Who or which traditions qualify as 'Reformed'?

Discussion in 'Church History' started by Ben Zartman, Mar 13, 2018.

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  1. SeanPatrickCornell

    SeanPatrickCornell Puritan Board Freshman

    I'd like to point out that when the modern incarnation of the Reformed Baptist movement surged in the 1950's and 1960's, there was really no one name that Confessional Calvinistic Baptists went under as a group.

    It was actually Presbyterians at Westminster Seminary that began to refer to all the Calvinistic Baptists that were showing up there for education as "Reformed Baptists".

    I find it ironic that the same (general) group of people that says "Baptists can't be Reformed" in the 20xx's come from the same (general) group of people that named us "Reformed Baptists" in the 19xx's.
     
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  2. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    I have long since resigned myself to be Reformed in heart given the PCA's drifts, while continuing to pray they stop the syncretism. Sigh.
     
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  3. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    My Presbyterian brethren and I as a baptist do disagree on certain doctrines, but still believe that we agree in far more than disagree in, and feel much closer to all of you here than I do with those, who while still my Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, follow Charismatic, Arminian, Dispensational, and all other kinds of theology within the Body of Christ!
     
  4. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Maybe Calvinistic Baptists fits us best, as we would be holding with a Confession and the TULIP, but certain areas still not fully in line with as Reformed traditional has been defined?
     
  5. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Good point.
     
  6. Ray

    Ray Puritan Board Freshman

    Confessionally Reformed
    Continental Reformed 100%
    Reformed Presbyterian 100%
    2nd Helvétic Usually Hungarian Reformed 95%
    Calvinist Methodist from Welsh 100%
    Savoy Congregationalist 90%
    Reformed Episcopalian 70-80%
    Lutherans 60%

    Now I’m guesstimating:)
     
  7. Ray

    Ray Puritan Board Freshman

  8. Ben Zartman

    Ben Zartman Puritan Board Sophomore

    But there are plenty of Calvinistic Baptists who are anti-Sabbatarian, anti-RPW, and the closest they get to a confession is their own church's "statement of faith." LBCF Baptists have a long confessional history--we're not making this up as we go along, a la John McArthur.
     
  9. Ben Zartman

    Ben Zartman Puritan Board Sophomore

    But this guy clearly doesn't adhere to the LBCF, even though he mentions it in passing. He sounds like a dispensationalist in his argument that the NT church is a separate entity than the OT saints. That directly contradicts the confession. But again, there's 'baptists' of every stripe, and we need a way to distinguish among them.
     
  10. Ray

    Ray Puritan Board Freshman

    What about his point according to the Webster dictionary?
    WEBSTER'S NEW COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY defines Reformed as "pertaining to or designating the body of Protestant churches originating in the Reformation." The RANDOM HOUSE DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE defines the Reformation as "the religious movement in the sixteenth century which had for its object the reform of the Roman Catholic Church and which led to the establishment of the Protestant churches."
     
  11. SeanPatrickCornell

    SeanPatrickCornell Puritan Board Freshman

    ^^^ By that definition then only Lutheran and Continental / Dutch Reformed Churches are "Reformed".

    Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Reformed Baptists would be "something else", since they were out to reform (or separate from) the Church of England and not the Roman Catholic Church.
     
  12. Ray

    Ray Puritan Board Freshman

    Not the 1st definition. Just the 2nd.
     
  13. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    This whole kind of discussion often seems to function more as a way of marking territory than as an exercise of linguistic common sense.

    Reformed Baptist is a compound term, where each unit influences the other. The Reformed Baptist is not claiming to be Reformed in terms of the Three Forms of Unity (at least, not if he's informed). He is claiming to be a Baptist; but he is claiming to be a particular kind of Baptist, one who has a great deal in common with Presbyterians (WCF) and Congregationalists (Savoy Declaration), not least in the fact of having an extensive confession, and one that reflects many of the same ideas.

    And the connotation of Reformed itself depends on opposition. In opposition to Presbyterianism, it is the Continental who are Reformed. But both together are Reformed in opposition to Roman Catholicism, or Anabaptism, or even Reformed Baptists. Subscribers to the 1689 are Reformed in opposition to undefined vaguely evangelical Baptists, and it's not a bad term inasmuch as they are strongly in line with many of the emphases of the Reformed simpliciter.

