The Making of the 1963 Baptist Faith

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The Making of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message (2008)

BOOK REVIEWS

The Making of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message. A. J. Smith Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2008. In the book entitled, “The Making of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message,” by A. J. Smith he begins to established in the introduction how Herschel H. Hobbs stands out as one of the most prolific writers in Southern Baptist history. (p. 1) He shares that in some sections Hobbs introduced concepts and phrases. (p.1) In others he coordinated the thinking of the committee. Throughout, he was the writer, presenting successive drafts for committee approval. (p.1) His enthusiasm for the document in whole and in part is obvious in his explanation and defense of the text in a widely used study course book. (p. 1) Smith shared how Hobbs transformed the message and faith of the Baptist denomination to avoid a division. He shared how Hobbs wanted to satisfy the conservatives and liberals. In the Preview of the work, Smith shares that in Chapter 2 the historical context for the formation of the committee on Baptist Faith and Message will be examined. (p. 10) He introduces in this chapter the Apostasy Controversy surrounded around two Southern Baptist Theological Seminary professors Dale Moody and Ralph Elliott. Professor Dale Moody adopted an ecumenical viewpoint which appeared to contest long-held understandings regarding the perpetual safekeeping of the believer. Professor Ralph Elliott distributed The Message of Genesis which denied Mosaic writing and construed the first eleven chapters of Genesis as metaphorical. This lead to a pandemonium as many began to wonder why men who held to such beliefs were not required to succumb to the BFM. (Pp.10-11) In chapter 3 Smith shares the concerns faced by the committee, this included: (1) racism and the Civil Rights Movement; (2) global…...

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