Sunday, December 2, 2007

Baptist Heritage Potential Final Exam Questions

Just to give you something to discuss in my absence…

Tomorrow I will give the following document to my Baptist Heritage class to aid them in their preparation for the Final Exam. Out of these twenty-four questions I will choose twelve to place on the Final Exam. Each student will then have to choose ten of those twelve questions to answer with a short essay. Mine is a pretty erudite readership, so I know that you will enjoy perusing these questions.

  1. While serving as an IMB missionary to Russia, you encounter opposition from the local Russian Orthodox priest, who lumps Baptists together with such groups as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, branding them all as heretical cults. Compose a response in which you explain why those who adhere to traditional Baptist theology are not heretics but are instead orthodox Christians.
  2. Identify three sources of religious authority and indicate which source of authority each of the following movements or systems of theology emphasizes: Roman Catholicism, Baptist theology, Pentecostalism, Modernism, Postmodernism, the Conservative Resurgence.
  3. Describe the relationship between the Baptist view of the ordinances and the Baptist views of the gospel and the church.
  4. Citing James 5:14-15 (“Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.” NASB), an infirm member of your congregation asks you to gather several deacons to come to his home and pray for God to heal him. Compose a response in which you gently correct his error by specific reference to relevant passages of Scripture.
  5. Describe the difference between religious toleration and religious liberty. Show the connection between these concepts and the General Assessment Bill proposed in Virginia in the eighteenth century. Identify any two Baptist publications supporting religious liberty and name their authors.
  6. List the acts comprising the Clarendon Code and describe the effect of each.
  7. What two doctrinal malaises plagued English Baptists during the Enlightenment (give one for General Baptists and one for Particular Baptists)? Name the former Methodist circuit-riding preacher who restored an orthodox wing to General Baptist life in eighteenth-century England, and give the name of the group of General Baptist churches he formed. Name the American revival theologian who championed Evangelical Calvinism, as well as the prominent English Particular Baptist who accomplished the widespread “Acceptation” of Evangelical Calvinism among his Particular Baptist brethren.
  8. Name two English General Baptist confessions of faith and two English Particular Baptist confessions of faith, giving the years of composition for each.
  9. Compare and contrast the Sandy Creek and Charleston groups of Baptist churches in eighteenth-century America.
  10. Tell the story of the generally acclaimed father of Baptist missions, including how he came to be a missionary, the story of his early work on the mission field, the secrets of his eventual success, and the names and roles of his key partners in his work.
  11. Tell the story of how Baptists in America first came to have foreign missionaries and first organized to support missions, including the names and relevant actions of key personalities and institutions involved.
  12. Differentiate the society and convention methods of cooperation, identifying purported strengths of each approach.
  13. Name the type of Baptist theology that coined the term “alien immersion.” Briefly describe the distinctive teachings of this theological system.
  14. After developing a friendship with the pastor of a Baptist church in your town whose membership is predominantly black, you encourage him to lead his church to affiliate with your association, the BGCO, and the Southern Baptist Convention. He responds with reluctance, citing a history of racism in the Southern Baptist Convention. Compose an honest response to his concerns in which you explain the role of race in the specific events surrounding the formation of the SBC, the racial character of early labors at the Foreign Mission Board, and the history of racial views among Southern Baptists through today. Then explain why you think that his church still ought take your advice and affiliate with Southern Baptists.
  15. Suppose that this Sunday a five-year-old walks up to you in church and asks, “Who is Lottie Moon and why does she need so much money?” Compose a response (appropriate to a five-year-old, please) that tells the story of Lottie Moon and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
  16. List the four boards of the Southern Baptist Convention (either by their current names or by their names in 1994) and describe the major functions of each.
  17. What is the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, when did it come into existence, why did its founding constitute such a milestone in Southern Baptist life, and what concerns made some Southern Baptists reluctant to form the Executive Committee?
  18. Trace the progress of $1000 of Cooperative Program money from the time it leaves a BGCO church through to its various destinations.
  19. Tell the story of The Baptist Faith & Message, including sources for its original composition; the causes of its adoption; the dates, causes, and contents of its major revisions; and the history of its manner of use in the Southern Baptist Convention. Tell also the story of The Abstract of Principles, relating its first composition and its history of use to the story of The Baptist Faith & Message.
  20. List the five theological concepts outlined in a famous twelve-book series authored by supporters of the Niagara Bible Conference and name the movement that they spawned.
  21. Describe how Southern Baptist Conservatives changed the direction of the Southern Baptist Convention in the late twentieth century, including the year in which the public phase of the effort began, the names of key personalities and movements involved on both sides, the parliamentary strategy that facilitated the success of conservatives, and the actions taken by liberals and moderates in response to the conservative movement.
  22. Trace the development of the Baptist theology and practice of worship since 1609.
  23. Trace the development of the Baptist theology and practice of missions since 1609.
  24. Trace the development of Baptist soteriology since 1609.

Of course, I can't stick around to discuss this at all, but I will be back in a few days. I hope that you all enjoy it. Want the answers? For that you have to pay tuition.


Billy Edwards said...

Dr. Barber,
I've already paid the tuition once, in Ft. Worth, many moons ago so I'm asking for some special consideration. As per the James 5 question, what exactly is the error (other than maybe the guy is confused about deacons and elders)?

Debra Smith said...

My Baptist Heritage final had one question. It was something to the effect of "Why are you Southern Baptist? Give historical and theological support for your answer." We were expected to write for the entire time allotted for the exam. It was a beneficial exercise, and I refer to it these days now that I'm asking myself: "Just why AM I Southern Baptist?"

Tim Guthrie said...

Quick question:
Will you use Ben Cole to assist you in grading these tests? If so, I pray you have given him a correct answer for his may be different from yours.

Tim Rogers said...

Dr. Barber,

Concerning Brother Billy Edwards' response. After being in the ministry now for 17 years, I have learned a thing or two.

First, I do not know how to "gently" correct wrong theology.

Second, I have huge difficulty finding Deacons that are willing to go with the pastor to make a home visit.

Third, I seldom find members that want the pastor around until someone is on their death bed.

Thus, instead of getting myself in a huge disagreement, I just call and tell my Deacons we are requested to pray around the bed of our dying brother, and then get my Crisco and go over to the house and pray for them.

It is God that does the healing any way.

I know you are glad I am not taking your test. For that matter, I am glad I am not taking your test. ;>)


Billy Edwards said...

Tim R,
Don't mean to sound like a faith healer :)...but I'm figuring that Naaman wouldn't have been healed if he had dipped 6 times in the Jordan. So, what if the anoint with oil deal is about our obedience? I know...I've heard the "oil was medicine" interpretation of this for years. But that interpretation has lots of problems. What if...what if it were just simple believers believing what God says and obeying it?

Bart Barber said...

Please understand my predicament…it is one thing to comment on the questions before the exam, but to put the answers on the Internet?!

Suffice it to say that our class did not cover the question of faith healing, but the members of my class are expected to be able to produce a scriptural foundation for the Baptist concept of the officers of the church.

Billy Edwards said...

Dr. Barber,
'Nuff said. Thank you. BTW, a guy I coached for years ago used to coach the Farmers back in the late 60's - Philip Holt. I think he was grew up around that part of the world. Don't suppose he's retired there, is he?

ckey said...

I don’t know if the oil is supposed to be medicinal, symbolic, or just comforting, but I do believe that Brother Billy Edwards is on the right track when he says it’s about obedience. Also, I note that the passage in James says that the sick Christian should call for care. Naaman asked for healing but almost missed it because he was inclined to disobedience because of disbelief.

When I read the passage in James 5I always remember the time many years ago when I went to visit my great-uncle. I believe I was about thirteen years old then. The folks had wanted me there to help him because he was very sick, but I didn’t realize just how sick he was until I got there. My uncle was alert but very weak and struggling to breathe, and he had soiled the bed linens. So when his pastor, Brother Bell, came to visit, I helped him change the bed and get Uncle cleaned up, so that he was much more comfortable. That visit was a revelation to me. Until then, I’d always thought preachers had a real good job where they didn’t have much to do except on Sunday. Brother Bell prayed with us and then left. Then shortly after that, Brother Roberts came to visit. Brother Roberts was our county missionary back then. My great-uncle died while Brother Roberts was there. I was young and totally unprepared for that, but Brother Roberts’ presence kept it from being such a completely devastating occurrence for me.

I don’t know if these two saints were thinking of James 5 when they visited, but I have spent a lifetime being grateful for their ministry.

I hope your students do well on the test. I’m glad I don’t have to take the test but these questions will certainly give me something to study and think about for a while.

wuv-wee Brumhilda said...


The question about the African-American baptist church is interesting to me. A friend of mine is an associational DOM in Mississippi and for the first time in history a predominantly African-American church has begun the affiliation process. I would be interested in hearing your students answers.

Alex said...

I'm going to have a go at the James 5 one.

'My dear brother. I know that your Lord Jesus healed people and, through his disciples continued that work. I know that it LOOKS as though you can still be healed by the prayers of the Lord's servants according to James.

But in those days there was no SWBTS, and none of those guys (including Jesus) had doctorates (and they couldn't afford the tuition fees anyhow). Take it from us; though the Bible is inerrant - I do hope you believe that - you mustn't believe what it says.

Have you rung Medicare?'

Shucks. Guess I just failed.

Bart Barber said...


"I just failed."

You certainly did. In my experience, the only reason one has to mischaracterize someone else's viewpoint is when one has no good answer to what someone else actually is saying.

Bart Barber said...

Students are still taking the final (ice storm in OK stretched things out a bit), but I can now safely reveal that question #5 was not one of the ones actually on the final. The only "error" that I was highlighting was the act of calling for deacons where elders are specified.