Commentary: 27 proofs of “The First Church”

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A further commentary on the writings of Davis W. Huckabee, and S. E. Anderson

One of the most prominent omissions I noted in researching and studying the writings of these men concerning the founding of the New Testament church were references to Acts 20:28 and Hebrews 9:15-21.  While Davis W. Huckabee does reference Acts 20:28, he attaches no real significance to it.  Moreover, he does not reference Hebrews 9:15-21 at all.  It is as if these verses have no bearing on the New Testament church.  I find this odd in that service in the church is the center of the New Testament.  In fact, since salvation has always been the same, the truly new thing about the New Testament is the local, visible church and its emphasis on grace.

There are several other things worthy of note about both S. E. Anderson and Davis Huckabee.  Most obvious was their continual referencing of Bible versions that were not the King James Version.  What I found was that they would quote out of whatever Bible version would support what they said.  The demonstrated no regard for the fact that the underlying texts, methods for determining the proper underlying text, and the methods of translation are vastly different from the entire process that governed the translation of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.  This means either one, or both of two things:

  1. They were ignorant of the major differences between all the modern versions and the King James Version.
  2. They did not care about the differences between the versions.

Either one of the above reasons are sufficient to discount the teaching of both men.  The reason for this is the lack of care exhibited in searching out and proving what the Scripture actually states.  If a man of God is not careful, he will teach error, and will allow error to creep into the church he pastors and into the doctrine he teaches.  Thus, everything he states must be carefully examined and proved out.

I do note that Davis Huckabee goes further than S. E. Anderson in his disregard for the King James Version in that he calls the text of the King James Version a “manifest mistranslation” at one point.

With regard to their doctrine of salvation, I have yet to find it with Davis W. Huckabee, but I have sufficient evidence to state that S. E. Anderson held to Hyper-dispensationalism which is a perversion of the both salvation and the nature of God.  I do know that Davis W. Huckabee is a Calvinist as his writings amply demonstrate it.  Calvinism also distorts the very nature of God and is a perversion of the gospel.  I expressly hold to neither view (please note that I am not an Arminist either).

Further, both men do something that I do not understand when addressing doctrinal issues: They make heavy use of the writings of other men.  It is as if the agreement of others is sufficient proof and carries the same weight as Scripture.  I never find either of them depending entirely and solely upon Scripture.  Rather, I find that they make a supposition, and gather quotes from like minds, and then throw in some Scripture to suit what they suppose.  This is not fundamentalism. This is the use of the judicial doctrine of stare decisis, which is depending upon precedent set by others, instead of going back to the original document and depending upon it.

Due to all the above, and the extensive analysis I have done regarding the reasons set forth by S. E. Anderson concerning the founding of the New Testament church (of which Davis Huckabee is in agreement) I cannot accept either individual as authoritative.  As such, I discount the justifications they give for the claims they make regarding the New Testament church and its founding.

What does this mean with regard to the baptism of John?
There is considerable hypersensitivity concerning the baptism of John among some Baptists.  This is unwarranted.  It is possible to determine what John’s baptism was all about, without doing violence to the rest of Scripture, and without contorting the meanings of Scripture passages.  It is also possible to place the baptism of John properly without denigrating it as well.  However, it will take considerably more research and study in the Scriptures to correctly place it, without contradicting something else in Scripture.

What I do know at this point follows:

  1. John’s baptism was effectual for those who would join Christ’s ministry prior to His crucifixion.
  2. The baptism of John was replaced by the baptism done by the New Testament church in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
  3. The message of salvation preached by John was identical to the gospel message preached throughout all the Old Testament (Repent and believe on Christ to come), and identical to the Lord Jesus Christ’s gospel.
  4. John had the privilege of both heralding Christ and identifying Him (Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world) .
  5. John knew that his ministry was transitional (He must increase and I must decrease).

Within this framework, the baptism of John and its functionality must be established.  To attempt to prove something beyond the proper place of John the Baptist’s ministry and its attendant baptism will result in contradicting a proper doctrine of Scripture somewhere.  Moreover, it will create disjunctions in Scripture that cannot be reconciled.

In Christ,

Paul W. Davis

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