A Model of Christian Scholarly Dialog

The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies at Southern Seminary recently hosted their annual conference. This year’s topic was “Baptist Spirituality: Historical Perspectives.” Much of the conference audio is available online. I want to particularly recommend that you take the time to listen to the dialog between Michael Haykin and Malcolm Yarnell titled “Reformed and Anabaptist: Strengths and Shortcomings of Two Traditions.” Though they disagree concerning elements of Baptist identity and the best way to resource some of our theological forebearers, their discussion is a model for Christian scholarly dialog. Furthermore, it becomes clear that, real differences notwithstanding, what these two brothers share in common is greater than those issues wherein they differ. As someone who resonates with Dr. Haykin’s soteriological convictions, but shares many commonalities with Dr. Yarnell when it comes to Baptists’ varied theological roots, I was pleased to hear them engage in this very fruitful conversation about Baptist history and identity. I commend it to you.

Baptist Identity at 400

As many of our readers know, 2009 marks the 400th anniversary of the Baptist movement. In honor of this historic year, Doug Baker of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina recently conducted a Koinonia Podcast on the topic “Baptist Identity at 400.” The panelists for the podcast include the following:

James Leo Garrett, Distinguished Professor of Theology Emeritus at Southwestern Seminary

David Dockery, President of Union University

Greg Wills, Professor of Church History and Director of the Center for the Study of the Southern Baptist Convention at Southern Seminary

Nathan Finn, Assistant Professor of Church History and Baptist Studies at Southeastern Seminary

You can read the press release here and access the podcast here.

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In related news, you may be aware that Doug Baker has recently been selected as the executive editor of the Baptist Messenger, the official paper for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. You can read the about that news here. We at BtT hate to see Doug leave our fair state, but we are thankful for the strategic ministry the Lord has opened up for him among Oklahoma Baptists. Many North Carolina Baptists have commented in recent days that Oklahoma’s gain is our loss, but since we don’t hold grudges, we wish Doug every blessing in Christ.