‘Historians’ Category

An excellent comment by Andrew Atherstone on reading history

April 14th, 2014 Posted in Books, Church History, Great Quotes, Historians, Reformation

By Michael A.G. Haykin

In a book review that appeared in the most recent Banner of Truth, Andrew Atherstone, whose work I admire, has this comment regarding Natalie Mears and Alec Ryrie, eds., Worship and the Parish Church in Early Modern Britain (2013)—he is talking about the way the Reformation impacted the Christian in the pew: “The lives of ordinary Christians in the Reformation world were filled with nuance, variety, contradiction and complexity, just as they are today.” So true! Budding historians as well as seasoned authors need to take note.

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Michael A.G. Haykin is the director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies. He also serves as Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Haykin and his wife Alison have two grown children, Victoria and Nigel.

Dr. Rowan Greer

April 11th, 2014 Posted in Church Fathers, Church History, Historians

By Michael A.G. Haykin

One of my scholarly heroes, Dr Rowan Greer, has recently passed away. Here is the official notice, which does not mention the book that deeply shaped the way that I approach Patristic exegesis, The Captain of Our Salvation, his ground-breaking study of the exegesis of Hebrews.

On March 17, 2014, The Rev. Dr. Rowan A. Greer III, Walter H. Gray Professor of Anglican Studies at the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, died after several years of on-and-off illness. He was 79. Greer taught at Yale for nearly 35 years, and he is remembered for his generous and devoted service to his students.

Although he rarely attended academic conferences, Greer is widely known for his pioneering work in the study of Antiochene Christology, patristic exegesis, and early Christian pastoral ministry, and for his translations of early Christian texts. Greer’s Theodore of Mopsuestia: Exegete and Theologian—published four years before his 1965 Yale Ph.D.—is still regarded as a seminal work. His treatment of patristic exegesis in Early Biblical Interpretation (Westminster, 1986, with James Kugel), was for many years a rare introduction to early Christian hermeneutics. And his volume on Origen for the Classics of Western Spirituality Series remains a treasured and much-used book.

Greer’s scholarship was characterized by an approach that integrates theological and social concerns, well before such interdisciplinarity became de rigueur. Building on early works from the 1960s and 1970s, the fullest expression of Greer’s approach came in his monograph Broken Lights and Mended Lives: Theology and Common Life in the Early Church (Penn State, 1986), which ranges from classical soteriology to the practicalities of family, hospitality, and Christian politics. Greer’s Christian Hope and Christian Life: Raids on the Inarticulate (Crossroad, 2001), a study of Christian eschatology in Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, John Donne, and Jeremy Taylor, won the Association of Theological Booksellers’ 2001 Book of the Year. In recent years he published two volumes of translations, The “Belly-Myther” of Endor: Interpretations of 1 Kingdoms 28 in the Early Church (Brill, 2007, with Margaret Mitchell), and Theodore of Mopsuestia’s Commentaries on the Minor Epistles of Paul (Brill, 2010). With the assistance of J. Warren Smith, a final work-in-progress will appear later this year as One Path for All: Gregory of Nyssa on the Christian Life and Human Destiny (Cascade).

A memorial service will be held at Yale Divinity School sometime this fall.

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Michael A.G. Haykin is the director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies. He also serves as Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Haykin and his wife Alison have two grown children, Victoria and Nigel.

 

“We Reap on Zion’s Hill”

April 10th, 2014 Posted in 19th Century, Baptist Life & Thought, Biblical Spirituality, Church History, Eminent Christians, Historians, Missions

By Evan D. Burns

After a life consumed in service to Christ, on April 12, 1850, Adoniram Judson entered his heavenly rest.  Judson’s eminent biographer, Francis Wayland, comments on the effect of Judson’s heavenly-minded piety on his life and virtue.

