While Baptists through the years have been certain that “war is hell”, they have not always been able to agree on how to respond to it. This book traces much of this troubled relationship from the days of Baptist origins with close ties to pacifist Anabaptists to the responses of Baptists in America to the Vietnam War. Essays also include discussions of the English Baptist Andrew Fuller’s response to the threat of Napoleon, how Baptists in America dealt with the War of 1812, the support of Canadian Baptists for Britain’s war in Sudan and Abyssinia in the 1880s, the decisive effect of the First World War on Canada’s T.T. Shields, the response of Australian Baptists to the Second World War, and how Russian Baptists dealt with the Cold War. These chapters provide important analyses of Baptist reactions to various manifestations of one of society’s most intractable problems.
List of Contributors
Michael A.G. Haykin and Gordon L. Heath
1. Baptists, Peace, and War: The Seventeenth-Century British Foundations
Anthony R. Cross
2. Andrew Fuller and the War against Napoleon
Paul L. Brewster, Sr
3. A House Uniting: Americans, Baptists, and the War of 1812
James Tyler Robertson
4. The Nile Expedition, New Imperialism and Canadian Baptists, 1884-1885
Gordon L. Heath
5. The Call to Arms: The Reverend Thomas Todhunter Shields, World War One and the Shaping of a Militant Fundamentalist
6. Reluctant Warriors: Australian Baptists in World War Two
Robert D. Linder
7. Soviet Baptists and the Cold War
8. Baptists and the War in Vietnam: Responses to “America’s Longest War”
Nathan A. Finn
Endorsements and Reviews
Conflict challenges the Christian conscience, fostering divergent responses. Hence Baptists have commonly sought peace, sometimes to the extent of condemning war outright, but equally they have often believed that justice required the taking up of arms, even with enthusiasm. The detailed and penetrating international studies contained in this book illuminate contrasting attitudes over the centuries, showing how war has put Baptists to the test, spiritually as well as materially.
David Bebbington, Professor of History, University of Stirling
This work explores the theme in different time periods and, using a number of individuals as case studies, opens the past so the reader can reflect on the present. The volume is an important contribution to both Baptist studies and the Christian approach to war and peace.
Robert Wilson, Professor of Church History, Acadia Divinity College, Canada
I found Maurice Dowling’s essay on ‘Soviet Baptists and the Cold War’ the most interesting: reflecting Russia from the inside, rather than from what one might call the speculation of less favourably disposed outsiders.
Revd Dr Martin M’caw, in Baptist Times, 3 June 2016