Reformed Baptist History _____ ?

The Confessing Baptist blog & podcast has been referred to, by some, as an ‘ecumenical’ Reformed Baptist blog. I (Javier) think I speak for everyone who contributes to the podcast and blog when I say this is an accurate assessment. The only basis for inclusion on our blog, or for any post to pass through our filters is for the author to subscribe to the 1689, be addressing  the confession, Particular Baptist history, or anything related to reformed Baptists (see our Posting Guidelines | T&C | FAQs, or About page). The only thing original to the blog is the podcast; the blog posts are shared. We are a blog aggregate.


Some of you have emailed us about specific content that has disappeared from our site and asked why it was taken down. The following is an explanation:


On November 23, 2013 I received a text message from a contributor advising me that he had removed some content from The Confessing Baptist blog, namely, the series of posts entitled “Reflections on Reformed Baptist History” by Pastors Tom Chantry and David Dykstra. These posts contained details regarding certain controversies in Reformed Baptist history involving Grace Baptist Church of Carlisle, PA and Trinity Baptist Church of Montville, NJ. Some pastors had expressed concerns about the content of these posts. One was so concerned he made a phone call to one of our pastors. During the course of the phone call, he was told that we would receive a “public rebuke” and that our pastor’s “good name” was at stake if those posts were not removed. (It should be made clear the pastor who contacted this pastor was not an elder, pastor, or member of Trinity Baptist in Montville, NJ.)


This led to a series of emails, phone calls, and text messages to other pastors, friends, and among ourselves, as we tried to decide whether or not the posts would remain. The post you are reading now is part of the decision we reached. While the individual opinions of the five “Confessors” as to the content and propriety of the controversial posts are mixed, we all agree that we do not wish to become directly involved in a polarized discussion of a controversy that began before most of us were even born.


With that being said, let it be known that the removal of these or any other posts should neither be interpreted as showing partiality nor as a capitulation to threats. We will not cave to attempts at bullying or censorship. Hopefully, this explanation will serve to clarify that our actions are based on principle. We wish to maintain integrity with regard to our ongoing mission: “To provide Reformed resources from a 1689 perspective.”



13 Replies to “Reformed Baptist History _____ ?”

  1. I’m not going to comment on the series in question at this point, but I did want to say that it sounds like you Confessors have handled a difficult situation well. I commend your refusal to adopt a policy of capitulation while still maintaining your right to distance yourselves at your own volition from controversies you don’t want to be drawn into. The work you guys are doing is very helpful and appreciated.

  2. I’m sorry you were pressured to remove what has proved to be very helpful to RBs on both sides of the issue. You are handling things well in your attempt to be of help to RBs in general. I pray for our Lord to continue to grant all of you wisdom and grace in your endeavor.

  3. I have been reading Chantry’s blog and wondered if anyone can tell me what is the purpose of these reflections of Reformed Baptist history? Is it merely to have one man’s view of RB history? or is there a bigger agenda behind it ? Just curious.

    1. Robert,

      First, the Reflections are not “one man’s view of RB history.” I began the project, and it is posted at my blog, but it is truly the result of a collaboration between myself and David Dykstra. I believe he would own the whole project as expressive of his views also, and certainly beginning with #6 as we began to officially collaborate.

      Neither is it’s intent to provide two men’s view on RB history. If you read the opening post of the series, I expressed frustration that our history is not openly discussed. While it is evident that I wrote (and now Pastor Dykstra and I write) from a particular perspective, we are beginning what we believe is a necessary process of bringing RB history out of the dark and into a place where we can assess it honestly. The themes present in our history (the nature of confessional fellowship between churches, the use and abuse of authority, the place of the confession in defining and defending our doctrine) are also themes present currently in our movement, and we believe they will prove critical to the future. Understanding how these themes have interacted is critical to the well-being of Reformed Baptist churches.

      Finally, as to the decision to publish controversial material, we believe that strong reason exists to speak of these things in particular. Have you read my post “Why Now?” It is not a justification for the entire series, but it is a justification for Parts 10-14

      Hope that helps,

      1. As a smalltown pastor in a town that has almost every flavor imaginable, the RB movement can project itself from the internet onto the imagination of every pastor as the promised land. While there may be a degree of truth in this, in the midst of charismatic chaos and purpose-driven shallowness, knowing the history points the way forward, teaches the young, puts a pin in the doctrine of ‘top men’ (ala Carl Trueman), and points out areas that need work, thought, and prayer to those who are weighing their options.

        I, for one, think the series has done me good. I intend to keep reading. I’d appreciate seeing other voices. Are there any out there?

    2. Pastor Briggs, your above comments are an excellent example of how some Reformed Baptists attempt to discredit anyone who criticizes them or the reformed Baptist movement in general. Question and impugn motives, imply a personal agenda, etc. etc. At some point, the critics will be labeled as “disaffected”. Anyone who has been a part of the Al Martin camp of RB churches knows this methodology well.
      Confessing Baptist blog, please reconsider. This discussion needs to take place. You don’t know how many people, good Christian people, have been hurt by oppressive RB leadership. Don’t silence these voices.

  4. Brethren,
    Thanks for sharing your editorial thought process and decision. We are grateful for your labors. Keep up the good work.

  5. It is your blog, and the sweet thing is that freedom permits you to publish what you wish. I do have a question about your rationale. You say, “we all agree that we do not wish to become directly involved in a polarized discussion of a controversy that began before most of us were even born.” Aren’t we all involved in controversy that began before any of us were born? It is true that we do not inherit protest. Each one should know that for which he is protesting, but we can’t dismiss controversy as something we don’t want to address just because it happened before we were born. There may be other good and valid reasons for not discussing a controversy in the past, but its occurrence prior to my life time doesn’t seem like one of them.

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