Hoffman Christology and Baptists

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by rsr, Sep 17, 2004.

  1. rsr

    rsr
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    Matt Black said:

    "If the Anabaptist connection is correct (and I think there is enough evidence to back that up both with the Generals - Waterlanders - and Particulars - Kiffin Manuscript) then to what extent can erroneous Hoffmanite Christology be said to have affected our forebears?"

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  2. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    Thanks!

    Having raised the spectre of Arianism and Unitarian heresy amongst our spiritual ancestors, I can't say I've come across a lot of it myself; neither of the London Confessions have dodgy Christology, although arguably, they weren't drawn up with that point of theology in mind. This is in contrast to a lot of 16th century continental Anabaptism which, whilst correctly rejecting the Constantinian Settlement, also tended to reject everything that came afterwards including (wrongly) the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed and the Definition of Chalcedon.

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  3. Kiffin

    Kiffin
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    It should be noted that many if not most Anabaptists rejected Hoffmanite Christology though Dutch Anabaptists had a mild version of it. Menno Simons believed Jesus was perfect God and perfect man but believed the flesh of Christ was not received from his Mother but was created separately in the womb. Simons did however affirm Christ as God in the flesh and was Trinitarian in theology. I think his error dealt more with ignorance rather than embracing Arianism.

    The Swiss Brethern (whom we might call the founders of the Radical Reformation) never held to any form of the Hoffmanite view.

    Baptists it should be pointed out, while certaintly influenced by Anabaptists in Ecclesiology were also influenced heavily by the Church of England in other areas. Their roots in the Anglican Reformation I think protected them from some of the more extreme views of the Mennonites. If I am not mistaken however, I believe even Simons mild form of Hoffmanitism was jetisoned by the Mennonites in the middle 1600's and this milder Hoffmanite Christology was not emphasied much by the Dutch Anabaptists and does not appear in any Anabaptist confession I am aware of.


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  4. dean198

    dean198
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    The Calvinist Baptists became heavily influenced by Calvin's heretical rejection of the Creed of Nicaea, especially after the Act of Uniformity when their ranks were swelled by Puritans. The Generals were mainly rural, and their association refused to discipline arianism, with the result that many left, resulting in the apostacy of the general baptists into unitarianism which emphasised religous liberty.

    Dean
     
  5. rsr

    rsr
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    Problematic Christology among the English Baptists typically was a problem for the Generals, not the Particulars.

    Many scholars have said "a good deal" to Matt's original question, at least with regard to the Generals. How this would have happened, however, I have been unable to discern. The Helwys Confession, for example, explicitly rejects Hoffman's views.

    It is true that unitarianism decimated the Generals before the establishment of the New Connection.
     
  6. rsr

    rsr
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    Dean said:

    "The Generals were mainly rural, and their association refused to discipline arianism, with the result that many left, resulting in the apostacy of the general baptists into unitarianism which emphasised religous liberty."

    I think that's generally correct; but I've been unable to trace the origins of socinianism and arianism among the Generals to any degree, aside from the case of Matthew Caffyn, and even at that I don't from whence he imbibed his beliefs. Any suggestions?
     
  7. dean198

    dean198
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    All I can suggest is that the principals of individualised religious liberty, and of private judgement, attracted all kinds of humanistic, rationalist, and deist types into the General Baptists. We must keep in mind that a similar apostasy took place in other denominations....firstly in the Presbyterians, but also among the Puritans and Anglicans. Only the Particular Baptists seem to have been unscathed, and they were the only group which by and large rejected seminary and a professional clergy.

    The 1678 Confession of the General Baptists shows a strong influence of Calvinism and Protestantism. This may have had something to do with the exodus of the best of the General Baptists into the Particulars and Friends.

    Dean
     
  8. rsr

    rsr
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    I don't think there's any doubt that the Orthodox Creed was a reaction against the growing problems within the Generals.

    I have been unable to find the complete text of the document. Do you know of a source?
     
  9. dean198

    dean198
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    No, I haven't been able to get the full text of the Orthodox Creed either....just bits and pieces. Hopefully it will be available on the net soon.
    Dean
     

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