Baptist Theology

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-06-21
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury T&T Clark

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This book considers the distinctive ideas and expressions of Christian faith to be found in the historic Baptist churches. An outline of the history of the Baptist movement will be offered, from its British beginnings in Amsterdam in 1609, through its varied developments in Britain, Europe and North America, to its worldwide presence and diversity today, and its relationship to many other churches with apparently-similar practices (Pentecostal and 'new' churches, e.g.). Holmes draws the various threads together, noting the real diversities in the history of Baptist theology, but suggesting that in a vision of the present and urgent Lordship of Christ experienced in the local congregation, there is a thread that links most of these distinctives.

Table of Contents

1. Who are the Baptists? Beginnings • The radical reformation: anabaptists and others • The English Puritan and Separatist movements • Amsterdam 1609 • General and Particular Baptists in the C17th • Baptists in the Evangelical Revivals 2. Who are the Baptists today? • The later development of British Baptist life • A brief history of Baptists in America • Oncken and European Baptist life • Baptists in the majority world • Baptists and 'baptistic' churches 3. The Baptist vision of the church • Believers' baptism • The local church at the heart of God's purpose (including anti-missions movements) • Congregational church government • The independence and interdependence of local congregations • The centrality of preaching and the place of the Lord's Supper • Charismatic ecclesiology • Baptist primitivism 4. Christ is Lord, and the believer is free • Thomas Helwys and the plea for religious liberty • The Lordship of Christ as the foundation of religious liberty • Liberty and believers' baptism: a natural match • 'Soul competency': a different vision of liberty • E.Y. Mullens and the origin of the concept • Recent expressions of soul competency • Politics and religious liberty 5. God's desire to save • 'Every Baptist a missionary': Ocken and the wider missionary vision • Mission as a mark of the church • Hypercalvinism and the founding of the Baptist Missionary Society • God's covenant of salvation • Paul Fiddes: the recovery and development of the covenant theme in Baptist theology 6. The high calling of the Christian • 'Congregations of visible saints' • The practice of church discipline • Walking according to Christ's rule: Baptist engagements with Scripture • Christian Ethics in Baptist perspective • Holiness beyond the congregation: the ‘social gospel' and peacemaking. 7. Conclusion: a vision of Baptist theology

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