Roger Williams

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Berean, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. Berean

    Berean
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    Roger Williams pastored the first Baptist Church in the colonies but was alleged to have never been a member of one. What was his theology, Particuler or Reg Baptist Calvinistic or Armenian. I find quite a bit on his involvement in "Separation of Church and State" but very little about his doctrine or beliefs.
     
  2. Martin

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    ==I'm fairly sure he was "calvinistic". His views of the church changed over time and he did not remain a baptist.
     
  3. Mexdeaf

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    He is one man of the past that I would love to have a conversation with today.
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    I don't have the resources at hand right now but I believe Williams ended up life as a "Seeker." His theology was not reformed, but it also wasn't Arminian. He displayed, as I recall, a great propensity for being unsettled in his ways. Hard to nail someone like down theologically.

    I could be wrong. Williams is a fascinating person, though hard to understand.
     
  5. rsr

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    Perry Miller, An Essay in Interpretation, The Complete Writings of Roger Williams, Vol. 7, Russell & Russell Inc., New York, 1963.


    I would also note a passage from the Bloody Tenent of Persecution in which Williams says that civil powers that attempt to "impose upon and inforce the conscience" are upholding "that Arminian Popish doctrine of Freewill, as if it lay in their owne power and ability to beleeve upon the Magistrates command since it is confessed that what is submitted to by any without faith it is sinne, be it never so true and holy, Rom. 14.

    ... since God only openeth the heart and worketh the will, Phil. 2. it seems to be an high presumption to suppose that together with a command restraining from, or constraining to worship, that God is also to be forced or commanded to give faith to open the heart to incline the will, &c. ..."
     
  6. Bethelassoc

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    RSR.

    Was the baptist church he started something along the lines of a Six Principle Baptist? I thought I read somewhere that it wasn't long the mainstream of General or Regular of that time.

    David
     
  7. rsr

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    There is some dispute about the exact nature of the church in the early years (and, indeed, of its continued existence) because all the records were lost when Providence was burned to the ground in 1676.

    In A History of the Baptist Churches in the United States , Albert Henry Newman says that Williams was "a thoroughgoing Calvinist, and most of the original members of the church were probably at one with him in holding to particular redemption and related doctrines." However, he notes that some of the other elders "seem to have early declared themselves in favor of general redemption and related doctrines. Apart from the fact that Calvinism was the system of the persecuting Puritans of England and America, a Socinianized Arminianism represented by the English General Baptists was at this time making rapid headway in England and America, and this type of doctrine soon met with wide acceptance among the Providence and Newport Baptists."

    The church eventually split in 1652 over the issue of laying on of hands; Williams had considered laying on of hands essential, and it was popular among the English General Baptists. Apparently it became an issue of fellowship whether laying on of hands was required, with one group insisting that it was; they became Six Principle Baptists, who were Arminian in soteriology.

    (Laying on of hands, though associated with the Generals, was not limited to Arminian Baptists. The Philadelphia Baptist Confession of 1742, though Calvinist in soteriology — being identical to the Second London Confession — maintained that "laying on of hands (with prayer) upon baptized believers, as such, is an ordinance of Christ, and ought to be submitted unto by all such persons that are admitted to partake of the Lord's Supper ...")
     

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