The Truth in Crisis, 6-vol. set

The Truth in Crisis, 6-vol. set
Brand: Hannibal Books
ISBN: 9780929292182
Author: James C. Hefley
Availability: In Stock
Price: $64.95
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The shift in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) toward conservatism is one of the most important developments in 20th-century Christianity. The conservative shift began in 1979 and continues today, though most historians say the actual "Battle for the Bible" concluded in 1993.

Author James C. Hefley was there as an eyewitness to this history. A gifted writer with a clear focus on the theological issues involved, Hefley penned this six-volume series as developments occurred. He literally provides a step-by-step account.

Dr. James T. Draper, a former SBC president and now-retired president of the SBC's mammoth publishing arm, LifeWay Christian Resources, says of the series, "Every Southern Baptist should read James Hefley's books. I was personally amazed at the detail of his research and documentation that was presented and also very pleased at the objective way which he approached our Southern Baptist Convention. He has made a great effort to be fair and impartial in presenting the story of these days of controversy."

The six volumes together comprise a complete history of the SBC controversy in the 20th century.

In volume 1, author Hefley covers the crucial beginning years of the controversy, explaining in detail the soil from which the issues sprang and how the drama began to play itself out. The book begins with Hefley's own personal history growing up as a Southern Baptist. He presents candidly and forthrightly his own credentials for and biases in writing about his own denomination's uproar. Then he gives the background that led to the start of the controversy in 1979. His description of the earliest actors and their backgrounds offers insights no other book on the controversy presents. His intricate history from the beginning bell in June 1979 in Houston until the crucial meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas six years later is jammed and packed with facts that literally bring to life events and characters.

Former Houston Chronicle Religion Editor Louis Moore writes in the foreword to volume 1, "Jim Hefley presents the facts in a readable and informative way. I have enormous confidence in the actions of well-informed people, and this book will go a long way to educate its readers."

The series concluded six years later with Hefley's memorable volume 6. Sometimes called "The Missing Volume" of the classic The Truth in Crisis series, Volume 6 was published in limited quantities in 1991. It immediately sold out; Hannibal Books at that time did not choose to reprint. The current owners of Hannibal Books, Louis and Kay Moore, chose to reprint the book in 2004 after Hefley's death as a tribute to the renowned Southern Baptist journalist.

Hefley wrote Volume 6 as his final report on the controversy between 1979 and 1991 that rocked and dramatically changed the nation's largest non-Catholic denomination. The book contains 364 pages and is about twice the size of each of Volumes 1 through 5. Hefley designed the book to be a condensed version of the other five volumes but with additional materials included. Then at the time of publication he changed his mind and listed the book as Volume 6.

Hefley, who founded Hannibal Books in 1984 and sold the company to Louis and Kay Moore in 1999, died in 2004. He described the book as ". . . the wrap-up book of The Truth in Crisis series." He noted that it "covered 70 years of eventful Southern Baptist history, culminating in the most revolutionary change of a denomination in American church history."

"Here is very recent history available nowhere else, including the dramatic 'Showdown at the Sunday School Board', the account of the crucial 1991 overturn at Southern Seminary, 'Baylor University--Saved or Stolen?', and much much more," Hefley wrote on the book's back cover.

He called the book "a 'must' study for Southern Baptist pastors, agency employees, seminarians, professors and laity who want the full story of what is happening to Southern Baptists." He said the book would be "helpful to anyone who wishes to understand how a major church body was turned in a more conservative direction by a grassroots movement that got out the vote to defeat one of the most powerful religious establishments in America."

In the reprint, Hannibal Books neither edited nor changed in any way Hefley's original manuscript. The book appears exactly as it did in 1991 except for address and website changes for Hannibal Books and the addition of one page dedicating the reprint to James and Marti Hefley. The two died in the spring of 2004 of unrelated illnesses only weeks apart. The dedication says, "Together in life. Together again singing praises around God's throne."

Dr. Lewis Drummond, former president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., wrote the foreword.

Today, various volumes of The Truth in Crisis series, especially Volume 1, are used as textbooks in most Southern Baptist seminaries.

During his lifetime, Hefley authored and co-authored about 50 books. Besides six volumes in The Truth in Crisis series, Hefley was perhaps best known outside the Southern Baptist Convention for his Way Back series about life in the Ozark Mountains during the Depression years.

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