JACKSON, Tenn. – April 12, 2004 – Dr. James Leo Garrett Jr. led Union University’s annual scholar-in-residence lectures this spring, addressing Baptist identity and theology and how the denomination has developed over the years to become what it is today. The lecture series, titled “Baptist Theology in Historical Perspective,” explored issues of Baptist identity over the past 400 years.
President David S. Dockery called Garrett a “person who exemplifies what it means to be a gentleman and a scholar, one of the finest Baptist historians and theologians in the entire world.”
Garrett’s topic for the series was the foundations of Baptist thought, including where the denomination came from and how it developed, said junior Meredith Williams, theology major.
Williams is one of the six members of the class, “Theological History of the Baptists,” which is based on the lecture series.
Garrett, distinguished professor emeritus at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, is a leading historical theologian among Baptists. He also has taught at Baylor University and has pastored several Baptist churches. Garrett has published numerous articles, reviews and books, including a two-volume work, “Systematic Theology.”
Garrett’s focus during the lectures was based on the research for his forthcoming book exploring Baptist history, theology and controversies.
Garrett spoke about “Early English General Baptists: Smyth, Helwys, Grantham, Caffyn and Taylor,” “Particular Baptist Founding Fathers: Spilsbury, Knollys, Kiffin, Bunyan and Keach,.” “John Gill and Hyper-Calvinism” and “Andrew Fuller: Awakening, Missions and Modified Calvinism.” He also spoke at the Baptist Identity Conference and in a chapel service.
Katie Gould, '04