Baptist Universalism

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Baptist Universalism

Postby Rvaughn » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:06 pm

In the thread "New SBC Controversy: Inerrancy and Doctrinal Conformity," Leland mentioned Universalism. I thought that might possibly make for interesting discussion. Leland wrote, "I acknowledge the Calvinist heritage of the doctrine." I had never given that much thought, but I believe he is correct. By "Universalism" I mean, and think Leland meant, that in some way Christ's death guarantees salvation for every member of the human race -- past, present, and future. Or at least that every member of the human race will ultimately be saved, however it is accomplished.

A prominent Baptist Universalist in U. S. history was Elhanan Winchester (1751-1797). He was originally a Calvinist, and moved from Calvinism to Universalism. Probably most Baptists who embrace Universalism move on elsewhere, but I am aware of at least two kinds of Baptist Universalists.

1. Primitive Baptist Universalism, held by several Appalachian Primitive Baptist Associations who embraced universalism. Howard Dorgan wrote about them in In the Hands of a Happy God: The "No-Hellers" of Central Appalachia.
2. Interspersed Baptist Universalism (my terminology), held by individual Baptists who are scattered within Baptist denominations that themselves do not hold Universalism.

Are there others, and/or perhaps a better way to express number 2?

Finally, re Leland's comment about Calvinism, I see that Universalism shares with Calvinism some sort of idea of "unconditional election" and "irresistible grace" in that universal salvation is not based on human choice but God's choice. The "grace" may not be "irresistible" until after death (and there is no necessary effectual call), but ultimately it is irresistible because all individuals will be saved whether they wanted to be or not.
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby John Sneed » Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:05 pm

Let me be the first to say it … there is no biblical warrant for a belief in universalism. Christ himself spoke of the narrow and wide ways, inferring, if not stating explicitly, that more would die lost than would be found among the elect. However, this could morph into an educational conversation.
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby Haruo » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:29 pm

Having a very difficult week here, it may be a few days before I have a chance to respond. Thanks for starting the thread, Robert, and for getting the replies started, John. I'm not a dogmatic universalist, and perhaps it would be better to identify as an optimist.
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby JE Pettibone » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:57 am

Ed: First let me say I am praying that what ever difficulties Hauro is facing will be relived soon.

On the topic at hand I must agree with John S., Sitting here in Walland TN ( East of Knoxville, South of I-40 West of Newport deep in Appalachia ) this discussion seems to be quite appropriate for my fist visit to these forums in several weeks. I have to confess that I have not personally made a count, however I was taught in at least three Baptist institutions that the Bible contains many more references to hell than it does to heaven.
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:56 pm

Interesting topic inside or outside of the Baptist denomination. I'll keep and eye on this and may share some general thoughts about universalism. But, I have a funeral this afternoon and won't have any time till after that.

At one time I would have agreed with brother Sneed. But I do think you can find scriptures that take his position and other scriptures that hint at more people being saved than the "narrow way" text might imply. Maybe or maybe not universalism. But any argument I make will be non-calvinist. I've never been a Calvinist even when a Baptist.
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby William Thornton » Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:26 pm

Most SBCers are functional universalists.
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby Dave Roberts » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:03 pm

William Thornton wrote:Most SBCers are functional universalists.


Do you think that is the reason SBC evangelism has tanked.
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby Rvaughn » Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:37 pm

William Thornton wrote:Most SBCers are functional universalists.
William, how would you define “functional universalists”? I found them described this way: Christians who live, act, or function as though every person is bound for heaven. Their daily routines do not emphasize spiritual or eternal priorities. Though they regularly converse with friends & acquaintances on various subjects, they never discuss religion, God, or salvation.

While looking up info on functional Universalism, I found one site that defined Universalism as “the doctrine that emphasizes the universal fatherhood of God and the final salvation of all souls.” Thought this might be a better (and simpler) definition than I provided in the first post.
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby Rvaughn » Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:40 pm

Other than the Primitive Baptist Universalists, I am not aware of any Baptist body that espouses Universalism. I suspect there is lots of Functional Universalism scattered among the Baptists, and certainly the individual Baptist church members who quietly hold Universalism in a church that doesn't. Are any of you aware of any other Baptist bodies that hold universalism as a tenet?

