SBC and Campbellism

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by JonC δοῦλος, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. JonC

    JonC
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    Does anyone know of a good reference concerning the Southern Baptist struggle against Campbellism, specifically during the leadership of R.B.C. Howell?
     
  2. JonC

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    Or the infiltration of Campbellism within Baptist churches in the mid-nineteenth century in general?

    I know 38 or the 49 churches in the Concord Association was lost to Campbellism and the Baptist church in Nashville lost its building and most members when their pastor converted to Campbellism – but am looking for more specific references.
     
  3. Michael Wrenn

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    I'm sorry, but I don't have any resources on that. Hopefully someone can help with it.
     
  4. rsr

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    McBeth treats the feud in "The Baptist Heritage."

    For specific locales, and other accounts, sources include:

    A History of Kentucky Baptists by J.H. Spencer, Chapters 32-34;

    A Short History of the Baptists by H.C. Vedder, Chapter 21;

    A History of the Baptists (Vol. 2) by J.T. Christian, Part 3, Chapter 8;

    A History of the Tennessee Baptist Convention by William Frederick Kendall.
     
  5. JonC

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    Thank you both.
     
  6. rsr

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    Probably the most famous polemic (although many Baptists, including J.R. Graves, wrote tracts and sermons on the topic) is Campbellism Examined by Jeremiah Bell Jeter, a Virginian Baptist preacher. The 1845 book, written when he was pastor of First Baptist Church of Richmond, spawned a whole series of publications, including a rejoinder by Moses Lard, one of the noted Restorationist writers.
     
    #6 rsr, Apr 2, 2012
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  7. Alcott

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    Campbellism? No, we never ate people, that I know of.
     
  8. Bobby Hamilton

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    Really? My Pastor tasted like chicken.:laugh:
     
  9. Yeshua1

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    Were they trying to have baptists change to a "purer/true" new testament church?
     
  10. rsr

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    More or less.

    The Restorationists (of whom Barton Stone and Alexander Campbell were the most prominent) wanted to rid the church of what they considered nonBiblical accretions and stress Christian unity.

    Campbell, like Baptists, held to congregational polity and baptism by immersion. However, Campbell's movement rejected creeds and confessions (unlike the Regular Baptists) and held that baptism was necessary for salvation (this is oversimplifying Campbell's teaching on baptism, but that's the main point of contention between Baptists and Restorationists). It also was vehemently anti-Calvinist at a time when Baptists were overwhelmingly Calvinistic, and Baptists and Restorationists parted company on the influence of the Holy Spirit in conversion.
     
  11. JonC

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    The major contention among many congregations (that remained Baptist) was the Campbellites insistence of “Baptism for the remission of sins.” Howell and Graves both condemned this view because it supposed baptism as necessary for salvation and placed baptism as a sacrament (the act conveyed salvation).

    Calvinistic leanings in the early SBC (at least Howell, who was the 2nd president of the convention) were very moderate (see Way of Salvation). Graves rejected Calvinism holding that they derived from the reformation which was to reform the “Romish” church and were therefore anti-Christ (see The Great Iron Wheel). But that is not speaking for Baptist’s as a whole, only the early to mid nineteenth century SBC. The anti-mission controversy certainly identified varying beliefs within the local congregations.

    But both the Baptists and the Campbellites were striving to be a pure and true church (and both the Landmark Baptists and the Campbellits thought they were).
     
  12. rsr

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    While Graves derided Calvinism as a system foisted on the church by the magisterial reformers, he could be very calvinistic, if his Seven Dispensations is a good reflection of his soteriology.
     
  13. JonC

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    I think that Graves was highly “Calvinistic” in his soteriology. It was the system of Calvinism that merited his objection (and he viewed the Reformation as another branch off of the Catholic Church). But it seems to me that he also considered his soteriology as originating from the “true Church of Christ” apart from the influence of the Reformation.

    Graves reads, to me, like someone who held what we would today consider “Calvinistic” soteriology, but without the Calvinistic perspective. For example, in Seven Dispensations he states that Christ died for all, and gave himself a ransom for all men, in the sense that he removed all legal and governmental obstructions, so that, in good faith, salvation by grace could be freely offered to all.”This he held with the firm belief that the “Son undertook and will save all the Father, on the Covenant of Redemption, gave him to save…Since all are not saved, all were not given to the Son. (also from Seven Dispensations).

    Personally, I think that Calvinism (even Calvinistic soteriology) has been downgraded to the level that if you hold to sovereign election you are considered a “Calvinist.” I am starting to understand why primitive Baptists object to the term. As Calvin was not the first to present “Calvinistic” soteriology, it is understandable that non-Calvinists who hold to what we may lump into “Calvinistic soteriology” would be offended.

    I’m surprised true Calvinists do not also object. It is not really fair to separate Calvinism into a smorgasbord of doctrines where people can pick and choose, particularly if the fountainhead of all doctrine is indeed predestination (Synod of Dort).

    But yes, I also believe that Graves (and Howell) were “Calvinistic.”
     
    #13 JonC, Apr 9, 2012
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  14. JonC

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    Thanks - this will help out a lot.
     
  15. Yeshua1

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    A lot of this discussion depends if one is either a "reformed' calvinistic, or else a "baptist" one!
     
  16. Ed B

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    I think "true Calvinists" have abandoned the label in favor of Reformed and/or Covenantal. Whether one agrees with John Calvin or demonizes him, I agree with you that it is unfair to reduce the man and his theology based on the five points of the Remonstrants, or simply predestination.
     
  17. Jerome

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    True SBC Founder R.B.C. Howell, writing in 1846:

    "Many careless thinkers have classed us among Protestants, because they imagine that we sprung up among the numerous sects that divided Christendom at the time of the Reformation; and for a similar reason some have even called us dissenters; an appellation we repudiate with as much earnestness as we do the other. Luther, Calvin, and the English Fathers, adopted it is true, many of the doctrines by which we had ever been distinguished, but we must not on that account be called Lutherans, or Calvinists, or by the name of any other modern divine. Neither can we submit to be classed with those who, after casting off some of the shackles of Catholicism, denominated themselves Reformed churches. We call not our churches reformed, because we believe them no better than their predecessors. . . .we are not Protestants, nor Dissenters, Lutherans, Calvinists, Arminians, nor Reformers, but what we have been in all ages, the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ."
     
  18. Jerome

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    #18 Jerome, Apr 11, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2012
  19. TCGreek

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    Mr. Alexander Campbell, the foremost leader of the Churches of Christ/Christian Church/Disciples of Christ, was baptized by a Baptist.
     

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