Founders Press resources are now available in Logos Bible Software! Featuring works by Tom Nettles, Fred Malone, Tom Ascol, and many others, these collections are created to take full advantage of the software. Perform searches on biblical texts, click through links to original language resources, and read these resources alongside classic Baptist and Puritan authors. In Logos, these resources come alive like never before!
From now to December 7, 2016, Logos is offering these resources at a special discount for Founders Ministries patrons! Whether you’re looking for an easy way to search and read the Founders Journal or taking time to boost your understanding of Baptist history and theology over the holidays, these trusted works are the perfect addition to your library.
“It is the will and command of God that, since the coming of his Son the Lord Jesus, a permission of the most Paganish, Jewish, Turkish, or anti-christian consciences and worships be granted to all men in all nations and countries.” Roger Williams, The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution (1644)
Baptists have historically argued for the religious liberty of all people. As a group that was persecuted in their early days, Baptists have consistently argued for four hundred years that the civil government does not have authority over the consciences of citizens. Baptists have recognized that we either have religious liberty for all or not at all. If the government can take someone else’s freedom today, they can take yours tomorrow. Below is a list of quotes evidencing Baptists’ historic commitment to religious liberty. These could be multiplied many times over. The unique thing about the quotations below is not their advocacy of religious liberty for all, but that they specifically identify Muslims as deserving freedom to practice their religion freely. (Note: “Turks” and “Turkish” was used as an identifier of Muslims.)
“For men’s religion to God is between God and themselves. The king shall not answer for it. Neither may the king be judge between God and man. Let them be heretics, Turks, Jews, or whatsoever, it appertains not to the earthly power to punish them in the least measure. This is made evident to our lord the king by the scriptures.” Thomas Helwys, A Short Declaration of the Mystery of Iniquity (1612)
“It is the will and command of God that, since the coming of his Son the Lord Jesus, a permission of the most Paganish, Jewish, Turkish, or anti-christian consciences and worships be granted to all men in all nations and countries.” Roger Williams, The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution (1644)
Roger Williams also cited in a positive fashion that Oliver Cromwell once maintained in a public discussion “with much Christian zeal and affection for his own conscience that he had rather that Mahumetanism [i.e. Mohammedanism or Islam] were permitted amongst us, than that one of God’s Children should be persecuted.”
“The liberty I contend for is more than toleration. The very idea of toleration is despicable; it supposes that some have a pre-eminence above the rest to grant indulgence, whereas all should be equally free, Jews, Turks, Pagans and Christians.” John Leland, “The Virginia Chronicle” (1790)
To add contemporary Baptist voices, I could add these excellent pieces by my friends Russell Moore and Bart Barber. These men and their arguments are right in step with the larger Baptist tradition of defending religious liberty for all.
The doctrine of divine impassibility is a biblical, catholic, classical, and confessional doctrine of the Christian church which states that because God is simple, infinite, eternal, and immutable, he cannot undergo any change in state of being, or be acted upon in any way. The Reformed confessions of faith express this by saying that God is “without passions.” This negation separates the being of God from an aspect of creaturely existence.
To understand divine impassibility, therefore, we have to study the divine nature that requires such a negation and the creaturely existence being denied of God. Many authors, far more capable and knowledgeable than myself, have dealt with the first part, arguing convincingly that the divine nature cannot be acted upon by anything or undergo anything. It is my goal to address the second element of this question, often untouched in these discussions, passions and affections in the context of the human nature. As we improve our understanding of the imperfections of our creaturely nature, we will improve our understanding of the perfections of God’s divine nature.
Man’s nature has parts—body (material) and soul (immaterial). And it has faculties seated within those parts—the mind, the will, and the passions or affections. The affections bring together the parts and faculties of the human nature. Affections are motions of the mind and will relative to perceived good and evil.
In other words, as a given person goes through life, their mind interprets the world around them and regards various objects as good or bad. If perceived as good, the person is drawn to those objects. If perceived as bad, the person is drawn away from those objects. These motions are the affections, and can therefore be sorted into two opposite lists.
