[Yes, I realize the following post is long, but please don’t ignore it because of that. Here, I even made a way for you to listen to the post.] :)
Fellow 1689’rs and other interested parties,
We help point to and put out a lot of resources dealing with the 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith [1677/1689]. We have never asked for money or even run ads. We still aren’t, but we are asking if you would consider being a part of something that could help get 17th and 18th century primary source materials into the hands of ordinary folks like us, for cheap! Well, would you?
Why are you asking for my money?
To get Covenant Theology books from our Baptist forefathers that many of us ordinary folk have never had access to (FYI: we don’t get any money or kickback from this. We just want to see these resource made available.)
Recall what James Renihan said in the first minute of the following “1689 Federalism compared to 20th Century Reformed Baptists” video:
“I think one of the problems that we have faced in the twentieth century and here early in the twenty-first is coming out of Dispensationalism, and without access to a lot of historical baptist books on covenant theology, we have inherited and sort of developed a covenant theology that’s really paedobaptist that we try to sort of adjust somehow to make it into a Reformed Baptist view and it doesn’t fit, where the older view very well supports all that we’re about in terms of Christology and soteriology and the doctrine of the church.”
If you watched the video through the end of the two minute mark then you heard Richard Barcellos say:
…[W]e’ve taken here and there from paedobaptist authors, that are wonderful men and great scholars, but that had a different formulation of Covenant Theology then our older guys. …[B]ecause we didn’t have the literature available, I’m including myself in that, we just didn’t have the literature available so we took that and… we became immersing Presbyterians… these old Baptists weren’t immersing Presbyterians.
Not having access to these primary sources was a consistent theme that came up in all our interviews regarding Covenant Theology.
“I’m a Reformed Baptist interested in getting the primary sources of 17th century Particular Baptists more accessible…”
That’s when I thought to myself:
‘Logos pumps this stuff out all the time. Why not get a collection of 17th Century Particular Baptist covenant theology works on Community Pricing?’
…And we work with books of this age all the time.”
Community Pricing? What are we even talking about?
As of yesterday [Feb. 27, 2014], Logos Bible Software currently has “Baptist Covenant Theology Collection (17 vols.)” up for bid on Community Pricing.
“Up for bid on Community Pricing”? Yeah, it is a system that they have to see if the product has enough people who will commit to purchasing it, so that Logos can recoup the costs of production.
“Community Pricing offers some amazing deals on classic works in the field of biblical and theological studies. Thousands of Logos users have gotten books for less than the price of a latte or a gallon of gas (which is around $3.00 in Bellingham, Washington).
For example, a few years ago, the R.A. Torrey Collection went for $15 on Community Pricing, $69.95 on Pre-Pub, and it now sells for $119.95…”
How Does Community Pricing Work?
We estimate how much it will cost to produce a book. Let’s say a book costs $10,000 to produce. It could get into production under a number of scenarios:
- If 100 people bid $100
- If 1,000 people bid $10
- If 10,000 people bid $1
These are just examples, and this is a hypothetical book. There are also lots of other combinations of orders and prices that would get this to $10,000. But it should be clear that the more people bid, the lower the price is for everyone. It makes no difference what the final price is, as long as the costs are covered. The book will go into production whether one person bids $10,000 or whether 10,000 people bid $1. The math is the same…
Enough money talk, what are the spoils!?!?
Glad you asked, this is the exciting part:
The Baptist Covenant Theology Collection dives into seventeenth-and eighteenth-century covenant theology, emphasizing the implications God’s covenants with man have for modern-day believers, particularly regarding baptism. One of the largest divisions facing the Baptist church in the seventeenth century was the stance on paedobaptism. These texts carefully craft arguments from Scripture, drawing from developments in covenant theology to address contemporary arguments supporting infant baptism. The collection contains a blend of accessible texts written for laity and more in-depth scholarship for those wanting to dig into covenant theology.
