Following up briefly on yesterday’s The Criterion, I note a couple of ideas on doctrinal accountability current in bygone days of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary was created in 1859 – 4 years after the founding of the SBC in 1845). At its founding, the school required faculty members to teach “in accordance with and not contrary to” its confession of faith, the Abstract of Principles. James Petigru Boyce (first president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) wrote, “It is therefore, gentlemen, in perfect consistency with the position of Baptists, as well as of Bible Christians, that the test of doctrine I have suggested to you should be adopted. It is based upon principles and practices sanctioned by the authority of Scripture and by the usage of our people. In so doing, you will be acting simply in accordance with propriety and righteousness. You will infringe the rights of no man, and you will secure the rights of those who have established here an instrumentality for the production of sound ministry. It is no hardship to those who teach here to be called upon to sign the declaration of their principles, for there are fields of usefulness open elsewhere to every man, and none need accept your call who can not conscientiously sign your formulary.” (Memoir of James Petigru Boyce, pp. 140-141)