Book Reviews

Baptist Autographs in the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, 1741-1845

Dr. Jason G. Duesing


“The discovery of these Baptist letters within the autograph albums of the Thomas Raffles Collection and the Methodist Archives at the John Rylands Library of Manchester came about largely by accident” (xxi). So begins editor Timothy Whelan’s volume of treasures collected and published for the benefit of all who take interest in English Baptist heritage. read more

Evangelism Is . . . : How to Share Jesus with Passion and Confidence

Dr. Matt Queen


Why is it that a number of believers in Jesus Christ do not evangelize? Perhaps they find themselves gripped by either a fear of the unknown or their own unpreparedness. In Evangelism Is Dave Earley and David Wheeler offer substantive answers to fearful, would-be personal evangelists concerning their questions about and preparation for evangelism. read more


Dr. Jason G. Duesing


There are no small parts. Even in the New Testament, the briefest appearances of some individuals often provide rich insight and even warning to the body of Christ. Such is the case with Demas. He appears as a companion of Paul sending greetings, along with Luke, to the church in Colossae (Col 4:14). Then he again emerges as one of several greeters in Paul’s letter to Philemon (v. 24). read more

Jonathan Edwards for Armchair Theologians

Mr. S. Mark Hamilton


“Written by experts but designed for the novice; [providing] accurate, concise, and witty overviews of some of the most profound moments and theologians in church history.” This is James Byrd’s, Jonathan Edwards for Armchair Theologians. A fine contribution to both the Armchair series and to the ever-growing Edwards corpus, Byrd’s work is clear, cogent and teeming with content. read more

MissionShift: Global Issues in the Third Millennium

Dr. Mike Morris


Many evangelical missiologists remain locked in debate over a few missiological issues of vital importance. MissionShift will help to clarify these issues. Editors David Hesselgrave and Ed Stetzer differed with one another to some extent as they reacted to the thoughts of the other contributors to the book. read more

Whosoever Will: A Biblical-Theological Critique of Five-Point Calvinism

Dr. Roger E. Olson


Into the increasingly heated controversy among Baptists and evangelicals over predestination step eleven noted Southern Baptist scholars decidedly on the side of free will against unconditional predestination. The background is, of course, the debate over Calvinism and Arminianism spawned by the rise of what author Collin Hansen calls the “young, restless, Reformed” movement of mostly young evangelicals. read more

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

Mr. Jonathan D. Watson


“Do we really believe [Jesus] is worth abandoning everything for? . . . Do you and I believe him enough to obey him and to follow him wherever he leads, even when the crowds in our culture—and maybe in our churches—turn the other way?” (19). These questions express the heart of Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills (SBC) in Birmingham, AL. read more

The Meaning of the Pentateuch: Revelation, Composition and Interpretation

Dr. Joshua E. Williams


Nothing makes me more nervous than when I hear a preacher say that he has an interpretation of a biblical text that no one else holds. My heresy antennae come up quickly. Part of my fear is based on one of the fundamental values of orthodoxy. As a Christian concerned with orthodoxy, I value preservation over innovation. When I hear an interpretation that is novel, I fear that the interpreter has abandoned the deposit of faith left by the prophets and apostles. read more

40 Questions about Interpreting the Bible

Mr. Ched Spellman

Also on

Answering questions might be one of the primary tasks of a teacher. Robert L. Plummer sets out to ask and answer forty of them in 40 Questions about Interpreting the Bible. Plummer is a New Testament professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and in this volume he has rendered his course on Biblical Hermeneutics into a series of “frequently asked questions.” read more

A Reader's Hebrew Bible

Dr. Joshua E. Williams

Originally published in Southwestern Journal of Theology 52 (Spring 2010)

A Reader’s Hebrew Bible is the Old Testament companion volume to A Reader’s Greek Bible. These volumes are not intended as critical scholarly editions of the Greek New Testament or the Hebrew Bible. As a result, A Reader’s Hebrew Bible is virtually a reproduction of Codex Leningradensis (in digital format, the Westminster Leningrad Codex 4.4), the manuscript that serves as the basis for the widely-used critical edition Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. read more

