Very True Aritcle

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by sag38, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. sag38

    sag38
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    4,394
    Likes Received:
    1
  2. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    good article. but Baptists being Baptists I am sure there will be somebody on this board with some criticism on it. but, it's a good and observant write-up.:thumbs:
     
  3. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    It's only a middlin' to fair article. I think it describes a minority of independent Baptists, except that yes, most independent Baptists do oppose five point Calvinism.

    However, I would like to point out an inaccuracy in the article concerning my grandfather, John R. Rice. It quotes William Dudding, who said, "John R. Rice spent most of his time writing books like "What's Wrong with the Movies" and "Hippie Hair" produced by The Sword of the Lord."

    This statement is inaccurate in two ways. First of all, John R. Rice's main emphasis was on evangelism and revival, not on personal separation. Out of over 200 books and pamphlets, I would only classify three as being on personal separation: What's Wrong With the Movies? (way back in 1938, not in the 1960's as Dudding appears to say), and a 48 page pamphlet, Amusements for Christians, Right or Wrong? in 1955. He also wrote, What's Wrong with the Dance? which I don't have. Only 3 out of over 200.

    Dudding's second inaccuracy is that John R. Rice never wrote a book called Hippy Hair. In fact, I never heard him preach anything similar in the 100s of messages I heard him preach. Hair styles were never a concern to John R. Rice, except early in his ministry when he believed women should have long hair.

    So, the article looks at only a small portion of Fundamentalism and gets some facts wrong. Also, the writer, Jim Hale, appears to be a Calvinist--or at least Shawn Davis who he quotes is. And a Calvinist is definitely going to be upset with the independent Baptist movement, since the movement from its inception was middle of the road (neither Calvinist nor strictly Arminian).
     
  4. David Lamb

    David Lamb
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,982
    Likes Received:
    0
    I suppose it depends where you are. Here, it is the churches that are affiliated to the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland that tend not to agree with calvinism. Indeed, I don't know of any reformed baptist church that belongs to the BU. So here, the independent baptist churches are more likely than others to be pro calvinism. (As you put "independent" and not "Independent", I'm assuming you are not talking only about those American churches that describe themselves as "Independent Fundamental Baptist").
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    Well now that's interesting! Thanks for the information. In Britain, would those independents be ones who came out of the Baptist Union with Spurgeon due to the Downgrade Movement?

    When I say independent Baptists, in America there are two streams, northern (who separated from the Northern Baptist Convention, now the American Baptists) and southern (who separated from the Southern Baptists), with a lot of contact between them. And all independent Baptists in the States started out as Fundamentalists, though there are a few today who would not call themselves that.

    Also, in America, Reformed Baptists have a separate history from the independent Baptist movement, though over the years some have become reformed out of the independent Baptists.

    In Japan, the only independent Baptists stem from American independent Baptist missions. There were a couple of Reformed Baptist missionaries years ago. They called their little publishing house "Banner of Truth," though, and it seems like that's originally British, though I may be mistaken.
     
  6. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    Great article. Fundamentalism has gotten distracted over the years. Having pastored an IFB church and met with many IFB pastors, this seems to be the case from my expereince as well. But I do hope it is a small minority.
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    After I wrote this I got to thinking and checking, and I believe this is not exactly right. I looked in my Handbook of Denominations in the United States, by Frank S. Mead (6th ed., 1975), and it has no Reformed Baptist group per se in it. Then I found this website, which ties modern Reformed Baptists in the US to Rolfe Barnard (1904-1969): http://www.pbpress.org/articles.htm

    And therein lies a tale. Rolfe was an independent Baptist evangelist associated with J. Frank Norris, then with my grandfather John R. Rice, both founding fathers of the IFB movement in the South. At a conference hosted by Granddad in 1949 in Greenville, Mississippi, Barnard treated the attendees to a full-blown Calvinist sermon from Romans 9. Since Granddad always had the theme of soul-winning and revival. It was his standard practice to not invite anyone back to his conferences who preached on anything else (take note, Lester Roloff fans), and Rolfe not only broke that rule, he basically thumbed his nose at everyone there, since no one but him were Calvinists. This led to Rolfe being rejected by the IFB movement of the day.

    Add to Barnard a man named Henry Mahan, a grad of my alma mater, IFB stalwart school Tennessee Temple, who held the first Reformed Baptist fellowship in 1954. So, to recap, the modern American Reformed Baptist movement was evidently a split from the Southern IFB movement during the 1950s.
     
  8. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    Baptist histories are like opinions, every movement has one and its bent to their own bias. I would encourage you to compare Mead with others for a test of accuaracy. Your desire to uphold the honor of your grandfather is noble, but it can color what history you put forth as true. I will do some research as well.
     
