Archive for January, 2009

“All the Vulgarity of a Methodist Teacher” or sheer brilliance?

January 30th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

Not everyone in Fuller’s day regarded Andrew Fuller with a favourable eye. There were, of course, theological opponents like John Martin of London. And then there were writers like David Rivers who, in his Literary Memoirs of Living Authors of Great Britain (London: R. Faulder, 1798), I, 201-202, described Fuller as “the author of several Religious Tracts written with all the Vulgarity of a Methodist Teacher. He has written a controversial pamphlet against Socinianism, which displays a very small share, if any, of education or talent.” This blogger begs to differ and sees many of Fuller’s works as sheer brilliance.

Audio Interview with Haykin and Whitney

January 29th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

Dr. Haykin is involved, with Dr. Don Whitney, in the development and teaching of the first Ph.D. program in spirituality in the US in a non-Catholic school, and the first D.Min. program in spirituality in an SBC seminary. If you’d like to read about these new doctoral programs in Biblical Spirituality at Southern Seminary, click here.

To hear a seven-minute interview with Drs. Haykin and Whitney on the Moody Broadcasting Network’s Prime Time America radio program about Southern’s new doctoral programs in Biblical Spirituality, click here. Once there, go 1:20:00 into the program where the interview starts.

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

John Newton on Entering Pastoral Ministry

January 26th, 2009 Posted in 18th Century, Books, Pastoral Ministry

A newly transcribed and published excerpt from John Newton’s diary provides a understanding of his view on the ministry. Dr. Haykin has reviewed the booklet, Ministry on my mind: John Newton on entering pastoral ministry by John Newton, transcribed by Marylynn Rouse. Dr. Haykin believes that this work deserves to go on the short list of books which every man aspiring to pastoral ministry needs to read. Read the review here. Other reviews are available here. Check back regularly as new reviews are usually added on a weekly basis.

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

Helmuth James von Moltke, martyred January 23, 1945

January 23rd, 2009 Posted in 20th Century

On this day, in 1945, Helmuth James von Moltke (b.1906) was excuted by the Nazi regime for being a Christian and refusing to acknowledge Adolf Hitler as his supreme commander in all things.

Von Moltke was the son of an English woman and a wealthy German landowner, the latter was in turn the grand nephew of a famous German Field Marshall from the First World War. Throughout the 1930s Moltke had opposed Hitler and the Nazi regime, and regarded their accession to power as a catastrophe of the first magnitude. During the war years he actively opposed Hitler, but unlike some others he came to reject the idea that assassinating Hitler was the way to correct matters within Germany. He was a Christian who refused to behave as the Nazis did. In January 1944, though, he was arrested for his active resistance to Hitler. He was put on trial in January 1945 and he rejoiced in the fact that eventually his trial boiled down to one fact, that he, as a Christian refused to accept Hitler’s demand for total and absolute obedience.

At one point in his trial, his judge, Roland Freisler, shouted at him: “Only in one respect are we [i.e. the Nazis] and Christianity alike: we demand the whole man!” Freisler then asked Moltke: “From whom do you take your orders? From the Beyond or from Adolf Hitler?” “Who commands your loyalty and your faith?” Moltke rightly saw these questions as the decisive ones of his entire trial. As he told his wife in a farewell letter, he was on trial simply as Christian and nothing else. From the point of view of the Nazis, because as a Christian he refused to give total obedience to Hitler, he had to die.

Ever since I read some of his letters to his wife Freya in the 1970s, I have found his life to be a source of tremendous inspiration.

Look at this cake!

January 23rd, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

Now, while we are speaking about the Puritans and pudding, look at this cake that would have added some serious calories to Calvin’s waistline.

HT: Ian Clary.

Did the Puritans dislike Christmas pudding?

January 19th, 2009 Posted in 17th Century, 18th Century, Puritans

Last fall while speaking at Hespeler Baptist Church on the Puritans a friend gave me a page she had found in the catalogue of a British firm that shipped various British foods overseas. This particular page advertised Christmas pudding.


Part of the ad ran thus: “Christmas pudding should be so wickedly good it makes you feel like repenting. That’s the effect it had on the Puritans, who, back in Britain in 1664, banned the rich dessert as a lewd tradition. Thankfully, King George gave in to temptation and removed the ban in 1714.”


Pasing by the incredible statement of the first line, it seems as if this ad derived its historical data from this webpage of BBC2: “Traditional Christmas Pudding” (, where we are further informed that the Puritans’ argument against the pudding was that “mainly due to its rich ingredients” they deemed it “unfit for God-fearing people.” When George reintroduced it, according to this web page, the Quakers objected, calling it “the invention of the scarlet whore of Babylon.” Doing a quick check, it appears that a number of places on the Web have similar information and the same dates.


There are some obvious problems here. First, the Puritans, if we mean the English Puritans, had no power to be banning anything in 1664 since the Restoration in 1660 had led to their complete removal from the halls of power. Then, the Quakers are not to be confused with the Puritans. King George of the ad is presumably George I (r.1714-1727). George, who spoke virtually not a word of English—he was a Hanoverian from Germany—became king in August of 1714. And it was that December he reinstated the Christmas pudding.


Well, someone who loves the Puritans needs to research this and find out the truth. This would make a very good term paper!

Volume on John Broadus Reviewed

January 17th, 2009 Posted in 19th Century, Baptist Life & Thought

One of Dr. Haykin’s many responsibilities is to serve as the series editor for a new series “Studies in Baptist Life and Thought” published by B & H Academic.  The first volume of this series was published this past year and it features a collection of essays on the life and legacy of John A. Broadus.  W. Madison Grace II, a PhD student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, has recently reviewed this volume for their Baptist Theology website.  Be sure and check out the review as well as the many other valuable resources available on this website devoted to the study of issues related to Baptist life.

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

The history of nonsense is…

January 17th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

I was in a different Barnes and Noble today—the one on Glades Road in Boca Raton. Man, some of you will think I live in Barnes and Noble!

This time I noticed another great quote but failed to take note of the book it was in.

“Nonsense is nonsense; and the history of nonsense is scholarship.”

LOL! Priceless and how true at times!

Tea and the Glory of God

January 17th, 2009 Posted in 18th Century, Baptist Life & Thought

I was in a Barnes and Noble tonight and dipped into a book by Rebecca St. James—Sister freaks: Stories of Women who gave up everything for God (New York: Warner Faith, 2005). I didn’t get beyond the first page, where I read this quote from Watchman Nee: “Everywhere Jesus went, there was revolution. Everywhere I go, they serve tea” (p.xi). She didn’t footnote it, so I am not sure where she got this from. But two thoughts immediately came to mind. First, what a way to express the difference between us and our Lord: even as committed a disciple as Watchman Nee (though I would dissent from some of his views about discipleship) knew well the difference. The presence of Jesus was true revolution, beside which the French and Russian Revolutions, American and Industrial Revolutions, and all of the political hype of the last few weeks, pale into insignificance.

Second, I thought of a remark I read this week in the Miscellaneous Works of Rev. Charles Buck (New Haven: Whitmore and Minor, 1833), which I found in the library of Knox Theological Seminary, Fort Lauderdale. I had never heard of Buck (1771-1815), who was a Congregationalist minister and who once served as the amanuensis of John Ryland, Sr (p.16-17). When I read about Buck’s connection with Ryland I was hooked and went through the entire book. Among other things, Buck published two collections of anecdotes. One of these books contained the following story—and tea is the link with the Watchman Nee quote.

According to the London Anglican evangelical William Romaine (1714-1795), the “glory of God is very seldom promoted at the tea-table” (p.486). Watchman Nee would definitely have agreed! But not so, Romaine averred, when one drank tea with fellow-Anglican James Hervey (1714-1758), who was also a close friend of both John Wesley and John Ryland. “Drinking tea with him,” Romaine observed, “was like being at an ordinance; for it was sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (p.486).

So drinking tea could be revolutionary!

Dr. Haykin’s Latest Book: The Christian Lover: The Sweetness of Love and Marriage in the Letters of Believers

January 14th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

Dr. Haykin’s latest book, The Christian Lover: The Sweetness of Love and Marriage in the Letters of Believers, has just been released by Ligonier’s Reformation Trust publishing arm.  In this volume, Dr. Michael A. G. Haykin declares that “reading expressions of love from the past can be a helpful way of responding to the frangibility of Christian marriage in our day.” To that end, he brings together letters from one or both parties in twelve significant relationships from church history. The correspondents include such notables as Martin Luther (writing to his wife Katie), and John Calvin (expressing to friends his grief over the death of his wife Idelette). Lesser-known writers include Helmuth von Moltke, who wrote to his wife as he faced execution as the hands of the Nazis in 1945. The contents range from courtship communications to proposals of marriage to final words before dying, but most have to do with the events of everyday life. Dr. Haykin provides an introduction to each set of letters and draws practical applications for today’s believers based on the expressions of love made by the correspondents. In the end, The Christian Lover is a celebration of marriage, an intimate window into the thoughts of men and women in love with both God and one another.

To view the Table of Contents and read a Sample Chapter click here.

The book retails for $15.00 and is available for a 20% discount ($12.00) from the publisher.

The book is available from for $10.20.

Westminster Bookstore is offering the volume for $9.90 (34% off).

But the best deal is available from Reformation Heritage Books, where they are offering a 50% discount ($7.50) until tomorrow afternoon at 5:00 pm.

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