In his book, Southern Baptist Consensus and Renewal, author David Dockery lists seven different groups of conservative Southern Baptists:
- Fundamentalists: hard-lined people who often have more in common with “independent” Baptists than with the SBC heritage.
- Revivalists: true heirs of the Sandy Creek tradition, including their suspicion of education.
- Traditionalists: heirs of the Sandy Creek theology, including the strong commitment to evangelism and revivalism, but affirming of education.
- Orthodox Evangelicals: an irenic group that looked to Carl F. H. Henry and Billy Graham as models. This group wanted a theological course correction, a commitment to the full truthfulness of the Bible, serious intellectual and cultural engagement, while interacting with all who would claim to great orthodox Christian tradition.
- Calvinists: a group that wanted to reclaim aspects of the “Charleston” theological tradition. They have much in common with the “Evangelical” group above. Sub-groups include “Nine Marks,” “Sovereign Grace,” “Founders,” and others. Most among this group no longer tend toward isolation as in years past.
- Contemporary church practitioners: a group of pastors who wanted to find new ways to connect with the culture, resulting in new models for doing church, including “Willow Creek Models,” “Saddleback Models,” “Missional,” and even some “emergent church types.”
- Culture Warriors: another group of conservatives who desire to engage the issues of culture and society. This group includes a variety of approaches including “church over culture,” “church transforming culture,” as well as “church and culture / social justice types.”
I would love to see a couple of percentages for this list:
1. The percentage of churches that fit each criteria; and
2. The percentage of attendance for each criteria.
My guess is that while the number of churches of a certain criteria may be more, attendance from another criteria will be higher (that, some types of SBC churches are actually larger in size than some of the other types).
What do YOU think?
If you’re a Southern Baptist, which type are you?
And do you agree with the 7 different groups, or are there more (or less)?