A Rejoinder To The Responses To “Thomas Grantham’s Theology Of The Atonement And Justification” -- By: J. Matthew Pinson

Journal: Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry
Volume: JBTM 08:1 (Spring 2011)
Article: A Rejoinder To The Responses To “Thomas Grantham’s Theology Of The Atonement And Justification”
Author: J. Matthew Pinson


A Rejoinder To The Responses To “Thomas Grantham’s Theology Of The Atonement And Justification”

J. Matthew Pinson

Dr. Pinson is President of Free Will Baptist Bible College in Nashville, Tennessee.

I appreciate Dr. Steve Lemke for bringing together these three fine scholars to respond to my paper. It is beneficial to have a systematic theologian, biblical scholar, and historian bringing different lenses to bear on Grantham and his doctrine of atonement and justification.

Rejoinder To Rhyne Putnam

Rhyne Putnam demonstrates an uncommon facility with the contours of Grantham’s thought. This is gratifying to see in a rising star among Southern Baptist theologians. He is right when he says that the silence on Grantham in Baptist studies has been deafening. We are grateful that Clint Bass’s outstanding dissertation on Grantham as well as the Mercer University Press Early English Baptist Text Series’ projected publication of Christianismus Primitivus will help to bring this silence to an end.

I think there has been one primary reason for this silence: Baptist scholars outside Arminian Baptist circles such as the Free Will Baptist Church have tended to be interested in Particular Baptists when studying seventeenth-century Baptists. Apart from Free Will Baptist historians such as George Stevenson, William Davidson, Michael Pelt, and myself, until recently one heard only fleeting references to Grantham.1 Now people outside Free Will Baptist circles are taking Grantham seriously. A new ad fontes interest in early Baptist faith and practice has no

doubt stimulated this renewed awareness. Further, many Baptist scholars are exhibiting a desire to probe non-Particular Baptist authors for source material for the contemporary theological task.

As with the contemporary appropriation of any historical author, one will not agree with Grantham on everything. As the Puritan Thomas Brooks illustrated, when one goes to eat an apple with a worm in it, he could simply throw the apple out or eat the apple worm and all. But the best thing to do is to cut the worm out and enjoy the rest of the apple.2 That is what we must do with Thomas Grantham. And as we do this, we will find that, though there are a few of his ideas from which we demur, the general trajectory of his theology offers much fruit for contemporary Baptists. Even for those classical Calvinist Baptists who will differ from him soteriologically, there is much rich material to be mined from his ecclesiology, spirituality, and views on religious liber...

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