About a year ago (or more) there was a vigorous discussion on Baptist Federalism, which is better known simply as 1689 Federalism. I was intrigued by it but decided not to fully embrace it. Its relative newness concerned me. Whenever something new hits the theological scene the first thing I see are warning flags. I was also concerned with, as I saw it at the time, an attempt to reassemble covenant theology to make it more palatable for Baptists. Does covenant theology inexorably lead back to paedobaptist authorship or did Baptists have their own take on it even as far back as the 17th-century? Among Baptists, covenant theology before 1689 Federalism was basically paedobaptist covenant theology with the main dividing point being the discontinuity of the Abrahamic Covenant. 1689 Federalism took that view head-on and made the point that Baptist Federalism had its own distinct view independent of paedobaptist Covenant Theology (Westminster Federalism), even as far back as the 1689 LBCF. If so, why has this view not been widely articulated until recently? That was one of my burning questions when I first heard of 1689 Federalism. I have now had some time to more closely look into Baptist Federalism and have been satisfied with the answers given to my earlier questions. In the 17th-century, Baptist Federalism was not considered a thing, or least not the main thing. During that time, English Particular Baptists were more concerned with the freedom to practice their faith. John Bunyan's persecution was a contemporary reminder that Baptist theological distinctives were looked at with suspicion in England. The 1689 LBCF was an attempt to legitimize Particular Baptist beliefs and to allay the fears of paedobaptists as to what they believed. While the differences of baptism and church polity were real, there was much that both sides agreed on. Lost in all of that noise were other theological beliefs, including the systematic way of ordering both the redemptive and eschatological aspects of scripture. When the Reformed Baptist label began to gain traction in the United States back in the 1960's, there was not a lot of contemporary scholarly work on covenant theology from a Baptist point-of-view. It was convenient to modify Westminster Federalism in those places where it differed from Baptist theology. This status-quo understanding did not sit well with more than a few Reformed Baptists theologians, so they put in the work to research what early English Particular Baptists believed about covenant theology. Had they wrtten about it? Did they have a clear and convincing voice? More to the point - is the 1689 LBCF a covenantal document that stands on its own two feet apart from Westminster Federalism? My answer to these questions is "yes". The issue here is not to debate Westminster Federalism vs. 1689 Federalism. The main areas of disagreement between paedobaptists and credobaptists continue to exist. Nothing has changed in that regard. The issue is really a debate between traditional Baptist Covenant Theology (as I call it) and 1689 Federalism. It is an interesting debate because it is causing Reformed Baptists to wrestle with their identity. It seems as though the main clearinghouse for information on 1689 Federalism is found at the 1689 Federalism website: 1689 Federalism. There are more and more books being published on the topic. There is a recommended reading list on the 1689 Federalism website. While I was malleable on 1689 Federalism a year ago, I am now more comfortable affirming their main points. I no longer believe it is a knee-jerk reaction against Westminster Federalism, in either its paedobaptist or Baptist renditions. I believe early Particular Baptists did have a decided covenantal view that was well articulated in the 1689 LBCF. I am looking forward to discussing this futher in the coming weeks and months.