5 Books on Credobaptism vs Paedobaptism (2 free online + more) [Jeff Riddle]

Note: Below is from Pastor Jeff Riddle’s blog. Links to the books were added as well as embedding of PDF and MP3 files:

A couple of young people who occasionally drive from Williamsburg to attend our church, recently asked me to recommend some books on a confessional perspective on believers’ baptism by immersion, as they are studying the issue of credobaptism versus paedobaptism.  Here are five suggestions (listed in chronological order by the year published) with a few annotations:

dagg.church order

1.  John L. Dagg, Manual of Church Order [FREE] (The Southern Baptist Publication Society, 1858; Gano Books, 1990). [Amazon]

This is the companion volume to Dagg’s Manual of Theology (1857).  It provides a classic defense of believers’ baptism by immersion (pp. 13-73).  Special focus is given to the linguistic argument regarding the verb baptizo with references to its uses in ancient Greek.


String Pearls

2.  Fred Malone, A String of Pearls Unstrung [FREE] (Founders Press, 1998). [Amazon]

This booklet, originally written in 1977, describes the author’s transition from being a Presbyterian to being a Baptist.  It can be read online here.  For a fuller treatment on the subject of baptism you can also read his book The Baptism of Disciples Alone:  A covenantal argument for credobaptism versus paedobaptism (Founders Press, 2003).


biblical_baptism_samuel_waldron

3.  Samuel E. Waldron, Biblical Baptism:  A Reformed Defense of Believers’ Baptism (Truth for Eternity Ministries, 1998). [Publisher Amazon]

This 80 page booklet from a leading contemporary Reformed Baptist systematic theologian provides a careful exegetical, theological, and practical discussion of baptism.


brunson

4.  Hal Brunson, The Rickety Bridge and the Broken Mirror:  Two Parables of Paedobaptism and One Parable of the Death of Christ (iUniverse, 2007).

This self-published book from… [one] who considered becoming a Presbyterian but who eventually became a confessional Baptist offers a creative take on the topic by imagining a discussion between the Presbyterian B. B. Warfield, the dispensationalist J. N. Darby, and the confessional Baptist C. H. Spurgeon.


From Paedobaptism to Credobaptism by W Gary Crampton

5.  W. Gary Crampton, From Paedobaptism to Credobaptism:  A Critique of the Westminster Standards on the Subjects of Baptism (Reformed Baptist Academic Press, 2010). [RBAP | Amazon]

A pastor and scholar describes his transition from the Presbyterian to the confessional Baptist position through a study of the Westminster Standards.  For my written review of this book look here

Download (PDF, 523KB)

(for the same review in audio look here). [10 min. MP3]

New “Reformed Baptist Trumpet” e-journal [PDF] Vol.5 No.2 Apr.-Jun. 2014

The latest edition of the Reformed Baptist Trumpet, the e-journal of the Reformed Baptist Fellowship of Virginia, is out!

Reformed Baptist Trumpet2

In this issue:

–  Info on the 2014 Keach Conference which will be held Friday PM-Saturday AM, September 26-27, 2014. Speakers: Jim Savastio and Earl Blackburn. [details]

 

– Article by W. Gary Crampton: Reformed Theology and the Sabbath.

 

– Review of Tom Chantry and David Dykstra’s Holding Communion Together by Jeffrey T. Riddle.

 

– Paradosis article: Excerpt from Benjamin Keach’s 1693 sermon “The Blessedness of Christ’s Sheep.”

PDF:

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Reformed Baptist TrumpetThe Reformed Baptist Trumpet is the quarterly e-journal of the Reformed Baptist Fellowship of  Virginia (RBF-VA), a network of ministers, church officers, and congregations in Virginia committed to promoting renewal and reformation in congregations throughout the Commonwealth and beyond. The RBF-VA gladly affirms the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689. The Reformed Baptist Trumpet editorial committee: Steve Clevenger, Pastor, Covenant Reformed Baptist Church, Warrenton, Virginia; Jeffrey T. Riddle, Pastor, Christ Reformed Baptist Church, Charlottesville, Virginia; W. Gary Crampton, Elder, Reformed Baptist Church, Richmond, Virginia. The Editor is Jeffrey T. Riddle.

