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 and key practices that must be upheld to reach the lost in this age of cultural accommodation?
These essays by editor David Dockery, Al Mohler, Timothy George, Ed Stetzer, Danny Akin, and eleven other SBC spokesmen address such important issues and themes from diverse 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.
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Table of Contents
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