Baptists And Evangelism -- By: Monroe Parker
CenQ 4:3 (Fall 1961) p. 43
Baptists And Evangelism
President, Pillsbury Conservative Baptist Bible College
As we read church history we are impressed that the valley of Christendom contains the great river of Catholicism and branches of reform running in devious ways, but it also nestles the smaller Jordanian stream of Baptist faith which has grown larger and larger as it has run through the nineteenth century and six decades of the twentieth century.
When we analyze the water that flows in these channels we discover that the Baptist river contains very little that is foreign to the waters of the Apostolic fountain, but that the other streams abound with mundane chemicals. Although the Baptist distinctives have been held by many groups and although there is a distinctive current flowing all the way from the Apostles to the present, Baptists do not claim apostolic succession as a basis for their authority, but in all matters true Baptists point to the Bible as the only rule of faith and practice.
As the pipes that carry water from the Catskill mountains to the City of New York reach hundreds of miles through mountain flumes and through solid rock under the Hudson River to the Peekskill reservoirs, apostolic traditions flowed underground through centuries of history while in the broad Catholic stream many tributaries poured their polluted torrents of paganism.
By and large the Baptists of this century have been the most evangelistic people on earth. This is not due to the fact that there have been Baptistic “non-conformist” churches with which we can justly claim much common ground (for in so claiming this heritage one of the things for which we must apologize is a lack of evangelism), but the evangelism of modern-day Baptists is due to the fact that Baptists are a Bible-believing people.
In the eighteenth century when Christian David and Count Zinzendorf preached the simple Word of God at Berthelsdorf and Herrnhut the Moravians became the most evangelistic people of those times. It was said that “with a religious life remarkable as combining warm emotion with a quiet and serene type of feeling, the community of Zinzendorf connected a missionary
CenQ 4:3 (Fall 1961) p. 44
zeal not equalled at that time in any other Protestant communion.” Although they were few in number, they sent, their Gospel, messengers to all quarters of the globe. One historian observed that “at the same time they were exceedingly useful in awakening the Lutheran Church from the lethargy which prevailed in it, and did much to fuse a more living piety.”
It was John Wesley’s contact with the Moravians that changed his ministry and turn...
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