Some of my earliest memories are of the magazine, Sword of the Lord, arriving in the mail and of my preacher dad poring over it. He often used some of the material in his sermons. As I grew a little older we would practically fight over who got to look it over first.
Some of my early convictions and beliefs were formed from articles in the Sword. We, however, also felt free to disagree with it, and did that as well.
Dr. John R. Rice was the founder and editor of the Sword of the Lord, founding it in the 1930s. Rice was a Southern Baptist preacher who eventually left the SBC to become an independent Baptist or a Fundamentalist. Rice never hesitated to reveal cases of liberalism in the SBC.
John R. Rice (1895-1980) was educated at Decatur Baptist College (now Dallas Baptist University), Baylor University, University of Chicago, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He authored over 200 books and pamphlets. He was an evangelist and a personal soul-winner.
Some would subscribe, get mad at an article, cancel their subscription, then later give in and subscribe again. I recall one preacher who must have done that a half dozen times!
Many credit John R. Rice with having significant influence, though indirect, in the Conservative Resurgence in the SBC. Most every conservative SBC leader had subscribed to the Sword of the Lord through the years. Such conservative leaders include Adrian Rogers, Jerry Vines, Paige Patterson.
Since 1980 the Sword of the Lord has changed in some directions and is not what it used to be. Some years ago one of John R. Rice’s daughters wrote an open letter expressing the dismay of many at the way the Sword had changed. For example, the Sword of the Lord is now King James Only, a position never taken by Rice or his close associate Robert L. Sumner. Today the Sword is more separated from Southern Baptists. Rice used to often feature Southern Baptists authors, past and present.
John R. Rice and the Sword of the Lord; Part 2
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, November 8, AD 2011.
Brief History of SBC Conservative Resurgence
Deacons - Basic Baptist Doctrines
Ancient Wine and the Bible