Baptist History NotesBAPTIST ORIGINS:HISTORIOGRAPHY (lecture 2)
Preliminary Observation: the 19thFor the most part Baptist historians were (until century) preachers, pastors, theologians—not trained historians, although there were some good historians among them, e.g. Thomas Crosby, Morgan Edwards, and Isaac Backus. As a consequence some writers of Baptist history have not carefully handled the sources of history as historians, but have attempted to prove a theological, or “spiritual” point of view.Four Basic Views: 1) Successionism (always been Baptists) 2) Continuation of biblical teaching through all ages (regardless of name) 3) Spiritual Kinship with biblical Anabaptists 4) English Separatism
SUCCESSIONISMThis view holds that there have been Baptist churches throughout the ages from the first century to the present, although some of them may not have borne the name “Baptist.” CONTINUATION OF BIBLICAL TEACHINGThis view goes back into ancient church history (beyond the Reformation) to trace the “continuity of Baptist forms of faith through the centuries.” This view does not claim an unbroken chain of baptistic beliefs back to the apostles. SPIRITUAL KINSHIP w/ ANABAPTISTSThis view holds that biblical Anabaptists of the 16th century had an unavoidable impact on the early separatist English Baptists (e.g. John Smyth, Thomas Helwys) that led forward to the modern Baptist movement. ENGLISH SEPARATISMThis view holds that the first appearance of the name “Baptist,” both the name and the doctrinal truths that Baptists hold, came from the struggles within the Puritan/Separatist movement in 17th century England. They “popped out of the ground.”
Mr. Hogan’s View Your professor takes a moderating position between 3 & 4. There are few (if any) historically verifiable links between contemporary Baptists and the several ancient churches known to have been “free church,” dissenting, or in some ways similar to Baptists. But it is also clear that, especially with the Swiss Brethren and biblical Anabaptists of the Reformation era, there is a distinct , and even historically, apparent connection and kinship with the English Baptists - from which sprang all other Baptist groups. This connection is particularly clear regarding John Smyth and Thomas Helwys (the first General Baptist and the planter of the first Baptist church on English soil).
Baptist History NotesCHURCH HISTORY OVERVIEW (lecture 3)
7 Eras of Church history The Paternal Church (AD 30-325) Apostle’s Church Age of Church Fathers The Protected Church (AD 325-600) Constantine Church Creeds Augustine The Roman Church (AD 600-1300)
Six Waves of Reform (AD 1517 – 1648) German Reformation (Luther) German-Swiss Reformation (Zwingli) The Swiss Brethren (Balthasar Hubmaier) French-Swiss Reformation (Calvin) The English Reformation (Henry VIII) Catholic Counter-Reformation (Council of Trent)
7 Eras of Church History (continued) Age of Rationalism (AD 1648-1789) Age of Modernity (AD 1789-1989) Age of Post-Modernity (AD 1989 to present)