Are We So Soon Removed -- By: Oswell Summers

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 02:2 (Summer 1959)
Article: Are We So Soon Removed
Author: Oswell Summers


Are We So Soon Removed

Oswell Summers

Professor of Systematic Theology — Central Conservative Baptist Seminary, Minneapolis, Pastor of Cypress St. Baptist Church, St. Paul

From its inception the Conservative Baptist movement has been characterized by its firmness of conviction concerning the Word of God and its inspired teachings. The historic stand of the adherents of this Godly group has often cost much heartache as lifelong ties of church, friendship and even families were broken. It is not necessary to enumerate the additional prices paid by individuals and churches. They are still fresh in our memories. Yet “esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt” we gladly endured the suffering and despised the shame. But following such glorious and unselfish beginnings, it seems that we have begun to falter. This appears obvious from the fact that steps to place the premillennial clause in the Doctrinal Statement of the Foreign Mission Society in Los Angeles failed by a few votes of reaching the necessary two-thirds majority.

The Cause Of Our Uncertainty

One wonders what the cause of this uncertainty may be, especially when we realize that from their inception Conservative Baptists have been almost to a man premillennial. After years in which we have proved we are not to be deterred by what men may say, are we finally succumbing to such jibes as “obscurantist” and “narrowminded”? Or, is the false liberal concept of tolerance finally fastening itself upon the consciousness of some in our midst? If the later is true we are inconsistent indeed, for this type of tolerance is the father of the inclusive policy of the American Baptist Convention. It could be, too, that we are afraid that we will lose from our fellowship some who are of the amillennial persuasion or of the Evangelical crowd which leans toward inter-denominationalism. We have lost infinitely more, however, by compromising our convictions on this important point. Perhaps some have become convinced by the minority that the prophecy and doctrine of the end-time is too insignificant and unimportant to make an issue of it. Certainly God has not considered it such, or He would not have given twenty-five percent of His Revelation to prophecy. Seventeen of the inspired books of the Bible may be classified as prophetic, and this does not include the innumerable prophetic passages found in the other books of the Bible. What God has spoken His mind upon so fully was certainly meant

to be studied seriously. The charge that it is impossible to come to a clear understanding of the end-time picture from God’s Word is an unhappy and inconsistent conclusion for a Conservative Baptist to reach. One ...

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