Recycling the Past or Researching History? brings together an international group of Baptist scholars who explore various issues in Baptist historiography and myths. Contributors examine and re-examine areas of Baptist life and thought about which either little is known or the received wisdom is in need of revision. Historiographical studies include the date Oxford Baptists joined the Abingdon Association, the death of the Fifth Monarchist John Pendarves, eighteenth-century Calvinistic Baptists and the political realm, confessional identity and denominational institutions, Baptist community, ecclesiology, the priesthood of all believers, soteriology, Baptist spirituality, Strict and Reformed Baptists, the role of women among British Baptists, while various "myths" challenged include the nature of high-Calvinism in eighteenth-century England, baptismal anti-sacramentalism, episcopacy, and Baptists and change. The common theme tying these studies together is that research into Baptist history should deal with the primary sources and not, as has too often been the case, rely uncritically on the scholarship of previous generations.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"This timely and innovative book provides Baptists with a valuable introduction into the difficult task of researching their history instead of recycling their past. The effort to challenge some myths of Baptist self-understanding is rooted in careful work on sources from particular places and times in Europe and North America. This approach will be even more revealing if applied to Baptist history at a global scale." --J. Samuel Escobar, Palmer Theological Seminary, Wynnewood, PA, and Baptist Seminary, Madrid
"This stimulating collection of essays by a group of distinguished Baptist historians will compel Baptists to think again about a range of beliefs sometimes called 'distinctives.' Careful historical research examines notions--or "myths"--such as congregational autonomy, an obsession with individualism, the continuing relevance of denominationalism, the priesthood of all believers and even episcopacy. Linked with this are other papers opening up critical issues to fresh analysis. No Baptist leader or scholar should miss this relevant, timely, and positive book." --Ken R. Manley, Whitley College, University of Melbourne
"For too long people have taken Baptists for granted, and their generalizations about us abound with errors and half-truths. The authors explode many popular but incorrect assumptions and demonstrate what a diverse group of believers in Christ we Baptists really are." --Richard V. Pierard, Gordon College
Philip E. Thompson Anthony R. Cross Stephen Brachlow
Philip E. Thompson is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Heritage, North American Baptist Seminary.
Anthony R. Cross is a Fellow of the Centre for Baptist History and Heritage, Regent's Park College, Oxford.