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A Primer on Baptist History
The True Baptist Trail
by Chris Traffanstedt

Preface

Most Christians today do not have the foggiest idea what Church history looks like or how important it is to understand. Even when we get specific with Church history, such as Baptist history, people are still in the dark. This booklet, then, is a brief history of the foundation of the group called Baptist. It is intended to challenge you to explore Baptist history as well as all of Church history.

Let us start with the basic premise about Baptist history: the modern Baptist denomination originated in England and Holland in the early seventeenth century. This origin has been debated down through history, but our goal here is to show that our premise is closer to the true historical facts than the other positions being held. From the early 1600's, we see two major groups emerging in England that we can classify as Baptist: General and Particular Baptist. Before we explore these two groups in detail, however, let us first look at the history that gave birth to these two groups.


History Leading Up to the Foundation of Baptist

The Reformation

The year was 1517. An unknown monk by the name of Martin Luther had posted a list of problems (95 to be exact) with one of the Church’s new programs. In this hard-hitting list he attacked the Church’s view of indulgences, which were the payments to the Church for attaining pardon from sin. Luther saw these payments as an abomination to the forgiving work of Christ. “The Ninety-Five Theses” were a call for debate, although a debate never took place. This call did, however, shake the people of Germany. Luther’s challenge went unnoticed for some time by the established Church, but the people did not let it die. Through the providence of God, a call to look to Scripture as the Christians’ sole authority began to ring throughout Germany and other parts of Europe.

This movement, later given the name Reformation, was a movement back to the Bible. The motto became Sola Scripture1 and these rebels of God began to spread the Gospel message once again to the world. Other men were used of God as well to bring this message of the Sovereign God giving His people His Scriptures. Men like Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, and John Knox have always been associated with this great movement of God.

With the spread of the Reformation through the work of Calvin and Knox, we see the next great impact of the Gospel in 17th century England. It is here that we begin to see the seed bed of the Baptist movement.


English History

England was, without a doubt, a changing country both politically and religiously. This can be seen in King Henry VIII (1509-1547) and his Act of Supremacy (1534). This act separated the Church of England from the control of Rome, yet even with this separation England still remained largely Catholic in practice and doctrine.

Then King Edward VI came to the throne in 1547. Although just a boy, he moved his country towards Protestantism. This movement was probably due to the fact that Edward was trained by Protestant advisers. With his youthful zeal, Edward opened the door for Protestant doctrine and practice to flow and grow as the years went by.

However, Edward’s early death led to a radical and murderous change in England. This change brought about a fight for the throne which was finally taken by Mary Tudor in 1553. During her five-year reign, she actively restored the Catholic system and began to systematically rid England of Protestants. This activity earned her the renowned name of “Bloody Mary”.

Elizabeth Tudor succeeded Mary and ruled from 1559 to 1603. Though not really a religious person, Elizabeth did have an outward Catholicism. However, political times pushed her to be accepting of Protestantism. This political movement, tied in with the people’s reactions against the former Queen Mary, guided England toward a Protestant position once again. Elizabeth, not wanting to lose any type of political advantage, drew up a compromise between Catholics and Protestants. This act was called the “Elizabethan Settlement” and with it came the thought that the religious wars of England were “settled”. But this only lasted for a short period of time. Even with this “peace”, many in England still called for greater reforms in the Church. This call for more reform produced a group of people who would come to make up a large part of Baptist foundations. This group is called the Puritans.


The Puritans

Sadly, most people today do not have a proper understanding of the Puritans. They tend to be thought of as old stogies who just wanted to spoil everybody's fun. However, the modern-day view of he Puritans is far from the truth. Perhaps the following summation of the real Puritans will put us on the road to a right understanding:

The essential thing in understanding the Puritans was that they were preachers before they were anything else...Into whatever efforts they were led in their attempts to reform the world through the Church, and however these efforts were frustrated by the leaders of the Church, what bound them together, undergirded their striving, and gave them the dynamic to persist was their consciousness that they were called to preach the Gospel.2

The Puritans wanted to see real biblical reform come to the Church. These early Puritans were led by Bishop Hooker and Thomas Cartwright and they began to call for a “pure” Church. However, the Queen and the Church of England were not willing to put up with these Puritans and thus began to enforce religious conformity by law. Thus ended a brief period of religious peace.


The Separatists

This demand of conformity from the political and religious forces in England produced a group known as the “Separatists”. The principles behind this movement were the freedom of the Church from State rule, pure doctrine rather than a watered-down or compromising doctrine, and overall reform of the Church. The Separatists took the Bible seriously and they were determined to order their lives by its teachings. They stressed that the Church was only those who were the redeemed, not a body of politically-minded upstarts. They refused to believe that the Bible taught a hierarchical church government (rule from top down), instead calling for a church government that had some form of participation from the people (rule from the grass levels). They preferred a simple worship liturgy which emphasized a Holy God. They felt that the state forms and written aids of the Church of England led to the people’s focusing on the forms and not the Sovereign God; thus these types of “aids” were looked down upon.

It was out of this call for purity in the Church, both in worship and everyday practice, that “the Baptist denomination”, as it is known today, emerged by way of the English Separatist movement. The best historical evidence confirms this origin, and no major scholar has arisen this half century to challenge it.”3 As we said earlier, Baptists emerged as two separate groups. Let us now turn our attention to exploring these two different groups.


Early Baptists
General Baptists

This group came to be known as General Baptists because they believed in a “general” atonement.4 The General Baptists also had a distinct belief that Christians could face the possibility of “falling from grace”. The two primary founders of the General Baptist movement were John Smyth and Thomas Helwys.

The earliest General Baptist Church was thought to be founded about 1608 or 1609. Its chief founder was John Smyth (1570-1612) and it was located in Holland. Smyth’s history begins in England where he was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1594. Soon after his ordination, his zeal landed him in prison for refusal to conform to the teachings and practices of the Church of England. He was an outspoken man who was quick to challenge others about their beliefs but was just as quick to change his own positions as his own personal theology changed. Smyth continually battled the Church of England until it became obvious that he could no longer stay in fellowship with this church. Thus, he finally broke totally from them and became a “Separatist”.

In 1609, Smyth, along with a group in Holland, came to believe in believer’s baptism (as opposed to infant baptism which was the norm at that time) and they came together to form the first “Baptist” church. In the beginning, Smyth was on track with the typical orthodox church position; but as time passed, as was so typical, he began changing his positions. First, Smyth insisted that true worship was from the heart and that any form of reading from a book in worship was an invention of sinful man. Prayer, singing and preaching had to be completely spontaneous. He went so far with this mentality that he would not allow the reading of the Bible during worship “since he regarded English translations of Scripture as something less than the direct word of God.”5 Second, Smyth introduced a twofold church leadership, that of Pastor and Deacon. This was in contrast to the Reformational trifold leadership of Pastor-Elder, Lay-Elders, and Deacons.

Third, with his newfound position on baptism, a whole new concern arose for these “Baptists”. Having been baptized as infants, they all realized that they would have to be re-baptized. Since there was no other minister to administer baptism, Smyth baptized himself and then proceeded to baptize his flock. An interesting note at this point that should be brought to bear is that the mode of baptism used was that of pouring, for immersion would not become the standard for another generation. Before his death, as seems characteristic of Smyth, he abandoned his Baptist views and began trying to bring his flock into the Mennonite church. Although he died before this happened, most of his congregation did join themselves with the Mennonite church after his death.

Now we turn our attention to Thomas Helwys. He had a somewhat rocky relationship with Smyth, but after Smyth began moving away from the General Baptist belief, Helwys carried on the Baptist beginnings. Helwys led his small group to England in 1611 and this was considered to be the first Baptist Church on English soil. This group held to believer’s baptism, they rejected Calvinism for a free will position (which included falling from grace), and they allowed each church to elect its officers, both elders and deacons.6 By 1624, there were five known General Baptist churches and by 1650 they numbered at least 47.7 Even though some might see the modern-day Baptist movement in this group, we must understand that the beliefs of this group are far from the reformed heritage that shaped modern-day Baptist belief.


Particular Baptists

It is often said that the Baptists in England divided over the doctrine of the atonement, but this is not a true historical reflection. Yes, it is true that the two groups held differing views on atonement and doctrine in general, but they did not divide. Rather, they emerged as two separate groups. As with the General Baptists, the Particular Baptists came out of the Separatist movement. This group emerged in the 1630's. This group was influenced by the great reformer John Calvin and held strongly to a “particular” atonement.8 The first church was thought to be founded around 1633 or 1638, according to some. Regardless of this datum, however, it is clear that by 1644 the Particular Baptists numbered at least seven churches. One amazing point about this small and very young group is that in 1644 these churches acted together to issue a confession of faith called the First London Confession of Faith. This confession preceded the widely known Westminster Confession of Faith by two years. As we will see, the present-day Baptist churches can be traced back to these early Baptists.

Although typical Baptist history is given more to the General Baptist movement, it is actually the Particular Baptists to which most modern-day Baptists owe their doctrine and practices. As one historian reminds us, General Baptists:

always represented a small part of Baptist life in England, and an even smaller part in America. Their influence upon the main currents of Baptist life in either country appears to have been slight.9

The history of the Particular Baptist movement starts with Henry Jacob (1563-1624). Although Jacob never became a Baptist, he was a basic influence to what would become the Particular Baptists. We could call Jacob a moderate Separatist. Jacob was not willing to call the Church of England the antichrist; thus, he worked continually to reform her. In 1603, Jacob signed a document that called for reform in the Church of England. This document was to be thwarted by King James I. Although Jacob did not call for separation, he did write a treatise entitled Reasons taken out of Gods Word and the best humane Testimonies proving a necessitie of reforming our Churches in England. With the publication of this book, Jacob was thrown in prison for a short time. Upon his release, he went into exile in Holland as did most of the Separatists. Even though he was reluctant to come down radically on the Church of England, he did come to make a distinction between true and false churches of the Church of England. This new mindset moved him to call for freedom to form different types of churches with alternate kinds of worship.

In 1616, Jacob was able to return to England and formed the JLJ Church, as it is known today.10 It was this church that would later give rise to Particular Baptists. This church had several debates arise in its midst about baptism, debates which led to several different breaks in the JLJ church. One such break came in 1633 when sixteen persons asked the church to let them step away from the JLJ church to form a separate church. The reasons for this break were twofold. The first was out of necessity. The JLJ church was becoming too big and in danger of being “found out” (since it was illegal to be outside of the Church of England). The second reason was cited as too much conformity to the Church of England. In 1638, another break came when six people left the JLJ church on the issue of believer's baptism, which they held to strongly. Thus, the first Particular Baptist Church can be traced to either or both of these churches.


Overview of Baptist Origins

As we have tried to make clear, history points out that the origins of Baptist Life came out of the Separatist Movement in the 1600's in England. However, this is not the only view that has been put forth about the origins of Baptists. For the sake of clearing up history, we do need to briefly explore these other positions that have been stated about the origin of the Baptist movement.


Anabaptist Influence

Most Baptists are fooled into thinking that we come from the Anabaptists just because the word “baptist” is found in their name. But we must use great caution here. We must explore who the Anabaptists really were and ask the all-important question: Are they truly representative of Baptist beliefs?

Who are these people called “Anabaptist”? This group refers to a community of rebels during the Reformation period; they were considered to be the radical wing of the Reformation. Even within this group there were various views and camps. Two main separate camps can be identified: the “revolutionary Anabaptist” and the “evangelical Anabaptist.”11 We really do not want to spend too much time on the revolutionary group for they hardly reflect a biblical approach to Christianity. They actually took on the form of a cult, holding to an extreme mystical experiential view and believing their leaders to be prophets (future-tellers). They were also quick to use violence to get their way.

However, the “evangelical” Anabaptists were a movement of a different type. And it is from this group that many say the Baptist movement was born. Thus, we need to take some time to examine them. This group, first of all, rejected the orthodox Christian view of sin. Instead of holding to sin as a bondage both of the nature and actions of mankind, they held that sin was “a loss of capacity or a serious sickness.”12 The Anabaptists, in following Rome's view of justification, held that God makes us righteous and then accepts us on the basis of our righteousness. They also believed that Christ did not take His flesh from Mary but held to a heavenly origin for His flesh. When it came to the world, the Anabaptists believe we were to totally separate ourselves from it (although they did dip into it with a zealous evangelism on occasion). The Anabaptists rejected infant baptism and held to believer's baptism, but their mode for the most part was sprinkling, not pouring or immersion. Their view of interpreting Scripture was that of just strict imitation which led to large movements of legalism.13

When we look at the Anabaptists we must agree that there are some similarities with the early General Baptists, but overall these similarities are slight and not always relational. In the end, we must come to say that this group of Christians does not reflect the historical teaching of the Baptists. The large portion of Baptist history shows us that Baptists held to a strong position on sin, both in our nature and in our actions, not as just some mere sickness. Baptists have also held to a belief in the virgin birth and see that this is what points to the doctrine of the God-Man, not just some heavenly illusion. As well, Baptists have held strongly to the Reformation's recovery of justification - that it is based upon Christ's righteousness alone and not our righteousness because we have none. And finally, Baptists have always seen that the Scriptures are to be studied and applied to everyday life through the power of the Holy Spirit and are not to be followed just in blind imitation or by a leap of faith. So we must clearly reject, as history does, that the Baptist origins flow from the Anabaptists.


Continuation or Succession of Baptist Teaching

The next view of Baptist origin is not held as strongly today but still finds expression in some Baptist circles. This view is known as the Continuation or Successionist view. It states that the Baptist church can be traced back through the ages in an unbroken succession of organized Baptist churches (although they all did not have the name Baptist) to Jesus Christ and John the Baptist. We must be careful in the way we refute this position, for we in no way want to say that our Baptist heritage has not come from Christ and the truths laid out in Holy Scripture. But we must speak against a position that lays out a history with a trail of real Baptist churches that can be traced from the New Testament to the present day.

This Successionist view has been presented in a little booklet called The Trail of Blood by J.M. Carroll. This booklet tries to show that “according to History...Baptists have an unbroken line of churches since Christ.” This book and others like it have stressed that John the Baptist represents the denominational start and that Jesus formed it and promised that it would never fail. They have made arrogant statements like “the real church is Baptist” and “all Christian communities during the first three centuries were of the Baptist denomination.” These types of views are based upon inadequate sources and upon more of a polemical mindset than a historical one. They make large assumptions where evidence is lacking. This hard-core position arose in a time (1800's) of intense denominational competition, when people believed faith was something that came from within themselves and not a wonderful gift of God’s grace. Many thought that this type of view would bring back a security that had been lost with the emergence of modern-day society.14

We must also be reminded that almost all early Baptists rejected a successionist view. John Smyth was one of these, as can be seen in his writings: “I deny all succession except in the truth” and “There is no succession in the outward church, but that all succession is from heaven.”15 Thomas Helwys, speaking out against a successionist mindset, said: “No man can ever prove it...cast it away, seeing there is no warrant in God's word to warrant it unto you, that he or they were the first.”16 Also, John Spilsbury, a Particular Baptist pastor, stated: “There is no succession under the New Testament, but what is spiritually by faith and the Word of God.”17 This last quote gives us the proper way to look at ourselves as Baptists. Though we have not always existed as a Baptist denomination, it is upon the eternal truth of God’s Word which we have been formed! Again, we are reminded of this in The Baptist Confession of Faith chapter 26.3:

The purest churches under heaven are subject to mixture and error; and some have so degenerated as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan; nevertheless Christ always hath had, and ever shall have a kingdom in this world, to the end thereof, of such as believe in him, and make profession of his name.

Thus, what we must see is that the Baptist denomination started out of the Reformation, specifically the Separatists in England. With this in mind, we are a Protestant group who must reflect our traditional Reformed background and hold, as our forefathers did, to the doctrines of grace, justification by faith alone, the authority of Scripture and the priesthood of all believers.18


The Flow of Baptist History

Let us now return to how Baptists flourished in England and then how they moved to the United States. We must pay special attention to the move to the New World for it is here we American Baptists find our direct Baptist forefathers.


Baptists in England

We now see that by the mid 1600’s both Baptist groups were functioning in England. But what, exactly, happened to these two different groups; what happened to their churches? The General Baptists entered the 1600’s with a growing movement, but as the 1600’s closed and the 1700’s dawned, this group was reeling from doctrinal problems. The deity of Christ began to be questioned and the atonement was watered down even further from its Arminian19 position. The General Baptists were dying out quickly with this anti-biblical mentality. However, in 1763, a Methodist convert named Dan Taylor revived the General Baptists for a time, calling them back to a biblical outlook. But once again this “New Connection” (1770) only lasted a short time. The reason that this outlook was lost fairly quickly was probably due to the fact that the General Baptists had enlisted into their ranks less than knowledgeable pastors and leaders. It only took about one more generation for the General Baptists to largely depart from history.

The Particular Baptists were a different story. The 1600’s brought large growth to them even amidst the religious persecution raging in England. In 1644, the Particular Baptists published The First Baptist Confession. This Confession was Calvinistic in its character and rejected all suggestions that they were “Anabaptist.” Although this Confession was not comprehensive, it was a strong document which helped pull together the early Particular Baptists.

Then in 1677, a second confession was drawn up reflecting the Westminster Confession (1647) and the Savoy Declaration (1658). In most of its parts, this confession followed the Westminster Confession but in its position on church government (the critical issue here was church power) the Baptist Confession follows the Savoy Declaration.20 This new Baptist confession set out to deal with the issues of what type of power the associational representatives in the churches had over the local churches. Also, it dealt with baptism by putting forth a position on believer’s baptism rather than holding to infant baptism. We must keep in mind that this distinction was not arrived at by following the “Anabaptist,” but emerged through an intense desire to reflect Scripture as it has been delivered to us.

The Particular Baptists in England had their decline as well, but theirs was a movement to the right not the left. The beginnings of “hyper-calvinism”22

It was in 1707 that the Philadelphia Baptist Association was founded. This strong Particular Baptist fellowship has had a lasting effect on Baptists in America. In 1742, this association adopted the London Baptist Confession of 1689 as its founding confession, and gave it a new name: The Philadelphia Confession of Faith. These Baptists were quick to put their beliefs into action, and in 1770 they founded a college and began to send missionaries regularly throughout America. From this time forward, Particular Baptists overshadowed the failing General Baptists. But even with its strong historical and doctrinal position, the Particular Baptists also began to lose doctrinal purity in the New World.


The Decline of Particular Baptist

The question we will close this booklet with is: Why did Baptists lose their reformational heritage? How did this loss of doctrine take place?

Samuel E. Waldron, in his book Baptist Roots in America,23 gives us several reasons for this great decline in our heritage. These factors are very important for us to understand for, as is typical, we modern-day Baptists are continuing in the same mistakes of years gone by. Let’s begin to explore Waldron’s assessment of this great decline.

First, Waldron calls our attention to “The American, Democratic Ethos.” This was the American mindset of absolute freedom which came with the American Revolution. America had a strong independent mentality and this worldview began to spill over into the Church. As with any independent, self-centered worldview, the Sovereign God is placed on the shelf, so to speak, for a God who will not impede upon our independence. This type of ethos was what led to the beginning of the decline of the Particular Baptist beliefs.

Secondly, we see a cause of the decline in Particular Baptists in the “revivalism” that swept through our country in the 1700’s and 1800’s. We must not misunderstand this point; the problem was not with revival but with the responses to revival. It was the two extreme responses that have caused this great tragedy. One extreme to this revivalism began with the idea that there must be order in the church. This led to a hard-core legalism which caused a slow death to those churches that took this stance, and as the Particular Baptists fell into this position they began to decline. The other extreme was an experiential giving over to the wiles of one’s heart. This led to an anti-traditional position and opened the doors to Arminianism. This new method of church was appealing to many Baptists, for they saw their survival; but instead of survival it produced a virus within the church which attacked the very core of Baptist reformational heritage.

Thirdly, we see “syncretism” as the next downfall of Particular Baptists. Syncretism is bringing together two positions as one. This meshing of theology in the early stages of our country was seen by some as a need so that the Gospel could go forth without hindrance. But this syncretism led to a theological fallout which damned Baptist heritage to a weak, watered-down version of its Calvinistic roots. As with the children of Israel in the Old Testament, so Baptists in America have allowed the lure of contemporary culture to blind them to the truths which God has set forth.

Fourthly, when there is a movement to water down theology there comes a shift to the other extreme. This swing was “hyper-calvinism.” Many today need to be challenged at this point, for what they call Calvinism is not true biblical Calvinism but is of the “hyper” variety. Because one does not like a position, he does not have the right to define it in its extreme forms. However, we must see that “hyper-calvinism” has nothing to do with true Calvinism and we must be quick to state that it has no part in Christianity. “Hyper-calvinism is the denial of the idea that the gospel call addresses those who are not elect...it is the denial of the idea that faith is the duty of everyone who hears the gospel.”24 As we said earlier, when a hard position is taken, slow death is sure to follow. When several of the Particular Baptist churches became “hyper-calvinist”, their demise was at hand. And with their demise went those churches who were tagged as “hyper-calvinist”, for its seems when the tag is placed upon one who resembles such a disastrous position they too are radically affected.

