I jump in, my Brother, since I have not commented here before.

While I agree with you that the language of the imminent resolution to be before this year's SBC contains softer language than before, nevertheless, I must say, from my vantage point anyway, I still hold reservations concerning it.

I find it ironic that the framers of the present resolution mentioned Dr. Page some six times, as you rightly point out, even implicitly basing the resolution's existence upon Dr. Page's recommendation. The title reads: "RESOLUTION SUPPORTING SBC PRESIDENT’S CALL FOR SOUTHERN BAPTIST CHURCHES TO CREATE

Unless I missed something when I read Dr. Page's press release, one looks in vain for a general call to such creation of Christian institutions. Rather what Dr. Page appeared to do was affirm his "full support" of last year's resolution "that affirmed those who teach in public schools." He further called upon Southern Baptists to "engage the culture of our public school systems nationwide..." Not a peep about 2007 Resolution support.

Even more explicitly, when our President did get around to mentioning particular resolutions, he had this to say:

"The June 2006 Resolution said it well when it encouraged Southern Baptists to 'heed our Lord's admonition to be salt and light in our society.'" Sounds like an endorsement of a substitute resolution that debunked last year's Exodus attempt to me.

In light of that, the reason I sense rising from Taylor is reason to favor the old skins not the new.

Another thing interesting about Dr. Page's comments is the very clear message he sends to those who support public education.

Dr. Page's reason:

A) Support those who feel led to continue their children in public school education.

B)Strongly supports those Christian men and women who teach in our public schools

C)Strongly supports young people who are seriously considering the teaching profession as a possible calling of God

D)Bottom Line: Supports parent's right to decide where their children should be educated

How, after the above is taken at face value, one can conclude, as did the Exodus group, that Dr. Page "calls" Southern Baptists to create more Christian schools remains, for me, a mystery.

What the President did do was bemoan both the economic fact that many parents who choose Christian education cannot afford it and the socio-fact that orphans and special needs students are not afforded the luxury of Christian education. Who but a cold-hearted snob would not feel the very same way?

If my little post sounds to some as if I am anti-Christian education, I assure you, it is only the ring in one's ear. For I definitively am not.

Grace to you, my Brother Tony. With that, I am...


Tony said...


Dadblame it. All that stuff I said about you being normal, I take it all back!

Just kidding. :)

Hope you don't mind if I grow a little bit here. One of my goals in blogging is to be taught and not necessarily to teach. After mulling this resolution over, Steve said it best, the terminology "government schools" is unnecessarily antagonistic.

I think schooling choice ultimately is best left up to the parents; hence, my posting of Page's statement. In every debate there are going to be radical extremists hoisting their straw men, scaring folks half to death.

Thanks for seeing my points, flawed presentations and all. And next time, try and control your urges, OK? I need to come and start stirring up some kind of trouble at your blog.

Tony said...


I am glad to have you here. Welcome! I hope you find enough here to stop by again. I have read your grace-seasoned remarks on others' blogs and I am blessed to receive your viewpoints here at the RP.

I also was uncomfortable with them invoking the president's name as if he was endorsing their stance when in fact he was not.

I have not ever made the statement that Dr. Page supported the resolution but am sincerely glad, after a few posts and comment threads' worth of thinking/debating this through, that I did not make the bold assumption that he supported it.

One of my primary points about the proposed resolution, which incidentally, you are the first to really comment upon, is his heart for those who desire a Christian education but cannot for whatever reason, and then subsequently the church's role in attempting to provide for it. That was one point I was indeed aiming at, but somehow the post missed it entirely.

This aspect of the resolution I can wholeheartedly and unashamedly support. It is time that our churches take such socioeconomic matters more seriously. We should begin acting like we are the largest Protestant denomination in America.

And no--you did not come off sounding anti-Christian education. As my good friend Streak has already pointed out, just because you slap the moniker "Christian" on something, does not necessarily make it better. Holy shoddy is still shoddy, in my estimation.

I have had you in my reader for a couple of weeks now, but messed up the address for the feed, so I missed a some posts. I was under the impression you were on hiatus, but I look forward (anew again) to interacting at SBCT.

Sincere blessings.

peter lumpkins said...


Thank you, my Brother Tony, for the warm invitation. My personal views in the matter of Christian education reflect Dr. Page's "bottom line" about choice, and, from my view as well, the particular child in question.

My wife and I have raised three children, all of which, except for our son attending Christian parochial school for one, elementary year, graduated from public education. Our twin daughters attended Union University for two years but switched and graduated from a "party school" state university.

They remain an odd mystery for extreme-minded, Christian education advocates like Exodus for the simple reason that, not only did they like what they found at the state school better (academically), but discovered a Christian culture there that, in many ways, though smaller in scope, exceeded their experience at the "Christian" university.

For me, this is an issue that should not at all divide us as SBs, which is why it strikes me as odd that Exodus would sound the trumpet again this year, though again as you rightly assert, Tony, the rhetoric is much improved in the 07 resolution.

Interestingly, I wrote a letter to the editor of The Christian Index in 2004 dissenting from a critical editorial Dr. Gerald Harris had penned about T. C. Pinckney's original education resolution back then (for the record, Dr. Harris is an honorable, man of God who is a personal friend). There I sounded more open to Exodus' goal. Notso. I believe with Dr. Page in parental authority in determining the educational needs of their children and the Church supporting them in it.

Grace today, Tony. With that, I am...


P.S. The letter is still available online at the link below if anyone is interested:

Streak said...

Tony, remember, you didn't mean "normal" as a compliment. :)

I just could not resist. I will control myself in the future. You should stir stuff up over here, though I don't think many of my commenters have gone after you. :)

Tony said...


Your balance of wisdom is what this blog needs in such matters. Thank you.

A little about me, we homeschool our two oldest daughters, who are nine (ten in a few days) and six. I have two more daughters, four and two and we are expecting a fifth child, a boy.

My wife and I decided to homeschool even before our oldest was born and thus far seems to be the best choice for us.

You and I share a commonality in that I respect parents' choices in their schooling choice. I have an obligation to minister to each and every family in the congregation I serve, regardless of their schooling choice. I do not allow that to get in the way, though overwhelmingly the burden of proof for educational matters at our church typically lie on my shoulders since we homeschool.

My children have done well though in their favor, they have known nothing else.

I read your courageous letter and I could not agree with its content more. As I remarked to Streak, I believe the Exodus movement is built upon a straw man, but I will digress. :)

Thank you for the follow-up and bless you my new friend.


So how can I compliment you?

And I will admit, the tone at your blog is typically very cordial. Even for a liberal (sorry, couldn't resist).