Archive for April, 2009

Audio from “Remembering John Calvin” Conference Now Available

April 29th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

Panel Discussion at “Remembering John Calvin”
conference sponsored by AFCBS.
Photo by John Gill.

This mini-conference celebrating the 500 year anniversary of John Calvin’s birth was held on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 from 9am – Noon.  There were three lectures by Dr. Shawn Wright, Dr. David Puckett, and Dr. Michael Haykin focusing on various aspects of Calvin’s life and thought.  You may now download the MP3s of the conference below:

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

Admired by the serious, or, nothing worse this side of hell?

April 21st, 2009 Posted in Andrew Fuller

Like many great men—one thinks, for example, of the big name this year, John Calvin—the name of Andrew Fuller has aroused—and still does arouse—deep feelings pro and con.

Reading a new ms on Lemuel Haynes by Thabiti Anyabwile (which we hope to publish in the Reformation Heritage Books’ series on spirituality), I noticed one remark by Haynes in which he said that the “memory of a Patrick, a Beveridge, a Manton, a Flavel, a Watts, a Doddridge, an Edwards, Hopkins, Bellamy, Spencer and Fuller is precious to us.” And in a letter dated October 3, 1802, he told his correspondent Timothy Cooley, “I have this day finished reading a fourth volume of Mr. Fuller, an ingenious European writer. You have doubtless read his “letters to the Calvinists,”—“The Gospel its own Witness,”—“The Gospel a Faithful Saying,” and the “Backslider.” They are admired by the serious; and, I think, are worthy of a place in every minister’s library.”

Yet, a day or so before reading this I read a remark made by the unorthodox Welsh Baptist minister William Richards (1749–1818) that he had been “stigmatized with Fullerism (than which nothing this side [of] hell can be worse in the estimation of some good folks)” [The Writings of the Radical Welsh Baptist Minister William Richards (1749–1818) , selected and edited John Oddy (Lewiston/Queenston/Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press, 2009), 64]. The charge was not true, but it gives a good insight into the way some viewed Fuller and his theology.

My sympathies are with brother Haynes!

By the way, look for Thabiti’s book, it is a rich feast from an Edwardsean African-American pastor.

As Calvin did, pray for France!

April 21st, 2009 Posted in 21st Century, Reformation

During the French Reformation, around 10% of the population embraced Evangelical Protestantism—this entailed close to 50% of the upper and middle classes. These two million flooded into the church during a time of a great outpouring of the Spirit between the 1520s and the 1560s. Those stirring days will be remembered frequently this year when many celebrate the qunicentennial of the birth of John Calvin (born 1509).

As an historian I am thrilled to read of those days and very thankful for the life and ministry of Calvin (though not without some reservations about certain aspects of his ministry).

But as a Christian, living in the early twenty-first century, what stares me in the face is the enormous spiritual need of France. I just got this statement sent to me today in an e-mail from a dear brother and sister, both of whom I taught in the 1980s at Central Baptist Seminary, Toronto, and who have served in France for nearly twenty years. They wrote:

“We have seen very few French people turn to the Lord and remain attached to Him over the past 19 years.”

Should this not be a matter for great prayer? Especially by those who honour Calvinistic theology? Calvin gave much of his life to see the gospel planted in France. If we honour his memory, should we not share something of his concern and desire?

Brothers and sisters, those of you love the doctrines of grace—yea, all who love the Lord Jesus and long for his appearing, pray for France and her people!

Stephen Nichols Reviews The Christian Lover

April 21st, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

Dr. Stephen Nichols recently offered a brief review of Dr. Michael Haykin’s recent book The Christian Lover on the Reformation 21 blog.

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

Dr. Randy Singbeil (1964-2009)

April 21st, 2009 Posted in 21st Century

I just received word that a very dear brother, Pastor Randy Singbeil, of Alliston, Ontario, died last night quite suddenly from a previously undiagnosed brain tumor. Randy was a lover of the doctrines of grace, and a graduate from Knox Theological Seminary (D.Min.). I counted Randy among my good friends and esteemed him as a colleague in ministry.

I first met Randy about twelve years ago when he was pastoring at Walsh, here in Ontario. What drew us together was a shared love for the same historical figures—men like the Puritans and Jonathan Edwards, Calvinistic Baptists like Andrew Fuller and Charles H. Spurgeon, and that remarkable Welsh preacher Martyn Lloyd-Jones—and a great desire to see revival and reformation here in our Baptist churches of Ontario.

