Book Review of Pascal Denault’s “The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant Theology” by Cliff Cooper [6-page PDF | 15 min. MP3]

The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant TheologyPastor Cliff Cooper gave a book review of Pascal Denault’s “The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant Theology” at a Texas Area Association of Reformed Baptist Churches meeting on July 12, 2013 at Heritage Baptist Church in Mansfield, Texas.

We were able to record his presentation of it and he sent us the review in written form which is in the PDF below this small part of the intro:

…Denault is writing for the sake of those who believe we must love the Lord our God with all our mind as well as with our heart and soul. He writes addressing how one organizes theology in the framework which takes in the teaching of the whole Bible. Covenant Theology recognizes that God has always related to man by means of covenant, and could be characterized as being the Reformed conceptual overview and interpretive framework for understanding the overall flow of the Bible. It entails understanding the relationship between three salvific covenants: that of redemption, of works, and of Grace; yet takes into account the major covenants of the Bible by which God relates to men. These would include the Noahic, the Abrahamic, the Sinaitic or Mosaic, the Davidic, and the New Covenant. Denault’s work focuses on the features of Baptist Covenant Theology that distinguish it from the Paedobaptist Covenant Theology. Recognizing that there were many things that united the 17th Century Presbyterians and Congregationalists on the one hand, and the Baptists on the other, he is wanting to clarify just what it was that separated these theologies. He says that the most obvious answer would be baptism, yet maintains that the most foundational issue from which others flow is their view of covenant theology. So it was not baptism itself that distinguished the Baptists, but rather it was baptism “as approached through the doctrine of the church.” The issue revolved around what was the very nature of the gospel and who were to be considered members of the church.

 

His method is to present the Baptist distinctives by means of looking at the biblical order of the covenants. His sources include, firstly the Westminster Confession of Faith with the Shorter and Larger catechisms, the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, with the Baptist Catechism and the Orthodox Catechism by Hercules Collins, pastor of Old Gravel Lane Baptist Church (1680). After these, he cites Presbyterian writers William Ames, John Ball, Peter Bulkely, Thomas Blake, Herman Witsius, Samuel Petto, and Francis Turretin. Next come the Baptist writers John Spilsbury, Henry Lawrence, Thomas Patient, John Bunyan, Edward Hutchinson, Nehemiah Coxe, Thomas Grantham, and Benjamin Keach. 

 

His final source he consults is an enigma, as he calls him John Owen, the Baptist (as he argues almost exactly as the Baptists do, yet he remained an infant-baptizing Congregationalist).

Read the rest or listen to Pastor Cliff Cooper read out his review here (some cell noise got into the recording, you will here beeping every now and then on it):

 

PDF Download:

Download (PDF, 98KB)


Cliff Cooper is Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Van, Texas

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