Book Critique.docx - 1 The Making of the 1963 Baptist Faith...

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1 The Making of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message . By A. J. Smith. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2008, 201pp. + xi, $31.00. In The Making of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message, A. J. Smith depicts Herschel Hobbs’s efforts as the Southern Baptist Confession (SBC) President in preventing a split in the denomination through the revision of the “Baptist Faith and Message” that incorporates both the conservative and liberal beliefs within the denomination. Opposing opinions within the Southern Baptist Confession began when two seminary professors challenged the classical and conservative interpretations reserved by a majority of SBC pastors.[1] Smith’s thesis determines that Herschel Hobbs, the revision committee chair, tend 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).[2] The author evaluates various occurrences that forced the revision and changes to the Baptist doctrine. This review will focus on the influences that developed within the Southern Baptist Committee that prompted revisions, the association between confessions and Baptist life, and the theological shifts as a result of the changes made by the Committee of 1963. The first chapter introduces the history of the Southern Baptist Convention Committees with relation to soul competency and confessionalism from 1925 to 1963. In chapter 2, the author illustrates the historical context of the creation of the Baptist Faith and Message Committee. This chapter and chapter 3 focus on these committees and the

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