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Posts Tagged ‘Baptists’

5 Dead Baptist Theologians Every Pastor Should Read

By Jeff Robinson

A few years ago, I had a friend depart Baptist life to join the PCA. When we discussed his rationale for the shift, it became clear to me it had less to do with views on baptism than it did theological heritage. To his mind, Baptists’ confessional and theological ancestry did not quite measure up to that of the Presbyterians.

No question, our Presbyterian friends—of whom I have many—have a strong confessional heritage with a famous roster of names ranging from Calvin and Knox to Hodge, Warfield, and Machen. But Baptists have a robust theological lineage as well. As pastors, we should be reading and engaging noted figures from our past and, as opportunity arises, we should make our congregations aware of our rich confessional, theological, and pulpit legacy.

Toward that end, here are five Baptist theologians from the past I commend as must reading for every Baptist pastor.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

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Fuller and the Atonement (Part 4): Limited Atonement and Free Offer

Tom Nettles

Editorial note: This is the seventh post in a series on Andrew Fuller’s theology. Here is the series so far: Fuller the Non-Calvinist? (Part 1), Fullerite: Doctrine of Inability (Part 2), Fuller and Irresistible Grace (Part 3), Fuller and the Atonement – 1/4 (Part 4), Fuller and the Atonement – 2/4 (Part 5), Fuller and the Atonement – 3/4 (Part 6), and Fuller and the Atonement 4/4 (Part 7).

Fuller’s rejection of the commercial understanding of moral justice was two-fold (at least). One, such a limitation, that is, forgiveness dependent on the enumeration of sins and their commensurate guilt, was impossible by the very nature of Christ’s infinite excellence. Christ’ infinite fullness of worthiness necessarily offered to the Father a complete satisfaction, rendering salvation, especially forgiveness as an intrinsic necessity of salvation, a matter of divine sovereignty, eternally determined, in its application. So, the reason for Christ’s incarnation and his fulfillment of the office of priest as a ransom, reconciliation, propitiation,…..

 

 

 

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John Smyth

1570-1612

The earliest General Baptist Church was thought to be founded about 1608 or 1609. Its chief founder was John Smyth and it was located in Holland. Smyth’s history begins in England where he was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1594. Soon after his ordination, his zeal landed him in prison for refusal to conform to the teachings and practices of the Church of England. He was an outspoken man who was quick to challenge others about their beliefs but was just as quick to change his own positions as his own personal theology changed. Smyth continually battled the Church of England until it became obvious that he could no longer stay in fellowship with this church. Thus, he finally broke totally from them and became a “Separatist”.

In 1609, Smyth, along with a group in Holland, came to believe in believer’s baptism (as opposed to infant baptism which was the norm at that time) and they came together to form the first “Baptist” church. In the beginning, Smyth was on track with the typical orthodox church position; but as time passed, as was so typical, he began changing his positions. First, Smyth insisted that true worship was from the heart and that any form of reading from a book in worship was an invention of sinful man. Prayer, singing and preaching had to be completely spontaneous. He went so far with this mentality that he would not allow the reading of the Bible during worship “since he regarded English translations of Scripture as something less than the direct word of God.”5 Second, Smyth introduced a twofold church leadership, that of Pastor and Deacon. This was in contrast to the Reformational trifold leadership of Pastor-Elder, Lay-Elders, and Deacons.

Third, with his newfound position on baptism, a whole new concern arose for these “Baptists”. Having been baptized as infants, they all realized that they would have to be re-baptized. Since there was no other minister to administer baptism, Smyth baptized himself and then proceeded to baptize his flock. An interesting note at this point that should be brought to bear is that the mode of baptism used was that of pouring, for immersion would not become the standard for another generation. Before his death, as seems characteristic of Smyth, he abandoned his Baptist views and began trying to bring his flock into the Mennonite church. Although he died before this happened, most of his congregation did join themselves with the Mennonite church after his death.

Taken from:

A Primer on Baptist History

The True Baptist Trail

by Chris

Traffanstedt

 

Source [Reformed Reader]

Fuller and the Atonement (Part 3): Until You Have Paid the Last Penney

Tom Nettles

Editorial note: This is the sixth post in a series on Andrew Fuller’s theology. Here is the series so far: Fuller the Non-Calvinist? (Part 1), Fullerite: Doctrine of Inability (Part 2), Fuller and Irresistible Grace (Part 3), Fuller and the Atonement – 1/4 (Part 4), Fuller and the Atonement – 2/4 (Part 5), Fuller and the Atonement – 3/4 (Part 6), and Fuller and the Atonement 4/4 (Part 7).

Though Andrew Fuller asserted that Calvinists in general held the covenantal application view of particular redemption, historically that which he called the “commercial” view has co-existed with it. That view, defended among the Baptists by John Spilsbury [1] (as far as we can discern the first Particular Baptist pastor), Abraham Booth [2], and John L. Dagg [3], contends that the suffering of Christ is a matter of actual measurable justice. The propitiatory wrath set forth by the Father must be commensurate with the degree of susceptibility to punishment for all those that the Father gave to the Son. For them in particular Jesus sanctified himself….

