I start off this week looking ahead to a very busy couple of days. I have to wrap everything up so that Bonnie and I can go to Louisville, KY on Friday to attend the Southern Baptist Convention. This week I am spending my free time reading and preparing for the class that I will take at Southern Seminary in conjunction with the annual meeting. Here are the books that I am reading:
Baptist Reformation by Jerry Sutton
Baptists and the Bible by Russ Bush and Tom Nettles
Uneasy in Babylon by Barry Hankins
A Hill on Which to Die by Judge Paul Pressler
The class, based on my reading and the required texts, appears to be a study on the Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention, which began in 1979. Interestingly, this year’s annual meeting marks the 30th Anniversary of the 1979 SBC Annual Meeting in Houston, TX where Dr. Adrian Rogers was elected as president of the convention and marked the first time a conservative, inerrantist was elected to the Presidency. From that point to the present day, all of the elected presidents have held to the authority of Scripture.
I have just finished reading the Baptist Reformation and have been exposed to the details of the reason for the Conservative Resurgence and the truth surrounding the opposition espoused by the moderates and liberals of the convention. To say the least, reading that book has been eye-opening. I am in the process of reading the Baptists and the Bible, which is another great read. The thesis of this book is that Baptist history tells us that Baptists – from John Smyth and Roger Williams all the way to Herschel Hobbs – have believed in the full authority, trustworthiness, infallibility, and inerrancy of Scripture. It is only through the influence of the modernist theological movement with an emphasis on higher criticism in the mid-late 19th Century that influenced many Protestant theologians (including Southern Baptists) to move away from a high view of Scripture. This has given me confidence and pride to know that Baptists have been traditionally a Bible believing faith. In this regard, the Conservative Resurgence was a needed corrective against the modernist tide.
Another milestone that Bonnie and I will get to participate in is the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, of which I am a student. I am proud to be a student at a seminary that has reclaimed its heritage as a bastion of conservative theological convictions. Under the leadership of Dr. R. Albert Mohler, the school has become one of the flagship seminaries in the United States, if not the world. It will be enjoyable to finally listen and watch in person speeches and comments made by Mohler and other faculty that I respect at this event.
I am enjoying my reading and looking forward to the next few days in studying the Southern Baptist Convention and witnessing it in action at the annual meeting.