Learning Evangelism from Jesus

Dr. David Mills


Jerram Barrs’ Learning Evangelism from Jesus examines Jesus’ practice of evangelism. In sixteen chapters, Barrs introduces the subject and explains seventeen narratives from the Gospels in which Jesus encounters people who need entrance into the Kingdom of God. The book includes a study guide, limited endnotes, a general index, and a Scripture index. Outreach Magazine has awarded Learning Evangelism from Jesus its “Book of the Year” award. read more

Baptist Theology: A Four-Century Study

Dr. Malcolm B. Yarnell III


With Baptist Theology: A Four-Century Study, James Leo Garrett, Jr. has written a book that rivals in its long-term relevance and utility his own magnum opus, Systematic Theology: Biblical, Historical, and Evangelical. Indeed, there is little doubt that Garrett's Baptist Theology is the most important text to have been written on the Baptist movement in the last 100 years, and will probably retain that distinction for another like period. read more

That Scripture Might Be Fulfilled: Typology and the Death of Christ

Mr. Ched Spellman


In this volume, Paul Hoskins aims to provide an “accessible introduction to typology” that will help demystify some of the “mysterious uses” of the Old Testament in the New Testament (xv). For Hoskins, the biblical writers demonstrate that in his death, Jesus fulfills a number of “types” found in Old Testament texts. To make sense of the New Testament portrait of the suffering and death of Christ, an interpreter must recognize that the biblical writers have connected their message to the witness of the Old Testament. read more

Adopted for Life: The Priorities for Christian Families & Churches

Dr. John M. Yeats


The question for Russ Moore is simple: "What if we as Christian were known, once again, as the people who take in orphans and make of them beloved sons and daughters?" Adopted for Life is a moving manifesto desgned to awaken the church from her slumber and become active again at the intersection of theology, ethics, and gospel. read more

The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible

Dr. Jason K. Lee


Scot McKnight’s The Blue Parakeet engages several interconnected discussions among contemporary Christians. McKnight addresses issues related to biblical interpretation (hermeneutics) as well as contemporary ethics. The pressing topic of the book is that today’s Christians need to have clear means of applying the Bible to contemporary life. read more

Alcohol Today: Abstinence in an Age of Indulgence

Dr. Adam Groza


Alcohol Today is the first book by Peter Lumpkins of He argues that Christians should abstain from consuming beverage alcohol. The book is comprised of three sections and includes a forward by Jerry Vines, four pages of endorsements, a glossary of terms, and an appendix of historical references. read more

The Crescent through the Eyes of the Cross

Mr. Ayman S. Ibrahim


The main purpose of The Crescent through the Eyes of the Cross is to convey, especially to the Western reader, how Muslims feel and what they think about both the West and Christianity. Nabeel Jabbour tries to explain, from his more than five decades of experiences with Muslims, how Muslims feel about Christians and the major reasons or motives of their reactions to America and the West. read more

Marpeck: A Life of Dissent and Conformity

Dr. Jason Graffagnino

Originally published in Southwestern Journal of Theology 52.1 (Fall 2009)


The sixteenth-century Anabaptist leader, Pilgram Marpeck, has garnered much deserved attention through recent scholarship. In 2007, Martin Rothkegel served as final editor of a monumental work begun by Heinold Fast: a critical edition of the Kunstbuch, forty-two tracts produced by Marpeck and his circle, which is one of the most important additions to Anabaptist research in the last thirty years. read more

A Review Essay of
A Theology for the Church

Originally published in Southwestern Journal of Theology 52.1 (Fall 2009)


The contributors to A Theology for the Church share a common background, hold a common purpose, and follow a similar structure in their essays. Yet, in spite of the unity of source, purpose, and structure, there is an incredible diversity evident in the text. First, as to background, each of the authors are committed Southern Baptists and highly educated. read more

The Courage to Be Protestant

Rev. Nathan Lino


The Courage to Be Protestant is part of Well’s on-going strategy to sound the alarm that in an effort to be more appealing to culture, evangelical churches in America have left their moorings of truth, lost their identity and effectiveness and ironically, are adrift at the mercy of the very culture to whom they are trying to appeal. read more

