It has been my good pleasure to know Doctor Francis Nigel Lee for many years. This is the third booklet by him that Commonwealth has been privileged to publish. His previous two works from us are Revealed to Babies and Pentecostalism. Both works are presently sold out in the United States.
Doctor Lee is author of over three hundred books and pamphlets. His subject matter has covered such topics as the covenantal Sabbath, Christianity and Communism, a Christian view of the history of philosophy, church architecture, the importance of family devotions, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, etc.
This present work on Anabaptists and their history is another fine, well-documented book that is much in need by the Reformed community. Dr. Lee explains both the history and the strange beliefs of the groups that were on the radical fringes of Christendom during and shortly after the Middle Ages.
This work breaks some interesting ground in the ongoing controversy between modern-day Baptists and the rest of Christianity over the subject of paedobaptism. In this booklet, Dr. Lee demonstrates conclusively that the mainstream of the Church has always baptized covenant infants. He further demonstrates that when a body or Church departs from the precious doctrine of paedobaptism, it usually departs in other fundamental teachings of Scripture as well.
The reader may be surprised to discover that the early Anabaptists did not submerse candidates for baptism, but either sprinkled or poured. What is even more surprising, is to learn that the Mediaeval Roman Church did submerse, and that the Romanist Council of Nemours allowed the Scripture mode of sprinkling only in the case of "emergencies."
Modern Baptists are fond of claiming that the Reformers simply adopted their doctrines concerning the Sacraments (especially Baptism) from the mediaeval Roman Church. Anyone who has studied the history of the Reformation knows better, but Dr. Lee has brought together a multitude of documents written by the Reformers themselves. In these various documents, the Reformers from Wycliffe to the Westminster Assembly consistently argue against the false doctrine of anti-paedobaptism from Scripture as well as the whole history of the Church.
The Reverend Professor Doctor Francis Nigel Lee is Professor of Systematic Theology at Queensland Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Brisbane, Australia. His doctoral degrees include those in philosophy, jurisprudence, education, and theology. Dr. Lee's career has included callings as: official Translator for the South African Congress; Barrister of the Supreme Court of South Africa; Minister of the Word and Sacraments in both the United States and the Republic of South Africa; Professor of Philosophy; Scholar-in-Residence at a Christian "think-tank"; and Academic Dean at a North American College.
Dr. Lee's articles and booklets include publications on history, law, philosophy, politics, theology, etc. His major publications include: About Sunday; Calvin on Creation; Calvin on the Sciences; A Christian Introduction to the History of Philosophy; Communism Versus Creation; Communist Eschatology; Effective Evangelism; Origin and Destiny of Man; The Central Significance of Culture; and The Covenantal Sabbath.
Richard Bacon, First Presbyterian Manse, Rowlett, Texas.
I N T R O D U C T I O N
In recent years, Paternoster Press published a book with a very surprising title: The Reformers and their Stepchildren. The author was the noted Mennonite or neo-Anabaptist theologian, Dr. Leonard Verduin. Its aim was to try and establish an affinity between consistent Christianity and the Anabaptists.
This present work is a reply to that of Verduin. Hence its title: The Anabaptists and Their Stepchildren. It seeks to show the affinity between those earlier wildcat heretics on the one hand, and their modern sectarian descendants on the other.
To a lesser extent, it also seeks to show that Reformation Protestantism alone is the true daughter of the patristic Catholic Church. In particular, it would demonstrate that especially Calvinism is the true granddaughter of Biblical Christianity -- of which contemporary churches need to be, and yet shall become, the true great-granddaughters.
I am grateful to my friend Rev. Richard Bacon, President of Commonwealth Publications in Dallas, for printing up the first edition of this work several years ago. I have kept his own Foreword thereto, also for this present publication. Since the production of the first edition, however, this work was expanded to twice its original length -- in the second edition. And now, it has been expanded yet further (with the addition of new Calvin material) into this its third edition (1996).
As with the previous two editions, this work goes forth with the prayer that it may open the eyes of many sincere yet hitherto misguided (Ana)Baptists. May they, as did Mrs. John Calvin of old, repudiate their religious deviations -- and then join the historic Christian Church of the Protestant Reformation, and thus come into true apostolic succession with unadulterated Christianity!
-- Rev. Prof. Dr. Francis Nigel Lee, Department of Systematic Theology, Queensland Presbyterian Theological Hall, Brisbane, Australia. 1996.