Are We Entering a Golden Age of 17th Century Baptist Literature?

Thoughts of a Pastor-Historian

I certainly hope so. Having done my PhD in this largely unmined area of church history, I have a vested interest in making the inspiring stories and helpful theological musings of our 17th-century Baptist counterparts known. I’m committed to doing my part. In recent days, I have been encouraged by the number of solid publications about or containing the original works of 17th-century Baptists that have either been recently released or are slated to be released soon. In addition to the works listed below, I am currently revising my dissertation on Hercules Collins for publication and plan to separately publish Collins’ The Temple Repair’d in the near future.

Available Now:

The Reformed Theology of Benjamin Keach (1640-1704)Jonathan W. Arnold, The Reformed Theology of Benjamin Keach (1640-1704) (Regent’s Park College Publications, 2013).

Jonathan Arnold completed his dissertation on the most important seventeenth-century English Particular Baptist at Regent’s Park College of Oxford University. This work is a slightly…

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Elijah, Mount Horeb and the Quest for Illegitimate Religious Experience

Polemics Report

R. Scott Clark, professor at Westminster Seminary California and author of the book Recovering the Reformed Confession, has a phrase called QIRE – the Quest for Illegitimate Religious Experience. By that, Dr. Clark refers to the desire to experience God outside of the “ordinary” means of grace in the preaching of the Word and the administration of the ordinances. That quest takes all kinds of forms – from charismatic excesses to the desire to hear that “still, small voice”. Don’t believe me? Look up a list of the fastest growing churches – the vast majority caters in providing outlets for QIRE candidates. Few cater to believers who simply want to hear the Bible taught in-depth and without frills.

Ironically, whenever I think of people who fuel their faith on the experiential and objective, I am always drawn back to the “still, small voice” passage:

And he said, “Go…

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Word for Word Translations vs. Man Centered, Agenda Driven, Works Based Translations

Be VERY careful with your Bible translations. Stick with the word for word or phrase for phrase translations. Many of the others are works based, agenda driven, and man centered. Here’s John 6:29 as an example:

NASB: Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

ESV: Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

KJV: Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

NKJV: Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

NRSV: Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

HCSB: Jesus replied, “This is the work of God—that you believe in the One He has sent.”

ALL of these versions state that our belief is the work of God.



Now look at some of the non word for word translations that make our belief out to be our work:

NLT: Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”

VOICE: If you want to do God’s work, then believe in the One He sent.

NET: Jesus replied, “This is the deed God requires—to believe in the one whom he sent.”

CEB: Jesus replied, “This is what God requires, that you believe in him whom God sent.”

AMP: Jesus replied, This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger].

and the worst offender of them all; The Message:
Jesus said, “Throw your lot in with the One that God has sent. That kind of a commitment gets you in on God’s works.”

See the difference? This is just one verse from one chapter from one book from the entire Bible. Avoid these works based man centered translations. They are NOT the Word of God.

The Shallow Stream of Southern Baptist Semi-Pelagianism

Polemics Report

Tim Guthrie is a Connect 316 board member and is the pastor of Arlington Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tim Guthrie is also on the nominating committee for the Southern Baptist Convention. As I challenge his recent post on Calvinism below, please be aware that Guthrie has a role in nominating Southern Baptists to posts of leadership.

On his blog on Tuesday, Guthrie posted an article entitled “Why I Reject Today’s Calvinism – Simplified.” As I plan to discuss on Monday’s Daily #DOWNGRADE Segment on the program, Guthrie’s article is an example of the theological schizophrenia pervasive in certain corners of the Southern Baptist Convention. If there truly are “two streams” that flow into Southern Baptist identity and Guthrie claims the Sandy Creek tradition, his post gives evidence that the stream has become a dry bed of logical fallacies, historical inconsistencies, leaping generalities and argumentative absurdities. What I hope to…

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