The shift in the Southern Baptist Convention toward a more conservative orientation was one of the most important developments in 20th century Christianity. The SBC is the largest non-Catholic denomination in the United States. The influence of its 16 million members extends literally around the world. In recent years, Southern Baptists have held many of the key political leadership positions in Washington, and the SBC's influence in Washington is enormous. The shift began in 1979 and continues today, though most historians say the actual "Battle for the Bible" concluded in 1993. In 1978, the SBC was shifting dramatically toward the theological positions held by more mainline Protestant groups. Today, the SBC leads the Evangelical world in theology, publishing, missions and in many other ways and has distanced itself from the mainline churches. Author James C. Hefley was there as an eyewitness to history in the making. 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. In the foreword to volume 2, Dr. Larry L.Lewis, former president of the SBC's Home Mission Board, wrote, "It is not essential that Southern Baptists agree on every jot and tittle of doctrine, or follow any person or group's positions.
It is vitally important that we know and understand the various movements within our convention and the concerns expressed. For this reason, I salute not only Jim Hefley and this new book, but also Baptist Press and our denominational editors who keep us informed on what is happening."