Text Note: Luke 20:23 [Jeff Riddle]

tribute-penny-5-300x275“But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me?” -Luke 20:23, KJV

In another installment of Pastor Jeff Riddle’s occasional looks at various issues regarding differences among Scripture textual sources, this time he examines Luke 20:23. He also suggests some possible reasons for the inclusion/exclusion of the question, “Why tempt ye me?”:

The problem here is whether the question:  “Why do you tempt me? [ti me peirazete;]” should be included in the text.  It is included in the traditional text and omitted in the modern critical text.

Metzger does not address this variant in his Textual Commentary. No doubt, modern text advocates would see the inclusion of the question as a harmonization with the parallels in Matthew 22:18 (“Why do you tempt me, hypocrites?”) and Mark 12:15 (“Why do you tempt me?”).

This raises the following important question:  If there was a scribal effort to harmonize the reading at Luke 20:23, why do we not see more evidence (as in Mark 12:15) to harmonize the reading with Matthew 22:18 by including “hypocrites”?

Theologically, the question, “Why do you tempt me?”, with its use of the verb peirazo, recalls the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness (cf. Luke 4:2) and, in particular, the response of Jesus in Luke 4:12, citing Deuteronomy 6:16, “It has been said [using the aorist of lego], You shall not tempt [ekpeirazo] the Lord your God.” If original, here is a place where the divinity of Jesus is subtly affirmed in Luke, even as it is for the same reasons in Matthew and Mark.  As it is wrong to tempt God, so it is wrong to tempt Jesus, because Jesus is God.  Is it possible that there might have been Arian or proto-Arian scribes who were uncomfortable with such a subtle affirmation?

Read the whole post at Pastor Riddle’s blog, Stylos.

Questions on the NT use of the LXX [Jeff Riddle]

Pastor Jeff Riddle of Christ Reformed Baptist Church in Charlottesville, VA shares some thoughts on what we can learn from the New Testament’s use of the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament):

At the least, the LXX’s appearance and usage says that believers hold that one can read the Bible in translation, and it can be the Word of God. Unlike Islam which says one must know Arabic to read the Koran, Biblical believers have never said you must know Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek to read the Bible.

 

The apostles obviously often read the LXX and cited it in the NT (but not always, since they also made citations that give evidence of their rendering the Hebrew of the OT)…

 

My view would be that a citation does not set up the LXX as an “alternate” authority to the Hebrew OT. Rather, it only becomes authoritative (i.e., is part of the immediately inspired Scripture) as it is cited by the NT writer.

Read the rest of this short Q&A here: stylos: Questions on the NT use of the LXX.

Text Note: Luke 14:5 [Jeff Riddle]

DonkeyInTheWell

You may be used to seeing Textus Receptus advocates (not to be confused with “King James Only-ists”) presenting evidence against critical-text readings, but in this post from Stylos, Pastor Jeff Riddle compares the reading of the TR with that of the Byzantine Majority Text:

There are at least two significant textual variations:

 

First: Should the participle “answering [apokritheis]” be included in the text along with the verb “he said [eipen]”?

 

The traditional text includes the participle and the modern critical text excludes it.

 

[…]

 

Second, and most significant (and much more complicated), is whether or not the text should read “ass [onos]” or “son [huios].”

 

The Textus Receptus reads “ass” and the modern critical text reads “son.” Interestingly, the Byzantine text also reads “son.”

Check out Pastor Riddle’s conclusions here.

