Southern Baptist Theologians and Original Sin
Toronto Studies in Theology S. No.93
Several recent studies have analyzed the theology of Southern Baptists and have attempted to classify the various Southern Baptist theologians into categories. Some writers have appealed to certain theologians as sources of authority or have vilified them by claiming that they have turned Baptists away from a biblical theology. This work seeks to examine how Southern Baptist Theologians, James Petigru Boyce, Walter Thomas Conner, Edgar Young Mullins, and Dale Moody have addressed original sin in order to critically analyze a specific doctrine that is important to Baptists. The author does not seek to politicize their views or determine which theological approach might be more profitable for Southern Baptists. The researcher provides a detailed analysis of each theologian's view, and discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each view. The researcher then highlights the overall weaknesses of the views and suggests areas that Southern Baptist Theologians might need to address in more detail in order to formulate a more adequate doctrine of original sin.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
"Mark Gstohl has undertaken a noble task, because writing about Southern Baptist theology can be tricky business. The denomination has established a significant presence primarily in the United States since its beginning, almost 160 years ago. Domestic membership tops sixteen million and churches number more than forty-two thousand.l Although big numbers and a history that spans three centuries may impress the casual observer, those data -coupled with a denominational tradition elevating evangelism over theological precision -can frustrate even diehard students of theological history. Specifically, the denomination's juggernaut of growth and development conceals a diverse and tension-filled theological heritage... Mark Gstohl's work is contextually and theologically cogent. It broadens the reader's scope of view regarding the SBC theological tradition and provides a good corrective to diluted, ignorant, and narrow perspectives. Further, it illuminates pertinent questions and issues regarding Southern Baptists' perceptions of original sin. This is a good corrective, too. A studied, fully orbed Southern Baptist understanding of the doctrine of original sin is needed greatly, especially as the denomination deals with other potentially tension-creating, theological issues (e.g., the relationship of conservative SBC theology to moderate Calvinism). Mark Gstohl's work provides such an understanding." - (from the Commendatory Preface) Earl Waggoner, Ph.D., Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary"