Convicted Conservative Baptist Beliefs -- By: Warren Vanhetloo

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 04:1 (Spring 1961)
Article: Convicted Conservative Baptist Beliefs
Author: Warren Vanhetloo


Convicted Conservative Baptist Beliefs

Warren Vanhetloo

Dean Central Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary

The Conservative Baptist movement is a Fundamentalist movement. It has therefore from its earliest inception had a very definite doctrinal frame of reference within the famous five fundamentals of the faith. In the Conservative Baptist movement it has been predominately a doctrinal soundness which has united the various individual believers and individual churches, rather than just a desire for mutual fellow ship or to further common missionary aims.

In this doctrinal identification, the five fundamentals of the faith have characterized Conservative Baptists. This means that they have preached the verbal inspiration of Scripture, the eternal deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, the unique virgin birth of Jesus, the substitutionary atonement of Christ, and the bodily resurrection and bodily return of the Savior.

In addition to being Fundamentalists in this historic sense, Conservative Baptists have also been true Baptists in the historical sense. They have thus believed in the Bible as the only rule of faith and practice, in a regenerated church membership, in baptism by immersion, in the autonomy of the local church, in a separation of the church and state, and in the priesthood of the believer.

The label “hard-core” is frequently used to identify the heart -convictions of a movement. Hard-core Communists-are those completely sold on the Communist ideology and giving themselves unreservedly for the dissemination of that truth. The label hard-core, when applied to any movement, indicates that group of individuals who hold to and promulgate the convictions responsible for the origin and continuation of that particular movement. The hard-core element among the Conservative Baptists, then, identifies those who are both consistent and convicted concerning the past actions and present policies which make the Conservative Baptist movement distinct. For a very brief characterization of the

hard-core or “convicted Conservative Baptist” position, Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters, President of Central Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary, in a forum held in Denver in 1958, characterized it as “consistent against inclusivism.”

It is possible to identify three different realms in which this position of being consistent against inclusivism is evident in the Conservative Baptist movement today. Concerning these three areas, convicted Conservative Baptists stand as one man on the solid position of the Word of God. Opposing voices have a risen from that group identified as “soft-policy, “but if the Conservative Baptist ...

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