Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Baptists are not Protestants.

This is the premise of the short little booklet, "The Trail of Blood" [J. M. Carroll]. It was first published in 1931 and has still strangely remained.

He argues, with ample historical and biblical ammunition, that the majority of the groups that were persecuted and often condemned through church history were baptistic in nature [the Montanists, Paulicans, and many others].

Cardinal Hosius was the president of the Catholic Counter-Reformation at the Council of Trent in the mid-1500s. He said:
Were it not that the baptists have been grievously tormented and cut off with the knife during the past twelve hundred years, they would swarm in greater number than all the Reformers.
Sir Isaac Newton [1643-1727] said, "The baptists are the only body of known Christians that have never symbolized with Rome."

The Lutheran church historian Johann Laurenz von Mosheim [1693-1755] says,
Before the rise of Luther and Calvin, there lay secreted in almost all the countries of Europe persons who adhered tenaciously to the principles of modern Dutch Baptists.
There are two extremes that should be avoided after reading these quotes. First, they're too forthright not to take seriously in some way or another. Second, they're claiming something too radical to to be accepted without reservation.

I would never say this 56-page polemic is unalloyed gospel truth. But for tons of fun, humor, and ecclesial disorientation, please make it a purchase :)


andrew.lewis said...

I finally got the chance to read this post, and I must say I'm intrigued.

I totally agree that Anabaptists are not Protestants. But contemporary Baptists are such a far cry from Anabaptists that I don't think I can extend that exclusion.

I actually think contemporary Baptists are, in a strange way, pretty darn Roman Catholic. Which might drive them both crazy. :)

jim thompson said...


you must enter my brain and think my thoughts at least once a month or so.

Matt @ The Church of No People said...

We discussed this pamphlet at my Southern Baptist Seminary. But for being a bunch of Southern Baptists, it was strange that everyone pretty much laughed this thing off. Guess they aren't really *really* Baptist, after all.

I don't know what Baptists think of the Anabaptists, since they were really 're-baptizers,' making them not Catholic, but also did not have every theological innovation the Baptists claim.

Fr Longenecker said...

If anyone is interested in an article I wrote for a Catholic apologetics magazine on Trail of Blood and Baptist Successionism you can drop me a line and I'll email it to you. It is a recent article and therefore not yet up on my website.