A Baptist History Question

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by tyndale1946, Dec 30, 2002.

  1. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2001
    Messages:
    6,179
    Likes Received:
    226
    Gina brought up an interesting point that I would like to address and would like to get others output how we can draw others here. Why are not more brothers and sister interested in Baptist History? Is it not also church and biblical history and is the history of our forefathers?

    This is probably the quietest forum on the BB as we pass information on to others and learn about the trials, tribulations and persecutions of our Baptist forefathers. Though they took the name recently except for those called Anabaptist I can truly say we have been Baptist since John The Baptist. I know of no other designated a Baptist before John and the reason he was one is because he was the one who set the standard with Jesus Christ the mode of Baptism that all must follow.

    We should know our Baptist Heritage and all about our family tree... Where Christ is the tree and we are the many branches... What a great and rich history the Baptist people have but very few on the BB want to explore it... Why?... If they have questions we have answers or can find someone who knows the answer. Is the Baptist house so divided we just don't care? We need to generate some interest in the cause of Christ for Baptist History where it all comes together at the feet of Jesus... Because Baptist History... Is His Story Too!... Brother Glen Of The Primitive Baptist Brethren [​IMG]

    [ December 30, 2002, 04:10 AM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  2. Walls

    Walls
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Messages:
    802
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is a good topic and one that I would love to see people participate in. I would love to learn about true Baptist history. Most of what I read is Christian in nature but covers all denominations. Is there any good Baptist History resources out there?
     
  3. John Miller

    John Miller
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2001
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is it perhaps many Baptists feel content with what they have today, without regard for the sacrifices that have been made throughout history
    to get us where we are today.
     
  4. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    5,145
    Likes Received:
    25
    Glen, in these past 25 or so years that I've studied church history, I've found that the majority of good Christian people just don't get all that interested in it. I haven't figured out why. I could live and breathe it. But I've always had some turn of interest in "old" things.
     
  5. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2001
    Messages:
    6,179
    Likes Received:
    226
    Brother Robert it seems like you and I are alike... but then again what is the harm in drumming up a little business!... Can't hurt and can only help even if we get just one person interested!... btw I dozed off in my US History class... Maybe now I can condone for past sins :eek: ... I [​IMG] the history of the church of God... His Story!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  6. rsr

    rsr
    Expand Collapse
    <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    10,079
    Likes Received:
    102
    Americans, generally, have little interest in history and adore the youth culture.

    I think this is changing because of the wonderful crop of secular history writers that have appeared over the last several years.

    I know I have a bit different view of Baptist history than most here, but it has been a real pleasure talking with you and learning more about the Baptist heritage -- wherever we think that leads us.

    God bless and happy New Year.
     
  7. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    0
    Glen,

    Pull up a chair, get a cup of coffee, this may be a long one. [​IMG]

    As I think you know I am a historian by training (Ph.D., American History), I have had some success in getting historical things published. That is to give my credentials on the subject.

    History is a subject that most folks think that any clown can do and do competently. Just ain't so. There are historical methodology courses one must take in college before one can graduate with a degree in History. Many so called histories have been written without these methodologies. Some are successful, some aren't. It is obvious to most folks which are which.

    Now for the problems with studying religious/ church history for most folks.

    a. Many people were turned off to history of any kinds by boring high school history classes.

    b. Many people have a realization that the study of history might shake up their faith a bit.
    By this I mean that most people probably realize that their churches' positions have evolved over time, and have incorporated things which were not present in the Apostolic church. They might also realize that in their view of things a particularly close loved one or ancestor might not have been a "saved" person in their view. Painful stuff.

    c. Particularly true in Baptist circles, there are historically strong racist undercurrents, which folks in this time would find distasteful and would prefer not to confront.

    d. True of almost all Christian denominations there has been an undercurrent of persecution of those that would disagree with their positions. The most famous of which would be the Catholic inquisition, but there are plenty of subtle examples among Protestants, even Baptists.

    e. Particularly true of most Baptists -- they/we have had a long history of schisms. The story of these divisions often have been passed along orally. This results in people believing they understand the history (when in fact they may or may not). Even if they realize they don't understand the whole story, it may be painful for some to relive.

    f. People have busy lives, and historical inquiry is a low priority.

