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The Baptist Story: From English Sect to Global Movement

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The Baptist Story is a narrative history spanning over four centuries of a diverse group of people living among distinct cultures on separate continents while finding their identity in Christ and expressing their faith as Baptists. Baptist historians Anthony Chute, Nathan Finn, and Michael Haykin highlight the Baptist transition from a despised sect to a movement of global influence. Each chapter includes stories of people who made this history so fascinating. Although the emphasis is on the English-speaking world, The Baptist Story integrates stories of non-English-speaking Baptists, ethnic minorities, women, and minority theological traditions, all within the context of historic, orthodox Christianity.

This volume provides more than just the essential events and necessary names to convey the grand history. It also addresses questions that students of Baptist history frequently ask, includes prayers and hymns of those who experienced hope and heartbreak, and directs the reader’s attention to the mission of the church as a whole. Written with an irenic tone and illustrated with photographs in every chapter, The Baptist Story is ideally suited for graduate and undergraduate courses, as well as group study in the local church.

  • Attempts to produce a history of Baptists in textbook form
  • Includes pictures and information boxes to aid readers in understanding the history and topics addressed
  • Seeks to present the narrative in such a way that teachers can use and students can appreciate by structuring several sections of the book based on questions that students commonly ask

Top Highlights

“The Inerrancy Controversy reached its apex between 1985 and 1987. More than 45,000 messengers attended the 1985 annual meeting in Dallas, Texas.” (Page 288)

“Congregationalism is a corporate expression of the Reformation principle of the priesthood of all believers” (Page 337)

“Some people are Baptists by convenience because they presently attend a Baptist church” (Page 326)

“The General Baptists thus clearly emerged from the womb of Puritanism and the Separatist movement. Nevertheless, although the General Baptists were the first English-speaking Baptists, the Particular Baptists became the leading Baptist denomination in the centuries that followed.” (Page 20)

“Regenerate church membership may be the foundational Baptist distinctive, but believer’s baptism is almost certainly the most well known.” (Page 333)

"This is the Baptist history textbook I have been waiting for since I studied the subject in seminary. It actually makes the subject interesting! This work has been long overdue."

Daniel L. Akin, president, Southeastern Baptist Theology Seminary

"Respected church historians Anthony Chute, Nathan Finn, and Michael Haykin have served the church well with their book The Baptist Story: From English Sect to Global Movement. Though intended as a textbook, their fine work is accessible to most every reader, including those in nonacademic settings. For all interested in Baptist history, I heartily recommend The Baptist Story."

Jason J. Allen, president, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

"The Baptists have grown from a small and mainly marginal body in seventeenth-century England into a strong and sometimes influential set of denominations across the world. While the core of this account of their development concentrates on the history of the two-thirds of the world's Baptists who live in the United States, there is also coverage of England, Canada, Germany, and the rest of the world. So this volume provides a concise but comprehensive summary of the course of Baptist life over the last four centuries."

David Bebbington, professor of history, University of Stirling


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