Archive for October, 2009

Needed timelines of Spurgeon and Lloyd-Jones

October 30th, 2009 Posted in 19th Century, 20th Century

I am looking for biographical timelines for C.H. Spurgeon and Martyn Lloyd-Jones. If anyone knows of where these might be found on the web, and they could point me to them, that would be great. Or if they themselves have one that could be used, that would also be great.

Please contact me regarding this at my e-mail address:

Fuller first editions, the irksomeness of e-bay, and a precious truth

October 28th, 2009 Posted in Andrew Fuller

I recently missed out in bidding for an item on e-bay by Andrew Fuller, a first edition of his sermon Christian Patriotism: or, The Duty of Religious People Towards Their Country. A Discourse delivered at the Baptist Meeting-House in Kettering, on Lord’s-Day Evening, Aug. 14, 1803 (Printed and sold by J. W. Morris, Dunstable, 1803). Measuring 6½ inches x 4¼ inches, it is 34 pages in length. The going price for this piece was $162.00. To be utterly honest, I found the whole experience of bidding for this—watching my bids escalate in price as I tried vainly to outbid the person who bought this item—quite irksome.

Why so irksome. Well, here is how my train of thinking ran. Here am I, the director of the Andrew Fuller Center, involved in the publication of the critical edition of Fuller’s works. Why shouldn’t I be given some special access to such works like this at a reasonable price to further the cause of Fuller scholarship? I must admit that such thoughts, essentially unwholesome thoughts, ran through my mind. In fact, they did more than run through it. They lodged there for a few days, and are still there, I fear. But Romans 12:3 calls me to think much more soberly of myself and my calling. My calling may involve me in the editing of some of Fuller’s works, but the world of Fuller scholarship does not revolve around me or this project. Why should I be entitled to some sort of special privilege?

This is even truer on another, far more important level: my place in this universe and my standing with God. This universe is not centred around me. I can lay claim to no special privilege with God. I must come the way of all sinners: seeking mercy through the merits of the stainless life and sweet death of the Lord Jesus.

Which Church Father Are You?

October 17th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

Dr. Haykin completed this quiz and discovered that he is actually Melito of Sardis.  Complete the quiz to see which Early Church Father you are.  Post your result in the comment session.

You’re St. Melito of Sardis!

You have a great love of history and liturgy. You’re attached to the traditions of the ancients, yet you recognize that the old world — great as it was — is passing away. You are loyal to the customs of your family, though you do not hesitate to call family members to account for their sins.

Find out which Church Father you are at The Way of the Fathers!

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

Reviewing Chris Hedges and citing Cotton Mather

October 12th, 2009 Posted in 17th Century, 21st Century

I picked up a copy of the National Post this past Saturday. I used to get it regularly a few years ago, but had stopped that regular subscription out of frustration with certain things, in particular the book review section.

A friend encouraged me to pick it up again. I did so on Saturday and loved what I found. Among other things I read with interest were the insightful columns reflecting on the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama, Conrad Black’s response to critics of his becoming a Roman Catholic (my friend John Clubine was mentioned by name and a particular book on Cromwell, dear to me, referred to), and a number of fascinating book reviews.

One of the latter that caught my attention was Jessica Warner’s review of Chris Hedges’ Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and Triumph of Spectacle (Knopf, 2009), of which I have read the first few chapters and skimmed other parts of it [“Rage against the obscene”, National Post (Saturday, October 10, 2009), WP14]. She is critical of Hedges’ style, namely, his jeremiad against popular American culture, and suggests that this is not “really the best way to pull us back from the brink.” She then comments:

“Most people, I suspect, prefer their finger-wagging decently cloaked in wit and irony. There is a reason Voltaire and Swift continue to be read–and why Cotton Mather is not.”

Poor Cotton Mather! But another reason could be that Mather’s jeremiad prose is laced with theological perspectives at odds with many today, whereas Voltaire definitely and to some degree Swift would be very much at home in certain aspects of this post-Enlightenment world that is grounded in the modernity project.

A good review, though, of Hedges’ book.

Warfield and Barth again: responding to a criticism

October 12th, 2009 Posted in 20th Century

My recent comparison of Warfield and Barth was commented on at the blog, “After Existentialism, Light.” Kevin Davis stated my failure to appreciate Barth was because myself, and others like me,

“have not had the proper training and sympathetic engagement with Barth-Torrance required to grasp this new challenge, an evangelical metaphysics. In part, this also has to do with ecclesial politics. Haykin wants a fundamentalist Calvinism as the confessional norm in the SBC, and he’s afraid of any new E. Y. Mullins arising in the SBC and compromising this goal.”

I found these comments somewhat off-target for the following reasons:

I did my PhD at Toronto School of Theology, studying under the Barthian scholar Jacob Jocz, who was a tremendous scholar. I read deeply in Barth, especially his Trinitarianism for my PhD. And I have continued to read Barth on and off over the years. I am not a Barth scholar, but I feel I do know him and appreciate him. But overall neo-orthodoxy has not lived up to its promise. I should also note that I am very appreciative of one of Barth’s colleagues and contemporaries, namely Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whom I have read regularly over the years and deeply appreciate, and whose writings have shaped my thinking in a numer of areas.

Then, to take one example of comparison between Warfield and Barth/Torrance: when the latter read the Fathers, they frequently read them wrongly, out of context and with their own agenda so that the Fathers end up sounding like neo-orthodox before their time. T.F. Torrance’s study of grace in the Apostolic Fathers is very one-sided and fails to aprpeciate texts like the Letter to Diognetus, while his reading of Nazianzen (I am thinking of his article on Greg Naz and Calvin on the Trinity) is accepted by few patristic scholars. Warfield, on the other hand, read the Fathers well, partly because of his training as a NT scholar, and devotes monographs to their study. This rich understanding of historical theology informs his systematic study and forms the subsoil out of which he develops a rich overview of the Christian Faith. My problem with Barth and Torrance is that I find I cannot trust them when they are doing patristics, and that makes me suspicious of their interpretation of holy Scripture.

The very best training for a systematic theologian is being a biblical theologian and/or historical theologian!!

Then, there is the statement my remarks have to “do with ecclesial politics. Haykin wants a fundamentalist Calvinism as the confessional norm in the SBC, and he’s afraid of any new E. Y. Mullins arising in the SBC and compromising this goal.” Let me set the record straight: I am not a fundamentalist–ask my Fundamentalist friends about my ecclesial convictions and they should clarify that pretty quickly. Secondly, I am a Calvinist and I count it a high privilege to teach at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. But I have not been involved in SBC politics, and my remarks about Warfield were theological remarks, hardly political.

And if promotion of a hegemonic fundamentalist Calvinism in the SBC were my goal, it is very curious that Dr Malcolm Yarnell, a critic of Calvinism, was invited two years running no less to speak at the Andrew Fuller Center’s annual conference (this past year he had the prestigious plenary session after the conference banquet).

Reformation Conference with D.A. Carson and Joel Beeke

October 10th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

17th Annual ADBC Reformation Celebration
October 30 – November 1, 2009

D.A. Carson and Joel Beeke will be speaking at Audubon Drive Bible Church‘s annual Reformation Celebration. Details below.

Oct 30 (Friday)
7:00pm – Don Carson: The Parable of the Bags of Gold (Matt 25:14-30)
8:00pm – Joel Beeke: Practical Lessons from John Calvin’s Life

Oct 31 (Saturday)
9:00am – Joel Beeke: Calvin on Intimate Prayer
10:00am – Don Carson: Calvin as Bible Commentator and Systematic Theologian
11:00am – Joel Beeke: Calvin on Evangelism and Missions
12:00pm (women’s luncheon) – Joel Beeke: Practical Lessons from Idelette Calvin’s Life
12:30pm (high school & college students) – Don Carson: The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)
2:30-3:30pm – Q&A with Don & Joel
6:30pm (men, young men and boys) – Don Carson: The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31)

Nov 1 (Sunday)
9:15am – Don Carson: The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matt 25:31-46)
10:30am – Joel Beeke: Cherishing the Church (Matthew 16:18)

There is no charge for the conference!

Refreshments and some meals provided

For more information call the church at 601-649-8570 or email us at

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

Reflections on Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism

October 10th, 2009 Posted in Baptist Life & Thought, Conferences

Union University has earned a reputation of providing the venue for important conversations in Southern Baptist life.  Previous conferences have focused on important issues of Southern Baptist identity and this year’s conference on Southern Baptist, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism may well prove to be another significant marker in the current developments in the Southern Baptist Convention.

There was a diversity of speakers from a various backgrounds speaking on different topics, but I believe a unified message emerged from this important gathering.  Southern Baptists and Evangelicals share common beliefs and characteristics, but they have a distinct identity.  We must be willing to collaborate with Evangelicals in those areas in which we agree, while maintaining our Baptist distinctives.  The future of the Southern Baptist Convention depends on maintaining a balance between confessional uniformity on one hand, and methodological diversity on the other.  The speakers were not optimistic based on the current state of things, but were hopeful based upon the goodness of God.  The future of the Southern Baptist Convention will be determined by this next generation who must become committed to their local churches and must believe that the Convention is the best means of fulfilling the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ.

If you can’t listen to all of the presentations and if you’re interested in this topic, listen to the following five presentations:  Ed Stetzer, Danny Akin, David Dockery, Nathan Finn, and Albert Mohler.  These lectures provide helpful perspective and suggestions for the current opportunity in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Other excellent presentations were those by Timothy George (on “The Faith, My Faith, and the Church’s Faith”) and Ray Van Neste (on “The Oversight of Souls: Pastoral Ministry in Southern Baptist and Evangelical Life”).  The other lectures were also helpful in their place, but these were the highlights for me personally.

Some of the best application of the themes sounded in this conference were made appropriately on the last day of the conference by Nathan Finn (see my summary of Finn’s presentation here) and Albert Mohler.  They issued independent, but eerily similar calls for the rising generation of Southern Baptists.  Finn argued that Southern Baptists must pass on the faith through catechesis (teaching the doctrines) and through telling the story of our Baptist heroes.  Mohler gave an impassioned plea to the conference attendees, but especially to the young university audience to rise up and take the responsibility for the future of the Southern Baptist Convention.  If Southern Baptists hear and heed these calls the future for the Southern Baptist Convention may be bright indeed.  As David Dockery concluded his presentation, “Let us begin moving from handwringing to hopefulness. Let’s work together to advance the gospel, to trust God to bring forth fruit from our labors resulting in renewal to the churches, enabling new partnerships with networks and structures, creating a faithfulness to our denominations, our denominational heritage, and our denominational entities, all for the good of the churches, the extension of God’s kingdom on earth, and for the eternal glory of our great God.”


Conference Audio

My Summaries

Trevin Wax’s Summaries

Doug Baker of the Oklahoma Baptist Messenger on “Stetzer’s Warrior Children”

Jim Smith of the Florida Baptist Witness on Danny Akin’s Presentation

Tim Ellsworth’s Article on David Dockery’s Address

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

Warfield, his greatness as a theologian

October 9th, 2009 Posted in 20th Century

Reading Fred Zaspel’s tremendous doctoral thesis on B.B. Warfield and I agree fully with him that it says much that the sesquicentennial of Warfield’s birth—2001—passed virtually unnoticed.  I would agree with Fred that Warfield was the greatest theologian of the twentieth century—much more important in the cause of God than that darling of wayward Evangelicals, Karl Barth!


Love this remark by Gresham Machen about Warfield, who was his mentor: “With all his glaring faults he was the greatest man I have known.”

Tuesday at Union University

October 7th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

The conference, Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism, began Tuesday at Union University with two sessions which lay important frameworks for the sessions which are scheduled to follow. Dr. David Dockery, president of Union University, has put together an excellent program that matches well-qualified speakers with important topics. The two sessions on Tuesday night featured presentations by Dr. Ed Stetzer and Dr. James Patterson. Stetzer addressed the topic of “Denominationalism: Is There a Future?” and Patterson provided a survey of four hundred years of Baptist history. Both of these topics are obviously foundational. First, as Stetzer himself joked, if he answered “no” to his topics question, then we could all just go home and skip the rest of the conference. Patterson’s address provided a helpful summary of the history of Baptists that will allow the conference attendees to better assess where we are now as more specific topics are addressed throughout the remainder of the conference.