“Ever since I had the opportunity to go to South America on a missions trip 5 years ago to Chile for 3 months and Brazil for 3 months I have had an earnest burden to make better theological resources available in Spanish and Portuguese since unfortunately most of the theology imported from the US comes from TBN and other aberrant sources that are syncretistic and unfaithful to the Word of God.
This is also a useful opportunity to translate small blog posts or longer posts of a few pages via this blog with future expectations of Lord willing being able to translate longer reformed Baptist resources such as books into Spanish and Portuguese. Also Portuguese helps spread the reach of this blog to all of the Lusophone (Portuguese speaking) countries globally (such as Portuguese speaking countries and regions located in Africa and Asia) by providing reformed baptist theological resources in Portuguese:
I will be translating some of my Spanish posts to Portuguese as well as other resources. I have already translated the main pages of my blog into Portuguese. In preparation I have already translated the main pages of my website into Portuguese:
I also want to mention 3 blogs in Portuguese that have excellent reformed Baptist resources that I recommend to my viewers who know Portuguese and which I would recommend to pass along to Portuguese speaking friends:
“Desde a oportunidade que eu tive viajar ao Latino-american para missões faz cinco anos quando viajei ao Chile e ao Brasil, eu morei nestes dos países por 6 meses, 3 meses em Chile e tres meses em Brasil. Devido a isso tive uma carga fazer mais recursos teológicos disponíveis em espanhol e português porque infelizmente muita da teologia importado dos Estados Unidos vem de TBN e outras fontes erradas que são sincretisticas e infiés à Palavra de Deus.
Este também é uma oportunidade útil para traduzir posts dos bloges e coisas mais longos de poucas páginas para poder traduzir coisas mais longos no futuro como livros para fazer mais recursos reformadas batistas disponíveis em espanhol e português. Eu vou traduzir algums dos posts em espanhol do me blog ao português e também outros recursos. Eu já traduzei as páginas principais do meu blog ao português:..”
My coffee mug was in the cup holder of my truck as I drove through the dark, early, Monday morning streets of Virginia on the way to the airport. It would be quite a day of travel, but it would end on a pew that evening at Trinity Reformed Baptist Church in La Mirada, California. I, a pastor from Virginia, was headed out to California for the Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors’ Conference 2015 (SCRBPC15). It was worth the journey! The theme of this year’s conference was “The Doctrine of God” led by keynote speaker, Dr. James Dolezal. The vision for SCRBPC is “…the edification of confessional Reformed Baptist pastors and other interested men who are in the ministry or training for the ministry. The SCRBPC will function within the theological framework of the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith (2nd LCF) and The Baptist Catechism (BC).” Over the last few years, this conference has grown from a couple dozen brothers, to this year’s 125+ registrants, several of whom like myself, traveled from outside California to attend. This year’s conference did not disappoint. Among those to be commended is the host church, Trinity Reformed Baptist, and the many brothers like Richard Barcellos, who worked tirelessly to put the conference together. The fellowship was a blessing, the food was wonderful, and the meat of the session lectures was phenomenal.
The conference began with an opening lecture by Dr. Jim Renihan on The Foundation of our Communion and Comfortable Dependence on God and focused on the helpful summary reminder from the Baptist Confession (1677/89) which reads that the “…doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with God, and comfortable dependence on him (LBCF 1689, 2.3).” Jim opened with this theological and pastoral theme. Jim, a mentor to so many Reformed Baptist men over the last few decades, led with humility as we considered the confessional implications to theology proper. Following this, there were several Q&A sessions, and five plenary sessions by Dr. James Dolezal. Each of these mind-stretching, and soul-nourishing lectures was overflowing with meat. Our plates were full over these two days so to speak. Dolezal, who wrote his PhD dissertation on Divine Simplicity, led us in considering how we think about God ontologically. However, the allowance for ‘mystery’ was a large part of our discussion. We first considered The State of Theology Proper in Evangelicalism, specifically, Calvinistic Evangelicalism, and Dolezal charted a course for the conference in considering Classical Theism vs. what he terms “Theistic Personalism.” This is a prevailing type of view in evangelicalism today that advertently or inadvertently allows for some changes in God which divert away from the classically-held view of God within theology proper. With the Confession in view, and often times opened alongside our Bibles, our discussion involved a Systematic, Historical and Biblical theological look at the essence of God.
