The story is at http://www.abpnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4185&Itemid=9 The "Battle for the Bible" is over, and the Bible lost. Sometime within the past 33 years since Harold Lindsell fired the first public shot in the Bible battle, fundamentalist Christians (including not a few Baptists) quietly placed their holy book behind a protective firewall, pledging allegiance to modern inerrant interpretations. Feigning conservatism, they sacrificed the historical Jesus on the Western altar of religious creeds and small government. Today, the agenda of the Religious Right, including many prominent fundamentalist Baptists, lies outside the Bible. That their politically conservative but extra-biblical agenda is a construct of modernist thinking seems to be of no concern: they proudly pledge overarching loyalty to the human construct of inerrancy and fidelity to unrestrained capitalism. Yet in Southern Baptist circles, denominational leaders and many pastors now openly fret over the shrinking fruit of their labors. Baptisms are at their lowest level in decades, missionary appointments are down some 40 percent, church membership and denominational finances are on the skids, and annual June SBC meetings of recent years have tried in vain to construct a formula to stop the hemorrhaging. Baptist historian Bill Leonard, examining the bigger picture, recently argued that "demographics and sociology" are largely responsible for SBC woes, indicating that unless Southern Baptists move beyond their white, rural, Southern, politically conservative loyalties, the decline will continue. Some Southern Baptists agree with Leonard's basic assessment, but hold out hope that fundamentalism yet has a bright future. In corresponding fashion, political observers on both sides of the aisle are offering the same judgment of today's Republican Party. Rising hand-in-hand, Baptist fundamentalism and small-government Republicanism are adrift together, struggling to stay above water. Unable to reverse the demographics, Republicans hope to "increase their share of the minority vote" (including Southern Baptists), while one fundamentalist Baptist response to denominational decline focuses on making more Baptist babies and Liberty University recently banished Democrats from campus. For some Baptists, procreation and political correctness offer hope where an inerrant theology has failed.