Sep. 19-21, 2016 “The Diversity of Dissent” Andrew Fuller Center 10th Annual Conf. in Louisville, KY.

Baptist origins lie within the matrix of the renewal movement known to history as Puritanism. They were not the only community to emerge from this renewal, however: English Presbyterians and Congregationalists also trace their beginnings back to Puritanism. But despite this common ancestry, these communities had their differences.


In this tenth annual conference of The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies, co-sponsored this year by The Davenant Trust, we trace this diversity through the lives and thought of three leading Puritans of the late Stuart era (1660–1714)—the Presbyterian Richard Baxter, the Congregationalist John Owen, and the Baptist William Kiffen—all of whom were born within a year or so of each other, in 1615 and 1616. Do join us as we think about the thought and ongoing legacy of these three extremely important Christian authors.

Schedule, Speakers, & Topics:

Monday, September 19

7:30 a.m. Check-In
8:30 a.m. General Session 1: Timothy Beougher
“As a dying man to dying men: The life and ministry of Richard Baxter”

10:00 a.m. General Session 2: Crawford Gribben
“Becoming John Owen: A Puritan among Evangelicals”

11:30 a.m. General Session 3: Michael Haykin
” ‘By the compass of the Word’: The life and piety of William Kiffen (1616-1701)”

1:00 p.m. Lunch
3:00 p.m. Parallel Sessions
6:00 p.m. Dinner*
8:00 p.m. General Session 4: Herman Selderhuis
“‘…and yet be loth to die?’ Death and dying in the theologies of John Owen and Richard Baxter”

Tuesday, September 20

8:30 a.m. General Session 5: Seth Osborne
“A double-edged sword: Marriage as a hindrance and helper to the pastor’s piety in Richard Baxter”

10:00 a.m. Chapel
11:30 General Session 6: Tim Cooper
“John Owen, Richard Baxter and the battle for Calvin in later-seventeenth-century England”

1:00 p.m. Lunch
2:30 p.m. General Session 7: Russell Fuller
“John Owen and the traditional Protestant view of the Hebrew Old Testament”

4:00 p.m. General Session 12: Nathan Finn
“Renewal through retrieval: The rediscovery of John Owen by 20th-century Reformed & Evangelical Christians”
6:00 p.m. Dinner
8:00 p.m. General Session 9: Steve Weaver
“William Kiffen, John Bunyan, and the open communion controversy”

9:15 p.m. Lifeway Dessert Reception
Wednesday, September 21

8:30 a.m. General Session 10: Jonathan Arnold
“Keach’s foil: Benjamin Keach and the fight against Baxterianism”

10:00 a.m. General Session 11: David Sytsma
“Richard Baxter conformed to Nonconformity: The modern reception of Baxter as a practical theologian”

11:30 a.m.
General Session 8: Shawn Wright
“Justification by faith alone: The perspectives of John Owen and William Kiffen”

*All attendees are invited to this dinner


“Owen on the Christian Life” 50% Off @ WTS Books [Haykin + others]


Praise for the book:

“Theologically rich, carefully researched, and historically grounded, this book leads us into the wisdom of one of the greatest theologians of all time. Barrett and Haykin’s study of John Owen expands our view of the Christian life to embrace the knowledge of God’s glory in Jesus Christ. As our Lord reminded us, that is life indeed (John 17:3). Once you finish this book, you will definitely want to read Owen himself!” — Joel R. Beeke

“The writings of John Owen constitute an entire country of biblical, exegetical, doctrinal, spiritual, casuistical, practical, ecclesiastical, controversial, and political theology. Massive in size, Oweniana cannot be visited on a day trip. Indeed a lifetime hardly suffices for all there is to explore. But hire as your tour guides Matthew Barrett and Michael Haykin, and the daunting journey seems possible after all. With these seasoned scholars and enthusiasts as companions, visiting the varied counties, the significant towns, and the great cities of Oweniana is as enjoyable as it is instructive. Owen on the Christian Life simply excels as an outstanding contribution to an already first-class series.” — Sinclair B. Ferguson

From the site:

Two Credo Magazine contributors, Matthew Barrett and Michael Haykin, have written a new book together: Owen on the Christian Life: Living for the Glory of God in Christ.

