Soul competency is a doctrine specifically articulated in a Southern Baptist context, first by E.Y Mullins in The Axioms of Religion (1908). This view emphasizes that each person (soul) is individually
and personally accountable to God and "competent" to relate to God without mediation through other humans or human institutions. It may be properly related to, but not the same as, the doctrine of the
Priesthood of all believers. One clue to the significance of The Axioms of Religion by Mullins is found in the sub-title:
a new interpretation of the Baptist faith.
The effect of Mullins' emphasis on soul competency has been criticized by some as planting the seeds of experientialism within the
Southern Baptist Convention, thus undermining the importance of its founding Baptist theology and biblical doctrine.