In treating of his religious character, it would be an omission not to refer to his habitual heavenly mindedness. In his letters, I know of no topic that is so frequently referred to as the nearness of the heavenly glory.  If his loved ones died, his consolation was that they should all so soon meet in paradise.  If an untoward event occurred, it was of no great consequence, for soon we should be in heaven, where all such trials would either be forgotten, or where the recollection of them would render our bliss the more intense.  Thither his social feelings pointed, and he was ever thinking of the meeting that awaited him with those who with him had fought the good fight, and were now wearing the crown of victory. So habitual were these trains of thought, that a person well acquainted with him remarks, that “meditation on death was his common solace in all the troubles of life.”  I do not know that the habitual temper of his mind can in any words be so well expressed as in the following lines, which he wrote in pencil on the inner cover of a book that he was using in the compilation of his dictionary:

“—In joy or sorrow, health or pain,
Our course be onward still;
We sow on Burmah’s barren plain,
We reap on Zion’s hill.”[1]


[1]Wayland, Memoir, 2:381-382.

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Evan D. Burns (Ph.D. Candidate, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is on faculty at Asia Biblical Theological Seminary, and he lives in Southeast Asia with his wife and twin sons.  They are missionaries with Training Leaders International.

Michael Haykin to be Interviewed Today on “Always Ready” Radio Program

April 7th, 2014 Posted in Church History, Historians

By Steve Weaver

4-3-14 Tony Miano on NAR, Bill Johnson, Bethel & Jesus CultureToday at 4:00 pm (EST), Michael Haykin will be interviewed by David Lowman on his show ‘Always Ready‘ on KPDQ 800 AM (Portland, OR). You can listen live here or access the podcast later. Today’s program begins a two week journey from the Apostle John to John Calvin.

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Steve Weaver serves as a research assistant to the director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies and a fellow of the Center. He also serves as senior pastor of Farmdale Baptist Church in Frankfort, KY. Steve and his wife Gretta have six children.

Are Baptists Reformers, Radicals, or Restorationists?

March 25th, 2014 Posted in 16th Century, 17th Century, Baptist Life & Thought, Church History, Historians, Puritans, Reformation

By Nathan A. Finn

If you spend much time studying Baptist history and thought, you know that a perennial debate concerns Baptist origins, early theological influences, and any bearing those topics might have on the nature of Baptist identity. Some scholars argue that Baptists are second or third generation reformers who are rooted in a mostly puritan identity. Barrie White and Tom Nettles come to mind as exemplars of this view, which is the majority position among historians. Other scholars argue that Baptists, though clearly emerging from English Separatists, are at least influenced by the evangelical wing of the Radical Reformation. William Estep and Ian Randall are two representatives of this school of thought. Still other historians argue that Baptists are evangelical restorationists: Doug Weaver makes this case. Some Baptist scholars opt for an eclectic or polygenetic approach to this question, notably Curtis Freeman.

I wonder to what degree one’s own theological and/or spiritual presuppositions play into how a scholar views this issue. Granted, none of the aforementioned categories are Landmark, so presumably their historiographies aren’t totally theologically driven. Still, does one’s understanding of issues like predestination, ecumenism, church and state, and church and culture affect where one “lands” on this question? I think this is at least possible in some cases.

For my part, I can see why different scholars champion each of these approaches. The historical genesis of the earliest English Baptists was most definitely in English Separatism and by the time of the Civil War the English Baptists were thinking in broadly puritan categories. However, at least some of the earliest General Baptists and perhaps a few of the earliest Particular Baptists had some affinity with some Anabaptists. And, of course, both Anabaptists and Baptists held to baptistic ecclesiologies, which would at least lend itself to the understandable (if not always charitable) assumption that the groups were connected in some ways. Baptists on the whole might not be restorationists, but there is no doubt there is a restorationist streak among some Baptists—how else does one explain the spiritual pilgrimages of John Smyth and Rogers Williams or the existence of the Independent Baptist movement? These factors are why I resonate with a more polygenetic approach to early Baptist theological identity, while still holding to English Separatist historical origins.

How do you think we should think about Baptist origins and/or identity? Are we puritans who got straightened out on the sacraments? Are we the more respectable wing of the Radical Reformation? Are we sane restorationists? Or, especially since the early eighteenth century, are we really just dunking evangelicals? I’m thinking out loud more than I am making any particular arguments, so I would love to hear your thoughts about this question.

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Nathan A. Finn is associate professor of historical theology and Baptist Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also an elder at First Baptist Church of Durham, NC and a fellow of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies.

 

Historiae ecclesiasticae collecta: a weekly roundup of blogs, articles, books, and more

March 21st, 2014 Posted in Books, Church History, Historians

By Dustin Bruce

Blogs

  1. Thomas Kidd expounds on “George Marsden and the Gift of Clear Writing” over at the Anxious Bench. Speaking of Kidd, don’t miss the Gheens Lectures at Southern Seminary where he will be lecturing on “Faith and Politics: From the Great Awakening to the American Revolution.”
  2. The American Historical Association has recently expanded their Online Directory of History Dissertations, a collection that now includes over 49,000 works.
  3. At The Confessing Baptist, Graham Benyon writes on “The Rise and Development of the English Baptists.”
  4. Also at The Confessing Baptist, check out the first volume in the Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies.
  5. Justin Taylor highlighted “God’s Lion in London: Charles Spurgeon and the Challenge of the Modern Age,” Albert Mohler’s recent lecture given at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at RTS.
  6. Over at Comment, the Cardus blog, Joan Lockwood O’Donovan reviews Alan Jacobs new work, The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography.
  7. Ryan Nelson discusses “Simple Language for Simple Truth: The Legacy of J.A. Broadus” on logostalk, where you can find a special on Broadus’ writings for Logos.
  8. On Christianity Today’s Hermeneutics blog, Karen Swallow Prior posts on Hannah More in “The Most Influential Reformer You’ve Never Heard Of.”

Recent Book Releases

  1. Basil of Caesarea (Foundations of Theological Exegesis and Christian Spirituality) by Stephen M. Hildebrand. Baker. $26.99.
  2. The Evangelical Origins of the Living Constitution by John W. Compton. Harvard University Press. $45.00.
  3. A Companion to Global Historical Thought by Prasenjit Duara, Viren Mirthy, and Andrew Satori. Wiley Blackwell. $195.00.
  4. God, Locke, and Liberty: The Struggle for Religious Freedom in the West by Joseph Loconte. Lexington Books. $95.00.
  5. Christian Theology: The Classics edited by Stephen R. Holmes and Shawn Bawulski. Routledge. $26.95

From the Fuller Center

  1. Joe Harrod pointed to Samuel Davies’ thoughts on reading Scripture.
  2. Steve Weaver posted on “Reclaiming St. Patrick’s Day.”
  3. Steve Weaver introduces readers to the ministry of Evan Burns.
  4. Speaking of Evan, he draws from Martin Lloyd-Jones in “Reading from the Long 18th Century.”

What did I miss this week?  Share in the comments or on Twitter: @AFCBS or @dustinbruce.

Note: Inclusion of an article, book, or any other form of media on the Historiae ecclesiasticae collecta does not constitute a theological endorsement by the compiler, Michael Haykin, the Andrew Fuller Center or Southern Seminary.

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Dustin Bruce lives in Louisville, KY where he is pursuing a PhD in Biblical Spirituality at Southern Seminary. He is a graduate of Auburn University and Southwestern Seminary. Dustin and his wife, Whitney, originally hail from Alabama.

