Mar. 11, 2017 “Confessional Piety” Doctrine & Devotion Conf. feat. J. Renihan & Thorn in St. Charles, IL.

Doctrine and Devotion’s first conference is happening on March 11th, 2017 in the western suburbs of Chicago. This one day event will focus on the use of confessions in the life of the Christian and the local church as it relates to faith and godliness.

Sessions:

  • “Why Confessions?” – Dr. Jim Renihan
  • “Confessions and Scripture” – Dr. Jim Renihan
  • “Why The 1689 Confession?” – Dr. Jim Renihan
  • “The Christian Who Confesses” – Joe Thorn
  • Q&A – Renihan + Thorn

DETAILS

1st 3 books in the “Recovering our Confessional Heritage” series OUT NOW! [IRBS | RBAP]

recovering-confessional-heritage-books

The series is sponsored by the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies in cooperation with RBAP. The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies is a graduate theological school which aids churches in preparing men to serve in the Gospel Ministry. For more information please visit irbsseminary.org.

The purpose of the series . . . is to address issues related to the Second London Confession of Faith of 1677/89 (2LCF). . . . The series will include treatments of various subjects by multiple authors. The subjects to be covered are those the series editors (along with consultants) determine to be of particular interest in our day. The authors will be those who display ample ability to address the issue under discussion. Some of the installments will be more involved than others due to the nature of the subject addressed and perceived current needs. Many of the contributions will cover foundational aspects of the self-consistent theological system expressed in the Confession. Others will address difficult, often misunderstood, or even denied facets of the doctrinal formulations of the 2LCF. Each installment will have a “For Further Reading” bibliography at the end to encourage further study on the issue discussed.

~ from the series editors, James M. Renihan and Richard C. Barcellos

Read the purpose of the “Recovering our Confessional Heritage” series.


defense-of-confessionalism

A Defense of Confessionalism:
Biblical Foundations & Confessional Considerations

by Arden L. Hodgins, Jr.

Arden Hodgins
Arden Hodgins

[This book] seek to show how creeds and confessions exist in every church, denomination, or association, though they are not always written down…
the biblical warrant for creeds and confessions is established…
a further definition of what a confession of faith is and how it differs from the Scriptures…
the confession is shown to be a consensus document, both in its original formation and in its continued function…
addresses very briefly the matter of words and terms and the need to understand the authorial intent of the confession…
practical applications, addressed primarily to ministers and elders…

Pages: 118


associational-churchmanship

Associational Churchmanship:
Second London Confession of Faith 26.12-15

by James M. Renihan

Dr. James Renihan
Dr. James Renihan

Theology does not occur in a vacuum. It develops out of real-life situations. Men study the Word of God, contemplate its teaching, and express their conclusions. Often it is the circumstances of life that force them to think more closely and clearly about their doctrinal views and that sharpen the expressions of truth. When Arius challenged the divinity of Christ, Christians faced new questions, and the result of the debate was a clearer view of the deity of our Savior. We could give many illustrations from the history of the Church of that increasing clarity and understanding in the Creeds and Confessions of Christianity.

The doctrine of associational churchmanship expressed in our Confession is another one of these circumstances. Our discussion will involve the following: first, the three ways to describe interchurch relations; second, the church in the Second London Confession of Faith (2LCF); third, an overview of chapter 26.1-11 and brief exposition of 26.12-13; fourth associationalism; and finally, a conclusion and application.

Pages: 90


covenant-of-works

The Covenant of Works:
Its Confessional and Scriptural Basis

by Richard C. Barcellos

Dr. Richard Barcellos
Dr. Richard Barcellos

Moses, writing after the historical acts of creation, utilizes the covenantal name of God, Yahweh, while discussing Adam’s Edenic vocation (Gen. 2:4ff.). Isaiah utilizes concepts that started with Adam to explain the universal guilt of man, while using the word “covenant” (Isa. 25:5-6). Hosea, looking back upon previous written revelation, makes explicit what was implicit in it. The prophet’s inspired words give us God’s infallible knowledge of one of the similarities between ancient Israel and Adam. Both had a covenant imposed on them by God and both transgressed their covenants (Hos. 6:7). Paul, while reflecting on Adam’s Edenic vocation, contrasts the disobedience of Adam and its results with the obedience of Christ and its results (Rom. 5:19). The term “works” in the phrase “covenant of works” contrasts with “grace” and “gift” in Romans 5:17. Paul asserts that Adam was a type of Christ (Rom. 5:14). Adam sinned and fell short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). Christ did not sin (Heb. 4:15) and, upon his resurrection, entered into glory (Luke 24:46; Acts 26:19-23; 1 Pet. 1:10-12), a quality of life conferred upon him due to his obedience (Rom. 5:21). This is the life he confers upon all believers.

