Archive for September, 2009

The influence of the Banner of Truth on my life: a glimpse

September 28th, 2009 Posted in 20th Century

In November of 1982 I submitted a book review of Ernest F. Kevan’s The Lord’s Supper for possible inclusion in an issue of The Banner of Truth magazine. It was one of the first book reviews I ever had published. The following February, 1983, the Banner of Truth Trust sent to me, on the recommendation of Iain H. Murray, his first volume of the biography of D.M. Lloyd-Jones.


What an exchange! A book review for such a book! I was moving in the direction of Reformed teaching—due to the reading of Arnold Dallimore’s two-vol. biography of George Whitefield and Banner books sent to me by Stanley Berry from Scotland (my wife’s uncle). But this first vol. of Lloyd-Jones’ life cemented my move in the Reformed direction. My whole world was turned upside down. May God be praised for his providences.

Petrarch on the pleasures and value of writing

September 28th, 2009 Posted in Books, Church History

“Nothing weighs less than a pen, nothing is more cheering.” And to boot, Petrarch notes, writing will profit others, “sometimes even men of the future, thousands of years away.” Thus he concluded: “of all earthly delights none is more noble than literature, none longer-lasting, sweeter, more constant…” He hoped that death would find him “reading or writing, or, if it be Christ’s will, praying and weeping” (Letters on Familiar Matters 17.2).

Petrarch on the violation of copyright and the choice of authors

September 28th, 2009 Posted in Church History

Of all the early Renaissance figures, Petrarch is the most interesting. A devotee of Cicero [“I loved Cicero” (Letters on Familiar Matters 22.10)], he also claimed to have read “Virgil, Horace, [and] Livy…a thousand times” (Letters on Familiar Matters 22.2). They became not only part of his memory, but the very marrow of his prose. He even regarded Cicero as his father and Virgil as his brother (Letters on Familiar Matters 22.10).

But he wanted it to be known that he “refrained from intellectual thefts as from thefts of property” (ibid.). The modern concern with the violation of copyright has a noble pedigree!

It is also noteworthy that in his mid-forties he began to read “Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, Gregory” with passion–the four doctors of the Western Church (Letters on Familiar Matters 22.10). He would defend the Church Fathers from their detractors. One of the latter he quotes as saying “Augustine saw much, but he knew little” (Letters on Familiar Matters 5.2), a remark that says far more about the person uttering it than Augustine!

The Scriptural author Paul became his “philosopher” and David his “poet”–he would sleep with David’s Psalms under his pillow at night and always at hand while awake so that he might the more easily consult it, and he hoped it would be by his side when he came to die (Letters on Familiar Matters 22.10).

Petrarch on time and multi-tasking

September 28th, 2009 Posted in Great Quotes

“The riches of time are the most uncertain, the most fleeting, of all possessions” (Letters on Familiar Matters 17.12). Petrarch knew this most keenly. As he once told Francesco Nelli, while he was being “shaved or having my hair cut I commonly read or write or listen to a reader or dictate to a scribe” (Letters on Familiar Matters 21.12). He would have loved the devices we have today to multitask!

“It fills me with alarm”: Stonewall Jackson on humility and my reflections on doing history

September 27th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

Here is a great quote from Stonewall Jackson (1824-1863). He is speaking of the almost idolatrous way people elevate fellow human beings:

“The manner in which the press, the army, and the people seem to lean upon certain persons is positively frightful. They are forgetting God in the instruments He has chosen. It fills me with alarm.” [Stonewall Jackson’s Book of Maxims, ed. James I. Robertson, Jr. (Nashville: Cumberland House, 2002), 85].

This is one reason a Christian historian cannot do history simply the way the secular historian does history. To be sure, he must use all of the methods of historical research faithfully and as accurately as he can. But the actions of men are never simply that and nothing more. While no contemporary historian is blessed with inspired insight, nevertheless, some judgement as to God’s actions in the past needs to be made, lest we forget God in the instruments he uses.

Study Guide for Tim Keller’s The Prodigal God

September 26th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

Dr. Haykin and Principal Kirk Wellum of Toronto Baptist Seminary have started a new reading group with Tim Keller’s The Prodigal God (last year they lead a group through C.J. Mahaney’s True Humility).  Dr. Haykin is writing study guide questions for discussion in this group and I will be posting them online as they make progress through this book.  Questions on the first two chapters have already been posted on this site’s Study Guide page. It is hoped that this might be a service to others who might be working through the book in a similar way.

