Interview #22: Dr. Renihan – Confessionalism + More


On episode 22 of our podcast, we interview Dr. James Renihan on Confessionalism. 

After that, we talk about some Reformed Baptist headlines and give you a preview of next week’s episode which is our first “table-talk” between a Reformed Baptist and a Lutheran.


Books & Sites Mentioned:

Headlines Mentioned:

Sponsor: – A wiki dedicated to the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, commonly called the 1689, and theology in accordance with the doctrines contained therein.

Post-Interview Music:

Creed by Rich Mullens

31 Replies to “Interview #22: Dr. Renihan – Confessionalism + More”

  1. Y’all asked to leave some feedback and what to talk about or not to talk about. All this talk about Confessions, means of Grace, Baptist Covenant Theology are just getting really old. Can’t you guys talk more about marriage conferences and how to raise good kids in a bad world? ;D In reality gentleman, y’all are doing an excellent job. You too Patrick (y’all is reserved for the Texans). I would like to hear more history regarding ARBCA, FIRE, and some of the effects coming from differing views on subscription regarding the life of churches and missions.

  2. Your subject matter has been very helpful for me as a pastor. It has been good to listen to the topics, which explain the theological distinctives of 17th century particular baptists. Thanks.

  3. Hey, that was a tremendous hour. However, I’m pretty sure that there were only 8 forms of subscription listed, not 9. I actually re-listened to a bit of it, and I’m pretty sure the numbering was 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9. That’s one to get clarification on if there is a follow-up interview.

    1. @Tom, This is from Dr. Renihan… he couldn’t figure out how to post but said I could post this in reply to you:

      1. Doctrine divides, love unites

      2. The Bible alone: it is sufficient for us

      3. Substance of doctrine: the gospel as it is found in a confession

      4. System subscription: W. Barker quotes C. Hodge as speaking of the “concatenation” of doctrines that make up the system contained in the Confession.

      5. Good Faith Subscription

      6. Animus imponentis Subscription

      7. Full Subscription

      8. Historical Subscription

      9. Absolute, or every word, subscription.

      And the explanation for #4:

      The fourth category is often called loose, or system, subscription. This view advocates a position of general agreement with a confessional document, with more or less concern for details. Smith says “Loose or system subscription . . . maintains that we subscribe to a system of doctrine, which is not specifically defined, but which is contained in the Confession . . . . The system subscriptionist maintains that only the doctrines comprising the system are mandated in the subscription. Doctrines that are not a part of the system are not included.” In this way, at least among Presbyterians, men have been able to deny certain truths that they deemed non-essential, while still asserting their agreement with their Confession.

  4. I’d like to hear Jim Renihan discusses the differences between FIRE and ARBCA and the history behind them compared and contrasted, he only briefly covered it in the sermon posted on the confessingbaptist that gave 7 views of subscription.

  5. This podcast has been a good source of information on Reformed Baptist history and theology. Before this, I was a doubter about the RB contribution to theology. I would like to see some more interaction between what is going on here and KTC. There has yet to be a satisfying interaction with that material. Up until now, all we’ve seen is system imposition (i.e., you are wrong because you disagree with us).

          1. Thanks for the responses. Progressive Covenantalism (PC) is a difference species of NCT. There are striking similarities between some of what they say and previous Baptist covenant theology. On the other hand, there are several departures. The biggest difference between PC and NCT is the attempt to work from an explicit and whole Bible framework. Broadness in the NCT camp makes the label less than helpful in regards to PC.

  6. Coming as a 1689er within the SBC, I really appreciate hearing you guys. My only ideas for shows would be to get some Founders guys on. Maybe on the progress of the Founders movement lately compared to where it was a few years ago.

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