THE STORY OF THE ENGLISH BAPTISTS: By John Carlile


I recently updated the http://particularbaptist.com web site by adding the book ‘The Story of the English Baptists,’ by John C. Carlile. The book can be found at the link below:

http://particularbaptist.com/library/englishbaptists_john-carlile.html

It is useful as a bit of an interesting introduction to English Baptist history even if you don’t agree with all of Carlile’s conclusions and comments. Hopefully it will still whet the appetite for further research into Particular Baptist history and teaching.

ROMANS BIBLE STUDIES: 1. An Introduction


The first Bible Study series has begun on the Particular Baptist Studies Blog site at http://pbstudies.wordpress.com/ .

The Bible studies are available in both HTML and PDF formats.

JOHN L. DAGG AUTOBIOGRAPHY AND WORKS


John Dagg wrote one of the earliest works on Baptist Theology and Church Order in the United States. His two works on theology and church order are an important contribution to early Particular Baptist and/or Reformed Baptist theology and church practice and are still regarded highly.

I have read John l. Dagg’s works on several occasions and have had cause to refer to them during the preparation of a number of doctrinal studies over the years. The contribution of Dagg is not that of a Louis Berkhoff and as such is far easier to follow and it can be argued, not as deep. Yet they are a wonderful introduction to Particular and Reformed Baptist thought.

I would highly recommend the two works – A Manual on Christian Doctrine and a Manual on Church Order, especially as an introduction to these areas. Both of these works are being prepared for the www.particularbaptist.com web site and can be found at:

http://particularbaptist.com/history/particular_johndagg.html

Both of these works are yet to be completed, but will hopefully be completed in the near future.

The autobiography of Dagg makes very interesting and profitable reading and can also be found on my web site. It is no too large to read and can be comfortable read in a reasonably short time. It can be found at:

http://www.particularbaptist.com/library/dagg_auto.html

SEX SERMONS… THE LATEST US CHURCH GIMMICK


According to newspaper reports in Australia, an American Baptist pastor has created a website promoting his latest gimmick, Puresextucson.com. Pastor Jeremiah McDuffie created the website to promote a series of sex sermons and issues related to Christians as a consequence of sex.

According to McDuffie, he wants people to know that God wants them to have good sex and that he wanted to begin an open dialogue on the subject. He has also sent postcards to promote the sermon series and website to some 35 000 homes in Tucson, Arizona.

The Element Community Church is hosting the sex series and the flashy website introduction points you to the church website for more information.

The idea of teaching God’s people about the right place of sex in their lives is something that has enormous merit. However, it is the gospel that remains the vehicle for bringing in the elect, and faith and repentance the means of gaining salvation in Christ alone, which are gifts of God’s grace.

By promoting sermons on sex, McDuffie and the Element Community Church may very well get a large number of people along to their church and even gain a number of people that will continue to attend. But will they gain the unsaved for Christ by doing so? Again, it is the gospel that God uses in bringing salvation to the elect and not a series of sermons on sex. Having a whole group of people hanging around the church simply because their interests have been titillated will do nothing for their well being and may in fact cause great harm to the church itself.

Sadly, this exercise of the Element Community Church would appear to be just another gimmick in the American church as is typical of the Church Growth Movement. Browsing the church website would also lead one to think that the Element Community Church has drunk fully at the Church Growth Movement trough and imbibed its tragic spirit.

Indeed, the church website has a link to McDuffie’s Blog site, in which he actually praises Rick Warren, one of the founding fathers of the modern church growth movement.

http://puresextucson.com/

MARKETING THE CHURCH


I bought a book today called, ‘This little church went to market – Is the modern church reaching out or selling out?,’ by Gary Gilley. I haven’t read the book through yet of course, but I have read the introduction. In the introduction, Gilley makes some very pertinent comments regarding evangelism and the building up of the saint in the early church, briefly contrasting this example with that of today’s market-driven approach for success. It is a promising little book.