Baptist approaches to spirituality: Baptists have approached spirituality much as they have approached virtually every other concept or practice-with a great deal of diversity.This is not to say that there is no Baptist tradition in spirituality, tradition meaning the essence. The Baptist spiritual tradition has its roots in Puritanism--Baptists being one of the many religious movements the Puritans birthed in England and the American colonies during the seventeenth century--but it diverges from the Puritan mainstream in its radical concern for the voluntary principle in religion. "To be authentic and responsible," Baptists have said over and over, "faith must be flee. True obedience must be voluntary or it is not obedience at all." (1) In this central principle we can see the source of Baptist pride in idiosyncrasy idiosyncrasy /id·io·syn·cra·sy/ (-sing´krah-se)
1. a habit peculiar to an individual.
2. an abnormal susceptibility to an agent (e.g., a drug) peculiar to an individual. from the beginning, and we may find it shocking that some Baptists would adopt highly regimented approaches that their forbears would have rejected out of hand.
Scanning the landscape from the seventeenth century to the present, I would envision at least four approaches to Baptist spirituality shaped by experience in history. The first, exemplified especially by John Bunyan, is the contemplative approach of the Puritan phase which was itself self-consciously shaped by borrowing from the medieval contemplative tradition. The second, manifest in transition in diverse figures such as hyper-Calvinist theologian John Gill John Gill may refer to:
Fuller was a zealous controversialist in defence of the gospel against hyper-Calvinism on the one hand and Socinianism and Sandemanianism on the other, but he is or William Carey This article is about the Protestant missionary. For the courtier to King Henry VIII of England, see Sir William Carey.
William Carey (August 17, 1761 – June 9, 1834) was an English Protestant missionary and Baptist minister, known as the " , is the conversionist approach of the so-called Great Awakening Great Awakening, series of religious revivals that swept over the American colonies about the middle of the 18th cent. It resulted in doctrinal changes and influenced social and political thought. and the American frontier. The third, amply attested among Southern Baptists, is the pragmatist approach fashioned in the workshop of American corporate life. The fourth, widely witnessed among "Baby Boomers See generation X. " and "GenXers" in the past several decades, is the seeker approach which is peering into many corners hoping to turn up some trace of the Transcendent.
Some readers may think it a bit strange that I would identify Baptist spirituality as contemplative, for that term has usually designated the monastic life. My interpretation is based on Baptists' origins out of English Puritanism. (2) Seeking to recover some of the spiritual vitality of an earlier day, the Puritans deliberately returned to writings of medieval contemplatives for guidance in shaping saints. They differed from medieval monks in that where monks sought to make saints of those who entered monasteries, the Puritans envisioned the transformation of society by way of heart religion manifested in transformation of life and manners. Lewis Bayly Lewis Bayly (born perhaps at Carmarthen, Wales, perhaps near Biggar, Scotland, year unknown; died at Bangor, Wales, October 26, 1631) was an Anglican bishop. He was educated at Oxford, became vicar of Evesham, Worcestershire, and probably in 1604 became rector of St. , Bishop of Bangor The Bishop of Bangor is the Ordinary of the Church in Wales Diocese of Bangor.
The diocese covers the counties of Anglesey, most of Caernarfonshire and Merionethshire and a small part of Montgomeryshire. , summed up The Practise of Pietie as
to joyne together, in watching, fasting, praying, reading the Scriptures, keeping his Sabboths, hearing Sermons, receiving the holy Communion, relieving the Poore, exercising in all humilitie the workes of Pietie to God, and walking conscionably in the duties of our calling towards men. (3)
Lest you think I am introducing something arcane or sinister here, I would point out that contemplation has to do with prayer. A contemplative life is a life informed by attentiveness to God. Another offspring of Puritanism, the Quakers, preserved more directly than Baptists did the medieval Benedictines' practice of silence, but Baptist Puritans shared the most essential features of the contemplative tradition.
As John Bunyan set forth in The Pilgrim's Progress Pilgrim’s Progress
Bunyan’s allegory of life. [Br. Lit.: Eagle, 458]
See : Journey , which early generations of Baptists clung to as their guide, Puritans played out their own version of the monastic contemptus mundi. Avid students of the Book of Hebrews, they "looked forward to the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (Heb. 11:10). Pilgrims on the way to "Mount Zion Mount Zion
celestial city. [Br. Lit.: Pilgrim’s Progress]
See : Heaven , the heavenly Jerusalem" (Heb. 12:22), as in Revelation, they dreamed of a city whose inhabitants
The game is based loosely on the concepts from SameGame. continually praised God. (4)
Medieval contemplatives kept their eyes on heaven, too, denying that this world is their real home and resting place. Bernard of Clairvaux Ber·nard of Clair·vaux , Saint 1090-1153.
French monastic reformer and political figure. Widely known for his piety and mysticism, he was instrumental in the condemnation of Peter Abelard and in rallying support for the Second Crusade. (1090-1153), one of the most influential persons in his age, reserved the fourth degree of love--"love of self for God's sake"--to the bliss of heaven, where one rests "in the immortal body, the body perfected, at peace and unified." (5) Martyrs may reach this level fleetingly, yet not unhinderedly. "But souls loosed from their bodies, we believe, will be immersed completely in that sea of endless light and bright eternity." So, too, the popular fourteenth-century spiritual guide John of Ruysbroeck The Blessed John of Ruysbroeck (Dutch: Jan van Ruusbroec) (1293 or 1294, Ruisbroek – December 2, 1381, Groenendaal) was one of the Flemish mystics. : "If we will go with God upon the highway of love, We shall rest with [God] eternally and without end: and thus we shall eternally go forth towards God and enter into [God] and rest in [God]." (6)
Perusal of a Baptist hymnal will show the carryover of Puritan longing for eternal bliss; "a home far away"; "the golden strand, just beyond the river"; "worlds unknown"; "mansions in the sky"; "scenes of glory"; "beautiful life that has no end"; "a home prepared" where one "shall dwell eternally"; "celestial land, where joys immortal flow"; "rest, eternal, sacred, sure"; "ransomed in glory"; "my Father's house above"; "eternal home"; "heaven so bright"; "fairer worlds on high"; "the haven of rest"; "the eternal rest Noun 1. eternal rest - euphemisms for death (based on an analogy between lying in a bed and in a tomb); "she was laid to rest beside her husband"; "they had to put their family pet to sleep"
eternal sleep, quietus, sleep, rest "; "life eternal"; "blessed home above"; and "the peaceful shore." (7)
Keen as the Puritan longing for heaven and near obsession with death and dying were, nevertheless, their chief focus of attention was not on the other world but on this one. So long as they lived in the "wilderness" of this world, they would practice "the life of heaven" on earth. Repudiating monasticism monasticism (mənăs`tĭsĭzəm, mō–), form of religious life, usually conducted in a community under a common rule. and "popish pop·ish
Of or relating to the popes or the Roman Catholic Church.
popish·ly adv. religion," while borrowing unabashedly un·a·bashed
1. Not disconcerted or embarrassed; poised.
2. Not concealed or disguised; obvious: unabashed disgust. from the former, they concentrated on another central unit in society, that is, the family. As Christopher Hill Christopher Hill may refer to several different people:
Early Baptist Puritans, as Bunyan's autobiography Grace Abounding evinces, concentrated on the way to the goal. Passing through "this world of sin" on his way to the heavenly Jerusalem, the pilgrim followed a regimen of self-examination and prayer that monks had employed for centuries. Thoroughly Augustinian by way of Calvin and Luther, Bunyan knew grace alone could bring one to repentance for sin and to faith in God and guide one on the way to salvation. The perpetual Puritan prayer would have been like Cotton Mather's, "Lord, help mee now unto the Redeeming of time, and the Spending of as much as I can, of it, in a perpetual Exercise of Grace!" (9)
Calvin's doctrine of election Doctrine of Election, the doctrine that the salvation of a man depends on the election of God for that end, of which there are two chief phases: one is election to be Christ's, or unconditional election or Doctrine of Free Will, and the other that it is election in Christ, or which early Particular Baptists held did pose a grave problem for spirituality. Along with other Puritans, they insisted that all should inquire continually into the security of their "election." The Puritans created a method for determining whether one belonged to the "elect." The devout should memorize Scriptures and have them dart into the mind and heart at random to convince one.
John Bunyan was plunged into manic depression Noun 1. manic depression - a mental disorder characterized by episodes of mania and depression
bipolar disorder, manic depressive illness, manic-depressive psychosis by this method. Sometimes he would hear a word of assurance, but, more often than not, one of judgment, especially from the passage in Hebrews 12 about Esau selling his birthright. His moods went up. They went down. He feared he had committed the unpardonable sin. He reached the point of suicide. Little by little, a word of grace, which a spiritual guide might have spoken to him long before, broke through as he read the preface to Luther's commentary on Galatians and finally the words of 2 Corinthians 12:9, "My grace is sufficient for thee." Still tormented, he prayed that the Esau passage and the sufficiency passage might meet and do battle in his mind at the same time. They did. He depicted this as the battle of Christian with the giant Despair Giant Despair
imprisons Christian and Hopeful in Doubting Castle. [Br. Lit.: Pilgrim’s Progress]
See : Despair at Doubting Castle. Fortunately, grace won!
Early Puritan Baptists relied on some techniques for cultivating the spiritual life very similar to those used by medieval contemplatives. One practice expected of everyone was their version of lectio divina Lectio Divina is Latin for divine reading, spiritual reading, or "holy reading," and represents a method of prayer and scriptural reading intended to promote communion with God and to provide special spiritual insights. . Puritans were "people of the Book." Accordingly, when Christian, in The Pilgrim's Progress, left his "roll" behind inadvertently, he had to return, for it was "the assurance of his life, and acceptance of the desired haven." (10) Bunyan himself, as his moods rocketed up and down, said, "And indeed then I was never out of the Bible, either by reading or meditation, still crying out to God that I might know the truth, and way to heaven and glory." (11) Many Baptists probably followed Lewis Bayly's directive to read a chapter morning, noon, and night so as to read the entire Bible in a year, and then to meditate med·i·tate
v. med·i·tat·ed, med·i·tat·ing, med·i·tates
1. To reflect on; contemplate.
2. To plan in the mind; intend: meditated a visit to her daughter. on its exhortations and counsels. (12)
As these statements indicate, Puritans took a keen interest in spiritual formation through meditation. Richard Baxter's The Saint's Everlasting Rest (1648) was the classic on meditation which had remarkable likeness to Ignatius Loyola's Spiritual Exercises. Like Loyola, Baxter urged the use of imagination to stir the emotions. Fearful of both imagination and emotions, however, he made "consideration," rational control of the whole process, "the great instrument by which this heavenly work is carried on." "Consideration" put reason in control. (13) Guided thus, imagination would arouse love, desire, hope, courage or boldness, and joy.
Prayer stood at the center of Puritan devotion. As Bunyan defined it, prayer is
... a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the holy Spirit, for such things as God hath promised, or, according to the Word, for the good of the Church, with submission, in Faith, to the Will of God. (14)
Most Puritans would have agreed with this definition, but Baptists such as Bunyan would have parted from others in his extreme emphasis on the voluntary nature of prayer. Writing in 1663 during his first imprisonment Imprisonment
See also Isolation.
former federal maximum security penitentiary, near San Francisco; “escapeproof.” [Am. Hist.: Flexner, 218]
German prison ship in World War II. [Br. Hist. for unlicensed preaching, he rejected all set prayers, notably from The Book of Common Prayer but even the Lord's Prayer, as a hindrance to the Spirit. Such prayers, he insisted, are only "lip labour." (15) Prayer is an affair of the heart.
Although Baptists and Quakers stood on the extreme voluntarist end of the spectrum, their spirituality had a strongly corporate character. It would be difficult to overemphasize o·ver·em·pha·size
tr. & intr.v. o·ver·em·pha·sized, o·ver·em·pha·siz·ing, o·ver·em·pha·siz·es
To place too much emphasis on or employ too much emphasis. how important gathering in little "conventicles" or congregations was for them. The Bedford church, of which Bunyan later became pastor, helped him find his way through his two-year bout with depression. He later acknowledged his debt in his depiction of "Interpreter's House" in The Pilgrim's Progress:
Here I have seen things rare and profitable; Things pleasant, dreadful, things to make me stable; In what I have begun to take in hand; Then let me think on them and understand Wherefore they showed me were; and let me be Thankful, O good Interpreter, to thee. (16)
Like other Puritans, Baptists accentuated Sabbath observance. God mandated it as a part of the Covenant. New England New England, name applied to the region comprising six states of the NE United States—Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The region is thought to have been so named by Capt. luminary Cotton Mather This article is about the 17th century Puritan minister. For the rock band, see Cotton Mather (band).
Cotton Mather (February 12, 1663 – February 13, 1728). A.B. 1678 (Harvard College), A.M. said what many Puritan Baptists thought: "The Lord expresses the whole of Religion, under that phrase, keep my Sabbaths." Religion would wither and die without them. (17)
Much as they emphasized cultivation of inner piety, Baptists thought heart religion must manifest itself in transformed lifestyle and social concern. In The Pilgrim's Progress, Bunyan had Faithful inform Talkative as to the way the work of grace in one's life is discovered:
1. By an experimental confession of his faith in Christ.
2. By a life answerable to that confession; to wit, a life of holiness, heart-holiness: family-holiness, (if he hath a family,) and by conversation-holiness in the world; which in the general teacheth him inwardly to abhor his sin, and himself for that in secret; to suppress it in his family, and to promote holiness in the world: not by talk only, as an hypocrite or talkative person may do, but by a practical subjection in faith and love to the power of the word. (18)
Citing James 1:22, 27, Christian observed, "The soul of religion is the practical part...." At the day of judgment one will not be asked, "Did you believe?" but "Were you doers, or talkers only?" (19)
Much of the contemplative continued in conversionist spirituality, but the "Great Awakening" of the eighteenth century and the "Second Great Awakening The Second Great Awakening (1800–1830s) was the second great religious revival in United States history and consisted of renewed personal salvation experienced in revival meetings. " of the early nineteenth century effected some significant changes in the spirituality of many Baptists. Some of the shift was healthy. Experience of "conversion" by vast numbers raised serious questions about Calvin's doctrine of "election" which attributed to an "eternal decree" that some would be "saved" but others would be "damned." The evidence seemed to say that all had a chance, and this pumped new energy into their spiritual search.
The central conundrum which stirred the waters of the Awakening was whether "religious affections," that is, experiences, could be trusted, especially because they sometimes took bizarre forms such as swooning swoon
intr.v. swooned, swoon·ing, swoons
1. To faint.
2. To be overwhelmed by ecstatic joy.
1. A fainting spell; syncope. See Synonyms at blackout.
2. , speaking in tongues, and barking up trees. Many disputed the "excesses." Jonathan Edwards, pastor of the Congregational Church in Northampton, Massachusetts Northampton is a city in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 28,978 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Hampshire County. History , where the Awakening reached its peak about 1740-42, (20) stepped up to defend them, though with some caution. In A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections, he underlined that authentic religious experience originates with God. To him, this meant that there may be false or misleading signs of religious affections, that is, those signs which lack "true grace." He listed a dozen which he thought gave neither positive nor negative evidence and therefore should be discounted and a dozen more by which to distinguish true from false affections. Judging by the amount of space he allotted al·lot
tr.v. al·lot·ted, al·lot·ting, al·lots
1. To parcel out; distribute or apportion: allotting land to homesteaders; allot blame.
2. the latter, two held a preeminent place in his mind. Truly "gracious affections," he said, "arise from those influences and operations on the heart which are spiritual, supernatural and divine," (21) and they "have their exercise and fruit in Christian practice." (22) Ultimately, he concluded in agreement with John Bunyan: practice of piety matters most. "False discoveries and affections," he concluded, "don't go deep enough, to reach and govern the springs of [human] actions and practice." (23) True ones do precisely that.
Debate over the legitimacy of experiential aspects of the Awakening sundered religious bodies. Even Jonathan Edwards's carefully reasoned case for "religious affections" failed to prevent the rending rend
v. rent or rend·ed, rend·ing, rends
1. To tear or split apart or into pieces violently. See Synonyms at tear1.
2. of Congregationalists, Presbyterians, and Baptists. The strictest Calvinists among Baptists, called "Regular," refused to make room for experiential spirituality. Those who looked to British Calvinist John Gill for guidance held fast to the earlier Puritan model with little wavering. Gill himself, however, represented a transitional figure who respected Edwards's views.
In a recent study of Gill's spirituality, Gregory A. Wills contended that Gill, like earlier Puritans, considered heart religion "the essence of Christianity." (24) He countered the moralism mor·al·ism
1. A conventional moral maxim or attitude.
2. The act or practice of moralizing.
3. Often undue concern for morality. and rationalism of his day by insisting on "the fire that burned in love to Christ." (25) Like medieval contemplatives, he sustained his contention in a series of sermons on the Song of Songs which he published in 1728. He conceived Christian spirituality as "a love song between Christ and those he redeemed." (26) He placed the ravishing rav·ish·ing
Extremely attractive; entrancing.
ravish·ing·ly adv. love of God and the beauty of Christ at the center of his spirituality. The chief goal of spirituality is love to Christ and delight in his beauty. The way to the goal is through daffy communion with Christ. That communion leads to worship. To attain the goal of loving God requires knowledge, and, not surprisingly to those who know Gill, knowledge doctrine. Doctrine, as he understood it, however, is "spiritual and experimental knowledge of God ... which leads men [and women] to mind and savour spiritual things." (27) Finally, spirituality needs the institutional church, the locus of divine power, and the church's observances, especially the Lord's Supper.
Although Wills saw a striking resemblance to Edwards's emphasis on "religious affections" in Gill's spirituality, we must recognize that Gill's Exposition of the Book of Solomon's Song antedated In banking, antedated refers to cheques which have been written by the maker, and dated at some point in the past. In the United States antedated cheques are described in the Uniform Commercial Code's Article 3, Section 113. Edwards's treatise by eighteen years and thus would not have been indebted to it. The fact is, Wills admits, "Gill felt ambivalence toward the universal appeal of the gospel." (28) Preachers should proclaim the doctrines of the gospel, but they should not offer grace or forgiveness. That is the very point which the Awakening put to a severe test.
Jonathan Edwards's influence weighed much more heavily on Andrew Fuller (1754-1815) and, through him, on other Baptists. Although reared in a family of "Dissenters dissenters: see nonconformists. of the Calvinistic persuasion," Fuller did not affiliate with Baptists until April 1770, a month after witnessing the administration of baptism by immersion for the first time. In the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost of a theological controversy which split the Soham church where he was baptized bap·tize
v. bap·tized, bap·tiz·ing, bap·tiz·es
1. To admit into Christianity by means of baptism.
a. To cleanse or purify.
b. To initiate.
3. , he gained the confidence of the congregation and was called as pastor. The controversy revolved in part around the question as to whether the gospel is to be preached to all or only to the "elect," for Robert Hall
who, Fuller recorded, partly by reflection, and partly by reading the writings of Edwards, Bellamy, Brainerd, etc., had begun to doubt the system of false Calvinism to which they had been inclined when they first entered on the ministry, or rather to be decided against it. (29)
Separated from them by sixty or seventy miles, however, Fuller worked out independently the substance of his epochal ep·och·al
1. Of or characteristic of an epoch.
a. Highly significant or important; momentous: epochal decisions made by Roosevelt and Churchill.
b. treatise entitled The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation, published in 1784. Fuller's balancing of divine grace In Christianity, divine grace refers to the sovereign favour of God for humankind — especially in regard to salvation — irrespective of actions ("deeds"), earned worth, or proven goodness.
Grace is enabling power sufficient for progression. and human responsibility signaled a way to remove the burden that lay heavy on the heart of William Carey, namely, whether it was appropriate to use means for conversion of the unconverted. Carey's 1792 Inquiry into the Use of Means for the Conversion of the Heathen gave a resounding re·sound
v. re·sound·ed, re·sound·ing, re·sounds
1. To be filled with sound; reverberate: The schoolyard resounded with the laughter of children.
Conversionist spirituality injected a couple of accents into Baptist spirituality that help one to understand better what has created a mania for missions in much of 'Baptist life but especially among Baptists in the South. One of these is a shift from the goal of Christian life and the way to the goal to an almost exclusive concern for the gateway to the way, that is, conversion. Confirmation of this development is clear in the fact that the invitation has replaced baptism as the dominant sacrament ("means of grace The Means of Grace in Christian theology are those things (the means) through which God gives grace. Just what this grace entails is interpreted in various ways: generally speaking, some see it as God blessing humankind so as to sustain and empower the Christian life; ") in Baptist churches in the South. (30) As in frontier revivals, the object is to get people to respond to the exhortation. Not much attention is given in many churches to the personal account of religious experience; it suffices to come forward and declare oneself Verb 1. declare oneself - ask (someone) to marry you; "he popped the question on Sunday night"; "she proposed marriage to the man she had known for only two months"; "The old bachelor finally declared himself to the young woman"
pop the question, propose, offer . When linked with the assurance "Once saved, always saved," nothing more need be done. Take the bus and leave the driving up to Jesus!
Closely associated with this focus on "conversion," certification of spirituality also underwent a change. Whereas in contemplative spirituality, living what one believed verified authenticity and the truly devout were the exemplars of piety, in conversionist spirituality witness to others became the ultimate test and preachers or missionaries the model Christians. One can see this transition taking place in the biographical memoirs of Baptists already in the period of the Great Awakening (about 1720 to 1760) and frontier revival (about 1790 to 1820).
John Gano's autobiography is a good example. Gano, whose life spanned both "awakenings" (1722-1804), majored on two things-his conversion and his calling to serve as an itinerant preacher or missionary of the Baptist denomination Noun 1. Baptist denomination - group of Baptist congregations
Baptist Church, Baptists - any of various evangelical Protestant churches that believe in the baptism of voluntary believers . The conversion story sounds fairly typical. The son of a devout Presbyterian father and Baptist mother, Gano spoke of "some severe convictions of sins" early in his life. (31) These did not last, however, and he lapsed into "youthful vanity and sin" about which his mother confronted him; and he reformed, but only momentarily. (32)
When Gano was fifteen, the death of his twenty-year-old brother Stephen after a brief illness "greatly engaged my resolution to seek an acquaintance, if possible, with Christ." (33) His resolve lapsed again. Two or three years later, dysentery dysentery (dĭs`əntĕr'ē), inflammation of the intestine characterized by the frequent passage of feces, usually with blood and mucus. claimed the lives of another brother and two sisters, one of whom was also twenty. A prediction that three of his father's children would die at age twenty haunted him thereafter. Nevertheless, for a time, he continued "more vile and vain than ever" whenever he could dispel such gloomy thoughts. (34) At Christmas, just before he reached age nineteen, foregoing an evening of fun with buddies, he went to church and heard a sermon which set him to thinking how improper it was to live in open rebellion "if a day was regarded as the birth of Christ, a holy Savior, through whom alone we could look for salvation...." (35)
Before the year was over, Gano "was brought under serious impressions" in conversation with someone he respected for his faith. He endeavored earnestly to obtain pardon for his sins and "embraced every opportunity in my power, in attending preaching, reading godly god·ly
adj. god·li·er, god·li·est
1. Having great reverence for God; pious.
god books, and praying either mentally or aloud." (36) What he learned was, however, that he needed a change of heart which only God's grace could effect. He remained in a state of grief regarding his alienation of heart for some time until he was overwhelmed by the realization that Christ's life, death, and mediation assured the way of salvation despite his ingratitude Ingratitude
Anastasie and Delphine
ungrateful daughters do not attend father’s funeral. [Fr. Lit.: Père Goriot]
Glencoe, Massacre . Although he wavered for a time still, a sermon on the text, "Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me," gripped him and "opened the way of salvation, the suitableness, fullness, and willingness of God...." (37) He dated his conversion from that experience.
From that point on, Gano hastened to give the validation of his conversion experience in witness. Where earlier Baptist spiritual biographies such as Bunyan's Grace Abounding focused on personal struggle and growth, Gano's biography reported almost exclusively on his effort to evangelize e·van·gel·ize
v. e·van·gel·ized, e·van·gel·iz·ing, e·van·gel·iz·es
1. To preach the gospel to.
2. To convert to Christianity.
To preach the gospel. others. Even before he joined a church, he set about to warn other young people of the wrath of God and to direct them to Christ and "the method of salvation through Him." (38) When it came time to settle on a church home, he sought the counsel of the eminent Presbyterian leader Gilbert Tennent Gilbert Tennent (February 5, 1703, County Armagh, Ireland – July 23, 1764, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States) was a religious leader.
Tennent was an Irish-born American Presbyterian clergyman, son and brother of three other Presbyterian clergymen. (1703-64), the oldest son of William, founder of the "Log College" (Princeton), but he could not find support for infant baptism This article may contain original research or unverified claims.
Please help Wikipedia by adding references. See the for details.
This article has been tagged since March 2007. in Scriptures and decided to join the Baptist church. Isaac Eaton, newly called as pastor of the famous Hopewell Church, instructed him in classics and guided his preparation for ministry. (39)
Where Scriptures had come to the aid of Bunyan in fighting his battle with depression and guiding him toward the heavenly city, they now came to Gano's aid to send him forth to preach. He bought a plantation and started farming. Spending much time in prayer and meditation on Scriptures, the words "Go forth and preach the Gospel" "powerfully impressed my mind." (40) When doubts assailed him, he got many scriptural reinforcements: "It is I, be not afraid--be not faithless, but believing." "Thou shalt shalt
A second person singular present tense of shall. speak to many people." "I will send thee far hence." "Say not I am a child, I will be with thee." "I will be with thy lips." "And thou shalt speak to all, to whom I send thee." "I have made thee this day, a brazen wall and an iron sinew sinew /sin·ew/ (sin´u) a tendon of a muscle.
weeping sinew an encysted ganglion, chiefly on the back of the hand, containing synovial fluid.
n. ." (41) When he continued to resist or ignore the call and go about his farming, texts from the Bible "weighed heavily" on his mind: "Warn the people, or their blood will I require at your hands." "If I do this willingly, I have my reward, but if not a dispensation DISPENSATION. A relaxation of law for the benefit or advantage of an individual. In the United States, no power exists, except in the legislature, to dispense with law, and then it is not so much a dispensation as a change of the law. of the gospel is committed unto me." "Necessity is laid upon me, woe is me Woe Is Me is the twelfth serial in the United States children's television series My Little Pony. Synopsis
The Little Ponies provide shelter to Woebegone, a wandering hobo who brings bad luck and disaster wherever he goes. if I preach not the gospel." (42) Though plagued still by doubts, his pastor, Isaac Eaton, informed the Hopewell Church of Gano's growing sense of calling to preach the gospel. He proceeded then in the next several years to pursue the studies this task required. Illness prevented his capping off his preparation at Princeton College. Doctors and friends advised him instead to relax his studying. So he proceeded to journey southwards to preach at Opekon Creek Church in Virginia. He returned to New Jersey, where he was licensed and ordained or·dain
tr.v. or·dained, or·dain·ing, or·dains
a. To invest with ministerial or priestly authority; confer holy orders on.
b. To authorize as a rabbi.
The remainder of his memoirs recounted Gano's remarkable ministry, which entailed much travel from the beginning. What held his attention in telling the story was the concern at the heart of the Great Awakening and frontier revival, that is, conversions and additions to the church. Regarding his stay at the Jersey Settlement in Yadkin, North Carolina North Carolina, state in the SE United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (E), South Carolina and Georgia (S), Tennessee (W), and Virginia (N). Facts and Figures
Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km). Pop. , for instance, he recorded:
They had finished a meeting-house, and had began a parsonage-house; and they seemed disposed to do anything to render me happy. Their church, which at first consisted of only twenty-six members, were speedily increased; and a hopeful work began. At every church-meeting there was a number who offered themselves. My usual services on Lord's days were preaching three times; and I gave a lecture weekly. The church being too small to accommodate the people who attended, an addition was made to it. The church, at this time, had increased to two hundred in number. (43)
Gano kept his attention largely on military matters in recounting his years as a chaplain to colonial forces during the American Revolution American Revolution, 1775–83, struggle by which the Thirteen Colonies on the Atlantic seaboard of North America won independence from Great Britain and became the United States. It is also called the American War of Independence. (1776-83) except to slip in occasional reports on sermons. When he did, he often hinted at his disappointment at soldiers' piety. July 4, 1779, he related that "the soldiery behaved with the most decency that I ever knew them to during the war." He then added, "Some of them usually absented themselves from worship on Lord's day, and the only punishment they were subjected to, was the digging up of stumps, which, in some instance, had a good effect." (44) Returning after the war to New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City
City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S. to gather a badly depleted de·plete
tr.v. de·plet·ed, de·plet·ing, de·pletes
To decrease the fullness of; use up or empty out.
[Latin d flock, he reported, "The Lord looked graciously upon us: we soon had a large congregation, numbers were sensibly convicted, and many were brought to bow the knee to King Jesus." (45) The pitiful economic circumstances the war left him in, however, made the frontier attractive, and in 1787, Gano yielded to pleas of William Wood William Wood may refer to:
Inasmuch as in·as·much as
1. Because of the fact that; since.
2. To the extent that; insofar as.
1. since; because
2. the last part of Gano's ministry took place during the early days of the "Second Great Awakening," which reached its peak near Lexington around 1800-06, it is not surprising to see the conversionist/call to preach heightened in descriptions of his spiritual life.
After a stroke paralyzed par·a·lyze
tr.v. par·a·lyzed, par·a·lyz·ing, par·a·lyz·es
1. To affect with paralysis; cause to be paralytic.
2. To make unable to move or act: paralyzed by fear. him in September 1798, Gano discontinued his memoirs. In completing them, his son Stephen kept the same conversionist perspective. He noted that although his father remained paralyzed, he "preached several times supported in his bed; and attended every Association, except one, until his death." (46) He cited a William Hickman, who added that when traveling preachers called, talked, and preached, Gano "would sit in his chair and exhort to duty, and to flee from vice." (47) A year after his stroke, he was taken to Town Fork and Bryants Station to preach. When he grew too tired while preaching, "some friend would support him" and "he would preach with renewed ardor ar·dor
1. Fiery intensity of feeling. See Synonyms at passion.
2. Strong enthusiasm or devotion; zeal: "The dazzling conquest of Mexico gave a new impulse to the ardor of discovery" ." (48) In the midst of the frontier revival, "When a little recovered, he would venture to the meeting house, on horseback on the back of a horse; mounted or riding on a horse or horses; in the saddle.
See also: Horseback , where he "would exhort, preach, pray and give counsel, sound and good, while he was supported by two persons to steady him. At other times he would go to the water side at the administration of baptism, and advocate that mode." (49) To the very end, his son remarked of his last day, August 10, 1804, "He appeared permanently fixed on Jesus as the Rock of Ages." (50)
Baptists have been particularly vulnerable to the effects of culture in the American setting where more than 80 percent of all Baptists live. Nowhere does this trait manifest itself more clearly than in the evolution of Baptist spirituality in the Southern Baptist Convention Noun 1. Southern Baptist Convention - an association of Southern Baptists
association - a formal organization of people or groups of people; "he joined the Modern Language Association"
Southern Baptist - a member of the Southern Baptist Convention . This body, formed in 1845, grew up with American enterprise and steeped itself in the pragmatism that the business model injected into American social consciousness.
How did this impact spirituality? In a doctoral study of "Spirituality among Southern Baptist Clergy as Reflected in Selected Autobiographies" for the period 1845 to 1942, William Loyd Allen demonstrated the significant changes that redid re·did
Past tense of redo. the whole landscape in Baptist spirituality. Contrary to the impression many might have, he concluded that "The spirituality of Southern Baptist clergy in 1942 differed from the spirituality of the ministers who had formed the SBC (1) (SBC Communications Inc., San Antonio, TX, www.sbc.com) A large, national telecommunications company that grew from a multitude of local and regional companies, including Southwestern Bell, Pacific Bell and Nevada Bell, into a single, unified brand by 2002. in 1845." (51) How did it differ?
First, a more personal and wholistic model of spirituality witnessed, for instance, in John Gano John Gano (Hopewell Township, New Jersey on July 22, 1727 - August 10, 1804) was ordained as pastor of the Scotch Plains, New Jersey, Baptist Church on May 29, 1754. In 1760, he became the founding pastor of what became two years later the First Baptist Church in the City of New , William Hickman Sr., James Ireland, and John Taylor John Taylor, or Johnny Taylor may refer to: Academic figures
Concurrent with the shift from a more personal to a more transactional model was a change to more static images of God in which God was expected to deposit grace for those who sought it. God became "the master planner or celestial boss who had devised a program for each believer to follow." (53) As one minister put it, "God [had] a program prepared for everyone" and whatever happened was "all a part of the chain of God's great plan." (54) Consequently, the object is to learn the plan because, if believers do their part, God will do God's.
Not surprisingly, Allen reported, diminishment of a more personal relationship with God led to the "subordination of the traditional means of grace to the goals of the corporate structure of Southern Baptists." (55) Scripture, prayer, worship, and community came to be viewed as objective means by which the SBC could achieve its mission. Scripture, of course, remained central in Southern Baptist spirituality. The faithful read the Bible, memorized it, and quoted it, but they made less symbolic and affective use of it then their forebears had. The Bible became more of an objective criterion to measure the spiritual life then "a Spirit-interpreted medium of communication in divine-human encounter," said Allen. (56) Preoccupation with correct interpretation, which entered into the decision to sever ties with the American Baptist American Baptist may refer to:
In England during the 18th cent. Board in 1891 and then, in 1925, to adopt the first Baptist Faith and Message The Baptist Faith and Message (BF&M) is the Southern Baptist Convention confession of faith. It summarizes key Southern Baptist thought in the areas of the Scriptures (Bible) and their authority, the nature of God as expressed by the Trinity, the spiritual condition of man, God's , resulted in a divorce from the personal encounter which characterized earlier Baptist spirituality.
Something similar happened in regard to prayer. Whereas early Baptists thought of prayer in much the same intensely personal way Bunyan defined it, after 1891 prayer became more often than not "a tool for intervening with God on behalf of the unsaved" and standardized in wording and tone. (57) Prayer took on an objective quality in the battle to win unbelievers. Unbelievers, one minister wrote, "could not keep those seats and remain unbelievers, for the prayers of Christians would prevail." (58) Most prayers were brief and pointed petitions for spouses, clothes, rain, health, and so forth, rather than intensely personal communion, communication, or conversation with God. Prayer entailed persistent negotiation!
"Southern Baptist worship moved steadily toward external means to achieve external ends," Allen concluded. (59) The pattern came from revival services and all aspects of church life--the Sunday School, the preaching, the singing, the gathering--aimed at this objective. Spirituality was assessed also by public professions and contributions.
Given these changes, it is not surprising to see that spiritual guidance through the community of believers decreased also. Alien discerned diminishment in two of the more evident ways in which spiritual guidance occurred in early Baptist spirituality--through personal testimony and through ongoing discipline. Personal testimony was still prominent in the early-twentieth century both in revivals and in congregations. To save converts from embarrassment of verbalizing their experience, however, Southern Baptist ministers began restricting the hearing of these testimonies to evangelists and pastors. The consequence was, Allen remarked, disengagement disengagement /dis·en·gage·ment/ (dis?en-gaj´ment) emergence of the fetus from the vaginal canal.
n. of the inquirer's experience from the larger community and turning spiritual guidance over to professional clergy. (60) "I have long ceased to expect an extended and connected story from those seeking membership in the churches....," one minister wrote in 1921. "The process by which they were led to this confession would be interesting, but is not at all necessary." (61) Another wrote that, when he was converted, he had to ask "the privilege of saying a word" to the congregation which had just accepted him in its membership. (62) Community guidance, Allen judged, "had become impersonal and ritualized." (63)
Church discipline experienced a similar slide. Allen suggested two reasons for this: One was a tendency to place more responsibility for the spiritual life of the congregation in the hands of professionals, especially the pastor. The other was diminishment of community as a result of the use-of mass evangelism methods. (64) As one noted minister remarked:
I never have been strong on turning folks out of the church, feeling as I do somewhat like the Catholic priest who sad the Catholics never withdraw fellowship from one of their members except for heresy, their view being that the weaker a man is the more he needs the church. (65)
Disappearance of spiritual guidance in the community of believers had more serious consequences. Without it, congregations sought unity in objective criteria such as the number of converts and participants and the level of giving.
Whereas early Baptist spirituality was wholistic, Allen found increasing bifurcation Bifurcation
A term used in finance that refers to a splitting of something into two separate pieces.
Generally, this term is used to refer to the splitting of a security into two separate pieces for the purpose of complex taxation advantages. of affective and intellectual elements in the autobiographies of ministers in the period after 1891. Although the affective was amply attested in experience of tears, especially as the criterion for genuine religious experience, recording and rational explication ex·pli·cate
tr.v. ex·pli·cat·ed, ex·pli·cat·ing, ex·pli·cates
To make clear the meaning of; explain. See Synonyms at explain.
[Latin explic of such experiences as dreams virtually vanished. "By 1942 the emotional response of weeping stood alone as a separate and objective criterion for judging the authenticity of conversion," Allen noted. "The more unpredictable dreams and visions had all but disappeared among Southern Baptist clergy." (66) Sacred music, instead, began to carry the burden of affective expression. The result was to move the spirituality "away from a balanced and wholistic model capable of reaching the depths of the personality." (67)
Two other prominent indexes for the dramatic shift in spirituality as Southern Baptists entered the twentieth century are conversion and call. Conversion retained a central place in talk about religion, Allen concluded, "but personal insight into the authors' own experiences decreased." (68) Before 1845, conversion entailed a lengthy four-stage process: awakening to God's commandments and futile attempt to fulfill them, increasing sense of helplessness and recognition that Christ alone could save, infusion of saving grace, and continuing struggle between faith and doubt. (69) By 1891, this process had come under serious scrutiny and "conversion became briefer and more transactional." (70) Indeed, emphasis was placed on a one-time transaction rather than the earlier concept of a continuing engagement initiated and sustained by God. In addition, conversion "became part of a mass production campaign." (71) Evangelists exerted great energy to produce statistics, and the age of baptism dropped significantly, in some cases including children three to five years old. With all of this came a tendency to highlight human rather than divine initiative. Because real conversions frequently did not take place, ministers found alternative experiences which could supply what the earlier ones lacked, that is, "second conversions" and frequently rebaptism. Some, too, emulated Pentecostals in claiming later experiences of the Holy Spirit.
Calling also underwent a change in this period. Some experienced a call to ministry very similar to conversions recorded in an earlier period. Communities of faith entered less into the determination of a vocation than they had earlier. The calling was viewed as a decision negotiated by the individual with God. Alien discerned a four-step pattern in many memoirs after 1891: "(1) the call accompanied by assurance, (2) delay in performing duty, (3) negotiation, and (4) reassurance and continuing active ministry." (72) Regarding the negotiation, Allen commented:
The spirituality underlying the pattern of call to ministry in these examples was more forensic and contractual than personal. The inner persuasion of the Holy Spirit in direct relationship with the believer was often subordinated to a negotiated settlement according to objective signs from a distant God. (73)
Finally, Allen noted, the spirituality of Southern Baptist ministers sought validation of piety in denominational activities rather than, as before 1845, in creative action in the world as a sign of obedience to God. The ultimate test was winning converts. As one minister phrased it, "The greatest thing in the world is to lead a lost soul to Christ." (74)
Whereas earlier Baptists viewed the test in terms of introducing people to heart religion manifest in transformed life, now they sought to get commitment to a static contract assuring entrance into heaven. No longer a marginal people in the South, they lacked the powerful motive their forebears had to change society's values. Consequently, Allen concluded, they substituted "objective institutional goals for the ongoing obedient servanthood of former days." (75) The prevailing model in society, that of business, shaped not only the developing organization of the SBC but also Southern Baptist spirituality. Just as earnings served as the criterion for business success, so, too, did money raised to meet the churches' needs determine level of piety. As one minister put it, "I have never seen a greater manifestation of love for Christ than was exhibited in their giving during the collection." (76) Allen observed here how the autobiographies of this later period differed from earlier ones.
In earlier Southern Baptist autobiographies, most of the space is given to descriptions of the authors' religious experiences and how those experiences affected their ministerial work. By far, the predominant themes were the writer's own conversion experience and call to ministry. After 1891, the balance shifted. The subject written most about in the lives published between 1891 and 1942 was work done in positions which had as their main function fund-raising and disbursement. The favorite theme of Southern Baptist clergy in the first half of the twentieth century was how to raise and spend money. (77)
Allen concluded that "the applied spirituality of Baptists had become a spirituality of busy-ness." (78)
Why did a more personal and wholistic spirituality manifesting itself in concern for transformation of persons and society end up in such a static concept of conversion as a one-time transaction negotiated between the individual and God that tested itself by institutional involvement and busyness? Loyd Allen cited three factors which blend into one another.
* Baptists in the South lost their marginal status.
* Caught up. with their own success, they relied increasingly on methods of mass revivalism revivalism
Reawakening of Christian values and commitment. The spiritual fervour of revival-style preaching, typically performed by itinerant, charismatic preachers before large gatherings, is thought to have a restorative effect on those who have been led away from the .
* Coming of age, as it were, as the business model replaced earlier social models, they bought into the business model lock, stock, and barrel.
Nothing speaks more graphically about that than a book published by Gaines S. Dobbins, professor of Sunday School pedagogy at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary References
The approach to spirituality I see among Baptists today probably is best described as seeker. Indeed, one sociologist has labeled the so-called Baby Boomers, persons born between 1946 and 1965, "a generation of seekers," and he contended that they were "altering the religious landscape of America in the 1990s." (80) Boomers vary substantially among themselves, but they share three characteristics: (1) They emphasize inner lives but also outward commitment. (2) They no longer speak of covenant, but they mesh their personal stories with their larger commitments. (3) They place much emphasis on the value of "spirit" over institution, that is, they value a subjective approach to religion.
In writing about Baptist approaches to spirituality from a historical perspective, I am intrigued by the fact that Baptists came into being with another generation of "seekers" in the seventeenth century. Many early Baptists, including Roger Williams, described themselves as "seekers." Like many other Puritans, they wanted to know God, and they did not have much confidence in the guidance offered in the dominant churches of their day. They kept their agendas open and tried out the wide range of religious offerings, hoping they would find the one which best met their outlook and need. I find many Baptists, not only Baby Boomers but especially their successors, the "GenXers," doing the same thing today. Consequently, you will probably find people called Baptists sampling a cornucopia cornucopia (kôr'nykō`pēə), in Greek mythology, magnificent horn that filled itself with whatever meat or drink its owner requested. of spiritual wares.
Richard Foster Richard Foster may be:
tr.v. den·i·grat·ed, den·i·grat·ing, den·i·grates
1. To attack the character or reputation of; speak ill of; defame.
2. the importance of the community of faith.
(2) The holiness tradition concentrates on the reformation of life and the development of virtuous habits. Exemplified especially by the Methodist movement, the Book of James in the New Testament, and, in more recent days, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Noun 1. Dietrich Bonhoeffer - German Lutheran theologian and pastor whose works concern Christianity in the modern world; an active opponent of Nazism, he was arrested and sent to Buchenwald and later executed (1906-1945)
Bonhoeffer , among its strengths are its goal of "an ever deeper formation of the inner personality so as to reflect the glory and goodness of God," (81) an intentional focus on the heart as the wellspring well·spring
1. The source of a stream or spring.
2. A source: a wellspring of ideas.
Noun of action, the hope it gives regarding progress in transformation of character, and "its tough-minded, down-to-earth, practical understanding" of how we grow in grace. (82) Potential dangers do exist, however, in legalism le·gal·ism
1. Strict, literal adherence to the law or to a particular code, as of religion or morality.
2. A legal word, expression, or rule. , Pelagian "works-righteousness," and perfectionism per·fec·tion·ism
A tendency to set rigid high standards of personal performance.
per·fection·ist adj. & n. .
(3) The charismatic tradition centers on discovery of the Spirit-empowered life. Exhibited in Francis of Assisi, the apostle Paul, and modern Pentecostalism as well as the charismatic movement charismatic movement
Christianity a group that believes in divine gifts such as instantaneous healing and uttering unintelligible sounds while in a religious ecstasy , it has positive qualities in "an ongoing correction to our impulse to domesticate do·mes·ti·cate
tr.v. do·mes·ti·cat·ed, do·mes·ti·cat·ing, do·mes·ti·cates
1. To cause to feel comfortable at home; make domestic.
2. To adopt or make fit for domestic use or life.
a. God," its "constant rebuke to our anemic practice," the continuing challenge it offers to spiritual growth, and the way it gifts and empowers people for witness and service. (83) Dangers are evident, however, in trivialization by focus on external phenomena, in rejection of the rational and intellectual, in divorcing the gifts from the fruit of the Spirit, and in linking the Christian walk to highly speculative scenarios of the end-time.
(4) The social justice tradition concerns itself especially with the compassionate life. Powerfully attested in the American Quaker saint John Saint John, city, Canada
Saint John, city (1991 pop. 74,969), S N.B., Canada, at the mouth of the St. John River on the Bay of Fundy. A major year-round port, it has an excellent harbor, large dry docks, and terminal facilities and maintains extensive Woolman Wool´man
n. 1. One who deals in wool. (1720-72), the eighth-century B.C. prophet Amos, and twentieth-century founder of the Catholic Worker movement The Catholic Worker Movement is a Catholic organisation founded by Servant of God Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in 1933. Its aim is to "live in accordance with the justice and charity of Jesus Christ. , Dorothy Day Dorothy Day (November 8, 1897 – November 29, 1980) was an American journalist turned social activist and devout member of the Catholic Church. She became known for her social justice campaigns in defense of the poor, forsaken, hungry and homeless. (1897-1980), Foster observed, it highlights three great themes of compassionate justice (mishpat), loving kindness (hesed), and peace (shalom). Admirable qualities of this tradition are its constant summons to right ordering of society, its enhancement of our understanding of the church, its concern to provide a bridge between personal ethics and social ethics, the way it makes talk about love relevant and forceful, the foundation it provides for ecological concerns, and its holding before us "the relevance of the impossible ideal." (84) Yet, it also presents perils: the tendency of social justice to become an end in itself, strident legalism, and too-close identification with a particular political agenda.
(5) The evangelical tradition has to do with the Word-centered life. Visible, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Foster, in Augustine (354-430), the apostle Peter, and, in the modern day, Billy Graham Noun 1. Billy Graham - United States evangelical preacher famous as a mass evangelist (born in 1918)
Graham, William Franklin Graham , this tradition lives for the faithful preaching of the gospel, the centrality of Scriptures as the gospel's repository, and "the confessional witness of the early Christian community as a faithful interpretation of the gospel." (85) Its strengths consist of its fervent call to conversion, its stress upon Jesus' mandate to disciple the nations, its fidelity to the Bible, and its concern for sound doctrine. With these, however, arise some dangers: "a fixation upon peripheral and nonessential non·es·sen·tial
Being a substance required for normal functioning but not needed in the diet because the body can synthesize it. matters," (86) inclination toward a sectarian mentality, "a tendency to present too, limited a view of the salvation that is found in Jesus Christ Jesus Christ: see Jesus.
40 days after Resurrection, ascended into heaven. [N.T.: Acts 1:1–11]
See : Ascension
kind to the poor, forgiving to the sinful. [N.T. ," and bibliolatry bib·li·ol·a·try
1. Excessive adherence to a literal interpretation of the Bible.
2. Extreme devotion to or concern with books.
bib . (87)
(6) The incarnational tradition revolves around the sacramental life. Witnessed in Susanna Wesley Susanna Wesley, born Susanna Annesley, was the daughter of Dr. Samuel Annesley and the mother of John and Charles Wesley. She was born in January 1669 and died July 23, 1742. (1669-1742), Ark of the Covenant Ark of the Covenant
In Judaism and Christianity, the ornate, gold-plated wooden chest that in biblical times housed the two tablets of the Law given to Moses by God. The Levites carried the Ark during the Hebrews' wandering in the wilderness. crafter Bezalel (Exod. 31:1-5), and Dag Hammarskjold Noun 1. Dag Hammarskjold - Swedish diplomat who greatly extended the influence of the United Nations in peacekeeping matters (1905-1961)
Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjold, Hammarskjold (1905-61), this tradition links experience of God through material media and elevates the liturgy and sacraments in the religious sphere but also in everyday life. Foster finds numerous positives in this tradition: its underscoring God's presence in all aspects of our earthly existence, the way it "roots us in everyday life," (88) how it makes work meaningful, the corrective it offers to Gnostic dualism dualism, any philosophical system that seeks to explain all phenomena in terms of two distinct and irreducible principles. It is opposed to monism and pluralism. In Plato's philosophy there is an ultimate dualism of being and becoming, of ideas and matter. , its constant beckoning godward, its emphasis on the body as the means through which we daily experience God, and its deepening of ecological sensitivities. Nevertheless, he points to two special perils, among many: idolatry Idolatry
responsible for the golden calf. [O.T.: Exodus 32]
Canaanite deities worshiped profanely by Israelites. [O.T. and seeking "to manage God through externals." (89)
In an "Afterword" Foster speaks optimistically about a "flowing together" of these six streams "into a mighty movement of the Spirit." (90) Although evidence for that seems to me quite limited, I can cite specific examples of both Baptist individuals and Baptist groups attracted to one or another of these six approaches. As a matter of fact, in an article on "Trends in Baptist Spirituality," I have remarked after agreeing with Molly Marshall's list of four (conversionist, charismatic, crusading or prophetic, and contemplative): "We could probably add secular, oriental or quasi-oriental, "New Age," plus the prevailing spirituality of various religious bodies (Orthodox, Reformed, Methodist, etc.) and Roman Catholic religious orders (Ignatian, Carmelite, Franciscan, Dominican, etc.)." (91) It's seeker time.
The major impetus for the present urgent search may be an "awakening," the fourth such spiritual renewal since our Puritan forebears first came to America. (92) Like all of these spiritual revivals, this "Fourth Awakening" has gone through three stages. The first, beginning in the sixties, was a period of disorientation disorientation /dis·or·i·en·ta·tion/ (-or?e-en-ta´shun) the loss of proper bearings, or a state of mental confusion as to time, place, or identity. and turmoil--the war in Vietnam, riots in great urban centers, civil rights marches. The second, which manifested itself dearly from the mid-seventiek was a period of deepened religious search connected with the "Baby Boomers." This phase seems to extend into the third one, a change of consciousness, because, in my own estimation, the third stage has to do with human longing for the Transcendent. Two momentous happenings of recent years would appear to confirm this interpretation:
1. The collapse of Marxism in eastern Europe Eastern Europe
The countries of eastern Europe, especially those that were allied with the USSR in the Warsaw Pact, which was established in 1955 and dissolved in 1991. . The Soviet Union fell not simply because it could not compete economically with the West but, much more, as one-time French Marxist Roger Garaudy Roger Garaudy or Ragaa (born July 17, 1913, in Marseille) is a French author, philosopher and former Communist who converted from Roman Catholicism to Islam in 1982. He drew public attention for his stance and writings as a Holocaust denier. warned in the sixties, because it had no place for transcendence. (93) Jesus' reminder is ever true: "A human being cannot live by bread alone" (Matt 4:4, quoting Deut. 8:3 and Wisdom 16:26).
2. The phenomenon we call "Postmodernism." Postmodernism is a reaction against the sterile rationalism and positivism positivism (pŏ`zĭtĭvĭzəm), philosophical doctrine that denies any validity to speculation or metaphysics. Sometimes associated with empiricism, positivism maintains that metaphysical questions are unanswerable and that the only which have dominated western society since the Enlightenment. Insofar in·so·far
To such an extent.
Adv. 1. insofar - to the degree or extent that; "insofar as it can be ascertained, the horse lung is comparable to that of man"; "so far as it is reasonably practical he should practice as I can see, post-moderners are not sure what they are looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. , but they know that human existence cannot be quantified and reduced to a set of numbers. Life is mystery. We don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. how much we can comprehend, but we can be sure that, however much we do know, we will never do more than catch a fleeting glimpse of that mystery which is at the heart of things.
What has been happening in this age of seekers holds both promise and peril just as did the events that brought Baptists into being four centuries ago. For some the search may lead to an authentic encounter with the Living God and a discovery of a spiritual life in a fullness they have never known. For others, however, the search may wind around in endless circles or end up in a spiritual quagmire that leads nowhere and never lets them go. Is there any way to avoid this peril?
I believe there is, and I will be ever grateful to God for Thomas Merton Noun 1. Thomas Merton - United States religious and writer (1915-1968)
Merton and Douglas Steere, a Roman Catholic monk and a Quaker philosopher, who pointed me in this direction. The answer seems to me to rest in the very thing we are doing in this paper, that is, looking at the history, of our tradition. Baptists, unfortunately, have often sneered when they said the word "tradition." To many it represented the dead hand of the past Noun 1. dead hand of the past - the oppressive influence of past events or decisions
dead hand, mortmain
influence - a power to affect persons or events especially power based on prestige etc; "used her parents' influence to get the job" . From Scriptures, where the word is used often in a positive way, and from Thomas Merton, I have learned to distinguish "tradition" from "convention." "Convention" is the external, the husk, which we can well do without. "Tradition," however, is the essence, the kernel, which we cannot do without. To move our search in the right direction, we should tiptoe into the stream of our Baptist tradition and follow it back to where it joins the Puritan tradition of heart religion manifested in transformed lives and societies. Like our Puritan ancestors, we should then follow this stream back to where it meets the mainstream which itself flows from the source of all authentic spirituality from Abraham to Jesus. (94)
(1.) See E. Glenn Hinson, "The Baptist Voluntary Principle," The Whitsitt Journal 5 (Fall 1998).
(2.) In several articles, but see: "The Contemplative Roots of Baptist Spirituality," in Ties that Bind: Life Together in the Baptist Vision, ed. Gary A. Furr and Curtis W. Freeman (Macon, Ga.: Smyth & Helwys, 1994), 69-82; "Southern Baptists and Medieval Spirituality: Surprising Similarities," Cistercian Studies 20 (1985): 224-36.
(3.) Lewis Bayly, The Practise of Pietie, 3rd ed. (London: J. Hodges, 1613), 163.
(4.) John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress, ch. xx. On Puritan obsession with Hebrews, see William Perkins William Perkins (1558-1602) was a clergyman and Cambridge theologian who was one of the foremost leaders of the Puritan movement in the Church of England. Early life , A Cloud of Faithful witnesses: A Commentary on Hebrews XI (London: H. Lownes, 1608).
(5.) Bernard of Clairvaux, On the Love of God, 10; Library of Christian Classics, XIII, 65.
(6.) John of Ruysbroeck, The Book of Supreme Truth, trans. C. A. Wynschenk Dom (London: J. M. Dent & Sons, Ltd.; New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of : E. P. Dutton & Co., 1916), 197.
(7.) I have drawn these phrases from Baptist Hymnal, ed. Walter Hines Sims (Nashville: Convention Press, 1956).
(8.) Christopher Hill, Society and Puritanism in Pre-Revolutionary England, 2nd ed. (New York: Schocken Books, 1964, 1967), 449.
(9.) Cotton Mather, Diary of Cotton Mather (New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., n.d.) 1: 87f.
(10.) John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress, in Doubleday Devotional Classics, ed. E. Glenn Hinson (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., inc., 1978), 1: 355.
(11.) John Bunyan, Grace Abounding, 46; Everyman's Library Everyman's Library is a series of reprinted classic literature currently published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. (a division of Random House) in the United States, and Weidenfeld and Nicolson in the United Kingdom. The series began publishing in 1906. (London: J. M. Dent; New York: E. P. Dutton, 1928, 1963), 19.
(12.) Bayly, The Practise of Pietie, 156-57.
(13.) Richard Baxter This article is about the clergyman. For the jurist, see Richard Baxter (jurist).)
Richard Baxter (November 12, 1615 - December 8, 1691) was an English Puritan church leader, theologian and controversialist, called by Dean Stanley "the chief of English Protestant Schoolmen". , The Saints' Everlasting Rest in Doubleday Devotional Classics, ed. E. Glenn Hinson (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1978), 1: 143.
(14.) John Bunyan, I Will Pray with the Spirit, ed. Richard L. Greaves greaves
cracklings, an edible raw fat from the meat trade. The skimmings from the preparation of this fat are also called greaves. They represent a low grade of meat meal. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976), 235.
(15.) Ibid., 277.
(16.) Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress. Everyman's Library, rev. ed. (J. M. Dent & Sons, Ltd; New York: E. P Dutton & Co., Inc, 1954-61), 39.
(17.) Winthrop Papers, 162; cited by Winton U. Solberg, Redeeming the Time (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press The Harvard University Press is a publishing house, a division of Harvard University, that is highly respected in academic publishing. It was established on January 13, 1913. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. , 1977), 69.
(18.) Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress in Doubleday Devotional Classics, ed. E. Glenn Hinson (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1978), 1: 387.
(19.) Ibid., 384.