  9. David Lamb

    David Lamb
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,982
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, John, certainly some of those UK baptist churches that would call themselves "independent" would be those that once were in the Baptist Union, but no longer are, having left it either at the time of the Downgrade Controversy, or later. A number of churches left the BU back in the 1970s, following the annual assemble of the BU in 1971, when Michael Taylor (the Principal of Manchester Baptist College), gave a talk entitled "‘How Much of a Man is Jesus Christ?’", in which he stated: “It could not be claimed that he was the Son of God. We have to stop short of saying unequivocally that he is God.” The BU's reaction was merely to acknowledge that Taylor's words "had caused concern for some."

    But there are many UK baptist churches which have never been part of the BU.
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    Research all you want. You'll find a similar account to what I said in The Baptist Heritage by H. Leon McBeth (p. 771), which I consulted when writing my post. I added to that my own insider's information. :saint:
     
  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    Thanks, David. I'll have to read up some more on that history. :type:
     
  12. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    In referring to American Reformed Baptist churches, it seems to be traced more accurately to the Philadelphia Baptist Association in the year 1707. In 1742, this association adopted the London Baptist Confession of 1689 as its confession of faith. This is the same confession of faith our church and its fellowship of churches have adopted.

    One author writes, "It was in 1707 that the Philadelphia Baptist Association was founded. This strong Particular Baptist fellowship has had a lasting effect on Baptists in America. In 1742, this association adopted the London Baptist Confession of 1689 as its founding confession, and gave it a new name: The Philadelphia Confession of Faith. These Baptists were quick to put their beliefs into action, and in 1770 they founded a college and began to send missionaries regularly throughout America. From this time forward, Particular Baptists overshadowed the failing General Baptists. But even with its strong historical and doctrinal position, the Particular Baptists also began to lose doctrinal purity in the New World."

    You can read the Philadelphia Confession here http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/creeds/phila.htm

    An interesting note of this history, is that Benjamin Franklin is accredited with the confessions first edition printing.

    It seems to me that modern Reformed Baptists would trace their doctrines and practice in finding those of like-mindedness back to the particular Baptists in early American and still further to England and the reformation. The same could be said of the General Baptists.

    http://www.reformedreader.org/history/pbh.htm

    I can't see anything in history at this point, or to my knowledge, that would place fundamentalists before the late 1800s or early 1900s. Some of the strange doctrines that are held by IFB churches, such as KJVonlyism, can only be found in the last 30-50 years or so?
     
  13. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    Would you mind explaining your tone in this statement? I do not want to take away the wrong impression of sarcasm or disdain.
     
  14. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/Ed.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2002
    Messages:
    15,715
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is one quote:


    I know for the last 30 years we tryed to save the SBC for Fundamentalism. But then we found out 'fundamentalism' LEFT the fundamentals.
     
  15. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    After I wrote that I thought, John, you shouldn't have said that--it'll be misunderstood. Sorry about that!

    The tone was flip, not sarcastic and certainly not disdainful. It was more like, "Knock yourself out," if that makes sense.

    I'm headed out for evangelism with Habazaki San, after which I'll take a few minutes to answer your longer post with the view of historian McBeth, who sees three separate groups of Calvinistic Baptists nowadays, two having their roots in postwar America and one, interestingly enough, having their roots in 1930s Great Britain!
     
  16. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    I'm sure Reformed Baptists want to trace their theology back that far, but they can't trace their history back that far, as Baptist historian H. Leon McBeth shows. (And frankly, I think we should trust a Th. D. historian whose book is used in seminaries and grad schools far more than the typical Internet source.) Note that McBeth's sources are people actually in these movements. If someone doesn't believe that, I'll provide McBeth's sources, but surely that won't be necessary.

    Concerning Barnard, McBeth says that he "is often called 'the Pioneer' of Calvinist resurgence among Baptists" (The Baptist Heritage, McBeth, p. 770). He then relates the same incident with Barnard and my grandfather that I did. According to McBeth, these southern Calvinistic Baptists who followed Barnard had no particular organization. I had a run-in with one of these churches in Franklin, TN, in 1977 where both the pastor and his wife verbally abused me...but I won't get into that. I'm not bitter, just bemused.

    He then mentions the Reformed Baptists of the north, with little connection to Barnard. He says, "They drew inspiration from England, where in the late 1940s an interdenominational group formed the Banner of Truth Foundation to revitalize Fundamentalist Calvinism" (ibid, p. 771). "This reform movement leaped the Atlantic; in June, 1967, the Grace Baptist Church of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, sponsored a 'conference of Baptists of Reformed and Calvinistic persuasion.' The Trinity Church was formed at Essex Fells, New Jersey, in 1967, destined to become one of the leading centers of the New Calvinism. At first unaffiliated, the Trinity Church added 'Baptist to its name in 1971" (p. 772).

