While newbies in the Southern Baptist Convention might not remember the denominational explosion in 1979 when Adrian Rogers was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the senior generation of Southern Baptists surely does. A cataclysmic shift took place within the infrastructure of power in the convention ultimately leading to the “takeover” of America’s largest evangelical denomination by theologically conservative representatives. The theological notion at stake—according to most grassroots Southern Baptists at the time—was the full inspiration and total truthfulness of Scripture, a notion captured by the single word inerrancy.
The issue of biblical inerrancy was not just a theological issue among Southern Baptists. Indeed two years prior to Southern Baptists’ launch of what came to be called the “Conservative Resurgence,” the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (ICBI) was founded to “clarify and defend the doctrine of biblical inerrancy.” Consequently, approximately 300 scholars, theologians, and pastor-theologians with a decidedly interdenominational profile made up the original summit in Chicago on October 26-27, 1978 culminating in the first of three historic documents being signed and published–The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. Continue reading →