BAPTIST HISTORY Lesson 1 A Study in Identity and Distinctives
What are we going to do and how are we going to do it? Focus: Baptist life from its early 17th century origins up to the present Objectives Factual To obtain adequate familiarity with the events, movements, and personalities in Baptist history and to grasp the theological assumptions necessary for understanding Baptist identity and to learn how various units of Baptist life work together Attitudinal/ Functional Using the facts acquired to develop an awareness of and appreciation for our theological and eccesiological heritage and to determine our own biblical philosophy and methodology
TEXTS The Baptists: Beginnings in Britain Tom J. Nettles The Baptists: Beginnings in America Tom J. Nettles Baptist Confessions of Faith W. L. Lumpkin Baptist Theology: A Four Century Study James Leo Garrett The British Particular Baptists 1638-1910 (3 vols) edited by Michael A.G. Haykin Baptist and The Bible, by L. Russ Bush and Tom J. Nettles
BAPTIST IDENTITY Baptists must learn to appreciate anew the unique identity forged by those who discovered and refined these tenets. To misrepresent or modify the tenets that historically have distinguished Baptists is to belittle the labor and sacrifice of those who have preceded us. In addition, to redefine the essence of Baptist identity destroys the foundation of association of our Baptist churches. R. Stanton Norman The Baptist Way: Distinctives of a Baptist Church Three Approaches to Baptist Identity Baptists by Conditioning “I’m Baptist born and I’m Baptist bred; and when I die I’ll be Baptist dead!” Baptist by Convenience “I’m a Baptist because I’m a member of First Baptist Church” Baptist by Conviction “I am a Baptist because I believe that Baptist beliefs best accord with biblical faith and practice”
BAPTIST IDENTITY Contemporary background ‘Baptists are not evangelicals’ Baptists are freedom loving people who’s personal, internal experience of God is greater that any exegetical truth; greater than anything that can be known outside of us Soul Liberty “the competency of the soul in religion” the individual subjective experience and perceptions of truths are the basic, fundamental identification of what makes a Baptist Coherent Truth The tenets of freedom and voluntarism would never produce a Baptist church apart from a broader foundation of theological, Christological and soteriological truths Baptists must be Christian and Protestant evangelical believers before they can be Baptist
Four essential elements to the Coherent Truth view I. Baptist are orthodox • God is a revealing God • God is a Triune God • Jesus is the God/man
Nicene Creed We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made,of one being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven:by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.He has spoken through the Prophets.We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.We look for the resurrection of the dead,and the life of the world to come. AMEN.
Four essential elements to the Coherent Truth view I. Baptist are Orthodox Sacramentalism: the view that the sacraments of the church convey the reality of what they signify and are the actual means of the grace of God • God is a revealing God • God is a Triune God • Jesus is the God/man II. Baptist are Evangelical • Justification by faith • Immediacy and necessity of the Spirit’s work for salvation • Necessity and completeness of the Work of Christ • Conversion above nurture
III. Baptist are confessional and catechetical • Confessions and catechisms have always been essential parts of Baptist church life • Baptists have seen the necessity of the church being formed on a confession • That is personal • That is corporate IV. Baptist are Separate “Baptist have a ‘theologically integrated ecclesiology’ vs. our paedobaptist friends who have an inconsistent ecclesiology” Dr. Nettles • The Church is the body of Christ from all nations, a new identity for the people of God • Visible saints/Believers church • Baptism of believers only by immersion • Discipline in the local congregation • Absence of interference or special favors from magistrates
How did Baptist founder John Smyth publically demonstrate his break from the state Church of England in 1609? • He wrote 95 theses and posted them on the door of Westminster Cathedral • He baptized himself and his followers • He translated the Bible into English • He sailed to America to establish a colony of Separatists. • Why was the idea of believer’s baptism by immersion so radical in the 17th century? • It was a challenge to a very long church tradition. • Infant baptism gave a person a Christian name, membership in the official church, and a recognized place in society. • The public ritual of immersion seemed disgraceful and unhealthy to many people. • All of the above.
The annual Southern Baptist Christmas offering for missions is named in honor of what missionary to China? • Hudson Taylor • Jonathon Goforth • Eric Liddell • Lottie Moon • Though the earliest Baptists (called General Baptists) were Arminian in their theology, a second stream of early Baptists were Calvinist. What were they called? • Particular Baptist • Predestined Baptist • Depraved Baptist • Infallible Baptist • Who of the following was not a black Baptist preacher? • Martin Luther King Jr. • Nat Turner • Frederick Douglas • John Jasper
When this Baptist missionary-to-be brought up the Great Commission at a Baptist Association meeting, one minister supposedly retorted, ‘young man, sit down, sit down!...When God pleases to convert the heathen, he’ll do it without consulting you or me.’ In response, the young visionary wrote An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians, to use means for the Conversion of the Heathens. • Adoniram Judson • William Carey • David Livingston • Hudson Taylor • What’s so important about the 17th century Baptist leader, Thomas Helwys? • He rebelled against his church and baptized all the infant children • He was the first missionary to Iceland • He wrote the first defense of religious liberty in the English language • He predicted the rise of the Moral Majority in America
What pioneering missionary embarked from America as a Congregationalist and became a Baptist on the way to India? • William Carey • Hudson Taylor • Adoniram Judson • Lottie Moon • slave-turned-Baptist preacher George Liele not only founded one of the earliest black churches in America, he also became one of the first Baptist overseas missionaries when he sailed to which country? • India • Jamaica • China • Ethiopia • When this Calvinist Baptist ‘Prince of Preachers’ died in 1892, the city of London went into mourning and 100,000 people lined the streets for the funeral parade. • Dwight Moody • A B Simpson • Billy Sunday • Charles H Spurgeon