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Friday, March 30, 2012

About five years ago I created a customized search engine on Google -- Baptist History Search Engine. Just thought I'd remind you readers and invite you to visit. Try a search. Give me your comments on it. Perhaps you will get some benefit from it, and your comments might help me improve it.

Thanks.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Repairing the house of God

II Kings 22-23; II Chron. 34


Josiah was the 15th king of the divided kingdom of Judah, one of the few good ones. He came to the throne when he was only 8 years old, about 316 years after the division of the kingdom of Israel into two nations. The division occurred after Rehoboam's ascent to the unified throne. Josiah reigned 31 years. It is perhaps hard to imagine how wicked the people of God had become in these intervening years. At a young age Josiah began to seek the Lord, and in the 18th year of his reign (when he was 26 years old) he set about to repair the house of God.


By the time of Josiah the glorious temple of Solomon had been standing some 360 years. It had fallen into disrepair. Just how much I don't know. But the repair required hiring carpenters, builders, and masons, and buying timber and stones. This implies a good deal of work that needed to be done. When the sincere young king undertook the project he could not imagine the events that were to be set off.


The book of the law of the Lord was lost in the house of the Lord. How sad to think, that right there in the very house of God the law of God was lost, misplaced, unread, unknown. Oh, how much like our day, when even churches are unfamiliar with the word of God.


The book of the law of the Lord was read after it was found. First the scribe read it himself. Then he read it to the king, and later the king read it to the people. The effect on the king was his tearing of his clothes in anguish and despair, realizing how far they had departed from the words of this book. Next he inquired of the Lord. Then he called the people together and read the book. There they made a covenant before the Lord.


The reform and its effects were great. Having made a covenant to keep the words of the book of the law, Josiah set about to reform the house of the Lord and the nation of Judah according to its words. Vessels of all sorts of false worship -- from Baal to the grove to the hosts of heaven -- were removed from the house of God. The houses of the Sodomites (apparently male homosexual prostitutes, since associated with worship) were torn down, and the ax was set at the root of false worship in every way possible. Afterward a Passover was held that was so amazing that there was not "such a passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah."


When the book of the Lord is forgotten, the house of the Lord falls into disrepair, the feasts of the Lord are not kept up, and false worship invades. The house of the Lord can only be repaired by taking heed to the word of God. Our congregations, not the temple, are the houses of the Lord today. May God help us.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Crooked 2 by 4's

Yesterday I commented on The Problem of Protestant Ecclesiology -- generally and specifically the post of that name by Daniel Wallace. In this piece and another, Wallace writes, “The ideal church can’t exist.” If I understand him correctly, I agree. While there is an ideal church concept in the Bible, a real church with real people will never be ideal. Actual congregations are hotbeds of redeemed sinners on whom God is still working.

Thinking on this today, I was struck with the similarity of looking for an ideal church in a world of churches and looking for a straight board in a bundle of 2X4's. I guess I'm a stickler for "straight" whether it's churches or lumber. Every once in awhile I conceive of a project -- which always requires straight 2X4's. So I head out to the lumber yard to find the same. After having put an eagle eye down the edges of half the bundle,* my standards begin to change. Having looked at a hundred or so bowed, warped, and twisted boards, I sadly realize -- another bundle of 2X4's without a perfectly straight one amongst them. The ideal 2X4 doesn't exist! So the new goal becomes not a perfectly straight 2X4, but one that is only slightly bowed from one end to the other -- nothing twisted or warped badly, and certainly nothing that would excel as a rocking chair bottom. If I don't find the ideal, I'll settle for what is the best among the less than perfect. 

"Settling" might not be a good term regarding finding a church home. But as Wallace says, the ideal church doesn't exist. If our standards are too straight we'll not find a congregational home. And we should find one. We need it. The assembly of God's people that you visit may have a few splinters, knots, and cracks. It might be a little too hot or too cold at times. It may not be perfectly plumb and square. Avoid all those that are twisted and warped, but exhibit wisdom, mercy and grace in your search, hoping to find the best among the less than perfect. (And as they say, if you DO find the perfect church -- don't join it, you'll mess it up.)

*If you pick through lumber, please re-stack it.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Problem of Protestant Ecclesiology

I have read with interest and instruction the online writings Daniel B. Wallace of Dallas Theological Seminary (even though I'm not a big fan of DTS). From elders to alcohol to head coverings, his writings have been first rate and challenging. So I was excited to see his entry into the blog world. One of his first posts is The Problem of Protestant Ecclesiology. For my Baptist readers, your first thought may be "Yes!" Certainly we have problems with Protestant ecclesiology. But be not deceived, as best I can tell, he lumps everyone who is not Catholic or Orthodox into this Protestant category – and Protestant problem.

The greatest immediate difficulty I have with the piece is the question "What is Protestant ecclesiology?" Most probably know that ecclesiology is the theological study concerning to the nature, structure and functions of a church. But there is not one monolithic Protestant ecclesiology. It varies from church to church and denomination to denomination. Wallace, who says, "I am unashamedly a Protestant" appears to greatly prefer Orthodox and Catholic ecclesiology. The blog post is challenging and offers a critique of "Protestant ecclesiology" that should be carefully considered. What can we glean from it to sharpen our thinking on ecclesiology? What are the bones we need to spit out? I find much on which to agree with Wallace. But I also find several lines of disagreement. In my response, I contrast Baptist ecclesiology with both Catholic/Orthodox ecclesiology and Protestant ecclesiology, though some Protestants have a congregational polity similar to that of many Baptists.

Lack of unity. "we can be more sensitive to...fellowship beyond our local church" "It doesn’t matter what Orthodox church or monastery I visit, I get the same..." Too often we glory in our lack of unity, taking pride in our stand for the truth. We should stand for the truth – and unity as well. No, we should not pretend. Our unity must be in spirit and in truth. Yes, “unity in falsehood is no unity at all.” But let us examine ourselves deeply and sincerely, to know whether our divisions that exist are solidly grounded in the truth as it is in God’s word rather than our opinions, preferences, misconceptions, petty jealousies and self-interest. Congregational ecclesiology, autonomous governance and independence should be followed, but void of the “me and my church” mentality so current in our age. Let love, fellowship and interdependence between the churches be seen. Before e-mail, Facebook, instant messages and smart phones, catch the vision of band of brothers & sisters in Christ scattered across the Roman Empire who knew about one another, cared about one another, and who traveled & communicated in their limited ways in such a way that all men knew they were HIS disciples. Shame on us to withdraw into the coziness and familiarity of our local assemblies and never peer out to see our brothers and sisters.

Lack of history. "Church history for all too many evangelicals does not start until Luther pounded that impressive parchment on the Schlosskirche door." Of necessity, the children of the Protestant Reformation have embraced the universal church for their identity and found their history in the post-Reformation. The greater body of Baptists has joined the Protestants, abandoning any thoughts of ancestors before the Reformation. "we dare not neglect the last twenty centuries unless we think that the Spirit has been sleeping all that time" I agree with Wallace and the Catholics that the Holy Spirit was not asleep from the first century till the Protestant Reformation, though I deny that the Catholic (or Orthodox) Church is the church of the New Testament. It arrives too late and hardly resembles the kind of churches portrayed in the New Testament. If the Spirit was not asleep and Catholicism is not New Testament  Christianity, to whom shall we look for ancestry, identity, history and tradition? Those bold dissenters who stood their ground and walked not in their ways. But weren’t there heretics and deceivers among them? Yes, but no less among Catholicism. Both must be judged in what we know of them by the Word of God. Many early “heretics” are judged by the words of their detractors rather than their own. And all “church fathers” claimed by Catholicism and Orthodoxy do not necessarily belong to them. Some of these "fathers" lived before Catholicism and Orthodoxy existed as distinct denominations.

