The Making of the 1963 Baptist Faith

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


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
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This issue was doctrinal. In chapters 4 and 5, Smith takes boundless lengths to show that historically Baptists have detained that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and it alone stands as the principal authority in all substances of doctrine. This did not refute the use of confessions. Baptist associations did use confessions to express their views and differentiate themselves from other denominations. Though Baptists also contributed to the notion of soul liberty, this was not seen as a chance to advance from confessional ethics. (Pp. 11-12) In the last chapters of the book, Smith explains how a committee was developed, which was led by Hobbs, to revise the BFM of 1925. Smith shares how Hobbs’s only goal was to enhance the BFM not rewrite it. There were no main changes made. The manuscript went through numerous drafts and was done so with a combine effort of the SBTS and Mercer University. The areas that were examined with the changes were scripture, Ecclesiology, Anthropology, and Soteriology, because they were re-worded or revised in some form. (p. 13) The goal was not to make any key variations; some important balances were made. In respects to the Scriptures, the committee dampened down the Bible as inimitable revelation and only recognized it as a printed record of revelation. The emphasis was taken from scripture understanding to Jesus Christ of Nazareth being the key to
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