Six reasons I can’t agree with Carl on the definition of Reformed
Part of my disagreement with Carl and others on this point is that I see the points of discontinuity between the Reformed and the Baptists as being greater than some do.
- Hermeneutics. All Baptists, even the so-called “Reformed Baptists” have a hermeneutic that differs significantly from the Reformed on the nature of the covenant of grace, on the role of Abraham in the new covenant, and more fundamentally in the way the NT reads the OT. Consider the difference between the Baptist hermeneutic used to interpret Jeremiah 31 and the Reformed hermeneutic. The reason we reach such different conclusions is because we employ a quite different method of reading that passage.
- Closely related to the first is covenant theology. Does God still say, “I will be a God to you and to your children”? We give quite different answers to this question.
- The fact that the so-called Reformed Baptists cannot recognize my baptism means that, to them, ecclesiastically considered (insofar as ordinarily, Christians are baptized people), I am not a Christian. This is no small thing. Where, historically, did the Reformed churches reckoned Baptist congregations as Reformed churches? This question is rooted in Belgic Confession article 29.
- It is significant to me that, when the Particular Baptist movement developed in the 17th century, the Reformed churches did not embrace them as Reformed. What has substantially changed since then?
- London Confession and Philadelphia Confession Baptists and the Reformed agree in the way that Lutherans and the Reformed agree but that does not make them Reformed or me a Lutheran, does it?
- The Baptist argument really seems to be: “There is more of us than there are of you. We say we’re Reformed and there’s nothing you can do about so just accept it.” Is that a compelling argument?