This book explores the doctrine of the church among English Calvinistic Baptists between 1640 and 1660. It examines the emergence of Calvinistic Baptists against the background of the demise of the Episcopal Church of England, the establishment by Act of Parliament of the Westminster Assembly of Divines, and the attempted foundation of a Presbyterian Church of England. Ecclesiology was one of the most important doctrines under consideration in this phase of English history, and this book is a contribution to understanding alternative forms of ecclesiology outside of the mainstream National Church settlement.
It argues that the development of Calvinistic Baptist ecclesiology was a natural development of one stream of Puritan theology, the tradition associated with Robert Brown, and the English separatist movement. This tradition was refined and made experimental in the work of Henry Jacob, who founded a congregation in London in 1616 from which Calvinistic Baptists emerged. Central to Jacob’s ideology was the belief that a rightly ordered church acknowledged Christ as King over his people. The christological priority of early Calvinistic Baptist ecclesiology will constitute the primary contribution of this study to the investigation of dissenting theology in the period.
Publication Date: Jan. 2017
Publisher: Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers
Ian Birch is Principal of the Scottish Baptist College where he lectures in Theology and Baptist Studies. He contributed to The Plainly Revealed Word of God? Baptist Hermeneutics in Theory and Practice (2011) and Mirrors and Microscopes (2015). He was winner of the Payne Memorial Essay Prize for “‘The Counsel and Help of One Another’: Origins and Concerns of Early Particular Baptist Churches in Association” in 2012.
Volume 8 contains essays on twenty more men and women from the early to mid-nineteenth century, a period known for its great missionary outreach. Hardcover. Bound in Navy cloth vellum with gold stamping. 702 pages. Illustrated with some rare portraits and other pictures. Three extensive indexes – Persons, Subjects and Churches.
The essays contained in this volume are [links give short description]:
This booklet presents a detailed chronology by years of the important events that occurred in Benedict’s long and useful life, which are not generally known, including ministry matters, denominational and historical publications, family concerns, and other leading events. An Appendix provides his never before reprinted sermon on revivals, in which he shares his thoughts concerning them, stating at the outset that “so important is it, that we should have right views and feelings respecting them, that, on the one hand we should not overleap the boundaries of duty and propriety, nor on the other, stand aside with cold and suspicious indifference from the real work of God.” Glossy cover paperback, 34 pages. $6.00 plus shipping.
James M. Renihan, over at the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies, concludes:
Our fathers promoted the cause of education and training. They raised funds. They asked some of their most capable pastors to take the lead in developing training programs. They urged capable men to earn credible academic credentials. They built institutions which served the churches very well for many years.
… It is curious that many people think that Baptists undervalue the need for education and preparation while our history testifies to exactly the opposite. Will we be like them? Will we give time, effort and funds to plan for the future?
By showing that the original signers of the confession were evangelistic and missions-minded and by showing that those who held to the confession in North America were also evangelistic and missions-minded, it is hoped that we can lay to rest the mistaken notion that those who held to the 1689 Baptist Confession and its theological descendants in America – the Philadelphia and Charleston Confessions – were unconcerned and uninvolved in the work of missions and church planting.
Published by Reformed Baptist Faith and Family Ministry
Reformed Baptist Faith & Family (RBFF) is a non-profit Christian printing and publishing ministry, which exists to provide the Churches of Jesus Christ with quality resources aimed at equipping, exhorting and encouraging her members while remaining committed to the biblical truths as preserved in the 1689 Second London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689 Baptist Confession).
The Baptist Story is a narrative history spanning over four centuries of a diverse group of people living among distinct cultures on separate continents while finding their identity in Christ and expressing their faith as Baptists. Baptist historians Anthony Chute, Nathan Finn, and Michael Haykin highlight the Baptist transition from a despised sect to a movement of global influence. Each chapter includes stories of people who made this history so fascinating. Although the emphasis is on the English-speaking world, The Baptist Story integrates stories of non-English-speaking Baptists, ethnic minorities, women, and minority theological traditions, all within the context of historic, orthodox Christianity.
This volume provides more than just the essential events and necessary names to convey the grand history. It also addresses questions that students of Baptist history frequently ask, includes prayers and hymns of those who experienced hope and heartbreak, and directs the reader’s attention to the mission of the church as a whole. Written with an irenic tone and illustrated with photographs in every chapter, The Baptist Story is ideally suited for graduate and undergraduate courses, as well as group study in the local church.
