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A Better Paradigm for the Study of Baptist History

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by rlvaughn, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    A couple of days ago a preacher brother reminded me of something I had not thought of recently. About 10 years ago I put together a booklet called A Better Paradigm for the Study of Baptist History.

    The study of Baptist origins is not only about historical information – which is very important, but it touches on the very understanding of who we are. To understand Baptists, one must understand their views of their origin – who they think they are (and we don't all think the same thing!).

    In December of 2005, I read Brother Mark Osgatharp’s proposal of a new paradigm for the study of Baptist history. In my opinion the paradigm had much merit and should be seriously considered by Baptist historians and other interested parties. After noting H. Leon McBeth’s categorization of the Baptist origins into four groups, Brother Osgatharp asserted that a more helpful paradigm would start with two broad categories. His paradigm does not theorize that there are only two views of Baptist origins, but rather that all the views of Baptist origins can be represented within one of two broad categories -- those who see the Baptists as a "restorationist" movement, and those who believe the churches established by Jesus Christ and His apostles were baptist in doctrinal character and that there has been a continuation of such churches and/or principles from the time of Christ to the present.

    The booklet begins with Mark Osgatharp’s explanation of his proposed paradigm. This is followed by my interpretation and expansion of it. Nathan Finn critiques Osgatharp’s paradigm and my adaptation of it with helpful insight. Finally, I conclude the booklet with a few final thoughts.

    All this to say that if any of you BB members might be interested in reading this booklet, I will gladly provide a FREE pdf copy of it. It is only 25 pages, so you can make a quick read of it, and perhaps receive some benefit in the process. If interested, just send me your e-mail in a private message (or some other way if you prefer, including posting here or pointing to your e-mail address elsewhere).
     
  2. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    I would be interested if any who received the PDF A Better Paradigm for the Study of Baptist History have any feedback, comments, etc.
     
  3. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    Just finished reading the pamphlet. So looking at the paradigm presented in it.
    I find I would hold to:

    I. Apostolic origins (continuation) theories
    A. Continuation of biblical teachings (spiritual succession)
    for the overall history of the movement.

    I find I would hold to:

    II. Post-apostolic origins (non-continuation) theories
    A. Converging streams/Multiple origins
    for the origins of today's Anglo-American Baptist movement. I think there is a documentary black hole as to this movement's origin.



     
  4. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Thanks. Did you find the paradigm helpful in sorting out the various views of and works on Baptist history?

    I would generally agree with what you say. I believe that there has been a continuation of biblical teachings (and congregations who taught the teachings) from the New Testament times to the present. I believe that based on my interpretation of biblical teachings. I do not believe that such a continuation from the New Testament times to the present is historically demonstrable (neither that it has to be). We can document parts of it, but there are a lot of "black holes," as you call them.
     
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  5. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    Yes, as most writers seem to take one position to the exclusion of others. History isn't that neat.
     
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