Historiae ecclesiasticae collecta: a weekly roundup of blogs, articles, books, and more

March 14th, 2014 Posted in Books, Church History, Historians

By Dustin Bruce

Blogs

  1. John Fea continues a helpful series on “How to be a Public Scholar” with a session on blogging at his blog, The Way of Improvement Leads Home.
  2. Over at The Scriptorium Daily, Fred Sanders has linked to a talk he gave in Biola’s chapel on The Fundamentals (1910–1915).
  3. Over at Reformatiom 21, Carl Trueman highlights the recent release of some Reformed base packages by Logos Bible Software. These packages were created with students and scholars of the Reformation in mind.
  4. Tim Challies has released his recent post in a series highlighting “The History of Christianity in 25 Objects.” This time he is looking at Billy Graham’s Prayer Wheel.
  5. Thomas Kidd presents a helpful history of “the Sinner’s Prayer” over at The Anxious Bench.
  6. R. Scott Clark has compiled a section of “Calvin Studies” on the Heidelblog. His newest edition features audio of Scott Manetsch teaching “On Calvin In His Context and Ours.
  7. The Fuller Center’s own Steve Weaver has suggested “Seven Podcasts for a Pastor-Historian” on his blog, Thoughts of a Pastor-Historian.
  8. Speaking of podcasts, on the Beeson Podcast, Timothy George has posted an excellent lecture on “The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards,” given at Beeson by George Marsden. Last week, on another excellent edition, George interviewed John L. Thompson on the subject of the history of exegesis and Calvin’s hermeneutic.
  9. In light of the coming holiday, Timothy Paul Jones asks, “What Happened to the Real St. Patrick?”
  10. Over at The Junto: a Group Blog on Early American History, Jonathan Wilson reminds us that Jonathan Edwards began pastoring, not in Connecticut or Massachusetts, but in New York in “Looking for “a World of Love”: Jonathan Edwards in the Big City.”
  11. Philip Jenkins points to the use of art in telling the history of missions.
  12. Last, but not least, the Confessing Baptist features an interview with Ian Clary and Steve Weaver on the Festschrift they edited in honor of Michael Haykin, The Pure Flame of Devotion.

Recent Book Releases

  1. A Cultural History of Childhood and Family in the Middle Ages (The Cultural Histories Series) by Louise J. Wilkinson.Bloomsbury Academic. 9781472554758. $34.00.
  2. An Able and Faithful Ministry: Samuel Miller and the Pastoral Office by James M. Garreston. Reformation Heritage Books. 9781601782984. $35.00.
  3. Reformed Confessions of the 16th and 17th Centuries in English Translation: Volume 4, 1600–1693 edited by James T. Dennison Jr. Reformation Heritage Books. 9781601782809. $50.00.
  4. A Will to Believe: Shakespeare and Religion (Oxford Wells Shakespeare Lectures) by David Scott Kastan. Oxford University Press. 9780199572892. $40.00.
  5. Holy Warriors: The Religious Ideology of Chivalry (The Middle Ages Series) by Richard W. Kaeuper. University of Pennsylvania Press. 9780812222975. $29.95.
  6. Kierkegaard on the Philosophy of History by Georgios Patios. Palgrave Macmillan. 9781137383273. $95.00.

From the Fuller Center

  1. Contributor Evan Burns highlights the Prince of Preachers in “Spurgeon’s Missiology: Go and Teach Them.
  2. Contributor Steve Weaver points to a new series edited by Michael Haykin on the early church fathers.

What did I miss this week?  Share in the comments or on Twitter: @AFCBS or @dustinbruce. 

Note: Inclusion of an article, book, or any other form of media on the Historiae ecclesiasticae collecta does not constitute a theological endorsement by the compiler, Michael Haykin, the Andrew Fuller Center or Southern Seminary.

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Dustin Bruce lives in Louisville, KY where he is pursuing a PhD in Biblical Spirituality at Southern Seminary. He is a graduate of Auburn University and Southwestern Seminary. Dustin and his wife, Whitney, originally hail from Alabama.