 

 

 

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Charles Haddon Spurgeon

April 10, 2017 2 comments

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92) was England’s best-known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1854, just four years after his conversion, Spurgeon, then only 20, became pastor of London’s famed New Park Street Church (formerly pastored by the famous Baptist theologian John Gill). The congregation quickly outgrew their building, moved to Exeter Hall, then to Surrey Music Hall. In these venues Spurgeon frequently preached to audiences numbering more than 10,000—all in the days before electronic amplification. In 1861 the congregation moved permanently to the newly constructed Metropolitan Tabernacle.

“Mr. Spurgeon’s magnum opus, The TREASURY OF DAVID, which occupied over twenty years of the author’s busy life, is too well known to need any lengthy description. The comments and expositions abound in rich, racy, and suggestive remarks, and they have a strong flavour of the homiletic and practical exposition with which Mr. Spurgeon is accustomed to accompany his public reading of Holy Scripture. There is an intensity of belief, a fulness of assent to the great points of Calvinistic orthodoxy which our author would not be true to himself if he attempted to conceal. The brief introductions are very well done, and the abundant apparatus criticus, the list of hundreds of writers on the Psalms, whose meditations have been laid under contribution to enrich the work, render this commentary one of the most voluminous in existence. At all events, the volumes will be an encyclopaedia of reference.” — [British Quarterly Review]

“We are convinced that Mr. Spurgeon is doing an inestimable service to the Church in compiling this work. The years will come when as a preacher he will be a tradition, and grandfathers will describe to their son’s children the visits they paid to the Metropolitan Tabernacle, the style and character of the sermon, the impression produced by the man and the crowd of hearers, and the story will lose none of its interest in the telling; but such fame slowly, steadily diminishes, and surely fades into the faintest possible outlines. It will be impossible for future generations to estimate the influence which Mr. Spurgeon, as a man of speech and action, exerted in his own day; nor will the innumerable volumes of sermons which have been issued, and still continue to appear, present any fair means by which a critical judgment of his mental vigour can be obtained. Mr. Spurgeon, like every great man, is so much more than his works; but we believe that this “Treasury of David” will do more to win the admiration of future generations, and to sustain its author’s reputation than any other of the multiplied works to which he has set his hand. It will live. There is nothing like it in the English language, and it supplies a desideratum which most ministers have felt. We trust that Mr. Spurgeon will be spared in fulness of strength to complete what must be regarded by all thoughtful judges as his magnum opus.” — [The English Independent]

 

Source [Reformed Reader]

Fuller and the Atonement (Part 2): A Way Out or a Way In?

Tom Nettles

Editorial note: This is the fifth post in a series on Andrew Fuller’s theology. Here is the series so far: Fuller the Non-Calvinist? (Part 1), Fullerite: Doctrine of Inability (Part 2), Fuller and Irresistible Grace (Part 3), Fuller and the Atonement – 1/4 (Part 4), Fuller and the Atonement – 2/4 (Part 5), Fuller and the Atonement – 3/4 (Part 6), and Fuller and the Atonement 4/4 (Part 7).

In the second edition of GWAA, Fuller chose not to defend the “principle of pecuniary satisfaction” as consistent with general invitations to reconciliation. He concentrated on the position taken by the synod of Dort, and that of ”all the old Calvinists” [2:710]. He had begun this refinement process in Reply to Philanthropos and in The Reality and Efficacy of Divine Grace.

The core of the argument is that the intrinsic value of Christ’s suffering, given the infinite dignity of his person, is sufficient for the forgiveness…..

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

James Meriles Simms

James Meriles Simms was born into slavery in Savannah, Georgia in 1823. Simms was a carpenter by trade, and using money he earned from additional work, he was able to buy his freedom in 1857 for $740.

Simms was baptized into the First African Baptist Church of Savannah in 1841. Shortly after he was baptized, he was expelled from the church for lack of humility. He did not return to the church until 1858.

In 1864, Simms moved to Boston, MA, where he was ordained a minister (his ordination was not recognized by the Baptist church in Georgia). In 1865, Simms returned home to Georgia, where he worked for the Freedmen’s Bureau and was a Union League organizer. Simms was one of the 916 black ministers to sign a petition protesting poor treatment of blacks in the Union Army, and he was an ardent supporter of voting rights for blacks.

In 1867, Simms established the Southern Radical and Freedmen’s Journal (renamed the Freemen’s Standard in 1868). Simms was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1868. Soon afterward, he and all other African-Americans elected to positions in the Georgia government were expelled, but were reinstated to their posts in 1870 by Congressional order. In 1888, Simms published The First Colored Baptist Church in North America, a history of the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia.

Karen Ruffle

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Library

 

Source [Reformed Reader]