June 23-26, 2017 “Building Tomorrow’s Church” Young Adults Conf. feat. Blackburn, J. Giarrizzo, S. Renihan in Flagstaff, AZ.


It seems that the practice of good churchmanship has fallen by the wayside in modern times. Even within the resurgence of “New Calvinism” of the past decade of so, where there has been a growing recognition of God’s sovereignty in salvation, many have observed that ecclesiology, or the doctrine of the church, has not received the attention it deserves and is therefore not well understood by many young believers.

Since its inception in 2008, BTC has sought to encourage the up-and-coming generation of believers—specifically Reformed Baptists—in their commitment to Christ as demonstrated in part by their commitment to the local church. Promoting the biblical doctrine of the church has always been at the center of BTC’s purpose.

10 years later we are still seeking to reach the next generation of confessional church members with an emphasis on glorifying Christ through service to His Bride. To reaffirm our desire to see young people involved in their local churches and churches built up as a result, the theme of BTC 2017 centers on the importance of the visible church in every generation since it was established by Christ over 2,000 years ago.

The 10th annual Building Tomorrow’s Church conference will be held in Flagstaff, Arizona, June 23-26, on the campus of Northern Arizona University.

We are excited to welcome for the first time three keynote speakers, including Pastor John Giarrizzo from Grace Covenant Church in Gilbert, AZ, Pastor Samuel Renihan from Trinity Reformed Baptist Church in Southern California, and Pastor Earl Blackburn from Heritage Baptist Church in Shreveport, LA.

More Information

New “Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies, 2016, Vol. 3” [RBAP]

Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies 2016 (Vol. 3)

[RBAP: $12 (arrives Dec. 15) | Amz $18/£14.47]


The Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies (JIRBS) is published to explain and support the theology of Holy Scripture as it is summarized in the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith. The journal will be published annually.


Paperback: 246 pages
Published: 2016


THE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY IN THE CHURCH: Its Reasons, Duration and Goal, and Practical Effects (Ephesians 4:11-16), with Special Emphasis on verse 12 by Richard C. Barcellos

BRING THEM TO THE WORD, NOT THE WATER: Pastoral Instructions for Fathers in the First and Second Century Church by Ryan Davidson



THE CONSEQUENCES OF POSITIVE LAW: The Particular Baptists’ Use of Inferential Reasoning in Theology by Samuel Renihan

UNITY AND DISTINCTION—One God in Three Persons: Unity of Essence, Distinction of Persons, Implications for Life, A Review Article by Stefan T. Lindblad

THE REGULATIVE PRINCIPLE OF WORSHIP: Contemporary Objections by Samuel E. Waldron

Book Reviews:

Faith, Freedom and the Spirit: The Economic Trinity in Barth, Torrance and Contemporary Theology, Paul D. Molnar reviewed by James E. Dolezal

Covenants Made Simple: Understanding God’s Unfolding Promises to His People, Jonty Rhodes reviewed by Pascal Denault

Guaranteed Pure: The Moody Bible Institute, Business, and the Making of Modern Evangelicalism, Timothy E. W. Gloege reviewed by James M. Renihan

Justification Reconsidered: Rethinking a Pauline Theme, Stephen Westerholm reviewed by Tom Hicks

The Gospel Ministry, Thomas Foxcraft reviewed by Robert E. Cosby, III

The Quest for the Historical Adam: Genesis, Hermeneutics, and Human Origins, William VanDoodewaard reviewed by Terry Clarke

Their Rock is Not Like Our Rock: A Theology of Religions, Daniel Strange reviewed by John A. Divito

The Trinity: Impassibility, What is Denied [Samuel Renihan]

The doctrine of divine impassibility is a biblical, catholic, classical, and confessional doctrine of the Christian church which states that because God is simple, infinite, eternal, and immutable, he cannot undergo any change in state of being, or be acted upon in any way. The Reformed confessions of faith express this by saying that God is “without passions.” This negation separates the being of God from an aspect of creaturely existence.

To understand divine impassibility, therefore, we have to study the divine nature that requires such a negation and the creaturely existence being denied of God. Many authors, far more capable and knowledgeable than myself, have dealt with the first part, arguing convincingly that the divine nature cannot be acted upon by anything or undergo anything. It is my goal to address the second element of this question, often untouched in these discussions, passions and affections in the context of the human nature. As we improve our understanding of the imperfections of our creaturely nature, we will improve our understanding of the perfections of God’s divine nature.

Man’s nature has parts—body (material) and soul (immaterial). And it has faculties seated within those parts—the mind, the will, and the passions or affections. The affections bring together the parts and faculties of the human nature. Affections are motions of the mind and will relative to perceived good and evil.

In other words, as a given person goes through life, their mind interprets the world around them and regards various objects as good or bad. If perceived as good, the person is drawn to those objects. If perceived as bad, the person is drawn away from those objects. These motions are the affections, and can therefore be sorted into two opposite lists.

Read More

VIDEO Q&A & Interviews from 2015 SoCal RB Pastors Conf. now online

Though the 2016 Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors’ Conference main session audio and video have already been posted, the Q&A and some interviews from the occasion were posted earlier today.

SCRBPC 2015 Panel Q&A - YouTube
SCRBPC ’15 Video Playlist

James Dolezal – Q&A [25 min. vid]:


Panel Q&A feat. James Dolezal, James Renihan, Ron Baines, and Sam Renihan [55 min. vid.]:

Sam Renihan interview about his books on Divine Impassibility [14 min. vid.]:

Interview with Dr. James Dolezal [16 min. vid.]:

SoCal RB Pastor’s Conf. ’16 preview with the next speaker, Stefan Lindblad [15 min. vid.]:

Since we didn’t post the 2015 conference audio and video yet, allow us to do that now:

SCRBPC 2015 on SermonAudio

  1. Lecture 1: Foundation of all our Communion with God and Comfortable Dependence… Dr. James M. Renihan
  2. Lecture 2: The State of Theology Proper in Calvinistic Evangelicalism James Dolezal
  3. Lecture 3: Divine Simplicity – The Theological Grammar of Orthodoxy James Dolezal
  4. Lecture 4: Divine Simplicity and its Modern Detractors James Dolezal
  5. Lecture 5: Divine Eternity James Dolezal
  6. Lecture 6: The Trinity James Dolezal

SCRBPC 2015 on Youtube

Click playlist button in top left corner to see all the videos, including interviews.

Nov. 2-3, 2015 SoCal RB Pastors Conf. “The Doctrine of God” feat. Dr. James Dolezal & Dr. James Renihan in La Mirada, CA

Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors’ Conference:

This year, we are privileged to have Drs. Renihan and Dolezal address the doctrine of God…

We are planning on having a panel discussion with Drs. Renihan and Dolezal and Sam Renihan (author of two books on the subject) on the doctrine of divine impassibility.

Each night closes with a Q&A.

Besides the lectures and Q&A, we also provide two complimentary meals (lots of meat!). We hope you can join us!

Here is the registration page [now open through Oct. 19].

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).


Monday, November 2 – Tuesday, November 3, 2015


The Doctrine of God


Key-note speaker:

James DolezalDr. James E. Dolezal

James E. Dolezal, Ph.D., teaches theology, philosophy, and church history at Cairn University in Langhorne, PA. He is a graduate of The Master’s Seminary and Westminster Theological Seminary. He is the author of God without Parts: Divine Simplicity and the Metaphysics of God’s Absoluteness as well numerous journal articles and reviews. Prior to moving to the east coast he served as a Reformed Baptist pastor in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. James is married to Courtney and they have three children: Judah, Havah, and Eden. James is active in supplying pulpits in the Philadelphia area.

Guest speakers:

Dr. James RenihanDr. James M. Renihan

Dean and Professor of Historical Theology

Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies

Escondido, CA



  • Monday, November 2, 2015
    • Registration/check-in: 1:30-2:45pm
    • 3:00-4:00pm  Session 1 (lecture, Dr. Renihan)
    • 4:00-4:15pm  Break
    • 4:15-5:15pm  Session 2 (Lecture #1, Present State of the Doctrine of God in Evangelicalism, Dr. Dolezal)
    • 5:15-6:30pm  Dinner: complimentary Tacos (full-conference attendees only)
    • 6:30-7:30pm  Session 3 (Lecture #2, Divine Simplicity: 1. The Theological Grammar of Orthodoxy, Dr. Dolezal)
    • 7:30-7:50pm  Break
    • 7:50-8:30pm  Session 4 (Q&A, Drs. Dolezal and Renihan)
  • Tuesday, November 3, 2015
    • 8:30-9:30am  Session 5 (Lecture #3, Divine Simplicity: 2. On the Inadequacy of Harmonism and Actualism, Dr. Dolezal)
    • 9:30-9:50am  Break
    • 9:50-10:50am  Session 6 (Lecture #4, Divine Eternity: The Challenge of Creation, Dr. Dolezal)
    • 10:50-11:10am  Break
    • 11:10am-12:10pm  Session 7 (Panel Discussion on Divine Impassibility: Dr. Dolezal, Dr. Renihan, and Sam Renihan)
    • 12:10-1:30pm  Lunch: complimentary Argentine BBQ (full-conference attendees only)
    • 1:30-6:30pm  Break
    • 6:30-7:30pm  Session 8: (Lecture #5, Trinity: Rehabilitating the Unity of Being, Dr. Dolezal)
    • 7:30-7:50pm  Break
    • 7:50-8:30pm  Session 9 (Q&A, conference speakers)
    • Closing prayer and doxology


New Book: “God without Passions – a Primer: A Practical & Pastoral Study of Divine Impassibility” by Sam Renihan [RBAP]

As previously announced:

God without Passions PrimerGod without Passions – a Primer:
A Practical & Pastoral Study of Divine Impassibility”
by Sam Renihan

[ $11.99 | £7.63 ]


Pastor Samuel Renihan
Pastor Samuel Renihan

This book deals with something that you may have never even heard of, the doctrine of divine impassibility. Impassibility is not a word often used in sermons. Even when people are studying systematic theology, impassibility tends to receive a small amount of attention. So what is it? And why is this important? Divine impassibility is defined as follows: God does not experience emotional changes either from within or effected by his relationship to creation. This is a scriptural truth, and a very important part of our system of theology. In chapter two of our Confession, “Of God and the Holy Trinity,” we read the following in paragraph 1: The Lord our God is but one only living and true God; whose subsistence is in and of himself, infinite in being and perfection; whose essence cannot be comprehended by any but himself; a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions. But is this doctrine important? Yes. This is the doctrine of God. If there is a part of theology about which we should be especially careful and sensitive, it should be the doctrine of God. God is “without . . . passions”? If you are thinking, “I’m not really sure what that phrase means,” then you are not alone. It has become increasingly clear that many in our day are lacking study and knowledge in this area. Given these factors, we can conclude that we need teaching on this subject. It would be a mistake to jump straight into asserting the doctrine of divine impassibility and defending it. It is one piece in a system of doctrine. It stands upon and connects to many other facets of the doctrine of God. So what we need to do in our study is to build up to it. By doing so, we will appreciate not only the doctrine itself, but also just why it cannot be tampered with. So, to start from the ground up, we need to go where the doctrines grow, the Holy Scriptures.


Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: RBAP
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches


Upcoming Book: “God without Passions – a Primer: A Practical & Pastoral Study of Divine Impassibility” by Sam Renihan [RBAP]

Sam Renihan:

GodwoPassions_CoverFront_01062015 (1)
book | podcast

Back in January, I announced God without Passions: A Reader. The intent of this book was to provide access to original source writings from the 16th and 17th centuries relevant to the classical confessional Reformed doctrine of divine impassibility. While that book included an introduction designed to help understanding and processing the authors’ arguments, there were no further comments on the content of the writers.

Coming out very soon from RBAP, God without Passions: A Primer is a new (and much shorter) book that explains the doctrine of divine impassibility as it is drawn from the Scriptures and understood in the contexts of the human and divine natures. God WIthout Passions a primerGod without Passions: A Primer has been peppered (and salted) with quotations from Reformed authors (their language updated), written with a personal and pastoral perspective, and it includes study questions at the end of each of the five chapters. The chapters are:

  1. Impassibility’s Foundation
  2. The Human Half of the Equation
  3. Eminence and Negation
  4. Perfections and Incarnation
  5. Personal Applications and Pastoral Implications

God without Passions: A Primer would be a great book for personal study, and even better for group study. I hope you enjoy it!…

God without Passions Primer

Sam Renihan’s interview on Reformed Forum regarding Divine Impassibility [AUDIO]

Pastor Samuel Renihan
Pastor Samuel Renihan

From Reformed Forum‘s Christ the Center episode 383:

In this episode, we speak with Samuel Renihan about the doctrine of divine impassibility. Rev. Renihan is the pastor of Trinity Reformed Baptist Church in La Mirada, California and the editor of God without Passions: A Reader. Westminster Confession of Faith 2.1, that “There is but one only, living, and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions . . .” We explore the theological tradition behind that declaration as well as its implications.