New Series on Early Church Fathers Edited by Michael Haykin

March 14th, 2014 Posted in Ancient Church: 4th & 5th Centuries, Books, Church Fathers, Church History, Eminent Christians, Historians

By Steve Weaver

A new series of books featuring biographies of the early church fathers is being published by Christian Focus Publications of the United Kingdom. Noted Patristic scholar Michael A.G. Haykin is serving as the series editor. According to the publisher’s website:  ”this series relates the magnificent impact that these fathers of the early church made for our world today. They encountered challenges similar to ones that we face in our postmodern world, and they met them with extraordinary values that will encourage and inspire us today.”

Basil CoverThe first volume, authored by Marvin Jones, focuses on Basil of Caesarea. The publisher’s website provides the following description:

Basil of Caesarea (329-379 AD) was a Greek Bishop in what is now Turkey. A thoughtful theologian, he was instrumental in the formation of the Nicene Creed. He fought a growing heresy, Arianism, that had found converts, including those in high positions of state. In the face of such a threat he showed courage, wisdom and complete confidence in God that we would do well to emulate today.

Patrick CoverThe second volume in the series was authored by Haykin and is an exploration of the life and impact of Patrick of Ireland. The publisher’s website provides this description:

Patrick ministered to kings and slaves alike in the culture that had enslaved him. Patrick’s faith and his commitment to the Word of God through hard times is a true example of the way that God calls us to grow and to bless those around us through our suffering. Michael Haykin’s masterful biography of Patrick’s life and faith will show you how you can follow God’s call in your life.

Both these books are available in the UK. They will not be available in the US until May, but are available for pre-order now on Amazon:

Other books scheduled in the series include:

  • Athanasius by Carl Trueman
  • Cyril of Alexandria by Steve McKinion
  • Augustine by Brad Green
  • Irenaeus of Lyons by Ligon Duncan
  • Tertullian by David Robinson

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Steve Weaver serves as a research assistant to the director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies and a fellow of the Center. He also serves as senior pastor of Farmdale Baptist Church in Frankfort, KY. Steve and his wife Gretta have six children.

 

Historiae ecclesiasticae collecta: a weekly roundup of blogs, articles, books, and more

March 7th, 2014 Posted in Books, Church History, Historians

By Dustin Bruce

Blogs

  1. In a helpful post for PhD students on The Anxious Bench, Thomas Kidd offers advice on “What to Publish, and When?”.
  2. Kidd also reviews Marsden’s The Twilight of the American Enlightenment  on The Gospel Coalition. John Fea has done the work of compiling the reviews of Marsden’s latest work.
  3. Brian Renshaw of NT Exegesis pontificates on two surprisingly connected loves in “Baseball and Church History.”
  4. Jason Duesing reflects on “W.O. Carver, Southern Seminary, and the Significance of Adoniram Judson” on his personal blog.
  5. Over at the Founder’s Blog, Jeff Robinson asks, “Is Calvin Guilty of the Popular Charges Against Him?
  6. Also at Founders, Jon English Lee continues in a series on the Sabbath with, “Where is the Sabbath in the Early Church? (Part 2)
  7. R. Albert Mohler rolls out his 2014 list of “Ten Books Every Preacher Should Read” in Preaching Magazine. Included in this is Tom Nettles, Living by Revealed Truth: The Life and Pastoral Ministry of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Mentor, 2013), Michael J. Kruger, The Question of Canon: Challenging the Status Quo in the New Testament Debate (InterVarsity Press, 2013), and John Elliot Gardiner, Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven (Knopf, 2013). The SBTS Campus Lifeway has the books from Dr. Mohler’s list on sale at a 40% discount.
  8. On The Anxious Bench, Phillip Jenkins explores “Welsh Roots” in an insightful post for St. David’s Day and then follows up with “Welsh America, American Wales.”
  9. Jenkins also discusses “The 160-Year Christian History Behind What’s Happening in Ukraine” on Christianity Today.
  10. At Between the Times, Nathan Finn looks at historic Baptist roots in “On the Baptist Confession of 1689.”
  11. The Confessing Baptist interviewed the Fuller Center’s own Steve Weaver on his and Michael Haykin’s recent release of An Orthodox Catechism by Hercules Collins.
  12. Joel Beeke discusses “The Puritan Art of Godly Meditation” in a brief video on his blog, Doctrine for Life.

