In another discussion format, I made the following observation: "20 years ago I would have said there was no real Landmarkism left in the Southern Baptist Convention...Now I theorize that Landmarkism never left the Convention. Rather, in the early 20th century it went into the background in the spirit of cooperation and healing the wounds of the former bitter Landmark controversies. Later it went 'underground' due to repeated assaults from both academia and the liberal camp." 1. The first theory was based on observation, hearsay, and a survey of Southern Baptists that I conducted in 1991. It was a random sampling of about 55 churches from all over East Texas. The survey was conducted by phone and by mail. One thing that struck me was that those who would receive "alien baptism" were quite vocal. Those who did not accept it never seemed to make a "Landmark" argument for their position. The "Landmark leaning" churches had a range of reasons, and usually would accept anyone baptized in a church with a "Baptist name". One church drew the line at Baptists because they didn't want to have to judge between the other denominations -- in other words, to have to decide, for example, that a baptism by one denomination was OK and a baptism by a different denomination was not. In some cases, churches would receive baptisms from all Baptists, unless they believed in falling from grace. In some cases the pastors had no problem receiving some non-Baptist immersions, but went along with the church's policy. On reflection today, I would say that some of the folks may have been cautious in their answers because they might have been suspicious of how the information would be used. 2. This first theory began to change with several circumstances. One was meeting Landmark Southern Baptists on the Baptist Board. Another was a few years ago when a resident of this area moved to Kentucky. This person was a member of an ABA church (largest landmark association, I suppose) and sought to join a Kentucky SBC church by letter. They would not accept him and required rebaptism. What a twist, to my mind! So I started to rethink this position. 3. The new theory developed with the above-named and other information, such as finding out about Dr. Roy Beaman, Mid-America Seminary, etc., and has been further modified to wonder if Landmarkism really even went that far "underground" in the SBC. Perhaps it changed its methods of argument and manner of speech, or perhaps it just wasn't in the forefront to get attention while other controversies were going on? In another place "J.R. Graves" suggested that the Landmarkers became more active in their local churches and local associations, and pulled back somewhat on the national scene. And I think it was he who also pointed out several editors of state denominational newspapers into the 40s and possibly 50s were Landmark in ecclesiology. 4. So my question is directed mostly to Southern Baptists, but is also to others who have knowledge in this area. What has been the effect and influence of Landmarkism in the Southern Baptist Convention in the 20th century? Has it been subdued and somewhat underground? Has its presence been just as real as ever, with the exception of national recognition? Is it ready for "re-emergence" in the aftermath of the conservative resurgence? 5. This brings me to one last question. One aspect of the debate on new SBC International Mission Board policy has to do with the administration of baptism. The new policy, according to Wade Burleson's blog, is as follows: It seems to me that those opposed to this new policy have heaped upon it the opprobrium "Landmark" and "Landmarkish". Now I don't doubt that the Landmark Southern Baptists agree with this policy, but I do doubt that this arises strictly from Landmark ecclesiology. I feel that the soteriological as opposed to ecclesiological element of the argument may mean that a lot of non-Landmark Southern Baptists hold this position as well. What say ye? Note: there is another thread discussing the policy as policy. I hope for discussion related to whether the policy originates from Landmark ecclesiology or not. Thanks.