The Baptist Faith & Message and the Canon of Scripture [Jeff Riddle]

In a sequel to a previous post, Pastor Jeff Riddle compares the Second London Confession with the Baptist Faith and Message on the subject of the canon of Holy Scripture:

Aside from issues related to its articulation of theology proper (i.e., the doctrine of God), I also see problems in other areas with the BF & M, including the doctrine of Scripture.  Article one of the BF & Mis dedicated to the doctrine of Scripture…

 

The problems with this paragraph primarily have to do with its brevity.  One need only contrast it with the ten paragraphs in chapter one of the 2LBCF (1689) which also treats the foundational doctrine of Scripture.  A basic and obvious deficiency of the BF & M is its failure to define the canon.  This statement never defines what is meant by “The Holy Bible.”  Now, I know that Southern Baptist uphold the 66 (39 OT and 27 NT) books of the Protestant Christian Bible.  The framers of the BF & M, however, assume the canon without bothering to define it.  Contrast this, on the other hand, with paragraph two in chapter one of the 2LBCF (1689) which takes nothing for granted

You can read the entire post here: stylos: Another Problem with the “Baptist Faith and Message”: Failure to Define the Canon.

Text & Translation Note: Malachi 2:16a [Jeff Riddle]

stylos: Text and Translation Note: Malachi 2:16a

Pastor Jeff Riddle, of Christ Reformed Baptist Church in Charlottesville, VA, takes a look at the ESV’s handling of Malachi 2:16. Check it out:

The ESV reads:  “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel….”  The online text of the ESV includes a footnote for the verse reading:  “Hebrew who hates and divorces,” acknowledging that the ESV departs from the Hebrew text to follow a conjectural rendering.

 

The vast majority of English translations, however, follow some variation of translating the traditional Hebrew Masoretic Text which reads:  ki saneh shalach amar Yahweh eloheh yisrael.  The verb saneh is qal perfect 3rd person singular.  This is reflected in the KJV and NKJV translation which offer the most literal rendering of the Hebrew MT…

 

There are several interesting things about the ESV rendering of this verse, but I’ll break it down into two categories:  text and translation philosophy…

Read Pastor Riddle’s thoughts here: stylos: Text and Translation Note: Malachi 2:16a.

New “Reformed Baptist Trumpet” e-journal [PDF] Vol.5 No.1 Jan.-Mar. 2014

The latest edition of the Reformed Baptist Trumpet, the e-journal of the Reformed Baptist Fellowship of Virginia, is out!

Reformed Baptist Trumpet2

In this issue:

–  Announcement for the 2014 Keach Conference [details here]

 

– Review Article by W. Gary Crampton on “R. C. Sproul’s ‘Are We Together?’ and the Remaining Differences Between Catholics and Protestants”

 

– Review Article by Jeffrey T. Riddle on “Austin Fisher’s ‘Young, Restless, No Longer Reformed’ as Cautionary Tale”

 

– Book Review of the Holman KJV Study Bible

 

– Paradosis Article: Excerpt from Benjamin Keach’s “The Axe Laid to the Root”

PDF:

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Reformed Baptist TrumpetThe Reformed Baptist Trumpet is the quarterly e-journal of the Reformed Baptist Fellowship of  Virginia (RBF-VA), a network of ministers, church officers, and congregations in Virginia committed to promoting renewal and reformation in congregations throughout the Commonwealth and beyond. The RBF-VA gladly affirms the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689. The Reformed Baptist Trumpet editorial committee: Steve Clevenger, Pastor, Covenant Reformed Baptist Church, Warrenton, Virginia; Jeffrey T. Riddle, Pastor, Christ Reformed Baptist Church, Charlottesville, Virginia; W. Gary Crampton, Elder, Reformed Baptist Church, Richmond, Virginia. The Editor is Jeffrey T. Riddle.