Major Discussion: Should Evangelicals Practice Lent?

Debate stirred this week around the practice of Lent and specifically Ash Wednesday, with low-church Evangelicals falling on both sides. Some helpful interlocutors were:

  1. Nathan Finn on Christian Thought and Tradition with “Why One Baptist Chooses to Observe Lent.”
  2. R. Scott Clark with “Lent: Of Good Intentions, Spiritual Disciplines, and Christian Freedom” on the Heidelblog.
  3. Keith Miller calls upon the historical heroes of the Reformed in “Reformed Homeboys on Lenten Fasting” on Mere Orthodoxy.

Recent Book Releases

  1. The Evangelistic Zeal of George Whitefield by Steven Lawson. Reformation Trust Publishing. 9781567693638. Hardback. $16.00.
  2. Gratitude: An Intellectual History byPeter Leithart. Baylor University Press. 9781602584495. $49.95.
  3. John Knox (Christian Biographies for Young Readers) by Simonetta Carr. Reformation Heritage Books. 9781601782892. $18.00.
  4. Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity (3 vols.) edited by Angelo Di Beradino. IVP Academic. 9780830829439. $450.00.
  5. The Oxford Movement: Europe and the Wider World 1830–1930 edited by Stewart Brown and Peter Nockles. Cambridge University Press. 9781107680272. $26.46.
  6. The Urban Pulpit: New York City and the Fate of Liberal Evangelicalism by Matthew Bowman. Oxford University Press. 9780199977604. $62.15.
  7. A People’s History of Christianity, Vol 1: From the Early Church to the Reformation (Student Edition) edited by Dennis R. Janz. Fortress Press. 9781451470246. $39.00.  Volume 2: From the Reformation to the 21st Century.
  8. Abraham in the Works of John Chrysostom (Emerging Scholars) by Demetrios E. Tonias. Fortress Press. 9781451473056. $49.96.
  9. The Life of  Saint Helia: Critical Edition, Translation, Introduction, and Commentary (Oxford Early Christian Texts) edited by Virginia Burrus and Marco Conti. Oxford University Press. 9780199672639. $150.00.
  10. The Search for Authority in Reformation Europe (St Andrews Studies in Reformation History) edited by Helen Parish, Elaine Fulton, and Peter Webster. Ashgate. 9781409408543. $119.95.

From the Fuller Center

  1. Evan Burns posts on “Fuller Reading the Scriptures.”
  2. Joe Harrod discusses “Samuel Davies on the Nature of the Spiritual Life.”
  3. Burns follows up the AFC mini-conference on Adoniram Judson with “Judson’s Farewell Hymn.”

What did I miss this week?  Share in the comments or on Twitter: @AFCBS or @dustinbruce.

Note: Inclusion of an article, book, or any other form of media on the Historiae ecclesiasticae collecta does not constitute a theological endorsement by the compiler, Michael Haykin, the Andrew Fuller Center or Southern Seminary.

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Dustin Bruce lives in Louisville, KY where he is pursuing a PhD in Biblical Spirituality at Southern Seminary. He is a graduate of Auburn University and Southwestern Seminary. Dustin and his wife, Whitney, originally hail from Alabama.

Answering My Great Question about “The Great Question Answered”

February 19th, 2014 Posted in 18th Century, 19th Century, Andrew Fuller, Baptist Life & Thought, Books, Church History, Eminent Christians, Historians

By Nathan A. Finn

You may or may not know that Andrew Fuller wrote a wildly popular gospel tract titled The Great Question Answered. It was republished numerous times by multiple publishers and remained enormously popular in both Britain and the USA into the mid-nineteenth century. It is available in volume three of the “Sprinkle Edition” of The Complete Works of Andrew Fuller (pp. 540–549). The tract is also available on several websites on the internet, but be careful not to confuse it with the pro-slavery treatise by James Sloan, which was published in 1857 and is also widely available online.

