Resolved, &c. That the Serjeant do apprehend Benjamin Cox and Samuel Richardson, the Parties that delivered a Pamphlet at the Door to the Members of this House, intituled, “A Confession of Faith of Seven Congregations or Churches of Christ in London, which are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists;” and do take Bail of them, to appear, from time to time, at the Committee for plundered Ministers: And that it be referred to the Committee of plundered Ministers, to examine the Book, and the Parties, whose Names are subscribed…
Sam Renihan follows up on a post he wrote June 2013:
Some time ago, I posted a lengthy piece intending to offer some balance to the strong push with which “1689 Federalism” was being put forward. The point was to make it clear that there were some Particular Baptists who held to a more “Westminster” style of federal theology. As the examples of this other flavor I mentioned Robert Purnell, Robert Steed/Abraham Cheare, and Thomas DeLaune.
I want to reevaluate some of the thoughts in that post for three main reasons:
- I missed some vital elements of argumentation in those authors’ writings which yield a somewhat different picture of their federalism.
- I want to remind readers to be careful with the language of “administration.”
- I want to reaffirm that a more “Westminster” style of federalism was present among PB’s.
- 17th Century Particular Baptist Covenant Theology
- Confessional Particular Baptist Covenant Theology
- Robert Purnell’s 1689 Federalism
I intend this post to be a friendly reply, and a help, to him. A reply because I think we both have not understood Steed/Cheare correctly, and a help because I’m adding another author that I think Junior would find a lot of agreement with…
Always go back to the cross for assurance first, not your own works. Sanctification is the evidence, not the ground, of our justification.
Let your self-examinations drive you to Christ.
And let your meditations upon Christ and his sufferings cause you to hate sin all the more.
From Thomas Wilcox’s “A Choice Drop of Honey from the Rock Christ.”
[source: Particular Voices]
Sam Renihan introduces and comments on Isaac Watts’ consideration of rationalism, emotionalism, anti-intellectualism, anthropocentrism, cage-stage-ism, fundamentalism, and Osteen-ism.
There is nothing new under the sun. The errors of our day are the errors of days gone by because the common thread that runs through every age is the sin of the human heart that lies within us all. Isaac Watts provides some helpful critiques of these common errors.
On one side, many Christians are content with a “dead orthodoxy” in which all that matters is intellectual accuracy. For others, all that matters is what feels right. But the reality is that true doctrine will produce true doxology. What are the dangers of an imbalance in this area? When our emotions are in control, we pursue Christian celebrities. And this in turn can cause us to identify the worth of a sermon with our emotional loyalty to the preacher. Instead of coming to hear the word of Christ from the ministers of Christ to the people of Christ, we come to hear So-and-so who tickles our fancies.
Our emotions can cause us to think that the right worship is that which makes me feel a certain way. How can it be bad when it feels so good? Ask Uzzah.
We may love the singing more than the song (the words). This is an interesting insight coming from so worthy a hymn-writer. If that’s the way we operate, we will begin to innovate according to our whims. And many, carried away by their emotions, become very poor testimonies for the truth because they are only babies spiritually speaking but they desire to walk and run and talk as adults.
Still others will read anything that pleases them. The internet is very good at satisfying such theological prostitution, but sadly even “christian” bookstores are sources of plentiful emotional fluff.
Read Watts’ insights here: The Best Preachers, Sermons, Worship, and Books EVER! | Particular Voices.
The editors of the confession intentionally avoided addressing open and closed communion in order to allow more churches to be able to subscribe to the confession. The majority of its subscribers were advocates of closed communion, but there had been a strand of open-communion going as far back as Henry Jessey and others among the original Particular Baptists of the 1640′s. To accommodate those, and especially Bunyan, the confession is silent here…
They explain their rationale below.
Are you single? Do you not want to be single? Well, look no further because the instructions below are a surefire way to find true love.