Jeff Riddle responds to 8 verses used to object to Limited Atonement [Audio]

Continuing his  Doctrines of Grace series, Pastor Jeff Riddle writes:

I did a follow-up to my message on “Limited Atonement” with a message on “Objection Passages to Limited Atonement.”  Below is part of the introduction to the message along with the eight objection passages I reviewed:

 

Many of the objections raised against the doctrine of Limited Atonement relate to the interpretation of various passages using the word “all.”  Those who object usually take for granted that the word “all” in every instance refers to “all humanity.”  When read in context, however, the word “all” very often refers to “all the elect.”

 

LimitedAtonementWe make this kind of discernment in everyday life.  One might hear the following report on the news:  “There was an accident involving a single vehicle with four passengers.  All were killed.”  Upon listening to this report, one does not suppose that all human beings were killed or that all the people in the city were killed in the accident.  The context makes clear that “all” refers to all the passengers.  Knowing the context is a key to right interpretation.  Many read the Gospels and the epistles as universal missives to all humanity, rather than as communication written to a particular audience.  This clouds their ability to understand these passages.

 

Many also confuse the astonishment expressed in the New Testament over the fact that both Jews and Gentiles (all kinds of men; men from the whole world) are being saved.  Paul, for example, is staggered with amazement that in Christ “the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ through the same gospel” (Eph 3:6).  Some confuse this emphasis with the notion that all men without exception are redeemed (universalism) or potentially redeemed (Arminianism).

Here are the eight objection passages reviewed:

1.  John 1:29
2.  John 3:16
3.  John 12:32
4.  2 Corinthians 5:14-15
5.  1 Timothy 2:1-7
6.  2 Peter 3:9
7.  1 John 2:2
8.  2 Peter 2:1

53 minute mp3:

9 Objections to Unconditional Election Answered [Jeff Riddle]

riddleJeff Riddle:

Note:  I preached last Sunday in Lynchburg on “Unconditional Election” in our Doctrines of Grace series.   Since I didn’t get that sermon recorded, today I posted a podcast that covers the same teaching material.  Below are nine objections or queries challenging the doctrine of unconditional election that I mention in the message:

 

1. Does election in the Bible refer to God’s election of individuals to salvation or to something else?

 

2. Does election mean that God’s choice of those who will be saved is merely random?

 

3. Could it be that God simply foreknows those who will freely choose Christ and then elects them?

 

4. What about those who are not saved?

 

5. Is this doctrine unfair?

 

6. What about human responsibility?

 

7. Couldn’t God intentionally limit his will and then choose men for salvation conditioned on their free will choice of him?

 

8. Does this doctrine create pride and elitism in those who believe they are among the elect?

 

9. Will this doctrine dull our zeal for evangelism?

Read his answers [12 min.]

Audio [67 min.]:

 

Inerrancy and the 2LBCF (1689) [Jeff Riddle]

stylos: Inerrancy and the 2LBCF (1689)

In this post from 2011, Pastor Jeff Riddle weighs in on whether or not the Second London Confession could use an update to include a statement on biblical inerrancy. His answer – and his reasons – might surprise you!

In my view, however, the confession does not affirm “inerrancy” in the modern sense in which it is defined by the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. This statement, following the lead of B. B. Warfield, affirms the inerrancy of the original autographs of Scripture and does not address the providential preservation of the apographs, as in the confession.

Check out the rest of this post here: stylos: Inerrancy and the 2LBCF (1689).

Is the “Baptist Faith and Message” Adequately Trinitarian? [Jeff Riddle]

BFM

Pastor Jeff Riddle writes on his blog, Stylos:

In a recent Dividing Line podcast, apologist James White cites controversy over the contemporary Christian singing group Phillips, Craig, and Dean.  The members of the group apparently come from oneness Pentecostal backgrounds and have been dogged by charges that they deny the Trinity.  The group recently released a carefully crafted statement (pdf here; sometime in January 2014, though the statement is not dated) in which they deny they are modalists or Sabellian but affirm their “heritage” while never clearly and positively affirming the doctrine of the Trinity.