I am not a Universalist (hopefully not even functionally), and probably not as much of an optimist as Leland is, but I do have a certain kind of hope that God is saving more people than either my theology or my experience seem to think he is!

The following articles from the Washington District Primitive Baptist Association demonstrate their theology and their conservatism. Their conservatism in that their Abstract of Principles were only slightly changed from its original wording to show how they interpreted matters in a universalist way, and their theology in that they did actually make a slight change.

Article 10. We believe there now is a general judgment and the punishment of the wicked is everlasting and the happiness of the righteous is eternal. [i.e., the believe the judgment and punishment are in the temporal world.]
Article 11. We believe there will be a resurrection of the dead bodies of all people when Christ shall change these vile bodies of ours like unto His most glorious body.

They believe the atonement is for all humankind, apparently that the "elect" are the true church (basically, the Primitive Baptist Universalists), that people experience their judgment & hell on earth, that there is no hell in the afterlife, and that all without exception go to heaven.
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby Haruo » Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:43 pm

Rvaughn wrote:Other than the Primitive Baptist Universalists, I am not aware of any Baptist body that espouses Universalism. I suspect there is lots of Functional Universalism scattered among the Baptists, and certainly the individual Baptist church members who quietly hold Universalism in a church that doesn't. Are any of you aware of any other Baptist bodies that hold universalism as a tenet?

I am not a Universalist (hopefully not even functionally), and probably not as much of an optimist as Leland is, but I do have a certain kind of hope that God is saving more people than either my theology or my experience seem to think he is!

The following articles from the Washington District Primitive Baptist Association demonstrate their theology and their conservatism. Their conservatism in that their Abstract of Principles were only slightly changed from its original wording to show how they interpreted matters in a universalist way, and their theology in that they did actually make a slight change.

Article 10. We believe there now is a general judgment and the punishment of the wicked is everlasting and the happiness of the righteous is eternal. [i.e., the believe the judgment and punishment are in the temporal world.]
Article 11. We believe there will be a resurrection of the dead bodies of all people when Christ shall change these vile bodies of ours like unto His most glorious body.

They believe the atonement is for all humankind, apparently that the "elect" are the true church (basically, the Primitive Baptist Universalists), that people experience their judgment & hell on earth, that there is no hell in the afterlife, and that all without exception go to heaven.

I think there are probably quite a few individual Baptists among the UUs. Not sure if there still is, but I know there used to be an ABC church somewhere in New England (I think) that was dually aligned with the UUA. And of course the UUA is only in a "heritage" sense espousing Christianity.
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby William Thornton » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:22 am

Most SBCers, including clergy live as if somehow, someway, everyone will make their way to heaven. No one ever admits to this as a concrete belief, such would cost them their denominational or church job, but the phrase "functional universalism" is the standard way of lamenting lack of evangelistic fervor, etc., in the SBC. I've heard the phrase for years usually tossed out by denominational employees.
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby KeithE » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:27 am

There is plenty of biblical verses that support universalism (all are “saved”) and eternal judgment in heaven and/or hell (some are "saved”)

Christian Universalism or Eternal Judgment? The Bible’s Pros and Cons


On the side of universal salvation, he {Moltmann in The Coming of God} lists:

Ephesians 1:10: “ as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”

Colossians 1:20: “and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.”

Philippians 2:10-11: “so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

1 Corinthians 15:22: “for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ”

1 Corinthians 15:28: “When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who put all things in subjection under him, so that God may be all in all.”

Romans 5:18: “Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.”

1 Corinthians 15:22: “for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ.”

Romans 11:32: “For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.”