It was a privilege to get to know Randy even more as he studied at a seminary with which I am very familiar, Knox Theological Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, where he graduated with a D.Min. I remember reading over portions of his well-executed thesis “Can These Dry Bones Live? Church Revitalization in the Cultural Mosaic of Canada (2004)”. And when I came to Toronto Baptist Seminary as Principal in 2003, and was seeking for pastoral leaders who would support the work at Toronto Baptist Seminary, I turned to Randy, among a few others. By that time, he and his dear wife Crystal had moved to Toronto to pastor Long Branch Baptist Church. Randy, and Crystal as time allowed, was always present and supportive at our seminary functions and showed a great interest in what we were doing.

I last saw him, I believe, at the Sola Scriptura conference in London, Ontario, last November, though we had ongoing contact through e-mail since then. He and Crystal were there, and we talked about a possible trip to Geneva this summer to celebrate the quincentennial of John Calvin’s birth. Randy was his usual outgoing, warm self, that I always deeply appreciated.

One of our mutual heroes, the Baptist pastor Andrew Fuller often resorted to poetry and hymnody when overwhelmed with emotion. Shortly after getting the news about Randy I was led to think of this hymn by D.A. MacGregor, the nineteenth-century Canadian Baptist, who also died quite young. These are stanzas 5-6:

Life is death if severed
From Thy throbbing heart.
Death with life abundant
At Thy touch would start. …

Jesus! all perfections
Rise and end in Thee;
Brightness of God’s glory
Thou, eternally.
Favour’d beyond measure
They Thy face who see;
May we, gracious Saviour,
Share this ecstasy.

We trust and confidently believe that Randy is now seeing the face of his and our Saviour, and rejoicing perfectly in God’s mercy in Christ.

Please remember his wife Crystal and his and her families in prayer. The funeral will be Saturday in Alliston, Ontario.

PS See the tribute to Randy by my dear friend Heinz Dschankilic on the Sola Scriptura website: “Today We Grieve at the Loss of a Dear Friend.”

Registration Opens for AFCBS Conference on Baptist Spirituality

April 15th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

Registration is now open for the 3rd Annual Conference of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies at Southern Seminary (August 24-25, 2009).  The theme this year is “Baptist Spirituality: Historical Perspectives”.  Featured speakers will include: Crawford Gribben, Robert Strivens, Greg Thornbury, Kevin Smith, Tom Nettles, Greg Wills, Gerald Priest, Jason Lee, and Malcolm Yarnell. Other established Baptist History scholars, as well as several Ph.D. students will be presenting papers on the conference theme during the parallel sessions.  A special early conference rate is now available through the end of May.  For more information about the conference, including schedule, registration costs, and the opportunity to register online, 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.

Dr. Haykin Reviews The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan

April 13th, 2009 Posted in Books

Dr. Haykin has written a short review of John Buchan’s classic tale of intrigue featuring his famous character, Richard Hannay.  To read Dr. Haykin’s recent reflections on this work click here. For other “Book Reviews” 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.

One Day Conference on Calvin at SBTS Next Wednesday, April 15th

April 8th, 2009 Posted in Church History, Conferences

(Click image to enlarge.)

Location:  Legacy Center 303
on the campus of Southern Seminary

This mini-conference celebrating the 500 year anniversary of John Calvin’s birth will be held on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 from 9am – Noon.  There will be three lectures by Dr. Shawn Wright, Dr. David Puckett, and Dr. Michael Haykin focusing on various aspects of Calvin’s life and thought.  The lectures will be followed by a panel discussion with the participants.

  • Dr. Wright will speak on “John Calvin as Pastor.”
  • Dr. Puckett will speak on “John Calvin as Preacher and Teacher.”
  • Dr. Haykin will speak on “John Calvin as Missionary Advocate.”

No Registration Required!

FREE BOOKS!  The first 50 in attendance will receive complimentary copies of John Calvin and His Passion for the Majesty of God by John Piper and The Soul of Life: The Piety of John Calvin edited by Joel Beeke.  We will also randomly give away several copies of Steven Lawson’s The Expository Genuis of John Calvin.

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 Commendation: Glory in the Glen by Tom Lennie

April 6th, 2009 Posted in Books

Dr. Haykin recently wrote a book commendation for Glory in the Glen: A History of Evangelical Revivals in Scotland, 1880-1940.  It is posted below:

The great need of the Church in the West is for God the Holy Spirit to come in power as he has done so often in the past—ravishing hearts, enlightening minds, inspiring purity of worship, sending out into mission, mollifying hardened souls. Contrary to the wisdom of the age, it is not new techniques or new schemes we need with pastors masquerading as CEOs. Nor is the solution to our spiritual dearth a turning to ritual or even I dare say the return of charismatic spectacle. It is what many nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Scottish Christians, whose experience of true revival is set forth in this well-documented book, knew: the awesome God of holiness himself drawing near to his people and setting mind and heart ablaze with glorious light. Read—and pray!

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