Faith and Life for Baptists: The Documents of the London Particular Baptist General Assemblies, 1689-1694


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Edited by James M. Renihan

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Product description

The documents of the London Particular Baptist General Assemblies, 1689-1694, are contained in this book. Each General Assembly published a Narrative of its acts, and several supporting documents were also released. The 1677 Confession of Faith (2LCF) was promoted, a defense of the necessity of financial support for pastors printed, a Catechism authorized, and other subordinate but important papers ordered. All of these documents are incorporated here, so far as the editor knows, some of them for the first time in print since the seventeenth century.

462 pages
Published 2016

Foreword by Larry K. Kreitzer.

Endorsements by Crawford Gribben, Tom Nettles, Michael Haykin, Robert Oliver, Sam Waldron, Jonathan Arnold, Barry Howson, and Steve Weaver.

Product endorsements

After the Second London Confession of Faith, no documents were more important for the early Particular Baptists than the records of the General Assemblies of their English and Welsh churches (1689-94). Until now, these records have been extremely hard to find. James Renihan’s new edition demonstrates that the Particular Baptist churches were committed to associational life, that they worked together to confess the same faith and promote the same order, and that they adopted the confession of faith that would provide Reformed Baptists with their most important theological symbol (1689). This new edition of these records is among the most important resources on Baptist history that has ever been published.

Crawford Gribben, Ph.D.
Professor of Early Modern British History
Queen’s University, Belfast
Author of John Owen and English Puritanism

The documents provided in this collection are pivotal and vital for a proper understanding of Baptist self-consciousness at the beginning of the modern Baptist movement. They show that the theological convictions were not simply a mindless parroting of the doctrine of fellow Dissenters, but a deeply conscientious presentation of those things they surely believed to be true. Every Baptist historian, theologian, and serious church member will benefit from paying careful attention to this treasure of primary source material. James Renihan always provides us with carefully conceived matter that will have long term benefits.

Tom J. Nettles, Ph.D.
Senior Professor of Church History/Historical Theology
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Author of The Baptists

Essential for all of our knowledge and interpretation of the past are primary sources. Failure to use them or even possess them relegates the historian to a position little better than that of an author of historical fiction. By bringing together in one book these valuable documents about English Baptist life from the close of the seventeenth century, James Renihan has given all who are interested in this era a treasure trove that opens up vital perspectives on early English Baptist self-understanding. Nor are these texts of mere antiquarian interest, for the simple fact that being Baptist is a choice that many still make. And these texts can aid immeasurably in making that choice a truly informed one.

Michael A. G. Haykin, Ph.D.
Professor of Church History & Biblical Spirituality
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Author of Kiffin, Knollys and Keach

Once again Professor James Renihan has put historians and indeed all Confessional Baptists in his debt. He has produced for the first time a collection of documents illustrating the background to the Second London Confession of Faith and the events leading to and surrounding the early General Assemblies of Particular Baptists. Some of this material has only been available in private collections or in works long out of print. Given the growing interest in the Confession around the world and the desire to understand the lives of the Particular Baptist pioneers this book is of great importance. One of the most fascinating pieces is the reprinting of The Gospel Minister’s Maintenance Vindicated, important not only for its plea for adequate support for the minister, but also for the high view of the Christian ministry advocated. This collection is one to be treasured and consulted.

Robert W. Oliver, Ph.D.
Retired Reformed Baptist Pastor
Lecturer at the London Theological Seminary and John Owen Centre
Author of History of the English Calvinistic Baptists 1771-1892

Much of modern theological writing is too little-informed by a careful study of the doctrinal history of the Christian church. Similarly, way too little of contemporary Baptist writing is uninformed about the actual doctrinal views of early Particular and Reformed Baptists. We are indebted, then, to James Renihan and RBAP for making these important materials related to the early confessional history of Baptists available to the rest of us. I am hopeful that this volume will further the reformation of Baptists today.

Sam Waldron, Ph.D.
Pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Owensboro, KY
Author of The End Times Made Simple

James Renihan has provided a much-needed collection of resources for the continued study of early Baptists. This collection of early documents—some of which have never been published—provides a unique insight into the life of the nascent Particular Baptists as they “came of age” as a proto-denomination at the end of the seventeenth century. Renihan’s insightful introductions and notes aid in making the documents accessible to the modern reader while allowing the historical documents to continue to speak for themselves, making this collection an absolute essential for any student of early Baptist theology.

Jonathan W. Arnold, D. Phil.
Assistant Professor of Christian Theology and Church History
Boyce College
Author of The Reformed Theology of Benjamin Keach (1640-1704)

Faith and Life for Baptists, a collection of early English Baptist documents, is a welcome resource for the Baptist historian. In particular, I appreciate the previously unpublished General Assembly documents that were post Act of Toleration, as well as The Gospel Ministers Maintenance Vindicated. This latter treatise, usually attributed to Benjamin Keach, is still relevant for twenty-first-century churches.

Barry Howson, Ph. D.
Academic Dean
Heritage College and Seminary
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Author of Erroneous and Schismatical Opinions: The Question of Orthodoxy Regarding the Theology of Hanserd Knollys

James Renihan has provided a service to all who desire to learn about the seventeenth-century English Particular Baptist community. By republishing these works that were previously relegated to scholars working in select archives, Renihan has made accessible to all the record of the theological community of fellowship that were these early General Assemblies. Readers will discover the rich theological discussions that were part and parcel of seventeenth-century English Particular Baptist life. Read the enclosed documents and long for such a robust Baptist community in our own day.

Stephen Weaver, Jr., Ph.D.
Pastor of Farmdale Baptist Church, Frankfort, KY
Fellow of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies
Adjunct Professor of Church History
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Author of Orthodox, Puritan, Baptist: Hercules Collins (1647-1702)
and Particular Baptist Identity in Early Modern England