Archive for July, 2009

Caring for the Anglicans: the past and the present

July 23rd, 2009 Posted in 21st Century, Baptist Life & Thought

Why should Baptists care about the vile mess of US Episcopalianism? Because our forebears came out of that denomination and our arguments for Baptist polity were shaped in fighting Episcopalians (like the Quakers and Methodists and Congregationalists). And as Baptists we have a tradition: a tradition that involves in part arguments within and without. And some of the arguments in the 17th c were with the Anglicans outside of our forebears’ communities.

 

Nor can we stand back and gloat about the Episcopalian loss of gospel witness: it should make us WEEP! Think of the worthies in that Body: Cranmer, Hooper, Ridley, Latimer, Richard Greenham (that fount of Puritan pastoral theology), Perkins, holy Sibbes, Gurnall, the Wesleys, Romaine, the Venns, Newton (the mentor of one of my favourite Baptists, John Ryland Jr.), Whitefield, the holy John Fletcher, Grimshaw (my hero who was such a help to my Baptist forebear John Fawcett), Samuel Walker, George Thomson, William Cowper, Octavius Winslow (he became an Anglican after years as a Baptist! This is an historical mystery that needs unravelling), Simeon, Ryle. What we owe the Anglicans!

 

God have mercy on the denomination now! And God keep us from travelling the same path: much of their episcopal leadership has degraded the Lord Jesus and he has degraded them!

AFCBS Conference on Baptist Spirituality Schedule Now Online

July 17th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

The full schedule for the conference on Baptist Spirituality to be held on August 24-25 on the campus of Southern Seminary has now been posted online.

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

Arthur Henry Kirkby’s thesis on Andrew Fuller

July 17th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

This past week I received in the mail from a friend, Dr Curt Daniel, a copy of Arthur Henry Kirkby’s 1956 PhD thesis, “The Theology of Andrew Fuller and its Relation to Calvinism” (University of Edinburgh). Of course, I had heard of this thesis but never seen it. The impression I had been given of it was that the work was second-rate. I probably derived this impression from the articles of E.F. Clipsham, “Andrew Fuller and Fullerism: A Study in Evangelical Calvinism.” The Baptist Quarterly 20 (1963-64).

 

But let me go on record and say that the work is excellent and well executed. Have read to page 143 or so and Kirkby ably sustains his argument that Fuller was a Calvinist of the stamp of the great Reformer. I would not follow Kirkby in his depreciation of the influence of Edwards on Fuller, but am so glad to have this work.

 

I am deeply in your debt, Curt. Thank you.

AFCBS in SWBTS News

July 11th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

The Hill – the online home for news from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary posted a story about SWBTS’s own Dr. Malcolm Yarnell’s participation in our upcoming conference on Baptist Spirituality.  The story actually highlights the dialogue between Drs. Yarnell and Haykin that is scheduled to take place at 9:00 pm following the conference’s session on Tuesday, August 25th.  The origins and details of the event are included in the article from The Hill posted below:

FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary professor Malcolm Yarnell will join Southern Baptist Theological Seminary professor Michael A.G. Haykin in a dialogue about the strengths and weaknesses of the Reformed and Anabaptist traditions, Aug. 25.

This dialogue originated when Yarnell and Haykin posted a charitable interaction on the subject of the Reformed and Anabaptist traditions on Twitter, a social networking Web site. According to Steve Weaver, Haykin’s research and administrative assistant, their interaction “exemplified the kind of frank and humble dialogue that needs to take place between those Baptists who might identify more with either the Reformed or the Anabaptist traditions.” Weaver posted their interaction from Twitter and announced the upcoming dialogue on http://www.andrewfullercenter.org/2009/07/the-kind-of-dialogue-we-need.

Alongside his role as associate professor of systematic theology, Yarnell serves as the director of Southwestern’s Oxford Study Program and of its Center for Theological Research. He is also editor of the Southwestern Journal of Theology. Haykin serves as professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality at Southern Seminary, and he is director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies.

