The most important blogger in Texas baptist life looked at David Hardage's selection for BGCT ED and sniffed, "Who?"
Since the aforementioned blogger, who writes the only blog on this fading subject (BGCT) that matters is a personal friend and far better informed than I, it is necessary to admit there might have been other choices. Ergo, David Hardage might have been selected as a compromise, but as a compromise with whom, and for what purpose?
Dr. Hardage can hardly be seen as a compromise candidate to appeal to the old Texas Baptists Committed Crowd, or to the new Texas Baptists Committed crowd, the one which could not now fill a phone booth if it were raining razor blades. Dr. Hardage has not been connected to the Old TBC or the new TBC. He has not "laid down with dogs and arisen with fleas."
Dr. Hardage is a former pastor, a former director of missions for Waco Association and a fund raiser for Truett Seminary. He brings with him either a donor of some stature or the expertise to reach such donors or both. Either way, this is a need, not a compromise.
Dr. Hardage has a squeaky clean reputation. He is not associated with any of the scandals of the past BGCT, directly or indirectly. He cannot be a compromise candidate in this sense; no one is paying him off for silence or rewarding him for some belligerent, undeserved defense of the status quo.
Was it the writer Robert Louis Stevenson who said, "Compromise is the best and cheapest lawyer?"
God knows, the BGCT has needed a solicitor over the last decade and a half. The convention has gone from monopoly to after-thought, all the while acting like it was still the bull of the woods.
Still, if Dr. Hardage is a compromise candidate, no one should be heard to say it is because he compromised his own integrity or showed compromised character or competence. He takes over an organization with a severely compromised reputation, deservedly so. This is not an easy job.
He will make his mistakes. He will have hard times. At the very least, however, David Hardage is a serious man with a good work ethic. He is not damaged goods. I do not think there will be scandals on his watch. He may not be able to stop the decline of support from the churches but he will not do anything to speed it up by being silly. That will be an improvement.
Opinions expressed here are mine alone.