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The Baptists: The Modern Era - Vol 3 Hardcover – July 20, 2007
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"This volume completes Tom Nettles' magisterial study of Baptist history. Building on his earlier research, Nettles carries the Baptist story into our own times. A work rich in detail and offering a distinctive interpretation of the people of God called Baptists." (Timothy George ~ Founding Dean of Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama)
"What has it meant, historically, to be a Baptist? Which modern Baptists would Charles Spurgeon recognize as his theological descendants? What happened between Spurgeon's day and ours? Tom Nettles masterfully explores these and other important questions, setting a new standard for Baptist history. This is a book every Baptist should read. Indeed, anyone interested in the Baptists would do well to start with these three powerful volumes. Nettles has not only given us standard texts on Baptist history, the life stories told here provoke devotional meditation, desire for faithfulness, and careful thought. Praise God for these books, then read them carefully, mark them thoroughly, revisit them through the years, and impart this history to the coming generations." (James M. Hamilton Jr. ~ Professor of Biblical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky)
About the Author
Tom Nettles is Professor of Historical Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.
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In Volume Three Nettles begins with Charles Spurgeon and the downgrade controversy. Hundreds and hundreds of pages have been written on Spurgeon and on the Downgrade controversy, but Nettles does a very good job in handling Spurgeon in just over 40 pages. (For a more in depth look at Spurgeon Nettles has recently released a 700 page biography through Christian Focus that is simply outstanding) Nettles then focuses on John Clifford and his doctrinal minimalism, his denial of the inerrancy of Scripture, his universalism and thus denial of eternal punishment, and his denial of penal substitutionary atonement. Looking back it is easy to see what a mark that these 'denials' have left on the church, and because of this it may be one of the more crucial chapters to read, because its effects are still seen today. So much of the church in England and America still suffer from the flawed doctrine that John Clifford held. Sadly, since this is a historical book we have to face much decline that has taken place in doctrine over the past 100-150 years. Thankfully Nettles closes the book on a more positive note, focusing on how to reclaim a historic Baptist identity. In his chapter titled Reconstructing the Profile, Nettles gives attention to Al Mohler and the work done at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mohler's acceptance of Southern Seminary's confessional history and following Boyce's Abstract of Principles has tremendously helped in recovering a historic Baptist identity and is worth the attention he receives in this book.
This book completes Nettles 3 part series on Baptist history and would be a wonderful addition to anyone's library who desires to better understand Baptist history.
I received a free copy of this book from Christian Focus Publications in exchange for an honest review.