And we should also add these two verses, which I discussed in a recent post (but which are omitted in Moltmann’s summary):

1 Timothy 2:1-4 "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you,[a] not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance."
[a] Other ancient authorities read on your account


On the side of exclusivity, or eternal judgment/eternal life, he lists:

Matthew 7:13: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it.”

Matthew 12:32: “Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”

Matthew 25:46: “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.””

Mark 16:16: “he one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned.”

Mark 9:45: “And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell”

Mark 9:48: “where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.”

Luke 16:23: “In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side.”

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

John 3:36: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath.”
Phil. 3:19: “Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things”

1 Cor. 1:18: “ For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

II Cor. 2:15: “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing”


My sense over decades of bible reading is that there is not much supporting either side in the OT but more verses supporting eternal judgement in the NT.

But I agree with NT Wright:

N.T. Wright has argued that the apocalyptic language of the Gospels has been misunderstood by generations of Christian readers. Such language did not refer to the end of the space-time universe, as is commonly thought, but was a powerful way of speaking of cataclysmic events of divine judgment and vindication within history. According to Wright all the passages that warn of the fires of Gehenna speak not of any post-mortem punishment but of the pre-mortem events of AD 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed.

As for me, I’m not sure about any theory of the afterlife, but I do hope that no one is subjected to eternal concious painful hell - be it the theory of universalism or annihilation.

And with Hebrews 11:1a in mind, my faith gives me an "assurance of things hoped for".
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby Sandy » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:41 am

The passage from I Timothy that includes verses 1-4 is frequently cited in the Quaker meetings I attended, with a particular emphasis on leading the quiet, peaceable life in godliness and dignity. It goes hand in hand with Philippians 2 and the statement about "working out your own salvation with fear and trembling" and being "lights shining in the darkness." I don't think I ever really heard anything about salvation being universal, but "working out your own salvation" didn't mean working to achieve it, but to be able to live out the values of Christian living they discerned as being simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship. The degree to which these things were made visible in their treatment of others went beyond anything I ever experienced among Baptists.

I find it interesting that some Primitive Baptists believe in universalism. My introduction to Primitive Baptists came the summer after my freshman year in college, when I was selling books door to door in Mingo County, West Virginia, down in the southern part of the state, deep in the mountains of coal country. I sat on the porch with an elderly gentleman who told me he went to a Primitive Baptist church and I made the mistake of asking him to explain what that meant. He didn't get much into theology or doctrine, he told me that "modern" things like Sunday School classes, air conditioning, padded pews with backs and indoor plumbing were turning the church into a show and they didn't have any of that. He believed in the "Holy Bible" the KJV because if it was good enough for Paul, it was good enough for him. Fortunately, one of the books I was selling was a black, leather bound KJV stamped with "Holy Bible" on the front. They had church once a month, since they had to share a pastor with three other churches and he lamented that all the young people were gone and it was just the old folks who had stayed. Imagine that. He asked where I went to church, wanted to know what "Southern Baptist" was and told me that unless it believed like the Primitive and Old Regulars, it wasn't Christian. I don't think he was a universalist and it would be interesting to find out where the universal Primitive Baptists are and how that developed.
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby Haruo » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:43 am

Fear not, for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

One of my favorite proof texts (though I don't believe in proof texts, except to ward off those proposed by others).

...we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

I don't believe individual human beings can ultimately thwart the salvific intent of the almighty God who loves them while they are still his enemies, and who is not willing that any should perish.
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby KeithE » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:42 pm

William Thornton wrote:Most SBCers are functional universalists.

Taken as most SBCers are not about pointing out non-believers are going to hell (eternal torment style), I agree with you. If one actually believes eternal torment in hell is the fate of at least some people, that person would be very callous in not spending a great deal of time in reaching non-believers.

