As a Southern Baptist, I really appreciate the sentiments expressed in Douglas Bakerâ€™s Baptist Press essay, â€œSemper Reformanda: more than a phrase.â€ His basic contention is that the Southern Baptist conservative resurgence will have been for naught if a continuing reformation does not ensue. He writes:
The affluence and leisure of modern church life make it all the more difficult to evangelize and disciple people who find Broadway more exciting than the Bible. The logic proceeds that if people are still attending Broadway shows and movies, then the church had better mimic such venues or else the sanctuary of today will be the museum of tomorrow.
To assuage this fear, many churches have sought a dynamic alchemy of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and â€œbiblicalâ€ preaching brought to you by the local Baptist church. For the most part, this has failed . . .
The question remains: Is theological conservatism SBC style compatible with healthy churches who aggressively work for biblical preaching and discipleship beyond the level of theological pabulum? The SBC needs only to look at other theologically conservative denominations such as the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) and see their rapid growth (fueled by some former Southern Baptists who left the denomination) for an answer.
This is hard-hitting, good stuff. Semper Reformanda!