Women Leading Women: The Biblical Model for the Church

Dr. Waylan Owens


Whatever happened to those wallflower, Southern Baptist women whose talents and gifts are thwarted by their submission to and suppression by men? At least, that is how women who would agree with the statement in the Baptist Faith and Message that “a wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ” have been caricatured by the national media. read more

Readings in Baptist History

Dr. Jason G. Duesing


Books like Joseph Early’s Readings in Baptist History lend themselves easily to review. The task of critiquing of a work of “selected documents” is much like the virtual ease of the armchair quarterback who shouts and writhes with every play-call, scramble, and pass completion – all from the comforts of his own home media enclave. read more

The Divided States of America

Dr. Waylan Owens


Every American should read this book. While not every American will agree with all of Richard Land’s assessments and solutions, including probably some of his closest friends and allies, Dr. Land sets out for all Americans a wider view and clarity of understanding church-state issues and the roadblocks to a broader consensus on these thorny questions. read more

The Vanishing Church

Rev. Nathan Lino


In a church market flooded by influential books with pragmatism as their premise and cultural acceptance of the local church as their objective, The Vanishing Church has sound doctrine as its premise and a New Testament church as its objective. Many have already begun to observe the inherent danger of modern church strategies. read more

Whatever it Takes

Dr. Waylan Owens


Dub Jackson is a man on a mission, and his book has a message stated clearly in the Preface: “Our prayer is that the reader will be reminded that God is always able to do all things, anywhere, any time when we believe and ask in faith.” (p. xv) As the title describes, Jackson keeps the focus of this book on God and His work as seen and known in Jackson’s personal experience. read more

Recruits for World Conquests

Dr. Thomas White


In my few years on this earth, I have read thousands of books but Recruits for World Conquests surpasses them all as the most inspiring, evangelistic book I have ever read. This book is one of ten chosen as part of the Library of Centennial Classics of Southwestern Seminary. While the entire set comes at a great value, this one book is worth the price of the entire purchase. read more

Jesus The Teacher

Dr. Jason K. Lee


This reprinted volume is one of the ten volumes of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Centennial Classics. John Milburn Price was the founding dean of Southwestern Seminary’s School of Religious Education (currently the School of Christian Education). Price joined the Southwestern faculty as a result of an invitation of the founding president, B.H. read more

The New Guidebook for Pastors

Dr. Waylan Owens


In 1980, W.A. Criswell, then long-time pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, produced Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors. Broadman Press published and sold this resource for pastors and ministry students for twenty-eight years. While Bryant and Brunson chose not to revise and update Criswell’s enduring work, such a revision was the original intent of the authors. read more

John A. Broadus

Mr. W. Madison Grace II


Anyone who has studied the history of the Southern Baptist Convention would have come across the name of John Broadus. Not only was he one of the greatest American Baptist preachers in nineteenth century America, he also was a founder and second president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. read more

Baptists and the Bible

Mr. Keith Collier


Although, differences among Baptists range from church polity to debates on soteriology, Baptists have traditionally found widespread agreement on certain doctrines and practices within the church, including believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Typically, these disagreements and commonalities find their source in each party’s understanding of Scripture. read more

Lee Rutland Scarborough: A Life of Service

Dr. Keith Eitel


How does one summarize the life of a legend? Either one is prone to overly glamorize or, if an adverse figure, perhaps overly criticize. The former was perhaps the case for H.E. Dana’s representation of the life and legacy of L.R. Scarborough (1870–1945), second president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. read more

Baptist Identities: International Studies from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Centuries

Mr. David Erickson

Originally published in Southwestern Journal of Theology 50.1 (Fall 2007)

This book is a compilation of papers presented at the third International Conference on Baptist Studies held in Prague. Consequently there is a great diversity of both subject matter and locale. It discusses aspects of the Baptist experience from the middle of the seventeenth century to the present day. Baptists from the Philippines, India, Zimbabwe, Latvia, France, and Germany all give expression to their understanding of Baptist identity, alongside better known identities in Britain and North America. read more