In the second lecture, Dolezal led us to consider the long-held doctrine of Divine Simplicity, and its implications. Some take-aways from this lecture were thoughts like (and I summarize): “God’s attributes ARE God, not constituent parts (wisdom, justice, love, etc.) These ARE God, they are not parts of God…”, “God is not composed of parts, because being composed of parts requires dependence on those parts to be, ontologically…”, “Simplicity and Trinity: Simplicity keeps the Trinity from becoming Tri-theism.” A helpful part of this discussion is the reality that we as humans cannot fully comprehend Divine Simplicity, and we live as it were, on this side of “refracted glory”. As a part of this discussion, some modern day views were critiqued in light of the classical, and I would add, confessional understanding of the Doctrine of God. The last three lectures included further discussion regarding simplicity, the eternality of God, Divine impassibility and Immutability and ended with the doctrine of the Trinity. Dolezal, a gifted teacher, both in content and in application, led the attendees in the adoration of our God. This was not the exercise of the academic looking to define the indefinable and postulate scholarly “rightness”, this was the attempt of the spiritual child, seeking with joy, to delight in something much beyond his or her ability to understand. Scholarly it was, but its direction was the adoration of God. Many sessions, I left with my mind stretched, my heart enlarged, and my ministerial resolve strengthened.
A topic of discussion in the Q&A sessions was the Doctrine of Divine Impassibility, which is confessionally expressed as God being, “without body, parts, or passions” (LBCF 1689 2.1). Samuel Renihan participated in this part given his two recent books on the topic, one of which is a very helpful primer entitled “God Without Passions”. For me, a pastor from the other side of the country, this visit was well worth the journey. Not only did I walk away with new friends and theological discussion partners, I walked away with a hunger to study more, to seek to lead my people in a discussion of this vital doctrine, and I have, since the conference, found myself musing, like a babbling child who struggles to find words, on the God Who calls Himself “I AM”. Some may say that this topic is either picking at straws, or is not practical, and yet isn’t our goal as Christians, and as pastors, to grow and to lead others in growing in the knowledge of God? This was not a “how to grow your church in 30 days” type of conference, rather this was a “consider the vastness of our incomprehensible, transcendent, and immanent God” type of conference. As Dolezal would say, we cannot say we know everything about God, but we must not declare God to be what He is not. He is not a God who “became” Creator, but rather He is the Eternal Creator. He is not a God Who experiences changes because of relationship to man. He is not a God who experiences anger one minute, and then shifts to love or mercy the next. No, in Him, “there is not shadow of turning…” Rather than picking at theological straws, we rejoiced that we have a God who does not change, and because of this “…we are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6). Consider listening to the lectures when they are available (http://scrbpc.org), or check into the three available books connected to the topic at (http://www.rbap.net).
I am already looking forward to the time in 2016, when Lord willing, a discussion of God’s Decree (LBCF Chapter 3) will occur. I landed late on Wednesday night, got back into my truck, and drove back to my own context, family and people so grateful that I had been led so richly in a time of considering the one true God. “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36)
Three lucky winners will each receive:
One copy of:
Recovering A Covenantal Heritage edited by Richard Barcellos
God Without Passions A Primer edited by Samuel Renihan
A Reformed Baptist Manifesto by Richard Barcellos
and Better Than The Beginning by Richard Barcellos
All you have to do is “like” , retweet, star, share, etc. this post to be automatically entered! Blogging about the conference and your experience and linking to this post will earn you two extra entries. The more you do the more entries you get.
In its infancy, our podcast was a weekly audio interview followed by a portion where we pointed readers to blog posts, and announcements related to confessional baptist faith and piety.
Later on, we separated the interview portion and introduced The Dunker Bunker™, a place where we could lighten up a little. The news and announcement portion just didn’t fit well – we would talk about something very serious, and then mimic Biggie Smalls in the next. So we decided to change that, and The Dunker Bunker was published “as is” with no edits. That meant you heard everything from snoring to smoking, to fire alarms, to an occasional curse word. (jk)
Further still, we reduced interviews from weekly to bi-weekly and The Dunker Bunker followed suit.
