Reformation 500

Today, Rob and Bob commemorate the 500th anniversary Protestant Reformation with a discussion of the ongoing need for influence of the Reformation in the life of the church today. Happy Reformation Day!

Participants: ,

Theology Simply Profound considers how even the simple truths God has revealed to us in his Word are deeply profound. Reformed theology need not be for scholars alone, it is for every believer. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.

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Armen Nazarian

2 years ago

Hey Theology Simply Profound!
Thanks for a great podcast – many of your episodes and series have been very edifying! Your podcast provides solid reformed theology!

I do have a question about the things discussed at around minute 29:00 about anabaptists and reformed baptists.(reformed baptist being a modern term for the particular baptist of the 17th century I assume)

Did you mean to say that reformed (particular) baptist of the 17th century britain “came” from the continental anabaptist? (i.e. historical geneaology)
Or did you mean to say something else?

Sincerely, Armen

Rob McKenzie

2 years ago

Thanks for the question. My point was that the Baptist movement from the Reformation started with the Anabaptists. And the Anabaptists were on the more charismatic/Pentecostal and radical side. There were several branches that would develop as the years went on. Some would become the Quakers some the Mennonites. The Amish are also descendants from that movement. Eventually they would become what we understand to be Reformed Baptists, these would be the ones who drew up the London Baptist Confession in 1689, as you say the Particular Baptists. I know that strictly speaking the particular Baptist term did not come around till the early 1600’s in England but I do believe there is a link to the later Anabaptists on the continent. Whose doctrine started to become more Calvinistic in the 1550’s and 60’s.

Armen Nazarian

2 years ago

Hey. Thanks for reply. Sorry my late response – I totally forgot about this. I really appreciate that you took the time to response.

I would like to challenge on the last thing you write regarding the link between anabaptist and PBs.

There is neither a historical genealogical link nor theological link. The best one can say is that there is an analogy, which is both groups rejected infant baptism.

The English Particular Baptists didn’t “come” from the anabaptists, they come from puritan separatist and semi-separatist churches.

The Particular Baptist movement was a movement that had no organic link to either the General Baptists of the British Islands or the anabaptist, but developed especially out of one church in London with semi separatist views (Edification & Beauty, Renihan, pg. 2). This church has historical been called the Jacob-Lathrop-Jessey church (JLJ).

In this church the validity of infant baptism rose which eventually resulted in a new church plant, which is the first Calvinistic Baptist Church, lead by John Spilsbury (Rediscovering our English Baptist Heritage, Haykin, pg. 28).

The reason behind the rejection of infant baptism wasn’t even necessarily comparable between the particular baptists, anabaptist and the general baptist.

What made John Spilsbury and the other particular baptist of the mid 17th century reject infant-baptism was covenant theology.

The historical and theological data show the that PBs origins are not to be found in the Continental Anabaptist movement or the British General Baptists but in the Puritanism of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. (Rediscovering our English Baptist Heritage, Haykin, pg. 27)

Back then they did encounter issues with the paedobaptists labelling them as anabaptist, which they had to refute, which is also why that in the preface of their first confession (1st Londob Baptist Confession) it reads: “The CONFESSION OF FAITH, Of those CHURCHES which are commonly (though falsly) called ANABAPTISTS;”

One of their opponents, after reading the confession, had to admit that the doctrines contained in the confession was neither of heretics or anabaptist, but of “tender hearted Christians”. But he also said that the baptist probably lied about it (Featley, The Dippers Dip’t, 177-78)

The historical and theological data is clear, that PBs who eventually made the 2nd London Baptist Confession, which many reformed baptists use today, did not come from the anabaptists (or even the general baptists).

If you have any historical sources that show otherwise, would you mind pasting them in here?
Thanks in advance.

Best regards, Armen


2 years ago

Robert McKenzie

2 years ago

Thanks for the great response and helpful clarification. I was definitely oversimplifying the issue. My main point, (although I might have missed in my presentation), was that what we understand as Baptist’s did not come about until the Reformation. I want to make sure that people understood that the there was a distinct difference between Anabaptist and Reformed baptist. The main link between these two groups is a rejection of infant baptism, hence the link. I can understand how someone would think I meant that there was one unite of reformational baptists all together who then splintered, although this is not what I was trying to say. You are correct that these groups developed independently of each other although there are times in the history that one can see a church during the reformation that was considered Anabaptist but was theologically much closer to particular baptist, such as in Geneva. Perhaps some day we will do a couple of episodes on the history of Reformed Baptists. Thanks for the help in clarification.

Armen Nazarian

2 years ago

Hi Rob.
Thank you very much for the clarification. I really appreciate it.

I very much hope you’ll do a series on Reformed Baptist history! It would be great. I can personally recommend Dr. James Renihan, he (and his son Dr. Sam Renihan) have done tremendous work in the history of the 17th century British Particular Baptists.

Sincerely Armen.



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