With Christ After the Lost

Dr. Paige Patterson


From 1914 until 1942, for eighteen years, Lee Rutland Scarborough, the “Cowboy President,” served as the decisive leader of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also presided over the program of evangelism and taught that discipline in an innovative move virtually unheard of anywhere else in seminary education. read more

He Is Not Silent

Dr. Steven W. Smith


One would expect that a seminary president and theologian, saddled with the daily wrangling of institutional administration, could hardly be a prolific or regular contributor to fields outside of his discipline. But, R. Albert Mohler, Jr, ninth president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology, is also an accomplished and sought after preacher. read more

The Bible and Race

Mr.Evan Lenow


In celebration of its Centennial, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has reprinted T. B Maston’s The Bible and Race as part of its Library of Centennial Classics. Maston held degrees from Carson-Newman College, Southwestern Seminary, Texas Christian University, and Yale University, and he taught Christian ethics at Southwestern until his retirement in 1963. read more

The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism

Dr. Russell D. Moore

Originally published in JETS, 448:1 (March 2005): 181-83.

Carl Henry’s Uneasy Conscience is back, and not a moment too soon. Over fifty years after its debut, Eerdmans has reprinted the little volume just as evangelicals are reconsidering the prospects and limits of cultural and political engagement. The importance of this little book might escape the contemporary generation of American evangelicals. read more

A Matter of Conviction: A History of Southern Baptist Engagement with the Culture

Mr. Evan Lenow


In 1907, the Southern Baptist Convention made its first formal attempt to impact public policy on moral issues. In honor of one hundred years of Southern Baptist engagement with culture, Jerry Sutton, pastor of Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, TN, authored this volume to provide the history of Southern Baptist efforts while keeping in mind the larger historical and theological context of church-state issues. read more

The UBS Greek New Testament: A Reader's Edition

Mr.Ched Spellman


In an age where computer software can call up a biblical passage in seconds, define every word, parse every verb, and cross reference any relevant passage, what role does a new edition of the Greek New Testament play? In this context, a student of the Biblical text can quickly become reliant on these “tools” and lose the ability to read the Greek of the New Testament naturally and fluently. read more

Inspiration of the Bible

Mr. W. Madison Grace II

Originally published in Southwestern Journal of Theology 40.1 (Fall 2007)

In celebrating the Centennial of Southwestern Seminary it is quite appropriate that a selection of the Seminary’s classic works should begin with a volume by B.H. Carroll. Not only founder of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1908, he was also a scholar, professor and a pastor. In the prefaces to his book Inspiration of the Bible, Carroll is lauded as one of the greats of his time, having earned commendations from both George W. Truett and L.R. Scarborough. read more

The Early English Dissenters

Dr. George P. Gould

Originally published in Transactions of the Baptist Historical Society, 3 (1912-13): 62-64.

Mr. Burrage has produced a book which will make all future students of the early history of Dissent his debtors; it will be for them indispensible. Of the two volumes the one is devoted to History and Criticism; the other contains a collection of the more inaccessible or historically valuable writings, many of which have as yet been only imperfectly or partially reproduced. read more

A Baptist Bibliography

Rev. T.G. Crippen

Originally published in Transactions of the Baptist Historical Society, 5 (1916-17): 241-43.

It is not necessary to be a Baptist to appreciate this laborious and comprehensive work. To every student of Free Church history, or of our National history so far as it relates to the growth of religious freedom, it is simply invaluable; and Dr. Whitley has imposed upon the whole commonwealth of literature a debt which can only be paid by diligent use of the vast and widely scattered treasures to the nature and locations of which he has for the first time furnished an adequate guide. read more

By My Own Reckoning

Dr. Paige Patterson


If Cecil Sherman were to offer his judgment that “grass is green,” this reviewer would probably want to reconsider his own perspectives about the color of grass, which is no surprise to anybody. Maybe grass, after all, is red. So, why have I always loved Cecil Sherman and why did I find his autobiography By My Own Reckoning one of the most delightful reads in many moons? The answer to the question presents itself in the very pages of the book. read more

A Hill on Which to Die: One Southern Baptist's Journey

Dr. Paige Patterson

Originally Published in The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, 4:4 (Winter 2000)

