The Making of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message book review.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. In A.J. Smith’s work, The Making of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message , the author explores the great attempts made by H. Hobbs to avoid division between the liberal and conservative groups, within the Southern Baptist denomination, through his alteration of the Baptist Faith and Message . To do this, the author begins by investigating the causes of the rising tension between the two groups, analyzing different aspects of the debate, itself, and concludes with an in-depth review of the revisions that were made. As this book functions, primarily, as a retelling of the history of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message revision, it makes sense that the structure would follow the narrative of events that took place before, during, and after the changes made by H. Hobbs. Smith’s work begins by analyzing the root of the conflict. The origins of the 1963 BFM controversy sprung up as a result of two Southern Baptist Seminary professors who were each expressing rather radical ideas regarding the authorship and form of Genesis as well as the eternal security of believers. Their positions on the, above stated, topics led to many believers to ask themselves, should professors be forced to conform to the BFM or ought they be granted some level of academic freedom to explore Biblical interpretation? This controversy began to make more and more of a wave as people began to realize it was not as simple as giving professors the freedom to research, but, it

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