As The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary celebrates its sesquicentennial anniversary this year, readers who want to learn about the institution’s rich history have many new pages with which to busy themselves.
In addition to the recent release of a new history of the seminary and a new biography of founding president James P. Boyce, two additional collections of writings from two of Southern’sfounding fathers arrived in bookstores this week from Founders Press: “Stray Recollections, Short Articles and Public Orations of James P. Boyce” and “Soldiers of Christ: Selections from the Writings of Basil Manly, Sr., & Basil Manly, Jr.”
Thomas J. Nettles, author of the recently released “James Petigru Boyce: A Southern Baptist Statesman” (P&R), assembled, edited and provided pertinent introductions for “Stray Recollections,” a collection of short writings by Boyce.
Among the items included are never before published articles such as a diary of thoughts about Boyce written by his daughter Lizzie on topics such as her father’s punctuality, treatment of his children, love of music and love of pictures, among others. This chapter gives an intimate glimpse into the life of Boyce, the man.
Nettles’ work also includes some of Boyce’s writings from his seven-month stint as editor of The Southern Baptist newspaper and his reflections on the Civil War after he completed service as a chaplain to the Confederate army. Nettles serves as professor of church history at Southern Seminary. Russell D. Moore, senior vice president for academic administration and dean of the School of Theology, wrote the foreward.
“Soldiers of Christ” is co-edited by Roger D. Duke, A. James Fuller and Michel A.G. Haykin, who serves as professor of church history and biblical spirituality at Southern. This work puts forth a number of various short pieces by Basil Manly, Sr., and his son, Basil Manly, Jr., who served on the founding faculty at SBTS and wrote both Southern’s confession of faith, the Abstract of Principles, and the seminary hymn, “Soldiers of Christ in Truth Arrayed.”
Selections from Basil Manly, Jr., include the Abstract, Baptist Psalmody and articles on various theological topics including the inspiration of Scripture, Christian hospitality, advice to a son in the ministry and a letter in response to the ‘New Theology,’ which, in that period was German higher critical scholarship.
The work includes biographical introductions of both men and each article is accompanied by helpful explanatory footnotes that help to place the writings within their proper historical context. Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr., wrote the foreward.