The following J-Dunc quotes are taken from John M. Brentnall’s, Just A Talker: Sayings of John (‘Rabbi’) Duncan, pp. 172-173):
“Richard Baxter lives in the affection of the church, yet he greatly perplexed the gospel; he tried to make peace between the Calvinists and Arminians by getting some middle way” (J-Dunc).
Yeah right. Just like the Judaizers “greatly perplexed” the gospel (cf. Galatians 1:8-9). Baxter’s valiant attempt at peace NOT grounded on the everlasting righteousness of Jesus Christ, but on the self-righteous contemptible effort of the sinner:
“One of Baxter’s many sayings, ‘Overdoing is the ordinary way of Undoing,'(3) was another bit of wisdom which he never really mastered. In controversies, he ‘made war to end war’ and always sought to bring opposing parties to common ground. But, his pedantic and triumphalist style made failure a certainty. Baxter’s overtures of peace more often than not, had the effect of ‘an olive branch discharged from a catapault [sic].'(4) (Vance Salisbury, Good Mr. Baxter).
3 Baxter, Reliquiae Baxterianae 27
4 Newman cited in Martin Puritanism 158-9
More from the fellow with the cool-sounding last name:
“Baxter was in my eyes a great muddler, but the whole church cannot help liking Baxter for all his muddling” (J-Dunc).
And WHY is that? Because Baxter’s zeal trumps his doctrine in the blinded eyes of “the whole church” who know not the truth (once again: Romans 10:1-4). Now that Richard Baxter has been dead for quite some time his “gospel-muddling antics” might be likened to a certain mischievous yet affable Boxer. That’s about how “serious” the whol — I mean whore church — takes damnable heresy which they call gospel “muddling.” Here’s how “serious” J.I. Packer takes it:
“ … as a devotional writer, no praise of him can be too high; but as a theologian he was, though brilliant, something of a disaster” (J.I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness, Crossway: Wheaton, IL, 1990, p. 159″).
I don’t have Packer’s book (I obtained the quote from a blog site on the internet), but I do have A.C. Clifford’s where Packer is cited similarly (quoted from A.C. Clifford’s Atonement & Justification):
‘Baxter was a great and saintly man; as a pastor, evangelist, and devotional writer, no praise for him can be too high; but as a theologian he was, though brilliant, something of a disaster.’ 36
36 ‘The doctrine of justification in development and decline,’ among the Puritans, in By Schisms Rent Asunder (PRSC, London, 1969), at p. 27. (This paper provides a partial summary of Packer’s D. Phil. thesis).