Trail of blood, accurate history of Baptist churches?

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Elijah, Feb 12, 2004.

  1. Elijah

    Elijah
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    In your opinion, is The trail of blood, an accurate history of the Baptist church. This comes form a fellow Pastor telling me of a custom (close communion) that Baptist's have taught for 2000 years. He obviously does give much credence to this book.
     
  2. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    Woo hoo, can of worms here! Would someone like to PM Mark Osgatharp cos he sure has an opinion here!

    Seriously, the short answer IMO is 'no'. Whilst Trail of Blood includes kosher evangelical groups like the Waldenses, the Hussites and Lollards, it also includes pretty dodgy characters like the Bogomils and Cathari/ Albigenses, who were gnostic dualists and so not Christians.

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  3. rsr

    rsr
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    Two questions here.

    First, I agree with Matt about the reliability of the booklet. In an attempt to "fill in the gaps" of historic successionism, I fear Carroll has picked out some groups that may resemble Baptists in some beliefs but which we would hardly consider orthodox today.

    (A caveat: There is precious little information about some of these groups from their own sources; often the bulk of information is from people who considered them heretics. That fact neither can prove nor disprove the assertion that they were "Baptists.")

    On the second question, were you referring to "closed" or "close communion?" The traditional Landmark belief has supported "Closed" communion, with only members in good standing in the local church allowed to participate at that church.
     
  4. Elijah

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    My typing mistake,was referring to closed communion.
     
  5. rsr

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    Thanks. I ask because there are some Baptist churches that practice "close" communion, in which they admit members in good standing in other churches of "like faith and order." In a broader sense, it can mean "denominational" communion.

    Some Primitive Baptist churches, for example, often are known for "closed" communion, but they allow participation of members of other churches with whom they are in fellowship.
     
  6. Elijah

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    RSR
    The church I pastor is a missionary baptist church, and within our association of churches, closed communion is the rule, and the trail of blood, a most respected book.
    I personally do not place much emphasis on closed comunion, in the strictest sense of its practice. I have read the trail of blood and found it interesting, but to me it takes a bit to much assumption to make all those old groups 'Baptist' churches.
     
  7. go2church

    go2church
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    Not is only is it not great history it isn't even good history. Try McBeth's book on Baptist Hisotry, pretty much the standard around the seminary world. Besides I could never figure out all those dots and half dots and more dots, way too many dots!
     
  8. imported_J.R. Graves

    imported_J.R. Graves
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    I would add here that if the Trail of Blood is an inaccurate version of Baptist History than every other Baptist history published before 1896 (and many after) are also inaccurate because the Trail of Blood teaches the very same thing, howbeit in a reader digest version, that all the previous Baptist historians had taught. Also all of the great Baptist theologians of the 1700's and 1800's such as Gill, Backus, Leland, Boyce, Broadus, Carroll, Spurgeon, etc. believed the version of Baptist history contained in the Trail of Blood.

    As to some of the groups mentioned therin such as the Bogomils and Alibigenses, I would add that many non-Landmark Baptist and non-Baptist scholars have found them to be orthodox Christians. For exemple there is L.P. Brockett's book "The Bogomils of Bulgaria", publishd in 1879 and Fred Conybeare's writings, as well as others.
     
  9. rsr

    rsr
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    I also would recommend McBeth's book, The Baptist Heritage, although I think he perhaps gives the Anabaptists a little less attention than they deserve. He at least discusses the literature of their proponents, which is more than most sectarian proponents do.

    Here's a link to a taste of McBeth:

    McBETH LIGHT
     
  10. mioque

    mioque
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    not again! :rolleyes:

    Every other month or so somebody asks this question and afterwards usually the fighting starts.
     
  11. Matt Black

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    Not quite on all fours with all groups mentioned in the Trail of Blood, but I've just finished reading Meic Pearse's book The Great Restoration - the Religious Radicals of the 16th and 17th centuries , in which he covers the Waldenses, Lollards, Hussites, Anabaptists (including the good - the Schleitheim Confession - the bad - Hoffman - and the ugly - Munster), Mennonites, Hutterites, the 'Family of Love', Denck, Franck, Schwenckfeld,early Separatists (Browne and Co), General Baptists, the JLJ church, Particular Baptists and even Quakers. It's a thumping good read and written by a luminary of London Bible College, so it's sound too.

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  12. Elijah

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    No need for anyone to fight about this. just wanted some honest opinions as to what folks on this board thought about this. So far ,so good.
     
  13. rsr

    rsr
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    Actually, for long-timers, the last unpleasant round was the exception. This has usually been discussed in a civil manner.
     
  14. Jim1999

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    I like the Trail of Blood and it was side-reading in one of my seminaries. We actually had two professors who fully endorsed the Trail of Blood. (one from Virginia and the other from Kentucky. If anyone receives the regular bulletin from Bryan Station Baptist Church, Lexington, Kentucky, one of the professors' articles appears every issue; Dr. C.D. Cole..good reading)

    The thing about the Trail of Blood is to remember that not all these groups, down through the ages, were not sound on all points, but were baptistic in principle. The same was true in the New Testament. That is partly why Paul was writing his letters, to correct certain concepts that crept into the churches. We might not think that all the NT churches were strict baptists by some of the ideas they incorporated before Paul corrected them.

    Allow for some freedom, and you will have few arguments with the Trail of Blood. Take it as gospel and you will grow gray prematurely.

    Cheers,

    Jim

    PS. Matt Black. London Bible College was my first Bible College under the Baptist Union. We held classes (1945) in a bombed out building with few windows. The building was being worked on and we had 8 students the first year. It has come a long way over the years.
     
  15. rsr

    rsr
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    Come back and post more often, Jim.
     
  16. mioque

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    rsr
    Every time someone brings this up I post that it will be the beginning of a huge flamewar and every time you say:" Naah.. Not going to happen, folks usually civil around here."
     
  17. rsr

    rsr
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    Well, eventually I will be right. Maybe?

    There has only been one extended flame war on this topic that I can remember. A similar question was brought up not long ago and it did not generate the bitterness of those exchanges.
     
  18. Jim1999

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    Thanks Stephen. I usually peep in, but haven't had much to say. I have been a post and run sort of bloke these days. Going to slow down and pay attention one day.

    This has always been a rather civil forum. I remember when just four or five of us posted everyday on some historical question; more informative than debatable.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  19. Dr. Bob

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    Sadly, ToB simplifies a complex study of history, with NO supporting evidence for wild claims.

    I am a "big B" Baptist, weaned on Tob and my Scofield Reference Bible. But I gave up on Tob about 25 years ago.

    Something that unreliable only leads to confusion. Pretty soon you'll have preachers and laymen believing everything in it as FACT - when in reality is as an admixture of conjecture, faith, fact and fancy.

    Two thumbs down from me.

    [ February 14, 2004, 06:56 PM: Message edited by: rsr ]
     
  20. rsr

    rsr
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    Oops. Hit the wrong button, Dr. Bob.

    To be fair, the ToB is a booklet written from Carroll's lecture notes by another party. Carroll never had a chance to look over the final work.

    Simply put, it is theology in search of history ... and often found wanting.
     

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