Saturday, April 07, 2007

Classifications of Baptist Historians

The following lists are compiled from various sources of historians and theologians giving what they believe are the different views of Baptist origins. I have tried to include references that are online so you can look at them.

The Baptist Heritage by H. Leon McBeth
1. The outgrowth of English Separatism
2. The influence of biblical Anabaptists

3. The continuation of biblical teachings through the ages
4. The succession of organized Baptist churches through the ages

A Primer on Baptist History: The True Baptist Trail by Chris Traffanstedt
1. English Separatist movement

2. Anabaptist Influence
3. The Continuation or Successionist view

A History of the Baptists by Robert G. Torbet
(as presented by Philip Bryan)
1. The successionist theory

2. The Anabaptist spiritual kinship theory
3. The English Separatist descent theory

A History of the Baptists by Robert G. Torbet
(as presented by R. E. Pound)
1. The John the Baptist, Jordan River and Jerusalem Theory

2. The Anabaptist-Spiritual Kinship Theory of Baptist Origins
3. The English Separatist Descent Theory
4. The John H. Shakespeare Theory

[Note: Differences between Bryan & Pound on Torbet are that (1) Pound uses Torbet's original "John-Jordan-Jerusalem" terminology and Bryan takes the "successionist" term from a later revision of the book; and (2) Pound views "the Shakespeare theory" as a separate theory, while Bryan views it as a sub-theory under English Separatist descent.]

William H. Brackney in Baptist Life and Thought and The Baptists
1. Unbroken line of Baptistic churches
2. Affinities with the Continental Anabaptists
3. Arising out of English Puritans/Separatists
4. Spontaneous origination as called forth by the Holy Spirit

The Question of Baptist Origins by Nathan Finn
1. The "spontaneous origins" view

2. "Landmarkism", or Baptist succession
3. "Anabaptist kinship" view
4. "English Separatist" origins view
5. "Multiple origins" view

In addition to these, in The Southern Baptist Convention: 1845-1953, William Wright Barnes gives four variations of historical succession:
Church succession
Apostolic succession
Baptismal succession
Spiritual succession

Tomorrow I will give an outline that is an attempt to synthesize the different theories into a manageable (and hopefully helpful) format. Then we will look at some of the different views.

P.S. -- Or perhaps I won't give an outline! :-(
Does anyone know how to format an outline on Blogger?? I can't figure out how to do it.


Will said...

<li>This is how
<li>you make an outline
<li>in blogger

<li>You can also
<li>use numbered lists

R. L. Vaughn said...

Thanks, Will. I appreciate the help. Can it also be tagged to subdivide the Roman numerals, Caps, numbers, small letters? - (I. A. 1. a)

Are you still planning to make the McMahan singing?

Will said...

Robert: start each new sublist with the proper style identifier, as follows:

<ol style="list-style-type: upper-roman;">
 <ol style="list-style-type: upper-alpha;">
    <ol style="list-style-type: decimal;">
    <ol style="list-style-type: lower-alpha;">
       <ol style="list-style-type: lower-alpha;">

(Too difficult, I know ...)

Anonymous said...

Have you tried outlining it in MS Word and then copying and pasting it into your Blog editor?


R. L. Vaughn said...

Thanks again, Will. Too difficult? Definitely. At least for me. I have formatted something that I think will be acceptable, but will be sure and stay away from outlines as much as possible in the future!

I had thought I could format it in Word and then paste it in, but that didn't work with this blog editor (unless there is another trick I don't know). Once pasted in, everything "slides" to the left.

Y'all take a look at it tomorrow and see what you think. Of course, you can comment on the actual substance of the post as well. ;-)

Anonymous said...


Have you tried:
1. saving the Word doc as 'html,' 2. then open the html version in NotePad,
3. then copy/paste the html source code into the blog editor?

Worth a try..


R. L. Vaughn said...

That came close to working. Someone who knows more about html codes, etc. might be able to get it to work. After pasted in the blogger editor, it keep some of the formatting, but lost some of it as well. The centering on the heading was good, and the tab-overs for the small letters, but still everything else slid left. Perhaps if I had used Word's automatic formatting of an outline instead of doing it manually, or something else could be done to make it work right. I'm getting closer and may work with that some more for future use.