The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. -Psalm 119:160
6. Does inerrancy matter?
Conservatives hold that if you do not believe in inerrancy, you open yourselves up for all types of doctrinal deviation. The divinely inspired, inerrant Bible is our supreme rule of faith and practice.
Believe there are errors in the Bible, and then you have to pick out those errors. What is true and what is false? You then become the judge of the Bible, rather than the Bible judging you.
History has shown that when a church, seminary, or denomination ceases to believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, it begins a slow (or rapid) decline into theological confusion and liberalism. The first generation or two may remain fairly orthodox, future generations do not.
7. Were small church pastors involved in the CR?
Some have said they weren’t. They were.
“Small-church and bi-vocational pastors. The backbone of the conservative movement was this group who acted as faithful servants of the Lord. These pastors had nothing personally to gain but gave of all they had because of their deep convictions. I know of some who would drive to SBC meetings, eating peanut butter sandwiches the entire trip and sleeping in their cars. These could afford neither meals in restaurants nor hotel rooms. Their dedication provided the margin of victory. Their praise will not be on this earth but before the throne of grace.” -Paul Pressler, A Hill On Which To Die, B&H; p. 284.
My dad is one of many, many examples of small church pastors who were actively involved in the Conservative Resurgence:
“Joe Brumbelow was proud to have been involved in the conservative resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). He and Bonnie attended each year’s convention, though for them to do so was a financial sacrifice…To Brother Joe this controversy was not just a fight among preachers. It was a very spiritual issue. He believed that if the SBC turned from its commitment to the truthfulness of Scripture, we also would lose the zeal to win people to the Lord. If we don’t believe in Hell, we do not have much need for a Savior.” -Wit and Wisdom of Pastor Joe Brumbelow, Hannibal Books; p. 34.
8. Some moderates have charged that in 1979 conservatives only won because of voter fraud.
The SBC Peace Committee was made up of moderates, conservatives, and those who were neutral in the CR. They investigated these allegations:
“The Committee investigated numerous charges of political malfeasance and voter irregularity. It heard a detailed report, complete with statistical analysis, on messenger participation at annual meetings, presented by the SBC Registration Secretary and Convention Manager, as well as the chairman of a special study committee appointed by the SBC Executive Committee. Although the reports included isolated instances of registration and ballot abuse, there was no evidence of widespread or organized misuse of the ballot by any political group and no evidence of massive voter irregularities related to annual meetings.”
-Report of the Southern Baptist Convention Peace Committee, June 16, 1987, St. Louis, Missouri.
9. Some moderates accuse conservatives of busing in large numbers of messengers to vote in the 1979 SBC in Houston.
First, if they are qualified messengers, why does it matter how they travel? Whether by bus, car, or plane?
Second, no evidence of this was ever produced. I’m sure some churches and groups came by bus. But most of this charge is a figment of liberal imagination. If it makes anyone feel better, I drove my car to the 1979 convention.
10. Conservatives have been accused of being uneducated and ignorant. They don’t understand the issues.
Some conservatives, just like some moderates and liberals, are uneducated or ignorant. A favorite tactic of some moderates and liberals, however, is to condemn any conservative who dares disagree with them, as ignorant and uneducated. Often included for good measure is that conservatives also lack integrity.
For starters, this is a very arrogant, condescending attitude.
Dr. Paige Patterson and Judge Paul Pressler are highly educated and Christian men of integrity. If you hear otherwise, ask for specific examples. It usually boils down to the fact that the accuser just vehemently disagrees with them and the CR.
All six SBC seminaries are now filled with highly educated men and women who hold to the inerrancy of Scripture.
Another thought - a messenger does not have to have attended college and seminary to intelligently vote. One of the strengths of the SBC is that the common people can attend the annual meeting and vote their convictions. We do not need a convention run by the elites.
I freely acknowledge there are moderates and liberals who are well-educated and people of integrity; we just disagree on some issues. Why can’t some on their side agree to the same about conservative leaders? Let’s debate the issues, not just attack the intelligence and character of the other side.
11. Where can I learn more about the Conservative Resurgence?
1. The Baptist Reformation by Jerry Sutton, B&H (Broadman & Holman)
2. The Truth in Crises by James Hefley, Hannibal Books (several volumes; hannibalbooks.com). This series has been recommended by both sides.
3. A Hill on Which to Die by Paul Pressler, B&H.
4. Baptists and the Bible by Bush & Nettles; Moody Press; B&H.
5. Anatomy of a Reformation: The Southern Baptist Convention, 1978-2004 by Paige Patterson, SWBTS (baptisttheology.org).
6. Subscribe to the Southern Baptist Texan.
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 11, AD 2010.
Brief History of SBC Conservative Resurgence
Q & A on SBC Conservative Resurgence, part 1
Differences Between the 1963 and 2000 Baptist Faith and Message