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I was asked recently about some of the books that I read early-on in my ministry that helped me most to gain an understanding of, and appreciation for, Baptist history and doctrine. Here are some of the very first books of this nature that I read as a young man. I’ve obtained and read a great many since then, but here are a few of the books that helped me the most as a new Christian and a young preacher.

I know that the following little list won’t mean a thing to many people. But I also know that it will mean something to, and be a great time-saver for, those like my young preacher friend, who asked for these suggestions

A History of the Baptists, Thomas Armitage

A Concise History of Baptists, G. H. Orchard

Baptist Succession, D. B. Ray

An Old Landmark Reset, J. M. Pendleton

Old Landmarkism, What is it?,James Robinson Graves

John’s Baptism, James Robinson Graves

The Baptist Way Book, Ben M. Bogard

The Scriptural Terms of Admission to the Lord’s Supper, Albert N. Arnold

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

The Churches in the Valley of Piemont, Samuel Morland

Martyrs’ Mirror, T. J. Braght

Sir Francis Bacon once said, “Read not to contradict or refute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider.” I think this is good advice for those who read books like those mentioned above. It’s good to remember too, that it’s not enough to know what you believe or what you are supposed to believe, but to know also why you believe and ought to believe what you do.

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