Preserving Free Will Baptist History
Jan02

Preserving Free Will Baptist History

The Historical Commission of the National Association of Free Will Baptists is charged with preserving and promoting the denomination’s history. The Free Will Baptist Historical Collection housed at Welch College fulfills a key aspect of this duty by housing the many records Robert E. Picirilli has spent decades collecting, organizing, and preserving. For the past three years, I have served as his assistant. The Collection contains a...

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Thomas Helwys and Sola Scriptura
Oct31

Thomas Helwys and Sola Scriptura

The foundational theme of the Reformers’ work was sola scriptura, Scripture alone. Each Reformer exhibited a strong commitment to look to the Scriptures for the truth about all of life. They rightly believed that the Roman Catholic Church’s problems stemmed from its departure from the Word of God as its rule in faith and practice. However, every Reformer struggled between their commitment to sola scriptura and their cultural context....

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The Real Force in Education
Sep19

The Real Force in Education

In 1942, Free Will Baptists founded Welch College to provide a Christian response to secular education. During the previous century, many Christian institutions attempted to retain their Christian identity by requiring chapel attendance or enforcing strict moral regulations on campus while simultaneously rejecting orthodox Christianity in the classroom. Unsurprisingly, almost every major “Christian” institution in America abandoned...

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Free Will Baptists: A History of Migrants
Aug08

Free Will Baptists: A History of Migrants

At the turn of the twentieth century, very little was known about the development of the Palmer Movement of Free Will Baptists. Since then, historians have gathered and synthesized myriad documents into excellent narrative accounts.[1] Now Free Will Baptist historians need to begin filling in details and applying relevant historical analysis. Our understanding of how Free Will Baptists spread geographically could benefit greatly from...

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Is Art Really about Self-expression?
May30

Is Art Really about Self-expression?

My wife Megan and I were on a date in an establishment that provides three-hour painting sessions with general instruction. From across the room, I heard the teacher reassuring a student, “Art isn’t about rules. It’s about being free and expressing yourself.” As I struggled to paint a realistic forest on my canvas, I thought about how cavalierly the instructor had just rejected and accepted whole philosophical systems without a...

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