Whether it is Teddy Roosevelt’s famous assault on San Juan Hill or the infinitely more costly battle of Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, the picture of a battle staged on a prominent outcropping for a compelling cause is inevitably a memorable event. Paul Pressler’s memoirs of his own experiences of the last twenty years is thus entitled A Hill on Which to Die. There are at least four applications of the title that arise naturally out of the reading of the book. read more

Primitive Baptists of the Wiregrass South

Dr. Jason K. Lee

Originally Published in Faith and Mission, 17:2 (Spring 2000)

John Crowley draws on his personal background of being raised in a Primitive Baptist extended family and his familiarity with the wiregrass region of south Georgia and north Florida to present a colorful picture of the Primitive Baptists in the South. Crowley’s particular focus is the Primitive Baptists in the wiregrass region and their development since 1815. His purpose is to interpret various actions and writings by Primitive Baptists to learn more about the movement and their theology. read more

Baptist Faith and Message 2000: Critical Issues in America's Largest Protestant Denomination

Mr. Brent A. Thomason



Douglas Blount, professor in theological studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, and Joseph Wooddell, professor of philosophy at Criswell College, combined forces in their book, Baptist Faith and Message 2000, to defend the revisions made to the 2000 edition of the Baptist Faith and Message and explicate its eighteen articles of faith which Southern Baptists so vehemently uphold. read more

The Baptist Way

Mr. Chris Johnson



In recent days a renaissance of interest in Baptist studies and distinctives has emerged. Conversations from the floor of the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting to seminary classrooms all the way to blog posts have become inundated with answers to the question of what it means to be Baptist.  Although published in 2005, R. Stanton Norman’s monograph offers a helpful contribution to the current discussion. read more

The Theology of John Smyth

Mr. Jason G. Duesing

Originally published in The Journal of Baptist Studies, 1 (2007).



As Richard Land observed in his 1979 DPhil thesis, the “careful examination of one man, and his interaction with his society and with the views and opinions of his contemporaries, can be of value in understanding the historical and theological development of [the] period,” (“Doctrinal Controversies of English Particular Baptists (1644-1791) as Illustrated by the Career and Writings of Thomas Collier,” Oxford University, 3). read more

Anabaptist Beginnings (1523-1533)

Mr. Jason G. Duesing

Originally published in The Journal of Baptist Studies, 1 (2007).


One man’s noise is another man’s symphony. Indeed, for Huldrich Zwingli the sirens of Conrad Grebel, Balthasar Hubmaier, and Pilgram Marpeck clamored in complete cacophony to the Zwinglian idea of a Magisterial Reformation. What is more, most of the historiographical tradition that followed until the twentieth century agreed with Zwingli that the Anabaptists were disorderly radicals of extreme dissonance. read more

One Sacred Effort: The Cooperative Program of Southern Baptists

Dr. James W. Richards



The contributors divide the book into their respective areas of expertise. Brand is a practicing academician who serves in the local church. Hankins is a former pastor and current denominational leader with academic credentials. Brand’s chapters are easily identified as academy specific. He uses more technical language and illustrates his points with in-depth historical details. read more

A Theology for the Church

Dr. J.D. Greear



The title of A Theology for the Church sets it apart from other systematic theology texts. This is a theology text which attempts to place its conversation about doctrine squarely in the place that its authors believe it belongs: the local church.  As a pastor, I am grateful for this approach. There often seems to be a significant disconnect between those who appreciate theological depth and those who seek to carry out the Gospel ministry in a local church. read more

The Formation of Christian Doctrine

Dr. Paige Patterson



Reading Malcolm Yarnell’s The Formation of Christian Doctrine reminded me of recent journeys to the Alaskan wilderness. There I discovered the difficulty of attempting to carve new trails in the thickly forested areas where often only the paw of the bear had rested. Yarnell’s self-imposed assignment is no less difficult and is certainly hedged with more potential landmines, yet this brief volume of only 200 pages in the final analysis constitutes one of the most wide-ranging and thoughtful volumes that I have read in many years. read more

A Genetic History of Baptist Thought: With Special Reference to Baptists in Britain and North America

Dr. James Leo Garrett Jr.

