Baptist Theology Baptist Theology I Introduction A Baptist

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Baptist Theology

Baptist Theology

Baptist Theology I. Introduction A. Baptist Diversity B. Sources C. The Nature of Baptist

Baptist Theology I. Introduction A. Baptist Diversity B. Sources C. The Nature of Baptist Theology • D. Definitions • •

The Baptist Observer “Historically, Baptists are a diverse people bound together by a belief

The Baptist Observer “Historically, Baptists are a diverse people bound together by a belief in freedom of conscience, the truthfulness of Scripture, believer's baptism by immersion, Religious Liberty and Separation of Church and State, local church autonomy, and the Priesthood of all Believers. Apart from these commonalities, internal dissension has abounded, including disagreements over Calvinism and Arminianism, missions, denominational structures, worship styles, music, and many other issues. As a result, Baptists have split many times over into dozens of distinct groups within the United States and hundreds worldwide. ”

R. Wayne Stacey “There is something uniquely Baptist about a theology in which individual

R. Wayne Stacey “There is something uniquely Baptist about a theology in which individual Baptists, rather than just one Baptist, express their own diverse views, not attempting to speak for all Baptists in these matters—which no Baptist can. ”

Bruce Gurley “Baptist groups, churches and individuals range theological and ideological spectrums from fundamentalist

Bruce Gurley “Baptist groups, churches and individuals range theological and ideological spectrums from fundamentalist to liberal and Calvinist to Arminian (and many points in between). ”

Robert N. Nash “Baptists have never had doctrinal uniformity. We have disagreed over hundreds

Robert N. Nash “Baptists have never had doctrinal uniformity. We have disagreed over hundreds of theological issues throughout our history. We have battled about the nature of Christ’s atonement, the proper mode of baptism, the Sabbath, the nature of the church, missions and evangelism, footwashing, the Bible, and a myriad of other theological issues, both weighty and inconsequential. ”

Fisher Humphreys. “Baptists and Their Theology, ” Baptist History and Heritage 35. 1 (Winter

Fisher Humphreys. “Baptists and Their Theology, ” Baptist History and Heritage 35. 1 (Winter 2000): 7 -19. “There is one set of theological issues that has surfaced in each of the four centuries of Baptist history, namely, the issues related to Calvinism and Arminianism. The relative importance of this conversation has varied from generation to generation, but the conversation has never been fully silenced” (my emphasis).

Robert Nash, Jr. “Myth: Baptists Believe in Doctrinal Uniformity, ” a pamphlet published jointly

Robert Nash, Jr. “Myth: Baptists Believe in Doctrinal Uniformity, ” a pamphlet published jointly by the Baptist History and Heritage Society, The Center for Baptist Studies at Mercer University, and the William H. Whitsitt Baptist Heritage Society. Online at http: //www. baptisthistory. org/mythdoctrinal. htm “. . . three major theological controversies have dominated in Baptist life; and each can be loosely assigned to a particular century or centuries. ” a. Christology in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries b. Ecclesiology in the nineteenth century c. Scripture in the twentieth century

Theology Folk Academic a. theology of a community a. done by those whose center

Theology Folk Academic a. theology of a community a. done by those whose center of Christian people that they is more in an intellectual hold and by which they live elite b. uses first-order language (I and b. concern for method and we) system c. minimal interest in method and system d. found in confessions, sermons, books by pastors, those whose center is the life of the church

Theology: definitions a. John Gill: “signifies a discourse concerning God and things belonging to

Theology: definitions a. John Gill: “signifies a discourse concerning God and things belonging to him. ” b. Augustus Hopkins Strong: “the science of God and of the relations between God and the universe. ”

Systematic Theology: definitions a. John Gill: “the gathering out of Scripture the principles of

Systematic Theology: definitions a. John Gill: “the gathering out of Scripture the principles of evangelical truth and arranging them in an orderly method to show their connection, harmony, and agreement. ” b. The online Theopedia says: “Systematic theology is a discipline which addresses theological topics one by one and attempts to summarize all the biblical teaching on each particular subject. Sometimes called constructive theology or even dogmatic theology, the goal is to present the major themes of the Christian faith in an organized and ordered overview that remains faithful to the biblical witness. ”

Baptist Theology • II. Baptists in the Seventeenth Century • A. Public Theology •

Baptist Theology • II. Baptists in the Seventeenth Century • A. Public Theology • B. Smyth and Helwys • C. Arminianism and Calvinism • D. Church Membership and Communion • E. Music

Fisher Humphreys “These Baptist confessions are for constructing bridges rather than walls. ”

Fisher Humphreys “These Baptist confessions are for constructing bridges rather than walls. ”

Fisher Humphreys on Believer’s Baptism This is the first Baptist contribution to the Church

Fisher Humphreys on Believer’s Baptism This is the first Baptist contribution to the Church The significant point with believer’s baptism is “the creation of a church that is an intentional faith community. ” This creation of a believer’s church is “a contribution of such magnitude that it provides at least a partial justification for the fact that it creates a chasm between Baptists and other Christians. ”

Fisher Humphreys on Religious Liberty This is the second contribution of Baptists, that “came

Fisher Humphreys on Religious Liberty This is the second contribution of Baptists, that “came early, was vocal, cost Baptists dearly, and has been politically fruitful. ”

Thomas Helwys The inscription to King James in The Mystery of Iniquity

Thomas Helwys The inscription to King James in The Mystery of Iniquity

Thomas Helwys The Mystery of Iniquity “The king. . . hath no power over

Thomas Helwys The Mystery of Iniquity “The king. . . hath no power over the immortal souls of his subjects, to make laws and ordinances for them, and to set spiritual Lords over them. ” “For men’s religion to God is between God and themselves. The king shall not answer for it. Neither may the king be a judge between God and men. Let them be heretics, Turks, Jews, or whatsoever. . ” Humphreys says in effect Helwys “instructed the king to ‘make no laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. ’”

Fish Humphreys on Roger Williams “In America, Roger Williams (1603 -83) founded in Providence

Fish Humphreys on Roger Williams “In America, Roger Williams (1603 -83) founded in Providence [Rhode Island] the first Baptist church in America in 1638 and made a dramatic case for religious liberty not only in his writing but by granting comprehensive religious freedom to the inhabitants of the colony of Rhode Island whose patent he secured from Parliament in 1644. ”

Fisher Humphreys on Sectarian Withdrawal Baptists withdrew from the Church of England, but not

Fisher Humphreys on Sectarian Withdrawal Baptists withdrew from the Church of England, but not from society. They sought to engage society over issues like religious liberty. Unlike the Mennonites the Baptists did not exclude the magistracy from the church.

Arminianism and Calvinism General Baptists Particular Baptists Salvation in Christ is effective for all

Arminianism and Calvinism General Baptists Particular Baptists Salvation in Christ is effective for all who believe Salvation in Christ is effective only for the elect whom God chose before creation

Church Membership and Communion William Kiffin membership reserved for baptized believers communion reserved for

Church Membership and Communion William Kiffin membership reserved for baptized believers communion reserved for members John Bunyan open membership and open communion "I do not deny, but acknowledge, that baptism is God's ordinance; yet I have denied, that baptism was ever ordained of God to be a wall of division between the holy and the holy. "

Baptist Theology • III. Baptists in the Eighteenth Century • A. England 1. Particular

Baptist Theology • III. Baptists in the Eighteenth Century • A. England 1. Particular Baptists 2. General Baptists 3. John Gill B. America 1. Religious liberty 2. Great Awakening 3. Modified Calvinism

Fisher Humphreys “It is clear that some eighteenth-century Baptists accepted the view that a

Fisher Humphreys “It is clear that some eighteenth-century Baptists accepted the view that a genuine commitment to Calvinism entailed a refusal to evangelize and that the refutation, or perhaps better, the transcending, of that view was indispensable to the health of Baptists. The struggle between these two points of view was conducted by followers of Gill and followers of Andrew Fuller, the pastor in Kettering whose views were summarized in his book The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation. ”

Robert Nash, Jr. “In America, Baptists became less Calvinistic as competition for converts on

Robert Nash, Jr. “In America, Baptists became less Calvinistic as competition for converts on the American frontier intensified and as international missionary efforts were successful. ”

Baptist Theology • IV. Baptists in the Nineteenth Century • A. Two Issues 1.

Baptist Theology • IV. Baptists in the Nineteenth Century • A. Two Issues 1. Eccumenicalism 2. Liberalism B. Systematic Theologians

Eccumenicalism the relationship of Baptists to non-Baptists, a primary concern of J. R. Graves

Eccumenicalism the relationship of Baptists to non-Baptists, a primary concern of J. R. Graves and the Landmark movement

Charles Haddon Spurgeon Sword and Trowel “We are going downhill at break-neck speed. ”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon Sword and Trowel “We are going downhill at break-neck speed. ” “We care more for the central evangelical truths than we do for Calvinism as a system; but we believe that Calvinism has in it a conservative force which helps to hold men to vital truth, and therefore we are sorry to see any quitting it who once accepted it. ” “The present struggle is not a debate upon the question of Calvinism or Arminianism, but of the truth of God versus the inventions of men. All who believe the gos-pel should unite against that ‘modern thought’ which is its deadly enemy. ”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon Sword and Trowel “A new religion has been initiated, which is

