Why Some Baptists Do Not Call Themselves “Reformed”

We don’t call ourselves Reformed Baptists because we reserve the word Reformed for people who are actually Reformed.”

Chuck Finney (A Baptist Minister) on Presbycast episode 13 “Undead Unificating

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    • Hi Russell,

      Welcome to the HB!

      Some resources on this question:

      1) Here is a library of posts on defining the adjective Reformed.

      2) See Recovering the Reformed Confession, which is largely devoted to this question.

      3) Owen and Edwards were both paedobaptist congregationalists. There were congregationalists at Dort and Westminster. There were no Baptists at Dort or Westminster because there is a material difference between congregational polity and denying that the children of believers are eligible for the covenant sign and seal of admission to the visible covenant community. Those two sets of conclusions reflect rather different ways of reading Scripture (hermeneutics) and rather different views of redemptive history.

      4) As you’ll see in the materials above, the historic self-designation for Baptists who identified with aspects of the Reformation was Particular, not Reformed. The point that Chuck Finney (you should listen to the episode yourself) is making is that he understands the proper, historic definition of Reformed. He knows that it’s only very recently that the adjective Baptist has come to be modified with the adjective Reformed.

      Take a look/listen to some of these materials.

  1. I sympathize with the point, but it has been so long since the term “particular Baptist” has been used that one now has to explain that it doesn’t mean one that won’t eat fried chicken that is too crispy.

    For better or worse (mostly worse), it seems that the term “reformed” in our day is going to refer to someone tht agrees with the five points without regard to their ecclessiology or confessional commitments beyond those points.

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