Interview #28 – Dr. Steve Weaver – Hercules Collins


On episode 28 of our podcast, we get to know Pastor and Dr. Steve Weaver who fills us in on all things Hercules Collins, the 17th Century British Particular Baptist Pastor.

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Book Giveaway:

Enter to win a copy of:

Devoted to the Service of the Temple Piety, Persecution, and Ministry in the Writings of Hercules Collins (Profiles in Reformed Spirituality)

 Devoted to the Service of the Temple:
Piety, Persecution, and Ministry in the Writings of Hercules Collins
(Profiles in Reformed Spirituality)


Books & Sites 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.

The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Confessionalism Adrift Amid the Siren Cries for Relevancy by Jeff Oliver

Over at the IRBS blog, Dr. James Renihan explains:

On September 1 [2009], we were delighted to sit under the ministry of Pastor Jeff Oliver who spoke at the 2009-10 Academic Year opening service of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies… here is Rev. Oliver’s lecture revised for posting on our website. Prepare to be challenged and encouraged. His address was titled: The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Confessionalism Adrift Amid the Siren Cries for Relevancy. This is Pastor Oliver’s [3-part] transcript…


What follows below, was developed from an address given to the theological students of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies and other associate guests at the commencement of their new academic year 20009/2010 on the campus of Westminster Seminary California in Escondido.

Part 1 [13 min. readout]

So, more particularly, what does it mean to be a Reformed Baptist; what is a reformed Baptist church?

Who gets to decide what it means to be reformed or to be a Reformed Baptist?

Part 2 [13 min. readout]

The biblical, historical, and confessional truth is that numbers and church programs are very poor performance metrics of God’s blessing. When it comes to describing what it is that makes a church a “true church” the Reformed have always agreed that it is the preaching of the Word, the right administration of the sacraments and the exercise of church discipline.  Never has confessional reformed Christianity acknowledged numerical success to be a mark of a true church.

Part 3 [13 min. readout]

Our reformed confessional standards are the only reasonable basis for a stable definition of reformed theology, piety and practice.  That’s why all those who are called to be ministers of word and sacraments in reformed churches need to be taught thoroughly the reformed faith and be able and ready to confess and proclaim and teach the faith once delivered to the saints.  This is the task of the ministry.

[source: The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies at Westminster Seminary California in Escondido, CA]

jeff oliverPastor Jeff Oliver was born and raised in Darlington, North East England and was converted to Christ at the age of 11. He obtained his undergraduate degree at Manchester University in 1983 and subsequently pursued a career in private industry.  After twenty years in business Jeff was called to the gospel ministry.  He studied at Westminster Theological Seminary in California in Escondido, California where he received a Master of Divinity Degree in May 2006.  He was ordained and  installed as Pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Placerville on July 7 2006 and commenced his ministry on August 14 2006.  Jeff and his wife, Jane were married in April 1993 in Jane’s home town of Kilmarnock, Scotland. More…

Hermeneutics & Confessionalism – Mike Renihan

Mike RenihanMike Renihan On Hermeneutics And Confessionalism [9 min. readout] from Vol. 2: The Reformed Baptist Theological Review Volume 2. 2005 (2) (110–113)

This same quest to discover what a text means apart from authorial intent is a significant part of how many misuse the Confession. They view it as just another work of literature that is to be read like all the others – asking the same wrong questions from the individual’s perspective. It is simply illegitimate to take an ancient document and remold it as a wax nose to fit the face of what we want to say.


The men who framed the Confession as their own summary expression of what the Scriptures systematically teach have many other published works to help the modern reader discover what they meant and what they intended to promote.

[source: Reformed For His Glory]

Dr. Mike Renihan is the present pastor at Heritage Baptist Church. He studied at Worcester State College (B.A. in History); Reformed Theological Seminary (MA); Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University, and the University of Coventry, England (M. Phil and PhD). He is an Adjunct Professor of History at Worcester State College. For many years he served on the Executive Committee of the New England Reformed Fellowship (NERF). He serves on the Administrative Council of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA), where he also chairs the Theology Committee. Mike enjoys digital photography, playing the concertina and autoharp, reading, preaching, and his morning coffee (decaf please). Mike is most passionate about his work as Executive Director of Mission::Ireland. The prospects of long-term reform across the Emerald Isle are looking better and better. He holds Irish citizenship and travels on an Irish passport. (Who needs a magic carpet when you have an Irish passport?) Mike has been married to Sue for 27 years and they have six wonderful and fun-loving children.

The Simplicity of Early Baptist Worship [Liturgy] – James Renihan

simplicity worshipOn his blog, James Renihan writes:

The earliest English Baptist churches held a high view of the Regulative Principle of Worship. Before anything could be introduced into worship and thus imposed on God’s people, it was necessary to demonstrate that the Lord himself had authorized that act. Since Scripture only mentions a few ‘elements’ of worship, their corporate services were very simple. Here are two examples:

Paul’s Alley Barbican (London) [1695-1768]

Order of Worship

9:30 AM:
1. A Brother reads a Psalm
2. & then to spend some time in Prayer;
3. & after that to read some other Portion of H. Scripture,
till the Minister comes into the Pulpit;
4. and after Preaching &
5. Prayer to
6. conclude with singing a Psalm.
The afternoon exercise to begin abt half an hour after One, & to be carried on & concluded as in the forenoon.