    Now, we both know that Primitive Baptists are more cognizant of their history than most/(all?) other Baptist groups.

    This type thinking whether in Primitive Baptists or any other baptist group tends to lead to some arrogance about what really happened in times past and gone. This tends to show it self in statements like the "historical (fill in the blank type) Baptist" position. This can be deceptive to some who don't understand what the historical what the "fill in the blank" Baptist position was. The hearer takes the statement as fact. The person making the statement may believe the statement is fact. Doesn't make it so.

    Another reason folks don't understand their own history is the compartmentalization of studies. For example if I were an Old Regular Baptist, I would find few little published information on my group. The same could be said of Separate Baptists. Primitive Baptists have a disproportionate number of histories for their membership numbers.

    Internal histories (written by members of a particular group) are often slanted to justify that groups' theological positions. External histories (written by academics or interested individuals) often miss the subtle differences in theology, point of history, personality that are apparent to those who are inside. So, much of what is written doesn't ring true either to those inside or outside the group. Many so-called histories are more properly anthropological studies. Some anthropoligical studies are actually trunkated histories. Some so called histories are more akin to historical fiction than real history. (Mike Ivey's book comes to mind in this category).

    Good histories should have some peer review process. I write Civil War histories for part of my income. Each one is circulated to other historians in the field for comment/correction. Internal religious/church histories, if they are peer reviewed are usually circulated to those who would share similar theological views. External religious/church histories are usually peer reviewed, but most of the peer reviewers are incompetent to the task.

    So those are some of the reasons Baptists/Christians dont study their history.

    Now, as for what is needed for a good historical study. A cold, dispassionate view is essential. You have to let the chips fall where ever they fall. This is very difficult for someone who is passionate about their faith.

    In an ideal world, the best church/religious history should be written by a partnership of an internal and an external writer. The peer review process should also include academics and those who are members of the study group.

    Bro. Robert wrote:

    I agree. I could and usually do live and breathe history -- not just church history though.

    I have had my rant about history now. I am going back to my corner.

    Jeff
     
  8. rsr

    rsr
    Expand Collapse
    <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    10,079
    Likes Received:
    102
    Well, a well-deserved rant, Jeff.
     
  9. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    5,145
    Likes Received:
    25
    Good points, Jeff. Probably "f" would describe the majority of people that I've run across who aren't interested in history - they are busy and it's a low priorty. But I've known some that fit the other categories, too. I can remember growing up and people debating the "splits" that the associations had splintered into. Of course, their group (i.e. whichever ones were doing the talking) were the ones who held to the original doctrine and practice. I would learn years later that perhaps neither one, or both, were correct in their statements - they just had no idea of how to interpret the facts, or were interpreting them on their zeal for what they considered to be the truth. Interesting fact: I can almost guarantee (at least in parts of the country with which I'm familiar) that if an association has "Old" or "Original" tagged in front of its name (such as Original Mt. Zion Association), it is the numerical minority of a split.

    I, too, have a general interest in history, but in recent years I have focused mostly on church history (and that on Baptist history and mostly American). That love for "old" things also gets me into genealogy and studying about how our forefathers lived the lives on a practical day to day basis - curing hams, making syrup, etc., etc. That stuff is in the fairly recent historical past for me, but unfortunately it's things that were fading after WWII and lost coming down to my generation. Most are things my father and mother knew/know, but did not continue to practice after he started to work "in the public." My grandfather's smokehouse in behind my house (which was his house), but I've never used it for more than storage. Oh well, that's way too much personal history! But at least those who frequent this forum usually like a little history. ;)
     
  10. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    0
    Robert Vaughn noted above:

    That doesn't seem to apply here in Appalachia. For example the Mates Creek Primitive Baptist Association is made up of two churches holding to Absolute Predestination of all things, while the Original Mates Creek is made up of 14 churches. The Mountain Union Association of Regular Baptists divided in 1960 into nearly equal parts, but the group which tacked on "Original" has thrived, while the more conservative plain Mountain Union has not. The Original Washington District Association was considerably larger than the universalist (1924 division) faction until the Original Washington divided again in the 1960s. In this part of the world, when a division takes place, it is as likely as not that one faction or the other will adopt a completely new name. For example the Union Association (larger group) divided with the Little River Association of Regular Baptists in 1938. The splinter group (larger) departed from the original Little River group over the issue of open or closed communion. The Fisher's River Association of Primitive Baptists divided in 1967. One group held to the Fisher's River name, while the other adopted the name Little Yadkin River Association of Primitive Baptists. And I could give a couple of dozen other examples of either way of doing it. Fortunately these divisions among the Primitive Baptists have been healed, but the two groups which came from the pre-1967 Fisher's River Association never reunited. There are lots of examples of that as well.
     
  11. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bro. Robert, if you like this stuff, there is a book you should get your hands on, and no you can't have my copy. It is "Housekeeping in Old Virginia." This work was published in 1879, and tells how to create every type food your great-great-grandparents probably ever tried to make. This one also describes in detail how to make medicinal cures, how to diagnose common illnesses. I wouldn't recommend anyone try them. Most of are of dubious curative power, and some downright dangerous.

    For other type of domestic industrial ventures, then the book entitled "Cyclopedia of Useful Knowledge" would fill the bill. No you can't have my copy of that one either. [​IMG] This one describes in detail how to make household repairs, how to build farm buildings and implements, how to pump water, etc., etc. One of these days I would like to scan them and put them online.

    I am surprised that this type stuff hasnt made its way onto the net, but so far, if it has, I haven't seen it.

    Happy ought 3.

    Jeff.
     
  12. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    5,145
    Likes Received:
    25
    Mighty stingy with our books there, aren't we?? ;) I'm surprised also that more of that type stuff is not available on the web.
     
  13. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2001
    Messages:
    6,179
    Likes Received:
    226
    Jeff by the time I'm posting this it is next year in your part of the woods. I bow in humble submission Professor Jeff and don't try to weasel out of it either... Credit where credit is due and I'm sure all the brethren agree with me. When you finish the restoration of your house I shall relinquish my cherished seat in Baptist History Forum to the only qualified candidate... Jeff Weaver... So be quick about it this forum needs you and I'm sure Brother Robert won't mind.

    In reguards to the old stuff... Isn't there a series of books called Foxfire that deals with the pioneer spirit and homemade things and such... How to live the pioneer life so to speak... how do you rate those series of book and do you know about them?... btw Jeff thanks for the history lesson!... Did I hear the bell ring?... Class dismissed?... I had a cyber apple for the professor somewhere but the worm ate it :eek: Brother Glen [​IMG]

    [ January 01, 2003, 02:24 AM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  14. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
    I would be amazed if Dr. Weaver ( :eek: ) did not know about the Foxfire series! Jeff's living in the deep Appalachia now. Save your stove ashes to make your lye to make your soap, Jeff! You never know when we're going to have to fall back on that stuff!

    As to the original topic, it saddens me that more people do not share the enthusiasm (or at least interest) in Baptist history that I (we) have. In discussions with my peers, I will find myself becoming quite passionate about the topic only to see a glazed look come in the eye of my compatriot.

    I would also add that this forum is the best resource I have ever encountered on the subject. It is by far my favorite on the board.
     
  15. Lurch99

    Lurch99
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    From the time I was about 14 or 15 I have been a big history buff . About 4 years ago I read a book by Robert K Churchill called "Lest We Forget" a history of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and ever since then I've been hooked on church history .
    Since then I've studied about the Catholic Church ,Angelican and the more mainline denominations . I've read what I could find about Baptist history but it seems like I'm only getting it in bits and pieces , it seems like I'm not getting the full picture ,so I am interested in learning all I can .
    Also being from Southwest Va. I would also like to learn more about what I call the older country Baptist denominations such as the Old Regular Baptists , Primitive Baptist and the Freewill Baptists. Being from Buchanon Co. Va. it seems like the churches in this area are more attuned to the past and are less likely to change with the times , I guess their are churches in this area that haven't changed in over a hundred years.
    Lets remember also "Those who do not learn from the past are likely to repeat the mistakes of the past".