This book is part of the series, Theologians on the Christian Life, edited by Stephen Nichols and Justin Taylor. For only two more days, the book is 50% off at Westminster Books!

John Owen is widely regarded as one of the most influential English Puritans. As a pastor, he longed to see the glory of Christ take root in people’s lives. As a writer, he continues to encourage us toward discipline and communion with God. His high view of God and deep theological convictions flowed naturally into practical application and a zeal for personal holiness.

In Owen on the Christian Life, Barrett and Haykin guide us through the seventeenth-century theologian’s life and doctrine, giving us a glimpse into the majestic vision that served as the foundation for his approach to the Christian life–the glory of God in Christ.

Part of the Theologians on the Christian Life series.

Now on Kindle: “Covenant Theology: From Adam to Christ” $9.99/£6.53

Out in hardback since 2005, now available on Kindle:

cov theo coxe owen kindle

Covenant Theology:
From Adam to Christ

Nehemiah Coxe (Author), John Owen (Author), Ronald Miller (Editor), James Renihan (Editor), Francisco Orozco (Editor)

$9.99 | £6.53 ]


This is a reprint of Nehemiah Coxe, probably the co-editor of the London Baptist Confession of Faith (1677/89), on “A Discourse of the Covenants that God made with men before the law” and John Owen’s “An Exposition of Hebrews 8:6-13, wherein the nature and differences between the Old and New Covenants is discovered.” It contains an Introduction by James M. Renihan, “Why is this reprint important?” and an appendix by Richard C. Barcellos, “John Owen and New Covenant Theology: Owen on the Old and New Covenants and the Functions of the Decalogue in Redemptive History in Historical and Contemporary Perspective.” Coxe was a leading Particular Baptist theologian in his day. He intended to write on the Mosaic and New Covenants but when Owen’s Hebrews commentary came out, Coxe directed his readers to Owen. Coxe covers the covenant of works, the covenant with Noah, and the covenant(s) with Abraham. Owen focuses on the Mosaic (Old) and New Covenants.


Pastor Tom Ascol
Pastor Tom Ascol

This volume brings together wonderful insights from two faithful church leaders of an earlier generation with helpful analyses from competent teachers of today. The result is a valuable resource for students, academics, and pastors.

Thomas K. Ascol, Ph.D.
Editor, Founders Journal

Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin
Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin

More times than I can count…I have heard Reformed theology defined in such a way that it excludes those who hold to believer’s baptism. This valuable work will help set the record straight.

Michael A. G. Haykin, Th.D.
Author of Kiffin, Knollys and Keach–Rediscovering our English Baptist Heritage

Nehemiah Coxe’s work on the covenant is an important piece of writing by a significant seventeenth-century Particular Baptist theologian. Its republication is long overdue. This work is an important resource for twenty-first-century Reformed Baptists.

Robert W. Oliver, Ph.D.
Author of History of the English Calvinistic Baptists 1791-1892


Nehemiah Coxe was a leading Particular Baptist pastor and theologian of the seventeenth century. He was probably the co-editor of the London Baptist Confession of Faith (1677/89).

John Owen, a leading Congregational paedobaptist of the seventeenth century, is well-known for being the ‘Prince of the Puritans.’ J. I. Packer says, “In his own day he was seen as England’s foremost bastion and champion of Reformed evangelical orthodoxy.”


Print Length: 398 pages
Publisher: RBAP
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Lending: Enabled

“John Owen, baptism & the Baptists” by Crawford Gribben [46 min. video & audio]

This past Friday (March 20, 2015) Dr. Crawford Gribben (Professor of Early Modern British History at Queen’s University Belfast) was the guest lecturer at the Strict Baptist Historical Society Annual Lecture which took place in Kensington Place, London. His lecture was titled, “John Owen, baptism & the Baptists”.

