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Sandy Creek Revisited

by Tom Ascol

One of the most popular and widely repeated explanations for the doctrinal make up of the Southern Baptist Convention is that the denomination was formed by the convergence of two distinct, if not opposite theological traditions. These traditions are often referred to as the “Charleston” and “Sandy Creek” streams, named after the two churches and associations that best represent those traditions.

Charleston refers to the First Baptist Church of Charleston (established in 1682 and relocated to Charleston in 1696) and the Charleston Baptist Association of churches (established in 1751). The Second London Baptist Confession of Faith was the doctrinal foundation of the church and was formerly adopted by the association, as well. As a result it became known throughout the south as the “Charleston Confession.” This association, like its sister association in Philadelphia that was formed in 1707, was thoroughly committed to the Particular (or Calvinistic) Baptist viewpoint on the sovereignty of God in salvation. In America, those of this persuasion became known as Regular Baptists.

Sandy Creek is the name of the church that was founded in North Carolina in 1755 by Shubal Stearns and his brother-in-law, Daniel Marshall. Three years later an association of churches by that same name was formed. These Baptists largely came out of the Great Awakening in the middle of the 18th century and were known as Separate Baptists. The churches that joined together in forming the Sandy Creek Association had a healthy skepticism regarding confessions and creeds. This grew out of experience with the dead orthodoxy that many of them had left behind in their former Congregationalism. This distinguished them from the Regular Baptists, who were enthusiastically confessional in their churches. However, this distinction must not be stretched beyond what the historical record will bear.

Read the entire article here.

This article can also be found in the Founders Journal-Issue 66. Download the Pdf here.

Tom Nettles Interviews Tom Ascol on the 1689 Confession

Interview on the Second London Confession of 1689

Founders Journal · Summer 2005 · pp. 4-9

Interview on the Second London Confession of 1689

Tom Ascol

The following questions were asked of Tom Ascol by Tom Nettles for this issue of the Founders Journal. Tom Ascol has served as pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida, since 1986.

Start by telling us how long your church has used the 1689 Confession.

Since 1989 Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida has been guided by a commitment to the 1689 (Second London) Confession of Faith. We adopted that confession as a detailed expression of our doctrinal commitments as a church and for the purpose of guiding us in the selection of officers, teachers and other leaders in the church. We use the edition that is published by the elders of Grace Baptist Church in Carlisle, PA, but also allow for the use of the Carey edition, entitled A Faith to Confess. This latter edition employs modern language and is more easily read by some.[1]

 

 

 

Read the entire interview here.