THE GOSPEL HERITAGE OF GEORGIA BAPTISTS: 1772 - 1830
Who Were They and What Did They Believe?
Kurt Smith and Brandon Smith with Introduction by Tom Nettles
"The Gospel Heritage of Georgia Baptists is a true historical testament to the bygone era of early Baptist history in the United States. Brandon Smith and Kurt Smith have greatly served us in tracing our Baptist lineage to these faithful forefathers who paved the way with their biblical conviction and theological fidelity to the doctrines of grace. I highly recommend this work as a historical textbook, but also as a reminder that Baptist beginnings were founded upon the unwavering confidence in the absolute sovereignty of God." - Dr. Steven J. Lawson
"Georgia Baptists have played a vital role in the spread of the Baptist faith throughout the southern United States. Their history has been shaped by some of the most influential pastors and church planters that Baptists have ever produced. This book introduces some of those luminaries and explains the biblical convictions that undergirded their work. It is a welcome addition to the important work of recovering our Baptist heritage." - Dr. Thomas Ascol,
TOM NETTLES begins his helpful Introduction with these words: "This present volume highlights the early days of theological witness among Baptists in Georgia. Truly noble were these men, Marshall, Marshall, and Mercer, who grasped the importance of embracing and proclaiming all the truths of God's revelation to men. Kurt Smith and Brandon Smith have given a clear and vigorous discussion of the early Baptist witness to the gospel in Georgia. That sinners are reconciled to God, are removed from their condition of condemnation, by the mercy and grace of God, apart from any meritorious attainment on the part of man, yea, in spite of the massive accumulations of demerit should sound like good news in the ear of any that truly feels the justice of God's wrath and anger against him. These humble heroes of truth among Georgia Baptists were concerned that the trust that sinners had was fully directed toward Christ alone with an undiluted sense of their dependence on the divine initiative, continuance, and consummation in their salvation."
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword--Earl M. Blackburn
Introduction: Georgia Baptists and Circles of Doctrinal Influence--Tom J. Nettles
PART 1: WHO WERE THEY?
1. Daniel Marshall and the Beginnings of Calvinistic Baptists in Georgia--Kurt M. Smith
2. Compelled to Preach the Gospel: The Life and Labors of Abraham Marshall--Kurt M. Smith
3. Safe in the Scriptural Path: The Life and Labors of Jesse Mercer--Kurt M. Smith
PART 2: WHAT DID THEY BELIEVE?
4. Total Depravity: What Has Man Done?--Brandon F. Smith
5. Unconditional Election: What Has the Father Done?--Brandon F. Smith
6. Particular Atonement: What Has the Son Done?--Brandon F. Smith
7 Efficacious Grace: What Has the Spirit Done?--Brandon F. Smith
8. Perseverance of Saints: What Have the Saints Done?--Brandon F. Smith
Appendix A: The Georgia Baptist Association Abstract and Decorum (1790)
Appendix B: An Abstract of Principles
Appendix C: Georgia Association Circular Letter 1818
Appendix D: Circular Letter for the Georgia Baptist Association in 1813
Tom Nettles powerfully concludes his Introduction with these words: "In light of the great faithfulness of these leaders among Georgia Baptists and the extension of their influence throughout the South, how should we respond? At least one implication is that we should seek corporate responsibility to maintain fidelity to a strong and biblically fulsome doctrinal foundation. It is one of the most strange phenomena of the early twenty-first century that the theology that our founders cherished and protected is positively opposed in some pockets of the Southern Baptist Convention and viewed as dangerous and historically unbaptistic. C. D. Mallary, another wonderfully productive and influential name in the Georgia Baptist Association, warned preachers not to 'fritter down the doctrines of grace, and give countenance by our own faith and teaching to self-righteous presumption.' 'The doctrine,' he continued, 'when appropriately unfolded has not only been profitable to believers, but has been blessed of God to the conversion of sinners. It has torn away their pride and fancied strength, revealed them as naked and undone, at the disposal of their insulted, yet gracious Sovereign, and driven them weeping and penitent to the Saviour's feet, there in their last extremity to cry out, "Lord, Save or we perish."' It is just this earnestness about the glory of God and the souls of sinners that should be the proper response to the doctrinal commitments unfolded in this book."
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