Dr. Crawford Gribben giving the lecture

Pastor Gary Brady, who attended, provided a summary:

…Gribben is a John Owen expert, well read in the great man’s works and his careful, erudite paper was something of an encouragement to Baptists, given how highly respected the Congregationalist theologian is. The basic idea was that Owen generally avoided the baptism question and especially so as he matured and actually met Baptists such as Henry Jessey. He appears to have moved from an advocacy of baptismal regeneration to a more middle of the road infant Baptist position. A posthumous work that appears to look at the subject is probably spurious. Sadly, Dr Gribben was unable to cast any light on the relationship between Owen and Bunyan…

You may watch the 46 minute video (with PowerPoint) below:

Update March, 25, 2015: Audio now available via 1689Federalism [mp3]:

‘John Owen & New Covenant Theology’ appendix from ‘Covenant Theology: From Adam to Christ’ now online [HTML | PDF] by Richard Barcellos

Covenant Theology From Adam to ChristOne of the appendices from the book “Covenant Theology: From Adam to Christ” [from RBAP] is now available to read online (though we have featured it before on our NCT page, it is now available in HTML and an easier to read PDF).

It is the appendix by Richard Barcellos, “John Owen and New Covenant Theology: Owen on the Old and New Covenants and the Functions of the Decalogue in Redemptive History in Historical and Contemporary Perspective.”

If one reads some of the difficult sections of Owen’s writings, either without understanding his comprehensive thought and in light of the theological world in which he wrote, or in a superficial manner, some statements can easily be taken to mean things they do not. When this is done, the result is that authors are misunderstood and sometimes, subsequent theological movements are aligned with major historical figures without substantial and objective warrant. Two such instances of this involve John Owen and New Covenant Theology (NCT).

John G Reisinger
John G Reisinger

John G. Reisinger claims that Owen viewed the Old Covenant as “a legal/works covenant.” He goes on and says:

“This covenant was conditional because it was a legal/works covenant that promised life and threatened death. Israel failed to earn the blessings promised in the covenant. But under the New Covenant, the Church becomes the Israel of God and all her members are kings and priests (a kingdom of priests). Christ, as our Surety (Heb. 7:22), has kept the Old Covenant for us and earned every blessing it promised.”

The reader of Owen’s treatise on the Old and New Covenants in his Hebrews commentary, however, will quickly realize that Reisinger’s comments above do not give the full picture of Owen’s position…

Tom Wells is one of the authors of the 2002 book New Covenant Theology
Tom Wells is one of the authors of the 2002 book New Covenant Theology

Another NCT advocate, Tom Wells, claims that John G. Reisinger “has adopted John Owen’s view of the Mosaic and New covenants, without adding Owen’s ‘creation ordinance’ view of the Sabbath.”14 Wells also claims that Owen held a mediating position on the relationship between the Mosaic and New Covenants and that Owen’s position is substantially that of Reisinger and hence, NCT…

Read the rest online [HTML] or in PDF format:

Download (PDF, 655KB)

Baptists Couldn’t Possibly Know What They’re Talking About [Brandon Adams + Lee Gatiss + Pascal Denault]

John The Baptist OwenBrandon Adams writes:

In the previous round we answered the objections of someone who later admitted they had not even read Owen’s argument. Here we answer the objections of someone who later admitted they had not even read our argument.

Over at Reformation 21, Lee Gatiss listened to 10 minutes of a podcast, misunderstood a joke, and judged a book by its cover. He felt it was urgent to inform baptists that John Owen was actually a paedobaptist. Of course, if he’d bothered to read the book, he’d have know that’s not the point.

The point is that Owen rejected his earlier covenantal views and the “judgment of most reformed divines”. Gatiss does not address this (as is typical). In fact, Gatiss doesn’t mention anything from Owen’s commentary on Hebrews 8:6-13. Instead, he provides quotes of Owen affirming infant baptism, which, again, isn’t the point.

He quotes Owen’s commentary on Hebrews 4:9-10, 15 (which I also quote in my analysis of Owen’s infant baptism) as well as 6:1-2; 7:1-3, 12; 11:24-26. Gatiss concludes “Sorry folks, but these are exactly the same applications that Owen makes from his covenant theology in the earlier tract on infant baptism,” which, again, is not the point. We are well aware that Owen makes the same application (infant baptism). Our point is that his covenant theology undergirding that application changed.

