Reformed Baptist Family Conference 2013 Audio – Feat. Arden Hodgins, James Renihan, Mark Johnson & David Campbell

Sermon audio from the Reformed Baptist Family Conference, which took place June 17-21, 2013 (not to be confused with the OTHER Reformed Baptist Family 2013 Conference), is now online:

Mark Johnson
Being Human, sermon No. 1: mp3
– Being Human, sermon No. 2: mp3
– Being Human, sermon No. 3: mp3
– Being Human, sermon No. 4: mp3

Arden Hodgins
– Spiritual Warfare, sermon No. 1: mp3
– Spiritual Warfare, sermon No. 2: mp3
– Spiritual Warfare, sermon No. 3: mp3

Jim Renihan
– Katie Luther, a biography: mp3
– William Knibb, a biography: mp3

David Campbell
– Desiring Christ’s Return: 
– Hastening Christ’s Return: mp3


[source: Grace Baptist Carlisle]

NEW ONLINE! – The distinctive biblical theology of confessional particular baptists

The rumors were true… this is not just another Reformed Baptist blog/site. Brandon Adams (who you may know from just announced an excellent resource page called “1689 Federalism | The distinctive biblical theology of confessional particular baptists”. It is not just pointing to excellent resources but includes over 60 minutes worth of (very professional) video interviews that he did with Dr. James Renihan, Pastor Richard Barcellos, and Pastor Sam Renihan.

He says,

A new site is online called The site features 5 videos and seeks to explain the covenant theology of 17th century particular baptists and compare it with 4 other views. Check it out.

1689Federalism 1

What are you waiting for? Check it out! (We’ll actually have him on tomorrow’s podcast to talk a little about it and more.)

Confessions, Creeds, Cooperation, & Calvinism… Oh, My! – SBC, Renihan, Finn, Fuller + More

dorthyLots 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…

Read the rest or listen to readout [9 min.]


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.

Read the rest or listen to readout [9 min.]


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.

Read the rest or listen to readout [6 min.]


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

Read the short explanations of each point above.

And then this morning he posted a General outline of the 1689. Read here.


baptist catholicityNathan Finn provided another interesting post which provides much food for thought, Baptists, Creeds, and Corporate Worship:

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).

Read the rest.


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.)


Reformed Baptist Family Conference – June 17-21 + Prior Conf. Audio

family confHere is the conference which Jim Renihan mentioned on this week’s podcast:


► You may register for RB Family Conference 2013.

► Listen to sermons from our 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, & 2012: 
     Family Conferences.     

Tuscarora Inn and Conference Center is located on a country road running along the banks of the Delaware River in the wooded foothills of the Pocono Mountains.  The scenic park-like setting offers a wonderful retreat atmosphere for a family vacation.  On the grounds are a fine swimming pool, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor basketball courts as well as canoeing on the Delaware.  The 2012 gathering was our 43nd annual Conference.  In attendance were 237 people from 35 different churches from 14 states, Puerto Rico, Ontario (Canada), and Scotland.

2013 Family Conference speakers
Keynote Speaker: 
Rev. Mark Johnston
Proclamation Presbyterian Church, Bryn Maur, PA
“Being Human” – four messages

Morning Speakers:
Pastor Arden Hodgins
Trinity Baptist Church, LaMirada, CA
“Our Spiritual Warfare”- three messages

Prof. Jim Renihan
Dean of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies at Westminster Seminary California in Escondido, CA
“William Knibb” and “Katie Luther” –two messages
Pastor David Campbell, Grace Baptist Church, Carlisle, PA
Topics:  “Desiring Christ’s Return” and “Hastening Christ’s Return” – two messages

 Here is the actual Conference schedule


Essential Confession Issues Of ARBCA Churches by Bob Selph & Jim Renihan [audio]

Bob Selph speakingWe mentioned this earlier this week on the podcast.

This was an address given during the 2005 ARBCA Church Planting School, it is regarding issues surrounding confessional subscription and membership in the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches.

Bob Selph, ARBCA National Coordinator, and Dr. Jim Renihan, Dean of the Institute for Reformed Baptist Studies speak on Confessional imperatives for Church Planting.

