Dr. Charles (Chuck) Quarles, Vice President for Integration of Faith and Learning at Louisiana College and Dean of the Caskey School of Divinity, has written a clear and helpful article on what Baptists believe regarding divine sovereignty and human responsibility in salvation titled, “What Baptists Believe.” Quarles cites both the New Hampshire Baptist Confession and the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 in expounding what Baptists believe.
For the last one hundred and seventy-five years, Baptists in the South have primarily relied on two written confessions to express their beliefs about the complicated subject of divine sovereignty and human responsibility. These confessions are the New Hampshire Baptist Confession of 1833 (slightly revised in 1853 and hereafter referred to as NHBC) and the Baptist Faith and Message that was adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1925 and revised in 1963 and again in 2000 (hereafter the BFM; quotations are from the 2000 revision). The NHBC is the mother of the BFM. The 1925 statement recommended that “the New Hampshire Confession of Faith, revised at certain points, and with some additional articles growing out of certain needs” be adopted by the Convention. Much of the wording of the NHBC was copied directly into the BFM. In cases in which questions about the meaning of the BFM arise, the NHBC may serve as a helpful guide to the correct interpretation. Consequently, when the intent of the BFM is unclear, appeal will be made to the NHBC.
I highly recommend reading the article as its honest and irenic tone will encourage all of us in the days ahead.
Quarles’ website is ExpoundingtheWord.com You can read the full article here.