Southern Baptist Convention Conservative Resurgence

Southern Baptist Convention Conservative Resurgence

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) experienced an intense struggle for control of the resources and ideological direction of the now sixteen million member denomination. The campaign began around 1960. It was launched with the charge that the seminaries and denominational agencies were dominated by liberals. Its initiators called it a Conservative Resurgence while its detractors have labeled it a Fundamentalist Takeover. The movement was primarily aimed at reorienting the denomination away from a perceived liberal trajectory and towards an unambiguous affirmation of biblical inerrancy.

It was achieved by the systematic election, beginning in 1979, of conservative individuals to lead the Southern Baptist Convention. Theologically moderate and liberal leaders were voted out of office. Though some senior employees were fired from their jobs, most were replaced through attrition. All moderate and liberal presidents, professors, department heads, etc., of Southern Baptist seminaries, mission groups and other convention-owned institutions were replaced with conservatives. The Takeover/Resurgence was the most serious controversy ever to occur within the Southern Baptist Convention—the largest Protestant denomination in the United States. One of its chief architects later described it as a "reformation…achieved at an incredibly high cost."

Read more about Southern Baptist Convention Conservative ResurgenceEarlier 20th Century Controversies, Background, Controversy Chronology, State Conventions React, Assessments, See Also

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