Dr. Cecil Sherman is a living legend.
I could listen to his stories for hours. The class is only 2 hours long and I wish it was more. The man had to look deep within the "soul" of Baptists, understand how church was to be conducted, and then took a stand against the practices of a bunch of power hungry folks bent on perverting principle and tradition for their own gain.
Dr. Sherman had the love and willingness to take that stand and the wisdom to create a new convention in the CBF. He had to look at two ways of organizing churches:
1. The convention route, which had the advantage of being more efficient, yet as the SBC proved, could be used to pressure the churches and institutions it was designed to help, and that was no good.
2. He could create separate "societies", distinct groups to fund individual missions. By and large, according to Dr. Sherman, this is how the American Baptists work. However, this method isn't always the most efficient, but it does keep the power in the local church and out of the hands of theological uniformists.
Dr. Sherman had to create something in the middle and was responsible for its success. He's really big on church polity ("how we do church... are you here?"), as it relates to what are roots are as Baptists and how that translates to what we do today.
That's where my heart is. How does our history and heritage intersect with how we do church, and how does church intersect with the world?
Anyways... I'm wondering if anyone's done a biography on Dr. Sherman. I firmly believe that years from now in other Baptist Heritage classes his name will come up often.
I'm seriously thinking of reading up as much as possible on the creation of the CBF and all things associated and then asking him if I can do some sort of bio on him. I really don't feel like I'm qualified at all, but I can envision at least interviewing him and taking notes and using those later on for a dissertation or something.
It's so exciting to learn more about myself and my calling even at my old age. :)