Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Paige Patterson and the Southern Baptists

My guess is that 99% of the people out there who call themselves "Southern Baptist" do not really know what has taken place in the denomination over the past 27 years. An even greater concern is that many are completely unaware of what was taking place prior to the changes that began to really take shape in the late 70's. Paige Patterson, probably the most visible figure involved in the changes, has written a new booklet called Anatomy of a Reformation that describes some of the details from his own perspective. Dr. Al Mohler writes about Patterson's work today in his column.

I would also guess that a very high percentage of Baptists who have ill feelings toward the Southern Baptist Convention or who have actually left the convention over various issues do not know the real details behind the scene. On the surface what is often talked about is not really the issue that was boiling beneath the surface. Two other books I would highly recommend concerning the larger picture:

1. Baptist Reformation by Jerry Sutton. This book is a look at various aspects of the changes that have taken place written by Sutton, a Nashville-area pastor.

2. Baptists and the Bible by Bush and Nettles. This book dives into the deeper issues at stake as they concern the Bible and the viewpoints that were being taken by many professors in the Baptist seminaries.

There are others as well, including Paul Pressler's book, A Hill on Which to Die, but the essence of what has happened among Baptists seems lost as the issues which repeatedly surface are merely fronts for the real issue at hand: what is the Bible?

The future of Southern Baptists will rely heavily on the greater majority truly understanding what is at stake and adhering to a truly biblical doctrine concerning the Bible itself. Otherwise, we will all do what is right in our own eyes.

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