Southern Baptists are a diverse bunch, with more than fourteen million members in forty-seven thousand autonomous churches. Spread across all fifty states, these churches vary in size, ethnic diversity, language, forms of worship, leadership models, and missions. They cooperate voluntarily for the sake of the gospel at the associational, state, and national levels.
Sometimes, Southern Baptists engage in historic struggles - over the issue of slavery, the inerrancy of Scripture, and the value of human life from conception to natural death. And, sometimes, they squabble over issues that have more to do with personal or tribal agendas than with the non-negotiable doctrines of the Christian faith.
Generally speaking, however, Southern Baptists stand together in their embrace of historic Christian beliefs expressed in a confessional statement called The Baptist Faith & Message. First issued in 1925, the BF&M has been modified - most notably in 1963 and again in 2000 - to more clearly express Southern Baptists' beliefs in the unchanging nature of God and his word in the face of cultural chaos.
This short study helps Southern Baptists appreciate the value of their confessional faith, as well as grasp the simple truths of the BF&M's eighteen articles. Designed for personal or group study, each chapter features a statement of the article, a brief commentary, and questions for further discussion.