notes on the Bibliography

In addition to the many historical Baptist resources available at Baptist Studies Online, Baptist Center, and Baptist Theology, the following is a bibliography of sources related to Baptist catholicity and retrieval. Some of them are authored by our team, while others are earlier resources that have paved the way in this area. We have also included a few general works on Baptist history and theology that give the appropriate background in those areas for these discussions.

It is important to say here that there is a DISCLAIMER: we do not necessarily agree with everything any of these authors say in these resources. Nevertheless, they are important for understanding Baptist catholicity and retrieval.

Evangelical Baptist Catholicity

Chute, Anthony L., Christopher W. Morgan, and Robert A Patterson, eds. Why We Belong: Evangelical Unity and Denominational Diversity. Wheaton: Crossway, 2013.

While this text includes essays from a variety of denominations, Chute and Morgan are both Southern Baptist, and the volume includes an essay on how Baptists fit into the larger denominational landscape.

Colwell, John E. "Catholicity and Confessionalism: Responding to George Beasley-Murray on Unity and Distinctiveness." Baptist Quarterly  43.1 (2009): 4-23.

Dockery, David S. Southern Baptist Consensus and Renewal: A Biblical, Historical, and Theological Proposal. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2008.

Dockery is, with Timothy George, the pioneer in the area of evangelical Baptist catholicity and ecumenicity.

_______, ed., with Ray Van Neste and Jerry Tidwell. Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2011.

_______ and Timothy George. Building Bridges: Perspectives on Baptist Unity. Nashville: Southern Baptist Convention Press, 2007.

Emerson, Matthew Y. and R. Lucas Stamps. “Baptists and the Catholicity of the Church: Towards an Evangelical Baptist Catholicity.” Journal of Baptist Studies 7 (2015): 42–66.

Emerson, Matthew Y., Christopher W. Morgan, and R. Lucas Stamps, eds. Baptists and the Christian Tradition: Toward an Evangelical Baptist Catholicity. Nashville: B&H Academic, forthcoming, 2020.

Stamps, R. Lucas and Matthew Y. Emerson. “Liturgy for Low-Church Baptists.” Criswell Theological Review, forthcoming.

Weaver, G. Stephen. Orthodox, Puritan, Baptist: Hercules Collins (1647–1702) and Particular Baptist Identity in Early Modern England. Reformed Historical Theology Series. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015.

While Weaver’s book is oriented toward church history, it is instructive to see how early Baptists related to the wider Christian world and its thought.

Baptist History and Baptist Catholicity

Cross, Anthony R. and Philip E. Thompson, eds. Baptist Sacramentalism. Studies in Baptist History and Thought 5. Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2003.

Cross and Thompson’s two volumes contain essays from a variety of Baptist perspectives on the topic of sacramentalism. We do not affirm everything in these volumes, but still find them helpful in demonstrating the diversity of Baptist thought throughout space and time on this issue.

Cross, Anthony R. and Philip E. Thompson, eds. Baptist Sacramentalism 2. Studies in Baptist History and Thought 25. Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2008.          

Fowler, Stanley K. More Than a Symbol: The British Baptist Recovery of Baptismal Sacramentalism. Studies in Baptist History and Thought 2. Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2002.

We do not ascribe to the British sacramental view of baptism, but Fowler’s text is still historically instructive.

Bapto-Catholic Projects

We can make an initial comment here that applies to each text below: we do not agree with everything in these books. In particular, we do not affirm what appears to be the common theological foundation of them all, namely, a post-liberal model of truth. We also, therefore, do not affirm their understanding of the authority and the inerrancy of Scripture. Nevertheless, their work is pioneering in the area of Baptist catholicity and cannot be ignored. Nor, in our opinion should it be completely rejected due to disagreements over the nature of biblical authority. Instead, as with any human author, we should seek to appropriate and pass on what is faithful to God’s revelation of himself in Holy Scripture while rejecting what is not taught there.

 Fiddes, Paul S., with Brian Haymes and Richard Kidd. Baptists and the Communion of Saints: A Theology of Covenanted Disciples. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2014.

_______. Tracks and Traces: Baptist Identity in Church and Theology. Studies in Baptist History and Thought 13. Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2003.

Freeman, Curtis W. Contesting Catholicity: Theology for Other Baptists. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2014.

Harmon, Steven R. Baptist Identity and the Ecumenical Future: Story, Tradition, and the Recovery of Community. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2016.

_______. Towards Baptist Catholicity: Essays on Tradition and the Baptist Vision. Studies in Baptist History and Thought 27. Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2006.

Haymes, Brian, Ruth Gouldbourne, and Anthony R. Cross. On Being the Church: Revisioning Baptist Identity. Studies in Baptist History and Thought 21. Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2009.

Harvey, Barry. Can These Bones Live? A Catholic Baptist Engagement with Ecclesiology, Hermeneutics, and Social Theory. Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2008.

Baptist History, Theology, and Identity

We offer these by way of introduction to Baptist history, theology, and identity. This is not a comprehensive list by any means, nor would we affirm everything in any particular volume. Nevertheless, we feel this list would serve as a good primer for those interested in an initial study of Baptist history and thought. Further, we would recommend starting with these before moving into the issue of Baptist catholicity particularly.

Bebbington, David W. Baptists Through the Centuries: A History of a Global People. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2010.

Chute, Anthony L., Nathan A. Finn, and Michael A. G. Haykin. The Baptist Story: From English Sect to Global Movement. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2015.

Dever, Mark E., ed. Polity: Biblical Arguments on How to Conduct Church Life; A Collection of Historical Baptist Documents. Washington, D.C.: Nine Marks Ministries, 2001.

Dockery, David S., ed. Southern Baptist Identity: An Evangelical Denomination Faces the Future. Wheaton: Crossway, 2009.  

_______ and Timothy George. Theologians of the Baptist Tradition, rev. ed. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2001.

Garrett, James Leo. Baptist Theology: A Four-Century Study. Macon: Mercer University Press, 2009.

Lumpkin, William L. and Bill J. Leonard, eds. Baptist Confessions of Faith, 2nd rev. ed. Valley Forge: Judson, 2011.

Norman, R. Stanton. The Baptist Way: Distinctives of a Baptist Church. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2005.


_______. More Than Just a Name: Preserving Our Baptist Identity. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2001.

Randall, Ian M., Toivo Pilli, and Anthony R. Cross, eds. Baptist Identities: International Studies from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Centuries. Studies in Baptist History and Thought 19. Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2006.

Schreiner Thomas R. and Shawn D. Wright, eds. Believer’s Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant in Christ. NAC Studies in Bible and Theology 2. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2006.

Schreiner, Thomas R. and Matthew R. Crawford, eds. The Lord’s Supper: Remembering and Proclaiming Christ Until He Comes. NAC Studies in Bible and Theology 10. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2010.

Torbet, Robert G. A History of the Baptists, 3rd ed. Valley Forge: Judson, 2000.