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Cbfnc Scholarship Essay

The CBF does not accept applications for the CBF Moses Scholarship. Every three years the Moses Scholarship rotates to a different Chicago law school, and the law school’s administration selects the Scholarship recipient.

The law school administration must select a recipient who qualifies for full-time admission under law school standards and demonstrates, above and beyond other potential recipients, the following:

  • A solid commitment to public interest issues over a significant period of time as demonstrated by past and present activities.
  • The desire to practice public interest law, i.e., to improve access to justice for low-income and disadvantaged people who are in the most critical need of the protections of our civil legal system. Not included in this definition of public interest law are judicial clerkships, government work, private practice, pro bono work in a traditional law firm setting, academics, or prosecutor positions (e.g., state’s attorney).
  • A commitment to a specific public interest path or goal as demonstrated by an application essay and a personal interview. In the interest of efficiency, the law school may wish to interview only finalists for the Scholarship.
  • The ability to achieve success as a lawyer, as demonstrated by past academic performance, taking into account any personal obstacles that the candidate may have overcome and other relevant considerations.
  • Financial need, taking into account other means of funding tuition, such as scholarship awards or personal assets.

For more information, please contact Dina Merrell at (312) 554-1206 or dmerrell@chicagobar.org.

The BGCT and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
By David R. Currie, Coordinator

One of the accusations of fundamentalist presidential candidate Rick Scarborough is that the leadership of the BGCT and Texas Baptists Committed is trying to lead Texas Baptists into a relationship with CBF similar to the past relationship with the SBC.

This accusation is false, totally untrue!

I recently began to serve on the CBF Coordinating Council (equivalent to the SBC Executive Committee). I also had the privilege of serving on the CBF Coordinator Search Committee that recommended Daniel Vestal as the new coordinator of CBF.

I like CBF.

I believe in CBF.

I support CBF.

I believe CBF is the only real Southern Baptist national organization in America.

Saying all the above, I do not want the BGCT to have a relationship with CBF similar to the old relationship between the BGCT and the SBC. The old relationship between the BGCT and SBC was not healthy or Baptist. It was connectionalism at its worst. Texas Baptists did serve as a farm team of the SBC. We did not act as an autonomous body as a state convention. As Texas Baptists, we should never put ourselves into such a relationship again.

As I have written before, I agree with Paige Patterson. Can you believe that? It is true. Paige Patterson wrote in 1991:

“Baptists have strongly resisted connectionalism while emphasizing cooperation. Possibly the most controversial observation I will make in this essay is that there is an unhealthy and subtle form of connectionalism in our ecclesiastical structure which must be resisted. Local churches already decide what portion of their missions gifts are given to the association and to the Cooperative Program. Unfortunately, state conventions then decide what percent of the church’s gifts to the Cooperative Program remain in the state and what portion is sent to the national convention. Thus, a local church is not autonomous in deciding about the division of its resources between state and national causes. That this is how we have done it for some years is undebatable. That this is a not-so-subtle form of connectionalism is equally unquestionable. This inconsistency must be reversed with each church “autonomously” deciding about the percentage of mission money it wishes to invest in local, associational, state, and international missions causes. My own conviction is that such an adjustment would enable Baptists of varying theological stripes to find continued cooperative giving much more palatable.”

Paige Patterson is absolutely correct in my opinion. True Baptist polity means local churches should decide who they will relate to at the association, state, and national level.State conventions should not have a connectional relationship with any national Baptist convention or fellowship.

My dream is that many free, autonomous, local churches will voluntarily choose to relate to CBF because of how Baptist their mission and theological education programs are and the services they offer.

I serve within CBF on the Theological Institutions work group. When we met in September, eleven different seminaries or Baptist houses of Study made presentations to our workgroup, including Truett Seminary at Baylor and the Logsdon School of Theology at Hardin-Simmons. Others included Brite Divinity School at TCU (with Bill Hendricks, one of my heroes making the presentation), Duke, Wake Forest, Candler at Emory, Gardner- Webb, Campbell, Mercer, the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, and Central Baptist Seminary in Kansas City.

My friends, I have never been so impressed. These institutions are doing incredible, true Baptist theological education—every single one of them. To support SBC seminaries controlled and run by fundamentalists when one could support these institutions through CBF boggles my mind!

But supporting these institutions should be a local church decision, not one made by the BGCT or any other larger body. This system would be fair to every church. It would not favor a fundamentalist or a moderate church or a church that wants to support both some SBC programs and some CBF programs.

Most of the fight we are now having within the BGCT is not over Texas, whatever the fundamentalists say. We are not fighting over Texas institutions. We are fighting over where local church money goes after it leaves the BGCT!

This fight needs to stop and the way to stop it is to act like Baptists.

My dream is that we can stop fighting over a decision that should, in terms of polity, belong to local churches. Let the SBC and CBF present their philosophies and programs directly to local churches and see who wins the support. Many will probably support programs within both. I hope CBF will win the hearts of most Texas Baptist churches with its real Baptist approach to missions and theological education. But local churches should make this decision. That is fair to everybody. The state convention should stay out of the connectionalism business. It’s bad business and it’s not Baptist!

If I find Rick Scarborough is correct, and our BGCT leadership is trying to lead the BGCT into a relationship with the CBF, similar to what we had with the SBC, I personally will join Rick in fighting such a move! But I know for a fact that he is wrong.

October 1996