Thursday, April 20


The Southern Baptist Convention is losing steam. Baptisms are down for the fifth time in six years.

"An honest evaluation of the data leads us to but one conclusion," Rainer wrote in the Spring 2005 issue of The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. "The conservative resurgence has not resulted in a more evangelistic denomination."
The convention has not reached the 400,000-baptism plateau since 2000, the year it revised the Baptist Faith & Message to narrow theological parameters in place since the statement's last revision in 1963.

This was the topic of one of my very first posts because it's been a heart sore for me for many years. A once-great force for spreading the Gospel has been decimated by its alignment with the religious right in seeking political power and influence. What a sad response to Christ's commission that we leave everything worldly behind in order to follow him.

Hat tip to Dr. Bruce Prescott.


Blogger D.R. said...

So have the breakaway groups done much better than the SBC? Are the numbers of baptisms in the CBF much greater than they were last year? For your statements to be true, you would have to demonstrate that all things being equal the singular reason for the downturn is the conservative resurgence. That's pretty difficult given that all other major denominations declined last year, at a much greater rate than did the SBC. Maybe less baptisms are due to the culture. Maybe its due to its sheer size (sometimes larger companies have a harder time growing than smaller ones do). Maybe its due to many conservative members leaving for other Bible-based denominations such as the EFCA or the GBC and working in evangelistic capacities there. There are lots of reasons for such decline, but blaming it solely on the reason you have chose is actually quite illogical (especially given the other conservative denominations and their stark growth over the same period of time). The SBC has problems (with that I will not disagree), but the movement away from liberalism is not one of them (as the growth in those other denominations made clear). And in reading your previous post I wonder if you know that the early years of the resurgence were focused on ridding seminaries of professors teaching heresy such as the non-deity of Christ and the adoption theory of Christ's Sonship? Only in the last few years has the women's issue been the focal point, but sadly that is raised to a much higher plane than the other issues, even though more professors were released based on views related to Christ than on those related to women's issues.

1:06 AM  

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