Reformed Baptist = Oxymoron?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by Javilo, Apr 2, 2010.

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  1. Javilo

    Javilo Puritan Board Freshman

    It seems to me that Reformed Baptist is an oxymoron because doesn't reformed
    mean that one accepts infant baptism? So what would a person who accepts the
    five points of Calvinism - TULIP and the five solas of the reformation be called, if
    they bellieve these things but adhere to only adult baptism by immersion?
    Maybe simply a Calvinistic Baptist? I've also heard of Particular Baptists but that is only
    one of the five points. It would be good to know how to label such a person without
    incorrectly using the term "Reformed". I think that John Macarthur almost falls into
    this category except for his dispensationalism. Never heard him put any kind of
    denominational label on himself except for IFCA which isn't really a denomination.
  2. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I can just picture every Baptist on the board rolling their eyes when they see the title of this thread. :lol:

    Now to answer your question, if a Baptist or Baptist church believes in the RPW, covenant theology, etc. - key distinctives of the Reformed theological tradition - then the title must be accurate at least to a degree.
  3. matt01

    matt01 Puritan Board Senior

    {eye roll} Does it really matter what this person (group) is referred to as? The topic has been covered here a number of times. Here is a short statement of faith from a church that I was formerly a member of:

  4. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Plus, I would be a little weirded out if someone introduced himself to me as an "Otherwise Reformed Baptist." :D
  5. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member


    Personally, you can call RB's whatever you want. It makes little to no difference to most RB's. We don't seek approval to sit at the Reformed table. A few months ago there was a heated PB thread that centered on some comments by R. Scott Clark, professor at Westminster Seminary, CA. The thread accomplished little more than to warrant a study on global warming because of all the hot air it generated.

    RB's are covenantal in addition to Calvinistic. John MacArthur is a Calvinist, but he is not covenantal. Many paedos on this board consider RB's part of the Reformed family, some do not. But since RB's aren't asking permission from paedos, the subject is moot.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
  6. Osage Bluestem

    Osage Bluestem Puritan Board Junior

    I think I might be a Baptist. I need to pray on it some more though.
  7. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    Moot, indeed.
  8. dudley

    dudley Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I agree with my PB brother Austin. I am a Presbyterian but also subscribe to the LBC. I was Baptised as a Baptist.
  9. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Ivan, and if moot doesn't work, maybe an alligator filled moat will. :)
  10. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Oh, and I was guilty for much of that hot air. This time I won't be.
  11. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Well, we have a waterfall. :)
  12. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Puritan Board Junior

    Sometimes we speak of grace. Sometimes we speak of saving grace, common grace,irresistible grace,electing grace, sovereign grace, each with a slightly different twist. Ideally "grace" should cover it, but we make distinctions.
    Reformed in part means setting things right. Historically it has a meaning in reference to the church yes.

    In terms of baptists, there are Reformed Baptists,Particular baptists,Calvinistic baptists General baptists,primitive baptists, free will baptists, conservative baptists,southern baptists,new covenant baptists,etc,etc. The terms help clarify things among the baptists themselves as well as other believers,in the same way a confession of faith does.
    Padeos seem to have many labels also. opc, arp, pca,etc. We all have our reasons .
    Many Reformed Baptists feel closer to faithful padeo-brethren, than to many of these other "baptists".
    If I had to relocate suddenly, and visit local baptist churches who had clowns, and puppets, and altar calls....I would have no trouble fellowshipping with the padeo's, understanding they were using the 1644 confession, before I would defile myself in a place that would not regard the word of God as it is in truth.
  13. John Lanier

    John Lanier Puritan Board Junior

    Probably. Doesn't bother me if people don't consider Baptists truly reformed. It's just a term.
  14. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    After you've been here (Puritan Board) and have heard the same discussions over and over again, it became truly burdensome.
  15. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I've read some of the old discussions and think I know what you mean. But this was meant to be a rather poor mode-of-baptism joke. Get it? The Baptists have a moat and the Presbyterians have a waterfall? Okay, it's not that funny, I know.
  16. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    Besides, there is the delightful double entendre. In my case, I started out a Baptist, but then I reformed. It's a great conversation starter. . . . ;)
  17. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Indeed. The Presbyterians think they're tough on Baptists? They ain't go nuttin on mainstream Baptists towards RB's.
  18. Montanablue

    Montanablue Puritan Board Doctor

    I got it. It was a little funny;)
  19. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    If it is an oxymoron, it's not as bad as "Independent Presbyterian." ;)
  20. JM

    JM Puritan Board Professor

    I'm just a Baptist. I don't see a need to add "Reformed."
  21. Kiffin

    Kiffin Puritan Board Freshman

    Just to stir the pot...

