Book Critique The Making of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message.docx

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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. Liberty University The Making of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message, written by A. J. Smith, was written as an explanation of Herschel H. Hobbs attempt to appease both the conservative and liberal constituents of Southern Baptist denomination. Furthermore, it can be said the Hobbs main goal was to prevent division all together within the realms of the Southern Baptist community. Smith’s work argues that Herschel Hobbs through his work on the Baptist Faith Message (BFM) 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. Smith’s attempt is to discuss ideas that lead to the revision of the 1963 BFM, while providing background and evidence to controversies leading to the change, ultimately leads to his final explanation of the revisions made. Smith lays out the groundwork showing that historically Baptists have viewed the Bible as the sole authority over all theological doctrine. This fact is overshadowed by two Southern

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