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16 th -century Background. to Baptist Beginnings. Copyright 2007 NOBTS, Rex D. Butler and Lloyd A. Harsch. 1492 – Columbus discovered the New World & inspired global exploration during the 16 th century. Global Context.

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16 th century background

16th-century Background

to Baptist Beginnings

Copyright 2007 NOBTS, Rex D. Butler and Lloyd A. Harsch

global context
1492 – Columbus discovered the New World & inspired global exploration during the 16th centuryGlobal Context
  • 1607 – England staked a claim in the New World with founding of Jamestown
global context3
1517 – Martin Luther sparked Reformation with 95 Theses

1521 – Ulrich Zwingli, began Reform movement in Switzerland

1536 – John Calvin wrote first edition of Institutes

Global Context
global context4
1536 – William Tyndale was martyred for translating Bible into English; prayed “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!”Global Context
  • 1539 – Henry VIII ordered Great Bible to be placed in every church in England
  • 1525, in Zürich, Ulrich Zwingli’s students became convinced that believer’s baptism was the correct NT practice
  • Zwingli & Zürich City Council condemned & persecuted these Anabaptists, or “Re-baptizers”
    • Most leaders were dead within 5 years
  • Commonalities with early Baptists
    • Authority of Scripture for faith and practice
      • Scripture determines doctrine and practice
    • Believer’s baptism
      • Baptism is a public declaration of one’s faith, not a rite that brings one into the Church
    • Lord’s Supper as symbolic memorial and witness to Christ’s sacrifice
  • Commonalities with early Baptists
    • Priesthood of the believer
      • Because of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, every believer has the ability to understand God’s Word and apply it appropriately
      • Religious liberty
        • Belief cannot be coerced by the State which should not prescribe an official belief
      • Congregational polity
    • Strong emphasis on church discipline
  • Differences with early Baptists
    • Forbade taking oaths of allegiance to government
    • Forbade participation in government
    • Forbade participation in the military (Balthasar Hubmaier was an exception to these three prohibitions)
Henry VIII (1491-1547)
  • Opposition to Luther earned him title: “Defender of Faith”
  • But when Pope denied him divorce, he split from Catholic Church & formed Church of England with Henry as its head
    • 1534, “Act of Supremacy”
  • His children:

Mary (by Catherine, 1st wife)Elizabeth (by Anne, 2nd wife)Edward (by Jane, 3rd wife)

Edward VI (r.1547-53)
  • Became king at 9 yrs.
  • Protestant reform advanced under Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Introduced Book of Common Prayer
  • Catholicism made illegal
Mary Tudor (r.1553-58)
  • Returned England to Catholicism
  • Executed over 300 Protestants & Anabaptists
  • Including Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
  • Many exiles fled to Geneva
  • “Bloody Mary”
Elizabeth I (r.1558-1603)
  • Returned England to Protestantism
    • 1559, Elizabethan Settlement: Acts of Uniformity & Supremacy
  • Balance between Catholics & Protestants: via media
  • Anglican Church: Catholic rituals, Protestant theology, Episcopal polity
  • Two dissenting sects arose:
    • Puritans – advocated purification & reform within Church of England
    • Separatists – called for separation of true church from Church of England
english dissent
English Dissent
  • Catholic resistance to Anglican Church
    • Anglo-Catholics: Remained in Anglican Church but preferred only Catholic views in Prayer Book
    • Recusants: Refused to abide by the Prayer Book & held illegal worship services using Catholic liturgy
english dissent16
English Dissent
  • Puritans
    • Wanted Anglican Church to follow theology, worship & polity of Reformed (Presbyterian) faith & practice
    • Advocated purification & reform but remained within Anglican Church
    • Majority favored rule by presbytery
    • Accepted Prayer Book but conducted worship as “church within the church”
    • Cambridge became a hotbed of Puritanism
english dissent17
English Dissent
  • Separatists
    • Started meeting during Mary’s reign & began organizing during Elizabeth’s reign
    • Rejected state established Anglican Church; called for separation of true church – gathering of professing believers joined together by covenant
    • Held illegal meetings & rejected use of Prayer Book
english dissent18
English Dissent
  • Separatists
    • Calvinistic on predestination
    • Retained infant baptism within the model of a convenanted community
    • Congregational polity
      • No governance from outside congregation;
      • Each congregation decides matters of faith & order;
      • Each congregation calls, ordains & supervises ministers & church discipline
  • Founding Church
    • Robert Browne (1550-1633) believed congregation, not the bishop, should choose the pastor
      • Formed Separatist church in 1581 at Norwich (an area with a sizable Dutch community)
      • After his imprisonment, most went to Holland and eventually dissolved
      • Browne withdrew from Separatism & conformed to Anglican Church
  • Second Separatist Congregation in London
    • Henry Barrow and John Greenwood carried on in London
      • Staunch, often belligerent advocates of reform
      • Both executed in 1593
  • Ancient Church
    • 1592 - Francis Johnson (1562-1617) became pastor of what became known as the “Ancient Church”; he was imprisoned
    • 1593 - Conventicle Act placed penalties on those meeting outside church
      • Church moved to Amsterdam (Johnson joined them in 1597)
      • Often fought over minor details (jewelry, dresses)
  • 1595 - called Henry Ainsworth as pastor
    • Later split between Johnson and Ainsworth
    • Johnson advocated ministerial control over the congregation
    • Ainsworth wanted congregational control
  • 1617 - Johnson died and church declined
  • 1596, Ancient Church issued a confession of faith with 45 articles called “True Confession”
    • Reformed in theology
    • Written in defense of church’s doctrine and polity
  • Double predestination (art. 3)
  • Sacrificial atonement (art. 14)
  • 5 offices: pastor, teacher, elder, deacon, helper (art. 19)
  • Congregational rule over pastors and discipline (art. 23-24)
    • Attacked episcopacy (art. 28-31)
  • Sacraments
    • Given only by chosen and ordained leaders (art. 34)
    • Infant baptism used as sign of God’s covenant (art. 35)
    • Receive wine and bread which are a sign, neither Roman Catholic nor Lutheran (art. 35)
  • Congregations should follow same rule of faith (art. 38)
  • King has authority to enforce correct doctrine and practice (art. 39)