    Eric
     
  16. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    5,145
    Likes Received:
    25
  17. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    0
    So much to catch up on. :D

    Welcome to neighbor Eric. I am sure you know I only live about 30 miles away. I know several people from Buchanan County, and occasionally go over there for meetings.

    Robert. As my wife says what is mine is mine and what is yours is all mine. Those books were tough to come by, so they are staying at home, but I am sure you know it was all in good fun.

    Clint. Thanks for bringing the Foxfire books to mind. I at one time had a set of them, but loaned them out, and they never found their way home. I am not sure if they are still being done or not. Elliott Wiggington, the sponsor of that program got himself in some trouble a few years back. I never did hear how all that was resolved.

    That said, there are several high schools which have used the Foxfire books as a model to do similar things, none, however, as successful as the original. The High School a couple of counties over does one, and does it quite well, but it is so narrow in scope that it wouldn't have much appeal outside that area. Those things are a great way to teach students about history, English grammer, and a host of ancillary topics. With the common advent of "Standards of Learning" I expect that a lot of that type project will die on the vine.

    Bro. Glen, thanks for the confidence about the moderatorship of this forum, but it isn't necessary, you all do a fine job.

    Bro. Robert, again. Giving Glory to God in Appalachia is one of Howard Dorgan's better efforts. (But is has been several years since I read it, and don't know where my copy is. Still haven't sorted out all the books since the move). I told you I heard Howard give a lecture in October, and had some conversation with him at that time. It is unfortunate that his mind seems to be slipping a bit. His works are typical of the external writer I mentioned in my earlier diatribe. He missed some things that I would have considered important. He also tends to leave out the view points of the critics of those groups. This was particurlarly evident in "Children of a Happy God." He understood and gave a good presentation of the theological roots of universalism, but he completely missed the real world events that led to that theology in that group of people.

    So, my assessment of Dorgan's works is that they are a good read, not authoritative and not as balanced as they could be. I still haven't read his book on the Old Regulars, which I understand is his personal favorite. I need to get my grubby hands on a copy of that. I haven't read his "Airwaves of Zion" book either. His expertise is in communication, not history or religion, so that probably explains much of what I see as the shortcomings in his works. BTW, I am not saying anything here that I didn't discuss with him face to face.

    Enough of this note.

    Jeff.
     
  18. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jeff,

    I have a one volume the Foxfire Book where one can learn how to dress a possum, hog dressing, faith healing and even moonshining.....are these the same books? Mine is dated 1969.

    Quite the read for a flatlander like me.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  19. Sherlock57

    Sherlock57
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2000
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Two more good books to read on Baptist History are:
    1. The History of the Baptist by Thomas Armitage DD. This is a two volumn set of around 1000 pages. I went to look for it to give you the name, but I couldn't find it. I got scared and really got down to looking and found it between my Hebrew Lexicon and my Treasury of David by Spurgeon. I don't know how it got there! [​IMG]
    2. On the lighter side of reading there is This Day in Baptist History by E. Wayne Thompson and David L. Cummins. It gives you a story about Baptists for each day of the year. [​IMG]
     
  20. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    5,145
    Likes Received:
    25
    Bro. Jeff, I understand some of the shortcomings of Professor Dorgan's works. But when I discovered "Giving Glory" over 10 years ago, it was like a breath of fresh air. I was tired of denominational Baptist writings that could do nothing but diatribe against any group not their own and/or not participating in their work. That doesn't mean I think the negative should never be brought out; just that Dorgan did it in a different spirit than much of what I had been used to reading. If I remember correctly, it was Dorgan's interest in preaching styles that first led him into studying some of these Baptist groups. I know about his "Airwaves of Zion" but have never read it. I also like Appalachian Mountain Religion: A History (though not just Baptist) by Deborah Vansau McCauley [University of Illinois Press, 1995]. Jeff, do you have any other recommends for reading about what Eric calls the older country Baptist denominations?

    The Foxfire books are great. Number 7 is my personal favorite, because it deals with religion - including camp meetings, shape-note singing, footwashing and snake handling. I would recommend getting it if it can still be found.
     

Share This Page

Loading...