I have been out of pocket the past couple days attending the Baptists and War conference sponsored by the Andrew Fuller Center.

Baptists and WarIt was a really enjoyable conference.  I am fascinated by history (as many of my posts have demonstrated).  I especially enjoy military history.  Among the regular bedtime stories like Pickle Chiffon Pie that many kids grow up with, I also grew up with my dad telling me bedtime stories about Bunker Hill, Old Ironsides, Stonewall Jackson, and the Battle of the Bulge.  This conference was incredibly interesting to me, because it combined my identity as a Baptist with my interest in military history.

Rumor is that the audio of these presentations will be put up on the Fuller center’s website, which I hope is true.  Here is a list and a few comments about the various presentations:

“Anabaptists, Baptists, and Pacifism: An Overview” by Anthony Cross from Regent’s Park College, Oxford University

  • Interesting paper that illustrated the wide variety of war and peace views among Baptists.

It is safe to say that Baptists run the whole gamut from pacifism t0 just war theory to war-hawk tendencies.  You could say they fill in all the blanks from


(Beware of language unapproved by For Aslan and Volunteer State)

“The ‘Valiant Old Lady’: The Story of the Eighth Whelp (1628–46) and her Baptist Chaplain John Pendarves” by Larry Kreitzer also from Regent’s Park College, Oxford University

  • Fascinating example of archival research concerning a Baptist chaplain on board a ship in the midst of the English Civil War.

“Baptists and the American Revolution” by Keith Harper from SEBTS

  • Harper discussed the Philadelphia Baptist Association during the Revolutionary period.  I was interested by this especially since I got to go see First Baptist Philadelphia this summer.

“Andrew Fuller and the War against Napoleon” by Paul Brewster an SBC pastor and junior fellow at the Andrew Fuller Center

  • Brewster examined one of Andrew Fuller‘s sermons during the Napoleonic period.

“Was the American Civil War a Holy War?” by George Rable from the University of Alabama (followed by a Panel Discussion including Tom Nettles and Greg Wills from SBTS and James Fuller from the University of Indianapolis)

  • Probably the most controversial session.  Dr. Rable was incredibly even-handed in his presentation, and I think everyone left the more intelligent for it.  The panel discussion was very informative as well.

“A House Uniting: Americans, Baptists, and the War of 1812” by James Robertson from McMaster Divinity College

  • Robertson, a Canadian, provided an outsider’s look into Baptist life of the early 1800s in America as it pertained to the Forgotten War. Robertson also showed a great clip detailing our ignorance of the War of 1812: War of 1812 Video

“Australian Baptists and World War II” by Robert Linder from Kansas State University

  • Fascinating general history of Australian Baptists in WWII, with a focus on two individuals: one a soldier and one a conscientious objector.

“Soviet Baptists and the Cold War” by Maurice Dowling from Irish Baptist College

  • It was very interesting to see the Cold War through the eyes of Russian Baptists.

“The Vietnam War and Baptist Witness” by Nathan Finn from SEBTS

  • Dr. Finn astutely observed the differing responses to the Vietnam conflict from the various Baptists in the US.  Finn handled well this subject that still dredges up hard feelings among many.

Until later friends…