Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Classic Baptists on Conscience

Louis Mauldin, in his book The Classic Baptist Heritage of Personal Truth, provides a valuable summary of the understandings of conscience among the earliest Baptists:

General and Particular Baptists disagree over the impact of sin upon the natural conscience, which is comprised of reason, the will, and communication. General Baptists see conscience as marred by sin, though operative, while Particular Baptists think it virtually destroyed. They both agree, however, that redemption brings a new conscience and with it a sanctified reason. The redeemed obtain an "inlightened conscience, carrying a more bright and lively stamp of the kingly place and power of the Lord Jesus." In an enlightened conscience, all English Baptists aver, the trinity does not set aside the norms of the "reasonable soule" by superseding the faculties thereof. On the contrary, God the Spirit approves "every truth to the understanding," moving at all times "without violence, with a rational force," respecting standards of reasonableness. God the Son, clears the truth and leaves "naked the errors." And, God the Father "would have every man fully persuaded in his owne mind."
This paragraph is but one small detail in a masterful exposition of the thoroughly trinitarian and personal understanding of truth that prevailed among early Baptists.

Mauldin's book is essential reading for anyone who cares to understand the difference between the thought of early Baptists as opposed to the theology of rationalists and presuppositionalists like Carl Henry, Al Mohler, and the numerous Baptist disciples of Francis Schaeffer.

Cross posted from the Mainstream Baptist weblog.

The Classic Baptist Heritage Of Personal Truth: The Truth As It Is In Jesus

1 comment:

  1. Bruce: Kathryn Joyce has a phenomenal piece up today at religious further exploring the world of Francis Schaeffer and Glenn Beck and how the Fog Machine has been enhanced by Richard Land.
    Hope you look at it very soon.
    Also Gus Niebuhr's book Beyond Tolerance frames the world of Al Mohler, obliquely showing in ten grand pages how Mohler has diminished the grand witness of authentic Baptists in Louisville. A Prez Minister Yorty has good sermon that accents Niebuhr's insight easily googled.
    Take a look at the mendacity of David Miller, both at SBC Voices and now at SBC Impact on Jesus andPaul, Civility and the Conservative Resurgence. Miller advances the lie that Bob Tenery and the demagoguery of Vines and Criswell never happenned; that somehow the CR arose in a Virgin Birth of sorts and Ezell problems at NAMB are a pristine event with no heritage of deceit.