Southern Baptist Identity: An Evangelical Denomination Faces the Future

Overview

What was once a small, southern, predominantly white denomination has become America's largest evangelical denomination. Yet with the Southern Baptist Convention's growth have come the challenges of increasing fragmentation, theological controversy, and sweeping cultural change. These challenges have caused leaders and members to ask: What does it mean to be a Southern Baptist in the twenty-first century? How can a fresh consensus be established from within? What are the core biblical convictions that must be ...

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Southern Baptist Identity: An Evangelical Denomination Faces the Future

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Overview

What was once a small, southern, predominantly white denomination has become America's largest evangelical denomination. Yet with the Southern Baptist Convention's growth have come the challenges of increasing fragmentation, theological controversy, and sweeping cultural change. These challenges have caused leaders and members to ask: What does it mean to be a Southern Baptist in the twenty-first century? How can a fresh consensus be established from within? What are the core biblical convictions that must be upheld, the key practices that must be sustained, to reach the lost in this age of cultural accommodation?

These essays by editor David Dockery, Al Mohler, Timothy George, Russell Moore, Paige Patterson, and eleven other SBC leaders address these important issues and themes from several perspectives. Their observations will illuminate the way not only for fellow Southern Baptists but for all evangelicals facing similar challenges in the twenty-first century and beyond.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

"Libraries are replete with books on church history, reflections of renowned theologians and analyses of past culture and society. However, few volumes apply historical developments to an understanding of contemporary challenges and their implications on the future. Southern Baptist Identity is a valuable compilation confronting this formidable task. With contributions from notable denominational leaders, this volume acknowledges the phenomenal growth of Southern Baptists but recognizes the impact a changing world and postmodern society will have on the future of its churches and collectively on the Southern Baptist Convention. While readers will not necessarily agree with the insights and conclusions of each writer, they will find the diverse perspectives valid as they grapple with the contemporary realities of denominational life and trends."
Jerry Rankin, President, International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention

"The Southern Baptist Convention is preparing for a new generation of global witnesses. To understand the purpose and passion of the world's largest cooperative network of evangelical churches, read this book. I am grateful for this scholarly insight and spiritual challenge as we seek to fulfill the Great Commission in the twenty-first century."
Jack Graham, pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church; former President, Southern Baptist Convention

"All Baptists should draw water from these wells of provocative essays and lectures in order to avoid historical amnesia or political euphoria. We are reminded that we dare not be content with kicking the convention can further down the road; instead, we must be forward-leaning, asking the hard questions about present and future. This work calls us to a rigorous and serious mapping of the contours of our convention road."
Hayes Wicker, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Naples, FL

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433506796
  • Publisher: Crossway
  • Publication date: 6/8/2009
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

David S. Dockery (PhD, University of Texas) has been president of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, since 1995. He is a much sought-after speaker and lecturer, a consulting editor for Christianity Today, and the author or editor of more than twenty-five books, including Southern Baptist Consensus and Renewal and Theologians of the Baptist Tradition.

R. Albert Mohler Jr. (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as the ninth president of Southern Seminary and as the Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology. Considered a leader among American evangelicals by Time and Christianity Today magazines, Dr. Mohler hosts a daily radio program for the Salem Radio Network and also writes a popular daily commentary on moral, cultural, and theological issues. Both can be accessed at www.albertmohler.com.

GREGORY A. WILLS was appointed to the faculty of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1997 where he serves as Associate Professor of Church History. He holds degrees from Duke University (BS, ThM), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (MDiv), and Emory University (PhD) and has contributed to several theological journals.

Timothy George is the founding dean of Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School, where he teaches theology and church history. He serves as general editor for Reformation Commentary on Scripture and has written more than twenty books. His textbook Theology of the Reformers is the standard textbook on Reformation theology in many schools and seminaries.

Russell D. Moore is the eighth president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the moral and public policy agency of the nation's largest Protestant denomination. A widely-sought commentator, Dr. Moore has been called "vigorous, cheerful, and fiercely articulate" by the Wall Street Journal. He is the author of several books, including The Kingdom of Christ, Adopted for Life, and Tempted and Tried, and he blogs regularly at RussellMoore.com. He and his wife, Maria, have four sons.

Daniel L. Akin is the president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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Table of Contents

Contributors 9

Preface 11

Introduction: Southern Baptists in the Twenty-first Century David S. Dockery 13

Part 1 Theological and Historical Perspectives

1 Southern Baptist Identity: Is There a Future? R. Albert Mohler Jr. 25

2 Southern Baptist Identity: A Theological Perspective R. Stanton Norman 43

3 Southern Baptist Identity: A Historical Perspective Gregory A. Wills 65

4 Is Jesus a Baptist? Timothy George 89

5 Learning from Nineteenth-Century Baptists Russell D. Moore 105

6 Learning from the Anabaptists Paige Patterson 123

7 The Roots of Baptist Beliefs James Leo Garrett Jr. 139

Part 2 Ministry and Convention Perspectives

8 Axioms of a Cooperating Southern Baptist Morris H. Chapman 159

9 Toward a Missional Convention Ed Stetzer 175

10 The Future of the Traditional Church Jim Shaddix 203

11 Evangelism and Church Growth in the SBC Thom S. Rainer 217

12 The Future of State Conventions and Associations Michael Day 223

13 A Free Church in a Free Society Richard Land 243

14 Priorities for a Post-Resurgence Convention Nathan A. Finn 257

Conclusion: A Future-Directed Proposal for the SBC Daniel L. Akin 281

General Index 299

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2010

    Southern Baptist Identity Speaks of the History and Future

    Southern Baptist Identity is an anthology of articles written by current Southern Baptist leaders. It is edited by David Dockery, president of Union University. This book was compiled in 2009. This book is an attempt by conservatives of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) to plot out what should happen next in the denomination. Through the 1980s and 1990s the conservatives took control of the SBC by electing conservative presidents. Now, in this decade and beyond, the way forward needs to be planned and this book is one way to accomplish that.

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