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In the Name of the Father: The Rhetoric of the New Southern Baptist Convention begins with an analysis of the 1979 Southern Baptist Convention, the watershed convention where moderate forces fell before the powerful oratory of the ultraconservative faction, which has remained in power ever since. Communication professors Carl L. Kell and L. Raymond Camp investigate the rhetorical shift from moderate to ultraconservative in the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest denomination in the South and the largest Protestant denomination in the United States.
Drawing on sermons delivered at national conventions from 1979 to the present, Kell and Camp outline the discourses of fundamentalism, inerrancy, and exclusion. These discourses, the authors assert, point to the SBC leaders’ call for a return to times before feminism and tolerance of varying sexual orientations allegedly brought chaos to society and shook believers from their theological foundations.