Their dialogue begins at 9:00 p.m. and is open to the public without charge at The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies at Southern Seminary. The dialogue will follow a conference at the Fuller Center, titled “Baptist Spirituality: Historical Perspectives.” The conference will feature several speakers, including Yarnell.

For more information on the conference, visit the following link from the Fuller Center’s Web site: http://andrewfullercenter.org/conference/baptist-spirituality-historical-perspectives-august-24-25-2009.

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

Jon Bloom of Desiring God Recommends In God We Trust?

July 11th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

Earlier this week Jon Bloom posted on the Desiring God blog a recommendation of Dr. Haykin’s recent booklet, In God We Trust: What Is God Saying In The Midst Of This Financial Crisis.

This morning I read a booklet by Michael Haykin of Southern Seminary titled, In God We Trust: What Is God Saying In The Midst Of This Financial Crisis. He provides a brief survey of historical financial crises, beginning with Paul’s collection for the Jerusalem saints up through the Great Depression and highlights the spiritual fruit that came from them.

I love how he exhorts us Christians to be radically generous in the face of financial uncertainty since it is precisely during these times when our trust in God can be most clearly seen. . . .

The booklet can be read in 15-30 minutes and would be a helpful resource for families, congregations, Sunday schools, and small groups.

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 Dead Sea Scrolls at Toronto’s ROM

July 11th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

What to say about the DSS at the ROM (Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum)?

 

Fabulous to see these remnants of a bygone piety, for that is what they are. A longing for community purity and Messiah. The display was well done, very professional. Not biased against biblical faith. I felt that biblical faith was taken seriously. The historical intro was comprehensive and gave you the setting for the DSS as well as the scholarly disagreement over the DSS: their meaning and provenance. Very helpful in that regard.

 

But I missed a full scroll of the DSS. What was on display were fragments. It also could have been very helpful to have an audio guide. Considering what we paid (28 dollars entry fee for adults with another five paid for a guidebook) I think a little more could have been provided. Also at the end were a collection of holy texts: the Torah, the Bible (plus NT) and the Quran. I was honestly not sure what Islam had to do with the DSS. Another example of PC run amok IMO.

 

There is a second installment coming in October and will probably see that if I can (it claims to have the oldest copy of the 10 commandments).

John Calvin’s mother tongue

July 4th, 2009 Posted in Reformation

It is not well known, but the mother tongue of John Calvin was not French—which he learned later in life—but Picard, a Romance language still spoken today that is close to but distinct from French, for he was born in Noyon, Picardy, in north-eastern France.[1]


[1] Bruce Gordon, Calvin (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009), 4. For an overview of Picard, see “Picard language” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picard_language; accessed July 4, 2009).

The Kind of Dialogue We Need

July 3rd, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

Last night a fascinating exchange occurred on, of all places, Twitter.  I believe it exemplified the kind of frank and humble dialogue that needs to take place between those Baptists who might identify more with either the Reformed or the Anabaptist traditions.  Both Dr. Haykin and Dr. Yarnell demonstrated the ability to recognize the flaws and strengths of the historical groups with whom they may identify more or less strongly.  Take note at the end of the dialogue for a special announcement.

Dr. Haykin:

@myarnell: last few days have been thinking much about Calvin’s legacy: so much theol brilliance…but:

@myarnell: those who embrace his soteriological legacy must ask forgiveness from Anabaptist brothers. And why?

@myarnell. Because of his advocacy of the sword as a curb on heresy, esp Anabaptism in both its heretical and orthodox forms.

@myarnell: reading Eamon Duffy’s recent revisionist history of Bloody Mary’s reign has convinced me that some Protestant forebears erred.

@myarnell: they erred by being willing to use the sword to repress error. Like our 18th c forbears who were slave owners, they are flawed.

