« W.J. McGlothin-- "doubtful" whether The New Hampshire Confession of Faith "ought to be called Calvinistic" | Main | Baptist Association birthed over election and predestination »

Apr 21, 2015

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Max

A concise statement of the only Baptist belief I have known for 60 years. Would make a great replacement for BFM2000 ;^)

Thank you Peter for your diligence to retrieve these items from the archives. I look for the "Yeah-Buts" to come out of the woodwork on this one!

peter lumpkins

Max,

Thanks. While I'm reluctant myself to sign any petition--including doctrinal petitions--this confession bears the least resistance to me than any confession I recall I've ever read. I'm with you. I like it!

Lydia

It would be so interesting to chart these deviations however bold from a geographical perspective. Were they concentrated in the North early on? One has to wonder because of the weariness and pushback with Puritan practices we read about in other aspects of history. We can say with all confidence our Founding Fathers certainly were not mapping religious freedom to the policies and practices of the Puritans.

The most interesting aspect to me is that any deviation from the Calvinist position existed at all. Not in PA, but in many Colonies there was still some aspects of a state religion with whuch Baptists had to contend. So sticking together in number would have been politically expedient.

But you cannot get to "man has the ability to govern himself" with Calvinism as your foundation.

peter lumpkins

I think you are essentially correct, Lydia. It's intellectually difficult for the purest Calvinists to separate church and state. One need only consider Geneva to see this truth...

peter lumpkins

BTW, Lydia, as I understand, you wonder if the conflicts over Calvinism were concentrated mainly in the north. The answer is no they were not. I will post when I can some of the same divisive issues over Calvinism happening in the north inflamed North Carolina Baptists early on.

Scott Shaver

Consider Geneva only? Let's try a little closer to home i.e. Quakers locked in the stocks of New England?

Where do I sign?

Bill Mac

Peter: I like the little confession too, which brings up a question. While I don't consider myself a full blown Calvinist I certainly lean in that direction, and I find nothing objectionable in the Abington confession. Was the confession written so as to prevent affirmation by Calvinists?

Lydia

"the free grace of God manifested in the recovery of those that believe in Christ"

That part might be one clue. It seems they were affirming human volition in the matter of salvation. Calvinists seems to operate under a sort of cognitive dissonance when this is brought up. As in, " The human can but really can't" seems to be the message we are to accept.

Bill Mac

Lydia: I see your point in the first part of the sentence but then the latter part seems to draw it back in to an area where both sides could affirm.

Max

"the free grace of God manifested in the recovery of those that believe in Christ"

Lydia, reckon this is what Jesus meant in John 3:16 when He said "whosoever believeth in him should not perish" ... that whosoever means whosoever? Could it also be that when Jesus said "whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely" in Rev. 22:17 that whosoever means whosoever? The Gospel is really simple enough that a child can understand. Exposure to complex systematic theology and debating the teachings of men clutter the mind to distract from this simple truth. A sad day we live in ... that the Cross and the work of Christ have such little place in 21st century preaching.

peter lumpkins

Thanks for the question Bill. The contextual material doesn't seem to give any clues about whether Abington penned the confession with any sort of preclusion that strong Calvinists could or would not adhere to it. What we may could reasonably maintain is, given the profound influence of Philadelphia and its unwavering support and promotion of the Phil. Confession, the Abington churches wanted to muffle the debate over the more objectionable parts of high Calvinism upon which Phil insisted.

Whatever the case, given the proximity of the upstart association's location to Philly, and a confession spayed of almost any Calvinistic earmarks, I personally think Abington must be an "embarrassment," so to speak, to our more strict confessional Calvinistic brothers.

Lydia

Lydia: I see your point in the first part of the sentence but then the latter part seems to draw it back in to an area where both sides could affirm."

Peter pointed out that it seems to be more about what they left out. Better than the constant parsing of definitions and concepts.

Max, I will take simple any day!

Scott Shaver

Bill Mac:

I don't think any whose orientation is historically "Southern Baptist" would be honest if we denied those aspects of the thoughts systematized by Calvin from which we've been influenced.

Like any other "theology" which awards the keys of the kingdom "communally" to the dogma of a few, (i.e. hyper and neocalvinism).... need to be rejected outright if the historical trajectory guys like Pete are proving were influential on Southern Baptists is to be retained.

Again, such a retention may not be the goal of everybody with a hand on the current reigns of the denominational apparatus.

Looks like several of our seminaries would rather turn out Presbyterians as opposed to historic Southern Baptists.

You would think Patterson and Kelley might have been more vocal but Mohler knows where the proverbial "bodies" are buried.

Even if academic monopoly within the SBC decides to turn out Presbyterian pastors for local church leadership, historically "Baptist" churches and individuals still active will have them for lunch, dinner and breakfast. I think we're seeing a lot of that already.

A genuine spiritual conviction disposed toward free will is something that cannot be cured, reformed, or rehabilitated.

The denomination's response to neocalvinsim appears to be blitzkrieg .....send more and more along with Lifeway literature until those in established churches quit resisting or we can generate enough church starts and short-lived megas to redefine "Cooperative" and "Southern Baptist" entirely.

Max

Peter, speaking of confessions of faith, are you familiar with the "The Schleitheim Confession of Faith, 1527"? The Seven Articles of this confession clearly stated where the Anabaptist Swiss Brethren stood in belief and practice. Many gave their lives under this confession, suffering tremendous persecution by the church of Rome and the Reformers.

If you want to get some young folks excited about Baptist roots, they should study our Anabaptist forefathers and stop hanging out with Piper et al.

The comments to this entry are closed.