Doctrines of the Bible

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Walls, Feb 10, 2003.

  1. Walls

    Walls
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    I was wondering if anyone knew of doctrines that were preached in the 1600 & 1700's that differ from today; such as keeping Sunday as a holy day, prewrath rapture, feet washing, etc. Maybe there is a Baptist Doctrine book that dates back in the time era?

    Thanks for your help. We are studying this at home as part as history.
     
  2. BrianT

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    I don't know a lot about Baptist history, but I know there are several here that do, so hopefully they'll reply.

    I do know that premill and pretrib were not taught or even accepted a few hundred years ago. Amill/postmill and posttrib was the only game in town. Also, nobody was KJV-only. ;)
     
  3. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Walls

    I am not entirely sure of what you are after. So, clarify if I miss your point.

    I have never seen a book that lists baptist doctrines our a, b. c., etc. That was the purpose of Confessions of Faith, Articles of Faith, etc. But those leave room for wiggling. The most commonly accepted Confession were the London of 1644, London of 1689 and the Philadelphis of 1742. There was also a confession put together by the General Baptists in th early 17th century. (Forgotten the name of it at the moment). (You can do a google search and find the texts of all of these online).

    At any rate, there were two prevailing schools of thought -- the Calvinistic and the Arminian. Most of the early Baptists seem to fit rather neatly into one or the other camps -- none of this hybrid theology of most of today's Baptist groups. This hybridization seems to have begun during the great awakenings (1740-1810). (See the threads in this forum of recent date about the Great-Awakening).

    Brian T. is quite correct that the prevailing end-times position was amillenial, with a few post-tribbers thrown in for good measure. This position would have been held by those advocating both Calvinistic and Arminian salvational doctrines.

    As for the rest of the question, I really am not sure how to respond. The Philadelphia Confession lays out 7 ordinances of the church instead of 2 (commonly ascribed to now). We had a conversation in this forum a long time ago about those 7 ordinances. Most of those practices are still held by Baptist churches, just not called ordinances any more. So, there is one point you could investigate if that is your wish.

    From a Calvinistic prespective, you should investigate the writings of John Gill, D.D. (Again do a google search to find this stuff, most if not all of his writings are online).

    Hope it helps, but afraid it didn't. Let me know, if I can clarify.

    Jeff.
     
  4. rsr

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    1611 confession of the Helwys faction:

    http://www.reformedreader.org/ccc/acof1612.htm

    1660 Standard Confession:

    http://www.reformedreader.org/ccc/tsc.htm

    The Reformed Reader is an excellent site for historical documents. (Not surprising, it's heavily weighted toward Calvinism, but it has preserved the General confessions as well.)

    Creeds and confessions:

    http://www.reformedreader.org/ccc/hbd.htm

    Articles from preachers from the 17th to Nineteenth centuries:

    http://www.reformedreader.org/ccc/hbd.htm
     
  5. tyndale1946

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    You know Brother Jeff you bring up a very good point... There are two basic camps... Calvinists and Arminians... And too many hybrids to count!

    Either the doctrines of God or the doctrines of men... I guess that can be determined by which side of the fence you are on. What is amazing to me is that few come here and learn about their history... but are authorities on theology and don't even know the lineage of that theology and those that held those beliefs thoughout the church age!... Well those are my ramblings at the
    moment... Enjoy what everyone has said... Thank you all for the prayers for my wife Charlotte... I shall pipe in when I feel the need to for me...

    That was a good one Brian... Nobody was KJV only [​IMG] ... Now go over and convince the Bible Versions Translations Forum :rolleyes: ... Good luck!... Keep it up brethren... And Walls pass the word about us over here... We welcome all your not only Baptist but Church History questions at anytime!... And the brethren say... Amen!... Right brethren?... Brother Glen :cool:
     
  6. Walls

    Walls
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    Thank you all for responding! Here is what I am after. Everyone (that I know) seems to think the rapture will take place before the trib. But when you read the Bible, it just doesn't add up. There are many things that people claim to be sound doctrine, but the fact is when you read the Bible they just don't make sense.