@myarnell: flawed models. But in so far as they followed Christ soteriologically they are safe guides. But their views of church & state:

@myarnell: the bottom line is still this: I am sorry that some of my Calv. forbears ever used the sword against Anab. brothers.

Dr. Yarnell:

@MAGHaykin Some brilliant thoughts here. Thank you for sharing them.

@MAGHaykin Shall we conclude that some of our Calvinist brothers have acceptable (though not necessarily always correct) soteriology?

@MAGHaykin And that our Anabaptist brothers perceived the doctrines of the church & the ordinances more clearly than our Calvinist brothers?

@MAGHaykin And, finally, that Calvin and the Calvinists were absolutely wrong when it came to the doctrine of religious persecution/liberty?

Dr. Haykin:

@myarnell: I think so: I am a Calvinist soteriologically but the ortho. Anab. saw more accurately NT church life.

@myarnell: And they were spot on re persecution. Calvin failed to reform the horrific legacy of relig persec from the Middle Ages.

Dr. Yarnell:

@MAGHaykin Don’t tell anybody but I actually find much in Calvin that is brilliant too!

Steve Weaver:

Wow, great dialogue between @myarnell and @MAGHaykin! May I suggest an open late night discussion re these matters at the AFCBS conference?

Dr. Yarnell:

@steveweaver Some of the best theology is formed in dialogue, as 1 Cor 14 implies: Anabaptists called it Sittzenrecht or Lex Sedentium.

Dr. Haykin:

If Malcolm is up for it during the Fuller conference in August it would be great to do something re Calvin and the Anabaptists on state-ch.

Problem: is when to do it, we have full schedule. Maybe Wed morning if Malcolm can stay over.

@myarnell and @steveweaver: let me see if we can arrange a mid-morn event. Give me early next week. It would focus on Calvin & the Anabap.

Dr. Yarnell:

@MAGHaykin I have not made my flight plans yet so let me know if you want me through Wed morning.

Since this dialogue ended last night, both Dr. Haykin and Dr. Yarnell have agreed to a late night dialogue along these lines after Dr. Yarnell’s presentation on Tuesday night at this year’s AFCBS conference on Baptist Spirituality.  This dialogue will be open to the Southern Seminary community and the general public and will hopefully model the way two people with differing perspectives on some matters can yet recognize the strengths and weaknesses of one another’s positions.

When: Tuesday, August 25th at 9:00 pm

Where: TBD on the campus of Southern Seminary (probably Heritage Hall or the Legacy Center)

What: An open dialogue with Drs. Yarnell and Haykin on the relative strengths and weaknesses of the Reformed and Anabaptist traditions.

This event will be open and free of charge, but you can register for the conference on which this dialogue will piggy-back here.  There is a great line-up of speakers, a Monday evening banquet meat and there will be several free books given away to those who register for the conference.

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

Calvin’s legacy: asking forgiveness from the Anabaptists

July 2nd, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

Over the last few days I have been thinking much about Calvin’s legacy: so much theological brilliance and so much to thank God for…but we who embrace his soteriological legacy also must ask forgiveness from our Anabaptist brothers.

And why? Simply because of his advocacy of the sword as a curb on heresy, esp. his support of the repression of Anabaptism in both its heretical and orthodox forms. Reading Eamon Duffy’s recent revisionist history of the reign of Bloody Mary (Fires of Faith)—which I bought in Cork, S. Ireland when there a few weeks ago—has convinced me that some of my Protestant and Calvinist forebears erred greatly when they were willing to use the sword to repress error. Like our 18th c. forebears who were slave owners, they are flawed models. In so far as they followed Christ soteriologically they are safe guides. But with regard to the use of the state to repress error, we need to understand their views of church & state as an outcropping of the medieval Constantinian model.

The bottom line is still this: I am sorry that some of my Calvinist forebears ever used the sword against their—and my—Anabaptist brothers.