Lack of accountability. "we can be more sensitive to the need for doctrinal and ethical accountability" Doctrinal and ethical accountability is sorely lacking, but why must we look for it in hierarchy? Can we not mend our ways, right our wrongs and return to the doctrinal and ethical accountability of biblical times, which knows no ecclesiological structure in the nature and form of Catholicism. The Bible aside, why should we look to hierarchal structures, or claim their superiority in providing doctrinal and ethical accountability? What is more doctrinally diverse, biblically unsound and unethical than Roman Catholicism? No doubt there is a somewhat consistent sound sent forth from Rome. Has it not changed from century to century? Mine the depths of the hearts of its people. Will we not find that the doctrines of individual members diverge by race, geography, social status and other factors? American Catholic politicians are at once an example of both diversity of belief and lack of accountability. And need we mention recent priest sex scandals to completely blast the mirage of ethical accountability? Further, shall we not find some of the most biblically liberal denominations among the Protestants who govern through hierarchal means? If a local church goes astray, their influence will end not far beyond the church doors. When the top of an hierarchal denominational dam breaks, it carries most of its contents down the stream with it.

Lack of ecclesiology and lack of humility. "evangelical scholars have noted that the problem with Protestant ecclesiology is that there is no Protestant ecclesiology." Here I don't agree word for word. But the sad fact is that for too many, ecclesiology has been relegated to the theological corner, a minor matter that should be stored away lest it be found disagreeable. The replies to Wallace’s post suggest a number of Protestants, Baptists, and/or non-denominationals may be looking for “something more” and ready to gravitate toward the comfort of Orthodoxy or Catholicism. Regular perusal of Baptist discussions on the internet has awakened me to just how disconnected we Baptists have become from our moorings. Once Baptists and their ecclesiology seemed almost inseparable. No more. Coupled with this lack of knowledge is the lack of humility concerning it. "be more sensitive about the deficiencies in our own ecclesiology” We need a real sense of humility. Let us not be proud purveyors of knowledge God has revealed. While knowing there are deficiencies in the ecclesiological systems of others, let us be mindful of the inelegant deficiencies in our own. Do we understand what our ecclesiology is? Do you put it into practice? Alan Knox has well said, "A person’s professed ecclesiology is often different from that person’s actual ecclesiology. The best way to determine what someone actually believes about the church is to observe how they live as part of the church."

What I disagree with most are the elevation of liturgy, the lust for hierarchy, and recognition of Catholicism & Orthodoxy as The Church, coupled with looking to their traditions for history, identity, faith and practice. Some of these have already been addressed, so I will not cover the same ground again. "embrace some of the liturgy that has been used for centuries" Where is the “liturgy” of the Bible that looks like the liturgy of the Greek Orthodox Church? That case must be made before Bible-believers blindly follow and embrace it. To “get the same message, the same liturgy, the same sense of the ‘holy other’” may sound wonderful. Oh, that our churches did not have the confusion Wallace describes! Truly you don’t know what you’ll get when you show up at a church with “Baptist” on the door – fundamental truth from the word of God or a freak show from the imaginations of men? We need to meditate on and apply Paul’s injunction – the same in all the churches. But getting the “same liturgy” and “same message” from church to church is not a virtue unless it is the same as the Bible’s!

Nearing his conclusion, Wallace writes, “The ideal church can’t exist.” Any assembly of sinful creatures will not be ideal. But far too many churches have no goal, no sights set to reach for an ideal church – even if they even think there is such a thing! The "ideal church" is the church relationships, nature, functions, faith and practice of the churches of the New Testament. Sure, the New Testament churches were not literally pristine, because they were composed of redeemed sinful creatures too. But in the midst of it all there is an ideal picture of truth presented in God’s revelation. Our daily goal should be to be more and more like the churches of the New Testament. (Then we might be more “the same”.)

Wallace’s solutions fall into three categories: (1) be more sensitive about the deficiencies in our own ecclesiology; recognize that the two other branches of Christendom have done a better job in this area; (2) be more sensitive to the need for doctrinal and ethical accountability, fellowship beyond our local church, and ministry with others whose essentials but not necessarily particulars don’t line up with ours. (3) begin to listen again to the voice of the Spirit speaking through church fathers and embrace some of the liturgy that has been used for centuries.

