Archive for September, 2008

“Coming to Truth” Audio Now Available

September 26th, 2008 Posted in Uncategorized

On Wednesday, the Center for Worldview and Culture on the campus of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary sponsored a “Coming to Truth” discussion with Dr. Michael Haykin. This was the first of what promises to be a series of conversations in which faculty members will describe their intellectual journey, including their thoughts, events, and processes, that led them to conclude that Christianity is the universal truth. This first lecture/testimony was by Dr. Michael Haykin.  The audio for this lecture is now available for download.

To read an article from the Fall 2007 TIE (SBTS alumni magazine) describing Dr. Haykin’s conversion to Christ click here.

Posted by Steve Weaver, Research and Administrative Assistant to the Director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies, Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin.

“Coming to Truth”: A Conversation with Dr. Michael Haykin

September 19th, 2008 Posted in Uncategorized

The Center for Worldview and Culture on the campus of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is sponsoring a “Coming to Truth” discussion on Wednesday, September 24 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. in Norton Hall Room 195. This is the first of a series of conversations in which faculty members will describe the intellectual journey, including their thoughts, events, and processes, that led them to conclude that Christianity is the universal truth. This first conversation will be with Dr. Michael Haykin, a former Trotskyite Communist Marxist and former Black Panther sympathizer.

To view a promotional poster for this event click here.

To read an article from the Fall 2007 TIE describing Dr. Haykin’s conversion to Christ click here.

Posted by Steve Weaver, Research and Administrative Assistant to the Director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies, Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin.

A research topic in Baptist piety worth pursuing

September 19th, 2008 Posted in Church History

Here is a possible research topic:

What was it like to sit in a Baptist church in the days of Spurgeon and Broadus, Boyce and Wayland? What would you see? What would you hear? How would it feel? How did these dynamics relate to the message being preached and how truth was received? What was it like to sing in their chapels and to experience the Lord’s Supper?

Some readers might think these questions trite and silly. They aren’t at all!

Reception of truth always takes place in a certain ambience and space. How was truth experienced in that space? The answers to these questions and others like them would help enormously towards crafting the way spiritual life occurs and is experienced.

This would take a lot of digging but it relates to new historical studies based around our senses of sight, smell, feel, hearing and even taste. As yet, no one that I know of has been working on the history of such matters as it relates to Baptist piety.

Maybe, there are some scholars out there who would be interested in doing a concerted team research on this idea and produce together a history of Baptist sensory experience.

Comments and thoughts welcome!

Justin Martyr on the value of the truth

September 19th, 2008 Posted in Ancient Church: 2nd & 3rd Centuries

The citation from Philip Doddridge that was quoted in an earlier post on this blog is an echo–albeit probably unconscious–of this from the second-century Christian apologist Justin Martyr: “the lover of truth must choose, in every way possible, to do and say what is right, even when threatened with death, rather than save his own life.” [1]

[1] First Apology 2.1.

Jim Davison on Jeremiah Burroughes

September 16th, 2008 Posted in 17th Century, Puritans

The following post is from a close friend, Jim Davison of Northern Ireland, who did his PhD thesis at Queens Belfast on Jeremiah Burroughes.

A comment on Jeremiah Burroughes’ Gospel Worship:

Jeremiah Burroughes (c.1600-1646) has been a constant companion of mine for the past seven or eight years, through the study of his printed sermons and other works.  He more than any other puritan preacher has warmed my soul and encouraged me to seek what he sought to preach a life lived to the glory of God.  In Gospel Worship the emphasis is on the privilege and awesome responsibility of drawing near to God, for He has said: ‘I will be sanctified in them that draw nigh Me’ (Exodus 10:3).

How this is to be done is set out by Burroughes by way of three topics, each of which have many headings and sub-headings.  The subjects are Hearing the Word, Receiving the Lord’s Supper, and Sanctifying the Name of God in Prayer.  Each of these duties is unfolded for us with the aim of better equipping us to worship God in a proper manner, e.g., with reverence and awe.

In regard to hearing the Word as part of worship we are reminded by Burroughes that while it is good to hear the Word it is more important how we hear it, by which he means, not only as ‘an ordinance appointed by God,’ but in such a way that at the last day we will be able to say: ‘This is the Word that I reverenced, that I obeyed, that I loved, that I made the joy of my heart.’  Here we find Burroughes at his best as he unfolds the importance of preparation of heart to hear the Word preached.

In regard to the Lord’s Supper, Burroughes makes it clear that in keeping this ordinance ‘you will find a greater beauty … than you ever found in all your lives.’  Surely this is a message we need to get across to the many in each congregation who ignore the ordinance time after time.  Burroughes follows his exposition of the importance of this ordinance with ten mediations ‘by which we should labour to sanctify our hearts,’ as we ‘come to sanctify the name of God when we are drawing nigh to Him’ in this holy ordinance.

The third subject handled by Burroughes is prayer as a means of worshiping God.  Here Burroughes shows that prayer is ‘that which sanctifies all things to us’ – ‘Everything is sanctified by the word of God and prayer’ (1 Timothy 4:5).  Prayer is also that which ‘would help us against many temptations to evil.’  This leads Burroughes to exhort believers to ‘the preparation of heart unto prayer.’  This preparation is to be done in the course of one’s life,’ by which Burroughes means the way we live: ‘keep all things even and clean between God and your souls’ and ‘keep our hearts sensible of our continual dependence upon God.’

