Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Broadus, societies, true church

The following is an excerpt from John Albert Broadus from Hershael York's blog "Confessions of a Pastor." Jason Fowler, archivist in the library at Southern Seminary, Louisville, KY, found the following in the James Petigru Boyce collection. Read the entire e-mail at Broadus on the requirements to be a true church.

"As to my 'syllogism.' In Homiletics, under Argument, I put on the board many specimens of argument, chiefly about real and religious questions (as more intelligible and useful), such as Romanism, Pedobaptism, close communion, etc. The last 2 sessions I have added an argument for “Landmarkism,” as an example in which if the premises be granted, the conclusions must follow, and the only question is whether the premises are true. Somehow so I put it: 1. No one has the right to preach unless he is authorized by a church. 2. Pedobaptists societies are not churches. Therefore, Pedobaptist churches have not a right to preach, and we ought not to recognize them as preachers. I said that if I believed both premises, as many esteemed brethren do, I should stand up to the conclusion squarely, as they do. That some brethren deny the 2nd premises, and some deny both. That I for my part fully admit the 2nd, but do not believe the 1st. And then I both times said I introduced this matter, on which our brethren are divided in opinion, merely as an illustration of argument, and I think it a good one, and not because I wanted anyone to adopt my views."(1)

Broadus indicates that he believes Pedobaptists (infant baptizing churches) can only be considered societies and not true churches. In this point he agrees with Landmarkism, doesn't he?

(1) Letter, John A. Broadus to James P. Boyce, 15 July 1876, James Petigru Boyce Collection, Archives and Special Collections, James P. Boyce Centennial Library, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

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