Essential Confession Issues Of ARBCA Churches:

Reformation Tour of Germany, France & Switzerland – June 9-20, 2014 with James Renihan

renihan reformation tour prev

From the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies blog, as mentioned by Dr. Renihan on our latest podcast:

“In 2009, IRBS sponsored a Baptist/Puritan History Tour of England. It went so well that people have been asking for another. In response, we are organizing a June 2014 Reformation Tour. We’ll visit Germany, Switzerland and France. There will be lots of Luther sites in places like Wittenberg, Eisleben, Erfurt, and Eisenach; we’ll visit Heidelburg, Strasbourg, Zurich, Berne, spend some time in Geneva, and wind up in Paris. In addition, we’ll see some World War II sites in Berlin, spend a few solemn hours at the Buchenwald Concentration Camp, visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the finest walled medieval city in Europe, take two cruises and enjoy good Christian company. I’ll be lecturing on the bus as we travel from place to place, describing the people and places of the Reformation.

We have already had a great deal of interest. We can only take 50 people on the tour, and it is important for you to get your name on the list. Registrations will begin in August, but we are now compiling a list of interested people….”

Get all the details and sign up here.

Interview #7: James Renihan – Particular Baptist History + Book Giveaway


On episode seven of our podcast, we interview Dr. James Renihan on the origins of Particular Baptists.

After that, we talk about some Reformed Baptist headlines and give you a preview of next week’s episode featuring Paul Brewster.

Book Giveaway:

true love renihan

[buy via Amazon]

This week you have a chance to win one of two signed copies of Renihan’s True Love: Understanding the Real Meaning of Christian Love.

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:

GERMAN is the traditional tune used to sing the hymn Dr. Renihan quoted. Tune can be downloaded free.

Continuing Education for Pastors: A New Program from the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies


Very exciting news from Dr. James Renihan from The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies at Westminster Seminary California in Escondido, CA:

With great hope for its usefulness, The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies has developed a Continuing Education Program for pastors or men being mentored by pastors. We have developed a curriculum that will deepen an understanding of Scripture and usefulness in the church. These are studies intended to help pastors and potential church leaders, taught by skilled men.

We believe that at this moment in the history of the church, there is a great need and a great opportunity. The need is for skilled men, the opportunity is the means to provide such training. This program is structured to do both. And likewise, there are two classes of men we may be able to help. Pastors must always be increasing in godliness and giftedness, and alongside of them, most churches will have men who have good and helpful gifts to aid them in their work. We hope that both pastors and their men will join our program.

The Scriptures teach us that ministers must actively cultivate their graces and gifts. They are not passive subjects, made into ministers by strikes of holy lightning. Rather, part of their task is to seek to identify and expand grace and gift in our lives…

But these courses are not just for pastors. They are for men identified by their pastors as potential servants in the church, encouraged to develop their skills for service in their assemblies. We hope that pastors will use these courses to help their men grow and develop.

Over the years, many pastors both of ARBCA churches as well as others have said that they wished they could profit from the courses offered at the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies. In July 2009, Pastor Ron Baines forwarded to the IRBS Trustees the results of the annual ARBCA Survey. Among the comments made concerning IRBS was this one: “Many men would like to see the creation of electronic and distance learning options for men already in the pastorate who might benefit from further training.” The Trustees and Dean of IRBS have been working to put together a response to these requests, and are pleased at last to announce the beginning of the IRBS Continuing Education program…

Not only will we make Dr. Renihan’s Escondido classes available, but we will also offer classes from a wide variety of highly qualified men. In total, we expect to have about 25 courses available. In the cases of the engineer and the Physician Assistant (and there are many more) the requirements may be met in a variety of ways, including participation in internet based learning experiences. For this reason, we will be offering these courses primarily through a secure website dedicated to this cause. The lectures will not be accessible to the general public, but only to those specifically registered to participate. Each course will include a minimum of 20 hours of lecture, some reading assignments, a project or paper, and an exam. Upon completion of all classes, IRBS will issue a certificate.