Fifthly, the decline was also a result of “Liberalism.” This new worldview hit America by storm and was eadily accepted in some form or another. When this group began to stress individualism above all else, the strong view of the sovereignty of God and the absolutes of Scripture began to crumble in the church. Many churches began to accept this position after the Civil War and Particular Baptists’ influence was on the wane as was all orthodox belief.

Lastly, we see that the “Fundamentalist Movement” was another strong factor in the decline of Particular Baptists in America. The Fundamentalists, responding to liberalism, produced an unexpected opposite extreme - that of legalism. This new Christian mindset called for a general view of doctrine. They held that the great reclaimed truths of the Reformation were unimportant, for they believed that doctrine led one to rely on knowledge alone without opening the Bible. They held to a non-credal position and stressed the emotions far more than doctrines. This led to what can be called a “dumbing-down” of biblical and doctrinal knowledge and eventually ushered in an “easy-believism” salvation. This “new” view of salvation stressed a man-centered faith instead of a God-centered one. As with any man-centered position, doctrine was lost. And when doctrine was lost, so was our great Baptist heritage.


A Call for Reformation

Now that we have seen the historical foundations of the Baptist church and that they can be traced back to the Particular Baptists, we now need to reclaim our heritage. The longer we stay away from Reformed doctrine the longer we will see a decline in biblical knowledge and spirituality. We must see that Baptist heritage is strongly rooted in the Reformation which reclaimed Scripture from a pragmatic church. As we look around us today, we see that most Baptist churches (and for that matter the Evangelical church as a whole) are eaten up with pragmatism.25 If we are going to see Reformation today, we must call ourselves back to our Reformed heritage. It has been Baptist theology that has had one of the most striking impacts in the world since the 1700's. But we must not allow a watered-down version of Baptist theology to stop our continual impact. If we are going to call ourselves Baptists, we must follow our forefathers in their pursuit of biblical purity to the orthodox Christian doctrines. We are a doctrinal people, a people who have flowed out of the Reformation to call a world to follow the Sovereign God who sent His Son to die on the cross for all who would believe! Let us begin this Reformation today!

 

Endnotes

1 This is the Latin for Scripture Alone.
2 Cited from J.I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness.
3 H. Leon McBeth, The Baptist Heritage, (Broadman Press: Nashville, 1987), p.31.
4 A general atonement is the belief that Christ died for every single person who has lived or will ever live.
5 McBeth, p.35.
6 They held that both men and women could be deacons.
7 McBeth, p. 39.
8 Particular Atonement is the belief that Christ died for his chosen people alone.
9 Cited in H. Leon McBeth, The Baptist Heritage, p. 40.
10 It was named the JLJ after the initials of its first three pastors; Henry Jacob, John Lathrop, and Henry Jessey.
11 “Anabaptist Theology” in New Dictionary of Theology, (InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, Illinois, 1988), p. 18
12 Ibid, p. 18.
13 A view of strict imitation is one in which a person will only live out direct passages of Scripture. Thus, if it is not laid out word for word in Scripture we have no part in doing or thinking about it. There is no room for principles, nor a systematic look at Scripture.
14 For more study, see H. Leon McBeth The Baptist Heritage, pp. 58-61.
15 Quoted in H. Leon McBeth The Baptist Heritage, p.60.
16 Ibid, p.60-61.
17 Ibid, p. 61.
18 The doctrine of the priesthood of all believers has historically taught that the Holy Spirit teaches His people individually through “private judgment”, “the present community of saints” and “Christian heritage.”
19 Arminianism holds that salvation is open to all mankind and is based upon man’s decision to accept or reject Christ.
20 The Savoy was the Congregationalist confession and was penned by John Owen, Thomas Goodwin, Philip Nye, William Bridge, Joseph Caryl and William Greenhill (all but Owen had been on the Westminster Assembly).
21 Hyper-calvinism is the belief that God has so planned the world that secondary-causes (our actions) are not necessary at all. This view is not historically reflecting Calvinism. We could call this view “anti-calvinism” for it is not reflecting the biblical teachings of God and His creation as does true Calvinism.
22 McBeth, p. 200.
23 Samuel E. Waldron Baptist Roots in America, (Simpson Publishing Company: Boonton; New Jersey, 1991).
24 Ibid, p. 22.
25 Pragmatism is that belief which says "if it works it must be right". It is an ends-justifies-the-means mentality.



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