    I wish there was a credobaptist (strictly) Presbyterian group. I see a lot of strength in Presbyterian polity.
  22. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    I agree with you Ej. But just so you all know I did blog on the issue and I agreed with Dr. R. Scott Clark. But really. Come one. This is a lame duck issue. I know Reformed Baptists who are much more Reformed than most Presbyterians and Paedo Baptists. Let's just look at the largest Paedo Presbyterian denomination, the PCUSA.

    First off we Reformed Baptists are not Morons. LOL

    I know some pretty significantly smart men of God who are Reformed Baptist or Particular Baptist. I don't care what you want to call us.
  23. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    Just call me a Christian.
  24. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    and \\\

    That would be nice if it was that easy. But the term itself has been so prostituted it means more than it should. Kind of like the term Reformed. I believe that is Dr. R. Scott Clark's point also.
  25. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    Yeah, you're right. It's such a shame that the name "Christian" doesn't often reflect what Scripture meant.
  26. P.F.

    P.F. Puritan Board Freshman

    For what it is worth, "Particular Baptist" does not mean simply that the Baptist in question holds to one of the five points. It's an older term that was applied to Baptists who held the doctrines of grace in contrast to Baptists who were "General Baptists" of an Arminian, Remonstrant, Semi-Pelagian, or sadly even Pelagian flavor. So, if your conscience would be offended by calling them "Reformed," "Particular Baptists" is a suitable alternative.
  27. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    Randy, believe it or not, the ARP had a memorial come up in one of its presbyteries a few years ago to take the name "Presbyterian" out of the ARP name, returning it to its original (1782) name, the "Associate Reformed Church" (despite its Scottish/Presbyterian roots). It failed miserably, of course, but the reasoning was because the name "Presbyterian" has become so tainted by the mainline denomination in our day.

    BTW, I think Scott Clark is perfectly fine with Reformed Baptists using the historical name, Particular Baptists. Of course, that has odd connotations in our current day (sort of like the change in the meanings of words like "awful" and "condescend") -- it makes it sound like someone is just a fussy or picky Baptist. :lol:
  28. nnatew24

    nnatew24 Puritan Board Freshman

    Just to stir the pot a bit: 'reformed' is certainly a historical term (which seems to derive from the 5 solas and the confessions that come out of the time of the reformation), but can't it refer to actual 'reformation' too? That is, the reformers were reforming the church. So if paedobaptism is a left-over Roman Catholic practice that was overlooked by the Reformers, then it would make Reformed Baptist the truly 'reformed'. :)

    But I agree with others on this board, it the term paedobaptism is synonymous with 'reformed', 'baptist' is just fine with me.
  29. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    A couple of problems with this: 1) Paedo-baptism is not a "left-over Roman Catholic practice", and anyone who has studied the difference between the Roman Catholic practice and the Reformed practice would see a vast difference, aside from the subjects; likewise, it would be silly for me, for instance, to compare Mormon baptist and Baptist baptisms simply because the subjects are the same. 2) There are more differences than simply paedo-baptism, as this essay from Richard Muller suggests:

    Whether you accept Mueller's assessment or not, his point is that being "Reformed" means more than simply holding to the "Five Points" of Calvinism (since Calvinism has more than five points!).
  30. Kiffin

    Kiffin Puritan Board Freshman

    Well, the church that Mueller is responding to is:

    1) Dispensational
    2) premillennial
    3) Hyper-Lordship
    4) Anti-confessional

    Umm...I'm sure a lot of us "Reformed credos" on the PB are NOT what has been described above. Actually, we try to distance ourselves from them. We, Reformed baptists, are stuck in reformation purgatory. For the most part, the only thing that we have in common with our "other" baptist brethren, is baptism. On the otherhand, we find a lot in common with our Presbyterian brothers, but disagree on baptism.

    Nobody likes us! :p
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