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 denominations. 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 writes this five-volume series as developments occurred. He literally provides a step-by-step account.In the foreword to volume 3, Charles Chaney, then dean of Redford School of Theology at Southwest Baptist University, wrote, "These books are a saga of the controversy (in the SBC), not told, to be sure, according to the establishment line.
But neither is the story told as propaganda from the side of the conservatives. He tells of both theological conservatives and theological moderates, or political fundamentalists and political liberals."