    Also, I was wondering if the fall from true Bible doctrine in history correlates with the fall of this country. It would seem that as a little bit of truth is departed, this country has departed from its roots. Today, look at it! Christians are so far removed from what used to be, that it is no wonder this country is in the state it is in.

    So, I just wanted to know what used to be and possibly when. I was also wondering if the change happened to occur around the 1850. I believe that God's judgment begins with his people and if we are not following God's word, then we are to thank for the state of this country.
     
  7. Daniel Dunivan

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    Only a couple of things are constant in baptist history as "doctrines": believer's baptism and religious liberty.

    Oh, and where there are two baptists there are three opinions. [​IMG] ;)

    Grace and Peace, Danny [​IMG]
     
  8. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Walls wrote:
    I agree with that. We know in part, see in part, and look through a glass darkly. At any rate, the historical (pre-ca. 1850) postions on end times are amillenial (my personal position); peterist, and partial peterist. These positions are held, I would think, by the majority of the older Christian churches.

    I am not sure I follow you on this point (please clarify if I miss the mark). Places where this doctrine wasnt prevalent went down hill (or some would say uphill) from the mid-19th century as well. I doubt theological positions had much to do with it. I would attribute changing values to a host of things (industrial revolution/ socio-political revolution, transportation, communications, etc. and a little bit of theological change.) Are these changes good or bad? Some are some aren't, in my view.

    One thing you didn't mention, but I will throw out for you and the others who pass this way to consider. I would suggest that the change from viewing the scriptures as a regulative process to taking a normative view had as much or more (than end-times theology) to do with the social changes you note. Thoughts anyone?

    The change in end-times positions seems to be began changing with William Miller in the 1830s/1840s. (Miller was a Baptist who eventually established the Seventh-Day Adventist Church) The movement into figuring out all the various "dispensations" accelerated from there. Although it might be debatable, the notion caught on in a big way after the introduction of the Scofield Bible. I don't know if anyone has every done a survey or even if one could be done, but I suspect that the majority of today's Baptists believe something along the lines of premill/prewrath. Course being in the majority doesn't necessarily make one right or wrong.

    Apologies for rambling.

    Jeff.
     
  9. rsr

    rsr
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    I think you could make a case for that. The First Great Awakening prompted democratization both within the churches and in society generally and lessened the authority of the established churches.

    Those tendencies were even more pronounced in the Second Great Awakening, when wave after wave of revival, particularly in the "Burned Over District" led to ever-more emotional meetings and creation of novel doctrines that laid the basis for new sects and cults -- all of which claimed to be authentic Christianity in opposition to the mainline churches that -- even though they differed on many matters -- shared a good deal of orthodox positions.

    It is an open question as to whether the Great Awakening changed the social mores or changing mores on the frontier influenced the churches more. I suspect that the tendencies fed on each other.
     
  10. rlvaughn

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    I think we must also consider the possibility that social changes influenced the change from viewing the scriptures as regulative to viewing them as normative.
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    Strong's Theology was a classic in every ifb grad school (along with Chafer). But was amazed when it came to Eschatology that we were told to basically "can" Strong - the leading 19th C Baptist theologian, since he was "off".

    Evolution of eschatology is probably more pronounced among ifb than any other doctrine. Until the last 30 years, when the KJVonlies started spreading their false teaching.
     
  12. Jeff Weaver

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    Dr. B. noted:

    Could you elaborate? Why was he considered "off?"

    I think I probably know the answer, but am not sure. Just curious.
     
