Recently I mentioned a book that I have been reading, “A Reformed Baptist Manifesto”, which inspired the question by some, “What is a Reformed Baptist?” Below is my response in an attempt to sum it up very briefly.
In an effort to try to be brief, a “Reformed Baptist” is basically someone who holds to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. Someone who is reformed in their theology generally identifies with the early reformers of the Church, such as, Luther, Calvin, Knox, etc. Many people debate whether or not someone can be both Reformed and Baptist, as there are significant differences in the theology of the two groups, such as mode of Baptism, subjects of Baptism, and what exactly Baptism symbolizes, etc.
I personally think the debate on whether or not someone can be both Reformed and Baptist is silly, and frankly don’t think it matters.
I more than likely fall into the category, as I do identify with the Reformers. They were right on so many levels. The Church was in dire need of being reformed. They took the church back to Biblical Christianity, a belief in the sovereignty of God, Salvation by grace alone through faith alone, and the authority of the Bible…
I also believe though many of the reformers got it wrong, in relation to the issue of baptism. I believe that historically the Baptists have been right in that area. As well as who exactly the New Covenant is for. Again though, I think this is an issue that has been made a much bigger deal than it should be, and has caused too much division in the church. That is why I am glad to be in a church (Crossmark Church) now that allows for the difference of opinion on which stance on baptism and the New Covenant is correct. We have strong opinions, but ultimately, this isn’t an issue that determines whether or not one is a Christian, and should not divide.
By the way, the book I’m reading, is basically a defense of the Reformed Baptist position, in contrast to the other doctrinal stances within the church. For those of you who are interested, the book again is called, “A Reformed Baptist Manifesto” by Samuel Waldron and Richard C. Barcellos.