Our hope is to offer these courses:

  • Biblical Studies:
    • Principles of Bible Interpretation
    • The Pastor and his Greek Testament
    • Old Testament Biblical Theology
    • New Testament Biblical Theology
  • Systematic Theology:
    • Foundations of Christian Theology
    • Our Great and Glorious God
    • Christ the God-Man
    • The Ordo Salutis
    • Eschatology
    • Doctrine of the Church
    • Distinctives of RB Theology
    • Baptist Symbolics
  • Pastoral Theology:
    • Theology of Ministry
    • Preaching Christ from all of Scripture
    • Christian Missions
  • Church History:
    • Church History Survey
    • Puritanism in Context
    • Baptist History
  • Apologetics:
    • Science and Scripture
    • In Defense of the Faith

The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies Continuing Education Program has a wide selection of courses leading to a Certificate. Ranging from exegetical courses to systematic theology and from church history to pastoral theology, every course will be available in both video and audio format. Each is appropriately resourced to support learning and knowledge. Our program provides not only an ideal environment for continuing education, but also a superb opportunity to grow in usefulness.

Pastors, will you join us? And will you cultivate men in your church to study with us? And will you please pray that the Lord will bless our efforts to be an encouragement to men in the Gospel ministry. For further information contact or

Visit the site, read more, and SIGN UP!


2013 Baptist Symbolics Lectures @ IRBS

Dr. James Renihan posted the following on the Institutes of Reformed Baptist Studies website:

You are invited to attend the 2013 IRBS Symbolics class to be offered August 20-30, 2013 on the Campus of Westminster Seminary California, Escondido, CA. Lectures will be held Tuesday-Friday of each week.

Baptist Symbolics  is a study of the importance of confessions of faith in Baptist life. It begins with some historical material, considers various views of confessional subscription, and then focuses on the First London Confession of 1644/46 and the Second London Confession of 1677/89. We will expound both of these Confessions in detail.

Pastors and church leaders are invited to audit the course for only $50.00. Through a generous gift from the Foundation for the Advancement of Reformed Baptist Causes, students registered in the IRBS Continuing Education program may take the course for CEP credit for free!

Limited free housing is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Why not join us for these two weeks? For more information, please contact Prof. Renihan at


Why I Am Not A Biblicist – Dr. James Renihan

The Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors’ Conference Papers 2012Reformed For His Glory posted a quote from The Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors’ Conference Papers 2012 by Dr. James Renihan:

What is Biblicism?


D.B. Riker provides a helpful definition: “biblicism is the rejection of everything not explicitly stated in the Bible, and the concomitant [naturally accompanying or associated] dismissal of all non-biblical witnesses (Fathers, Creeds, Medieval Doctors, Councils, etc.)”


What are the results?


Oct. 24-26, 2013 Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors’ Conference – Feat. G.K. Beale

The Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors’ Conference got a new site to announce their next conference happening October 24-26, 2013 at Trinity Reformed Baptist Church, La Mirada, CA.

Christology in the Book of Revelation: Keynote Speaker G.K. Beal
Christology in the Book of Revelation: Keynote Speaker G.K. Beal

Registration is now open and ends Oct. 1, 2013.

Guest speakers include Dr. Richard C. Barcellos and Dr. James M. Renihan.
Guest speakers include Dr. Richard C. Barcellos and Dr. James M. Renihan.

Details at the new site:

The purpose of the SCRBPC is for the edification of confessional Reformed Baptist pastors and other interested men who are in the ministry or training for the ministry. The SCRBPC will function within the theological framework of the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith (2nd LCF) and The Baptist Catechism (BC).

John Owen Outline By Brandon Adams


Brandon Adams has created an Expandable/Collapsible Outline of John Owen’s commentary on Hebrews 8:6-13

In talking with a number of well read people, I have been surprised how many of them are completely unaware of John Owen’s contribution to covenant theology. I had one person ridicule baptists for rejecting “Reformed orthodoxy” in the Westminster Standards because of our view of covenant theology. He then informed me he would “stick with Witsius, Owen, Petto, and Colquhoun.” This man was completely unaware that John Owen rejected the “Reformed orthodoxy” of the Westminster Standards.

Owen rejected the formulation of the Westminster Confession (one covenant, two administrations) and held that the new and the old were two distinct covenants with two different mediators and everything else that follows. I believe he provides a valuable contribution to current debate over covenant theology and everyone who is interested should read him. However, I also know not everyone has time to read through his 150 pages on Hebrews 8:6-13, so I have created a summary outline of Owen’s argumentation. I created it in a collapsible format to make it easier to follow the progress of his arguments. Hopefully this will interest people in reading Owen, which will hopefully lead to a better understanding of covenant theology for us all.

via Jim Renihan “A Useful Tool for Reading John Owen on Hebrews 8″ at The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies