Tag Archives: History

Seventeenth Century Congregationalism – An Introduction

Preface

This paper is the product of a personal interest in the origins and principles of Reformed Congregationalism. It is a subject which has engaged my attention since I first obtained a newly reprinted copy of the Cambridge Platform, back in 1995.[1] It is part of the story of my development as a Christian over the years, since first believing in my Savior in the beginning of 1986. As Providence had it, I was led to associate with Baptistic churches. However, in my second year as a Christian, I was blessed to be led into a deeper understanding of salvation, from a Calvinistic and Reformed perspective. This led eventually to my association with the Reformed Baptist church. The mid nineties were a time that was especially developmental for me as a Reformed Christian. As I studied the 1689 London Baptist Confession, and the Scriptural foundation for it, I became a committed Congregationalist. This might be surprising for some people to hear. This is owing to the fact that modern day Reformed Baptists customarily denounce Congregationalism. They are in fact, very much like their cousins the Fundamentalists. That is to say, they are run by extreme authoritarians. Continue reading

God’s Covenant, Part 12 – Covenant Promise(s)

IV. The Covenant Promise(s)

Having completed the first three parts of an ongoing series of essays on God’s Covenant, we now consider the fourth one which is His covenant promise. Immediately, clarification of what is meant by the singular term promise should be made. The Bible is full of promises which God has made to men, from the beginning to the end of it. When the singular term promise is stated here, it is done so in order to convey the idea that all promises of God culminate in one single, overarching purpose, hence, the use of the word promise in the singular form. Over the course of several more essays we hope to bring forth this promise of God in its many manifestations, all in conjunction with a consideration of His Covenant. Continue reading

Who Chooses Elders?

A Critique of Contemporary Practice in the Modern Reformed Baptist Church

Preface

The occasion which led me to write this paper was one in which I had some personal involvement. It arose from of a situation within a particular Reformed Baptist church I was in association with. However, I was not a member of this particular church. The reason why this was so may be ascertained by reading a previous paper I wrote entitled Reformed Baptist ideas of Authority. What I want to do now is to speak on one particular issue touched on in the previous essay. This and other issues are a huge factor in my decision to dissociate myself from not only that local church, but with Reformed Baptists in general. The subject of this essay is entitled Who Chooses Elders? It seeks to expose what I see as a fundamental problem within the Reformed Baptist church in the area of its polity. I have in the past been a member in two other Reformed Baptist churches, so I can speak with some authority on this problem as I have witnessed it from my own personal experience. What I have seen in these churches is a certain kind of disfunctionality due to a completely unbiblical approach to its church order. Continue reading

Reformed Baptist Ideas of Authority

A critical examination of the Reformed Baptist Ministry

Preface

I have purposed here to write a critique of the Reformed Baptist ministry; this is done out of the conviction that it is a most necessary thing to do. Having been a Christian for thirty years, I have been exposed to a great many things in the Christian church that deserve criticism. But there are few things that strike me as worthy of it more than the ideas men hold on authority in the Reformed Baptist ministry. Fifteen years of my time as a Christian in the American church has been spent in association with the Reformed Baptist church. Therefore, I feel compelled, as well as especially qualified to write on some of the issues I have personally witnessed firsthand. Since I had been a part of this particular church identity for a considerable period of time, I have formed my own personal perspective on what constitutes its idea of authority. I am referring to Elder authority in particular, as this is a major theme as well as source of controversy in these churches. I have ruminated long and hard upon the subject before coming to the point that I would write about it. Also, I have studied the issues surrounding this matter from church history as part of the formation of my present thinking. Continue reading