When did John Smyth embrace 'Arminianism' and was the first Baptist congregation 'Particular'?
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Unsurprisingly given his schooling in Elizabethan Puritanism, John Smyth’s early works show that he held to standard Calvinistic positions on election, reprobation, and original sin. By 1610 he had clearly repudiated these positions. This essay explores when and why he changed his mind. Textual evidence shows that he was still holding Calvinistic convictions when he baptised himself and the others, and then formed the first Baptist church in (probably) 1609. The reason for his repudiation of Calvinism some months after that is less certain, but I argue that it was probably down to an engagement with the Waterlander Mennonites that came after the baptisms. I therefore argue that, contrary to common report, the first Baptist congregation was ‘Particular’, not ‘General’, although it quickly changed, and that the long-standing question of whether the Mennonites had a significant effect on early Baptist development can be answered in the affirmative.
Holmes , S R 2021 , ' When did John Smyth embrace 'Arminianism' and was the first Baptist congregation 'Particular'? ' , Baptist Quarterly , vol. Latest Articles . https://doi.org/10.1080/0005576X.2021.1947651
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