For a biographical summary of Dr. Dockery, go here.
My topic is to reflect on what has happened in the last 30 years in the SBC and in particular the Baptist Reformation. I want to talk about seven broad categories about renewal, consensus and cooperation.
A Call for Renewal, Consensus and Cooperation
1. The Southern Baptist Convention: An Introduction
2. Southern Baptist History: An Overview, 1845-1979
* Charleston Tradition (Sandy Creek)
* Landmarkism (J. R. Graves and Him Pendleton)
* Baptist Why and Why Not (J. M. Frost, along with Eaton and Kerfoot)
* Baptists sided with the Fundamentalists (E. Y. Mullins)
* Baptist Faith and Message (1925)
* Million More in ’54
3. The SBC Since 1979: Paradigmatic Changes
* Very unexpected turn with election of Dr. Adrian Rogers as President of the SBC
* SBC strengthened by the 1978 Chicago Statement of Inerrancy
* Jimmy Draper (1982-83) called for a meeting of conservatives and liberals
* Books and journals documented the controversy
* Peace Report (1985-87) – very large committee
* 1986 Glorietta Statement (most surprising event of entire controversy)
* 1991 Covenant Statement at Southern Seminary
* The New American Commentary (by Broadman and Holman) – mainly only for the book of Genesis
4. Fragmentation in the SBC: Beyond Moderates and Conservatives
* Fundamentalists, Evangelicals, Moderates and Liberals
* Moderates (loyalists, pragmatists, centrists evangelicals, baptist women in ministry, broad-minded ecumenicals)
* Conservatives (a loose knit coalition of several groups, namely Fundamentalists, Revivalists, Non-Calvinists, Orthodox Evangelical (Henry, Ockenga, Graham), Calvinists (reclaim the “Charleston tradition” – “IX Marks, Sovereign Grace, Founders, etc.), Contemporary Church Models (Purpose Driven, Seeker-Sensitive), and Culture Warriors)
* Most every president of the SBC came out of the non-Calvinist group.
* Now that resurgence is complete, we need a renewed identity for Southern Baptists
5. The Breakdown of the Cultural and Programmatic Consensus: Where We Found Ourselves at the End of the 20th Century
* Multiple Bible translations
* Impact of parachurch groups (Navigators, Campus Crusade for Christ)
* Diversity of Music
* Varied worship patterns
* “Heroes”/”Models” outside of SBC life
* By and large, Southern Baptists today do not know our Baptist heritage and theological identity
6. Toward Consensus and Cooperation: Primary and Secondary Matters
* We are both beneficiaries and victims of tradition.
* We must seeks to establish a new consensus lest we drift apart.
* We need to make markers of Southern Baptist Identity as well as Southern Baptist Consistency.
* We need to reestablish core markers of core and fundamental doctrines (primarily the Gospel).
* Ultimate danger comes from rising tides of liberalism, neo-paganism, and postmodernism.
7. A Proposal of Renewal for the 21st Century SBC: Guidance and Hope
* Learn and appreciate the best of Baptist history and heritage.
* The material and formal principles constitute not only a center but also boundaries (R. Albert Mohler).
* New consensus must be built ona full-orbed doctrine of Scripture (sufficiency of Scripture).
* Southern Baptist theology and spirituality rests on Scripture as the central legitmizing source of the Christian faith and theology.
* Defining the circumference is necessary, but we should not demand uniformity.
* We must build a new consensus that is grounded in the gospel.
* Commitment to the Bible is not enough.
* We need to clearly affirm the priority of regenerate church membership, of cooperation and autonomy, of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
* We have failed to take seriously the call to unity (John 17, Ephesians 4) in accord with the Nicene affirmation and oneness
* Southern Baptist braggadocio needs to take a back seat.
* We have a need for racial reconciliation.
* Were it not for the Conservative Resurgence, we would have lost the gospel and been untethered to the Scriptures.
* We need a renewed spirit of mutual respect. It is possible to hold hands with brothers with whom we disagree on secondary and tertiary matters.
* We need a like-mindedness on first order issues–particularly the exclusivity of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
* We need to evidence the gospel but by living it out (we need not only a renewed orthodoxy but a renewed orthopraxy).