Hardcover: 512 pages Publisher: B&H Academic (August 15, 2015) Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.3 inches
In the video interview below recorded at the 2014 Annual ETS Conference in San Diego, CA, authors Anthony L. Chute, Nathan A. Finn and Michael A. G. Haykin discuss their recently released volume, The Baptist Story: From English Sect to Global Movement.
Michael Haykin wrote the chapters on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Baptists, Anthony Chute authored the section on nineteenth-century Baptists, and Nathan Finn concluded with the twentieth century and beyond.
[As far as I know, Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin is the only Reformed Baptist contributing to this book. He wrote chapter one on “Some Historic Roots of Congregationalism”, which can be read here and at the bottom of the post.]
Mark Dever (Editor), Jonathan Leeman (Editor), Andrew M. Davis (Contributor), John S. Hammett (Contributor), Michael A. G. Haykin (Contributor), Benjamin L Merkle (Contributor), Thomas R. Schreiner (Contributor), Kirk Wellum (Contributor), Stephen J. Wellum (Contributor), Thomas White (Contributor), Shawn Wright (Contributor)
Ours is an anti-polity age, perhaps more than any other time in the history of the church. Yet polity remains as important now as it was in the New Testament.
What then is a right or biblical polity? The contributors to this volume make an exegetical and theological case for a Baptist polity. Right polity, they argue, is congregationalism, elder leadership, diaconal service, regenerate church membership, church discipline, and a Baptist approach to the ordinances.
Each section explores the pastoral applications of these arguments. How do congregationalism and elder leadership work together? When should a church practice church discipline? How can one church work with another in matters of membership and discipline?
To be read sequentially or used as a reference guide, Baptist Foundations provides a contemporary treatment of Baptist church government and structures, the first of its kind in decades.
The September  issue of “Towers” [SBTS’s monthly publication] is now online and in stands. SBTS professors Mark Coppenger and Michael A.G. Haykin help readers toward a clearer understanding of the often convoluted and always complex issue of Christians engaging in warfare (page 12). Coppenger also offers a brief summary of just-war theory (page 13)…
Many Anabaptist ideas made invaluable contributions to the Reformation. For example, these five tenets might be identified as Anabaptist distinctives:
Sola Scriptura—Anabaptists were sometimes more consistent than the Magisterial Reformers in their insistence on biblical authority for certain practices in matters of church polity and worship.
Separation of Church and State—Anabaptists correctly saw the church as the assembly of the redeemed, antithetical to the world and sometimes antagonistic to society as a whole. For this reason they advocated separation of church and state.
Freedom of Conscience—because of the Anabaptists’ convictions about the role of the secular state, they believed that the ultimate remedy for heresy was excommunication. They steadfastly opposed the persecution that was so characteristic of their age. They denied that the state had a right to punish or execute anyone for religious beliefs or teachings. This was a revolutionary notion in the Reformation era.
Believers’ Baptism—The anabaptists were the among the first to point out the lack of explicit biblical support for infant baptism. Most of them made no issue of the mode of baptism, and practiced affusion (sprinkling), however, so they were not true baptists in the modern sense of the word.
Holiness of Life—Anabaptists gave much emphasis to spiritual experience, practical righteousness, and obedience to divine standards. They had no tolerance for those who claimed to be justified by faith while living unfaithful lives. Anabaptists pointed out that Scripture says, “Faith without works is dead” (Jas. 2:20).
On most of those points we would strongly agree with the Anabaptists’ thrust (though not necessarily with the extreme conclusions they sometimes came to).
Nevertheless, there is very good reason to approach the Anabaptist movement with a healthy dose of caution. While acknowledging our very real debt to the Anabaptists on the matters enumerated above, we must also recognize an unhealthy tendency in Anabaptist doctrine: Anabaptists rejected the Reformed understanding of justification by faith alone. They denied the forensic nature of justification and insisted that the only ground on which sinners can be acceptable to God is a “real” righteousness wrought within the justified person.
For further reading on Anabaptist theology see the recommended resources (links) on Phil Johnson’s site.
