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William Owen Carver

1868-1954

William O. Carver closely identified himself with the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. He served on the Board for two three-year terms (1917-1923). At that same time, James Franklin Love headed the administration of Southern Baptist foreign mission strategy. Love’s basic premise was one of Anglo-Saxon supremacy, rooted in the idea that God had called Paul to go to Europe rather than to Asia. This mean for love that it was necessary for the white races to be Christianized first in order that they evangelize the world. Carver was quick to denounce Love’s policies, stating that it was necessary for Southern Baptists to move away from such enculturated mission policies, which were “a rationalized justification of the racial pride, the economic greed, and the ambition of power which are the unconfessed urges of imperialism.”

Carver was ecumenical in spirit and identification, and refused to confine his mission parameters to Southern Baptist parochiality.

Dale Moody regards Carver as a philosopher and theologian. To him (Moody) Carver was captive to God’s word that exhorted, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (I Thess. 5:21). Moody further characterizes Carver as having “too much integrity to be evasive and too much courage to be silent,” insisting that in any issue of significance, one might not know how this professor and personalist, was basically a biblical theologian, who focused strongly on the kingdom of heaven, and on the church as the body of Christ.

Carver opposed Landmarkism, Fundamentalism and Dispensationalism by his masterly biblical scholarship. Carver’s philosophy of life contributed to his interdisciplinary perspective of academics, making him possibly the greatest scholar Southern Seminary has ever produced.

Re-produced from “Baptist Theologians”, Timothy George and David S. Dockery

 

Source [Reformed Reader]

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