GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Introducing Southern Baptists©
C. B. Hastings
Chapter 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 Afterward
FAQ Bibliography (Start Page)
- ALIEN IMMERSION
- a term, not so commonly used today, for the acceptance by
the church of a member who was immersed after confession of faith by other than a Baptist
- during the Reformation any of several groups who insisted on
"rebaptizing" believers on the basis of "believer's baptism" only.
They are spiritual forebears, but not organizationally linked with the later Baptists.
Their descendants today are Mennonites.
- the first level of cooperation among Baptist churches in
relatively small geographical regions (such as a county in areas with large Baptist
- BABY DEDICATION
- the practice of some Baptist churches of having a special
service of dedicating parents and new babies to the Lord. It does not equal infant
baptism, but it does pledge the parents to "raise their children in the nurture and
admonition of the Lord."
- BE CONVERTED
- to experience salvation in Christ when one is "turned
to Jesus" by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit using the Word of God and the
testimony/preaching of Christians.
- BE SAVED
- to experience the beginning of the Christian life in the New
Birth, accompanied by a sense of the forgiveness of sin, the love of Christ, and
"love for the brethren."
- BELIEVER'S BAPTISM
- baptism administered only to those who have made public
profession of faith in Christ and requested baptism for themselves.
- CHURCH COVENANT
- a formal agreement of loyalty and support of the local
congregation and its ministries, adopted at the organizational meeting of a new church.
- CLOSED COMMUNION
- the restricting of giving communion only to those who are
members of the local congregation.
- COMPETENCY OF THE SOUL
- every human being is endowed by the Creator with the
inalienable right and capacity to deal directly with God in all matters of religious faith
- A CONFESSION OF FAITH
- a statement of beliefs and practices drawn up by a church or
association of churches for the purpose of identifying the doctrinal stance of that
particular group of Baptists at that stated time.
- COOPERATIVE PROGRAM
- the plan adopted in 1925 by the Southern Baptist Convention
(and entered into later by state conventions) by which all of the missions, educational
and benevolent programs are supported through a unified budget. The Cooperative Program
does not include the Sunday School Board, which supports itself and provides field
services through its publishing business.
- a system of interpretation of the Scriptures which divides
human history into seven "ages" or periods, during which God tests mankind under
- EXPERIENCE OF GRACE
- one's public testimony of how he became a Christian; most
often used of candidates for ordination.
- GENERAL BAPTISTS
- those who hold to the "general" view of the
Atonement of Christ, i.e., that Christ's offer of salvation is available to all mankind,
and its acceptance is a matter of the free will of each individual. (This is not to be
confused with the Free Will Baptists, who also teach that a saved person can be lost
through grievious, unrepented sin.)
- GROWTH IN GRACE
- the development after "being saved": the
continuing work of God's salvation that enables the believer's new life in union with
Christ to develop through the grace of God. This grace operates through prayer, Bible
study, ministering to others, "witnessing," worship and mutual support by other
Christians. This progress in Christian maturity is a matter of individual desire and
community support by the church.
- those followers (not necessarily Baptist) of the Reformer,
John Calvin, who took his teachings to the logical conclusions of predestination, that is,
that every person in the world is "chosen" by God in advance either for
salvation or damnation.
- JOIN THE CHURCH BY
- to present oneself for membership in a local congregation on
one's statement that he/sue has been at one time a baptized member of a Baptist church,
whose records are no longer available to provide "a church letter."
- a movement begun in the nineteenth century among Baptists
that among other tenets holds that Baptists constitute the only true Church and that there
exists a baptismal succession all the way back to the New Testament churches.
- LICENSE TO PREACH
- a letter of commendation to churches of like faith and
order" commending a new candidate for the ministry. This is preliminary to
ordination, which must be called for by some particular local church.
- MAKE CONFESSION OF FAITHMAKE PROFESSION OF FAITH
- usually at the close of a preaching service during the
singing of a hymn of invitation to present oneself to the minister before the congregation
proclaiming one's repentance and faith and (usually) requesting baptism and full
membership in the local congregation. Sometimes the terms are used when the confession is
made privately or in a group apart from a service in the church.
to an Association/Convention
- these are members elected by a local church to
"sit" at the Association or Convention annual meeting. Since the local church
retains its full autonomy, "messengers" are not"delegates" to rem
resent the will of the congregation, nor can they bind the latter by any vote of the
- one who believes that at the second coming of Christ a
thousand year period of peace un der the rule of Christ will take place on earth (This is
the "premillennial" view. Others hold that the millennium is either a symbol for
the whole era between the first and second comings of
Christ"amillennialism"or that Christ will come at the end of the
thousand year period"postmillennialism").
- MOVE ONE'S MEMBERSHIP
- "join the church by letter": to change affiliation
with a local congregation upon a (standard) letter of recommendation from former
congregation that the member is in "good standing," i.e., not subject to
discipline or expulsion.the
- term used of baptism and the Lord's Supper rather than
"sacrament." These are the only two religious rites Baptists hold that Jesus
"ordered" to be practiced in perpetuity by the Church.
- PARTICULAR BAPTISTS
- those who hold to the "particular" view of the
atonement of Christ, i.e., that only those will be saved who are predestined by God unto
salvation. This is usually associated with "irresistible grace" and thus denies
the role of the human will in salvation. Southern Baptists, generally known as
"modified Calvinists," believe that God "elects" people unto salvation
by taking the initiative toward them, but that such election is not irresistible. Since it
must be a matter of response by the human will, Southern Baptists believe in evangelism
and missions (as over against "primitive Baptist Churches").
- the way in which a church or denomination structures its
organization and carries out its practice. Historically the three most common polities
are: hierarchical (Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican), presbyterial (Presbyterian
churches), and congregational (Baptist, United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ).
- the group of pastors and deacons who are invited by a local
congregation to examine a candidate for ordination and make recommendation to the church
concerning the wisdom of ordaining such a person.
- the new birth engendered by the Holy Spirit vhenever a
sinner repents of sin toward God and commits himself/herself in faith to Jesus as Savior
- SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER
- the assurance given by the Word of God and the inner witness
of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8 16) that salvation is fully guaranteed by the gift of God and
cannot be lost short of actual renunciation of Jesus as Savior and Lord.
- English believers following the Reformation who became
dissatisfied with the doctrines and practices of the established Church (Anglican). They
included the Puritans, Baptists, and other congregational groups.
- telling others how to be saved, usually including how one
became a Christian. Most often done by one or two with one who is not yet a believer.
- those who have never been "born again" whether or
not they have membership in any church or denomination.
Thursday, February 24, 2000
©Copyright 1998 C.B Hastings
Text was scanned and OCRed from Introducing Southern Baptist ©Paulist, Press 1981.
Library of Congress Number: 81-80052