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Are Southern Baptists Evangelicals? A Second Decadal Reassessment

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<title> ABSTRACT </title>In 1983, Southern Baptist theologians began to evaluate the relationship between Southern Baptists and American evangelicals. In 1993, the relationship between the two and the concomitant problems of identity formation were again given serious consideration. This article reviews the earlier conversations and reassesses the relationship in the second decade after the question was first raised and in light of the fact that many Southern Baptists have begun to define themselves as evangelicals. Serious reservations about a close identification are raised in light of a number of doctrinal controversies. Of especial concern are the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and the Baptist doctrine of the Church. It is suggested that Southern Baptists continue their dialogue with but maintain a healthy distance from evangelicalism. Concurrently, an expansion in dialogue with other Christian communities, including fundamentalists, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, mainline Protestants, Anabaptists, as well as other Baptists, is advocated.


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