Southern Baptist Identity [eBook]
An Evangelical Denomination Faces the Future
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 that must be upheld, the key practices that must be sustained, to reach the lost in this age of cultural accommodation?
These essays by editor David Dockery, Al Mohler, Timothy George, Russell Moore, Paige Patterson, and eleven other SBC leaders address these important issues and themes from several 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 and beyond.
DAVID S. DOCKERY has been president of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, since 1995. He is a much sought-after speaker and lecturer, a consulting editor for Christianity Today, and the author or editor of more than twenty-five books, including Southern Baptist Consensus and Renewal andTheologians of the Baptist Tradition.
“Libraries are replete with books on church history, reflections of renowned theologians and analyses of past culture and society. However, few volumes apply historical developments to an understanding of contemporary challenges and their implications on the future. Southern Baptist Identity is a valuable compilation confronting this formidable task. With contributions from notable denominational leaders, this volume acknowledges the phenomenal growth of Southern Baptists but recognizes the impact a changing world and postmodern society will have on the future of its churches and collectively on the Southern Baptist Convention. While readers will not necessarily agree with the insights and conclusions of each writer, they will find the diverse perspectives valid as they grapple with the contemporary realities of denominational life and trends.”
—Jerry Rankin, President, International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention
“The Southern Baptist Convention is preparing for a new generation of global witnesses. To understand the purpose and passion of the world’s largest cooperative network of evangelical churches, read this book. I am grateful for this scholarly insight and spiritual challenge as we seek to fulfill the Great Commission in the twenty-first century.”
—Jack Graham, pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church; former President, Southern Baptist Convention
“All Baptists should draw water from these wells of provocative essays and lectures in order to avoid historical amnesia or political euphoria. We are reminded that we dare not be content with kicking the convention can further down the road; instead, we must be forward-leaning, asking the hard questions about present and future. This work calls us to a rigorous and serious mapping of the contours of our convention road.”
—Hayes Wicker, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Naples, FL