Primitivism is not a sub-denominational group within the Baptist camp, but is rather a broad type that transcends different associations or fellowships. It is in that sense comparable to fundamentalism or landmarkism. I have used this term on several occasions and have been asked what it means. While studying Baptist groups, I ran across the term in the works of Albert Wardin (Baptist Atlas and Baptists Around the World. In classifying Baptists, Wardin identifies a number of groups as Primitivists. Primitive Baptists are probably the largest group of Baptists that would be considered Primitivists, but primitivism is not synonymous with Primitive Baptists. A number of Baptist groups are considered primitivists, especially the Old Regular Baptists, Primitive Baptists, Regular Baptists, United Baptists, "Two-Seed" Baptists, the "Duck River" Baptists, some old-time Missionary Baptists, and a few Free Will Baptists. Persons hearing the terminology "Primitivist" or "Primitive" Baptist often think of crude or backward. The idea is really "original." In other words, when people started using the term "Primitive Baptist", they meant that the "Primitive" Baptist was the strain of Baptist that best represented what Baptists originally were. Lemuel Potter (Old School) and W. P. Throgmorton (Missionary) once held a debate called "Who are the Primitive Baptists?" Back to the original question - What is Primitivism? My dictionary says, "belief in the superiority of a simple way of life close to nature." Translated in the religious realm this means a preference for the "simpler" times of the "primitive" (New Testament) church. Put another way, it is the desire of primitivism to recreate New Testament Christianity. Martin Marty calls it "the dream of restoration of a purer order." Primitivism in motivation is related to the restorationism of Alexander Campbell & others. One major different between primitivistic Baptists and Campbell would be that the Baptists would believe that they have constantly been recreating primitive Christianity, whereas Campbell believed that it had disappeared and needed "restoration." "An Anabaptist, (Michael) Servetus believed what has always been basic to restorationism: that the true, apostolic church went into apostasy, that all existing churches are false, and that the only way to have the true church again is by a restoration of primitive Christianity. This is also known as primitivism, which implies that the New Testament provides a detailed pattern for the church, so that in any age the true church can be reproduced by faithful adherence to the New Testament mode...[Leroy Garrett in Encyclopedia of Religion in the South, p. 641]." The above paragraph was written by a Campbellite so it reflects more of their idea of restoration, but I think does present the basic idea of primitivism - that the New Testament provides the pattern for the continual faithful reproduction of the church. Don't all Baptists believe this? Probably most would say so; but they do not mean it the same way as the small subsection considered "primitivists."