With Logos Bible Software, these valuable volumes are enhanced by cutting-edge research tools. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Powerful searches help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Tablet and mobile apps let you take the discussion with you. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
- Examines seventeenth- and eighteenth-century covenant theology
- Addresses contemporary paedobaptist arguments
- Provides a variety of accessible and scholarly explorations of Scripture
- Volumes: 17
- Pages: 3,179
Sounds nice, but which titles exactly?
A collection of 17 books gathered from the primary sources used in Denault’s book, and others requested from well respected pastors (whom we’ve interviewed before on this topic):
- The Ax Laid to the Root, Part 1 by Benjamin Keach
- The Ax Laid to the Root, Part 2 by Benjamin Keach
- The Display of Glorious Grace; or, The Covenant of Peace, Opened by Benjamin Keach
- The Everlasting Covenant: A Sweet Cordial for a Drooping Soul by Benjamin Keach
- A Discourse of the Covenants That God Made with Man before the Law by Nehemiah Coxe
- A Short Description of the Difference between the Bond-Woman and the Free, as They Are the Two Covenants, 2nd ed. by Isaac Backus
- A Treatise Concerning the Lawful Subject of Baptism, 2nd ed. by John Spilsbery
- Truth Vindicated, in Several Branches thereof, and Many Objections Fairly and Soberly Answered
- A Just Reply to Mr. John Flavell’s Arguments, by Way of Answer to a Discourse by Cary Philip
- A Solemn Call by Cary Philip
- Baby-Baptism Meer Babism; or An Answer to Nobody by Samuel Fisher
- The Fallacy of Infants Baptisme Discovered; or, Five Arguments, to Prove That Infants Ought Not to Be Baptized by Paul Hobson
- A Treatise Concerning the Covenant and Baptism: Dialogue-wise, between a Baptist & a Poedo-Baptist by Edward Hutchinson
- Of Baptisme by Henry Lawrence
- A Little Cabinet: Richly Stored with All Sorts of Heavenly Varieties, and Soul-Reviving Influences by Robert Purnell
- A Treatise of the Vanity of Childish-Baptisme: Wherein the Deficiency of the Baptisme of the Church of England is Considered in Five Particulars Thereof by Andrew Ritor
- The Second Part of the Vanity & Childishnes of Infants Baptisme by Andrew Ritor
Quite a list, eh? See more details on them, including some sample pages, here.
When I first learned that this may be a reality in July of 2013 I said:
But I don’t have Logos nor the funds to get Logos!
Maybe you are in that same boat as me. No worries, Logos as a reader is free! You can download it on your iPhone or Android device right now for free. You can also read what you download free online at Biblia.com or to just get their free e-reader Vyrso. Just think of it as a Kindle reader app on steroids that orbits around the Biblical text. All of the biblical references in the books would be hyperlinked to whatever Bible you choose, and any references to resources that are already produced in Logos would be hyperlinked as well.
So why am I spending so much time asking you to be a part of this?
Well, whether one agrees with “1689 Federalism” or not, these are sources that would benefit any Confessional Baptist (aka 1689’r), and I don’t think any of us want to see this collection end up like Logos’ The Works of John Gill (19 vols.) which has been in this limbo state for several years now, yet to see the light of day (or at least the light on our monitors and smart phones).
Bottom line: can the Confessional Baptist community drum up support to make this a reality?
This is the means to get these primary sources out, if we got the costs covered. If anything, would you at least share this and encourage others to join in?
We are excited to play a small part in (hopefully) making this Baptist Covenant Theology Collection (17 vols.) resource available to a much, much wider audience by getting in on this while it is at its cheapest price.
So, will you join us in making this a reality?
Update March, 12, 2014:
IT MADE IT!
Update March 19, 2014:
Thought it made it, but it didn’t… who know :(
Update May 2, 2014: It made it @ $18. Bidding ends May 9, 2014
Update Feb, 18, 2015: It is now in production!