Introduction – Church History

The subject of “Church History” is expansive and many find the thought of studying it overwhelming or inconsequential. However, it is simply too important to not investigate. It is, after all, about Christ’s bride and God’s work down through the ages in advancing His Kingdom purposes. The aim of this issue of the Founders Journal is to encourage and challenge the reader to embrace the study of church history. John English Lee and Jeff Robinson both spell out in clear concise manner a number of reasons for studying Historical Theology and Church or Baptist History. If you are a parent, don’t miss Jeff Robinson’s particularly compelling defense for teaching your children about church history. Biographies are great resources in this line of study and have a way of fueling interest in church history and a desire to know more about our spiritual heritage. Dr. Jared Longshore provides a warm biographical snippet into the life of Jonathan Edwards’ daughter, Esther. Dr. Tom Nettles, one of the foremost Baptist historians in America, writes of God’s providence in the histories of William Carey and Adoniram Judson. Neglect reading the biographical accounts of heroes of the faith to your own peril!

Again, the historical significance of Christ’s work of redemption over many generations is massive. It is vitally important to one’s appreciation God’s amazing grace. Study historical theology and church history!

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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