By Dustin Bruce
“Throwing Our Hats Over the Wall: Adoniram Judson and the Global Gospel Call”
March 5th, 2014
The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies would like to invite you to attend the Spring Mini-Conference. This year, the conference focuses on Adoniram Judson and his missionary experience and influence.
The featured speaker will be Dr. Jason Duesing, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Duesing has conducted extensive research on the life and ministry of Judson and is a well-known speaker, author, and editor on the subject.
The mini-conference will take place from 9:00–11:30 AM on Wednesday, March 5th in Heritage Hall on the campus of Southern Seminary. Admission is free to all attendees and refreshments will be provided.
The schedule is as follows:
9:00–10:00 – Lecture 1: The Life and Ministry of Adoniram Judson, Part 1: Conversion, Consecration, & Commission, 1788-1812
10:15–11:15 – Lecture 2: The Life and Ministry of Adoniram Judson, Part 2: Baptism, Burma, & the Bible, 1812-1850
11:15–11:30 – Q&A on the Life and Ministry of Adoniram Judson
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.
By Michael A.G. Haykin
I have just learned that an old friend whom I first met in 1983, Bob Shaker, has to gone to be with the Lord. He would have been 100, I believe next year. A Syrian immigrant with four sisters and a couple of brothers raised in the Syrian Orthodox Church, Bob came to faith at Jarvis Street Baptist Church and was discipled under TT Shields—he served as one of his deacons at one point in the 1950s. In later years he attended Knox Presbyterian Church and then most recently Mount Pleasant Road Baptist Church.
He had a bookstore in Toronto that served to distribute Reformed literature at a time when few bookstores in the 1960s and 1970s were carrying it. And what gems he had there: The Banner of Truth magazine, books by Lloyd-Jones and Packer, fabulous biographies and rare studies in Scripture and Church History that no other Toronto bookseller would carry since they would not sell. As a sign in his bookstore window put it: “We sell books, not fluff” or something to that effect!
He was a friend and mentor to hundreds of pastors who came to his bookstore not simply to buy books but to spend time with Bob. Here many well-known preachers visiting Toronto would come. I vividly remember him telling me about the visit of Ian Paisley with two bodyguards. In his latter years I went to see him regularly at the bookstore, where he dispensed nuggets of practical Christian wisdom about Reformed theology, how to work with other evangelicals, the need for a solid Canadian evangelical witness, his love for TTS (he never ceased to admire him)—and then after an hour or two we would pray together. What a rich prayer life he had.
In his final days, I saw him irregularly—at his home in the heart of Toronto (one of those beautiful homes from the 1910s or 1920s with rich hardwood). The last time would have been at Mount Pleasant Road Baptist Church, I believe, when they celebrated an anniversary and where Lucien Atchale is doing a tremendous ministry. Of course, at a time like this, I regret not having gone to see him more. So I am glad we had a celebration of his life at Mount Pleasant Rd BC a few years ago before his death and rejoiced in what God had accomplished through this humble servant.
It was an honour to have known Bob and to be able call him a friend. And now he is in the presence of the Great King: the delight of his heart!
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.
By Ryan Patrick Hoselton
How should Christians interact with non-Christian moral reasoning? Christians throughout the centuries have revisited this question, dividing over whether divine revelation exclusively provides our moral guidance or whether we can benefit from “natural” moral philosophy.
I’ve been working through Norman Fiering’s work, Moral Philosophy at Seventeenth-Century Harvard (1981), and he offers helpful categories for working through this question. Although his points are descriptive rather than prescriptive, believers today can greatly benefit from observing how Christians throughout history have thought through the relationship between Christian theology and natural moral reasoning. It may not necessarily be wrong to incorporate natural moral thought, but we should be aware how and why we’re doing it.
Fiering identifies five general solutions that Christians have devised to reconcile Christian and natural moral thought. The fifth is more of a method than a theory, so I will only summarize the first four:
1) Christian hegemony: In this model, Christians borrow pagan cultural ideas and resources in “the interest of higher purposes (12).” Christians exploit external thought and sanctify and purpose it for the glory of God and the church.
2) Common Grace: This position’s greatest defender is Thomas Aquinas, the medieval Catholic theologian. The adherents of this position argue that despite the Fall, human nature maintains remarkable natural abilities in regards to creativity, discovery, knowledge, and even moral reasoning. As Fiering stresses, this doctrine is not necessarily meant to authorize natural moral philosophy but rather to make sense of non-Christian intellectual and moral achievement.
3) Prisca theologia: followers of this third category espouse that “behind the best pagan writings was the influence of the ‘ancient history’ (prisca theologia) that originated with Moses (14).” In other words, the reason why pagan thinkers have produced sound ideas is because they directly or indirectly borrowed from Christian thought. Thus, they are worthy of study insofar as they reflect Christian teaching.
4) Disparity: The fourth model for reconciling Christian theology and pagan moral philosophy was to compartmentalize the utility of each for either the outer or inner person. Natural knowledge was sufficient to guide external actions, while spiritual knowledge was necessary to reform the inner and spiritual person. Thus, believers rested on natural moral philosophy for personal, social, and political moral conduct, and they reserved special revelation to guide their spiritual life.
 Norman Fiering, Moral Philosophy at Seventeenth-Century Harvard (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1981).