In many ways these fourteen sermons, now printed in a modern format by Soli Deo Gloria Publications, seek to emphasis the need for preparation of heart and soul as a prelude to participating in these three great ordinances of worship.  It is a masterful treatise on a subject that is foreign to many today; but one that is surely needed.  Burroughes is right when he says, ‘The reason why we worship God in a slight way is because we do not see God in His glory.’  But, one cannot read these sermons without appreciating that God is glorious in holiness.  It is also true that ‘If in the duties of worship we are near to God, then hence appears the great honour that God puts upon his servants that do worship him.’

Doddridge: more afraid of doing wrong than of dying

September 15th, 2008 Posted in 18th Century

Philip Doddridge (1702-1751) is one of my favourite letter-writers. What I like about his letters is the combination of serious theology, joy, and sometimes playfulness (especially in his letters to his wife Mercy).

Here is a line from one, written not long before his death in 1751: “I am more afraid of doing what is wrong than of dying.”

Guidance re buying Puritan books

September 15th, 2008 Posted in 17th Century, Puritans

John Owen is a marvelous entry into Puritanism. He has been rightly described as the Calvin of the Puritan authors. His writing style is prolix and a little verbose, but he is superb in terms of his penetrating and exhaustive treatment of an issue. Buy some of his Works if you can; they are printed by the Banner of Truth. Volume 6 on the believer’s struggle against sin is a good place to begin. Richard Baxter is also good, but only with regard to his practical works. His theology was a mish-mash (my words, but J. I. Packer’s sentiments). Stay away from his theological works proper. But his practical stuff—e.g. The Reformed Pastor and The Saints’ Everlasting Rest are tops. Other series of Puritan works: Richard Sibbes, an early Puritan, is also superb. His works are published by the Banner of Truth. Thomas Goodwin is also excellent, especially on the Spirit. Two late Puritans are also highly recommended : John Howe, one of my favourite authors, and Matthew Henry—get his commentary, the first complete commentary on the entire Bible by an English author. Get the full edition of this commentary, not an abbreviation. Finally, John Bunyan is a must—any of his works.

With regard to individual books there is Isaac Ambrose, Looking Unto Jesus—superb. And Thomas Wilcox, Honey out of the Rock. I have begun to read a little of David Dickson, who is not bad. Samuel Rutherford’s Letters are also a must—absolute gold. I.D.E. Thomas, A Puritan Golden Treasury is also worth possessing. It is published by the Banner of Truth, and is a weighty selection of Puritan quotes. Thomas Boston, a late Scottish Puritan author is also good.

New Issue of Eusebeia Shipping

September 13th, 2008 Posted in Uncategorized

The latest issue of Eusebeia: The Bulletin of the Andrew Fuller Center is now shipping. This issue focuses on the namesake of the Center, Andrew Fuller himself. The theme is “Reading Andrew Fuller.” The journal features nine scholarly articles by the likes of Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin, Dr. Carl R. Trueman, and Dr. Thomas J. Nettles. Most of the articles were originally papers presented at last year’s conference. For a complete Table of Contents with free access to the editorial and an article by Dr. Haykin click here.

This issue can be ordered for $12 USD, or a subscription (which includes 2 issues) is available for $20 USD (international orders are $15 and $30 respectively). Subscription information, as well as limited access to past issues, is available here.

It is our desire to eventually provide a Table of Contents for all issues along with each issue’s editorial by Dr. Haykin, a select article from each issue, and book reviews, all available for free PDF download. Some of the Table of Contents and articles from past issues have always been posted. Others will be posted soon. Be sure to visit this site regularly as new content is added often.

Posted by Steve Weaver, Research and Administrative Assistant to the Director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies, Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin.

First Book Review Posted

September 5th, 2008 Posted in Uncategorized

The first book review has been posted on the new “Book Review” page (see left sidebar under “Audio”).   The first review is Dr. Haykin’s review article on Brian McLaren’s Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices which appears in the current issue (Summer 2008) of The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology.  As you will be able to tell if you take the time to read the article, it is not a recommendation of McLaren’s use of “Ancient” church history.  Instead, you will find a devastating critique of the whole emergent co-opting of the practices of the ancient church by a historical scholar trained in the field of Patristics.   Don’t miss this review, and continue to check back periodically as more reviews will be added every one or two weeks.  Future reviews will generally be recommendatory of various works on Baptist history in particular, or church history in general.

Posted by Steve Weaver, Research and Administrative Assistant to the Director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies, Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin.

Book reviews: an addition to the Andrew Fuller Center mandate

September 1st, 2008 Posted in Uncategorized

It occurred to me this past weekend that one of the ways in which the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies can serve the Southern Baptist community, as well as the larger Baptist world and even the broader scene of English-speaking Evangelicalism, is through online reviews of books that specifically relate to Baptist history.

One of the ways in which the publishing world has been impacted in the past twenty years or so, a time of massive change for that world, has been in the role played by book reviews. Book reviews often appear in journals or magazines anywhere up to a year, or even more, after the book being reviewed has been published. Given the way books are marketed today though, this often results in the book review playing no substantial role in the sale of the book.

Given the resources of the worldwide web, one of the ways around this dilemma is to publish online reviews as soon as possible after the book has been published, as a number of e-journals are already doing. So, in the next week or so the Center hopes to initiate such a venture and try to review a book every couple of weeks or so. There will be a link provided on the home page to see the book reviews both current and past. Do check back regularly to see what is being recommended in the exciting field of Baptist history and ancillary fields of church history.