Just As I Was: The Presence of Sacramentalism in the Methods of Southern Baptist Revivalism
MetadataShow full item record
David Robert Denis, Th.M. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2019 Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Gregg Allison This paper will argue that Southern Baptists in the revivalist tradition have unknowingly adopted a sacramental understanding in many of their methods and practices. The two methods specifically addressed are the sinner’s prayer and the altar call. Chapter one will give an introduction to the subject as well as lay out the thesis and methodology. Chapter two will look at two of the major figures in the development revivalism. The first, who many consider the father of revivalism, Charles Finney, and the second, Billy Graham. Chapter three and four will mark a shift in the book as it will compare the ideas of sacramentalism in the Roman Catholic Church to the ordinances in Southern Baptist churches. For the section on Roman Catholicism, three major figures will be examined: Augustine, Lombard, and Aquinas. One will then see how the work of those three functions within the Roman Catholic Church today. Regarding the section on Southern Baptists’ ordinances, one will see the official doctrines laid out regarding the ordinances in the Baptist Faith and Message. However, these will be contrasted with the ways Baptists speak of two means in particular: the sinner’s prayer and the altar call. These means appear to take on a sacramental quality in the life of many Southern Baptists. Finally, chapter five will look at how the use of the sinner’s prayer and the altar call leave the individual revisiting these events over-and-over again. This ultimately leads to a crisis of assurance within individuals. Chapter six will provide suggestions for how to move forward in an age where many have misconceptions about the sinner’s prayer and the altar call.