NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A moderate seminary dean will head the Southern Baptist Convention's Christian Life Commission despite the objections of conservatives who don't like his views on abortion, ordination of women and capital punishment.
N. Larry Baker, faculty dean at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., replaces Foy Valentine, the director for 27 years.
"I ask the trustees to honor my convictions and conscience in a way I'd honor yours," Baker said. "I'll simply attempt to lead this body, but I don't always have the wisdom. I offer bold leadership couched in humility."
Baker, 49, opposes abortion except in the case of rape, incest or if the mother's life is in danger, and "perhaps" in cases of extreme deformity of the fetus. Many conservatives believe abortion should be allowed only when the mother's life is threatened.