So says Sam Renihan. He claims if you follow this guide then you will, “pretty much know everything that is needed in order to be successful in the art of courtship.” :D
What does the Confession mean when it says God is immutable? Does it mean God is utterly impassible? Can God suffer? What do these terms mean? Sam Renihan writes:
God is simple. He is all that he is in one pure simple act. He cannot suffer in either sense because he cannot be perfected, nor can he be diminished. God has no parts. You can’t add him up or subtract him. God has no passions. He does not have emotions that can be acted upon or provoked by the creature. The creature can neither increase God’s love nor decrease his wrath. God’s love and wrath are effected, that is, they come from him to the creature. They are not affected, produced by the creature’s action upon God. As creatures we change in our relation to God, and his works upon us our [sic] various, but God never changes. We can go to him and trust that at all times he is perfectly loving in the fullest sense (beyond creaturely comprehension).
Check out the original post for some added material from John Norton and Samuel Bolton: Passivity and Suffering | Particular Voices.
Does God have emotions, and are they anything like man’s? Sam Renihan give us a “portion of Benjamin Keach’s Tropologia in which he describes God’s affections.”
Read the rest of Keach’s thoughts on the matter here: God’s Affections | Particular Voices.
Sam Renihan has written a to-the-point, convicting PSA to would-be laptop debaters:
It is an increasing reality that many Christians, especially younger ones, are regularly engaging in debate (and occasionally discussion) through blogs, Facebook pages, forums, and other internet-based contexts. While there are many benefits to the internet, such as dissemination of otherwise unavailable materials, communicating with those who are far away, and gleaning from the wisdom, experience, and thoughts of others, there is much danger.
One of the dangers of the internet, thinking specifically of Christians and theology, is that there is little to no accountability placed on the individual in relation to his local church. Anyone can argue any point, pursue any theological trend, make any theological accusation, pick and choose any theological view, and all without the oversight of the elders to whom those individuals have professed to be in submission (assuming biblical church membership and leadership).
Would you want your elders to see the way that you have argued with other brothers and sisters on the internet? Would you read the same material and write the same arguments and speak so confidently if it were not for the anonymity and hyper-separation that the internet offers? Would you treat brothers and sisters the same way sitting with them at a lunch table during a fellowship meal at church? Are you as wonderful as you think you are?
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Having a desire to shew our near Agreement with many other Christians, of whom we have great Esteem; we some Years since put forth a Confession of our Faith, almost in all Points the same with the Assembly, and Savoy, which was subscribed by the Elders and Messengers of many Churches baptized on profession of their Faith; and do now put forth a short Account of Christian Principles, for the instruction of our Families, inmost things agreeing with the Shorter Catechism of the Assembly. And this we were the rather induced to, because we have commonly made use of that Catechism in our Families: And the Difference being not much, it will be more easily committed to Memory.
Here is the Catechism itself from two different places:
- Of a True and Orderly Gospel Church
- Of Church Officers
- Of Receiving Persons to Church Membership
- Of the Duties Incumbent on Church Members
- Of Church Censures
- Of the Association of Churches
About 6 months ago I mentioned that I wanted to give a peppering of particular snippets from Particular Baptists who held to the covenant of works. The point of this peppering was to bolster the general assertion that the Particular Baptists held to the covenant of works and the specific assertion that the confession teaches this.
Below you will find numerous authors who endorse the covenant of works. This list primarily includes those who explicitly name and embrace the covenant of works. There are many other places where Adam is referred to as a “Public head” or we are said to have “fallen in him.” I included a few of those. Similarly, there are many places where the Mosaic covenant is said to be a covenant of works, which presupposes at the very least the category of a covenant of works. Most of these references have been left out (there are many). It is also worth noting that in such a polemical context: 1. I have never seen a paedobaptist accusing the Particular Baptists in any point related to the covenant of works, and 2. I have never seen a Particular Baptist reject the covenant of works or argue against a paedobaptist on that point.
Did the Particular Baptists hold to the covenant of works? Ask them.
At this point, I would say, Sam gives us a plethora of examples (from the likes of Hercules Collins, Nehemiah Coxe, Benjamin Keach, Samuel Richardson, Christopher Blackwood, Thomas Patient, John Bunyan, Thomas Collier, Edward Hutchinson, Thomas DeLaune, Philip Cary, Isaac Marlow, William Collins & more.)
Here is a sampling: