Are Southern Baptists Cousins to the Anabaptists?

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Ed Vasicek's picture

True, Southern Baptists descended from the Particular Baptists, but the particular Baptist descended from a hybrid of Calvinism and Anabaptist Influence.

The Baptists arrived at believer's baptism and separation of church and state from the Anabaptists.

Don't know why the author does not go back far enough!

 

 

"The Midrash Detective"

TylerR's picture

Editor

To some extent, I don't think it really matters what the SBC used to be, because it clearly is not now what it used to be. The SBC is clearly a very loose confessional denomination which has all kinds of bizarre characters running around within it. They are clearly not confessional in any real sense, despite what the BFM 2000 might read.

You see the same thing in the GARBC, for example. That organization's statement of faith is clearly derived from the 1833 NHCF, which has its roots in a Reformed understanding of Scripture. Yet, you see a whole range of actual beliefs on a whole host of issues, depending on what particular church you go to. I say this as a member of a Regular Baptist church.

It is clear that a great deal of conservative evangelicalism is not really "confessional" in the true sense of the term. The natural result is very loose unity on theological matters. This is why the so-called "traditionalists" and the more Reformed guys write blog posts arguing about who has the most legitimate claim to the SBC. It is also why some fundamentalists do the same thing. Meh.

I am seeing more and more value in real confessionalism, particularly because when push comes to shove, your statement of faith (or "confession") is what you have to fall back on. It is what you are agreeing to when you enter into covenant with the other believers in a local church body. It is, more or less, the brief systematic theology which governs what your local church believes. It is the document your church holds forth as an accurate summary of what the Bible teaches. It is your friend. We should probably treat it like one.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

David R. Brumbelow's picture

“At the time of the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention, many aspects of high Calvinism were in dispute among Baptists, especially the doctrine of limited atonement.  Though some of the original leaders of the early SBC were high Calvinists, they were by no means all high Calvinists, and the majority of the people who composed the early SBC were not high Calvinists or even moderate Calvinists in the sense that they affirmed the other four points of the TULIP.”

“The historical situation [of the SBC] was such that Baptists were more Calvinistic than some non-Calvinist writers have been willing to admit, and they were less Calvinistic than some Calvinist writers have been willing to admit.” 

.”  -David L. Allen, The Extent of the Atonement, B&H; 2016.  Dr. Allen is professor at SWBTS. 

Also, no SBC seminary has ever affirmed a confessional statement that includes limited atonement.  Nor has the SBC affirmed such in its history since 1845. 

David R. Brumbelow 

David R. Brumbelow's picture

“English Baptists came into existence in the early seventeenth century, birthed out of the English Puritan-Separatist movement.  The earliest group, General Baptists, were more Arminian in theology and acquired this designation because they held to unlimited (general) atonement.  Yet even Particular Baptists were not in lock-step on the issue of the extent of the atonement.”  -David L. Allen, The Extent of the Atonement, B&H; 2016.  

David R. Brumbelow

TylerR's picture

Editor

I don't particularly care what the SBC has historically been. But, if what David wrote above is true ("no SBC seminary has ever affirmed a confessional statement that includes limited atonement.  Nor has the SBC affirmed such in its history since 1845"), then this is further evidence that the SBC is not really a confessional denomination. I don't say this with a sneer - I simply state it as a matter of fact.

The atonement is a pretty serious matter. The only reason to not take a denominational stand on this matter is for fear of alienating people. The result will be a kaleidoscope of competing views on different areas of theology.  

To wrench this back on topic - the reason I find all this argument over labels meaningless is because the SBC is not a real confessional denomination anyway, so why is anybody surprised when people within it cannot agree on theology?

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

David R. Brumbelow's picture

The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 is the doctrinal statement of the Southern Baptist Convention. 

http://www.sbc.net/bfm2000/bfm2000.asp

It is the doctrinal statement for the SBC seminaries, mission boards, agencies. 

I invite anyone to check it out.  It affirms the fundamental doctrines of the Christian Faith. 

Note:  I did not say the SBC or SBC seminaries had never officially affirmed the atonement (of course they have); but they have never officially affirmed the view of “limited atonement.”  I don’t see much that is controversial about that.  

David R. Brumbelow

TylerR's picture

Editor

My apologies. I should have written, "The only reason to not take a denominational stand on limited or unlimited atonement is for fear of alienating people." That is what I meant.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

David R. Brumbelow's picture

No problem.  I just did not understand.  

Taking a stand on some issues like limited or unlimited atonement, could sure liven up some otherwise boring meetings.  

David R. Brumbelow

Ed Vasicek's picture

David wrote:

My apologies. I should have written, "The only reason to not take a denominational stand on limited or unlimited atonement is for fear of alienating people." That is what I meant.

Another reason is that a group may not find it is crucial.  To take a stand on the substitutionary and penal nature of hte atonement is crucial, IMO.  As far as limited or unlimited atonement goes, if you hold to unconditional election, it doesn''t matter who God supposedly had in mind.

Not taking a stand on this issue is saying it is relatively minor, which I personally believe it is.

 

 

"The Midrash Detective"

Bert Perry's picture

While I'm becoming stronger on issues of divine sovereignty over time, I'm not ready yet to split over the bulb & bloom.  Other things that the Arminian-tending do?  Absolutely.  Just not the bulb and bloom itself.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.