When the Southern Baptist Convention met in 1962, messengers adopted a significant motion reaffirming their faith “in the entire Bible as the authoritative, authentic, infallible Word of God.” A separate motion registered their objection to “the dissemination of theological views in any of our seminaries which would undermine such faith in the historical accuracy and doctrinal integrity of the Bible.” In an address on May 23 to the Pastors’ Conference of the annual convention, held in Detroit, Dr. Clark H. Pinnock, of the New Testament department of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, pointed out that belief in biblical inspiration and authority lies at the heart of Southern Baptists’ historic witness and is crucial to the very nature of Christianity. “By its clear stand for biblical authority, this convention of churches holds out to a drifting world an anchor, and to a sick world a remedy,” he said. “Let us continue to believe the Book inspired of God, and increase the clarity of our conviction regarding it.”

Professor Pinnock’s remarks deserve a hearing beyond Southern Baptist circles, and we therefore reproduce them here:

Far from diminishing in intensity, the problem of authority continues to grow in the theological arena toward the closing decades of the twentieth century. Excursions into radical and speculative theology become daily more frequent. Exponents of unbiblical religious systems operate from beneath the umbrellas of the great Protestant denominations with increasing boldness. The chaotic state of American theology today can be traced directly back to an underlying uncertainty about revelation and authority. Our decision to uphold the divine integrity of Scripture must not be left to rest in the minutes ...

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