A spring conference at The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original publication of Baptists and the Bible, a significant work of Baptist scholarship that traces the history of Baptists’ views on the doctrine of Scripture. In addition to celebrating this significant work, participants will discuss a renewed commitment to inerrancy among a new generation of Southern Baptists and why this core conviction is a central element of Baptists’ cooperative work.

“It is a great honor for Southwestern Seminary to host the Baptists and the Bible Conference, celebrating the scholarship of two former seminary faculty members, especially on a matter of doctrine that is central to Southern Baptist conviction and identity,” said Adam W. Greenway, president of Southwestern Seminary. “The intellectual firepower of L. Russ Bush and Tom Nettles proving historically that Baptists supported biblical inerrancy was of incalculable importance during Southern Baptists’ debate about the Bible during that generation. Our conference will demonstrate the ongoing need of Southern Baptists and other evangelicals to renew their commitment to the inerrancy of God’s Word and how the scholarship of Bush and Nettles helps us do that.”

Originally published in 1980, Baptists and the Bible was written by L. Russ Bush and Tom J. Nettles, both Southwestern Seminary alumni, and both serving at that time on the Southwestern Seminary faculty. The book investigates the Baptist doctrine of Scripture in a systematic, historical fashion. It was the first widely available comprehensive study on Baptists’ views of biblical inspiration and religious authority, and was a major factor in the Southern Baptist Convention’s return to Baptists’ historical position on the full inspiration and complete truthfulness of Scripture. 

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the book’s original publication, The Baptists and the Bible Conference will take place on the Southwestern Seminary campus, April 23-24, 2020. Speakers will include Nettles, Greenway, Distinguished Professor of Theology David S. Dockery, and Daniel L. Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. This event will be the inaugural conference of the seminary’s B.H. Carroll Center for Baptist Heritage and Mission. 

“The Carroll Center exists to promote a deeper understanding of Baptist history through research, publications, and conferences relating to Baptist history,” explains Gregory A. Wills, research professor of church history and Baptist heritage and director of the Carroll Center. “It is highly appropriate that the inaugural conference focus on Southern Baptists’ enduring commitment to the full inspiration, authority, and inerrancy of the Bible and that it do so by honoring L. Russ Bush and Tom Nettles, faculty members of Southwestern Seminary who played a pivotal role in securing Southern Baptists’ continuing commitment to inerrancy during Southern Baptists’ battle for the Bible in the 1980s.”

Seminary Hill Press will launch two titles at the conference, including a 40th anniversary edition of Baptists and the Bible. A reprint of the revised and expanded edition of the book published in 1999, this new edition will feature additional material from Nettles, Greenway, Wills, and John D. Wilsey, a church history professor at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The new material includes a biography of Bush, who died in 2008. 

The second title will be a reprint of The Doctrine of the Bible, by David S. Dockery. Originally published in 1991, this book provides a study of the doctrine of Scripture, covering such topics as the inspiration of the Bible, its truthfulness and dependability, its text and canonicity, and its use and interpretation. 

Academic credit will be available for students who attend the conference.

To learn more about the conference, visit swbts.edu/BaptistBible