Over the years I challenged my father on his assertion that the Hardshells of today, represented by the "Conditionalist" faction, with whom he identified, to prove that their peculiar views on "regeneration" and "effectual calling" are the historic teaching of the Predestinarian or Particular Baptists. I challenged him many times, as I have all other Hardshells, to show that their views on the new birth were taught by any leading Baptist spokesman or confession prior to the Hardshells of the mid to late 19th century. He assured me that history shows that the Baptists held to the anti means and "Spirit alone" view prior to the 19th century. I demanded that he send me the proof, and he never did. And why? Because he had the evidence but did not want to produce it, or rather, that no such evidence exists?
Dad, like many Hardshells, accepted things about PB history on the word of others, and he did not act like a noble Berean nor check the veracity of what he was told by Hardshell "historians."
I recall him being stunned into silence just a year ago when I showed him how the Powell's Valley Association held to the means view up till at least 1879 and that this was additional proof that the old Baptist doctrine, prior to that time, even among the Hardshells, advocated the means position.
I would also often tell father - "Dad, I am more old Baptist than you are."