LifeWay housewarming gift to SBTC cites inerrancy quote

A marble plaque inscribed with words penned by early Sunday School Board President J.M. Frost adorns a wall at the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention offices, a housewarming gift from LifeWay Christian Resources.

James T. Draper Jr., president of LifeWay, presented the plaque to the SBTC during a brief ceremony Aug. 20 at the SBTC offices in Grapevine.

Draper, a former Texas pastor, said it was appropriate to present to the SBTC the plaque with an inscription speaking of the inerrancy of Scripture?a core unifier in the confessional state convention, which includes more than 1,500 churches.

The inscription, from “Baptist Why and Why Not,” penned by Frost and published in 1900 by the Sunday School Board, reads: “? We accept the Scriptures as an all-sufficient and infallible rule of faith and practice, and insist upon the absolute inerrancy and sole authority of the Word of God.

“We recognize at this point no room for division, either of practice or belief, or even sentiment. More and more we must come to feel as the deepest and mightiest power of our conviction that a ‘thus saith the Lord’ is the end of all controversy ?”

Draper said he had the Frost quote inscribed on a plaque and placed in the LifeWay offices in Nashville when he went there as president in 1991.

The SBTC plaque is a replica of the one in Nashville, he said.

Draper said the task ahead is to approach a new generation of Southern Baptist leaders with the stewardship of preserving scriptural integrity and the work of world missions.

“We can’t give it away,” Draper said of gains made during the conservative theological resurgence in the SBC in the 1980s and ’90s. “We have to pass it along to a new generation.”

He said though some Baptist moderates were once fond of saying the term inerrancy was foreign to Baptist heritage, “The Southern Baptist Convention has always stood for the authenticity, authority and inerrancy of Scripture,” Draper contended.

SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards and Jim Wolfe, director of SBTC Church Ministry Support, accepted the award on behalf of the convention. The SBTC is the LifeWay partner convention in Texas.

Richards said LifeWay is a valued partner with the SBTC through shared convictions about the “inerrant, infallible Word of God.”

Wolfe said LifeWay and the SBTC are “on the same page” in seeking to help churches build vibrant, doctrinally sound ministries. LifeWay is the only publisher of church resources that SBTC churches can hold accountable and which is uniquely committed to Baptist doctrine, Wolfe added. He charged LifeWay and the SBTC to “remain faithful to the Word.”

The SBTC, begun in 1998, is a confessional fellowship of churches joined by a commitment to Scriptural inerrancy, missions, and the Cooperative Program missions funding method.

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