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The history of the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in Southern Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Roy, Kevin Barry Blackwell, Marc Stanley 2009-08-25T10:46:18Z 2009-08-25T10:46:18Z 2002-11 2009-08-25T10:46:18Z
dc.identifier.citation Blackwell, Marc Stanley (2002) The history of the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in Southern Africa, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <> en
dc.description.abstract The need for a worldwide assessment of Baptist history is especially important for the many who have only a limited knowledge of this broad alliance of Christians known as Baptists. Understanding how and why Independent Baptist congregations emerged from within the larger picture makes the opening chapter important, even to other Baptists. The doctrinal elements of the Independent Baptists that overlap other Christian churches need to be explained in sufficient detail to note the differences that do exist. The numerous ecclesiastical beliefs, known as "distinctives," are matters of similarity and divergence that exist within the various Baptist groupings. To understand these seemingly minor differences is to come to appreciate the fine details that often divide. Baptist often are divided by these differences of fine detail in relation to their ecclesiastical "distinctives'; even more than some of the major doctrines that have divided other churches and denominations. This makes the task of tracing the specific history of Independent Baptists a most complex undertaking. The ability to understand Independent Baptists as fundamentalists is dependent on understanding their own definition of fundamentalism in the context of American and English conservativism. The highly charged issues related to the fundamentalism between 1880 and 1980 and the influence this period and its concerns has had on Independent Fundamental Baptists and Bible churches is rarely understood. Much of the modern South African political, ethical and religious issues seem far removed fium this church but these fundamentalists nonetheless have a perspective regarding the literal interpretation of the Bible that deserves to be heard and may well have a genuine contribution to make. The Independent Fundamental Baptist missionaries and local church leadership has a character of its own. The development of its leadership and ministry style is directly related to issues such as the literalness of their Biblical interpretation and application in pastoral areas such as preaching, teaching, discipleship and pastoral counselling. Of course there are many variations of leadership style and personality within such a loose combination of church leaders. Understanding the expansion of the Independent Fundamental Baptist and Bible churches depends on having a useful awareness of the churches and organisations that work behind the scenes, primarily in the United States, to promote this Christian movement with its strong emphasis on Biblical doctrine and distinctiveness. Learning about churches that are almost totally focused on the simplicity of the Gospel and on the pivotal role local churches should have in the Christian's inner spiritual life and public attitudes is a unique study. Understanding these loosely grouped churches and their missionary and church-planting fervour opens a perspective on Christianity general, though in my opinion, mistakenly viewed as irrelevant today. Their advance and growth raises questions for many who accept the idea that relevancy is dependent on pursuing religious emotionalism or responding to contemporary social change. The Independent Fundamental Baptist and Bible churches are moving forward while following a philosophy once fairly common among South African Christianity, but now believed to be outdated and unacceptable. The purpose of this thesis is: first, to clarify who and what the Independent Fundamental Baptist and Bible churches really are, and second, to establish their rightful place in the Southern African ''family" of Baptists. Further, by explaining their goals, problems and some of their changing perspectives their historic philosophy of missiology and ministry can be understood together with their outlook on today's society and social needs. All of this should lead to a better estimate of their future viability and their potential impact on South African religious life. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (ix, 434 leaves)
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject.ddc 286.168
dc.subject.lcsh Baptists -- Africa, Southern -- History en
dc.subject.lcsh Fundamentalist churches en
dc.subject.lcsh Missions -- Africa, Southern en
dc.subject.lcsh Africa, Southern -- Church history en
dc.title The history of the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in Southern Africa en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology en D.Th. (Church History)

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