Detractors from the overall program of ensuring that the Southern Baptist Convention does not forsake the principles regained during the Conservative Resurgence often note the absurdity of believing that Southern Baptists believe in anything less than the authority and infallibility of the Bible. In doing so, they miss the current point of contention. The concern is not, and has never been for the past twenty years or so, whether or not Southern Baptists are giving up on their stated belief in the inerrancy of the Bible. Nor is the worry over whether or not we have left behind the fundamentals of the faith, like the virgin birth and penal substitutionary atonement of Christ. Rather, the problem is something like this: we say we believe them while failing to apply them to all areas of life.
There’s a common misconception going around in some circles that anyone who professes Christ yet believes women can be called to the pastorate or preach to men cannot be a true Christian. This is demonstrably untrue. When people believe that women can be preachers called by God it doesn’t necessarily mean those people aren’t Christian, it just means they’re wrong.
But what do the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention think? Southern Baptists reached an agreement about this issue a long time ago and they believe it’s not only theologically incorrect to have women preach, but sinful for women to take up the role of preaching as it goes against explicit commands given in God’s word. This is why women preaching in the Southern Baptist Convention is such an obviously divisive issue.
IN THE INERRANCY CONTROVERSY that shook the SBC beginning in 1979, Southern Baptists divided over what it meant to be a Baptist. When Southern Baptists leaders polarized amid the conservative effort to make belief in inerrancy a condition of denominational service, their posture toward the inerrancy initiative derived in large measure from their understanding of Baptist identity. Conservatives believed that moderates had departed from the Baptist tradition and moderates felt the same way about conservatives. Each party in the conflict claimed to be true Baptists and claimed the imprimatur of Baptist tradition.
In this podcast episode, Christ the Center welcomes, “seminary presidents Albert Mohler and Peter Lillback to discuss the role of the seminary in today’s world.”
God blessed the Southern Baptist Convention with victory in a battle for the Bible during the Conservative Resurgence. But theological giants from that era now warn of a looming threat outside of the concern for defending the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture. Two of the most prominent figures in the SBC and leaders during the CR are Thomas J. Nettles and R. Albert Mohler, Jr. Both of these men took uncompromising stands on the doctrine of inerrancy during the CR. But both of these men now warn of a new threat in the SBC and evangelicalism.
In this podcast episode of Christ the Center, non-SBC author, “Darryl G. Hart speaks about J. Gresham Machen’s classic work, Christianity and Liberalism. In becoming familiar [with] the content and historical context of this book, people will gain an understanding not only of twentieth century Presbyterianism but also of global Christianity to a degree. And in contemplating the lessons of this era, people will also be better equipped to meet the challenges that face the contemporary church.”
This post is the third in a series addressing New Liberalism and the Southern Baptist Convention. “New Liberalism” is a catch-all term for what some see as a theological threat similar to the liberalism of the previous century. This series does not assume that New Liberalism is in the SBC, but is intended to more clearly delineate the concept of New Liberalism in relation to the SBC.
If secondary, tertiary, and social matters of the Christian faith have come to the center of theological discourse within the SBC, then one cannot escape discussing them. The New Liberalism forces itself upon us. With it comes the exaltation of psychology and sociology in relation to the tenets of a strictly biblical Christian worldview. The idea is that ‘all truth is God’s truth,’ which is true enough in and of itself. However, the approach of the New Liberalism is prone to place parity between the authority of what we derive from nature and the authority of what we derive from Scripture such that the mind of man becomes the measure of all things, including Scripture. In such a system, the word of God is no longer the normative interpretive tool of the word of God, but the word of man, divorced from all but the ethical imperatives of Scripture. Works-righteousness is emphasized, and grace is de-emphasized, soteriologically and hermeneutically, as it were.
In the video explained through this article, “Mohler offers ten points on complementarianism in our denominational life.”
According to the Youtube description, Battle For The Minds is a “[d]ocumentary about Fundamentalist Takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention and their attempt to keep women out of the ministry.”