H. Knollys’ Elements of Worship [1599–1691]

Scripture reading with exposition
and interpretation,
The Lord’s table,


Thomas Collier on Covenant Theology [Particular Voices]

At the Particular Voices blog, Sam Renihan gives us some background on Thomas Collier, a “Particular Baptist gone wrong.” While unfortunately holding to some heretical views, Collier’s writings on covenant theology reflected the same atmosphere and arguments of the seventeenth century Particular Baptist tradition in which he was surrounded.

Given these factors, why post something from him on covenant theology? Well, the true paradox of Collier’s life and theology is that at times he seemed to be the picture of Particular Baptist orthodoxy, and at times he was as far from that as could be. In fact, there was evidence to the Particular Baptists that at times he had repudiated his heresies. But in the long run, that did not prove to be the case. In light of this intriguing historical background presented in snapshot form, the following excerpts from one of his 1659 works are to be taken as another piece of a larger whole. They provide more perspective and information for the portrait of Particular Baptists and their articulation of covenant theology. Indeed this work very much represents the standard Particular Baptist arguments on covenant theology. But he should not be elevated or praised in any way for having hit the mark in this area…

There is no theological denomination or historical portion of Christianity devoid of error and heresy. We must all beware our own hearts and examine ourselves and our theology in light of the word of God. We ought also to be humble and subject to the iron-sharpening of our brothers and reject a Maverick approach to theology. Collier may have got these portions right, but to all human judgments his soul was lost. The fact that he published his own confession of faith and rejected the confession of “upwards of 100 baptized congregations” is telling evidence of his own heart. Let us not be so individualistic or prideful as Collier, lest we too follow our own sinful hearts down the paths they would love to tread. Let this be a double lesson to all of us, first to be humble and circumspect in the light of the scriptures and the corrections of our brothers, and second, to articulate covenant theology faithfully so that our practices are built on sound doctrines.

You can read this interesting historical-theological post here.

Roundup of Books on the History of Reformed Baptists from Keith Throop

Over at the Reformed Baptist Blog, Pastor Keith Throop posted “a preliminary list of books recounting the history of our Reformed Baptist heritage”:

Perhaps the best pace to start would be Tom Nettles’ excellent book entitled By His Grace and for His Glory: A Historical, Theological, and Practical Study of the Doctrines of Grace in Baptist Life. This book is a very good historical introduction especially for those who don’t yet have much knowledge of the history of Calvinism among Baptists.


Other books include:


History of the English Calvinistic Baptists 1771-1892: From John Gill to C.H. Spurgeonby Robert W. Oliver


A Cloud of Witnesses: Calvinistic Baptists in the 18th Century by Michael Haykin


The British Particular Baptists – Volume 1 edited by Michael Haykin
The British Particular Baptists – Volume 2 edited by Michael Haykin
The British Particular Baptists – Volume 3 edited by Michael Haykin


The three volume set edited by Haykin is published by Particular Baptist Press who states that “Each volume of this three volume set contains professionally written biographical sketches of the British Particular Baptists from 1638 – 1910.”


The Particular Baptist Press also offers a number of other British Baptist biographical and historical works here.


Do you have any books that should be added to the list? Feel free to comment and make your suggestions.

Upcoming Book: Updated “Orthodox Catechism” by Hercules Collins. – Haykin, Steve Weaver, Dr. Renihan + More

an-orthodox-catechism-title-pageOutside of Richard Barcellos telling us on our last podcast about this upcoming book, here is the first public notification that our Bapti-bots have been made aware of [from Reformed Baptist Academic Press (RBAP)]:

RBAP editorial team is now working on this:


An Orthodox Catechism: Being the Sum of Christian Religion, Contained in the Law and Gospel.




For Preventing the Canker and
Poison of Heresy and Error.




This upcoming book includes an introduction by Michael Haykin and Steve Weaver, with a foreword by  James Renihan. They also decided to update the language of the original catechism (printed 1680), as well as go through every Scripture reference to make sure it fits (adding, omitting and changing as needed). They want this to be useful to churches and Christians today.

A reproduction of the original will be in Steve Weaver’s and Tom Nettles’ Teaching Truth, Training Hearts (2nd ed.) coming out from Founders Press this Fall.