We and by ‘we’ I mean Jason Delgado would release interviews when he could. All of these decisions simply received our imprimatur even though in the end we’d still defer to Jason. So in a lot of ways it was a cycle—if Jason wanted something, we said “uh, okay…hmm…i dunno, what do you think? Okay. I know! Let’s see what Jason thinks!” So basically Jason mirrored The Obama Administration and we were like the Queen of England – useless. But we were old person cute. Thankfully Jason is no tyrant and I don’t look like a Golden Girl.
Seriously, Jason bore the brunt of the work on The Confessing Baptist and actually he carried us. Unfortunately, he can’t carry us anymore. So, I want to publicly thank Jason Delgado for all of his hard work and commitment. Thank him for his patience when I broke the podcast trying to edit it. I also want to thank him for still considering us when we were not all involved with the site. Time and time again I would get an email asking for permission to make x or y change to the site.
If you hadn’t noticed yet, the podcast was trending this way for a while, and we finally arrived where we could longer supply any audio. That means that The Confessing Baptist podcast will be released as one more Dunker Bunker episode and then go dark.
You will still be able to access previous episodes in our archives.
We will not be posting any new audio for the time being. Big announcements and events will continue to be posted (The Baptibots get no rest) but the website will not be as active and will be operating with limitations.
The site will continue to operate because we are unsure about the future of the site and if we will be able to commit time to resume operations.
When we started the site one part of our mission was to help shape the digital footprint of Reformed Baptist Theology from one that was New-Calvinist and return it to its confessional roots by providing resources from real Reformed Baptists. We insisted on maintaining a distinction b/w what a confessional Baptist (The Confessing Baptist) is and what a non-confessional Calvinistic Baptist is. I think we helped at least a little.
For now – we all have new babies, sick babies, or near one year olds (oh, and junior is in Phoenix). So, this isn’t necessarily goodbye; it’s more like…BRB.
P.S. We’ve asked for help multiple times for audio editing. If you are willing to help we would love your assistance with audio editing. If you want to help with posting on the site we can work with you in that regard as well. You can email me at javier.x.hernandez at gmail . com
Dan Horn is a speaker at our upcoming conference The Highway of Holiness. In this video, he explains how God, as a kind father, works in the lives of every one of His children to make them a holy people.
Is it possible for someone to be justified, but not very sanctified? Well in a sense, none of us are very sanctified. All of us are sinners, all of us continue to have sin that’s manifest in our lives. I think that I’m a much worse sinner when I look at myself now, than when I looked at myself 20 years ago, even though I can see that God has freed me from many sins, but many things that I consider serious sins, I wouldn’t have considered to be sins at all 20 years ago. In this sense, no one is very sanctified.
In another sense, God says He scourges every single son He receives. There is not one who is not sanctified by God the father. He is a father to His adopted children, and when we say that He does not constrain evil, but lets you continue to run in the same path, what you’re saying is that God is a horrible father. – That’s blasphemy. God is not a horrible father. He trains every child he receives. Every son he adopts, He treats as a son. He constrains their evil, He purges them, cleanses them, and moves them along the path towards righteousness.
To hear more from Dan Horn, please consider joining us next month in Asheville, NC, at the Highway of Holiness conference.
“Theologically rich, carefully researched, and historically grounded, this book leads us into the wisdom of one of the greatest theologians of all time. Barrett and Haykin’s study of John Owen expands our view of the Christian life to embrace the knowledge of God’s glory in Jesus Christ. As our Lord reminded us, that is life indeed (John 17:3). Once you finish this book, you will definitely want to read Owen himself!” — Joel R. Beeke
“The writings of John Owen constitute an entire country of biblical, exegetical, doctrinal, spiritual, casuistical, practical, ecclesiastical, controversial, and political theology. Massive in size, Oweniana cannot be visited on a day trip. Indeed a lifetime hardly suffices for all there is to explore. But hire as your tour guides Matthew Barrett and Michael Haykin, and the daunting journey seems possible after all. With these seasoned scholars and enthusiasts as companions, visiting the varied counties, the significant towns, and the great cities of Oweniana is as enjoyable as it is instructive. Owen on the Christian Life simply excels as an outstanding contribution to an already first-class series.” — Sinclair B. Ferguson
John Owen is widely regarded as one of the most influential English Puritans. As a pastor, he longed to see the glory of Christ take root in people’s lives. As a writer, he continues to encourage us toward discipline and communion with God. His high view of God and deep theological convictions flowed naturally into practical application and a zeal for personal holiness.
