Introducing SBC and the 21st Century
The Southern Baptist Convention is currently facing issues that challenge its identity, heritage, and future. In The SBC and the 21st Century, key leaders—including Jason Allen, Frank Page, Ronnie Floyd, Thom Rainer, Albert Mohler, Paige Patterson, David Platt, and Danny Akin—address critical issues such as:
- Will the SBC grow more unified around shared convictions and mission or will it fragment over secondary concerns and tertiary doctrinal differences?
- Will the SBC be able to maintain a distinct Baptist identity while engaging and partnering with the broader evangelical community?
- Will the SBC be willing to reimagine its structures, programs, and efforts to effectively reach the world for Christ or will it risk being a past-tense denomination?
This volume not only promotes meaningful dialogue, it calls leaders throughout the SBC into action. Extensive thought, research, assessment, and wisdom from some of the SBC’s brightest minds have been poured into this volume with the intent of rendering a helpful contribution to SBC life that will propel forward the collective work of Southern Baptists well into the 21st century.
Praise for the book
Here is a collection of prescient essays on the Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest protestant denomination, written by a superb team of scholar-activists. Beyond the analysis and perspective offered her, there courses through this volume a common theme: the urgency of declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ to all persons everywhere. This is the historical mission of the SBC and its future.
—Timothy George, founding dean and professor of divinity, history, and doctrine, Beeson Divinity School, and general editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture
Southern Baptists are at a critical moment in our history. Denominationally, our membership is declining, our cooperative giving is down, our global missionary force is being downsized, and our baptisms are at a generational low. Yet there are signs of spiritual renewal among us, evidenced in the ongoing theological renaissances and missional revitalization taking place in SBC congregations all over our nation. This is a time for hope, not despair. I’m grateful that The SBC and the 21st Century brings together some of the wisest voices among us to help Southern Baptists think through how we can best pursue faithfulness for the glory of God, the health of our churches, and the sake of this lost world that God so loves.
—Nathan Finn, dean of the School of Theology and Missions and professor of Christian thought and tradition, Union University
Baptist and evangelical movements have historically embraced fidelity to the timless truths of God’s Word, as well as flexibility about the best means to reach the current generation. But there is always a temptation, especially for a denomination as large as the Southern Baptist Convention, to become stagnant and nostalgic. Thus, it is heartening to see SBC leaders tackling such hard questions and contemporary challenges as those in Jason K. Allen’s stimulating book. I recommend it highly.
—Thomas S. Kidd, Distinguished Professor of History, Baylor University
Dr. Jason Allen has assembled a remarkable collection of articles by a wide range of current Southern Baptist leaders. The articles pretty much cover the landscape of Southern Baptist life and where the Convention may be headed. Southern Baptist pastors and laypeople need to be aware of current trends and projections for the future of the SBC. In these days of a changing culture and a need for revival in our churches, this volume will be of great value. You will be profited and challenged as you read it.
—Jerry Vines, pastor-emeritus, First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Florida; two-time president, Southern Baptist Convention; and president, Jerry Vines Ministries, Inc.
About Jason Allen
Jason K. Allen was elected by the Midwestern Board of Trustees as the Seminary’s fifth president on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012, becoming the youngest seminary president in the Southern Baptist Convention, and one of the youngest presidents in higher education in America. Previously, he served as the vice president for Institutional Advancement at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and executive director of the Southern Seminary Foundation.
In addition to his seminary duties, Allen has served as pastor and interim pastor of several Southern Baptist churches. Dr. Allen holds a Bachelor of Science from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., as well as Master of Divinity and Ph.D. degrees from Southern Seminary. Currently, in addition to his responsibilities as president of Midwestern Seminary, he serves the church more broadly through writing and preaching ministries.