Originally published in Southwestern Journal of Theology 48.2 (Spring 2006)



Although earlier Baptists (Underhill, McGlothlin, Lumpkin, Parker) published volumes on the Baptist confessions of faith and others (Tull, George/Dockery) authored or co-edited volumes on selected Baptist theologians, William Brackney, at Baylor University at the time of publication and now at Acadia University, is the first author to have produced a comprehensive history of "Baptist thought." read more

Perspectives on Church Government: Five Views of Church Polity

Mr. Ched Spellman



Who cares about ecclesiology? Why should a church member concern himself with who runs the church? In Perspectives on Church Government, editors Chad Owen Brand and R. Stanton Norman seek to facilitate a discussion that will engage these questions by providing the reader with a defense of the “classic positions on the matter of governing the church” (23), which include the Congregational model, the Presbyterian model, and the Episcopal model. read more

The Early English Baptists, 1603-1649

Mr. Jason G. Duesing



The publication of Stephen Wright’s PhD thesis by Boydell and Brewer signals a revived interest in the turbulent days that played host to the formation of Baptists in England. This field of study was mined deeply at the end of the nineteenth century by Whitsitt, Lofton, Whitley, and Burrage, and then mined again in the third quarter of the twentieth century by Nuttall, White, Tolmie, and Brachlow. read more

Restoring Integrity in Baptist Churches

Dr. Richard D. Piles

Originally Published in the Southwestern Journal of Theology, 48.2 (Spring 2006)


As a local church minister for eight plus years, I have been deeply grieved on occasion by the spiritual condition of older, yet sometimes immature followers of Christ. Some problems have been easily diagnosed and remedied. Others have not. Needless to say for pastors like me, Restoring Integrity in Baptist Churches has hit the nail on the head. Challenging, convicting, applicable, and biblical are words to describe this work edited by White, Duesing, and Yarnell. read more

Paradox and Perseverance: Hanserd Knollys, Particular Baptist Pioneer in Seventeenth-Century England

Mr. Jason G. Duesing

Originally Published in the Southwestern Journal of Theology, 49.1 (Fall 2006)

While English Baptists in the nineteenth century had Spurgeon, and in the eighteenth century had Fuller and Carey, few names are as well known among English Baptists in the seventeenth century. To date, much of the work that focused on the early days of English Baptists has examined the circumstances of Baptist origins or Baptist denom-inational developments. read more

Believer's Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant in Christ

Mr. Robert E. Sagers

Originally Published in the Southwestern Journal of Theology, 48.2 (Spring 2006)

New Testament scholar Thomas R. Schreiner and church historian Shawn D. Wright, both professors at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, have done a great service to the church in co-editing Believer’s Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant in Christ, a compendium of essays from well-known Baptist scholars and pastors treating the often controversial subject of baptism. read more

The Mission of Today's Church: Baptist Leaders Look at Modern Faith Issues

Dr. C. Bart Barber


What major challenges do Baptist churches face at this moment in history? A thousand answers come to mind. At least twelve of them receive treatment in The Mission of Today’s Church, a compilation of proceedings from a 2005 conference with the same title. Although this book, like many conference proceedings, amounts to something of a Duke’s mixture, its various constituent parts each are highly relevant in 2008. read more

Baptist Battles: Social Change and Religious Conflict in the Southern Baptist Convention

Dr. Paige Patterson

Originally published in Christianity Today, 35 (Ja 14, 1991): 33-35.


The most unfortunate aspect of Baptist Battles is that it will not make its author a millionaire. If only this sociological evaluation of Southern Baptist life could sell 5 million copies—Rutgers would be astonished, Ammerman would be basking at Club Med in Phuket, and I would be ecstatic! A brilliant sociologist teaching in the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Nancy Ammerman is a self-confessed Southern Baptist moderate and feminist. read more

Historical Dictionary of the Baptists

Dr. Jason K. Lee

Originally published in Faith and Mission, 17:3 (Summer 2000): 118-119.