Book should be out by January of 2014, so stay tuned for more updates, but in the mean time…

Here is a portion of 1680 Orthodox Catechism that Reformed Baptist Fellowship posted last year:

Q. 75 How does baptism remind you and assure you that Christ’s one sacrifice on the cross is for you personally?

A. In this way: Christ instituted this outward washing1 and with it gave the promise that, as surely as water washes away the dirt from the body, so certainly his blood and his Spirit wash away my soul’s impurity, in other words, all my sins.2

1Acts 2:38

2Matt. 3:11; Rom. 6:3-10; 1 Pet. 3:21

Q. 76 What does it mean to be washed with Christ’s blood and Spirit?

A. To be washed with Christ’s blood means that God, by grace, has forgiven my sins because of Christ’s blood poured out for me in his sacrifice on the cross.1 To be washed with Christ’s Spirit means that the Holy Spirit has renewed me and set me apart to be a member of Christ so that more and more I become dead to sin and increasingly live a holy and blameless life.2

1Zech. 13:1; Eph. 1:7-8; Heb. 12:24; 1 Pet. 1:2; Rev. 1:5

2Ezek. 36:25-27; John 3:5-8; Rom. 6:4; 1 Cor. 6:11; Col. 2:11-12

Q. 77 Where does Christ promise that we are washed with his blood and Spirit as surely as we are washed with the water of baptism?

A. In the institution of baptism where he says: ”Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”1“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”2This promise is repeated when Scripture calls baptism the washing of rebirth3 and the washing away of sins.4

1Matt. 28:19

2Mark 16:16

3Tit. 3:5

4Acts 22:16

Q. 78 Does this outward washing with water itself wash away sins?

A. No, only Jesus Christ’s blood and the Holy Spirit cleanse us from all sins.1

1Matt. 3:11; 1 Pet. 3:21; 1 John 1:7

Q. 79 Why then does the Holy Spirit call baptism the washing of rebirth and the washing away of sins?

A. God has good reason for these words. He wants to teach us that the blood and Spirit of Christ wash away our sins just as water washes away dirt from our bodies.1 But more important, he wants to assure us, by this divine pledge and sign, that the washing away of our sins spiritually is as real as physical washing with water.2

11 Cor. 6:11; Rev. 1:5; 7:14

2Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:27

Interview #18: Sam Renihan – Recovering a Covenantal Confessional Heritage + More


On episode 18 of our podcast, we interview Sam Renihan about Recovering a Covenantal Confessional Heritage. We get into the authors of our confession, why the 1689 chapter 7 “of God’s Covenant” is different than that of the Westminster and Savoy documents, and how we should move forward from here.

After that, we talk about some Reformed Baptist headlines and give you a preview of next week’s episode featuring Jeff Johnson on his book The Fatal Flaw of the Theology Behind Infant Baptism.


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:

Wintersun – Sons of Winter and Stars (Instrumental)

The Faulty Covenant & Better Covenant – Particular Voices



In the latest post from Sam Renihan at Particular Voices, an anonymous Particular Baptist borrows one of John Owen’s arguments to show how the new covenant is distinct from the old.

…though many of Israel that were under this Covenant went to Heaven, yet there was not one of them that went to Heaven by virtue of this Covenant, but by virtue of the Covenant of Grace; if this Covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second; this Covenant is a better Covenant, established on better Promises; Promises That God will write his Law in their Hearts, that he will forgive their Iniquities, and remember their Sins no more. If these are the better Promises that the New Covenant is established upon, then they were not in the first, for if these Promises had been in the first Covenant, that Covenant would have been as good as the second, and the same Promises would have been as good in the first Covenant as in the second…

Read the rest of this post here.


Reformed Baptist Church in Rome, Italy: Breccia di Roma

Drew Mery, over at Reformed Baptist Daily, writes:

At the heart of Roman Catholic territory — Rome, Italy – exists a Reformed Baptist church, Breccia di Roma (Breach of Rome), faithfully preaching the gospel and ministering among the people.  The pastor of the church, Leonardo De Chirico, is also Adjunct Director of Istituto di Formazione Evangelica e Documentazione (IFED) and runs the website, Vatican Files.  You can read his full bio here.  Be sure to give these sites a look.  If you’re an Italian Christian in Rome and you’re looking for a church that faithfully lives by and preaches God’s word (the Bible), be sure to stop on by at Breccia di Roma.


Ciao a tutti!

Abraham Booth on the Two Kingdoms – Particular Voices

Software: Microsoft Office

What is the kingdom of Christ? Where does it come from? What does it look like on earth? What is its relation to the many kingdoms of this world? The answers to these questions are still a topic of much debate in some circles. In this post from Particular Voices, Abraham Booth comments on Christ’s claim that His “kingdom is not of this world.”

You can read what Booth has to say about Christ’s kingdom here.


More from Abraham Booth:


More on the Two Kingdoms:

A forgotten Baptist pastor…until now by Michael Haykin

Sighs-for-SionThe history of the Baptists’ reception of their own past is a fascinating one in its own right. Most of the Baptist works of  the seventeenth century were never reprinted and consequently a significant amount of their thought was obscure to their eighteenth-century heirs. To be sure, there was a certain amount of reflection on the past by eighteenth-century authors like Thomas Crosby (1683–c.1751) and Joseph Ivimey (1773–1834), but it was the Victorian Baptists who really began to delve into Baptist history and that for a variety of reasons: the Victorians in general were fascinated by the past; in England this exploration of Baptist history was linked to the realization of the strength of the Nonconformist cause and became a vehicle to express Baptist pride; while, in America it was used by many to prove (or disprove) the theology of Landmarkism.

[read here or listen 5 min]

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]