Sunday, August 24, 2008

Andrew Fuller Conference at SBTS

The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies is hosting a conference this week on the campus of Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. The theme is "The English Baptists of the 17th Century" and features well-known Baptist historians and theologians such as Tom Nettles, Michael Haykin, Stan Fowler Jim Renihan and Malcolm Yarnell as well as some who are students and younger scholars.

It looks to be a wonderful conference. Andrew Fuller is one of my heroes and a Baptist statesman who is worthy of the kind of honor and respect that Center (under Michael Haykin's direction) bestows. Certainly modern Baptists have much to learn from our forefathers in the faith, such as those who will be the focus of this year's gathering.

I couldn't help but notice that Dr. Jerry Vines will be speaking in chapel on Tuesday during the conference. He has publicly expressed his opinion that, based on his research, the 17th century London Baptist confessions do not explicitly teach the five points of Calvinism. His words, to be exact, were,
...the London confessions, Philadelphia confession, New Hampshire Confession...these confessions bear a close resemblance to some of the five points although there is no clear cut evidence that Baptists in their confesssions of faith ever truly subscribed to everything that the five points of Calvinism would teach."
Perhaps the conference will provide opportunities to explore this and other related doctrinal/historical theses related to 17th century Baptist beliefs. Check out the line up below. Hopefully, mp3s of the presentations will be made available in the near future.

Conference Schedule

Monday, August 25

7:30 - 8:45 AM Breakfast and Registration

9:00 AM An Opening Word Dr. Michael Haykin, Director of The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies

9:10 AM Plenary Session 1: "The English Calvinistic Baptists of the 17th Century--An Overview" Dr. Malcolm Yarnell (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary)

10:25 AM Plenary Session 2: "John Spilsbury and the Beginning of the Baptists" Dr. Tom Nettles (The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

11:40 AM Plenary Session 3: "Hanserd Knollys (1599-1691) and the Interpretation of Revelation" Dr. Barry Howson (Heritage Theological Seminary)

12:45 PM Lunch

2:45-3:25 PM Parallel Session 1:

Room A: "Henry Jessey (1601-1663): his Life and Though" Jason Duesing (PhD candidate, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary)

Room B: "'A Poor and Despised People': Abraham Cheare and the Calvinistic Baptists at Plymouth." Dr. Jeff Robinson (The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

Room C: "Baptist Associations in the 17th century" Dr. Stan Fowler (Heritage Theological Seminary)

3:35-4:15 PM Parallel Session 2:

Room A: "Benjamin Keach's Doctrine of Justification" Tom Hicks (PhD candidate, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

Room B: "The Role of Metaphor in the Sermons of Benjamin Keach" Chris Holmes (PhD candidate, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

Room C: "Turks, Jews, & God's Plan for His People: Hanserd Knollys' Understanding of Abraham's Other 'Descendants'" Dr. Dennis Bustin (Atlantic Baptist University)

4:30 - 5:00 PM Tour of Archives of the James P. Boyce Centennial Library (Optional)

7:00 PM - Dinner

8:30 PM Plenary Session 4: "The Importance of Baptist Confessionalism" Dr. Albert Mohler (President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

Tuesday, August 26

7:30 - 8:30 AM - Breakfast

8:45 AM Plenary Session 5: "The Strange Case of Thomas Collier" HERITAGE HALL Dr. James Renihan (Dean, The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies)

10:00 AM - SBTS Chapel - Chapel Speaker: Dr. Jerry Vines

11:30 AM Plenary Session 6: "Benjamin Keach and the Protestant Cause Under Persecution" Austin Walker (Pastor, Maidenbower Baptist Church, Crawley, UK)

12:30 PM - Lunch

2:20 - 3:00 PM - Parallel Session 3:

Room A: "Thomas Wilcox and his A Choice Drop of Honey from the Rock Christ" Dr. Stephen Yuille (Toronto Baptist Seminary)

Room B: "Hercules Collins and The Temple Repair'd: Baptists and Theological Education" Steve Weaver (PhD candidate, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

3:10 - 3:50 PM - Parallel Session 4:

Room A: "The Prison Epistles of Thomas Hardcastle" Dr. Peter Beck (Charleston Southern University)

Room B: "17th century Baptists and the Perseverance of the Saints" Jay Collier (PhD candidate, Calvin Seminary)

4:00 PM Plenary Session 7: "William Kiffin (1616-1701)--His Life and Thought" Dr Larry Kreitzer (Regent's Park College, University of Oxford)

5:00-5:10 PM A Closing Word, Dr. Michael Haykin (Director, The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies)


DoGLover said...


Sounds interesting. I hope my son can attend at least part of the conference since he's there.

Glad you're back in the saddle. Just take your time to get up to speed. Praying for you.

Gary Brady said...

Sounds fascinating. Thanks for noting this. Please include a report of the conference itself.

MarieP said...

I couldn't help but notice that Jerry Vines is preaching too. Perhaps he will get to sit in on a lecture or two! I certainly am praying he will!

Austin Walker delivered a great series of lectures on Friday and Saturday on the history of the Reformation. He also taught SS and preached two sermons yesterday, which the Spirit blessed mightily!

You can listen to all these here!

Jade said...

Yeah I had wondered why they had him speak at such a time... and he preached on John 3:16. He said something to the effect about God globally loving the world. But I could not for the life of me figure out what he meant by that. And he had something close to an alter call at the end with music playing in the background. And the worship was quite contemporary. Is that normal at SBTS?
This is my first time at SBTS and I could help wondering what could be going on in the mind of the students as he preached. I know I was confused....

Jade said...

There was one more thing that bothered me about Dr. Vines sermon and I was trying to recall this when discussing this with MarieP. I can't quite remember his exact words and so don't quote me on this, but I think he said to the effect that "God loves the reprobates". At one point he said He loves you and you and you, etc, pointing to each person. It was very clear that he believes in universal atonement. His sermon was really vagued. As MarieP said that it might have done Dr. Vines some good if he attended some of the lectures of this conference.... he might have realized how wrong he was concerning the 17th Century English Baptists.

But other than that the conference was great. Dr. Renihan's talk on "The Strange Case of Thomas Collier" was educational. I enjoyed Tom Hicks' "Benjamin Keach's Doctrine of Justification" was good, as well as Jay Collier's talk on the "17th Century Baptists and the Perseverance of the Saints". I can't wait when all the papers of these lectures will be published. I look forward to reviewing them in depth.

MarieP said...


Now I remember what he'd said. At one point he said that God would never stop loving anyone, period. It brought several things to mind:

1. Where does Romans 9 fit in his theology?

2. So God loves people in hell?

3. Does God "love" everyone in the same way? So, God feels the same toward Judas as He does toward Peter? It's the unibenevolence of God debate all over again!

It was great to fellowship with you, Jade! I enjoyed it greatly too! And don't forget the excellent section on Thomas Wilcox's Choice Drops of Honey from the Rock Christ!

Lord willing, I will post my notes here in the next day or so. I took lots of them!

MarieP said...

Some things about the Jerry Vines sermon that he got right:

1. He did say that world can mean every nationality and race. He said this verse means God loves blacks, whites, Asians, Europeans, Americans, etc. He should have stopped there.

2. He said that God's love is not based on any worthiness in us. It is God who took the initiative to love sinners. Now, he's speaking as a non-Calvinist, but if he were consistent, he'd have to agree with unconditional election!

3. He did say that God's love in Christ is unfathomable. It is so deep you can never plumb its depths. Any Calvinist would add their amen to this!

4. He did suggest that the "so" in this verse means "in this manner."

MarieP said...

"And the worship was quite contemporary. Is that normal at SBTS?"

Not quite as contemporary as it was yesterday.

Normally, the organ is used in Tuesday chapel and older hymns are sung. On Thursday, several guitars are used and contemporary hymns are sung (the Gettys, Sovereign Grace, Kingsway).

To be honest, I like it better when the guitar is used in chapel because I can't hear myself or anyone else singing over the organ.

Jade said...

Hi Marie,
do you know where they will have the recordings of the conference made available? I want to listen to the rest of the lectures I missed.
And thanks for your southern hospitality! It was among the high lights of our trip to finally meet you! What a treat....
And remember to come and visit the NorthEast and I'll show you some real Yankee hospitality. :o)
BTW I must warn you that you'll have to wear a Yankee cap when I take you to Fenway Park! :o)

Jerome said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MarieP said...

Notes from Dr. Malcolm Yarnell's lecture are on my blog...