William Brackney is one of the leading Baptist historians of the late twentieth century. His credentials indicate that he is capable of presenting a comprehensive dictionary of Baptist history that includes people, places, movements, and controversies. Brackney provides breadth of the Baptist tradition without sacrificing specificity on particular individuals or groups. read more

Blue Like Jazz: Non-Religious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality

Dr. J.D. Greear

Originally published in SBC Life, (June 2005).


Many Southern Baptist pastors have labored hard to bring their churches into the "contemporary" age. As some of these pastors rounded the final bend of outfitting their sanctuaries with theatre seats, plasma screens, and drums, they were greeted only by news that the relevant church had left the contemporary building. read more

First Freedom: The Baptist Perspective on Religious Liberty

Mr. Evan Lenow

Originally published in Southwestern Journal of Theology 48.2 (Spring 2006)

Thomas White, Jason Duesing, and Malcolm B. Yarnell III edit this volume that contains contributions from leading scholars in Southern Baptist life, including Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; Daniel Heimbach, professor of Christian ethics at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; and Paul Pressler, retired member of the Texas legislature, district court judge, and justice for the 14th court of appeals. read more

The Great Restoration: The Religious Radicals of the 16th and 17th Centuries

Dr. Jason K. Lee

Originally published in Themelios, 25:1 (November 1999): 133-134.

This work is an apt introduction to the continental and English radicals of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Pearse’s approach is to view the material from a dynamic rather than an organic perspective. Instead of trying to discover historical connections between individuals or groups through their actions or confessional statements, Pearse simply indicates the similarity of thought. read more

An Old Landmark Reset

J.L. Dagg

Originally published in Manual of Church Order, The Southern Baptist Publication Society, 1858. Reprint, Gano Books: Harrisonburg, VA, 1990, 286-298.

In a tract, “An Old Landmark Reset. By Elder J. M. Pendleton, A. M., Union University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee,” the author maintains that Baptists ought not to recognize Pedobaptist preachers as gospel ministers.  This tract has been circulated extensively, and its doctrine is embraced by many.  The discussions on the subject may sometimes have produced temporary evil, but where the parties have a sincere desire to know the truth, and a willingness to follow wherever it may lead, the final result must be good. read more

Manual of Church Order

J.M. Pendleton

Originally published in The Southern Baptist Review 5 (January 1859): 36–55, by J. M. Pendleton. Republished in Selected Writings of James Madison Pendleton, Vol. 2. Edited by Thomas White. Baptist Standard Bearer, 2006, 351-375.

The introduction to the volume before us, calls attention to the important subject of “Obedience to Christ.” This is creditable to the head and heart of the author. Christ is the Lawgiver of the Gospel dispensation, and to make his will the rule of action is the essence of obedience. There can be no evangelical obedience unless his authority is recognized in a conscientious observance of his commands. read more

God's Rascal: J. Frank Norris and the Beginnings of Southern Fundamentalism

Dr. Paige Patterson

Originally published in Faith and Mission, 15:2 (Spring 1998): 113-115.

Few pulpiteers of the modem era have created more furor during their lives or after their deaths than the vocal and acerbic J. Frank Norris. A number of popular biographical accounts and evaluative dissertations about Norris have appeared since his death in 1952. But until Barry Hankins, Associate Director of Church-State Studies and Assistant Professor of History at Baylor University, wrote this recent account of Norris under the appropriate title God’s Rascal, no real effort had been made to present to the public a “historically detached” biography of this remarkable man. read more

Richard Furman: Life and Legacy

Dr. Malcolm B. Yarnell, III

Originally published in Midwestern Journal of Theology 1:1-2 (Spring 2003): 94-95.

Originally published in 1985, this is the first biography since 1913 devoted to the life of the pioneer Southern Baptist pastor and statesman, Richard Furman. It is a worthy addition to the growing body of literature on Baptist history and theology. The author, James A. Rogers, is primarily concerned with drawing a picture of the man and his historical impact on Baptist missions, Southern Baptist organization and Baptist education. read more

The Case for Covenantal Infant Baptism

Dr. Thomas White

Originally published in Faith and Mission, 22:2 (Spring 2005): 141-142. 

