Two .pdf Publications of Interest

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Squire Robertsson, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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  2. Phillip

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    Wow, I'm going to have to go to my eye doctor--right away, Squire.

    I could have sworn that said: "The Baptist Story by Harry Potter". :eek:
     
  3. Squire Robertsson

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    Have you read them? If so, what are your thoughts on the pubs?
     
  4. rsr

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    The Baptist Story seems to be a handly pamphlet, but one that suffers from, as the author admits, lack of depth because of the length.

    A few things:

    A lack of precision in labeling. Potter asserts that Separatists advocated separation of church and state. The etymology is separation from the established church, not from the belief in church-state separation (a view commonly held, but not essential for Separatists, as the New England experience shows.) Separatists and the Independents were one and the same, which is not readily apparent from the text. (The assumptions made in labels of Calvinism and Hyper-Calvinism also is imprecise, which may be necessary, but which is bound to bring disagreements.)

    "Today the British Baptist Union has virtually no positive spiritual impact." That may be true, but it seems to be more opinion than the result of careful observation.

    "Also, like most denominations, the Baptists split for a time into New Lights and Old Lights (the Baptists called them Separates and Regulars, respectively) depending on whether or not they embraced the revival."

    Technically, the Old Light-New Light schism was confined to the Presbyterian and Congregationalist churches in New England. Many of the New Lights ended up rejected paedobaptism and joined the Baptists, but the as Josh Powell has pointed out, "Distinctions urged between Stearns and the Separate Baptists on the one hand and the Philadelphia/Charleston Regular Baptists on the other are artificial. Their doctrine was the same as was their concern for gospel preaching and Holy Spirit-induced conversion. After their union at the end of the eighteenth through the first of the nineteenth century, the influence of one can hardly be distinguished from that of another. The growth of Baptists in the South comes from the strengths shared by both groups. Any dichotomy between Calvinism and evangelism in this union betrays a basic misunderstanding. The followers of Stearns helped bring into practice the evangelistic convictions of the Regulars; the confessional detail of the Regulars helped give expression to the theological convictions of the Separates. The union was not an incongruous mixture of incompatibles."

    "Leland, like many Baptist and Presbyterian preachers in Virginia, suffered beatings and imprisonment at the instigation of the established Episcopal Church."

    While this may be true, I am not aware that Leland himself was the subject of beatings or imprisonment.

    "The Anti-mission Movement was an extreme expression of Calvinism that included double predestination. One factor in the controversy was cultural. The main advocates of this movement were less educated frontiersmen, while those promoting missions were better educated easterners. Also, the frontiersmen faced the constant reality of Indian attacks. Their Anti-mission position allowed them to neglect evangelization of the Indians without feeling guilty."

    I think Potter would have been ahead at this point not to bring up double predestination. As to the other point, I am not aware of a body of literature that shows there was a strong link between "antimissionism" and some Baptists' attitudes toward Indians. There are many other doctrinal and cultural factors that demonstrably appear to be more important than such a postulated belief.

    This is obviously written from a Northern Baptist (used generically) point of view, which explains the emphasis on the schisms in the North and virtually ignores controversies in the South, such as the Landmark movement and the CBF split.

    I think Potter has done a good job in avoiding some of the fruitless controversies about Baptist origins. On the whole, I think it is a useful book that provides a good deal of material in a small space and would be helpful in introducing the novice to some key currents and individuals in Baptist history, though I would disagree with some of the broad-brush comments.
     
  5. rsr

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    I read the church history and thought it was a fascinating story and very well done. (There were a few places I wondered exactly what had happened, such as the decision to leave the CBA and the reference to "a major upheaval among the members," but those are quibbles, especially given the exigencies of writing contemporary church history.)

    The are some priceless nuggests there (especially about the founding of the church) and the pictures are wonderful. A nice portrait of a church and the community as they both grow and change.

    (I do wish the document wasn't password encrypted; you can't copy and paste comments to other programs.)
     
  6. Rob't K. Fall

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    As one of HSBC's historians, I think I can shed some light on your comments.

    Yes, the Baptist Story was written by a "Northern" Baptist. So, he views some of the controversies and distinctions well known to many on this Board from a distance of time and space. However, many discussions here are of little relevance to me as a Northern Baptist. Personally, I view the pamphlet as a vast improvement over The Trail of Blood.

    Concerning the glossing over of HSBC's withdrawal from the CBA, I think the gloss came about as the CBA's politics did not directly effect HSBC. Another factor maybe a sense of wanting to allow the dead to bury the dead. The CBA and HSBC have no interaction with each other so why try to re-fight an already fought battle. The war goes on though on other fronts.

    As for the inability to copy, I'll ask our Webmaster tomorrow. For the moment, I can think of two reasons:</font>
    • both documents are copyrighted.</font>
    • considering HSBC's location, the Webmaster is taking steps to ensure the documents are not cyber-vandalized. The documents are available in dead tree editions</font>
     
  7. rsr

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    I apologize if my comments seemed overly critical. Been on the board too long, I suppose. I think both volumes are very good.

    Knowing the intended audience always helps evaluate a work. As a book intended primarily for Baptists of the Northern tradition, the emphasis makes sense.

    A hearty agreement on that point.

    Allowing "the dead to bury the dead" is what I meant by the "exigencies of writing contemporary church history." A history intended for church use need not go out of its way to open wounds that are best left to heal; it's just — strictly from an outsider's perspective — it leaves a hole in the narrative. Again, I am not the audience for which the publication was intended.

    Having read the history, I understand the church's concerns about the danger of cyber-vandalism and respect the decision to maintain more control over the product. My comment was, perhaps, a measure of my computer-induced laziness more than anything else.
     
  8. rsr

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    One of the nuggets I enjoyed:

     
  9. Rob't K. Fall

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    I talked matters over with the responsible individuals:</font>
    • The gloss wasn't a gloss. The reportage is based on very sparse documentary evidence. While the CBA split was a "big" deal among the churches of Northern California, it was not a big deal internally at HSBC. There were\are no surviving members from the mid-60s to orally supplement the written record.</font>
    • The same can be said for the membership spilt. Which may or may not have been a result of the CBA controversy. HSBC's minutes and membership records of the period are quiet if not silent.</font>
    • Concerning the non-copy-ability of the files, our webmaster informed me, he put them up using the Acrobat's default settings. The documents can be printed out if not directly copied. He plans on converting them to a regular file format Real Soon Now.</font>
     
  10. Rob't K. Fall

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    </font>[/QUOTE]While the congregation organized itself in February, 1881
    A word about the City's topography, the "sand lots" referred to are located over the ridge and in the next holler over from First Baptist and downtown. :D
     
  11. rsr

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    A matter of curiosity: Was David Sawtelle, the first Sunday school superintendent, related to Dr. Henry Sawtelle?
     
  12. Rob't K. Fall

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    IIRC, they were brothers.
     
  13. John of Japan

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    Excellent resources, Squire. I feel a personal connection with both of these documents. I know Dr. Potter and he is a good man. And I preached once at HSBC way back in the '70's. Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  14. Squire Robertsson

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    125th Anniversary

    Over the weekend of October 24-25, HSBC celebrated her 125th anniversary. :applause:
     
  15. rsr

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    A belated happy birthday to HSBC!
     

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