Read “Baptists Couldn’t Possibly Know What They’re Talking About: Debating Owen, Round 473 – Lee Gatiss”.

Gatiss cites our podcast as evidence of course, no one ever insists that John Owen was a Baptist.

There was also a brief twitter conversation between Gatiss, and Denault on Twitter (see below):

Update Jan 30, 2015: Brandon replies back to Lee’s response.

‘The Paedobaptists Have Found their Victoria Jackson’ Tom Chantry on Lee Gatiss’ recent Ref21 post

John The Baptist OwenTom Chantry:

[Lee] Gatiss heard some talk about John Owen’s promotion of a baptistic form of covenant theology, and he is very, very concerned to let us know that John Owen was…drumroll please…not a Baptist.

Victoria Jackson
Victoria Jackson

We know, Victoria, we know.

For those of our paedobaptist friends who care to understand, here is what is going on.

…this incident can be filed as yet another beat-down of a Baptist straw-man by misinformed paedobaptists…

Read “The Paedobaptists Have Found their Victoria Jackson”.

Update Feb. 2, 2015: Judging a Book by (Part of) its Cover

Out Now: ‘Recovering a Covenantal Heritage: Essays in Baptist Covenant Theology’ [RBAP]

Recovering Covenantal Heritage

$27.29 | £22.98 ]

Per Richard Barcellos, RBAP should be getting their copies around the 10th and will be selling them for around $10 less.

Here is the Table of Contents: 

Preface – Richard C. Barcellos, Ph.D.

Introduction – James M. Renihan, Ph.D.



 1. A Brief Overview of Seventeenth-Century Reformed Orthodox Federalism – Richard C. Barcellos, Ph.D.

2. Covenant Theology in the First and Second London Confessions of Faith – James M. Renihan, Ph.D.

3. By Farther Steps: A Seventeenth-Century Particular Baptist Covenant Theology – Pascal Denault, Th.M.

4. The Puritan Argument for the Immersion of Believers: How Seventeenth-Century Baptists Utilized the Regulative Principle of Worship – G. Stephen Weaver, Jr., Ph. D.

5. The Antipaedobaptism of John Tombes – Michael T. Renihan, Ph.D.

6. The Abrahamic Covenant in the Thought of John Tombes – Michael T. Renihan, Ph.D.

7. John Owen on the Mosaic Covenant – Thomas E. Hicks, Jr., Ph.D.

8. A ‘Novel’ Approach to Credobaptist and Paedobaptist Polemics – Jeffrey A. Massey



 9. The Fatal Flaw of Infant Baptism: The Dichotomous Nature of the Abrahamic Covenant – Jeffrey D. Johnson

10. The Difference Between the Old and New Covenants: John Owen on Hebrews 8:6 –  John Owen

11. The Newness of the New Covenant (Part 1) – James R. White, Th.D.

12. The Newness of the New Covenant (Part 2) – James R. White, Th.D.

13. Acts 2:39 in its Context: An Exegetical Summary of Acts 2:39 and Paedobaptism (Part 1) – Jamin Hübner

14. Acts 2:39 in its Context: Case Studies in Paedobaptist Interpretations of Acts 2:39 (Part 2) – Jamin Hübner

15. An Exegetical Appraisal of Colossians 2:11-12 – Richard C. Barcellos, Ph.D.



 16. Reformed Baptist Covenant Theology and Biblical Theology – Micah and Samuel Renihan


Scripture Index

Name and Subject Index

Samples: Preface |  Intro | Chapter 1 | Chapter 10

Paperback: 532 pages

Debating Owen, Round 472 [Adams]

john-owen-700Brandon Adams, blogging at Contrast, thoroughly addresses some claims about Owen’s view of covenant theology which would seem to imply that Baptists Couldn’t Possibly Know What They’re Talking About:

In a recent Facebook discussion about covenant theology (I haven’t been able to join the group), someone posted some quotes from Pascal Denault’s “The Distinctive Covenant Theology of 17th Century Particular Baptists.” A paedobaptist objected, as is common, to the quotations from John Owen:

to say that Owen developed in this respect is not fair to Owen unless he himself recognized a departure from his previous statements and positions, which we have no evidence of. Rather, his words should be interpreted in light of his whole theological construct, not what statements he made in one place, unless he consciously and explicitly repudiated his prior assertions.