    McBeth's third group is the "Continental Baptist Churches," followers of Norbert Ward which formed an association in the Dallas area in 1983. McBeth further mentions Calvinistic influences in the GARBC and SBC.
    As I said before, doctrinally maybe so, but not historically. They don't call themselves Particular Baptists, but Reformed or Sovereign Grace Baptists. And Frank Mead, who I quoted before, had no mention of such groups in his 6th edition, even though he included such tiny Calvinistic Baptist groups as the Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit Predestinarian Baptists!
    You are generally correct here, depending on which historian you follow. But what's your point? Are you saying that newness means no credibility? Then we Baptists in the 17th century had no credibility.

    Personally, I think God raised up Fundamentalism to be sort of the conscience of Evangelicalism. Noted Evangelicals such as Francis Schaeffer (The Great Evangelical Disaster) and Piper (see my recent thread in the Fundamentalist forum) appear to agree with that.
     
  17. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    See ? I toldcha so !

    aye. thou hast spoken well. :laugh:

    don't mind me, Ed. just trying to get to the 5000 mark. one more to go. then you all shall hear from me no more (for a while, that is).:wavey:
     
  18. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    Hey John,

    Conerning your recent reply, no, I would not mean to indicate that a recent developement automatically discredits the group. And I realize I am tracking more in terms of doctrine than of associations or groups. A "Reformed Baptist" group or association in America may be just as you say, or as McBeth says. And while his history is from his education and widely used, it should command attention, but not necessarily authority. Given that you have studied this history as I have, and probably more than I have, you likely found what I found...a good deal of bias, or better said, a lack of focus.

    Tom Ascol wrote an article on this regarding the history of his own denomination, the SBC. His thesis is "The chronic misreading of history seems to have spread among many who have been regarded as denominational leaders or spokesmen during this present generation. They exhibit an annoying and damaging tendency to misconstrue important issues when referring to our Baptist heritage."

    He identifies three areas of a blurred view of history concerning the SBC:

    1. The first, which could be called "historical myopia," tends to regard our Baptist heritage-especially our Southern Baptist heritage-as stretching back only 50-60 years.

    2. Another way the Baptist heritage gets out of focus is through reading the record with "historical tunnel vision." This approach takes an isolated example from history and assumes that it is normative.

    3. History also gets misconstrued when it is read through a faulty lens, a malady which we might call "historical astigmatism." This approach does not actually overlook large segments of history, rather it is simply unable to bring the evidence into sharp focus.

    Here is a link to the full article if your interested http://www.founders.org/journal/fj18/editorial_fr.html

    In thinking about this subject, I have not traced my "heritiage" as a Reformed Baptist by a trail of men or associations, but of doctrine. I have asked the question concerning the finer details of my beliefs, "have baptists in history held these views?" and found the answer to be a resounding yes. And this would date from 1644 and beyond. It's just that in 1644 I can point to a creed by which we can know what those baptists believed.

    If the issue (more so controversy) is regarding Calvinism, the teaching may be traced much further back than 1644. It can be seen before the Reformation itself. I do not want to place undue authority on the teaching merely because of its antiquity. Our beliefs ought to carry their authority from Scripture, and Scripture Alone. But it is a comfort to see the doctrines have been held by a great many believers throughout the time of the Church.

    In the recent past, I think a startling example of "Reformed" Baptists are the Southern Baptists. There is 150 years of history there, and much recorded doctrine. When I look into their beliefs from the early days, I find them to be Calvinists almost to a man, and Covenantal in their theology. I think of Boyce's Abstract of Systematic Theology in which I find nothing lacking in Reformed belief. Or Dagg, or P.H. Mell.

    Thanks for the discussion btw. I helped me "focus" on the fact that I trace doctrine and not movements.
     
  19. superwoman8977

    superwoman8977
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    293
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am not a fundamental baptist by any means but the more I research the fundamental baptist the more I am turned toward the Southern Baptist for the more liberal they are with this coming age.If we want people to come to Christ we have to meet people where they are at.
     
  20. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    Well said. Thanks.
    Good article. I did read it. Thanks for the link. I do see a pro-Calvinist bias there, though--wink, grin.
    I'm well aware of this. The same could be said for Arminian teachings too, of course. The doctrines of our faith have been vigorously debated since the very start as Galatians and other NT books show, and such works as The History of the Church by Eusebius.

    Naturally, when we study history we have to do our best to leave our theological biases behind--and that can be very difficult.
    I've enjoyed the discussion much! I've found you to be a debater with integrity. The last time I discussed my grandfather and the Calvinists on the BB was shortly after I joined, and was very painful. You'd think my Calvinist brethren would rejoice that John R. Rice pushed Spurgeon so much. However, some remember nothing but Rolfe Barnard and a short book of JRR's against hyper-Calvinism.
     

Share This Page

Loading...