Ed Stetzer answered “Yes” to the question in his session’s title regarding whether or not denominationalism has a future. The conference continues. Stetzer says that denominations have a future because they are inevitable if churches are going to cooperate together to fulfill the Great Commission. This is the only kind of future that he believes denominations should have. A future in which churches are cooperating together increasing to accomplish God’s mission in this world, the salvation of lost men and women. Denominations can become problematic if they become more self-focused than focused on the mission. This is a tendency of denominations as they grow with more staff and more ministries. We can become more interested in self-preservation than in the proclamation of the gospel to the lost. In order for denominations to be effective in the future, Stetzer believes that they must have a confessional basis that provides doctrinal uniformity in beliefs (as in the BFM), while at the same time allowing for methodological diversity in worship styles, etc. Some denominations pride themselves on their doctrinal diversity, while maintaining a methodological uniformity through a strict liturgy. Southern Baptists must do the opposite to survive in the future.

James Patterson provided a helpful (and humorous) summary of 400 years of Baptist history in about an hour. He began with a Baptist history rap which he does for his students. You must get the audio for this. Patterson began by acknowledging the importance of Nicene Theology and Chalcedonian Christology for Baptists. He also noted the contributions of the Anabaptists of the Radical Reformation and the Magisterial Reformers. The rest of the presentation was organized by the four centuries of Baptist life (beginning of course with the 17th century). Patterson noted key developments and challenges in each century.  Patterson concludes with the following admonition:  In light of our messy past, we need humility in celebrating our heritage, as well as a recognition that we too will ultimately be judged.

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

Blogging from Jackson, TN this Week

October 5th, 2009 Posted in Baptist Life & Thought, Conferences

I’m preparing to leave for Jackson, TN tomorrow for the conference “Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism” which is being hosted by Union University.  I will be blogging live from the conference.  I plan to post my immediate reactions to the sessions on my personal website, while posting my reflections on each day of the conference here on this website.  I will also be providing updates from the conference using my Twitter (@steveweaver) and Facebook (  accounts.  The conference hashtag for Twitter is #uuconf.

The schedule for the conference is as follows:

Tuesday, October 6

  • 5:00 p.m. Ed Stetzer: Denominationalism: Is There a Future?
  • 7:00 p.m. Jim Patterson: Reflections on 400 Years of the Baptist Movement: Who We Are. What We Believe.

Wednesday, October 7

  • 8:30 a.m. Harry L. Poe: The Gospel and Its Meaning: Implications for Southern Baptists and Evangelicals
  • 10:00 a.m. Timothy George: Baptists and Their Relations with Other Christians (G. M. Savage Chapel)
  • Noon Luncheon Address – Duane Litfin: The Future of American Evangelicalism
  • 2:00 p.m. Ray Van Neste: The Oversight of Souls: Pastoral Ministry in Southern Baptist and Evangelical Life
  • 7:00 p.m. Corporate Worship: Robert Smith, preaching, (G. M. Savage Chapel)

Thursday, October 8

  • 8:30 a.m. Mark DeVine: Emergent or Emerging: Questions for Southern Baptists and North American Evangelicals
  • 10:00 a.m. Daniel Akin: The Future of the Southern Baptist Convention
  • Noon Luncheon Address – Michael Lindsay: Denominationalism and the Changing Religious Landscape in North America
  • 2:00 p.m. Jerry Tidwell: Missions and Evangelism: Awakenings and Their Influence on Southern Baptists and Evangelicals
  • 6:00 p.m. Banquet
  • 7:00 p.m. David S. Dockery: So Many Denominations: The Rise and Decline of Denominationalism and the Shaping of a Global Evangelicalism

Friday, October 9

  • 8:30 a.m. Nathan Finn: Southern Baptists and Evangelicals: Passing on the Faith to the Next Generation
  • 10:00 a.m. R. Albert Mohler, Jr.: Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism (G. M. Savage Chapel)
Posted by Steve Weaver, Research and Administrative Assistant to the Director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies, Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin.