Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A CAPSULE HISTORY OF BAPTISTS to be Released March 1

My newest book, entitled A Capsule History of Baptists, published by the Baptist History and Heritage Society, is scheduled for release March 1. Early reviews are available here. Pricing is 20% off for pre-orders placed prior to March 1.

As a teaser, here are the opening paragraphs of the volume:

"Prison bars and hostile courts on two continents during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries fueled a freedom movement unlike any the world had never known: the liberation of human conscience and the separation of church and state. Political and religious authorities in Britain tried mightily to repress the little religious sect that refused to be silenced.

Theocrats in the colonies sought to eradicate the troublesome dissenters from the
New World. The religious and political establishment, in short, denied earthly citizenship and shut the gates of heaven in order to silence dissident cries for freedom. And yet the small, persecuted sect that came to be known as Baptists persevered.

Against all odds, the freedom fighters slowly, relentlessly gnawed the cords that had bound human conscience for over twelve hundred years. They endured death, beatings, whippings, and stonings. Wafting from dank jails, back alleys, and dark forests, the Baptist cry of freedom perplexed the powerful and inspired other dissenters.


From their beginnings, Baptists were the subject of an eradication campaign directed by the most powerful figures in
Europe. Thomas Helwys (c. 1575-1616), a wealthy and respected layman who cast his lot with the first Baptist congregation in 1609 in Amsterdam, was jailed in 1612 in Newgate, the most loathsome and feared prison in England. Within four years of his incarceration, at about the age of forty, Helwys became the first Baptist martyr. The story of his faith and death defined the narrative of the people called Baptists until the late eighteenth century, while his personal convictions grounded the Baptist nexus and ethos for over four centuries."

Did I mention that the price of the book is 20% off until March 1? :-)

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