Can you believe it finally happened? Someone deep in IFB culture wrote addressing the critical issues facing the movement. Tom Brannan was raised in an IFB home and has pastored IFB churches for several years. This book is unique in that though others in the Independent Baptist world (including me) have written on these issues, Mr. Brennan is the first writer to stay within the standards that some of us believe are beyond Scriptural requirement to do so. I applaud his efforts and imagine he will reach an audience no one else can.
In Book One he addresses what he feels is right in IFB churches. Though I could not agree with all his conclusions, he wrote in a calm manner that would be a model for some others from the same background.
In Book Two he writes on what is wrong in those same churches. I thought he candidly addressed many of the issues others of us would label as the problem. He rightfully began with pride. In his chapter on “We elevate young men” he explained how young men get the positions in Bible colleges because complete agreement outranks depth of thought. In other chapters he explained how loyalty could be taken too far. He actually gave soul liberty its props and he wasn’t afraid to say “we cover up sin.”
I especially appreciated how he addressed the quality of both preaching and study and admitted it was often woefully inadequate. He didn’t dodge how separation was out of hand in many cases. He looked at several other issues and even dropped the truth bomb: “Pharisee”. He ended his book politely calling for reforms.
There may be some who completely write him off for Book One while others will do the same for Book Two. I would suggest the former give him credit for doing what no one else around him is doing and the latter for being the first of their number to say what needs saying. I recommend the book and am excited for those he will reach that no one else can. I just pray he doesn’t get thrown under the bus in the process.
My writing on the same subject can be found in The Truth Revolution series here.