In Owen on the Christian Life, Barrett and Haykin guide us through the seventeenth-century theologian’s life and doctrine, giving us a glimpse into the majestic vision that served as the foundation for his approach to the Christian life–the glory of God in Christ.
The Angus Library and Archive is the leading collection of Baptist history and heritage worldwide. It contains more than 70,000 items relating to the life and history of Baptists in Britain and the wider scene…
The Angus Library and Archive has an extensive manuscript collection including collections from key Baptist people such as William Carey, C.H. Spurgeon, Joshua and Hannah Marshman and Willam Ward, E.A. Payne, and J. H Rushbrook. It also holds manuscripts for leading Baptist families such as Angus, Steele, Whitaker, and Reeves.
There is a collection of minutes and papers from a variety of Baptist organisations or organisations with which Baptists have been involved such as the European Baptist Federation, Baptist World Alliance, Baptist Historical Society, Deaconess Movement and the World Council of Churches. Special collections, including those of the Baptist Missionary Society, offer material relating to Baptist witness in Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, West Africa, India, China and South East Asia. Early connections between Baptists in Britain and the United States of America are well covered.
Eventually you will be able to search the archives!
Stay tuned within the next 6 months you will be able to search our archives online
The “Important Places in Baptist History” section pinpoints places across Great Britain that were pivotal in the development of Baptist history. We can now make pilgrimages to sacred baptist sites across Great Britian!
One of the first hymnals used by Southern Baptists was the Baptist Psalmody. It was published in 1850 by the Southern Baptist Publication Society and recommended for use in all the churches when the convention met in Nashville in 1851. Along with many contributions by well-known English hymn writers (such as John Newton and Isaac Watts), the hymnal included some newer hymns by American Baptists. One that was especially popular was “O Could I Find from Day to Day” by Benjamin Cleavland.
Benjamin Cleavland was born in Windham, Connecticut on August 30, 1733. Little is known of his life. He was married to Mary Elderkin and had twelve children. He settled in Horton, Nova Scotia (later called Wolfville) and was a member of the Baptist church formed there. He remained in Horton until his death on March 9, 1811.
In 1790 Cleavland published a small collection of hymns in Norwich, Connecticut, called Hymns on Different Spiritual Subjects. The hymnal was well received and was in a fourth edition by 1792.  Cleavland’s hymn “O Could I Find from Day to Day” continued to be well-liked and eventually found its way into several collections, although Cleavland’s name was lost from the text. In the Baptist Psalmody the hymn is credited to the Christian Psalmody. The small book Cleavland had published surfaced again in 1870, found by Reverend S. Dryden Phelps in Hartford, Connecticut.  This discovery established the authorship of Cleavland to the hymn (#656 in the Baptist Psalmody).
The opening verse of the hymn is an expression of delight in spending time reading and meditating on God’s Word. The remaining three verses are a prayer that we would live everyday in the joy of Christ, that He would rule in our hearts throughout our days, and that at the end of our days we would love Him even more.
Below are the words and link to the hymn set to a tune composed for Cleavland’s lyrics by Tom Wells (Heritage Baptist Church in Mansfield, Texas). My thanks to Tom for his permission to include his excellent tune in this post.
I’m sure that you, like everyone else in America, recognizes that we may well be in the midst of a sea change on the issue of abortion. A few years ago, when Kermit Gosnell (a rather typical inner city abortionist) was tried and sentenced, the true nature of the abortion industry began to leak out. Now, due to the stunning revelations of the Center for Medical Progress, the truth is front and center. In spite of the desire of the media to shield you and the rest of us from the truth, in spite of two entertaining primary races, and in spite of a dust-up at congress within the President’s party, there is still a great deal of light shining on the behind-the-scenes activities of Planned Parenthood. Both sides are quick to sing the party line, but I’ve been wondering how to talk to you.