  13. Bro. James Reed

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    Well, Bro. Jeff, I can tell you at least one thing his concordance got wrong. He translates "hated" as "loved less."
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    James - just a note: Augustus Strong (theologian) had nothing to do with the concordance by James Strong. Different folks. :rolleyes:

    Augustus H Strong's teaching on eschatology was not pre-trib rapture. But you figured that one out, didn't you? :eek:
     
  15. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Dr. B. noted:
    Yes, I had figured out that much. But what I was hoping for in the answer was this -- How and at what time did IFB's generally change from amill to pre-trib. That I don't really understand. I do understand the theological reasons for the change. (I don't agree with them). I am trying to understand the subtle historical underpinnings of IFBs.

    Thanks.

    Jeff.
     
  16. Walls

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    I was kind of wondering the same thing. If what baptists believed years ago are different now, why the change and when did it happen. It would seem that the beliefs that the baptist had at the founding of this country are the ones we should adhere to today. It is obvious that God blessed His people in that day. Now it seems, all we have is God's mercy and longsuffering. When did we fall away? and is that when God started to pull away from this country? Or should I say this country pulled away from God!
     
  17. rsr

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    Jeff, as you said, there is consensus momentum was provided by Darby's preaching (including in the United States) and the propagation of the Scofield Bible, beginning in 1909.

    In an article in the winter 1999 edition of Christian History, Timothy Weber, dean of Northern Baptist Seminary in Lombard, Illinois, suggested that the philosophical underpinnings of the doctrine came from a growing unhappiness with postmillenialism after the bloodbath of the Civil War, the poverty and social disruption that was accompanying the Industrial Revolution and, later, the horrors of the World War.

    At the same time, Weber said, premillenialism provided a conservative theology when the mainline churches were adopting the "social gospel" and succumbing to modernism. It appears to be no accident that dispensationalism became a common theme in the fundamentalist movement.

    Finally, he said the rise of premillennialism was accomplished through the Darby-Scofield connection AND the growing strength of conferences, Bible colleges and institutes, such as the Niagra Conference and Moody Bible Institute.

    Full article: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/61h/61h034.html

    (He also has explored the Religious Right's support for the nation of Israel (deeply connected to dispensationalism) at:
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/8tb/8tb038.html

    An interesting chart of the relationships between premillenialism and fundamentalism, and the conferences and schools, can be found at:

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/55h/55h032.html

    (It was prepared by Bob Jones IV; yes, that Bob Jones IV.)

    BTW, Lyman and Milton Stewart, who underwrote publication of "The Fundamentals," earlier contributed to publication of the Scofield Bible.

    Sorry to be so long and am still digging. The above seems plausible, anyway.

    Stephen
     
  18. rsr

    rsr
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    A similar explanation is given (in longer form), by a premillennialist, Mal Couch of Tyndale Theological Seminary.

    Sorry to post so much, but I wanted to show the general concordance between the two writers, one of whom is premillennial and one who is not.

    The full essay is at:

    http://www.tyndale.edu/dirn/articles/dispwar.html
     
  19. Walls

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    Jer 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

    Funny, how God knows when we are in a falling away from the truth. If in fact these changes occurred prior to, during and after the civil war-it would only make sense that the North won. God would have no choice but to take His hand off the south for accepting false doctrines.
     
  20. rufus

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    Received by a friend:

    In June of 1656, the Midlands Baptist Association of England received this query: "Whether baptized believers may join in any part of worship or public hearing the national ministers preach or other that are not baptized?"

    The association answered: "Baptized believers ought not to hear the national ministers preach nor join with them in their public worship, their pretended ministry being Babylonish, Rev. 18;4. Neither may they so hear or join with unbaptized persons, though hoping to be godly, because they are disorderly in carrying on a public ministry and worship without baptism, Col. 2:5; 2 Thess. 3:6."

    (This above quote is quite surprising to many modern Baptists. The seventeenth century Baptists were so strong in their doctrinal convictions that they would not even go hear a non-Baptist preacher preach or have church fellowship with non-Baptists Christians. The quote is from B.R. White's book "Association Records of the Particular Baptists of England, Wales, and Ireland to 1660" on page 25.)
     

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