Bottom line (with apologies to Andy Griffith's "What it was was football"):
Calvinists who are Presbyterians like the name Reformed. They like it a whole lot. They like it for themselves. They like it only for themselves. They don't want to share the sandbox, the baptistry, or the name "Reformed" with their Baptist brethren. They get very very angry when Baptists use "their" name in vain, like calling themselves "Reformed Baptists." They huff and puff and hurl words like "only Calvinist soteriology" and "credo baptist heresy" to show how angry they are at the Baptists.
Baptists used to be Reformed. They were Reformed for a very very long time. When the Presbyterians cheated on Calvin and flirted with the Unitarians, the Baptists won the election and limited the atonement just like Calvin's children, Francis Turr-a-something and Teddy Bee-saw. But the Baptists started doing bad things and they fell into some very very bad habits. Lots of them became army-men or armenians or something.
Then some of the Presbyterians discovered RPW (Revolutions Per Week??? - or something like that. I think it is "per week" because they believe in the sabbath every week and like to celebrate their sabbath eating heavily seasoned food since they say it isn't a real sabbath without lots of salters). Like the Baptists, the Presbyterians were always starting brand new small groups, ususally after something called a skizum (which I think is a special church word for what married grown ups call a divorce).
Well the Baptists started saying that since they liked DOGs as much as Presbyterians, they were Reformed too. In fact, they knew Latin and said they were "always reforming" (something about being "smelly reformanda") just like the Presbyterians. But the Baptists used too much water and spoiled the covenant pie. The Presbyterians said the right recipie was to use only a little bit of water at a much earlier stage and that Baptists were hairy tics and they treat their children like pay-guns .
So, if you read the Puritan Board, and you are a Presbyterian, you get to be Reformed, Calvinistic, and maybe even EP (extra salters? or extra psalty?). You can eat Post Tostees, be post-millennial, and put down post-modernism. If you are a Baptist, you get to be Calvinistic but not Reformed because Baptists spoiled the covenant pie by using too much water.
Some Presbyterians like to share and will loan the Baptists the name "Reformed" if they promise to only use it for their so-terror-ology. They say that "Reformed" is a "world and life view" that adds Calvin's so-terror-ology to a kind of exclusive contract with Jews and everybody else (called a covenant) ruled over my elderly men and using only a very very little bit of water.
Anyway, after almost a year here, that's the best I can do to 'splain it all.
[If you want a more academic explanation, use the search function and find some of Dr. Clark's excellent posts on the subject. BTW, I'm OK with calling myself a Calvinist. If I ever adopt presbyterian polity, the WCF, and infant baptism in addition to my soteriological Calvinism, THEN I will start using the "Reformed" descriptor. Due to the differences on ecclesiology and the ordinances/sacraments, it is probably too confusing to use the same term for both groups.]
Last edited by DMcFadden; 06-18-2008 at 12:21 PM.
Dennis E. McFadden, Ex Mainline Baptist (in Remission)
Atherton Baptist Homes, Alhambra, CA, President/CEO, Retired
Emmanuel Lutheran Church (LCMS), Fort Wayne, IN
Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- Suggestions?
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