“The Church of Christ, who upon Confession of Faith have bin Baptised”: Hercules Collins and Baptist Ecclesiology

This afternoon (November 19th) at 4:30 PM, I will present a paper titled: “The Church of Christ, who upon Confession of Faith have bin Baptised”: Hercules Collins and Baptist Ecclesiology (PDF) at the 66th annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) in San Diego, California. The paper is part of the Puritan Study Group which has an annual slot at ETS featuring paper on, you guessed it, Puritans and Puritanism. The theme of the annual meeting this year is Ecclesiology and the Puritan Study Group chose to focus on the topic: “A House Divided: Competing Views of Puritan Ecclesiology.” Below is the schedule for the session. I’m not sure if they saved the best ecclesiology for last or the worse paper. Either way, my paper wraps up the session beginning at 4:30 PM.

2:00 PM-5:10 PM
A House Divided: Competing
Views of Puritan Ecclesiology
Room: Towne
(Redeemer Seminary)

2:00 PM—2:40 PM
(The Davenant Trust)
What Makes a ‘Puritan’? Hooker,
Ussher, and English Reformed

2:50 PM—3:30 PM
(University of the Free State)
“The (True?) Gospel Coalition”:
English Presbyterianism in Puritan

3:40 PM—4:20 PM
(Redeemer Seminary)
The Primitive Institution of Christ’s
Church: Thomas Goodwin and
Congregational Polity

4:30 PM—5:10 PM
(Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies)
“The Church of Christ, who upon
Confession of Faith have bin
Baptised”: Hercules Collins and
Baptist Ecclesiology

You can download a copy of the paper I will present here (PDF) and you can order the audio here.

Practical Lessons from the Reformation (Conference Audio)

Click to enlarge.

This past weekend I was privileged to speak at the 16th Annual Reformation Day Conference at Reformed Bible Church near Rutland, Vermont. It was indeed an honor to preach to this gracious and hospitable congregation. The theme for the conference was “Practical Lessons from the Reformation” and the individual sessions are listed below with links to the MP3 audio for download or online listening.

10/25/12  Session 1: “Reformation and the Word of God” (MP3)

10/26/12  Session 2: “The Word in the Church” (MP3)

10/27/12  Session 3: “The Word in the Home – Marriage” (MP3)

10/27/12  Session 4: “The Word in the Home – Children” (MP3)

10/28/12  Session 5: “By Grace Alone” (MP3)

10/28/12  Session 6: “By Faith Alone” (MP3)

Details on this Year’s J.H. Spencer Historical Society Meeting

J.H. Spencer Historical Society Annual Meeting
November 14, 2011, 10:00 am.
Florence Baptist Church, Room E-141
642 Mt. Zion Rd.
Florence, KY 41042

This year’s speakers include:

  • Jim Duvall, Editor,  Baptist History Homepage – “The Early Baptists of Northern Kentucky
  • Steve Weaver, Pastor, Farmdale Baptist Church –  “Ambrose Dudley (1752-1825): A Forgotten Founder of Kentucky Baptists

* * *  Everyone is invited to attend. * * *

The annual meeting of the J.H. Spencer Historical Society is always held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Kentucky Baptist Convention on the morning before the Pastor’s Conference.  You can join the J.H. Spencer Historical Society for 1 year for $10 or for 2 years at $17. Benefits of membership include the fellowship with others who are interested in Baptist History, periodic updates, a printed journal and other Baptist literature, as well as the advance announcements of future events. Membership in the JHSHS is open to all who are interested in promoting our Kentucky Baptist heritage and preserving our historic distinctives.

Audio of Dr. Haykin’s Lectures at Farmdale Baptist Church

Yesterday at Farmdale Baptist Church, we had the privilege of welcoming Dr. Michael A. G. Haykin. Dr. Haykin serves as professor of Christian history and Biblical spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.  He also serves as the director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies at Southern Seminary (in which I serve as his Research and Administrative Assistant).  Dr. Haykin gave three lectures/messages yesterday and you can access the audio below:

Podcast Interview with Dr. Haykin about “Baptists and the Cross”

I recently had the opportunity to record a series of podcasts with Dr. Michael A. G. Haykin.  The first of these is attached to this post.  It focuses on the Center’s upcoming conference“Baptists and the Cross:  Contemporary and Historical Perspectives”.  Forthcoming podcasts will feature a discussion of Dr. Haykin’s upcoming book The Empire of the Holy Spirit and an interview by Dr. Haykin with Dr. Stephen Wellum about his upcoming presentation at our conference on “Baptism and Crucicentrism”.

Download Podcast

You can subscribe to this podcast in iTunes using this feed.

“Baptists and the Cross” AFCBS Conference

The fourth annual conference of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies is scheduled for August 30-31, 2010.  The theme is:  Baptists and the Cross:  Contemporary and Historical Reflections. The conference will feature speakers such as Danny Akin (president, SEBTS), David Bebbington (professor, University of Stirling), Maurice Dowling (professor, Irish Baptist College), James Fuller (professor, University of Indianapolis), Tom Schreiner (professor, SBTS), Glendon Thompson (president, TBS and pastor of Jarvis Street Baptist Church), and Stephen Wellum (professor, SBTS).  For full bios of the speakers, see here.

Discounted registration rates are now available for the conference and there is a special rate for students.  Students may receive a discounted rate by using the code: “8051974”.  For more information on the conference visit

Reflections on Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism”

Union University has earned a reputation of providing the venue for important conversations in Southern Baptist life.  Previous conferences have focused on important issues of Southern Baptist identity and this year’s conference on Southern Baptist, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism may well prove to be another significant marker in the current developments in the Southern Baptist Convention.

There was a diversity of speakers from a various backgrounds speaking on different topics, but I believe a unified message emerged from this important gathering.  Southern Baptists and Evangelicals share common beliefs and characteristics, but they have a distinct identity.  We must be willing to collaborate with Evangelicals in those areas in which we agree, while maintaining our Baptist distinctives.  The future of the Southern Baptist Convention depends on maintaining a balance between confessional uniformity on one hand, and methodological diversity on the other.  The speakers were not optimistic based on the current state of things, but were hopeful based upon the goodness of God.  The future of the Southern Baptist Convention will be determined by this next generation who must become committed to their local churches and must believe that the Convention is the best means of fulfilling the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ.

If you can’t listen to all of the presentations and if you’re interested in this topic, listen to the following five presentations:  Ed StetzerDanny AkinDavid DockeryNathan Finn, and Albert Mohler.  These lectures provide helpful perspective and suggestions for the current opportunity in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Other excellent presentations were those by Timothy George (on “The Faith, My Faith, and the Church’s Faith”) and Ray Van Neste (on “The Oversight of Souls: Pastoral Ministry in Southern Baptist and Evangelical Life”).  The other lectures were also helpful in their place, but these were the highlights for me personally.

Some of the best application of the themes sounded in this conference were made appropriately on the last day of the conference by Nathan Finn (see my summary of Finn’s presentation here) and Albert Mohler.  They issued independent, but eerily similar calls for the rising generation of Southern Baptists.  Finn argued that Southern Baptists must pass on the faith through catechesis (teaching the doctrines) and through telling the story of our Baptist heroes.  Mohler gave an impassioned plea to the conference attendees, but especially to the young university audience to rise up and take the responsibility for the future of the Southern Baptist Convention.  If Southern Baptists hear and heed these calls the future for the Southern Baptist Convention may be bright indeed.  As David Dockery concluded his presentation, “Let us begin moving from handwringing to hopefulness. Let’s work together to advance the gospel, to trust God to bring forth fruit from our labors resulting in renewal to the churches, enabling new partnerships with networks and structures, creating a faithfulness to our denominations, our denominational heritage, and our denominational entities, all for the good of the churches, the extension of God’s kingdom on earth, and for the eternal glory of our great God.”


Conference Audio

Trevin Wax’s Summaries

Doug Baker of the Oklahoma Baptist Messenger on “Stetzer’s Warrior Children”

Jim Smith of the Florida Baptist Witness on Danny Akin’s Presentation

Tim Ellsworth’s Article on David Dockery’s Address

Jerry Tidwell: Missions and Evangelism – Awakenings and Their Influence on Southern Baptists and Evangelicals

Jerry Tidwell draws on the example of the Dead Sea which receives, but never gives.  The Dead Sea receives the good waters from Mount Hermon through the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River, but stagnates and becomes a place of death.

Myths Surrounding the Great Awakenings

#1.  There is Agreement on the Number and Dates of the Awakenings.

The dates of the first two Awakenings are debated.

#2.  Removing Barriers of Offense to Unbelievers Will Lead to a Larger Church Membership.

#3.  The Awakenings were a Pushback Against Calvinism.

I have to confess that I have made the assumption that because of the number of conversions in the Great Awakening meant that it was a turn away from Calvinism.  This is not true.  The Calvinists were the most effective in resisting the

#4.  Prayer Meetings were the Catalyst for the Awakenings.

The greatest catalyst for the Awakenings was a realization of God’s sovereignty and holiness as opposed to man’s depravity.

Results of the Awakening:

#1.  The Awakenings led to an increased passion for missions and evangelism.

#2.  The Awakenings led Baptists to cooperate with other Evangelicals of the day.

#3.  The Awakening led to a greater recognition of the need of education for ministers.

#4.  The Awakenings led to anti-slavery rules and the preaching of the gospel to the Native Americans.

#5.  The Awakenings waned not because of persecution from secular society, but from the religious establishment of the day.

Whatever else we may say about our desire and need for an Awakening, it seems to be clear that God visited his people in this unusual way as a result of the Isaiah 6 principle.  Isaiah beheld the holiness of God and says not “Woe is them,” but “Woe is me.”   May we again become a body of believers where the life of Christ not only flows to us, but through us.

Michael Lindsay: Denominationalism and the Changing Religious Landscape in North America

Michael Lindsay is speaking on the changing religious landscape of America.  He provides a sociologist’s perspective on the future of denominationalism.

Institutions really matter.  Denominations can become vibrant expressions of Christianity.

Our finest moments as denominations occur in times of crisis.

If we are united together for a common purpose to get things done, we will be better able to adapt to the changing religious landscape.

Institutions supply rules, roles, records, and reward the right things.

Danny Akin: The Future of the Southern Baptist Convention

Southern Baptists are clearly at a crossroads.

These are unprecedented times.

  • At our most recent Convention, by a 95%+ vote, a Great Commission Resurgence Task Force was appointed by President Johnny Hunt.
  • A few months later, Geoff Hammond was forced to resign from the NAMB.
  • Then, Jerry Rankin announced his retirement from the IMB.
  • Morris Chapman announced his retirement from the Executive Committee.

Add to this the decline in baptism and we could become very pessimistic.

I’m not optimistic, but I’m hopeful.  Not because of my confidence in Southern Baptists, but because of my confidence in our God and his purposes.

God has a global purpose to have people from every nation around his throne.  The question is will Southern Baptists be involved in his purpose.

Akin is speaking for the fourth time in five years on the future of the SBC.  He will draw on these previous addresses (especially the Axioms for a Great Commission Resurgence speech), since little has changed.  He will be adding

Eight Observations:

  1. Southern Baptists have an optimistic future, if we return to Jesus as our first love.
  2. Southern Baptists have an optimistic future, if we remain committed to the inspiration and inerrancy of the Word of God.
  3. Southern Baptists have an optimistic future, if we pursue a genuinely Word-based ministry that is biblical in content and has a fire in its delivery.
  4. Southern Baptists have an optimistic future, if we can affirm the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as a healthy and sufficient guide for building a theological consensus for partnership in the gospel, refusing to be sidetracked by theological agendas that distract us from our Lord’s Commission.
  5. Southern Baptists have an optimistic future, if our congregations begin to look as diverse as our communities and of the nations.
  6. Southern Baptists have an optimistic future, if we have the courage to rethink our structure, clarify our mission, and provide a compelling vision for the future.
  7. Southern Baptists have an optimistic future, if we raise up a generation of pastors who seem themselves as leading people to be missionaries regardless of vocation or location.
  8. Southern Baptists have an optimistic future, if we pledge ourselves to a renewed cooperation that is gospel centered and built around a biblical and theological core and not methodological consensus or agreement.

If we unite around the Great Commission our future is bright, but if we do not then we don’t deserve a future.

Article by Jim Smith of the Florida Baptist Witness on Danny Akin’s address.