Albert Mohler writing about the life of Cecil Sherman? I was too curious not to check it out. As a graduate of Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, a seminary formed out of the Cooperative Baptist split from the Southern Baptist Convention which Cecil Sherman was an instrumental part of. I was a bit surprised to see a post titled “This Man was no Moderate: The Legacy of Cecil Sherman” on Albert Mohler, the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s blog. Dr. Cecil Sherman passed away at the age of 82 earlier this week.
While I never had the privilege of taking one of Dr. Sherman’s classes while at BTSR and I honestly have never really followed Baptist politics, I wanted to post my response to Dr. Mohler’s post. It is obvious that Mohler and Sherman are from opposite ends of the theological spectrum. However, I found it refreshing that Mohler actually sees the voice of Dr. Sherman and all he stood for as having purpose. For Mohler, the benefit of Dr. Sherman’s fight was to serve as a means of separating the right (conservatives) from what Mohler calls the left and allowing for the “reclaiming” of the Baptist convention by conservatives.
However, I see the life of Cecil Sherman from quite a different perspective. Without the Cooperative Baptist voice, I would never have attended a Baptist seminary and I would have completely abandoned the Baptist tradition. Cecil Sherman fought to give moderate Baptist’s a voice, a place to belong within the Baptist tradition. He inspired me not to give up on the Baptist tradition and gave me the courage to speak the truth that God has revealed to me even when it is not consistent with the “conservative” right.
Thank you Dr. Sherman for creating a place where Christian’s like myself can discover God’s word, grow in compassion and love toward our neighbors, and seek to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ. I also want to thank you Dr. Mohler for reminding the world that your voice is not the only voice within the Baptist tradition.