Baptist Theology: A Four Century Study

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James Leo Garrett. Baptist Theology: A Four-Century Study (Mercer, 2009). $50.57

Baptists find their beginnings in the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is, the Baptist people are properly people who have believed in Jesus as the Savior and Satisfier of their souls, professing that faith publicly through believers baptism. Yet, the appearance of what we know of as modern-day Baptists find their origins in and around 1609, thus making 2009 four hundred years of Baptist history.

In recognition of the 400-year anniversary of the modern Baptist movement, James Leo Garrett wrote a fantastic introduction to Baptist history and theology in 2009. For those interested in historical theology, and particularly interested in the history of Baptists and their theological developments, Garrett’s work is a treasure.

Here is an outline of the book.

Chapter 1: The Roots of Baptist Belief


  • The Councils, the Creeds, and the Fathers
  • Pre-Formation Sectarian and Reforming Movements
  • The Magisterial Protestant Reformation
  • Continental Anabaptism
  • English Separatist Puritans and Independents

Chapter 2: English General Baptists


  • John Smyth
  • Thomas Helwys
  • Other Confessions
  • Thomas Grantham
  • Matthew Caffyn, Celestial Flesh, and Socinianism
  • Dan Tayler and the New Connection

Chapter 3: English Particular Baptists


  • First London Confession (1644, 46)
  • Midland and Somerset Confessions
  • Hanserd Knollys
  • William Kiffin
  • John Bunyan
  • Second London or Assembly Confession
  • Thomas Collier and Arminianized Western Particular Baptists
  • Benjamin Keach
  • Baptist Hyper-Calvinism: Skeep, Brine, and Gill

Chapter 4: Early American Baptists


  • Roger Williams
  • Confessions of Faith and Church Disciplines
  • Six-Principle, Free Will, and General Baptists
  • Elhanan Winchester and Universalism
  • Kehukee and New Hampshire Confessions of Faith
  • Francis Wayland
  • Sothern Calvinists Theologians P. H. Mell and J. L. Dagg
  • Southern Calvinist Theology: The Abstract of Principles of the SBTS and J. P. Boyce

Chapter 5: Awakening and Missionary Baptists


  • Isaac Backus and John Leland
  • The Separate Baptists
  • English Particular Baptists from Revival to Missions: Robert Hall Sr., John Collet Ryland, John Ryland, and John Sutcliff
  • English Particular Baptists from Revival to Missions: William Carey, Andrew Fuller, Abraham Booth, Robert Hall Jr., Joseph Kinghorn, Joseph Ivimey, and John Rippon
  • Strict and Particular Baptists
  • Alexander Carson
  • Antimissionary Controversy; Primitive Baptists; Daniel Parker

Chapter 6: Baptist Landmarkism


  • Early Landmark History
  • The Landmark (Triumvirate): J. R. Graves, J. M. Pendleton, and A. C. Dayton
  • Landmark Controversies
  • Non-Landmark Ecclesiology
  • Landmark Effects on the 20th Century SBC

Chapter 7: Baptists in Controversy


  • The Campbells and the Baptists
  • Controversies over the Bible: Bible Translation: C. H. Toy and Basil Manly Jr.
  • Down Grade Controversy: C. H. Spurgeon and John. Clifford
  • The Changing Theological Scene
  • Northern and Candanian Baptist Conservative Theologians: Hovey, George Danna Boardman Pepper, Clavin Godspeed, and Adoniram Judson Gordon
  • Northern Baptist Mediating Theologians: Ezekiel G. Robinson, George Washington Northrup, Elias Henry Johnson, Nathan Eusebius Wood, A. H. Strong, Ebenezer Dodge
  • Northern Baptist Liberal Theologians: William Newton Clarke, Harry Emerson Fosdick, George Cross, and Henry C. Vedder
  • Social Gospel: Walter Rauschenbusch
  • Northern and Canadian Baptist Fundamentalist Theologians: W. B. Riley, J. R. Straton, T. T. Shields, and Jasper Massee
  • Baptist Congress
  • Northern Baptist Convention Controversy

Chapter 8: Biblical Theologians


  • Ezra Palmer Gould
  • T. Robertson
  • Henry Wheeler Robinson
  • Harold H. Rowley
  • Eric C. Rust
  • Ralph Edward Knudson
  • Ray Summers and Edward McDowell
  • Frank Stagg
  • E. Ladd
  • Dale Moody and Wayne Eugene Ward
  • George R. Beasley-Murray
  • Donald Guthrie
  • Ralph Lee Smith
  • Ralph Phillip Martin
  • Edward E. Ellis
  • Ronald E. Clements
  • Richard Longnecker

Chapter 9: 20th Century Southern Baptists


  • Y. Mullins
  • Doctrinal Statements prior to 1925
  • The 1925 BF&M
  • Walter Thomas Conner
  • Doctrinal Summaries for the Laity and the Convention
  • The Elliot Controversy
  • The 1963 BF&M
  • Herschel Hobbs
  • Baptist Ideals
  • Doctrinal Texts for Students and Dismissals of Professors
  • A. Criswell
  • The Broadman Bible Commentary Controversy
  • Charismaticism
  • The Inerrancy Controversy
  • The 2000 BF&M

Chapter 10: Recovering Evangelicalism and Reassessing the Baptist Heritage


  • Carl F. H. Henry
  • Bernard L. Ramm
  • Millard Erickson
  • Baptist Distinctives
  • Baptists, Free Churches, and Believers’ Churches
  • Southern Baptists and American Evangelicals
  • James William McClendon Jr.
  • British Baptist Sacramentalism

Chapter 11: Incursions into Baptist Theology


  • Modernism
  • Dispensationalism
  • The English Christological Controversy
  • Open Theism

Chapter 12: Missions, Ecumenism, and Globalization


  • Missiology of W. O. Carver
  • European Confessions of Faith
  • Baptists and Ecumenism
  • The Evangelistic Theology of William Franklin Graham
  • Harvey Gallagher Cox: From the Secular City to Openness to Pentecostalism
  • James Deotis Roberts: Afro-American Theology of Liberation/Reconciliation
  • Osadolor Imasogie: Contextualized African Theology
  • South African Theologians and Doctrinal Statements
  • Latin American Confessions and Controversies; Brazil, Mexico, Argentina
  • Latin American Theologians: Orlando Enrique Costas, C. Rene Padilla, and Samuel Escobar
  • Australia
  • Asian Confessions and Monographs: Korea, India, Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore
  • Salvation and the Unevangelized
  • Textbook on Missiology

Chapter 13: New Voices in Baptist Theology


  • John Piper: Edwardsean Theology of Christian Hedonism
  • Thomas Julian Nettles: Repristination of Biblical Inerrancy and Dortian Calvinism
  • Donald Arthur Carson: Exemplar of Intelligent and Polemical Evangelicalism
  • Paul Stuart Fiddes: The Suffering and Trinitarian God and Ecumenical Theology
  • Wayne Grudem: Reformed Theology with Vineyard Refinements
  • Nigel Goring Wright: Reinterpreted Baptist Convictions for Post-Christendom
  • Stanley James Grenz: Reenvisioner of Evangelical Theology for a Postmodern Age
  • Timothy George: Evangelical/Calvinist and Baptist Historical Theologian
  • Roger Eugene Olson: Evangelical Arminianism and the History of Christian Doctrine
  • David Dockery: Evangelical-Calminian Baptist and the Doctrine of the Bible

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