What would constitute evidence? Does he have to say “Dear reader, I previously held a different view, but now I have changed my mind (just in case it wasn’t obvious from what I just said)”?

A case could be made that Owen presupposed that the Mosaic economy was one of grace, rightly understood, in that he makes statements to that affect, that he presupposes it as an idea in his sermons and other theological works


So this is the question: Did Owen hold to classic WCF covenant theology? Did he believe the covenant of grace was an overarching covenant administered by the historical, biblical covenants? Did he believe the the Mosaic covenant was a gracious administration of the covenant of grace?


Before looking at his evidence, it should be noted that any attempt to place Owen’s commentary on Hebrews 8 within the context of presuppositions found elsewhere in Owen’s writings still has to explain what Owen meant in his commentary on Hebrews 8 (this person never offered an explanation).

Read the rest of this intriguing post here.

Interview #55 – Richard Barcellos – The Family Tree of Reformed Biblical Theology [Audio Podcast]

Dr. Richard Barcellos
Dr. Richard Barcellos


The Family Tree of Reformed Biblical Theology Geerhardus Vos and John Owen, Their Methods of and Contributions to the Articulation of Redemptive History [Paperback] by Richard C Barcellos
The Family Tree of Reformed Biblical Theology: Geerhardus Vos and John Owen, Their Methods of and Contributions to the Articulation of Redemptive History
by Richard C Barcellos
AMZ $29 | RBAP $16 | WTS $29 ]

 “The thesis of this study is that Geerhardus Vos’ biblical-theological
method should be viewed as a post-Enlightenment continuation of the
pre-critical federal theology of seventeenth-century Reformed orthodoxy.”

 Richard Barcellos

On episode 55 of our interview podcast we are replaying an interview from ReformedCast. Why? Because ReformedCast is, “discontinuing operations effective June 15, 2014. All MP3s will be removed at that time.”

We didn’t want these resources to disappear off the Internet so we asked the ReformedCast host, Scott Oakland, if we could republish the interviews he conducted over the past several years that fit our site/podcast scope. He graciously agreed! So, here is the first, fitting, replay (we’ll add onto these every now and then throughout the year.)


family treeFrom his January 31, 2011 post on this interview:

We will be joined by Dr. Richard Barcellos, and we’ll discuss his book “The Family Tree of Reformed Biblical Theology. Dr. Barcellos received a B.S. from California State University, Fresno, an M.Div. from The Master’s Seminary, and a Th.M. and Ph.D. from Whitefield Theological Seminary. In 1990 he planted a church in Southern California and pastored there until July of 2006, when he relocated to Owensboro, KY, and is now a member of the Board of Directors at  Midwest Center for Theological Studies. He is the managing editor of Reformed Baptist Theological Review (RBTR), author of In Defense of the Decalogue, and co-author of A Reformed Baptist Manifesto. He has also contributed articles to RBTRFounders Journal, and Table Talk. Professor Barcellos is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and one of the pastors of Heritage Baptist Church of Owensboro, Kentucky.

Note: Since this is an old episode some of the information above and in the podcast is old as well. He is now pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Palmdale, CA. and RBTR has ceased (but  we now have JIRBS.)

Subscribe to the podcast in a RSS readeriTunesStitcher or by Email.



Do the Apostasy Passages in Hebrews Provide an Over-Riding Theological Matrix? James White answers

case covenantal infant baptismAnother preview of the upcoming book from RBAP “Recovering a Covenantal Heritage: Essays in Baptist Covenant Theology“. From one of James White’s chapters:

Though we can hardly enter into a full discussion of all the passages cited in support of a particular theory of apostasy, and though it seems clear that not all of the writers represented in The Case for Covenantal Infant Baptism would agree with Pastor Niell on this topic, a brief response to the key passage that is related to our central text (Heb. 10:29) may make our response fuller and more useful.