    We understand that the word realist can mean different things depending on whether you're talking about a viewpoint on life in general, the question of universals, or the nature of Christ's presence in the Lord's Supper. Language is flexible to address different situations.
     
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  14. Ray

    Ray Puritan Board Freshman

    Did the Framers Of The London Baptist Confession ever address themselves as being Reformed? I can’t seem to find anything on this.
     
  15. Ben Zartman

    Ben Zartman Puritan Board Sophomore

    I would say that, contrary to the Primitive Baptists, who purposely distance themselves from the Protestant Reformation, Reformed Baptists do indeed trace most of their theology to the Reformation. We just have areas of difference with some reformers, just as they had among themselves.
     
  16. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    understand that, as the term once used was Particular Baptists, so maybe Confessing Baptists would be best?
    And still think that we should somehow have a way to show that while both Presbyterians and Baptist who hold to Covenant Theology/Confessions are Reformed, should also be seen as 2 separate groups?
     
  17. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    I don't know. In one sense, it doesn't matter very much because they were trying to explain and locate themselves in a somewhat different ecclesiastical landscape.
     
  18. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    One of the times we've discussed this subject someone noted the history of the 1677/1689 2nd LBCF and that the context in which it was drafted was to show other nonconformists how conformed they were to them. ie it was an effort to claim identity with other persecuted nonconformist groups; reformed groups; not the Quakers etc. My mind is rusty but there is likely significance on the two dates.
     
  19. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Seems that this would be a challenge, to first separate out all of the various baptists groups and then to separate between the various groups/views within the reformed also.
     
  20. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    The title/label of being something else would seem to fit really well for reformed Baptists.
     
  21. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    The something else term for all those groups w.r.t. the CoE was nonconformist. That suffers from the same boundaries problem though; more since it is seen as including sects like the Quakers.
     
  22. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    The original Reformers were trying to reform the Church of Rome, and the Baptists seemed to be trying to show that while part of the reformed tradition, were to be seen as being in a sense different from those holding to things such as Infant Baptism, and different type of church government set up.
     
  23. SeanPatrickCornell

    SeanPatrickCornell Puritan Board Freshman

    They did not explicitly use the term "Reformed" much, or at all.

    Nevetheless the preface to the 1677 / 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith makes it very clear that the Baptists who created that Confession considered themselves to be of substantially the same Religion and Tradition as the Congregationalists and Presbyterians. The 1677 / 1689 LBCF was directly modeled on (and sometimes echoed word-for-word) the Westminster Confession and the Savoy Confessions precisely BECAUSE those two groups had gotten so much right.

    It pays to keep in mind these very important things: These Baptists strove with the 1689 Confession not to show how DIFFERENT they were from the Presbyterians and Congregationalists, but how SIMILAR. This important historical fact cannot be lost, or else you come to all kinds of false conclusions.

    Remember, that the Paedobaptistic Reformed tended to lump all non-Infant Baptizers in with the Anabaptists, regardless of what else these Baptists might actually believe about all other points pertaining to the Christian religion.

    See the preface to the 2nd LBCF here:

    http://confessingbaptist.com/preface-to-the-second-london-baptist-confession-of-faith-16771689/
     
  24. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

  25. beloved7

    beloved7 Puritan Board Freshman

    I've always understood it to mean confessional. Just my opinion. Ultimatly, it's subjective. Like it or not, language is fluid, and the definition of certain terms in the English language change over time.
     
  26. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    They appeared to have rewritten the former Confession to accommodate their own Baptist distinctives.
     
  27. TheInquirer

    TheInquirer Puritan Board Freshman

    Just a little side note on definitions:

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/help/faq-words-into-dictionary

    I know that sounds highly subjective, but that's how language works.

    In the case of Scripture, of course we care most importantly about what our Divine author meant when he inspired the words but we still determine that intent by looking at how those words are used in context.

    It is interesting to see how the discussion has gone back and forth trying to understand who is Reformed or not but don't we need a working definition first in order to establish that? If so, whose definition shall we use?
     
  28. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    I think that many, especially we Baptists, would fit into that very category.
     
  29. posttenebraslux83

    posttenebraslux83 Puritan Board Freshman

    I recently recorded an episode of our church's podcast with Dr. R Scott Clark to discuss this matter at length. Here's the link if anyone wants to give it a listen: tinysa.com/sermon/4131714582910 [​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
  30. Ray

    Ray Puritan Board Freshman

    Can't take click on the link repost it please.
     
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