(20.) See Edwin Scott Gaustad, The Great Awakening in New England (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1957), 42-60.
(21.) Jonathan Edwards, A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections, ed. John E. Smith (1746; reprint New Haven New Haven, city (1990 pop. 130,474), New Haven co., S Conn., a port of entry where the Quinnipiac and other small rivers enter Long Island Sound; inc. 1784. Firearms and ammunition, clocks and watches, tools, rubber and paper products, and textiles are among the many : Conn.; Yale University Press, 1959), 265.
(22.) Ibid., 383.
(24.) Gregory A. Wills, "A Fire that Burns Within: The Spirituality of John Gill," in John Gill, The Life and Thought of John Gill (1697-1771): A Tercentnnial Appreciation, ed. Michael A. G. Haykin (Leiden and New York: E. G. Brill, 1997), 192.
(26.) Ibid., 193.
(27.) John Gill, Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity, 709.
(28.) Wills, 208.
(29.) In Arthur Kirkby, Andrew Fuller (1754-1815) (London: Independent Press Ltd, 1961), 7.
(30.) See Bill J. Leonard, "Getting Saved in America: Conversion Event in a Pluralistic Culture," Review and Expositor 82 (1985): 123-25.
(31.) John Gano, Biographical Memoirs of the Late Rev. John Gano, ed. Stephen Gano in The Life and Ministry of John Gano, 1727-1804, ed. Terry Wolever (Springfield, Mo.: Particular Baptist Press, 1998), 19.
(32.) Ibid., 20.
(33.) Ibid., 21.
(34.) Ibid., 22.
(36.) Ibid., 23.
(37.) Ibid., 25.
(39.) Ibid. 31.
(40.) Ibid. 33.
(41.) Ibid. 33-34.
(42.) Ibid. 35.
(43.) Ibid. 74-75.
(44.) Ibid. 86.
(45.) Ibid. 96f.
(46.) Ibid. 107.
(47.) Ibid. 109.
(49.) Ibid., 109f.
(50.) Ibid., 111.
(51.) William Loyd Allen, "Spirituality among Southern Baptist Clergy as Reflected in Selected Autobiographies" (Ph.D. Diss., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, 1984), 199. Allen grouped the autobiographies into three periods: (1) prior to 1845: John Gano, William Hickman Sr., James Ireland, and John Taylor; (2) 1845-91: John Leland Dagg, Z. N. Morrell, Jeremiah Bell Jeter, Johnson Olive, J. M. Pendleton, Thomas C. Teasdale, and William R. Wigginton; and (3) 1891-1942: Sanford Miller Brown, James Britton Cranfill, Washington Bryan Crumpton, George William Gardner, Balus Joseph Winzer Graham, William E. Hatcher, Adoniram Judson Holt, Marion Palmer Hunt, John Lipscomb Johnson, W. E. Penn, and William Thomas Tardy tar·dy
adj. tar·di·er, tar·di·est
1. Occurring, arriving, acting, or done after the scheduled, expected, or usual time; late.
2. Moving slowly; sluggish. .
(52.) Ibid., 161.
(54.) Washington Bryan Crumpton, A Book of Memories, 1842-1920 (Montgomery: Baptist Mission Board, 1921), xi, 37.
(55.) Allen, 163.
(56.) Ibid., 165.
(57.) Ibid., 167.
(58.) W. E. Penn, The Life and Labors of W E. Penn the Texas Evangelist (St. Louis: C.B. Woodward, 1896), 112f.
(59.) Allen, 171.
(60.) Ibid., 174.
(61.) Crumpton, 19f.
(62.) Marion Palmer Hunt, The Story of My Life Louisville: Herald Press, 1941), 17.
(63.) Allen, 175.
(64.) Ibid., 176.
(65.) James Britton Cranfill, From Memory: Reminiscences, Recitals, and Gleanings glean·ings
Things that have been collected bit by bit: the gleanings of patient scholars.
pieces of information that have been gleaned from a Bustling and Busy Life (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1937), 107.
(66.) Allen, 180.
(67.) Ibid., 181.
(69.) Ibid., 81, citing Bill J. Leonard, 113.
(70.) Allen, 182.
(71.) Ibid., 184.
(72.) Ibid., 189.
(73.) Ibid., 191f.
(74.) B. J. W. Graham, A Ministry of Fifty Years (Atlanta: The Author, 1939), 12.
(75.) Allen, 193.
(76.) Hunt, 36.
(77.) Allen, 196.
(78.) Ibid., 196.
(79.) Gaines S. Dobbins, The Efficient Church (Nashville: Southern Baptist Convention, 1923).
(80.) Wade Clark Roof, A Generation of Seekers: The Spirituality of Baby Boomers (San Francisco: Harper/Collins, 1992), 1.
(81.) Richard J. Foster, Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian Faith (Harper: San Francisco, 1998), 85.
(82.) Ibid., 88.
(83.) Ibid. 129.
(84.) Ibid. 178.
(85.) Ibid. 219.
(86.) Ibid. 228.
(87.) Ibid. 230.
(88.) Ibid. 267.
(89.) Ibid. 268.
(90.) Ibid. 273.
(91.) E. Glenn Hinson, "Trends in Baptist Spirituality," Christian Spirituality Bulletin 7 (Fall/Winter 1999), 3. Molly Marshall, "The Changing Face of Baptist Discipleship," Review &' Expositor 95 (Winter 1998), 67-70.
(92.) My judgments here are based on William G. McLoughlin's Revivals, Awakenings, and Reform (Chicago: University of Chicago Press The University of Chicago Press is the largest university press in the United States. It is operated by the University of Chicago and publishes a wide variety of academic titles, including The Chicago Manual of Style, dozens of academic journals, including , 1978), 141ff. McLoughlin identified the "Great Awakening" (ca. 1730-560), the frontier revival (1800-30), and the Social Gospel Movement (ca. 1890-1920) as the first three. Others have posited an awakening during the mid- to late-nineteenth century, but McLoughlin rejected that on the basis of his definition of awakening as revitalization. I have elaborated on this idea in several articles, especially "American Christian Fundamentalism and the `Fourth Awakening,'" in The Struggle over the Past: Fundamentalism in the Modern World, ed. William M. Shea (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1990).
(93.) See Kent R. Hill, The Soviet Union on the Brink: An Inside Look at Christianity and Glasnost glasnost (gläs`nōst), Soviet cultural and social policy of the late 1980s. Following his ascension to the leadership of the USSR in 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev began to promote a policy of openness in public discussions about current and (Portland, Ore.: Multnomah, 1991), passim PASSIM - A simulation language based on Pascal.
["PASSIM: A Discrete-Event Simulation Package for Pascal", D.H Uyeno et al, Simulation 35(6):183-190 (Dec 1980)]. on the last phase of Marxism. Signs of a dramatic shift were evident to me when I took part in a Baptist Peace Friendship Tour of the U.S.S.R. in 1984. By 1988, when I was privileged to participate in a consultation between Russian Orthodox and Western Christians on the 1000th anniversary of the birth of Christianity in Russia Christians in Russia constitute by some estimates nearly 85% of total population (2006). Approximately 83% of the country residents consider themselves Russian Orthodox Christians, although the vast majority are not regular churchgoers. and subsequently in a peace conference in East Germany, one could see very stark signs. See my report on this in "Faithfulness in Eastern Europe and the Revolution," Baptist Peacemaker 10 (Spring 1990), 3.
(94.) I have written numerous articles in which I point to this same basic conviction. The first was a paper given at the North American North American
named after North America.
North American blastomycosis
see North American blastomycosis.
North American cattle tick
see boophilusannulatus. Academy of Liturgy, "Reassessing the Puritan Heritage in Worship and Spirituality: A Search for a Method," Worship 53 (July 1979): 318-26. My indebtedness to Merton for this understanding of tradition can be seen in "The Catholicizing of Contemplation: Thomas Merton's Place in the Church's Prayer Life," Cistercian Studies 10 (1975), 173-89.
E. Glenn Hinson has taught at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, and the Baptist Theological Seminary Baptist Theological Seminaryis a Baptist seminary located in Jagannaickpur, Church Square, Kakinada in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
It was established by the missionaries of the Canadian Baptist Mission about a century ago. , at Richmond, Virginia. In retirement he is visiting professor at Lexington (Kentucky) Theological Seminary, Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, and Kentucky Baptist Seminary, Lexington.