Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Baptist Faith and Practice

I just finished the assigned reading for my class this Thursday night, a Seminary Wives Institute class on the Southern Baptist Convention. I'm looking over my notes from last week (we have quizzes!), and thinking about Baptist faith and practice.

Faith and practice were the central themes of last week's lecture by Dr. Gregory Wills. He stressed to us that, around the time of the founding of the SBC (1845), Baptist culture had settled into uniformity of both faith and practice.

As concerns faith, Baptists were generally united by Calvinistic doctrine. This uniformity in Calvinistic doctrine is interesting because, until the 19th century, this was precisely what divided Baptists. They were divided for centuries into general baptists, who were Arminian, and particular baptists, who were Calvinist.

All right, that's what I learned last week (in a nutshell) about Baptist faith. And what about practice?

This part was fascinating to me. Dr. Wills described in detail how churches proceeded (still talking 1845 here) to receive new members, baptize believers, and carry out church discipline. I could go on about this, but, in general, I found their procedures to be much more stringent, though much more biblical, than most modern churches.

I can hardly wait to learn more this Thursday night!

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