Explorations of the English Baptist reception of the Evangelical Revival often--and rightfully--focus on the work of the Spirit, prayer, Bible study, preaching, and mission, while other key means are often overlooked. Useful Learning examines the period from c. 1689 to c. 1825, and combines history in the form of the stories of Baptist pastors, their churches, and various societies, and theology as found in sermons, pamphlets, personal confessions of faith, constitutions, covenants, and theological treatises. In the process, it identifies four equally important means of grace. The first was the theological renewal that saw moderate Calvinism answer ""The Modern Question,"" develop into evangelical Calvinism, and revive the denomination. Second were close groups of ministers whose friendship, mutual support, and close theological collaboration culminated in the formation of the Baptist Missionary Society, and local itinerant mission work across much of Britain. Third was their commitment to reviving stagnating Associations, or founding new ones, convinced of the vital importance of the corporate Christian life and witness for the support and strengthening of the local churches, and furthering the spread of the gospel to all people. Finally was the conviction of the churches and their pastors that those with gifts for preaching and ministry should be theologically educated. At first local ministers taught students in their homes, and then at the Bristol Academy. In the early nineteenth century, a further three Baptist academies were founded at Horton, Abergavenny, and Stepney, and these were soon followed by colleges in America, India, and Jamaica. ""The eighteenth century witnessed a striking renewal of Particular Baptist life.
Useful Learning by Anthony R Cross was published by Pickwick Publications in May 2017. The ISBN for Useful Learning is 9781498202572.