Many in America have attempted to ignore the ugly details, but you, of all people, cannot afford to do that. One of the terrible revelations of the last few weeks has been that Planned Parenthood regularly misleads those who come into their clinics. You may have been told a story about curing cancer, and even if you refused to donate “tissue” the remains of your baby may have been taken and sold. It turns out no one was concerned with your dignity and privacy, and that the comforting words were all a façade. You, of all of us, need to look this scandal squarely in the face and acknowledge what has been done to you.
That is because in one sense you are among the victims of the cruel corporation which receives half a billion dollars of our state and federal funds every year in order to perpetrate this monstrosity on us. But in another sense, and I know I am telling you something you already recognize, most of you are not really victims. You were not pinned down by a secret criminal enterprise and forced to “donate” specimens; instead you, a person with free will and a conscience, chose this path. That is the real reason it is so difficult to know how to address you.
Now I understand that “abortive mother” is a diverse group. For starters, there are about 58,000,000 of you. You could hardly fit into one simple category. A few of you believe you did a good thing. Others have doubts, even if you put on a brave face to the world. Others have deep regrets. Some are depressed, some convicted. Some have come to have peace with what you now believe was a very poor decision. Some of you are my sisters in Christ – saved for exactly the same reason as myself: because Jesus saves sinners like me whose souls are home to unspeakable evil and who sometimes act on it.
I understand this diversity, and so I ask your patience: hear me out. I may not appear to speak to where you are – and how can I hope to do so for so many people? But what I have to say applies, I believe, to every one of you.
London to Philadelphia—you might think that this has to do with transatlantic flights. Well, it doesn’t. It has to do with confessions of faith—Baptist confessions of faith, to be exact. First, there is the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, also known as the Second London Baptist Confession, and then there is the Philadelphia Confession of Faith.
The Baptists came into being early in the 1600s in England. These were Puritans. They had all left the Anglican Church and were part of the larger group of people that we call Nonconformists, meaning they would not conform to the established church, the Church of England. These Baptists were not only separated out from the Anglicans, but these Baptists also believed in adult or believer’s baptism, which set them apart from some of the other Nonconformists. It set them apart from the Presbyterians and it set them apart from the Congregationalists.
In 1644, the Baptists gathered together and wrote the First London Baptist Confession. It was very much like the Westminster Standards, but of course it differed in the chapters on church polity or church government and on baptism.
In 1677, they gathered again to refresh this confession and had a number of people sign off on it, but there were also some who couldn’t sign off. This was a time of intense persecution in England, and there were many who were simply not able to align themselves with this statement.
Pr. Tom Chantry doesn’t usually post his own sermons on his blog but Monday we were treated to a good dose of his preaching, and it is definitely a good listen. Check it out here [38 min. mp3]:
The letter to the Hebrews was written to Christian people whose earthly nation was crumbling and on the brink of collapse. It was intended to soothe their souls with the supremacy of the changeless Christ over every institution of this world. It offers great encouragement to all believers who discover that their nations and their homes are no “abiding city,” reminding us that we are on our desert pilgrimage to Zion.
While you’re listening you should subscribe to the sermon feed for Christ Reformed Baptist Church.
Over at Reformation 21, Lee Gatiss listened to 10 minutes of a podcast, misunderstood a joke, and judged a book by its cover. He felt it was urgent to inform baptists that John Owen was actually a paedobaptist. Of course, if he’d bothered to read the book, he’d have know that’s not the point.
The point is that Owen rejected his earlier covenantal views and the “judgment of most reformed divines”. Gatiss does not address this (as is typical). In fact, Gatiss doesn’t mention anything from Owen’s commentary on Hebrews 8:6-13. Instead, he provides quotes of Owen affirming infant baptism, which, again, isn’t the point.
He quotes Owen’s commentary on Hebrews 4:9-10, 15 (which I also quote in my analysis of Owen’s infant baptism) as well as 6:1-2; 7:1-3, 12; 11:24-26. Gatiss concludes “Sorry folks, but these are exactly the same applications that Owen makes from his covenant theology in the earlier tract on infant baptism,” which, again, is not the point. We are well aware that Owen makes the same application (infant baptism). Our point is that his covenant theology undergirding that application changed.