Book Critique_The Making of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message_DustySmith_CHHI510-B06.docx

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1 The Making of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message . By A.J. Smith. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock, 2008, 253 pp., $31.00. In his dissertation, The Making of the1963 Baptist Faith and Message, A.J. Smith sought to document the efforts of former Southern Baptist Convention president Heschel Hobbs to stabilize the SBC and avoid a denominational schism by way of leading the effort to rewrite the Baptist Faith and Message in such a way to pacify both liberal and conservative factions within the denomination (p. 2). This review will evaluate the effectiveness of Smith in his endeavor. Smith’s book explains the factors leading up to Hobbs calling for the rewrite of the BFM. A fog of uncertainty had settled over the SBC, specifically a distrust by the rank and file Baptists of the seminaries tasked with training their leaders. Controversial views by seminary professors had caused this distrust. Southern Seminary theology professor Dale Moody expressed a controversial view of apostasy, the ability of believers to lose their salvation, while at a preaching event on Oklahoma in 1961 (p. 19). Not too long after Moody, fellow professor, Ralph Elliott of Midwestern Seminary published The Message of Genesis , his book challenged the historical accuracy of the book of Genesis by asserting the first eleven chapters may be parabolic or allegorical in nature (p. 22). In addition to these theological questions, peripheral concerns

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