Exciting news from Logos Bible Software. They are now offering all 10 volumes of the Profiles in Reformed Spirituality series in electronic editions which are fully searchable and linked to other reference tools. The series was published by Reformation Heritage Books and Joel R. Beeke and Michael A.G. Haykin are the series editors.
Overview (from the Logos website):
The Profiles in Reformed Spirituality series is designed to introduce the spirituality and piety of the Reformed tradition by presenting descriptions of the lives of influential Christians with select passages from their works. This combination of biographical sketches and primary sources gives a taste of each subject’s contribution to the Reformed tradition’s spiritual heritage and direction as to how the reader can find further edification through their works. This series will provide riches where the church is poor and daylight where Christians stumble in the night. Included in Profiles in Reformed Spirituality (10 vols.) are the lives and works of Horatius Bonar, Hercules Collins, Jonathan Edwards,George Swinnock, Alexander Whyte, Lemuel Haynes, Samuel Rutherford, Archibald Alexander, John Bunyan, and John Flavel.
In the Logos editions, these valuable volumes are enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
For more details see the Logos product page.
A new book was recently released that explores the relationship between Canadian Christians and World War I. Canadian Churches and the First World War, edited by Gordon L. Heath, was published by Pickwick Publications as volume 4 of their McMaster Divinity College Press General Series. Included in the volume is an essay by Michael A.G. Haykin and Ian Hugh Clary titled “‘O God of Battles’: The Canadian Baptist Experience of the Great War.”
You can order the book from Amazon, which also provides a preview of the table of contents and select pages.
Dr. Haykin was recently interviewed by the Aqueduct Project’s audio interview series “GOD Talks.” The vision of Aqueduct Project is to provide access to quality resources for evangelical theological education to the pastors in majority world churches. “GOD Talks” is the newest Aqueduct Project program designed to foster theological understanding among the global evangelical community by providing short (2-20 minute) audio interviews with leading Christian thinkers. You can access Dr. Haykin’s (and other) interviews here. To download an MP3 of Dr. Haykin’s interview, click here.
By Dustin W. Benge
Throughout the centuries the Christian church has sought to honor the text of holy Scripture through the art of illumination. An illuminated manuscript is a text that is supplemented by the artistic addition of decorated initials, borders, and miniature illustration. The earliest surviving illuminated manuscript are from the period of AD 400 to 600, initially produced in Italy and the Eastern Roman Empire.
The Book of Kells (Irish: Leabhar Cheanannais) is one such illuminated manuscript that has been highlighted in recent months. Trinity College in Dublin, which houses the Book of Kells, has now made this beautiful work completely available online. The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript in Latin, containing the four Four Gospels of the New Testament with various prefatory texts and tables.
Trinity writes that the origin of the Book of Kells “is generally attributed to the scriptorium of the monastery founded around 561 by St Colum Cille on Iona, an island off the west coast of Scotland.” The college writes that it “must have been close to the year 800 that the Book of Kells was written, although there is no way of knowing if the book was produced wholly oat Iona or at Kells, or partially at each location.”
This beautifully decorated manuscript represents one of the pinnacle achievements of artistic illumination in the history of the church. You can view the book (actually, four separately bound books) in person in Dublin where only one page is displayed at a time. Or, you can view the book’s 600+ pages here. Even if you do not read Latin, you can still enjoy the talented artistry of the Celtic monks who composed this treasure.
By Ian Hugh Clary
I’ve been away from home for exactly a week. The last seven days have been spent in Victoria and Vancouver where I have had the joyful privilege of teaching church history on behalf of Toronto Baptist Seminary. I’m only here for a few days more, and I want to drink my fill of the surrounding environs; the mountains in particular. In spite of the overwhelming beauty of this place, I sorely miss my family. I haven’t been away from them for such a length of time—in some ways, my Sunday evening flight east can’t come quick enough.
Yet my trip to the west coast has reminded me of a few basic facts about Christian experience, one I want to highlight for a moment. I have been thinking about the bond that Christians share in the Spirit, what has evocatively been called the “communion of the saints.” Maybe it’s that I’ve stumbled on some uniquely wonderful people in British Columbia—which I have—but I suspect that there is something more fundamentally spiritual about my relationship with those whom I have spent time with on the west coast. The very kind folk that I am staying with, though I have only known them for a few days, immediately feel like family to me. The students I teach each night feel like old friends. Even the afternoon coffee with an old friend I only just met (oh the wonders of the internet), was a treasure. When I go home I know I will miss these people deeply.
We are the body of Christ. We share in a mystical union with our saviour. We are the company of the Spirit. We have a bond with each other more basic than blood. We are in covenant together. We are working toward the same goal, and encourage each other on the way.
This experience has reinforced for me my desire to teach church history and theology—I want to be with people like this. My brothers and sisters who find some value in what I have to share with them, but who in turn pour themselves into me. This is mutual encouragement, this is familial, this is Christian friendship. And I am so thankful to God for such grace.
Ian Hugh Clary is finishing doctoral studies under Adriaan Neele at Universiteit van die Vrystaat (Blomfontein), where he is writing a dissertation on the evangelical historiography of Arnold Dallimore. He has co-authored two local church histories with Michael Haykin and contributed articles to numerous scholarly journals. Ian serves as a pastor of BridgeWay Covenant Church in Toronto where he lives with his wife and two children.
From a few years ago, Keith with his thesis committee: Stephen Wellum, Keith Goad, Michael Haykin, and Greg Allison