The Sandy Creek Tradition in Baptist History
The latest edition of the Founders Journal is hot off the presses. In order to obtain a copy head to Founders.org to the subscriptions page.
In this issue Dr. Tom Nettles reproduces his excellent article on Shubal Stearns from Volume 2 of his new series on Baptist history, The Baptists. I would highly recommend that you get this series if you do not already own it.
In the second article, I have written an article on the Sandy Creek tradition in its sociological context. As a Calvinist, I have a doctrine of common grace as well as sovereign placement in history, and I think that, rather than perpetually rehashing confessions and written theologies, at times we might do better to place those individuals and groups/traditions at issue in their proper context in their time and place. God also uses these factors to shape these traditions, and we would never seek to interpret Scripture without some basic understanding of those same factors. This is why I am thankful to men like Richard A. Muller, who have not been afraid to challenge some prevailing theories of the past 150 odd years about the era of Protestant Orthodoxy, for he and his peers have done an excellent job in re-examining that period in not only the theological writing, but also the sociological and polemical context of that period. The result has been an overturning of the prevailing historical theses of the past – studies Dr. Vines, Dr. Caner, Dr. Patterson, and others would do well to carefully consider in trying to differentiate early Calvinist thinking from allegedly “Bezian” Calvinism or “Dortian” Calvinism. If they wish to dispute Dr. Muller and Dr. R. Scott Clark, for example, they should produce material that analysizes their work and rebuts it. I would highly recommend folks here obtain a copy of Protestant Scholasticism: Essays in Reassessment (which, I believe, is available @ Christianbook.com).
Here is the introduction to my article; my desire is not so much to commit to a particular, unrevisable thesis; rather my goal in this article is to encourage students and teachers/professors of Baptist history to widen the scope of their considerations of the Separate Baptist tradition in some as yet uncharted directions. Hopefully, somebody will “run with it.” Because, for whatever reason I can’t get footnotes to work properly here, I’m linking to Triablogue, my “home” blog.