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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at www.clsnet.org if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Bill Hull and the "Impossibles"

   In the fall of 2002 I attended a lecture at Samford University by my Friend Randall Balmer who now teaches at Dartmouth. At the time a Samford Student and I were working on a screenplay with a fictional character in the downline of the famous evangelist Billy Sunday fast forwarded to the days of the Hippie Community in Atlanta and the Janis Joplin concert of July 5, 1969. It's good stuff and still worthy of consideration of Brad Pitt to help us produce.

   Balmer read and said it was the stuff of genius grinding in as it did provocative thoughts of Harold Bloom in his classic The American Religion.

    Bill Hull was there that morning in the audience sitting about halfway between me and my collaborator one row back and across the chapel.

    In the October issue of Baptists Today Bonhoeffer biographer Charles Marsh's uncle Fisher Humphreys reviews the last book of Hull. In many circles Hull  is something of a Lincolnesque figure and I do not have the rank to say otherwise.

  

   However as reviewed by Humphreys I think Hull's take on Timothy George and the Tom Corts solution to the divide in Baptist life is sophomoric and na├»ve to the bigger reverberations of the fundamentalist takeover in the SBC. Both Corts and Hull are honorable men but I'm convinced bringing George in as head of Samford Divinity school was monumental mistake.

   Though he hasn't weighed in on this matter, Marsh's segment on the politics of stupidity in his bio of Bonhoeffer would've been educational for Hull as the Tea Party movement is lesser by degree though quite comparable to what Bonhoeffer resisted in the 30s in Germany. Nothing in Humphrey's review suggests Hull considered that aspect of the Baptist mess.

    George is small piece of the political puzzle as its comes to be in Alabama, but now there is almost nobody with any sensibility and sizable following to contest the religious political ideology of of Briarwood  PCA Church, The Church of Brook Hills which for all practical effect is Crawford Broadcasting and Yellowhammer news at Prayer and the good ole boy sophomoric mush of Rick and Bubba and Scott Beason.

      Though not named I imagine among the list of the "impossibles" Hull thought he outwitted in the Baptist conversation were James Dunn, Cecil Sherman, Bill Leonard, Stewart Newman, LD Johnson, even the better inclinations of Corts himself if you consider Corts and his wife dalliance with Baptist Church of the Covenant when it first called Sarah Shelton as pastor and where Humprheys has been long time pastor.

    I Plan to read Hull's book soon. The ongoing conversation will be interesting. But as I have thought for the last 30 years and continue to be convinced the ongoing thinking of Bill Moyers and his ilk is wiser and larger framed than this well meaning though provincial and narrow assessment of Hull.

    See the recent piece by Moyers on the debacle of the GOP, the Marilynne Robinson conversation with President Obama in New York Review of Books and the Garry Wills review of Robinson in same.

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