My suggestions are: (1) be more sensitive to the deficiencies in our ecclesiology, and look to the word of God and the Spirit of God for illumination. Read what others have written. Spurgeon once said, “It seems odd, that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others.” All truth is God’s truth, so learn it where you find it. But don’t model your ecclesiology after “other branches of Christendom” whose ecclesiology is not modeled after New Testament ecclesiology. Search the scriptures whether these things are so. (2) be more sensitive to the need for doctrinal and ethical accountability, fellowship beyond our local church, and ministry with others. Look for New Testament models of doctrinal and ethical accountability. Add to your doctrine of church autonomy the New Testament examples of relational interdependence and fellowship between churches. Discard the “us four and no more” mentality to embrace God’s larger work that He is doing. Decide at what point and why the New Testament Christians divided. Ecclesiologically, embrace no more than God embraces, and reject none He receives. (3) begin to listen again to the voice of the Spirit speaking through church fathers. But find out who are “the church fathers.” And subject all they say to the mirror of God’s word. Paul and the Bereans would expect no less.

No, we should not neglect the last twenty centuries, or despise all that went before us – lest we imply that the Spirit was sleeping all that time. But, “it must all be subject to biblical authority.” I am compelled to reject some of Dan Wallace’s thesis because I do not see the biblical authority behind it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

More on the mechanics of inspiration

Does it matter what view you hold concerning the mechanics of inspiration, as long as you hold verbal inspiration of the whole Bible? Perhaps not.

I have noticed one thing in several online discussions of the theories of inspiration that I find disturbing. Several articles that list false theories of inspiration include the dictation theory in these false theories right alongside the views that deny inspiration, such as the natural inspiration, illumination, and partial inspiration theories. UNLIKE these other theories, the "dictation theory" holds a high view the doctrine of verbal inspiration. That it differs from the "superintendence theory" does not make it a "false theory". In fact, there may be more evidence of "dictation" than "superintendence".

With a high view of inspiration and biblical authority, one must admit that at least portions of the Bible are dictated -- because the Bible says so. Read and compare these verses of Scripture: Exod. 24:4; 34:27; Deut. 4:2; Isa. 59:21; Jer. 30:1-2; 36:1-8; Hab. 2:2; Gal. 1:12; Rev. 2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14. What verses state superintendence? Scriptures such as II Timothy 3:16-17 and II Peter 1:20-21 are agreeable with either view.

The chief objection to the dictation theory seems to be the accusation that it cannot explain the different styles and vocabularies used by the different human authors of the Bible. Proponents have explained, just not to the satisfaction of those who disagrre. Yet, ultimately, the "superintendence view" can no more fully explain how the Bible is 100% the word of God without error, still fully the words that the writers chose themselves in their given situations. Either view holds some mystery not fully understood by human minds. Regardless of "mechanics" the influence of the Spirit of God over the writers of Scripture extended beyond their thoughts, or simple ilumination or natural inspiration. His influence extended to the selection of the very words the authors chose (Deut. 18:18; Zech 7:12), the tense (Matt. 22:32), the number (Gal. 3:16), and even the smallest marks (Matt. 5:17-18).

Whether or not you agree with the "dictation theory", I urge you not to classify it with other theories of inspiration that actually deny inspiration. Dictation does not!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Inspired, how?

For those who believe the Bible is inspired (II Tim 3:16, et al.), an interesting question is, "How did God inspire the Bible?" That is, what means did He use to accomplish his purpose. Some ideas:


1. Superintendence theory. In Identifying Missionary Baptist Distinctives, "The Bible: Inspired by God and Without Error", Robert Ashcraft wrote:

Missionary Baptists generally accept the "superintendence" view of the inspiration of the Scriptures. This view is in accord with II Peter 1:21 which states "...but having been borne along by (the) Holy Spirit, holy men of God spoke." Therefore, each writer used words and expressions reflecting his own personality, background and style, yet the Holy Ghost so directed that the writer would be prevented from error. The "superintendence" view has traditionally been contrasted with the "dictation" view which suggests that the actual words were pre­scribed (dictated) by the Holy Spirit.
2. Dictation theory. John Calvin wrote:
This is the principle that distinguishes our religion from all others, that we know that God has spoken to us and are fully convinced that the prophets did not speak of themselves but as organs of the Holy Spirit uttered only that which they had been commissioned from heaven to declare. All those who wish to profit from the Scriptures must first accept this as a settled principle, that the law and the prophets are not teachings handed on at pleasure of men or produced by men’s minds as their source, but are dictated by the Holy Spirit...we owe to the Scripture the same reverence as we owe to God, since it has its only source in Him and has nothing of human origin mixed with it” (New Testament Commentaries, Vol. 10, p. 330).
3. Mantic theory. Philo of Alexandria believed "the human author becomes possessed by God and loses consciousness of self, surrendering to the divine spirit and its communicatory powers." (The Oxford Companion to the Bible)


4.  Negative assistance theory. Jacques Bonfriere (and others) have posited that the authors expressed their thoughts in their own style and words, and that the Holy Spirit only intervened as needed in order to prevent them from making any mistakes.


There are other views, including many which effectively deny inspiration. Which view do you accept? Why? Does it matter?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Truth

For Christians, "every truth presupposes that God is, that he is the Creator of all that is, and that he sustains it." -- K. Scott Oliphint in Answering Objections to Presuppositionalism

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sovereign Grace and Man's Responsibility


In his sermon, "Sovereign Grace and Man's Responsibility," Charles Spurgeon wrote the following.

Now, if I were to declare that man was so free to act, that there was no presidence of God over his actions, I should be driven very near to Atheism; and if, on the other hand, I declare that God so overrules all things, as that man is not free enough to be responsible, I am driven at once into Antinomianism or fatalism. That God predestines, and that man is responsible, are two things that few can see. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory; but they are not. It is just the fault of our weak judgment. Two truths cannot be contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one place that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find in another place that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is my folly that leads me to imagine that two truths can ever contradict each other. These two truths, I do not believe, can ever be welded into one upon any human anvil, but one they shall be in eternity: they are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the mind that shall pursue them farthest, will never discover that they converge; but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Old Prospect Baptist Church has a new web presence. Please bear with us, because none of us are web builders!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rank strangers

The song "Rank Strangers" reaches down to some lonely place in many of us, where we feel pilgrims and foreigners, outsiders in a strange place we used to know. But we hold the promise of a place we'll meet friends and loved, and even those we never knew are not strangers!

I wandered again to my home in the mountains.
Where in youth’s early dawn, I was happy and free.
I looked for my friends, but I never could find them.
I found they were all rank strangers to me.


Everybody I met seemed to be a rank stranger.
No mother nor dad, not a friend could I see.
They knew not my name, and I knew not their faces.
I found they were all rank strangers to me.


They’ve all gone away, said the voice of a stranger.
To a beautiful land by the bright crystal sea.
Some beautiful day, I’ll meet them in heaven.
Where no one will be a stranger to me.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Obligatory rant

On Sunday March 11, 2012, the Sun rose about 1 minute earlier than it rose on Saturday the 10th. But to hear our clocks tell it, the Sun rose 59 minutes later. Men scurried and worried. The buffalo continued to roam, and deer & antelope played as if nothing had changed.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Trust and thanks

“For all that has been, thank you. For all that is to come, Yes!” ― Dag Hammarskj√∂ld, from Markings

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

What about free speech?

Last week Rush Limbaugh clearly opened his mouth wide and stuck his foot in it. He almost swallowed it whole! A Georgetown Law School student testified before the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on Thursday February 23 about contraception and health care coverage. According to reports*, Limbaugh called her a “slut” and a “prostitute.”

The internet is covered up with this topic on blogs and forums. I don't want to directly address the views of Sandra Fluke (the law student), with which I disagree, or the tirade of Limbaugh, with which I also disagree. What has caught my attention is the reaction of opponents of Limbaugh, who have turned this into a crusade to get all his sponsors to drop him and have him fail so as to go off the air (or get kicked off). This brings to mind the question to me what these crusaders believe about free speech.

Should Limbaugh have called the lady these names? No. From what I read in her transcript she really didn't even speak for herself, but rather for others.  Makes me wonder whether Rush even read or heard what she said?? But what about the mentality that is not satisfied to disagree with and condemn his speech, and even quit supporting those who sponsor him. No, they have launched a national campaign to pursue him until he is driven off the air. Perhaps I just can't comprehend it because I don't have a protest mentality. I'm not into "boycotting". There are plenty on the right that share this protest mentality with the left and also follow in hot pursuit whenever they smell blood in the water. Seems to me a more balanced view of free speech disagrees, debates -- maybe even sues if libel is involved -- but is not maniacally driven to see that someone's speech is completely shut down. Clearly those sharks pursuing Limbaugh now aren't just protecting and supporting Sandra Fluke -- they have an agenda and they hate Limbaugh's speech.


Or am I missing something?

[*Note: there is no question that he did so, I only word it this way because I didn't hear it myself.]

Monday, March 05, 2012

Abortion statistics

Last Friday I posted some Readings on Abortion. To follow up, here are some facts on abortion.

The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBER) gives a good bit of information. The statistics at their site "are derived from pro-abortion sources courtesy of The Alan Guttmacher Institute and Planned Parenthood's Family Planning Perspectives." The CBER is a pro-life group dedicated to ending abortion. Using Guttmacher/Planned Parenthood stats assures that we are not trying skew the numbers with pro-life "spin", as these numbers come from a pro-abortion industry.

The most recent statistics for annual abortions performed in the U.S. are from 2008. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 1.21 million abortions were performed in the United States in 2008. The CBER also notes: "1% of all abortions occur because of rape or incest; 6% of abortions occur because of potential health problems regarding either the mother or child, and 93% of all abortions occur for social reasons (i.e. the child is unwanted or inconvenient)."

This is interesting, because "rape, incest and the life of the mother" are the reasons for abortion used to gain pity from the general populace. Yet based on the abortion industry's own numbers, only 7% of abortions are performed for reasons of rape, incest or the life of the mother. Of the 1.21 million abortions performed annually, 1.12 million occur for "social reasons" that have nothing to do with the sympathetic trio that is put forward by abortionists.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Most popular posts

For some reason, the post Who Can Baptize? has remained the most popular, most "hit" or searched for of all. I think it is not because of the post itself, but because of the frequency of Google searches about who can baptize or who is authorized to baptize. I hope this indicates a sincere interest in what the Bible says about the subject.

Another frequently hit post is Biblical Principles for Church Music (2) . And what seems curious to me is the number of times people link to read the short poem The Lone Wild Bird. Evidently lots of folks are curious about it. It rivals "Who Can Baptize" for most looked at post.



I don't know whether these posts are making any impact, but I find it interesting to see what folks are reading.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Baptists and the Bible

Following are a number of Baptist confessions of faith describing their belief on the Word of God. Though there are variations, all state a high view of the Word of God, inspired and sufficient. They are generally ordered from newer to older. Scripture references were removed to save space.

Baptist Faith and Message, 2000 (Southern Baptist Convention)
I. The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.


Doctrinal Statement of the Missionary Baptist Association of Texas
1. We believe in the plenary verbal inspiration and inerrancy of the whole Bible as originally written, and that the Bible is the all-sufficient rule of faith and practice.


Doctrinal Statement of the Baptist Missionary Association of America
II. THE SCRIPTURES
A. The Scriptures are God's inerrant revelation, complete in the Old and New Testaments, written by divinely inspired men as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. Those men wrote not in words of human wisdom but in words taught by the Holy Spirit.
B. The Scriptures provide the standard for the believer's faith and practice, reveal the principles by which God will judge all, and express the true basis of Christian fellowship.


Articles of Faith of the General Association of Regular Baptists
I. Of the Scriptures
We believe in the authority and sufficiency of the Holy Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, as originally written; that it was verbally and plenarily inspired and is the product of Spirit-controlled men, and therefore is infallible and inerrant in all matters of which it speaks.
We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian unity and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creed and opinions shall be tried.


Doctrinal Statement of the American Baptist Association
2. We believe in the infallible, verbal inspiration of the whole Bible and that the Bible is the all-sufficient rule of faith and practice.


Abstract of Principles of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1858
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience.


New Hampshire Baptist Confession of Faith, 1833
1. Of the Scriptures We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.


Mississippi Baptist Association Articles of Faith, 1806
2. We believe the scriptures of the Old and New Testament were given by inspiration of God, are of Divine authority, and the only rule of faith and practice.


Kehukee Baptist Association articles, adopted 1777
II. We believe that Almighty God has made known His mind and will to the children of men in His word; which word we believe to be of Divine authority, and contains all things necessary to be known for the salvation of men and women. The same is comprehended or contained in the books of the Old and New Testaments as are commonly received.


Ketocton Association Articles Of Faith, 1766
That the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the word of God; that they were given by divine inspiration, and that this system of revelation comprehends everything necessary for us to know concerning God, and the direction of our obedience to Him. By this divine book, God hath made revelation of His gracious design in saving poor sinners, and pointing out the way through the mediation of the Lord Jesus; that through the instrumentality of this sacred word, that stubborn and obstinate sinners are brought into the ordinances of faith, and the incorrigible left without excuse; and that by this word of the Lord all men shall be judged in the last day.


Principles of Faith of the Sandy Creek Association, 1758
II. That Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the word of God, and only rule of faith and practice.


Carter Lane Declaration of Faith, 1757
We believe, That the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, are the Words of God, and the only rule of faith and practice.


The Philadelphia Confession, 1742
1. The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience; although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men unexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and His will, which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times, and in divers manners to reveal Himself, and to declare that His will unto His church; and afterwards for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment, and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary, those former ways of God's revealing His will unto His people being now ceased.


Goat Yard Declaration of Faith, 1729
I. We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the word of God, and the only rule of faith and practice.


London Baptist Confession, 1677/1689
1. The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience, although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and his will which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in divers manners to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church; and afterward for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary, those former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people being now ceased.


London Baptist Confession of 1646
VIII. The rule of this knowledge, faith, and obedience, concerning the worship of God, in which is contained the whole duty of man, is (not men's laws, or unwritten traditions, but) only the word of God contained [viz., written] in the holy Scriptures; in which is plainly recorded whatsoever is needful for us to know, believe, and practice; which are the only rule of holiness and obedience for all saints, at all times, in all places to be observed.


London Baptist Confession of 1644
VII. The rule of this knowledge, faith, and obedience, concerning the worship and service of God, and all other Christian duties, is not man's inventions, opinions, devices, laws, constitutions, or traditions unwritten whatsoever, but only the word of God contained in the Canonical Scriptures.


John Spilsbury's Confession, circa 1643
6. I believe the holy Scriptures to be the word of God, and have the only authority to bind the conscience to the obedience of all therein contained, and are the all sufficient rule, by the Spirit of God to guide a man in all his obedience both to God and man.


Waldensian Confessions of Faith, 1520
3. We acknowledge for sacred canonical scriptures the books of the Holy Bible. (Here follows the title of each, exactly conformable to our received canon, but which it is deemed, on that account, quite unnecessary to particularize.)


Though the General Baptists diverge from Regular Baptists on certain doctrines, their statements on the Scriptures are consistent with the Regular Baptist confessions.

Treatise of the Faith and Practices of the Free Will Baptists, 1843
I. The Holy Scriptures
These are the Old and the New Testaments; they were written by holy men, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and are God's revealed word to man. They are a sufficient and infallible rule and guide to salvation and all Christian worship and service.
Since the Bible is the Word of God, it is without error in all matters upon which it speaks, whether history, geography, matters relating to science or any other subject.


Liberty Association Articles of Faith, 1824
That the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the infallible word of God, and the only rule of faith and practice.

Interestingly, I found some older confessions of faith did not have a paragraph on the Scriptures. Yet even in these their position on the Scriptures is implied, because it is to the Scriptures they appeal to found all the doctrines in their articles. As for the Separate Baptists, the Bible was their confession of faith.