oa Conspectus : The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary - Liberty of conscience and the doctrine of scripture in the Baptist Union of Southern Africa (BUSA)



This essay examines two questions. First, what is the nature of the Baptist principle ""liberty of conscience"" or ""religious liberty,"" and how is the principle meant to be understood in the context of the church's ongoing mandate to ''defend the faith''? Second, how, if at all, has the principle of liberty of conscience impacted on the doctrine of Scripture in the BUSA? Based on the authors' examination of the data, they conclude that formulating a doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture to defend relevantly the authority of the same, does not threaten liberty of conscience. Also, they argue that it is theologically erroneous and out of line with the historic Baptist understanding of religious liberty to assert that defining a doctrine of Scripture will undermine the latter principle. Moreover, the authors maintain that to insist otherwise is fundamentally inconsistent, as the BUSA has adopted definite views on other doctrines, such as church government.


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