Publication Date

Spring 5-16-2014

Degree Granted

Ed.D.

Institution Granting Degree

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Keywords

Inerrancy, Southern Baptists, Genesis, Scripture

Disciplines

Biblical Studies | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | History of Christianity | Liberal Studies | Other Education | Practical Theology | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

Comments

This dissertation was originally published in the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database. Copyright is held by the author. The document was reproduced here with his permission.

Abstract

The culmination of the resurgence within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) was finalized by adopting the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 (BFM 2000). The SBC had discovered in the 1970s and 1980s that belief in the inerrancy of the Bible was not being affirmed by their leadership, particularly within their six seminaries. After a twenty plus year battle, the SBC attempted to affirm in more precise language the inerrancy of the Bible through the BFM 2000. However, this raises the question, how has this firm commitment to the inerrancy of the Bible, as affirmed by the leadership, translated to the general membership of the SBC? The extant literature reveals a gap in the research. That is, the general membership within the SBC had not been surveyed to determine the degree to which they affirm the doctrine of inerrancy. Due to the size of the general population of the Southern Baptist Convention and limited resources, a sample population was selected – namely Florida Southern Baptists (FSB). A mixed-method analysis was conducted by surveying 502 FSB church members with a 68-question survey instrument and then formulating an expert panel to comment on the findings. The study revealed that a large percentage of FSB church members affirmed the doctrine, but the underlining beliefs were not always consistently acknowledged. There was an inconsistent understanding of Genesis1-11 and misapplication of the moral and personal living commands of the Bible. The importance of continual Christian education of the Bible and essential orthodox beliefs within the church and home can ensure that future generations will affirm a correct understanding the term of inerrancy.