But I do not think most SBCers believe all will be saved.
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby KeithE » Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:14 pm

Sandy wrote:The passage from I Timothy that includes verses 1-4 is frequently cited in the Quaker meetings I attended, with a particular emphasis on leading the quiet, peaceable life in godliness and dignity. It goes hand in hand with Philippians 2 and the statement about "working out your own salvation with fear and trembling" and being "lights shining in the darkness." I don't think I ever really heard anything about salvation being universal, but "working out your own salvation" didn't mean working to achieve it, but to be able to live out the values of Christian living they discerned as being simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship. The degree to which these things were made visible in their treatment of others went beyond anything I ever experienced among Baptists.


Quakers are indeed known for living peaceably and I Timothy 2: 1-3b may play a formative role in that practice.

But 1 Timothy 2: 3c-4 speaks to the question at hand.
God our Savior, 4 who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Either God does not always get His desire (i.e. is not sovereign) or universalism (all are “saved”) is true.

Sandy wrote:I find it interesting that some Primitive Baptists believe in universalism. My introduction to Primitive Baptists came the summer after my freshman year in college, when I was selling books door to door in Mingo County, West Virginia, down in the southern part of the state, deep in the mountains of coal country. I sat on the porch with an elderly gentleman who told me he went to a Primitive Baptist church and I made the mistake of asking him to explain what that meant. He didn't get much into theology or doctrine, he told me that "modern" things like Sunday School classes, air conditioning, padded pews with backs and indoor plumbing were turning the church into a show and they didn't have any of that. He believed in the "Holy Bible" the KJV because if it was good enough for Paul, it was good enough for him. Fortunately, one of the books I was selling was a black, leather bound KJV stamped with "Holy Bible" on the front. They had church once a month, since they had to share a pastor with three other churches and he lamented that all the young people were gone and it was just the old folks who had stayed. Imagine that. He asked where I went to church, wanted to know what "Southern Baptist" was and told me that unless it believed like the Primitive and Old Regulars, it wasn't Christian. I don't think he was a universalist and it would be interesting to find out where the universal Primitive Baptists are and how that developed.


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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby Sandy » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:44 pm

Keith E wrote:Either God does not always get His desire (i.e. is not sovereign) or universalism (all are “saved”) is true.


I don't think God not getting his desire, as it is worded in that particular place, means he is not sovereign. God is sovereign in that he makes choices to limit his sovereignty to permit free will, when he created man in his own image. Then again, if he is sovereign, and it is his desire, that passage in Philippians 2. If God is at work in you, as he states and you are working out your own salvation, its possible that salvation isn't necessarily what we understand it to be in terms of making a "personal profession of faith" but is a lifelong process.

I tried to get a grasp on the Philippians passage from the Greek NT, and it doesn't really make much difference.

I've thought about the idea of universalism since I was first introduced to it in college. I still take a look at it every now and then. I would disagree with those who say its heresy, I don't believe it falls in that category.

I also agree with your statement about N.T. Wright. I hold to a Preterist view of eschatology, and he's one of the reasons why.
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby Rvaughn » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:11 pm

Sandy wrote:I find it interesting that some Primitive Baptists believe in universalism...I don't think he was a universalist and it would be interesting to find out where the universal Primitive Baptists are and how that developed.
According to a Primitive Baptist preacher friend in that general area (not a universalist), he says they are (with only a few exceptions) in the coal mining district of Central Appalachia or within an hour's drive of it. Dorgan describes them as in a very limited area of northeastern Tennessee, a six-county region of southwestern Virginia, a sector of Letcher County, Kentucky, and the McDowell County locale of southern West Virginia. I don't know the region well enough, but would assume Jeff's description and Dorgan's description is pretty much the same area. Dorgan also mentions a few struggling congregations in Ohio and Pennsylvania established through out-migration, and that they are dependent on the Central Appalachia churches for survival.

In his work Dorgan describes churches in four associations, but my PB preacher friend says there are six associations (but apparently the other two hold spiritual resurrection rather than bodily resurrection and so the two groups don't have anything to do with one another). Probably no more than a couple thousand folks in these affiliations.

Dorgan found antecedents of the universalist idea back to near 1900, but the split over the doctrine of universalism occurred in 1924. Jeff probably didn't have to be as politic in telling me what he thought as Dr. Dorgan had to be in writing for the public. Jeff said the primary impetus (probably building on the antecedents) was a Primitive Baptist elder who had a son who was hell-on-wheels. The son was "executed for a particularly heinous murder...died cursing, etc...it was common belief that the boy ended up in hell. It was too much for ----- to take, and as the saying goes he searched the scripture and latched on to the verse, 'The Lord is...not willing that any should perish...' ...according to this theology, if the Lord was not willing that any should perish, none would. You might have to be a Primitive Baptist to understand the undercurrents of belief we have to know where he was coming for on this one."

An elder of one of their associations explained some of their theology to me in a letter. "We believe the election of grace to be in time; that in Adam all die, Universal, even so in Christ all are made alive, Universal. 1 Cor. 15:21-22. Rom. 5:12, etc. To say in line of scripture ALL that die in Adam the very same ALL shall be made alive."

Here is another online story I found: “It’s hell enough down here.” What do Primitive Baptist Universalists believe?
Plus, this History of the Washington District Regular Primitive Baptist Association 1811—1951 from the other side mentions the universalist split.
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby Haruo » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:57 am

My question, of course, is Do they have a hymnal? If so, I'll take one! The more shapes the merrier!
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby Sandy » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:35 am

You might have to be a Primitive Baptist to understand the undercurrents of belief we have to know where he was coming for on this one."


I can see how something like that might have developed. It appears that Primitive Baptists are, within their associations, about as autonomous and independent as Baptists get. They seem to be vehemently opposed to any kind of formal theological education outside of that provided by the local church and its leaders, especially in Appalachia. Someone who had gathered respect as a leader and teacher could come upon an extremely literal, word for word, verse by verse interpretation of a concept that goes in a different direction than a popularly accepted tradition would go. Literally interpreting "work out your own salvation" following a verse that says "at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" without a historical context would be an easy leap.

The summer I spend in West Virginia selling books was great exposure to churches and beliefs I'd never heard of before. My sales partner and I responded to an invitation to worship in a church one Sunday evening where the altar call included playing with several copperhead snakes. We also encountered the solemn Old Regular Baptists and a few Primitive Baptists, all KJVO. I sold a lot of those black leather bound "Holy Bibles" that summer and once we got into the area, it was easy to figure out why we had those instead of another translation. I was doing some family genealogy research a couple of summers ago in West Virginia and a lot of those Old Regular and Primitive Baptist churches are abandoned, some of them it looks like for quite a while. That's a segment of Baptist history I'd really like to study.
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:22 pm

I've yet had good time so far this week to work through this. But I believe also our understanding of "Hell" and eternal punishment causes people to lean towards universalism. The idea of someone being punished for all eternity for finite sin give many the impression that at some point that punishment will become unjust. And, our understand of God is that God is just.
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby Rvaughn » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:51 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:But I believe also our understanding of "Hell" and eternal punishment causes people to lean towards universalism.
That, and annihilationism.
Haruo wrote:...I know there used to be an ABC church somewhere in New England (I think) that was dually aligned with the UUA. And of course the UUA is only in a "heritage" sense espousing Christianity.
It would be interesting to find out if any Baptist churches are dually-aligned with the Unitarian Universalist Association. I wonder if there is a way to find out.
Haruo wrote:My question, of course, is Do they have a hymnal? If so, I'll take one! The more shapes the merrier!
According to Howard Dorgan, they primarily use D. H. Goble's Primitive Baptist Hymn Book (In the Hand of a Happy God, p. 141). No shapes, words-only. If this is the primary, I'd guess you might find some use of Lloyd's and Thomas's hymn books.
Sandy wrote:I was doing some family genealogy research a couple of summers ago in West Virginia and a lot of those Old Regular and Primitive Baptist churches are abandoned, some of them it looks like for quite a while. That's a segment of Baptist history I'd really like to study.
These books by Howard Dorgan give an interesting and enlightening view of Baptists in Appalachia (especially the first three).

Giving Glory to God in Appalachia: Worship Practices of Six Baptist Subdenominations
The Old Regular Baptists of Central Appalachia: Brothers and Sisters in Hope
In the Hands of a Happy God: the "No-hellers" of Central Appalachia
The Little Home Church and the Question of Racial Harmony within Old Regularism
The Airwaves of Zion: Radio and Religion in Appalachia

Professor Dorgan's books are very interesting, come from the perspective of one outside these groups (outside Baptists altogether, in fact) but sympathetic toward them, and who originally fell into this research because of his primary field in communications. Here is a bit I wrote about him on my blog:
Howard Dorgan worked for many years at Appalachian State University. High Country Press called him "an all-around gentleman and scholar". His specialty was communications, but he is probably best remembered for his research and books on religion in Appalachia. He advised me on what he knew and put me in contact with a variety of Baptist associations in Appalachia, as well as giving me info about earlier religious research he had done.

Deborah Vansau McCauley has a work titled Appalachian Mountain Religion: A History, but it is not so narrowly focused as Professor Dorgan's works.
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby Haruo » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:00 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:I've yet had good time so far this week to work through this. But I believe also our understanding of "Hell" and eternal punishment causes people to lean towards universalism. The idea of someone being punished for all eternity for finite sin give many the impression that at some point that punishment will become unjust. And, our understand of God is that God is just.

Not merely unjust, but unloving, and unmerciful, and not given to forgiveness. The notion that God's justice somehow trumps God's love (God IS love, not merely loving, after all). These not only cause people to lean towards universalism, but cause them often to view the church of Christ as speaking with a forkèd tongue, as intrinsically hypocritical.
Haruo (呂須•春男) = ᎭᎷᎣ = Leland Bryant Ross
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby Haruo » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:08 pm

Rvaughn wrote:
Haruo wrote:...I know there used to be an ABC church somewhere in New England (I think) that was dually aligned with the UUA. And of course the UUA is only in a "heritage" sense espousing Christianity.
It would be interesting to find out if any Baptist churches are dually-aligned with the Unitarian Universalist Association. I wonder if there is a way to find out.
Haruo wrote:My question, of course, is Do they have a hymnal? If so, I'll take one! The more shapes the merrier!
According to Howard Dorgan, they primarily use D. H. Goble's Primitive Baptist Hymn Book (In the Hand of a Happy God, p. 141). No shapes, words-only. If this is the primary, I'd guess you might find some use of Lloyd's and Thomas's hymn books.

The dual-alignment question might be answered by perusing an American Baptist Churches yearbook (I've forgotten the exact title). That's where I found the one I referred to, but that yearbook is probably thirty years old by now, and belonged to a former pastor of ours.

I have a copy of Goble's 4th edition, somewhere, but no idea where. It's in my list. I also have the Daily book, and Little Book of Favorite Hymns: designed as a supplement for the Primitive Baptist Hymn and Tune Book, and the (recent, 2016, despite its title) Old-Line Primitive Baptist Hymn and Tune Book, all of which have tunes. I don't think I've ever seen the Thomas book, and I don't seem to have a Lloyd's.
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Re: Baptist Universalism

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:07 pm

Haruo wrote:Not merely unjust, but unloving, and unmerciful, and not given to forgiveness. The notion that God's justice somehow trumps God's love (God IS love, not merely loving, after all). These not only cause people to lean towards universalism, but cause them often to view the church of Christ as speaking with a forkèd tongue, as intrinsically hypocritical.


Well said Haruo. I am at least at the place where many Methodists are believing in an inclusive soteriology. Adam Hamilton explains it better. But the inclusivist view is that persons who are seeking to serve God, whatever religious faith, may through God's mercy enter heaven. This idea was actually championed by John Wesley himself. It isn't quite universalism but leans pretty strongly in the direction.

Ultimately I don't believe we fully know and that salvation is in God's hands. We can't tie God down with our own theories.
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