Southern Baptist Seminary 1859-2009
With 16.3 million members and 44,000 churches, the Southern Baptist Convention is the largest Baptist group in the world, and the largest Protestant denomination in the United States. Unlike the so-called mainstream Protestant denominations, Southern Baptists have remained stubbornly conservative, refusing to adapt their beliefs and practices to modernity's individualist and populist values. Instead, they have held fast to traditional orthodoxy in such fundamental areas as biblical inspiration, creation, conversion, and miracles. Gregory Wills argues that Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has played a fundamental role in the persistence of conservatism, not entirely intentionally. Tracing the history of the seminary from the beginning to the present, Wills shows how its foundational commitment to preserving orthodoxy was implanted in denominational memory in ways that strengthened the denomination's conservatism and limited the seminary's ability to stray from it. In a set of circumstances in which the seminary played a central part, Southern Baptists' populist values bolstered traditional orthodoxy rather than diminishing it. In the end, says Wills, their populism privileged orthodoxy over individualism. The story of Southern Seminary is fundamental to understanding Southern Baptist controversy and identity. Wills's study sheds important new light on the denomination that has played - and continues to play - such a central role in our national history.
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Abstract of Principles adopted Albert Mohler Archibald Baptist Church Baptist Courier Baptist Theological Seminary Basil Manly Jr believed Bible Bible’s Board of Trustees Boyce Papers Boyce to John Boyce’s Broadus Papers Christ Christian Index colleges controversy convention’s covenant Dale Moody Dargan denomination denomination’s doctrine Duke McCall Eaton election evangelical faculty’s faith felt folder Fuller Furman Furman University God’s Honeycutt Papers ibid interpretation interviews 28–30 Apr James Jesus Kerfoot Landmark leaders liberal McCall Papers McGlothlin meeting Memoir of Boyce moderate Mohler Mullins Mullins’s orthodoxy pastor Paul Simmons Peace Committee preachers president president’s professors progressive religion resignation Robertson Papers Roy Honeycutt Sampey SBHLA SBTS scholarship scripture seminary’s Sept South Carolina Southern Baptist Convention Southern Baptist Theological Southern Seminary taught teaching theological education traditional transcription of trustee trustee interviews 28–30 truth voted Wamble Wayne Oates Western Recorder Whitsitt William H wrote