Most Baptists are fooled into thinking that we come from the Anabaptists just because the word “baptist” is found in their name. But we must use great caution here. We must explore who the Anabaptists really were and ask the all-important question: Are they truly representative of Baptist beliefs?Who are these people called “Anabaptist”? This group refers to a community of rebels during the Reformation period; they were considered to be the radical wing of the Reformation. Even within this group there were various views and camps. Two main separate camps can be identified: the “revolutionary Anabaptist” and the “evangelical Anabaptist.” We really do not want to spend too much time on the revolutionary group for they hardly reflect a biblical approach to Christianity. They actually took on the form of a cult, holding to an extreme mystical experiential view and believing their leaders to be prophets (future-tellers). They were also quick to use violence to get their way.However, the “evangelical” Anabaptists were a movement of a different type. And it is from this group that many say the Baptist movement was born. Thus, we need to take some time to examine them. This group, first of all, rejected the orthodox Christian view of sin. Instead of holding to sin as a bondage both of the nature and actions of mankind, they held that sin was “a loss of capacity or a serious sickness.” The Anabaptists, in following Rome’s view of justification, held that God makes us righteous and then accepts us on the basis of our righteousness. They also believed that Christ did not take His flesh from Mary but held to a heavenly origin for His flesh. When it came to the world, the Anabaptists believe we were to totally separate ourselves from it (although they did dip into it with a zealous evangelism on occasion). The Anabaptists rejected infant baptism and held to believer’s baptism, but their mode for the most part was sprinkling, not pouring or immersion. Their view of interpreting Scripture was that of just strict imitation which led to large movements of legalism.When we look at the Anabaptists we must agree that there are some similarities with the early General Baptists, but overall these similarities are slight and not always relational. In the end, we must come to say that this group of Christians does not reflect the historical teaching of the Baptists. The large portion of Baptist history shows us that Baptists held to a strong position on sin, both in our nature and in our actions, not as just some mere sickness. Baptists have also held to a belief in the virgin birth and see that this is what points to the doctrine of the God-Man, not just some heavenly illusion. As well, Baptists have held strongly to the Reformation’s recovery of justification – that it is based upon Christ’s righteousness alone and not our righteousness because we have none. And finally, Baptists have always seen that the Scriptures are to be studied and applied to everyday life through the power of the Holy Spirit and are not to be followed just in blind imitation or by a leap of faith. So we must clearly reject, as history does, that the Baptist origins flow from the Anabaptists.
The fact of history is that three “Believer’s-Only” groups arose independently of each other and with a few similarities, but even more dissimilarities. The Continental Anabaptists (who did not immerse), the English General Baptists, and the English Particular Baptists.
1644, The First (Particular Baptist) London Confession of Faith
The Confession of Faith, Of those Churches which are commonly (though falsly ) called Anabaptists;
So if Baptists are not the heirs to the Anabaptists, who are? The Amish, The Brethren, and the Mennonites.
In 2006 the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and in 2008 the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) apologized for the Lutheran persecution of Anabaptists. To whom did they apologize? SBC, or any Baptist group? No. They apologized to Mennonites. (see ELCA and LWF)
The Baptist Story is a narrative history of a diverse group of people spanning over four centuries, living among distinct cultures on separate continents, while finding their common identity in Christ and expressing their faith as Baptists. Baptist historians Anthony Chute, Nathan Finn, and Michael Haykin highlight the Baptist transition from a despised sect to a movement of global influence. Each chapter includes stories of people who made this history so fascinating. Although the emphasis is on the English-speaking world, The Baptist Story integrates stories of non-English speaking Baptists, ethnic minorities, women, and minority theological traditions, all within the context of historic, orthodox Christianity.
This volume provides more than just the essential events and necessary names to convey the grand history. It also addresses questions that students of Baptist history frequently ask, includes prayers and hymns of those who experienced hope and heartbreak, and directs the reader’s attention to the mission of the church as a whole. Written with an irenic tone and illustrated with photographs in every chapter, The Baptist Story is ideally suited for graduate or undergraduate courses, as well as group study in the local church.
This year we gathered to commemorate the 325th anniversary of the historic 1689 Baptist Confession.
Our hearts were lifted and our commitment to Scripture renewed as we reflected upon the kind providence of our covenant God toward His people.
The LORD was pleased to bless the conference with a precious unity of hearts and a single focus on orthodox confessional truths, that we pray will fortify and equip our gospel churches to proclaim the Lordship of Christ to all the nations.
In addition, the LORD through the working of His Spirit begun a confessing, reformed Baptist pastoral fellowship that will begin to meet bi-monthly in the central Indianapolis area. If you would like to be notified of the date and location of the meetings do so by sending your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We pray that the Lord will bless and keep you all, hope to see you again next year – LORD willing!