SBC FAQs: A Ready Reference (B&H Academic, 2018), by Amy Whitfield and Keith Harper, is a nice and neat introduction to the Southern Baptist Convention. Part 1 (pgs. 1-52) contains a series of questions and answers, ranging from “What is the Southern Baptist Convention?” to “What is the Baptist Faith and Message?” Part 2 (pgs. 53-134) contains various SBC documents: charter, constitution, bylaws, business and financial plan, and the Baptist Faith and Message. I recommend this book to Independent Baptists to see just how denominational Southern Baptists are, and to instruct their congregations accordingly.

William Whitsitt

After you are finished reading about Crawford Toy, you might want to dive into W. H. Whitsitt: The Man and the Controversy (Mercer University Press, 2009), by James H. Slatton. Begin by reading or rereading chapter 5 of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary 1859-2009 that I mentioned in my previous post. Toy and Whitsitt were bachelor roommates when they were professors at Southern Seminary. Whitsitt later served as president of the seminary from 1895-1899. Like Toy, Whitsitt studied in Germany, and like Toy, was forced to resign, this time over his controversial views on the historical origins of Baptists. After leaving Southern Seminary, Whitsitt taught at the University of Richmond from 1901 until his death in 1911. The antidote to Whitsitt’s views was published while he was still the seminary president: Did They Dip? or An Examination into the Act of Baptism as practiced by the English and American Baptists before the Year 1641 (Baptist Book Concern, 1896), by John T. Christian. I am pleased to say that I own an original copy.

Crawford Toy

I have finally finished reading Crawford Howell Toy: The Man, the Scholar, the Teacher (Mercer University Press, 2019), by Mikeal C. Parsons, the professor and Macon Chair in Religion at Baylor University. Toy (1836-1919) was Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, from 1869 until he was forced to resign in 1879 for his liberal theological views. Toy then served as the Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages at Harvard from 1880-1909. He eventually left the Baptists and became a Unitarian. The book is a both a fascinating and a captivating read. I only stopped reading it at times because of pressing writing commitments. If you are a Baptist and are not familiar with Toy, then I recommend that you first read the first four chapters of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary 1859-2009 (Oxford, 2009), by Gregory A. Wills, then read the biography of Toy, and then go back and finish the Wills book, which I highly recommend in its entirely. Toy’s downfall, like so many others, was his embrace of higher criticism when he studied in Germany.

What the Bible Doesn’t Say about Infant Baptism

My review of Scot McKnight’s book It Takes a Church to Baptize: What the Bible Says about Infant Baptism (Brazos Press, 2018) was recently published in the Ancient Baptist Journal. The title of the book ought to be What the Bible Doesn’t Say about Infant Baptism. This is definitely McKnight’s worst book.

The History and Heritage of Fundamentalism and Fundamental Baptists

If you are looking for a book by an Independent Fundamental Baptist that “contains an extensive history of Fundamentalism in general and of fundamental Baptists in particular,” I recommend The History and Heritage of Fundamentalism and Fundamental Baptists (Way of Life, 2020), by David W. Cloud. The main sections of the book are 1. Interdenominational Fundamentalism, 2. Metropolitan Tabernacle, London, 3. Northern Fundamental Baptists, 4. Southern Fundamental Baptists, 5. Where Are Fundamental Baptists Today?, 6. New Testament Churches in the Last Days. The book is not on Amazon, but can be ordered from Way of Life Literature,

J. Frank Norris and George W. Truett

J. Frank Norris (1877-1952) pastored the First Baptist Church of Ft. Worth while George W. Truett (1867-1944) pastored the First Baptist Church of Dallas. Norris left the SBC while Truett remained in. Broadman & Holman (B & H) Academic is announcing the publication on September 1 of In the Name of God: The Colliding Lives, Legends, and Legacies of J. Frank Norris and George W. Truett, by O. S. Hawkins. I will have more to say about this publisher at a later date. This looks to be a fascinating book if you are interested in Baptist history. You can preview the book here.

Historical Dictionary of the Baptists

In the new religion catalog from the publisher Rowman & Littlefield—a secular publisher that publishes some overpriced religious books, the vast majority of which are not worth reading or owning even if you got them for free—there is advertised the publication of a third edition of Historical Dictionary of the Baptists (2021) by William H. Brackney. Although it is a 722-page hardcover book, the price ($180) will keep it out of my library. However, it would be a good resource for a Baptist college library that I would not hesitate to recommend. The same thing could be said of some of Rowman & Littlefield’s other historical dictionaries; e.g., Historical Dictionary of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I only have a handful of books in my library published by Rowman & Littlefield or one of its imprints. Three come to mind right now: Storm on the Horizon: The Challenge to American Intervention, 1939-1941 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000), by Justus D. Doenecke (reviewed here by the late, great Ralph Raico); Catholic Perspectives on Peace and War (Sheed & Ward, 2003), by Thomas J. Massaro and Thomas A. Shannon; and Two Puzzling Baptisms (Hamilton Books, 2017), a study of 1 Corinthians 10:1-5 and 15:29 in their Judaic background.