 

The odd thing about this is that they further claim to affirm the Baptist Faith & Message (2000) statement of the Southern Baptist Convention.    I grew up among Southern Baptists, went to an SBC seminary, served as a missionary of the SBC’s International Mission Board, and served two SBC affiliated churches.  I even led the latter of these to adopt the 2000 revision of the 1963 BF & M through much blood, sweat, and tears. Hearing of the PC & D controversy reminded me of some of the doctrinal concerns I began to have about the BF & M as I ministered in an SBC context and which eventually led to my leaving the SBC for Reformed Baptist life.

 

How can PC & D not affirm the Trinity and yet affirm the BF & M (2000)?

Read the rest of Pastor Riddle’s challenging questions here.

New “Reformed Baptist Trumpet” e-journal [PDF] Volume 4 Nos. 3-4 Jul.-Dec. 2013

The latest edition of the Reformed Baptist Trumpet, the e-journal of the Reformed Baptist Fellowship of Virginia, is out!

Reformed Baptist Trumpet2

Pastor Jeff Riddle:

In this issue:

 

– An article by W. Gary Crampton on Jephthah’s Vow.

 

– A review article by Jeffrey T. Riddle on the Go Stand Speak video and the contemporary street preaching movement.

 

– A book review of Mark Gignilliat’s A Brief History of Old Testament Criticism.

 

– A Paradosis article reprinting a hymn written by Benjamin Keach.

 
Mark your calendar now for the 2014 Keach Conference scheduled for September 26-27, 2014 in Warrenton, Virginia.

PDF:

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Reformed Baptist TrumpetThe Reformed Baptist Trumpet is the quarterly e-journal of the Reformed Baptist Fellowship of  Virginia (RBF-VA), a network of ministers, church officers, and congregations in Virginia committed to promoting renewal and reformation in congregations throughout the Commonwealth and beyond. The RBF-VA gladly affirms the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689. The Reformed Baptist Trumpet editorial committee: Steve Clevenger, Pastor, Covenant Reformed Baptist Church, Warrenton, Virginia; Jeffrey T. Riddle, Pastor, Christ Reformed Baptist Church, Charlottesville, Virginia; W. Gary Crampton, Elder, Reformed Baptist Church, Richmond, Virginia. The Editor is Jeffrey T. Riddle.

Taming a Horse in Church & Confidence in God’s Appointed Means [Jeff Riddle]

It was one of those “man bites dog” news links on the Drudge Report website that I just couldn’t pass up.  It enticed with something like, “Pastor tames wild horse while preaching sermon.” The link sent me to this video on youtube.com where, in fact, you can watch Pastor Lawrence Bishop II of Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio actually tame a wild horse within a ring set up in the center of the church’s sanctuary (more likely, “worship center”). Pastor Bishop (great name) is also apparently a former rodeo professional, and the “sermon” was the seventh and climactic in his “Conquer the Beast” series.

Conquer the beast

…Is there anything wrong with sermons where wild horses are tamed? …Is this what Paul was talking about when he said, “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Cor 9:22)?

 

In fact, I would say this is not at all what Paul was talking about. Rather than demonstrating innovation or zeal for souls, it shows a fundamental lack of confidence in the simplicity of preaching as the God-ordained “converting ordinance” (as the Puritans called it)…

 

OK, we might not be tempted to put up a horse ring or build a motorcycle ramp, but we may have our own subtle expressions of lack of confidence in divinely ordained means…

Read

Near Death Experiences & the Sufficiency of Scripture [Jeff Riddle]

“And Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them” (Luke 16:29).

 

Many hold that the most interesting thing about the account of the Rich Man and Lazarus is the details it provides about life after death. What happens to the wicked and what happens to the righteous immediately after death?

 

Indeed the question of what happens after death is a popular topic that fuels much speculation in our day. Examples:

 

Christian life After death books

 

Is there any basis for giving any credence to such accounts?  Jesus’ account of the Rich Man and Lazarus addresses and I think answers that question in the negative.

Read [3 min. readout]