Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why it makes sense for Baptists to be Calvinists

Okay, I know this may ruffle a few feathers. Nevertheless, Michael Haykin has written an excellent atricle on the Baptist/Calvinist connection.
While an answer to the question of where Baptists came from has yet to reach a widespread consensus among Baptist historians, few of them would be prepared to deny that the immediate origins of the three earliest groups of Baptists—the General Baptist, the Particular Baptists, and the Seventh-day Baptists—lie outside of the matrix of Puritanism. All three of these Baptist groups emerged from the late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Puritans, a body of men and women who are remembered, among other things, for their passionate commitment to the doctrinal position known as Calvinism. And of these three groups, it was the Particular Baptists—so denominated because they upheld the Calvinistic assertion that Christ‘s death was solely for the elect—who turned out to be the most significant in passing on Baptist convictions. The General Baptists, who were the first Baptist group to emerge in 1609, mostly wandered off into the wasteland of Unitarianism in the eighteenth century, while the Seventh-Day Baptists, who appeared in the 1650s and who worshipped on Saturday, were never that large a community. The future of the Baptist cause lay with the Particular Baptists.

The first Particular Baptist congregation was established in 1638. By 1644 there were seven such congregations, all of them located in the metropolis of London, and, after fifteen years of aggressive evangelism on the basis of the First London Confession of Faith, a robust statement of confessional Calvinism, there were roughly 130 Particular Baptist churches throughout the British Isles. From such beginnings and over the next two hundred years, Calvinistic Baptist churches were planted in other Anglophone cultures around the world, becoming particularly strong in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the United States, and Atlantic Canada.
Read the entire article HERE.

2 comments:

Mainline Mom said...

Interesting. I still am trying to pin down the senior pastor of the church I've been attending to get his take on Calvinism. It's a non-denominational church in name only, it's really Baptist...and I'm really Presbyterian. Hence, not a member yet. Very conflicted.

Jerry F said...

I mentioned this struggle to you before Todd. I am attending a SOuthern Baptist Church. I apprecaite this article-thanks!

Many Southern Baptist churches choose to only have Deacons, a congregational form of church government. I can't support that Biblically. They try. Do you ahve any thoughts on that subject?