Archive for October, 2012

Audio Now Online for “Andrew Fuller & His Friends” Conference

October 30th, 2012 Posted in Andrew Fuller, Baptist Life & Thought, Church History, Conferences, Eminent Christians

Audio has now been posted for this year’s conference which was held in September. All audio is posted on the conference page here. Unfortunately, two of the lectures did not get recorded in Group B of the Parallel Sessions: Paul Brewster’s and Jimmy Burchett’s. All the rest are available here.

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

Recommending Priscilla Wong on Anne Steele

October 15th, 2012 Posted in 18th Century, Baptist Life & Thought, Biblical Spirituality, Eminent Christians, Hymnody

In September of 2011, with the kind help of Rev. Malcolm Watts, I made the trek on a rainy Sunday from Salisbury, England, to the nearby village of Broughton, Hampshire. The latter is a village situated roughly mid-way between Salisbury and Winchester. I was looking for a house, a chapel, and a grave. All were associated with Anne Steele (1717–78), the daughter of William Steele, the pastor of the Calvinistic Baptist chapel in Broughton. We soon found the Baptist chapel in Broughton easily enough. Sadly, it has been closed. The house where she lived, known as “Grandfathers,” in Rookery Lane, was more difficult to find, but eventually it was located. Her grave took even longer, as it is to be found in the Anglican parish church—somewhat unusual as she was a Baptist.

Anne was converted in 1732 and baptized the same year. She grew to be a woman of deep piety, genuine cheerfulness and blessed with a mind hungry for knowledge. She never married, although there were two proposals of marriage—one from none other than the Baptist pastor and hymn-writer Benjamin Beddome (1717–95). Anne, however, made a conscious choice to remain single.

Anne’s singleness gave her the time to devote herself to poetry and hymn-writing, a gift with which the Lord had richly blessed her. About ten years before her death, sixty-two of her hymns were published in a Baptist hymnal entitled A Collection of Hymns Adapted to Public Worship (1769), whose editors were John Ash and Caleb Evans. This hymnal gave her hymns a wide circulation throughout Baptist circles, and, in time, her hymns became as well known in Baptist circles and beyond as those of Isaac Watts, John Newton, or William Cowper. They played a part in revitalizing areas of the Calvinistic Baptist cause throughout England.

In the past few areas a number of studies of Steele have appeared, of which the latest is Priscilla Wong’s Anne Steele and her Spiritual Vision (Reformation Heritage Books, 2012). This is a slim volume, but it provides the interested reader with a great overview of some of the central spiritual themes of Anne’s hymns. Warmly recommended.

New Book on Heidelberg Catechism Celebrates 450th Anniversary

October 11th, 2012 Posted in 16th Century, Baptist Life & Thought, Books, Church History, Reformation

Next year (2013) marks the 450th anniversary of the Heidelberg Catechism. This Protestant document was written in Heidelberg in 1563 on behalf of Frederick III, Elector Palatine and spread over the world when it was approved by the Synod of Dort in 1619. A new volume is being released next March to commemorate this important event in church history—Power of Faith: 450 Years of the Heidelberg Catechism, edited by Karla Apperloo-Boersma, Herman J. Selderhuis. See flyer from publisher the Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht here.

In this 440 page hardcover book, respected specialists in their fields present how the Heidelberg Catechism spread and influenced culture, education and ecclesiastical life. In addition to the text, over 250 pictures illustrate the contributions making an attractive volume for display. This work will include the following contribution from Michael A. G. Haykin and Steve Weaver “To ‘concenter with the most orthodox divines’: Hercules Collins and his An Orthodox Catechism—a slice of the reception history of the Heidelberg Catechism.”

Power of Faith is slated to be released in Dutch, English and German editions. You can preorder the English edition from Amazon.com (German edition).

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

A town motto and our culture’s values

October 11th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized

On a recent drive through the town of Orangeville, Ontario, I noticed the town’s motto on the town’s nameplate as you enter the environs of Orangeville: “Historic charm, dynamic future.” Due to its proximity to Toronto—Orangeville is located less than an hour’s drive northwest of the metropolis of Toronto—there is no doubt of the dynamism latent in the future of Orangeville: it is increasingly a place where families whose parents work in Toronto have chosen to make their homes. And even a casual saunter through the town reveals the historic charm of the older buildings.

As I thought about the motto, though, it became increasingly apparent to me that both the adjectives and nouns chosen reflect North American cultural mores. Try reversing the adjectives like this: “Dynamic past, charming future” or “Dynamic history, futuristic charm.” The latter alternate mottos convey an entirely different message: a tremendous past, but a somewhat innocuous future, even somniferous! No: our culture is confident of having a dynamic future, one that is exciting and fast-paced and brimming with ever new discoveries to enhance our well-being. And the past: well, at its best, it is charming, like a cute teddy-bear or toy from yesteryear.

But as every historian worth his or her salt knows: the past is dynamic for it has shaped and ordered our present-day.

Book Review of 28 Seconds: A True Story of Addiction, Tragedy, and Hope

October 10th, 2012 Posted in Books, Current Affairs

Dr. Haykin has recently reviewed 28 Seconds: A True Story of Addiction, Tragedy, and Hope by Michael Bryant. This book tells the story of former Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant whose entire world was turned upside down in 28 seconds.

Find this review and others here on our Book Review page.

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