March 2017 Book of the Month

This month I want to recommend What Happened to the Southern Baptist Convention? A Memoir of the Controversy by Grady Cothen.

This is, without a doubt, a different recommendation than usual, because Cothen is critical of the present Southern Baptist Convention.

As an adult conversion, the only SBC I have ever known is the current version. In seminary there was very little discussion of the current SBC, except in glowing terms as a denomination that came back from the brink of liberal hypocrisy, which no other denomination had done. It was the slippery slope argument, but was it true?

As a student I accepted this argument without critically looking at it because I did not have time to study the events and learn. I agreed because I liked the SBC as it is, so if a tidal shift occurred in the recent past to bring the SBC to its current version, then I certainly must have agreed with the effort and decisions of the past that brought Southern Baptists to the point we are at and would not have liked the alternative.

Since I have almost no spare time, this became the perfect time, to begin studying the events of the last thirty five years to see what happened as Cothen describes and track events as best as possible to today.

I do not recommend this book to be critical of the SBC, I recommend this book for informative purposes. Many people older than me were involved in the process and decisions, even voting as Messengers at the conventions in question. I suggest all read the book and reflect.

I have learned a considerable amount that I did not know and am not even done with the book yet. Whether you agree with Cothen or not or whether you even like Southern Baptists or love them deeply, it is good to know what you know and whether you elected to know it or had the perspective imputed into your nugget without any say in the decision yourself.