Archive for September, 2010

New Book on Andrew Fuller Provides Solid Model of Pastoral Ministry

September 30th, 2010 Posted in Baptist Life & Thought, Books, Eminent Christians

Broadman & Holman have been publishing a new series of monographs on the history of Baptists entitled “Studies in Baptist Life and Thought.” These monographs explore Baptist life together and Baptist thought, and are vital reading for anyone who loves the truths that Baptists have lived and died for. Given the many significant changes that the world is undergoing in our day, Baptists are being tempted to divorce themselves from their theological and spiritual roots. Behind this series is the conviction that such would be suicidal and that the volumes in this series will provide a way in which Baptists can learn from the past how to live faithfully for God in the present.

The latest volume in the series is Paul Brewster’s Andrew Fuller: Model Pastor-Theologian, has just been released. Brewster, pastor of Ryker’s Ridge Baptist Church in Madison, Indiana, and a PhD from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, examines Fuller as a pastor and theologian and the way in which he was able to frame a theological perspective in the midst of a very busy pastorate.

In recent years, with the upsurge of interest in Reformed theology, there are a number of theologians who have been the focus of attention, Edwards, for example, or some of the Puritans like Owen. But when it comes to a solid model of Baptist ministry, who do we have? Spurgeon, without a shadow of a doubt. Well, after Spurgeon I would suggest that Fuller is a prime example of what a pastor-theologian looks like. Read Brewster’s book and see for yourself!

You can order from Amazon.com for $16.49.

Dr. Haykin Interviewed About Alexander Whyte

September 23rd, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized

Dr. Michael Haykin was recently interviewed on Covenant Radio about his book A Consuming Fire:  The Piety of Alexander Whyte.  They will be replaying the program a few times in the next month or two on their 24/7 internet radio station, Sola5 Radio.  They have also placed a direct link to the audio and brief notes concerning the interview on their blog.  You can also access the interview directly by MP3 download 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.

Bleeding

September 19th, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized

Bleeding

The tea bag bleeding into the water—
So: this is infusion.
The Man bleeding into the wood—
See: this spells redemption.

Michael A G Haykin©2010.

 

Human cultural artifacts and the Empire of the Holy Spirit

September 12th, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized

“The wise of the world, Aristotle or Plato or Socrates, who were skilled in knowledge, were like great cities, but they were laid waste by the enemies because the Spirit of God was not in them” (Macarius-Symeon, Homily 42.1). This is an astute remark that raises all kinds of questions about the experience of common grace and how Christians relate to culture.

I take it as a given that an acultural Christianity is a non-entity. To be involved in the work of saving sinners, Christians must impant themselves in a culture. But what is the value of that culture? Left to itself, I can readily affirm with Macarius-Symeon that any culture will perish. But if indwelt by the Spirit, ah, there is the question? What will be its end result?

Let me make my beliefs plain: I look forward to that day when all that is best and good and true in the kingdoms of this world will be transformed into the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus and become the Empire of the Holy Spirit.

Reading Macarius/Symeon

September 12th, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized

Central to the closing of the late fourth-century debate about the deity of the Holy Spirit was the argument of the Greek theologian Basil of Caesarea (c.329–79) that the Spirit must be divine if, through his indwelling of both angels and humans, he makes them holy beings. As the One who ultimately provides all of the holiness experienced by rational creatures in the universe, the Holy Spirit must be holy without qualification. And as such he cannot be a creature, but has to be ontologically inseparable from the Father and the Son.[1] The source of this argument was both Scripture and Basil’s experience as a monk. In the early monastic movement Basil had been exposed to a rich charismatic environment that convinced him that genuine progress in a life of virtue was deeply dependent upon the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.

Another monastic leader who shared this conviction, but who expressed it in quite a different fashion, is the author of four major collections of homilies, discourses and letters known as the Macarian corpus. I have long been interested in this author ever since in 1979 I heard a brilliant lecture by Reinhart Staats on the glorification of the Spirit in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan creed and his brief discussion of some disciples of Macarius who were present at the Council of Constantinople. And so am reading and thinking about the Spirit in the II collection of Macarian homilies.[2] It is a truly amazing slice of Patristic literature. Macarius’ grasp of the Spirit’s work in the context of human sin is largely very biblical.

All of this is preparation for a paper I have to give at an academic confernce this coming Friday at SBTS, the conference is entitled “Human and Christian Agency” and is sponsored by the Society for Christian Psychology, and I am looking at the Spirit and the sturggle against sin in Macarius/Symeon.

 


[1] Basil of Caesarea, Letter 125.3; 159.2; On the Holy Spirit 19.48. See also J. Verhees, “Die Bedeutung der Transzendenz des Pneuma bei Basilius”, Ostkirchliche Studien, 25 (1976),299–300.

[2] For discussion of the four collections, see Marcus Plested, The Macarian Legacy: The Place of Macarius-Symeon in the Eastern Christian Tradition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 9–12. See also Stuart K. Burns, “Pseudo-Macarius and the Messalians: The Use of Time for the Common Good” in R.N. Swanson, ed., The Use and Abuse of Time in Christian History (Woodbridge, Suffolk: The Boydell Press for The Ecclesiastical History Society, 2002), 3, n.7.

Thinking about Carey’s love of Bengali literature

September 12th, 2010 Posted in William Carey

When William Carey went to India, he began a lifelong program of learning about the culture and history of India. So enamoured did he become of Indian literature that he eventually engaged in a systematic re-printing of much of their classical literature. And today he is partly remembered in eastern India as one of the figures responsible for a renaissance of Bengali litertaure.

Not surprisingly, some of his close friends in England, like Andrew Fuller, under whose patronymic I serve in part, were surprised and somewhat nonplussed. They had sent Carey out to be a witness to the Christ among the millions of the Indian subcontinent and here he was wasting time on literature. But Carey was wiser than they. He realized that for the gospel to make any headway in his adopted Indian culture, there had to be some understanding of that culture, and the best way to do that was to systematically study the world of India.

I personally do not think Carey’s strategy mistaken. A careful examination of the history of mission would show that this strategy was usually far more successful than any alternatives. One of the reasons for the ongoing strength of the Patristic witness, for example, was the amazing ability of the Fathers to transplant the gospel into the soil of Hellenism, a transplant that by and large was accomplished without major compromise of the Faith, though there were many temptations to so compromise.

Horatius Bonar on the Spirit

September 12th, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized

Love this statement from Horatius Bonar on Charlie Albright’s blog.

New Book by Dr. Haykin Helps Rediscover Church Fathers

September 3rd, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized

Justin Taylor has posted an interview with Dr. Michael Haykin offering advise on reading the church fathers.  This affords a good opportunity to mention that Dr. Haykin has a new book on Rediscovering the Church Fathers, due to be released by Crossway on March 31, 2011.

Dr. Haykin described the purpose of the book in his interview with Justin as:

The book seeks to stimulate a thirst for the Fathers and to reveal how rich the Fathers are in theology and piety. As such, it is not an exhaustive study of the Fathers. Rather, it presents six Fathers/patristic texts that reveal key themes of that era of church history and hopefully stir up interest and make the Fathers increasingly a known land.

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