Charles Haddon Spurgeon Sword and Trowel “A new religion has been initiated, which is no more like Christianity than chalk is cheese. ”

John Clifford Statements of faith “were nothing more than ‘weapons of clerical absolution, tools

John Clifford Statements of faith “were nothing more than ‘weapons of clerical absolution, tools of theological tyranny, padlocks on the bible and foes of Christian brotherhood. ”

Bill J. Leonard The controversy sowed seeds “for extended debates regarding the authority of

Bill J. Leonard The controversy sowed seeds “for extended debates regarding the authority of Scripture, the role of confessions of faith, and the grounds for Baptist fellowship and cooperation. ”

An Ecclesiological Controversy: Covenant vs. Voluntary Andrew Fuller held that the New Testament offered

An Ecclesiological Controversy: Covenant vs. Voluntary Andrew Fuller held that the New Testament offered only a rudimentary polity for the church which was free to develop it. John Clifford saw churches as “Christappointed instruments for establishing the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and for extending the gracious and redeeming power of God over the world. ”

E. Glenn Hinson “For persons not well versed in Baptist history, therefore, this article

E. Glenn Hinson “For persons not well versed in Baptist history, therefore, this article may occasion some surprise. Baptists, even in the South, have raised up some contributors and made some major contributions to American theological liberalism. ” “The truth is, Baptists supplied major players in American theological liberalism. ”

Liberal Baptists C. H. Toy, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Walter Rauschenbusch,

Liberal Baptists C. H. Toy, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Walter Rauschenbusch, leader in the Social Gospel movement William Newton Clarke, systematic theologian Harry Emerson Fosdick, pastor

Baptist Systematic Theologians • John Dagg, a convinced evangelistic Calvinistic Baptist, produced the Manual

Baptist Systematic Theologians • John Dagg, a convinced evangelistic Calvinistic Baptist, produced the Manual of Theology in 1857, the first American Baptist systematic theology. • James P. Boyce, also an evangelical Calvinist, produced a systematic theology in 1887. He served as the first president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. • A. H. Strong, seminary president and professor of theology, produced his Systematic Theology in 1876, “the most comprehensive by a Baptist author ever published” (Humphreys, “Baptists and Their Theology”). • William Newton Clarke, who embraced liberal theology, produced Outline of Christian Theology in 1898, “the first systematic theology by a liberal Protestant and the most widely influential” (Humphreys).

Baptist Theology • V. Baptists in the Twentieth and Twenty. First Centuries A. Calvinism

Baptist Theology • V. Baptists in the Twentieth and Twenty. First Centuries A. Calvinism vs. Arminianism B. Fundamentalism C. Systematic Theologies

C. Doug Weaver on Calvinism a. “The increasing number of college students in my

C. Doug Weaver on Calvinism a. “The increasing number of college students in my classes who embrace Calvinist theology points to a different conclusion. Reformed Baptists today are growing at a rate faster than I ever thought possible. ” b. “In the last twenty years, Calvinism has revived and “gone public” in the SBC. While many Baptists reject three (actually four) of Calvinism’s classic five points --unconditional election/predestination, limited atonement, and irresistible grace–Reformed theology is increasingly influential in numerous areas of Southern Baptist life. ” c. “Openness to Calvinism exists in some recent Southern Baptist publications, particularly in the work of Timothy George, dean of the Beeson Divinity School at Sanford University. ” d. “The attraction to Calvinism is best explained by factors other than local church influence and religion departments. Three avenues appear to play significant roles in the introduction of Baptist collegians to Calvinism. These three “gateways” are campus ministries, contemporary Christian music, and popular authors and speakers. ”

Fisher Humphreys “There is a movement, The Founders Ministries, which works to restore Calvinism

Fisher Humphreys “There is a movement, The Founders Ministries, which works to restore Calvinism to Southern Baptist life. In their work they draw on the writings of earlier Calvinistic Baptists such as John Gill, John L. Dagg, James P. Boyce, and Charles Haddon Spurgeon. ”

Philip E. Thompson “The debate over ‘Calvinism’ thus far has given some help toward

Philip E. Thompson “The debate over ‘Calvinism’ thus far has given some help toward the goal of articulating a faithful Baptist vision. It has raised difficult, yet necessary questions. The debate has not yet, however, provided good answers. That task yet remains. In seeking those answers, we will do well to keep in mind that it may well be that ‘Baptists of tradition’ have much yet to teach us, if only we will listen. ”

E. Y. Mullins “Salvation is not conditioned upon our belief in, or acceptance of,

E. Y. Mullins “Salvation is not conditioned upon our belief in, or acceptance of, a book. . God’s revelation of himself comes through his direct action upon our spirits. . God thus becomes our supreme authority and the Bible is recognized as the authoritative record of his supreme revelation. . What is our supreme source of the knowledge of God. . . The answer is the revelation of God in and through Jesus Christ. ”

R. Alan Culpepper “The Scriptures have no power to give life; their function is

R. Alan Culpepper “The Scriptures have no power to give life; their function is to point us to Christ through whom we have the promise of eternal life. ” Further, “The principal subject of the New Testament, clearly, is not the Bible but Jesus. Its concern is not that we have a correctly articulated doctrine of scripture, but that we have faith in Christ. ”

William L. Poteat “Laboratory and Pulpit” A lecture series from 1920 to 1923 Introduced

William L. Poteat “Laboratory and Pulpit” A lecture series from 1920 to 1923 Introduced an advocacy of evolution Into the Southern Baptist Convention

W. T. Conner “We cannot for a moment admit the views of evolution that

W. T. Conner “We cannot for a moment admit the views of evolution that leaves God out and holds that without God’s creative power or superintending guidance the universe came uncaused out of nothing and has kept on evolving until it produced man. ”

Albert W. Wardin “Moderate fundamentalists will cooperate with evangelicals of like faith, but militant

Albert W. Wardin “Moderate fundamentalists will cooperate with evangelicals of like faith, but militant fundamentalists refuse cooperation with evangelicals who, in turn, may cooperate with theological liberals. ”

Baptist Systematic Theological Works • 1. Dale Moody, The Word of Truth: A Summary

Baptist Systematic Theological Works • 1. Dale Moody, The Word of Truth: A Summary of Christian Doctrine Based on Biblical Revelation (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981). • 2. Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, 3 vols. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1983 -85); rev. ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998). • 3. James William Mc. Clendon Jr. , Systematic Theology, 3 vols. (Nashville: Abingdon, 1986 -). • 4. Gordon R. Lewis and Bruce A. Demarest, Integrative Theology, 3 vol. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987 -94). • 5. James Leo Garrett, Systematic Theology: Biblical, Historical, and Evangelical, 2 vols. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990 -95). • 6. A. J. Conyers, A Basic Christian Theology (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1995) • 7. Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994) • 8. Stanley J. Grenz, Theology for the Community of God (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1994

Baptist Theology • VI. Some Concluding Points A. Baptist Diversity B. Calvinism C. Baptists

Baptist Theology • VI. Some Concluding Points A. Baptist Diversity B. Calvinism C. Baptists and the Bible

Walter B. Shurden “Debate, theological and otherwise, continues in Baptist circles. A good bet

Walter B. Shurden “Debate, theological and otherwise, continues in Baptist circles. A good bet is that it always shall”

Fisher Humphreys on the Calvinistic/Arminian debate “. . . usually the terms of this

Fisher Humphreys on the Calvinistic/Arminian debate “. . . usually the terms of this controversy are divine sovereignty and human freedom. I believe this is misleading. Human freedom is very important to me, but, asked to choose between these two, I would certainly affirm divine sovereignty. In my judgment, this is not the issue. The issue is predestination. Did God in eternity sovereignly predestine some people to be saved and not others? Put this way, it is clear that there can’t be a middle way: either God did, or did not, do this. On these terms, there can be no modified Calvinism and no four-point or three-point Calvinists. My principal concern about Calvinism is not its affirmation of divine sovereignty; my principal concern is whether God loves all people and so wants them all to be saved. ”

Stanley J. Gerz “Here, we as Baptists can learn from the Reformation that cradled

Stanley J. Gerz “Here, we as Baptists can learn from the Reformation that cradled our movement. More particularly we could do no better than to take our cue from the insightful statement of the Protestant principle of authority found in the Westminster Confession: ‘The Supreme Judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of counsels, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other than the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture. ’ By bringing Scripture and Spirit together, this statement suggests the sense in which the Bible is the norming norm in theology. ” Further, “Through the Bible, the Spirit orients our present on the basis of the past and in accordance with a vision of the future. The Spirit leads the contemporary hearers to view themselves and their situation in the light of God's past and future, and to open themselves and their present to the power of that future, which is already at work in the world. Thereby they are drawn to participate in God's eschatological world. Viewed from this perspective, the task of theology, in turn, is to assist the people of God in hearing the Spirit's voice speaking through the text, so that we can live as God's people as inhabitants of God's eschatological world--in the present world. ”