book review CHHI 510.docx - 1 The Making of the 1963...

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1 The Making of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message. By A.J. Smith. Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2008, 253 pp., $31.00. The Making of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message was written by A.J. Smith to serve as an argument that Herschel Hobbs sought to “avert an immediate denominational split through the reformulation of key historic Baptist doctrines, wording some broadly to allow for widely divergent interpretations without sacrificing the Convention’s conservative base” (p. 2). This critique will feature several strengths and weaknesses to see if the author of the book can adequately support his work. The book focuses on three factors. The first being the influences upon the Committees of the Southern Baptist Convention that prompted change, the relation of confessions to Baptist life, and the theological significance of key changes made to the Committee document of 1963 (pp. 7- 8). Chapter one serves as an introduction as well as an explanation of how Smith performed research on the topic. It also delves into a history of the committees that were formed by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) regarding soul competency and confessionalism during the committees that met in the years 1925 and 1963. Chapter two gives the historical context of the formation of the Committee on Baptist Faith and Message. This chapter also provides

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