These scriptural realities, understood by the utilization of the hermeneutical principles of the Holy Spirit as the only infallible interpreter of Holy Scripture, analogia Scriptura, analogia fidei, and scopus Scripturae, led to the confessional formulation of the doctrine of the covenant of works.

Pages: 138

Radio interview w/ Michael Haykin on “The Baptist Story: From English Sect to Global Movement” [Iron Sharpens Iron]

IronSharpens

From a recently posted Iron Sharpens Iron Radio from July 5, 2016 with Chris Arnzen:

michael haykinDR. MICHAEL HAYKIN,
Professor of Church History & Biblical Spirituality (2008),
Director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies at
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY
& author of
Baptist Story BookTHE BAPTIST STORY: From English Sect to Global Movement

2 hour audio [mp3]:

Six Ways a Church Should Use a Confession of Faith [Jeff Robinson]

Founders:

Particular Baptist churches planted in the tumultuous soil of 17th century England grew up and bore fruit under a nasty set of doctrinal and methodological accusations, including that they subscribed to libertarian free will, denied original sin, that their pastors baptized women in the nude, and were opponents of church and crown.

Perhaps their most virulent and colorful opponent, Daniel Featley—a separatist persecutor deluxe—derisively dismissed our Baptist forebears, writing in a venom-filled pamphlet, “They pollute our rivers with their filthy washings.” Such was Baptist life under Charles I.

These nefarious charges and numerous others arose from leaders of the state church and led to decades of grinding persecution for Baptists. Seven churches returned fire, but not by brandishing the sword of steel or by hurling theological invectives. The seven carried out their war for truth by wielding the sword of the Spirit. The product was the most comprehensive expression of orthodox Baptist theology ever written—the Second London Confession of 1689.

church pewThe signers of that venerable confession lived and moved in an age in which most local congregations wrote confessions of faith for a number of reasons, one of them to demonstrate their commitment to the historic Christian faith. Additionally, they sought to manifest their solidarity with the prevailing forms of Calvinistic orthodoxy as well as to expound the basic elements of their ecclesiology. The Second London Confession also aimed at refuting popular notions associating Particular Baptists with the radical wing of the Anabaptist movement on the continent.

Of primary importance, they saw biblical warrant for the practice of confessionalism in texts such as 1 Timothy 3:16, where the apostle Paul’s inspired pen produced a brief but beautiful display of the mystery of godliness:

Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:
He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.

Fast-forward to 2016 and many Baptist churches continue to have statements of faith “on the books” as a part of their foundational documents. Yet, I’ve found that many churches do not know how useful the confession can be beyond establishing subscription to certain core doctrines. This raises a fundamental question: How should a local church use their confession of faith? Here are six ways a church might use a confession of faith. I owe at least four of these to my friend Sam Waldron’s fine work, A Modern Exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith(Evangelical Press). Confessions of faith should be used:

1. As an affirmation and defense of the truth…

2. As a baseline for church discipline…

3. As a means of theological triage and Christian maturity…

4. As a concise standard by which to evaluate ministers of the Word…

5. As a doctrinal basis for planting daughter churches…

6. As a means of establishing historical continuity and unity with other Christians…

Read more on the above six points.

Consider the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith [J. Ryan Davidson]

1689 Leather EditionJ. Ryan Davidson:

Huddled together in 1644, representatives of 7 churches gathered to summarize their common confession, and to distinguish themselves from the Anabaptists and the Arminians. It was a time of turmoil, and the river of the Reformation had swept across the banks of London. This was one of the first of several non-Anglican groups in that century to put pen to paper and confess their faith. Two years later, the Westminster Assembly would produce its own confession (WCF), and then in 1658, the Congregationalists would follow suit (Savoy Declaration). That original group of 7 churches was the Particular Baptists. Amid persecution, and to show their solidarity and theological agreement in many ways with the Presbyterians and Congregationalists that had since written their own confessions, a larger crop of Baptists would draft the 1677 Baptist Confession with great reliance on the WCF and Savoy, however due to persecution, this document would not be published until 1689, giving it the name that it is known by today: “The 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith”. This Confession was classically theist in its view of God, covenantal in its view of Biblical Theology, “Calvinist” in its soteriology, and would show alignment with the Westminster Confession of Faith on the Ordinary Means of Grace and the Law. I grew up Baptist, became Calvinistic in my soteriology in my teen years, and have found a wonderful home in the confessional roots of Baptist theology as a pastor in my mid-thirties. To me, this Historic Confession, similar to the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Savoy Declaration, is worth considering for at least five reasons:

  1. For Baptists influenced by the ‘New Calvinism’, it is helpful to see that for Baptists, Calvinism is not “new”…

  2. It contains a wonderful vision for the Christian life…

  3. There is value in saying more sometimes…

  4. Historic Confessions ground us…

  5. Believer’s Baptism has much of its roots in a Covenant Theology…

Read the explanations of each of the five above points.

The 1689 Baptist Confession: Its Purpose & Theology [Dr. Michael Haykin | RBS | 2 AUDIOS/VIDEOS]

1689Dr. Bob Gonzales:

Dr. Michael Haykin
Dr. Michael Haykin

The confessional standard of the seminary I serve is the Second London Baptist Confession, a.k.a., the 1689 Baptist Confession. In the two lectures below, Dr. Michael Haykin, one of our seminary lecturers and the Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, looks at purpose and theology of the Confession. What were some of the historical factors that motivated 17th century Particular Baptists to draft and, later, adopt the Confession in 1689? And what are some of the unique theological contributions that distinguish the 2LCF? Watch the videos or download the audios and learn. Also note that these lectures form part of the curriculum for the seminary’s course HT 501 Creeds & Confessions, which you may audit here.

The 2LCF: Its Purpose [20 min.]

In this lecture, Dr Haykin looks at the reasons why the 17th century Particular Baptists drafted and adopted the Second London Baptist Confession, rather than simply reprinting and continuing to use the First London Baptist Confession.

m4a:


The 2LCF: Its Theology [25 min.]

In the second of his two lectures on the 2LCF, Dr Haykin highlights some of the theological distinctives and contributions of the Second London Baptist Confession.

m4a:

Reformed Confessions of Faith & the Traditional Text [Robert Truelove]

 

Pastor Robert Truelove of Christ Reformed Church in Lawrenceville, GA has some interesting things to say about how our Confessionally Reformed forebears viewed the Hebrew and Greek texts of Scripture:

Pastor Robert Truelove
Pastor Robert Truelove

When the confession speaks of the original Greek and Hebrew as “being immediately inspired by God” it is often thought today to only be referring to the original autographs. However, the confession proceeds to make clear that “immediate inspiration” is not referring merely to the autographs, but the text that came down to us through history for it is “by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentic”. That is, it is “authentic” because it has been “kept pure in all ages” and therefore the texts on hand were considered to be the locus of authority, not non-existent originals. The text on hand was the Traditional Text being the Greek Textus Receptus and the Hebrew Masoretic Text.

TBS-Koine-Greek-New-Testament-001-300x2881Rome was pointing to their Latin Vulgate declaring it to be the “authentic” text or locus of authority and the Protestants were pointing to the Traditional Text of the Greek and Hebrew as “authentic”.

What we have therefore in our Protestant confessions is a direct rebuttal to Rome. It is not the Latin Vulgate that is “authentic” but the original language texts of the Greek and Hebrew Scripture as preserved in the Traditional Text. When the historical context is properly understood, it is a leap to think the Protestants were declaring non-existent autographs to be the locus of authority. When we actually look at what the 17th century Reformed Scholastics taught on this matter, there can be no doubt as to the meaning of the confessions of this same era.

It is clear from Owen’s words that he saw the questioning of the wording of the Traditional Text to be an assault upon the authority of the Scripture itself.

When we place the writings of the Reformed Scholastics alongside the wording found in the confessions, it is difficult (if not impossible) to escape the conclusion that these confessions place the locus of authority in the Traditional Greek and Hebrew texts. Furthermore, we see a different mindset in their approach to the difficulties inherent in manuscript variants than that of the popular contemporary approach to textual criticism.

To say they didn’t possess the evidence we now have and make claims of anachronism fails to grasp the concerns of our forbears. While it is true they came before the discoveries of the ancient papyri, they were yet aware of the problem of variants (as their writings reveal). However, it is also clear that they approached the issue with a completely different set of presuppositions. The matter of preservation and inspiration was tied directly to the Traditional Text without the contemporary appeal to “evidence”. To the 17th century Reformed Scholastics, the proper text of the Bible was not a matter of science, but faith.

You can read Pastor Truelove’s entire article here: Reformed Confessions of Faith and the Traditional Text