Reformed ForumIf you would like to learn more about the doctrine of divine impassibility, listen to Rev. Renihan’s six-part audio series on the subject, which you can find at The Confessing Baptist. You can also listen to our interview with James Dolezal on Christ the Center episode 237

Participants: , , ,


53 min. mp3:

Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of Quebec 2015 General Assembly “Challenges of the Next Generation” [English/French Audio & Video] feat. Sam Renihan [L’AERBQ]

quebec association

Pastor Sam Renihan
Pastor Sam Renihan

Audio and video from the 2015 The General Assembly of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of Quebec [’Association d’Églises réformées baptistes du Québec à Lac-Mégantic | L’AERBQ] is now online.

Sam Renihan was invited to preach on “The challenges of the next generation.”


1. Preaching the Gospel in the 21st Century [Prêcher l’Évangile au 21e siècle]:

2. Preaching the Law in the 21st Century [Prêcher la Loi au 21e siècle]:

3. Applying God’s wisdom in the 21st Century [Appliquer la sagesse de Dieu au 21e siècle]:


[source: Un Héraut dans le net]

‘God without Passions’ 6-Part AUDIO Series by Sam Renihan

Pastor Sam Renihan
Pastor Sam Renihan

Samuel Renihan, Pastor of Trinity Reformed Baptist Church of La Mirada, California has finished his six part series on Divine Impassibility or as our confessions states, “The Lord our God is… a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions…”

Renihan lays out his outline for each part of the series. Expect clear definitions, much clearing of the brush, what-to-do-with troublesome biblical language, a lot of Puritan quotations, and refreshing doxologies.

You can listen to the series on SermonAudio [RSS] or below:

Impassibility: Its Exegetical Foundation [mp3]:

Impassibility: The Human Half of the Equation [mp3]:

Impassibility: Eminence and Negation [mp3]:

Impassibility: Perfections and Incarnation [mp3]:

Impassibility: Personal Applications [mp3]:

Impassibility: Pastoral Implications [mp3]:

Sam Renihan is also the editor of “God without Passions: a Reader“.

GodwoPassions_CoverFront_01062015 (1)

You can find our interview with him on the above book on episode 78 of our interview podcast.
Sam Renihan Passion Perfection


How to Read Logos’ Baptist Covenant Theology Collection [Sam Renihan]

Helpful, timely tips from one who has spent a great deal of time in these works. Sam Renihan:

17 century booksWith the release of Logos’ Baptist Covenant Theology Collection (17 vols.) I thought it would be helpful and important to offer a few tips for those who are diving into these books.

If you are like me, it’s exciting to spend time in the writings of the Particular Baptists. Every now and then you feel like Indiana Jones looking for the lost Ark. There are even Nazis (Daniel Featley and Thomas Edwards) trying to kill you. This excitement and nostalgia, combined with your desire to find what you seek, may lead you astray in your reading of the sources. So, if this is your first foray into 17th century writings in general, and those of the Baptists in particular, then you should keep in mind at least the following things:

1. Keep in mind that you are from the 21st century…

2. Keep in mind the context in which the authors are writing…

3. Keep in mind that some of the authors later abandoned the faith…

4. Keep in mind that just because Baptist A held X belief, it does not mean that all Baptists, or any other Baptist held X belief…

5. Keep in mind that there are other works on covenant theology from the Particular Baptists. This is just a reminder that these works do not comprise the whole of Particular Baptist thought on covenant theology…

6. Keep in mind that some of these authors are not Baptists, though their works support Baptist principles and the Baptists appealed to them…

Read “How to Read Logos’ Baptist Covenant Theology Collection” in its entirety.

Particular Baptists Arrested for the Confession of Faith [Particular Voices]

Committee for Plundered Ministers
Committee for Plundered Ministers

Journal of the House of Commons
Die Jovis (Thursday), 29 Januarii, 1645/6:

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…

Read Particular Baptists Arrested for the Confession of Faith.