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

Papers Commemorating John Calvin’s 500th Birthday

September 19th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin recently spoke at Sola Scriptura’s Toronto National Conference celebrating John Calvin’s legacy on his 500th birthday.  Dr. Haykin’s three papers focused on:

These papers are available in pdf format at the above links or on the Papers page of this website.

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

Great Conference Next Month at Union University

September 10th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

Next month, I (Steve) will be attending what promises to be a great conference in Jackson, TN on the campus of Union University.  According to the conference webpage, the conference promises to address “some of the most vital issues facing Southern Baptists and Evangelicals as we prepare to move into the second decade of the 21st Century.”

The conference, which is being held in recognition of the 400th anniversary of the Baptist movement, features an impressive lineup of Baptist theologians and historians.  Those slated to present at the conference are Duane Litfin, Michael Lindsay, Timothy George, Albert Mohler, Robert Smith, Danny Akin, Ed Stetzer, Steve Harmon, Mark Devine, Nathan Finn and Union University’s own David Dockery, Ray Van Neste, Jerry Tidwell, Hal Poe and Jim Patterson.

You can register online through September 30th, but I encourage you to register soon to ensure your spot at what promises to be a historic gathering.  Cost for the conference will be $85, which will include four meals and three continental breakfasts.

Previous conferences of this kind sponsored by Union have become touchstones for conversations in Baptist life and this one looks to be of a similar quality.  Papers from previous conferences have been published by Crossway Books in the volume Southern Baptist Identity: An Evangelical Denomination Faces the Future.  Don’t miss the chance to be at this conference, if at all possible.

If you are unable to attend, I will be providing summaries throughout the conference on this site, as well as on my personal 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.

The Wirkungsgeschichte of the Patristic literature

September 9th, 2009 Posted in 17th Century, 18th Century, Church Fathers

What we also need is a study or better yet studies of the reception history (Wirkungsgeschichte) of the Patristic literature on the Puritans and Evangelicals of the 18th century. There have been a number of studies of the influence of Macarius-Symeon (that Augustinian-like shadowy figure) on John Wesley. But we need a lot more of this.

The translation of the Letter to Diognetus into English, for example, sparked deep interest among the 18th century Calvinistic Baptists and I know of two translations by that community, one of them by John Sutcliff (1752-1814), the friend of Andrew Fuller.

Schedule and Call for Papers for 2010 AFCBS Conference

September 9th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

It’s not too early to make plans to come to next year’s conference.  The theme is “Baptists and the Cross:  Contemporary and Historical Perspectives” and will occur on August 30-31, 2010.  A tentative schedule is posted below:

Baptists and the Cross: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives
August 30-31, 2010
Monday, August 30

  • 9:00 am Plenary session 1: Tom Schreiner (SBTS): “Atonement in the Pastoral Epistles, the Petrine Epistles, and Hebrews”
  • 10:25 am Plenary Session 2: Stephen Wellum (SBTS), “Baptism and Crucicentrism”
  • 11:45 am Plenary Session 3: D.W. Bebbington (University of Stirling and Baylor Univeristy), “English Baptist Crucicentrism from the 18th Century Onwards”
1:00-2:30 pm Lunch break
2:30-4:00 pm Parallel Sessions
6:00 pm Dinner
  • 8:00 pm Plenary Session 4: Glendon Thompson (Toronto Baptist Seminary),
  • “Preaching the Cross”

Tuesday, August 31

  • 8:30 am Plenary Session 5: Maurice Dowling (Irish Baptist College), “Spurgeon and the Cross”

10:00 am Chapel

  • 11:30 am Plenary Session 6: James Fuller (University of Indianapolis), “19th Century Southern Baptists and the Atoning Work of Christ”
12:45-2:30 pm Lunch
  • 2:30-3:40 pm Plenary Session 7: Danny Akin (SEBTS), “The Cross and Pastoral Ministry”

Make plans now to attend!  For those who desire to present papers on the conference them in the conference’s parallel sessions, see the below Call for Papers.

We are currently accepting paper proposals for next year’s conference. We have a limited number of spaces (between a dozen and sixteen) available for the parallel sessions which should be about 5,000 words in length and able to be delivered in approximately 30 minutes. Potential speakers need to e-mail the Center ( with a title and brief outline of their proposal as well as a brief resume before December 31, 2009. The topic of these papers must fall within the theme of the conference, namely, “Baptists and the Cross.” Submission of a proposal does not guarantee acceptance.

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