Most educated Baptist in history?

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by jonathan.borland, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. jonathan.borland

    jonathan.borland
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    Of course this is a matter of opinion, but who is/was the most erudite Baptist in history? Was it John Gill?
     
  2. Rippon

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    Dr.Gill wasn't formally educated --he was self-taught.But there's no denying that he was a biblical genius.Many better educated in the traditional sense sought him (or his works) out for answers.

    Dr.Carl Henry also comes to mind --but he didn't have the same gifts which Gill had.
     
  3. Jim1999

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    Gill attended a boy's grammar school and by to-day's standards that would be the equivalent of a BA. He mastered Latin and Greek by age 11. He went on to master Hebrew on his own among other avenues of study. Hishonourary doctorate, if I remember correctly, came from a prestigious university in Scotland.

    It all has to do wth how one measures education, I suppose.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  4. Squire Robertsson

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    The two that come to my mind are Broadus and A.T. Robertson. Gill while well educated only really gets a mention because his was the first Baptist systematic theology worthy of the name.
     
  5. Jim1999

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    I quite agree with you, Squire, on John A. Broadus and A.T. Robertson. Then I might add Alvah Hovey to that list. All three made wonderful contributions to the Baptist world.

    Broadus did not have an easy time of it either. Losing his parents and his wife just as he moved into the parsonage of his first pastorate.

    I have all of Broadus' books and they heped me immensely in my ministry and in my life. I learned to keep things simple through Broadus. He taught that we do not advertise our education. We demonstrate it through simplicity of presentation. He lived what he believed.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  6. EdSutton

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    Sorry, gents. (And to some of the rest, as well, apart from Rippon.) Not even close, here. The question was as to "most educated" as opposed to "most learned" in the OP.

    Dr. John Gill, was, as another noted, mostly self-educated, and in fact, never had any college or seminary training, of any kind. However, I completely disagree that the only reason that Dr. Gill is mentioned is that he wrote the first notable Baptist Systematic Theology. Dr. Gill was the Pastor of the Baptist church at Horse-lie-down for 51 years, as well, which happened to be the same church where a handful of other kinda' well known Baptists either had or would pastor for a coupla' years, including among others, her first pastor William Rider (12 yrs.), Benjamin Keach (36 years), Thomas Stinson (16 yrs.), Gill, John Rippon, the namesake of our BB member on this thread, Rippon, who was there for an astounding 63 years, Thomas Spurgeon , the son of Charles H. (15 years), A. C. Dixon (8 yrs.) and current Senior Pastor Peter Masters (38 years and counting).

    Uh- y'all might know this place better by another name, and another preacher, there - The Metropolitan Tabernacle and C. H. Spurgeon (38 yrs.).

    In fact, Dr. Gill was the first, and remains to this day, the only individual to ever write commentary on every verse in Scripture, including Matthew Henry. At nine volumes, Dr. Gill's Exposition is worthy in and of itself of the greatest note. His doctorate was honorary, and was conferred by the Univ. of Aberdeen.

    And fact, Dr. John A. Broadus only earned one academic degree in his career, an M.A. awarded by the University of Virginia. His honorary doctorate was awarded by William and Mary.

    His son-on-law (and successor in NT at Southern), Dr. A. T. Robertson, who incidentally had no High School education, earned two college degrees (B.A. and M.A.) from Wake Forest, and the Th.M. from Southern Seminary. I cannot recal, at the moment who honored him with the Doctorate, but I have seen it somewhere.

    My point is all this is that these individuals were unbelievably 'learned' and even erudite, and certainly far more than most. However, they were all far more "learned' than
    "educated."

    Dr. Carl F. H. Henry, by contrast has two earned doctorates. So does Dr. Eugene Merrill, currently a distinguished Professor at Southern. Dr. Charles Ryrie, formerly of Dallas also has both a Ph.D and a Th.D. - the same as Dr. Merrill. And I also recall from seeing a SWBTS catalogue some 40 years ago, that at least two Profs at Southwestern had two earned doctorates, as well, although I certainly have no idea who they were, at this time. I'll also add that I am not familiar with Alvah Hovey, although I do recognize the name.

    However, I would suspect that none of them can come close to a certain maverick Lutheran clergyman, Bible scholar, apologist, and educator, whom I am somewhat familiar with, when it comes to being "educated" (who is also very "learned," I would add), Dr. John Warwick Montgmery, whose 11 - count 'em, 11 degrees, are all fully earned from entirely legitimate institutions, in Philosophy, Librarianship, Theology, and Law, and whose educational resume reads thusly. A.B., - Cornell; B.L.S., M.A. - Univ. of California, Berkeley; B.D., S.T.M. - Wittenburg Univ. (OH); L.L.B., - LaSalle Extension Univ.; M. Phil. in law - Univ. of Essex (England); Ph.D. - Univ of Chicago; Th.D. Doctorat d'Universite - Univ. of Strasbourg; L.L.M., L.L.D. in canon law - Cardiff Univ.. For good measure, the Institute for Religion and Law, Moscow, in 1999 awarded him an honorary doctorate, as well.

    Dr. Montgomery has written over 50 books in English, French, Spanish, and German, and well over 100 scholarly Journal Articles and Essays.

    Not too shabby, IMO.

    Incidentally, I can highly recommend for any and all to read The Altizer-Montgomery Dialogue, The Suicide of Christian Theology, Where is History Going?, Damned Through the Church, and The Quest for Noah's Ark all written by Dr. Montgomery. I have little doubt that he has written others that are just as good, or possibly better than these, but I happen to either own or to have read the ones I mentioned.

