A lack of Baptist scholarship?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Mexdeaf, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    In another Baptist forum, a statement similar to this was made- 'the reason we have so many Protestant/Presbyterian books in our libraries is due to a lack of serious Baptist scholarship.'

    This leads me to ask two or three questions-

    1. Do you agree with this assessment? Why or why not?

    2. Who would you consider as true Baptist scholars, modern age- say 1900 onward?
     
  2. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    The Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, and James wrote the first Baptist books of theology. They have been more widely distributed, studied, sold, hated, attacked, and loved than any other books of theology - or books of any kind - ever written.

    Modern day Baptists don't need to write theology books. All they need to do is commend people to those written near 2000 years ago.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  3. OldRegular

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    Good point Mark. However, Baptist doctrine should be expressed in a systematic manner such as the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. Baptists ought to know what Baptists believe. Most Christians will claim they believe the Bible. The question is: Do they interpret it properly?

    The earliest book on theology by a Southern Baptist was by John Dagg [Manual of Theology] in the 19th century.

    This was followed by Abstract of Systematic Theology by James P. Boyce one of the co-founders of the first Southern Baptist Seminary.

    Another book on theology by a Southern Baptist is Christian Doctrine by W. T. Conner of Southwestern Seminary, written in the early 20th century.

    Thomas J. Nettles, currently at Southern Seminary, has written a book on the history of Baptist Theology with emphasis on its demise into Arminianism. He also discusses historic Baptist Doctrines.

    Carl F. H. Henry, who I believe is an American Baptist has written a 6 volume set on theology [late 20th Century].

    Augustus H. Strong, an American Baptist, has written one of the most respected books on theology, though I am not familar with it [19th Century]

    Millard J. Erickson has written a well respected book on theology [late 20th Century] though I am not positive he is a Baptist.
     
  4. gb93433

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    I agree 100%. Man wants an easy answer, so he tries to read the work of someone who they think has the answers. I learned many years ago that if I quit spending money on theology books and bought good reference books it required more study but I learned much more about the Bible and who God is.
     
  5. Mark Osgatharp

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    Amen! I commited a bunch of theology books to the flames when I realized they were useless. I might also add that even "reference" books - though there are some useful ones - are many times only theology books in disquise.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  6. Mark Osgatharp

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    I certainly don't have a problem with confessions of faith if they are what they claim to be - confessions of faith - and not standards of faith.

    By the way, the 1689 London Confession is not really a Baptist confession of faith. It is a Baptist modification of the Presbyterian Westminster Confession of Faith. For that matter, the few "Baptist" theologies that exist are little more than Baptist rehashes of Presbyterian theology.

    You will note that many of the Baptist "scholars" of the 19th century were educated in Presbyterian schools. They then sought to inject Presbyterian theology into the Baptist churches.

    The desire of some ambitious Baptist ministers to emulate Presbyterian/Reformed scholasticism has been one of the greatest curses on the Baptist churches. In fact, I think a good case could be made that it was primarily through Presbyterian collegiate influence that modernism was thrown and the Baptist churches, yeah, on the country at large.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  7. paidagogos

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    Well, here is the answer to your question. Too often certain Baptists have an aversion to learning, thinking, and good sense. However, they have no Biblical basis for their bias against learning and knowledge. When Paul told Titus to bring “the books, but especially the parchments,” there is no indication in the text that these were the Scriptures alone. On the contrary, there is every reason to believe that Paul read and benefited from other books and manuscripts as well as the Scriptures. Furthermore, there are indications throughout Scripture that the writers themselves were knowledgeable of writings other than Scripture. So, those disparaging other religious books only show the poverty of their own minds—there’s no Biblical warrant for such thinking.

    This is not something to boast. Baptists need good Baptist theology books but I fear this shows our lack of emphasis on doctrine. It shows in the lack of doctrinal preaching in many Baptist pulpits and is confirmed by Baptists losing thousands of members to the cults. A good foundation of Bible doctrine is a bulwark against erosion into the cults.

    The interesting thing is most of the good Baptist writing comes from Reformed Baptist persuasion.
     
  8. EdSutton

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    I was amused at Mark's first response.
    As to 'modern age' scholars, Oh I don't know.
    Think A.T. Robertson might qualify?
    How about E.Y. Mullins?
    I have asked others in the past, what are the qualifications for 'scholar'? Who made the determinations? And who determines whether the qualifications have been met? I suggest this is a bit of a beauty is in the eye of the beholder type of thing.
    I might offer one little bit of insight or not. I suggest there has maybe never been but one theologian really worthy of the title, in the human sense, at least since the days of the NT writers. He happens to carry the moniker of a 'Baptist', I believe, and did live and die, long before 1900 as well. Theologian comes from two root words, theos (God); logoia (words); and a suffix that means relating to. Hence, 'theologian' is one relating to the words of God. That said, IMO, only John Gill could qualify. As I understand it, he, to this day, is the only individual to ever write commentary on each and every verse in the entire Bible. Absent having received faulty info, I suggest he qualifies; the rest are only pretenders.
    In His grace,
    Ed
     
  9. EdSutton

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    Do not confuse my last post. I am not offering any insight as to how good or bad I think any of the theologies of any of the above are.
    In His grace,
    Ed
     
  10. paidagogos

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    Is there anything wrong with writing and sharing with others the insights gained from reading Moses, Ezekiel, David, Matthew, Paul or Peter? Or, do we leave it to every Benny, Kennie and Jimmie to spin his own fanciful and allegorical interpretation to lead the flock astray?
     
  11. paidagogos

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    This thread sounds like a convention of the "Know-nothing" and "Don't Wanna Know-nothing" party.
     
  12. DeclareHim

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    1.I agree~
    There just isn't a whole lot out there on Baptist theology.The reason for that could very well be the fact that many Baptist disagree on many subjects.
     
  13. Mark Osgatharp

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    Yes, the only individual to shove Calvinism into every verse in the Bible. LOL!

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  14. Mark Osgatharp

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    Paul said,

    "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

    I don't see any where in that equation that, early the the 21st century, it would become needful for Baptist pastors to go read some Presbyterian books and write Baptist verions of them.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  15. Ron Arndt

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    Unfortunately early Baptists were staunch CALVINISTS, as their creeds will show. Today's Baptists are not Calvinists, for they believe Christ offered himself for all men and that men can come to Christ or reject Christ, when convicted by the Spirit of God and the gospel.
     
  16. Artimaeus

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    I think the reason there are not many scholarly Baptists books is because Baptist Theology is just plain too simple for "real" theologians.

    Read Bible...Believe Bible...Do Bible (End of Baptist theology lesson)

    But that is just not good enough for those who believe more is better.
     
  17. Major B

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    Yes, the only individual to shove Calvinism into every verse in the Bible. LOL!

    Mark Osgatharp
    </font>[/QUOTE]Reading that response, I am curious as to whether you have ever actually read any of Gill's stuff. His Body of Divinity has a lot in it beside Election. The same goes for Calvin's commentaries. Calvin was an expositor. You probably would agree with most of what both of these guys wrote.

    Gill was a scholar without peer in his day. His understanding of Jewish literature still is helpful.
     
  18. Major B

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    I am glad to hear that you will no longer quote from, nor discuss baptist history and theology other than directly from the Bible.

    This, of course, would mean that you won't write any more on the board either, nor share any information by tract or in print.

    And the Landmark historians will be gone as well.

    Yeah, I am sure that will happen...
     
  19. Major B

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    A bit of Gill.
    Dripping with Calvinism...
     
  20. Mark Osgatharp

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    Yes I have. The statement was obviously an exaggeration, but it is a fact that Gill injects Calvinism into Scriptures which, even were Calvinism true (which it is not), have nothing to say about the subject.

    I have never read any of Calvin's commentaries and therefore cannot comment on them. I can say that had Calvin really loved the Lord the first thing he would have joined a Baptist church rather than trying to reform the Catholic church and then starting his own church when the Catholics booted him.

    So, out of the millions of people who lived in Gill's day, you have examined them all and found that not one of them excelled Gill in scholarship?

    I'm sure that by "Jewish literature" you mean non-Biblical Jewish literature (such as the Talmud). That being the case, I wonder how you reconcile your assertion with Paul's warning (found in Titus) that we not give heed to Jewish fables?

    Mark Osgatharp
     

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