Where To Start In Church/ Baptist History?

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by tyndale1946, Jan 9, 2003.

  1. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    When one gets started into Baptist History where is the best place to start?... Maybe I should rephrase that and say Church History!... Now to me and among my brethren the Primitive Baptist and this is including Brother Robert no PBs home library is complete without Hassells History Of The Church Of God. This can also be found on line at http://www.pbministries.org/History/S.%20Hassell/church_of_god.htm and though Hassell was partial to PBs as he was one of our historian elders.

    So what other Baptist History or Church History publications are out there or on line... I know of one other writer on church history named Phillip Schaff if I'm not mistaken. What others might we avail ourself of and which do others highly recommend?... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  2. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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  3. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    To me this is what true christian history is all about... This is a quotation from Phillip Schaffs' Chiristian History:

    History should be written from the original sources of friend and foe, in the spirit of truth and love, "sine ira et studio," "with malice towards none, and charity for all," in clear, fresh, vigorous style, under the guidance of the twin parables of the mustard seed and leaven, as a book of life for instruction, correction, encouragement, as the best exposition and vindication of Christianity... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  4. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Bro. Glen

    Schaff's quotation is an excellent place to start, and echos what I said in the earlier thread.

    To write history, however, one must define the scope of the work. For example, would you be writing a history of one local church, a local association, a movement, or a denominational structure. Or, perish the thought, the history of the church of God from Creation. Hassell did as well as anyone on that topic, but only briefly gives notice to many interesting things.

    Do you have a specific topic for research in mind?

    Another thing, I learned this many years ago, to know history you have to write history. Another axiom in the history business is that good history makes no one happy. That is to say there are partisans on both sides with their shortcomings, mistakes, coverups, foibles, etc., which most of those partisans would prefer not to be exposed, but in writing a good history you have to do it.

    One problem with writing Church history theology often comes into play, and you have to take care not to let that theology cloud the judgment of the historical record. An example of this would be for a Baptist writer to universally condemn the Catholic church or the Pentcostals, while ignoring the shortcomings of Baptists. It is simply intellectually dishonest to do it this way. Another axiom of the history biz, no one has a monopoly on the truth and no one is free from error.

    Hope it helps

    Jeff,.
     
  5. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Sorry Brother Jeff let me clarify my statement... I'm not thinking of writing a book on church history my question was in regards to those who want to study it!... Where does a newbie start?... Do they start from their own and branch out from there or go from the source to theirs?... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  6. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Sorry for the confusion. I haven't slept well for several days. :(

    I think you have to work backward to understand it and not loose interest. If you start at the back and work forward, you aren't as likely to be able to identify with the concepts, people, places, etc. But as you learn the recent information, then the other stuff will be an accumulation of knowledge, and less likely to cause burnout. {I know this is opposite of the way history is usually taught] Of course there are other valid approaches, but this is what seems to work best for most people. Some of it will depend on your personality, interests, exposure to other ideas, etc.
     
  7. Grasshopper

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  8. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    My favourite history references are the two volume set: A Manual of Church History, by A. H. Newman, Judson Press......It is rather dated, but I have always enjoyed it. I also like a Lutheran's work, A History of the Christian Church, Lars P. Qualben.

    I also like to read historical background books dealing with ancient life and culture, such as Matthews, Manners and Customs in the Bible. In this regard, don't be afraid to read either secular or theologically liberal writers. They all offer valuable information, and generally without a noticeable bias.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    I have been thinking about this since someone (Gina, I think) asked something about recommending an outline of Baptist history for newbies. I am in agreement with Jeff. The best place for most people to start (there will be exceptions) is in the present and work back. Perhaps start with the history of your own local church. What are its origins? Who were the people who started it? From where did they come? What ties did they have? Then broaden to the histories of the churches that are connected with yours. What common point of origin did they have? What doctrines tied them together? Who were these people? Then back to the next connections, and so on.
     
  10. Gina B

    Gina B
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    LOL! I'm gonna sound like Seinfeld when I go to my church and ask "Who AHHH these people??" ;)
    Gina
     
  11. Bob Farnaby

    Bob Farnaby
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    If anyone is looking for an online start piont for church history I don't think you can beat Phil Johnson's "The Hall of Church History" web addredd is http://www.gty.org/~phil/hall.htm

    Regards
    Bob
     

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