As the title suggests, this work seeks to prove continuity between the Old and New covenants as strong support for infant baptism.  In addition to being well written and informative, Baptists should find this work particularly interesting because three of the contributors are former Baptists:  Gregg Strawbridge, Bryan Chapell, and Douglas Wilson. Adorned with an attractive cover and clean text, this book puts forth traditional arguments for infant baptism. read more

Pilgrim Pathways: Essays in Honor of B.R. White

Dr. Jason K. Lee

Originally published in Faith and Mission, 18:1 (Fall 2000): 142-143.

The reverend professor Barrington Raymond White has set the standard for Baptist historical scholarship for over a quarter of a century.  His work with the Baptist Quarterly has caused it to be the leading journal for scholarly dialogue among Baptists.  Regent’s Park College, Oxford University, is forever in debt to Professor White for his leadership as principal of the college.  Pilgrim Pathways is a festschrift in honor of White with contributions from his grateful colleagues and former students. read more

The Story of Baptists in the United States

Mr. Jason G. Duesing  


Originally published in Southwestern  Journal of Theology, 48:1 (Fall 2005): 71-72.

Deftly drawing upon the often overlooked resources available in our Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives in Nashville, Pamela and Keith Durso have provided a self-described “brief narrative introduction” to the history of Baptists in the United States (9). Rather than following the traditional approach of examining institutions, the Dursos set out to “focus on the people who formed those institutions and organizations,” and herein lies one of the attractive features of the book (9). read more

Devoted to the Service of the Temple

Dr. Malcolm B. Yarnell, III

Originally published in Southwestern  Journal of Theology, 48:2 (Spring 2006): 260-261.

This is the third volume in the Profiles in Reformed Spirituality series edited by Joel Beeke and Michael A. G. Haykin published by Reformation Heritage Books. The book itself is ingeniously constructed so as to allow for use as a devotional, being of small size and composed of attractive, durable and high-quality material. The editors of this particular volume in the series are Haykin, a superb Baptist historian that the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky recently and wisely added to their faculty, and Steve Weaver, a Tennessee Baptist pastor and research student of Haykin. read more

The Axioms of Religion

Dr. Jason K. Lee

Originally published in Faith and Mission, 17:2 (Spring 2000): 112-114.

This volume serves as a brief collection of Mullins’ various works. The primary work in the volume is The Axioms of Religion, but there are several other writings which are also included. The secondary writings include articles and lectures on specific issues faced by the quintessential Southern Baptist of the twentieth century. Another helpful element of this volume is the compiler’s pertinent introduction to the thought and career of Professor Mullins. read more

Baptist Ways

Mr. Jason G. Duesing

Originally published in Southwestern Journal of Theology 47:1 (Fall 2004): 86-89.

Texts that chronicle the history of the Christian people called Baptists abound in various forms. Books once heralded as the most comprehensive have over time revealed their oversights. Texts written in centuries past received revision and eventually passed the baton to the modern texts of future centuries. . . . Baptist Ways: A History, without exception, takes its place in line behind the forerunners of Baptist history volumes. read more

The Radical Reformation

Dr. Malcolm B. Yarnell, III

Originally published in Faith & Mission, 14.1 (1996): 103-6

This is the third edition of Williams’ magnum opus. The first edition was published in 1962 and quickly became a standard reference work for what had hitherto been referred to in nonpolemical modern scholarship as “the left wing of the Reformation” (a phrase coined by Roland Bainton). From the outset, it should be affirmed that this is an indispensable secondary source for any serious student of the radical Reformation. read more

On the Writing of Book Reviews

Dr. James Hamilton

October 2007

Book reviews are for others. Everything we do is for the glory of God. Those of us who have received the faith once for all entrusted to the saints and are called to Christian ministry have an obligation to shepherd the flock of God. This means that we read and write for the glory of God in the strength that he supplies, taking every thought captive to the knowledge of Christ, subjecting everything to the searchlight of Scripture, wherein God has revealed himself. When we honor God’s written revelation of himself, we honor God. Insofar as we despise the Word of the Lord, we despise the Lord. read more