For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? (Heb. 10:29)


Following John Owen’s understanding of context, we will assume the essential correctness of the position that sees the context of 10:29 as an act of apostasy on the part of a baptized, confessing member of the congregation of Jewish Christians to which the author is writing.[1] Recognizing this immediate context protects the passage from its most common misapplications and brings us to the key issue in our inquiry: in the case of those who knowingly reject their profession of faith and return to Judaism, were these individuals, in the thinking of the writer to the Hebrews, members of the New Covenant, perfected by the death of Christ, sanctified by his blood, who then became imperfect and were lost? Who is the object of the phrase evn w-| h`gia,sqh (“by which he was sanctified”): the apostate or the Son of God? Those who press this passage as a clear indication that the New Covenant can be entered into and yet violated assume that the phrase, which can grammatically be attached to either antecedent, must be applied to the apostate.

Read the rest [10 min. readout]

James Renihan on Richard Baxter’s Doctrine of Justification [Audio & Video]


This lecture is primarily based off of Dr. Renihan’s article in the Reformed Baptist Theological Review: Reforming The Reformed Pastor: Baptism and Justification as the Basis for Richard Baxter’s Pastoral Method… in which Dr. Renihan shows the unorthodox neonomian errors of Richard Baxter who denied justification by faith in his Aphorisms of Justification.

Pastor Tom Hicks:

I’m grateful for the post, since while many people are aware of Baxter’s Reformed Pastor and Christian Directory, few are aware of his denial of all imputations (Adam’s, ours, Christ’s), denial of justification by faith only, and affirmation of justification by works of inherent righteousness.


Here is the 67 minute video from Dr. Renihan’s Puritanism in Context course:


More contra “Baxterianism”

[source: MCTS]

“In Defense of Parity: A presentation of the parity or equality of elders in the New Testament” by Greg Nichols, Sam Waldron, & Dave Chanski [PDF, HTML, MP3 readout of entire book]

As of today, the entire book has now been posted:


I am extremely pleased to announce that I have been given permission to post the book: In Defense of Parity: A presentation of the parity or equality of elders in the New Testament.


… and will include a pdf and an mp3 made through TextAloud with my favorite voice, Daniel.  I hope many will be edified by this Biblical explanation and defense of this doctrine and practice.

Parity and Diversity in the Eldership: Part One-Parity [Greg Nichols]

Chapter 1 | HTML version PDF | 26 min. readout:

Parity and Diversity in the Eldership: Part Two-Diversity [Greg Nichols]

Chapter 2 | HTML | PDF | 41 min. MP3

A Contemporary Reaction to the Parity of the Eldership [Sam Waldron]

Chapter 3 | HTML | PDF | 16 min. MP3

An Exegetical Defense of the Parity of the Eldership in the New Testament [Sam Waldron]

Chapter 4 | HTML | PDF | 20 min. MP3

Careful Exposition of 1 Timothy 5:17 [Sam Waldron]

Chapter 5 | HTML | PDF | 32 min. MP3

An Historical Examination of the Parity of the Eldership in Independency and John Owen [Dave Chanski]

Chapter 6 | HTML | PDF | 22 min. MP3

The Baptist Confession of 1689 and the Parity of the Eldership [Dave Chanski]

Chapter 7 | HTML | PDF | 15 min. MP3

There were originally nine, but ch 8 has been removed by the publisher, so we are left with eight.

The Practice of the Parity of the Eldership [Dave Chanski]

Chapter 9 | HTML | PDF | 7 min. MP3

A Brief Biblical Theology of the Sabbath from Hebrews 4:9-10 – Robert P. Martin [RBTR 2004]

rbtr-244x300 eformed Baptist Theological ReviewFrom The Reformed Baptist Theological Review 1, no. 2 (2004): 9–11

If 4:10 refers to Christ’s entering into his rest, what then is the Sabbath rest which v. 9 refers to as remaining for the people of God to enter? It is (as throughout the context) the Sabbath rest of God; but it is also the Sabbath rest of the Son, which he entered when he finished his works, which remains to be entered by all who are joint-heirs with him.
But what does this have to do with the Christian Sabbath?

Read the rest or listen to four minute readout.