The Making of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message

Overview

Questions regarding the orthodoxy of Dale Moody and Ralph Elliott propelled the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) toward a re-evaluation of its doctrinal statement, the Baptist Faith and Message (BFM). The SBC adopted this document in 1925 under the leadership of E. Y. Mullins when faced by the challenge of modernism. This dissertation argues that the 1962 Committee on Baptist Faith and Message produced a document that expressed subtle shifts in Baptist theology. This shift had the effect of assuring the ...

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Overview

Questions regarding the orthodoxy of Dale Moody and Ralph Elliott propelled the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) toward a re-evaluation of its doctrinal statement, the Baptist Faith and Message (BFM). The SBC adopted this document in 1925 under the leadership of E. Y. Mullins when faced by the challenge of modernism. This dissertation argues that the 1962 Committee on Baptist Faith and Message produced a document that expressed subtle shifts in Baptist theology. This shift had the effect of assuring the conservative base while allowing enough latitude in interpretation for those serving in the academy to teach more "progressive" views.After a first, introductory chapter, chapters 2 and 3 trace the historical developments leading to the formation of the Committee. Biblical inspiration and interpretation were key concerns, but as chapter 3 demonstrates, other concerns drew the attention of the Committee. Chapters 4 and 5 deal with the ever-sensitive issue of the relationship between Baptist confessionalism, soul liberty, and soul competency. Each chapter examines how Baptist confessionalism functioned in relation to these concepts.Chapter 6 examines in detail the work of the Committee itself and looks at those persons or groups who influenced the outcome of the Committee's work. Of special note are the contributions made by Wayne Ward, Leo Garrett, the religion faculty of Mercer University , and the theology faculty of Southern Seminary.Chapter 7 examines four areas where the 1963 BFM altered the confessional expression of Baptist doctrines: (1) Scripture; (2) Man; (3) Salvation; (4) The Church. Chapter 8 is the conclusion. Four appendices contain early drafts of the Committee's work.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556354267
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/2008
  • Pages: 266
  • Sales rank: 1,316,617
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

ALMER JESSE SMITH is Associate Pastor of Worship and Administration at Seven Springs Baptist Church, Calera, Alabama, and Adjunct Professor of Church History for Liberty Theological Seminary's Distance Learning Program. He taught at Simmons College of Kentucky from 2004 to 2006 and has spoken before professional societies on Baptist history, systematic theology, and patristic theology. He has authored an article that appears in the new Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary.

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Table of Contents


Preface ix List of Abbreviations xi
1 Introduction 1
2 Historical Crisis Leading to the Formation of the Committee on Baptist Faith and Message 15
3 Concerns Faced by the Committee 40
4 Confessional Accountability and Soul Liberty 61
5 Confessional Accountability and Soul Competency 85
6 The Work of the Committee on Baptist Faith and Message 116
7 Substantive Changes in the Baptist Faith and Message 135
8 Conclusion 154 Appendix 1 Baptist Faith and Message: The Ward Annotated Recension 159 Appendix 2 Baptist Faith and Message: The Mercer University Annotated Draft 170 Appendix 3 Comparison of Drafts as Received 181 Appendix 4 A Declaration of Basic Beliefs James Leo Garrett 196 Bibliography 203
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