FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson answered nearly 60 questions related to theology, pastoral ministry, personal interests, and his views on the future of the Southern Baptist Convention during a live question-and-answer session via his Twitter account, Sept. 27.
Patterson called the hour-long social media session the “Lion’s Den” after a similar ask-anything format he uses in chapel services on campus from time to time. Questions poured in from all over the country as people tweeted to @_PPatterson_ and used the hashtag #AskDrP to track the discussion. A complete account of the Twitter session can be found below.
Responding to the question of how he would redo the Conservative Resurgence differently if he had the chance, Patterson answered, “1. Pray more. 2. Much more diligently try not to see people hurt.”
Patterson also answered questions related to difficult interpretations of biblical passages. One Twitter user asked, “If the temple in Ezek. 40-48 is a future physical reality, why does God put an altar in it when we already atoned for?”
“The problem is not just altar but sacrifices. The nature of it all seems to be memorial and significance,” Patterson replied.
The Twitter Lion’s Den also exposed Patterson’s lighter side as he answered questions about his first date with his wife, his thoughts on Christian hip hop music and his favorite weapon. When asked about his favorite dish made by his wife, he replied, “Prepare to be hungry: sweet potato biscuits. They are probably the original manna.”
Patterson also gave pastoral advice. When asked what is most important in the first year of a new pastorate, he replied, “Preach hard, pray much, get acquainted with the sheep, and meet their needs. No new programs.”
As the Lion’s Den session ended, dozens of questions remained, but Patterson remarked that he would enjoy doing it again sometime.
Reaction on Twitter to the ask-anything digital forum was positive. Southwestern student Phillip Box tweeted, “Pretty cool that our president @_PPatterson_ of @swbts took time to answer any question on twitter. #hipster #AskDrP #lionsden.” Likewise, another student, Maggie Ledbetter, tweeted, “Loved the #lionsden with @_PPatterson_ Really appreciate going to a school where our president enjoys interacting with us so much #AskDrP.”