Book Alert

HT: Scripture Searcher

I am pleased to announce the opportunity to offer books from Mercer University Press here at Backus Books. The first of these titles is Anthony Chute’s A Piety Above the Common Standard: Jesse Mercer and Evangelistic Calvinism.

Jesse Mercer (1769–1841) was a Baptist pastor, editor, and denominational statesman who figured prominently in the debates over Calvinism among Southern clergymen. Most studies of Calvinism in America have focused on Jonathan Edwards, the New Divinity Movement, and the Princeton theologians. Calvinism, however, played a key role in shaping the religious mind of the South, particularly among Baptists who debated the relationship between divine sovereignty and human responsibility as it related to missions, education, and social reform. These debates led to the formation of two Baptist groups, Primitive and Missionary, the latter of which ultimately became Southern Baptists.

This book explores the role of Jesse Mercer within these debates as he promoted the first form of the Georgia Baptist Convention. His Calvinistic theology governed his actions and life. He emphasized missions, theological training for pastors, and cooperation between churches in fulfilling the Great Commission.

Calvinism is as important a topic today in the study of religion as it ever has been. This book gives perspective and history to current trends and understandings.

Anthony L. Chute received his Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is assistant professor of church history at California Baptist University, Riverside, California.

This book lists for $25 and I am offering it as a featured book for $18 plus postage. This is a $2 savings over the regular inventory price of $20. As always, you may order online ( through PayPal, by US Mail to Backus Books, Box 17274, Rochester, NY 14617. Or, you may order by phone at 585-785-7341. This is an excellent book introducing you to the theology and ministry of an early American Baptist.

Don Moffitt

Backus Books

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2 Comments on “Book Alert”

  1. Timmy Says:

    Gene and “Scripture Searcher”:

    Kudos for putting this information out.

    I just might buy an extra copy and send it to the Executive Committee who is doing a study on the popularity of Calvinism today. Methinks it could surprise them to see that Calvinism and the doctrines of grace were so popular that in 1905 F.H. Kerfoot confessed, “Nearly all Baptists believe what are usually termed the ‘doctrines of grace’.” The “Neo-Calvinism” (as labeled by Timothy George) is nothing new at all.

    F.H. Kerfoot, “What We Believe According to the Scriptures” in The New Convention Normal Manual for Sunday School Workers (Nashville: The Sunday School Convention Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, 1913), 306-308.

  2. Though I am now living and pastoring in Florida, I served a SBC church in Woodville, GA. My church was 2 miles from the original location of Mercer University in Pennfield, GA. The church that I pastored also was a mission church located about 3 miles from Bairds Baptist Church where P.H. Mell served as pastor while he taught school at both Mercer and the University of Georgia.

    It was really incredible to be around so much history in that small rural community. Thanks for making this book and those like it available.


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