“That view has normally been sustained down through the centuries, with ultimate responsibility for decisions resting not with pastors or deacons but with the committed church members as a whole. The churchmanship of the Baptists was not unique, for it was upheld as fully by Independents, but it was an unusual position in Christendom, arising from Baptists’ belief in a regenerate church membership.”
David Bebbington, Baptists Through The Centuries, p. 178.
I have enjoyed reading David Bebbington over the past few years. He is Professor of History at the University of Stirling in Scotland. In this 2010 book the author traces the story of Baptists from their first identity in England with John Smyth about …