Interview #78 – Sam Renihan – God Without Passions, A Reader [Audio Podcast]

Blank bookcover with clipping path


Sam Renihan
Samuel Renihan

On episode 78 of our interview podcast we have Sam Renihan back on to discuss the new book God Without Passions, A ReaderWe got to know him on episode 18.


  • Why this book?
  • What does “God Without Passions” even mean?
  • What is Divine Impassibility?
  • How can a reader like me be helped in reading this reader?
  • How can we say God has no passions when the Bible seems to make it clear that He has wrath, anger, love, etc.?
  • Does this doctrine have anything to do with any other doctrines?
  • + more


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



Now at RBAP for $14! ‘God Without Passions: A Reader’ edited by Samuel Renihan

The new book, ‘God Without Passions: A Reader’ edited by Samuel Renihan, that we previously announced is now available from Reformed Baptist Academic Press (RBAP) for $14! (Yes, it is for sale even though the page currently says, “COMING SOON”.)

GodwoPassions_CoverFront_01062015 (1)

God without Passions: A Reader
Edited by Samuel Renihan
[ RBAP: $14.00 | AMZ: $21.84 / £14.91 ]


Subtitled A Reader, the primary purpose of the material presented in this book is to familiarize the reader with sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English language sources pertinent to the doctrine of divine impassibility, particularly for those who confess with the Reformed confessions that God is “without body, parts, or passions.” If this material is studied carefully, the reader will encounter an excellent and diverse array of writings that touch on this subject.

230 pages
Published 2015

If you are interested in the doctrine of God, and especially in understanding how sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Reformed theologians argued for divine impassibility, this book is for you. Samuel Renihan has collected the words of sixty theologians from the Reformation and post-Reformation era in order to help readers understand the classical doctrine of divine impassibility which is sorely misunderstood in our day.


From the back of the book:

God Without Passions Endorsements

Full endorsements from the inside of the book:

James Dolezal“Abandonment or modification of the classical doctrine of divine impassibility has played no small part in the evangelical drift toward modified process theism. Denying passions of God is not uncommonly thought odd, or worse, biblically repugnant. Indeed, even many who continue to confess that God is impassible in some sense insist that the doctrine must now be reconceived so as to cohere with an affirmation of passion and emotional change in God. But such a revision comes at the high cost of severing impassibility of its organic bond to other divine attributes such as simplicity, pure actuality, and immutability.

Samuel Renihan’s reader is a welcome contribution that sheds much light on precisely what our Reformed forebears intended by denying passions of God. These selections set forth impassibility in its proper theological context as an entailment of God’s simplicity, pure actuality, and immutability. The picture that emerges is not one of a distant and uncaring God, but of God as so absolutely perfect in being that he cannot be moved to any greater perfection of love, mercy, or hatred of sin. This volume should aid greatly in the rehabilitation of an informed confession of God without passions.”

James E. Dolezal
Cairn University
Author of God without Parts: Divine Simplicity and the Metaphysics of God’s Absoluteness

Dr. Sam Waldron“Christian teaching and theology must be derived always from the Scriptures alone. The Scriptures are the sole authority for what Christians should believe and teach as Christians. But this does not mean that there is nothing else that a Christian should do before he presumes to teach and preach the Bible. Exegetical theology precedes systematic theology authoritatively, but in other ways so also does historical theology. Of course, it does not precede it authoritatively, but it does and must precede it in an advisory capacity and as a counselor. The HCSB translates Proverbs 26:16 as follows: ‘In his own eyes, a slacker is wiser than seven men who can answer sensibly.’ Similarly, though God alone in his Word has authority over how a Christian should conduct himself, that same Christian does well to consult the seven wise men. He does foolishly when he does not. In our teaching and preaching also we must not be slackers, we must consult the wise men of historical theology. We also must not be historical snobs and take the really incredible position that our day is the wisest of all theologically. Really? Yes, we have advantages, but we also have incredible disadvantages. One of them is our modern tendency to historical snobbery.

For all these reasons, and especially in the difficult matter of the doctrine of God and divine impassibility, we are indebted to Sam Renihan for not being a slacker himself and giving us the massive work compiled in this book. He has given us the views of the ‘seven wise men’ with regard to divine impassibility. We do well to pay close attention.”

Sam Waldron
Dean of Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary
Pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church of Owensboro, KY

More endorsements…


Also see the Table of ContentsSeventeenth-Century Dictionary Entries Related to Impassibility, and Erratum.