BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (ABP) – A Western Kentucky University professor is seeking contributors for an upcoming book detailing moderate responses to the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention in the 1980s.
Carl Kell’s 2006 Exiled: Voices of the Southern Baptist Convention Holy War contained first-person essays by individuals ranging from denominational executives to people in the pew estranged by the ideological shift from the mainstream of American Protestantism to the embrace of biblical inerrancy and the Religious Right in the nation’s second-largest faith group.
“Exiled told stories of clergy and laity dedicated to the SBC, each in their own way, who due to grief and loss at some point had to walk away from the church of their heart,” said Kell, a former director of Associated Baptist Press.
Kell said the next book -– tentatively titled Exiled II: The Lost Generation -– will tap two groups. One is sons, daughters and close friends of first-generation exiles now in their adult years with a second-generation story to tell. The other is young adults who grew up in Cooperative Baptist Fellowship churches and embrace the movement’s values but have no frame of reference for the SBC controversy that brought it about.
“This generation was collateral damage in their youth,” Kell said. “In their adult life they are casualties.”
Kell said he placed no narrative requirements on the first Exiled book and there will be none in the sequel.
“I want these folks to tell their story as second-generation family members and first-generation moderates,” Kell said.
Kell said Exiled reached No. 3 on Tower.com’s list of the top 100 Baptist books, and Against the Wind: The Moderate Voice in Baptist Life published in 2009 ranked 30th on the same list.
Exiled II would be the fourth book in a series that began when Kell and Raymond Camp co-authored In the Name of the Father: The Rhetoric of the New Southern Baptist Convention, in 1999.
Bob Allen is managing editor of Associated Baptist Press.
Contact information for Carl Kell is available on his faculty web page at www.wku.edu.