    Ed
     
    #6 EdSutton, Dec 7, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2008
  7. Jim1999

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    quote: It all has to do wth how one measures education, I suppose
    --------------------------------------

    Ed, I did mention this about how one measures education. It is not always formal and BA's and BD's.

    Montgomery was Lutheran and we were talking Baptist here.

    Alvah Hovey compiled the Baptist American Commentary on both the Old and New Testaments.

    Gill spent years at Park St Baptist, prior to Spurgeon, as well.

    Our lists were nowhere near exhaustive and we are pleased to see your contribution. That's what this kind of post is all about.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  8. TCGreek

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    Are we going by degrees or what a person really knew and put out?
     
  9. Bro. James

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    Curious: Jesus and His disciples were not men of letters. Nicodemus, a Master of Israel, was chided by Jesus for not knowing how to get into The Kingdom of God--a flaw in training with eternal consequences. A little child can understand.

    What is a Doctorate in Salvation by Works worth?

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  10. Jim1999

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    A degree may land you a job, but true recognition comes by your contribution to the Lord's work.

    I have three earned degrees, but I can't hold the hat of Mr. Spurgeon.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  11. Rhetorician

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    Jim,

    Forgive me for being so commercially crass but I noticed that you said you "have all of Broadus' books." Do you have our latest book about him: John A. Broadus: A Living Legacy?" I think you will enjoy it. It offers several new perspectives on his life and work. You can find it a a greatly discounted price on Amazon.

    Let me know what you think?

    "That is all!":thumbs:
     
    #11 Rhetorician, Dec 27, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2008
  12. Rhetorician

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    Jim Request

    Jim,

    I am sure all of us feel the way you do about Spurgeon?

    May I inquire as to what degrees you have and where you studied? Please feel free to include any professional ceritifications.

    Please advise.

    "That is all!":smilewinkgrin:
     
  13. Fred Moritz

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    Most Educated Baptist

    Another noteworthy Baptist deserves consideration in this discussion. That would be Augustus Hopkins Strong. He was a graduate of Yale and then of Rochester, where he later served as president for 40 years. His Systematic Theology speaks for itself, both good and bad. The currently available edition reflects his adoption of Ethical Monism and Theistic Evolution. I also have a copy of the 1896 edition which contains neither of those aberrations.

    Strong, like many of those "old timers," did post graduate work beyond the formal education. Strong studied in Europe, but had no degree from that study.

    William Rainey Harper was a blatant liberal. But he delivered the valedictory address at Muskingum College in Hebrew when he was sixteen, I believe. He later taught at Union in NYC and then was the first president of the University of Chicago. He wrote a Hebrew text which (thankfully) has passed out of usage, and was responsible for the founding of the Oriental Institute at Chicago. I have only visited that place once, but it is an excellent museum of ancient archeaology and history.
     
  14. J.D.

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    Gill, Spurgeon, and Pink, in that order. None of which were formerly educated, which was simply unnecessary due to their advanced intelligence and prodigiousness, especially in the case of Gill.

    But men like these are the exception - the rest of us need formal education.
     
  15. Jim1999

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    JD, What we fail to appreciate is that in England in their day education was mostly private. Regular schooling didn't start until later. Check all the records and you will find that both Gill and Spurgeon were well educated in language, history and such subjects, then Spurgeon was extremely well read and educated within his family. He read all the Puritans. When the great controversy came he stood his ground with those in the Baptist Union who did have earned degrees and those degreed men respected Spurgeon's knowledge and learning.

    Even in my day, by 6th form (what you might call high school graduation) I had one year of university completed. I had learned German, Latin, French, English and Welsh. I also had 5 years of Bible study. Mine was a private boy's Anglican school in Llanelli, Wales.

    Would to God that the schools were the same to-day, but I fear English schools have deteriorated over the years.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  16. THEOLDMAN

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    I don't know about "educated" ,but in my opinion, the smartest would be : Buddy Shurden, Will Campbell, and Chuck Poole. All true "old school" Baptists.
     
  17. EdSutton

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    Welcome to the Baptist Board. :wavey:

    Incidentally, I found quite a bit about both Will Campbell and Chuck Poole, as I was looking it up, but did not find anything about any "Buddy Shurdan". Could this name have possibly been misspelled, slightly?

    Ed
     
  18. rsr

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    Walter "Buddy" Shurden is a retired professor from Mercer University. For 25 years he was Callaway Professor of Christianity and for most of that time was chairman of the Department of Christianity. He also was executive director of the Center for Baptist Studies at Mercer. Shurden also was dean of the School of Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and president of the Southern Baptist Historical Society, among other things.

    He is author of more than a dozen books focusing on Baptist history.
     
  19. EdSutton

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    Thank you, and my bad.

    I misread the last name as "Shurdan" in place of "Shurden". So as I asked could it have been a slight mispelling?

    Yep - mine.

    I got almost 2000 'quick' "hits" on " 'Buddy' Shurden" and 11K on " Walter Shurden", BTW.

    Ed
     
  20. RAdam

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    I'm surprised that people say that men like Gill and Spurgeon didn't need formal education, but we do. Can we not learn the same way they did? Can we not be self-taught as well. The reliance on an educational system for ministers is astounding when considering history.

    Note: I am not speaking against education in the sense of secular education - grammar, mathematics, history, science, and the like. My bone of contention is the idea that a minister must be educated at a theological college.
     

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