Stanley J. Grenz seeks to build upon emphases that have been significant throughout Baptist history?the personal nature of the salvation experience, the ordinances of believer's baptism and the Lord's Supper, primacy of Scripture, the church as a company of the redeemed, and the concept of separation of church and state. Questions relating to each chapter will stimulate group interaction and provide thought for personal reflection. Baptists of all fellowships and affiliations will find this book an invaluable resource for understanding the foundations of Baptist beliefs and polity.
This work offers a survey on the history of Baptists. When John Smyth organized the first Baptist church, he wanted to establish the New Testament church; believer's baptism was the missing link. Baptists of subsequent eras often continued the search to embody 'New Testament Christianity'. Unique to surveys of Baptist life, Doug Weaver highlights this restorationist theme as a way to understand Baptist identity. Weaver does not force the theme, but the 'search' is ever present. It is found in the insistence upon believer's baptism, but also in examples like the Sabbath worship of Seventh Day Baptists, the 'nine rites' of colonial Separate Baptists, the women preachers of Free Will Baptists, the 'trail of blood' of Landmarkism, the social gospel of Walter Rauschenbusch, the 'fundamentals' of fundamentalism and the ministry of the European pioneer Johann Oncken. Like other recent Baptist studies, Weaver describes Baptist diversity. Still, he highlights the persistent commitment of most Baptists to an informal constellation of 'Baptist distinctives'. Alongside the quest for the New Testament church (and congregational community), Weaver especially highlights the Baptist commitment to religious liberty and the individual conscience. This emphasis, while later reinforced by Enlightenment ideals, could already be found in the biblicist piety of the earliest Baptists who insisted that individual believers must have the right to choose their religious beliefs because they would stand alone before God at the final judgment. Both chronological and thematic, this book addresses such themes as the role of women, the social gospel, ecumenism, charismatic influences, and theological emphases in Baptist life. The book's focus is America, but it also includes helpful introductory chapters on early English Baptists and international Baptists.
This is the most comprehensive history of Baptist higher education available. In this book, the fullness of the Baptist experience in Christian higher education is explored, charted, and analyzed. Beginning with the establishment in 1756 of the Academy and reaching to the present the author explores the need for Baptists to pursue education and the types of schools they founded. Included are colleges, universities, manual-labor schools, literary and theological institutions, theological schools, and Bible colleges. Special attention is given to women and higher education and black Baptist achievements. Details are provided about what makes a Baptist school Baptist: charters, trustees, presidents, support, church accountability. The major examples of each type are woven together into an integrated narrative involving Northern, Southern, Freewill, independent, black, fundamentalist, and Landmarkist strands. In many instances, Baptists can rightly claim pioneering status, notably in women's education and among the black Baptist traditions. In other instances, Baptists were imitators of groups like Congregationalists and Presbyterians. Towering above all other achievements was the University of Chicago that brought Baptists into the forefront of American higher education. Readers will note the attention given to Canadian developments, as the author's North American orientation shines through. The interrelationships between the Canadian and American Baptist communities cannot be denied. Chapters at the end of the typological and chronological narratives ponder the meaning of denominational education at present, with suggestions about the future of 'faith-based' institutions and the failure of contemporary literature to attend properly to Baptist idiosyncrasies.
The Puritans called Baptists "the troublers of churches in all places" and hounded them out of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Four hundred years later, Baptists are the second-largest religious group in America, and their influence matches their numbers. They have built strong institutions, from megachurches to publishing houses to charities to mission organizations, and have firmly established themselves in the mainstream of American culture. Yet the historical legacy of outsider status lingers, and the inherently fractured nature of their faith makes Baptists ever wary of threats from within as well as without. In Baptists in America, Thomas S. Kidd and Barry Hankins explore the long-running tensions between church, state, and culture that Baptists have shaped and navigated. Despite the moment of unity that their early persecution provided, their history has been marked by internal battles and schisms that were microcosms of national events, from the conflict over slavery that divided North from South to the conservative revolution of the 1970s and 80s. Baptists have made an indelible impact on American religious and cultural history, from their early insistence that America should have no established church to their place in the modern-day culture wars, where they frequently advocate greater religious involvement in politics. Yet the more mainstream they have become, the more they have been pressured to conform to the mainstream, a paradox that defines--and is essential to understanding--the Baptist experience in America. Kidd and Hankins, both practicing Baptists, weave the threads of Baptist history alongside those of American history. Baptists in America is a remarkable story of how one religious denomination was transformed from persecuted minority into a leading actor on the national stage, with profound implications for American society and culture.
From Little Dove Old Regular Baptist Church, up a hollow in the Appalachian Mountains, with its 25-member congregation, to the 18,000-strong Saddleback Valley Church in Lake Forest, California, where hymns appear on wide-screen projectors; and from Jerry Falwell, Jesse Helms, and Tim LaHaye to Martin Luther King Jr., Jesse Jackson, Bill Clinton, and Maya Angelou, Baptists are a study in contrasts. At first glance, Baptist theology seems classically Protestant in its emphasis on the Trinity, the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the authority of Scripture, salvation by faith alone, and baptism by immersion. Yet interpretation and implementation of these beliefs have made Baptists one of the most fragmented denominations in the United States. Indeed, they are often characterized as a people who "multiply by dividing." This book introduces readers to this fascinating and diverse denomination, offering a sociological portrait of a group numbering some thirty million members. Bill J. Leonard explores Baptist history, beliefs, practices and disputes, as well as contributions to American culture and the religious landscape. Leonard also discusses the major controversial issues within the denomination, including race, the interpretation of scripture, the role of women in the church, the separation of church and state, religion and politics, ethics, and sexuality. -- From publisher description.
A church free from state control and a state free from church control--Such is one of the radical insights of a baptist vision of church and society. -- What exactly is a baptist vision of the church? -- What are the biblical, historical and theological roots of this approach to Christian community? -- What is the place of such a vision in the context of a global church that includes alternative notions of the body of Christ? Free Church, Free State is a textbook on baptist ways of being church and a proposal for the future of baptist churches in an ecumenical context. Nigel Wright argues that both baptist (small 'b') and catholic (small 'c') church traditions should seek to enrich and support each other as valid expressions of the body of Christ without sacrificing what they hold dear. Written for pastors, church planters, evangelists and preachers, Nigel Wright offers frameworks of thought for baptists and non-baptists in their journey together following Christ.
This book re-examines Baptist theology and practice in the light of contemporary biblical, theological, ecumenical, and missiological perspectives. It is not a study in denominationalism, but rather attempts to revision historical insights from the believers' church tradition, seeking to re-appropriate forgotten emphasis, bringing them together in a revised ecclesiology.
With 110 million members worldwide, Baptists are surpassed only by Roman Catholic and Orthodox groups as the largest segment of Christians. The term 'Baptist' has its origins with the Anabaptists, the denomination historically linked to the English Separatist movement of the 16th century. Although Baptist churches are located throughout the world, the largest group of Baptists lives in the Southern United States, and the Baptist faith has historically exerted a powerful influence in that region of the country. The A to Z of the Baptists relates the history of the Baptist Church through a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries on important events, doctrines, and the church founders, leaders, and other prominent figures who have made notable contributions. This volume commemorates the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Baptist movement in 1609.
The sixteen chapters contained in this book are not a history of the church. They are meant to be an interpretation and commentary on that history. I have attempted to acknowledge the biases of all parties, including the Baptists. My purpose is to propose an answer for the varying opinions and practices of Christians, even among Baptists.