The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

cidely larger in number and better provisioned had not Galvez's nearly
7,000 soldiers done battle in Florida is open to debate. Thonhoff does
not claim that his thesis is totally developed. What he unquestionably
succeeds in doing is to break asunder some of the layers of the Black
Legend that have covered Texas history. His volume, the recipient of
the La Bahia award, is Boltonian, hemispheric, soundly researched,
and refreshing.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park GILBERT R. CRUZ
Tried as by Fire: Southern Baptists and the Religious Controversies of
the zgzos. By James J. Thompson, Jr. (Macon, Ga.: Mercer Uni-
versity Press, 1982. Pp. xv+224. Preface, foreword, acknowledg-
ments, epilogue, bibliographical note, index of subjects, index of
persons. $13.95.)
James J. Thompson, Jr., has written a clear and useful book about
the Southern Baptist church from the end of World War I to the de-
pression. It is carefully researched, well organized, and crisply written.
While Thompson's own aspirations for the denomination are con-
stantly before the reader (he repeatedly expresses disappointment that
the "denomination turned from the work at hand-spreading the gos-
pel-to deal with a competing issue" (p. 44), they do not distort his
telling of the story.
The Southern Baptist church began the decade of the 192os not
only as one of the largest and most powerful Protestant denominations
in the United States, but also full of optimism about the future. In
1919 the church launched a campaign to raise $75,000,000 in anticipa-
tion of a period of great expansion. By the middle of the decade that
optimism had begun to wane, as had the collection of the monetary
pledges. Long before the depression devastated the organized work of
the denomination, internal bickering had cast a long shadow over the
church's hopes.
The Southern Baptist church was, and has probably remained, the
most conservative major Protestant church in America, a "bastion of
orthodoxy" (p. 79). In the 1920s Southern Baptists almost uniformly
rejected the ecumenical movement, higher criticism of the Bible, and
the social gospel movement. They were the leaders of the southern
antievolution movement. And yet Thompson unveils a variety of
subtle differences in belief and personality that disturbed the peace
and threatened the unity of the denomination. On almost every social

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117150/. Accessed October 2, 2014.