I am editing the volume on Strictures on Sandemanianism for the forthcoming critical edition of The Works of Andrew Fuller. Several months ago, I began trying to locate the first publication of The Great Question Answered because it briefly references the Sandemanian view of faith. I knew it was published during the decade between 1801, when Fuller included an appendix on Sandemanianism in the revised edition of The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation, and before the publication of Strictures on Sandemanianism in 1810. But the tract “went viral” so quickly and was republished so often it was difficult to find the original publication. I talked to Michael Haykin about my quest, and though he did not know the answer to my query, he helped me think through ways to track down the first publication. Last week, my quest came to an end. I have found the Holy Grail. Let me tell you how it happened.

In his memoir of his father, found in volume one of the Sprinkle Edition, Andrew Gunton Fuller suggested the tract was first published in 1806 (p. 91). But I knew that could not be the case because an extensive library holdings search last fall revealed that several libraries in both England and North America owned copies of the tract from multiple publishers dating to 1805. In his book The Forgotten Heritage: The Great Lineage of Baptist Preaching (Mercer University Press, 1986), Thomas McKibben cited an edition of The Great Question Answered published in London by William Button and Sons in 1803 (p. 49). That was the earliest date I could find.

In 1818, John Ryland Jr. published a biography of his close friend Fuller titled The Work of Faith, the Labour of Love, and the Patience of Hope, illustrated; In the Life and Death of the Rev. Andrew Fuller. In the biography, Ryland provided a list of Fuller’s published works, including magazine articles. Ryland dated the initial publication of The Great Question Answered to 1803 in The Missionary Magazine (p. 133). I had previously seen one reference to the tract appearing in the “Edinburgh Missionary Magazine,” but could not find anything. Ryland was a great help because the periodical, though published in Edinburgh, was simply titled The Missionary Magazine—I had been sniffing down the wrong trail. In God’s providence, some volumes of The Missionary Magazine are available via Google Books—including the 1803 volume.

As it turns out, The Great Question Answered was indeed published first in The Missionary Magazine in two parts. Part One appeared in the February 21, 1803 issue, on pages 59–65. Part Two was published the following month in the March 21, 1803 issue, on pages 110–16. The two parts were then combined into a single tract that was likely first published in one part by William Button and Sons in London later in 1803. From there, it was first published in America in both Boston and Maine as early as 1805.

I do know a bit about the reception history after 1805, though there are many stones left to un-turn. As early as 1811, a Gaelic edition was published in Edinburgh. The Great Question Answered was included in the different collected editions of Fuller’s published works that began appearing as early as 1820. Also by 1820, The Great Question Answered was being published by the Baptist General Tract Society in England. In 1821, a certain Dr. Henderson translated the tract into Swedish and Russian and began distributing it through tract societies formed for those nations. In 1838, the tract was included in The Baptist Manual published by the American Baptist Publication Society. The American Tract Society was publishing the tract by 1850. Throughout the American Civil War, The Great Question Answered was distributed to Confederate soldiers by a publisher in Raleigh, North Carolina.

As this brief survey makes clear, The Great Question Answered was a popular gospel tract during the first two-thirds of the nineteenth century. During the years between 1803 and 1865, it was published on at least two different continents in at least four different languages—probably more. But the initial publication was in two parts in The Missionary Magazine in February and March of 1803. While there is still much I do not know about the reception history of this tract, my great question has been answered about The Great Question Answered. All is now right with the world.

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Nathan A. Finn is associate professor of historical theology and Baptist Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also an elder at First Baptist Church of Durham, NC and a fellow of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies.