Baptist University of the Américas will host the annual Rollins Lecture Series on Tues., Nov. 6. The Rollins Lecture is named in honor of generous donors, Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Rollins, and is held each fall semester to provide additional academic contribution to students and the public.
The lecture series is unique this year in that it will initiate several events to commemorate the 500th year anniversary of the Radical Reformation. BUA is facilitating scholarly presentations from three distinguished experts in the field.
Radical Reformation forms foundation of modern evangelicalism In 2025, Evangelical Christianity will celebrate the 500th year of the Radical Reformation. Traditionally, the Radical Reformation began on January 21, 1525, just seven years after the Protestant Reformation.
Their core beliefs included separation of church and state, church autonomy, evangelism and church discipline. Believer’s baptism is perhaps the most defining belief of the reformers, for which they were called “Anabaptists” for having been re-baptized.
By the simple decision to embrace believer’s baptism, the small band of radical reformers pledged to hold to the teachings of the New Testament and to live as a redeemed body of believers, separated from the world.
These radical reformers advanced beliefs into areas where the Lutheran reform had been reluctant to go. Many were drowned or burned at the stake for their activism.
The radical reformers wanted simply to recover a New Testament pattern. In their fervent devotion, they modeled by their lives and sacrifices the way we identify as church as separate from the world, the way we congregate and worship as believers and the way we evangelize the world.
While mainline Protestantism might decline to take part, Evangelical churches and particularly Baptist churches should begin celebrating the 500-year anniversary of this formative era in Baptist life and church history. Baptist identity is tied directly to that moment in history.
Rollins Lecture Schedule The lecture series will proffer three sessions that will explore the history, significance, theological doctrines and modern relevance of the Radical Reformation during the Rollins Lecture Series. Question and answer sessions will also be incorporated. The schedule is as follows:
Session I: “What is Radical Reformation?” | 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Session II: “What are the Major Theological Doctrines of the Radical Reformation?” | 11:00–11:50 a.m. Session III: “What is the Relevance of Radical Reformation?” | 1:30–2:30 p.m.
The keynote speaker is Dr. Karen Bullock, director of the PhD Program and professor of Christian Heritage at B. H. Carroll Theological Institute. Panelists include Dr. Alan Lefever, director of the Texas Baptist Historical Collection and adjunct professor at Truett Seminary, and Dr. Dr. Rudy Gonzalez, professor of New Testament Studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and adjunct faculty at BUA.
The event is free and open to the public. No registration necessary.