Lots of post from this week on the topics mentioned in the title. Thought I would just link them all here:
The Reformed For His Glory blog provides a lengthy quote from the The Reformed Baptist Theological Review Volume 2. 2005. It is Mike Renihan On Hermeneutics And Confessionalism:
Many of us were taught to read and comprehend documents according to a self-centered methodology that assumed that all literature is dynamic. We were taught to ask questions like, “What’s in this for me?” or “How am I to understand this in the present?” or “What is useful for me and what should be overlooked?” This is a reader-response method of reading and studying. With its roots in existentialism, this method implicitly believes that writings are there for the reader’s use. Written words are not understood as conveying truths according to the author’s intent…
The Sovereign Logos blog has started up quite a discussion on a quote from James Renihan (which we previously featured). Comments are currently over 40 and counting on this thread: Why I Am Not A Biblicist. (Later in the week posting Crampton on Creeds, Confessions, and Exegesis to help make the same point Renihan was making.)
Relative to our last podcast, Nathan Finn posted Calvinism, Cooperation, and the Southern Baptist Convention. He writes:
I’m considering this my annual “let’s everyone act like grownups” post, just in time for the SBC [annual convention]. It’s become something of a tradition, I suppose.
In the same vain as above Pastor Nate Akin wrote “The Conservative Resurgence, Calvinism, and Plurality of Elders (Read or listen to readout [7 min.]).”
The Founders Ministries Blog posted What does Calvinism have to do with Marriage?:
But thanks be to God, the Bible teaches that God has a very different kind of love for His people. The fullest expression of God’s love is never conditioned on a human response. The Bible teaches that God’s love is unconditional at the most fundamental level. Certainly, God’s love produces responses in people, but His love is never based on those responses.
New blog at Reformed Baptist Daily, The Importance and Use of Confessions of Faith:
The following is an explanation of why I believe confessions of faith are important for the life and order of the church.
1. Confessions emphasize the authority and centrality of the Bible
2. Confessions focus on fundamental doctrines
3. Confessions help to promote and maintain church unity
4. Confessions help to guard against error in the church
And then this morning he posted a General outline of the 1689. Read here.
Though I’m not “liturgical” in the way my Episcopal friends are, I’m an advocate of Baptists reciting the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds as part of our corporate worship gatherings. I wouldn’t want to bind anyone’s conscience on this issue, since I think its adiaphora, but I’m in favor of churches at least periodically confessing the faith verbally through recitation of the ancient creeds.
Steve Harmon has written on this topic in many places, most notably in his provocative book Towards Baptist Catholicity: Essays on Tradition and the Baptist Vision (Paternoster, 2006). More recently, Steve has written on this topic on his blog, Ecclesial Theology, in a post titled “Do Real Baptists Recite Creeds?” The post is condensed from a 2004 article by the same titled published in Baptists Today (see p. 27).
CredoCovenant blog posted an excerpt from R.A. Venable’s The Baptist Layman’s Hand-Book, pp.9-10:
Q.2. Are church and denominational creeds necessary and desirable?
A. Creeds or confessions of faith are necessary from the nature of the human mind and the character of revealed truth. Without a creed there could be no preaching, no church organization, no doctrinal fellowship, no evangelical faith, no singing and no praying.
Q.3. Why do so many religious teachers, both in oral and written discourse, disparage the use of creeds and confessions of faith in matters of religion?
A. (1) When the grounds of their objections are disclosed, it is generally plain that these teachers do not object to creeds as such, but only to such as are out of harmony with their views and oppose their methods. The young man, representing the Young Men’s Christian Association, with a limp Bible under his arm, often objects to creeds, but no one has more creed than he has; he is objecting to any one’s having any creed but his; it is all right to believe as he does. He is not alone. (2) Again, the substitution of a creed for piety and a Christly life has no doubt driven many really earnest people to disparage creeds, regarding them as substitutes for vital Godliness. Good old Andrew Fuller says, “The man who has no creed has no belief, which is the same thing as being an unbeliever; and he whose belief is not formed into a system has only a few loose, unconnected thoughts, without entering into the harmony and glory of the Gospel. Every well informed and consistent believer, therefore, must have a creed–a system which he supposes to contain the leading principles of Divine revelation.” (Fuller’s Works, Vol. 3, p. 449.)