(By: Danny Akin & Bruce Ashford)
The great crisis of the SBC in the late 20th century was that biblical revelation itself was being attacked. The churches of the SBC met that challenge and will continue to do so. The challenge of the 21st century is not only to hold the ground won in the Conservative Resurgence, but to foster a Great Commission Resurgence. Evangelical Baptist theology goes hand-in-hand with mission. There is an inherent connection between them. Without this connection, we lose God’s blessing and its attendant spiritual power.
What is a Southern Baptist? Surely we are more than merely an indiscriminate collection of communities practicing immersion. Indeed, we are believers who by conviction stand in the Baptist tradition of historic Christianity, who believe that regenerate church membership and local church autonomy are not only biblical marks of a healthy church, but also the natural extension of the gospel. Why cooperate? We cooperate because we believe that our combined efforts are better than our efforts alone. This union is premised upon a certain doctrinal consensus, centered on the biblical gospel and underlain by Baptist ecclesiological distinctives. Toward what end? We partner together for the sake of mission, to reach the nations, including this nation. If the Conservative Resurgence does not lead to a Great Commission Resurgence, it remains incomplete.