October 11, 2008
188 Years Later . . .
The three principal leaders of the anti-missions movement were John Taylor, Daniel Parker and Alexander Campbell. Daniel Parker, pictured above, was the founder of the Two Seed-in-the-Spirit Predestinarian Baptist. He was the enemy of missions on the frontier.
Several awakenings or revivals had brought about an increase in Baptist growth at the close of the 1700's, especially in Kentucky and Tennessee. With the increase was an interest in foreign missions. It is a misnomer to assume that the opposition to foreign missions was opposition to biblical evangelism. These men opposed the Spiritless man-centered associations under the influence of Arminianism. Every Christian should move obediently through a door God opens.
It is my opinion that the final judgement has not been given to this controversy. My Google alerts remind me everyday that the fear of hyper-Calvinism is uppermost on theologians minds. If it were a settled issue then there would be silence, however the daily roar of discussion alerts me to the fact that there is a deep undercurrent of doubt about the modern evangelistic and missionology of the Evangelical Church.
This issue with Bellevue speaks to me the providential hindrance of God with American fundamentalism. He has been a patient God for two hundred years and now the gavel is falling!
John M. Peck wrote in 1841 that Daniel Parker was an "uneducated, uncouth, slovenly dressed, diminutive in person, unprepossessing in appearance, with shriveled features and small piercing eyes." (Not a good description, eh) "With a zeal and enthusiasm bordering on insanity, firmness that amounted to obstinacy, and perseverance that would have done honor to a good cause."
He wrote, "Mr Parker is one of those singular beings whom Divine providence permits to arise as a scourge to his Church, and as a stumbling block in the way of religious effort."*
I don't believe that missionary Peck has the final say on judgement. He didn't live to see Bellevue Baptist nor hear the evangelism espoused from that Baptist pulpit.
* A History of the Christian Church, Lars P. Qualben, Thomas nelson and Sons, 1933, 68 p. 560 This is not to mean I endorse Two Seeds theology. Perhaps this has the seeds of Manicheanism as many have implied.