Friday, February 14, 2014


T.W. Hunt. That name is well known in Baptist life. I know that name well. I know the man who wears that name. He wears it well. Laverne. Another name. That's the woman who was married to the man who wears the name T.W. Hunt. She was as fine a human being as he is...maybe most husbands in saner moments will confess of their own particular wife. T.W. does. So do I.

The reason I know T.W. and Laverne is because I was privileged to be their pastor for several years during his tenure as a Professor at SWBTS when they were members of Southcliff Baptist Church in Ft. Worth, the fellowship I pastored back then. Laverne always called me "Pastor." She always told me she thought I was the best preacher she had ever heard. I told her I thought she was the smartest person I'd ever met. Just kidding. [She said that__but I she said it to all her Pastors__and meant it.]

The purpose of my dropping T.W.'s name today is because, while still living, he's well worth knowing. To help you know him, if you don't, I have to press the envelope personally and tell you of one of the more significant spiritual moments in my life which involves T.W. Hunt. It really is personal and has to do with a morning I sat with him in a Dairy Queen in Ft. Worth, Texas. He and I were eating ice-cream and talking. [Who says you can't eat ice cream in the morning!] Before long I was writing on a napkin. It usually wound up that way. Something he would be saying was always of the nature that I must not forget it. So....write it down. I did.

T.W. told me that he was a student of revival. He had, in fact, studied every known revival in history beginning with the Old Testament events going right through Acts and into the Awakenings, as well as the "Charismatic revival, as it was being called in the day we were living and conversing.

T.W. said that every genuine move of God that he had studied had produced it's own music. The new music of those moves of God was new, not just in lyrics, but in meter, rhythm, notations, and a whole bunch of other stuff that didn't mean much to me then and doesn't now either. I'm musically illiterate basically. But T. W. wasn't and isn't, so I kept listening.

He said that those involved in the revivals usually wrote and produced this "new music". His example was Charles and John Wesley. He reminded me of the many songs written by the Wesleys during that Great Awakening of which they were such a major part. "The Church's One Foundation" was one of those songs written.

T.W. said there were several odd things about the music being produced during each revival. For one thing, it was not only different, it was rejected by the religious establishment. Wesley sang his songs with the crowds on hillsides, but was not permitted to do so in the churches. He and his music were shunned.

Then, T.W. said, after a while, the religious powers that existed in the day, gradually accepted the music that was already being sung by the masses. Finally, that music was "the music" and was "the music" until another revival came along producing its own music which was, again, rejected as ungodly by those singing "The Church's One Foundation" and, again, the new was not permitted in the churches. So, again, the masses had to sing in isolation from the religious establishment.

You see the pattern I'm sure. That's why, according to T.W. Hunt, the Charismatic movement was, in his opinion, while not agreeing with it's theological excesses at all, a real movement of God. The music evidenced it.

I finished writing. He'd finished talking. We finished our ice-cream. But I've never forgotten that day and what he had said. I wrote it down remember. I think time has shown the validity of T. W.'s view of the history of revival. Look at the music we're singing now. I wonder where revival will happen next? I know it will have it's own music. I know some won't like it. For a while anyway.

Enjoy this from T.W. I did!

The Mind of Christ - 13 "It Is Finished" - YouTube

Paul B.


Richard Nations said...

Bro. Paul, During our time at Southcliff (81-84) we knew of Bro. TW, but I did not meet him. I might have heard him preach or teach once or twice, but really didn't know him. Later when working in denomnational work for 18 years at Baptist Conv. of Iowa I was at LifeWay many times and met TW several occasions. I had the privilege of hosting him for pastors retreats in Iowa and we were friends and would see each other at Ridgecrest, Glorieta and Nashville in all those discipleship meetings we were in every year or so. His character shines through as he teaches. I love to hear him teach on The Mind of Christ, which is his "life message." One of the retreats we heard him speak in at the Amana Colonies in Iowa was with his daughter Melana and they spoke of "looking forward to going home to Heaven." His daughter had successfully battled cancer and TW's wife had passed away recently I believe. Anyway, he's a fine man and I've been privilved to know him. There were a lot of fine preachers and teachers being introduced to us during those seminary years. Southciff was a good place to go to church for seminarians and their wives.

Paul Burleson said...


What a delight to hear from you.

Those were very special times at Southcliff and when the pulpit committee first talked with us about coming, Mary and I agreed that one of our desires was to bring in men and women who would expose to seminarians a wide range of ideas beyond what might be the typical for them.

Then, after arriving in Fort Worth, we found that a lot of the non-typical we desired was already available on campus through people like T.W, Hunt, Roy Fish, Oscar Thompson, and that just begins the list.

I could post MANY further stories about them all.

Thanks again and stay in touch, please!

Aussie John said...


I agree with what T.W, believed, but, must confess that I have been on both ends of the debate to some small degree.

My only gripe, in bygone days, with some of the newer songs was the continued repetition of phrases and words that had no subject, or if they did, the subject was "ME", "ME","ME".

I studied everything I could find on revival, and still want to see it in my lifetime, but, as I've told people many times, when it comes many will either reject it outright, or hold strong reservations for a long time.

For myself,coming to grips with the New Covenant has made my walk much more real what theology has taught.

The resistence to anything that rocks our set-in-concrete theological complacenct arrogance in mind when I began my latest blog, about the New Covenant,with these words:

"I can never remember reading about any light being shone in understanding theological matters, no matter how orthodox, without there being, at least some, charges of heresy, or something similar. There seems to be a tendency to jump to conclusions about what someone says or writes, without careful examination of the teaching, or facts".

Aussie John said...


Oh! Shame!

The sentence beginning "For myself," should read, "For myself,coming to grips with the New Covenant has made my walk much more real than the theory of theology."