The Five Points of Calvinism and Covenant Theology

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In recent years, there has been a recovery of the five points of Calvinism among many evangelicals, but there has not been a concomitant revival of the covenant theology of seventeenth century Puritanism as the rich soil in which Calvinistic soteriology grows. This post will not attempt to thoroughly defend every doctrine mentioned, but to…



Confessions of Faith: The Bible, therefore, the Creed

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The Bible is a big book with numerous themes and doctrines. Consider the following four realities that drive us to summarize the doctrines of the Bible in a confession of faith. 1. The Progressive History of Graphe Drives us to Doctrinal Summary Faithfulness to the Bible as the Word of God, singular in its meaning…



What is a Baptist?

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Many times when people ask the question, “What is a Baptist?,” they’re looking for certain qualities that distinguish Baptists from other denominations. But to look for distinguishing characteristics of Baptists is a question of “Baptist distinctives.” The definition of a “Baptist” includes far more than our distinguishing doctrines and practices. What it means to be…



Some Baptist Thoughts on Trinitarian Relations

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The online evangelical world has been abuzz of late with trinitarian discussion. I won’t review all the literature (e.g., see here for a synopsis of the debate), but I would like to highlight a few things that Particular Baptists have written on the subject in the past. More specifically, I’d like to continue the discussion around…



Must I Join a Church to be a Christian?

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I have heard many versions of this notion over the years, phrased as both a statement and a declaration. “I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian—do I?” More often than not, it’s been put this way: “I love Jesus and the Bible, but I don’t love the church.” Or those more…



Hymns and the Doctrine of Election

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In the last post we began looking at doctrine in hymns. Specifically, we focused on hymns that teach about the depravity of man. The music of the church is tied to theology. We sing as well as preach our doctrine. Our songs instruct us. They can teach us well or they can teach us poorly….



Confessions of Faith: “No Creed But The Bible”

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1. The Bible: A Matter of Faith At the most basic level, every Christian should confess, “I have no creed but the Bible.” The Bible is meant to be believed. In matters of faith dependent upon revealed truth, therefore, the Christian should make no commitment of heart or head to a proposition not founded immediately upon…



Hermeneutics: New Testament Priority

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One important aspect of biblical hermeneutics (the theory of biblical interpretation) is the principle of “New Testament priority.” At the beginning of the Middle Ages, Augustine of Hippo (354-430) expressed New Testament priority with the phrase, “The New is in the Old concealed; the Old is in the New revealed.” Augustine meant that the Old…



7 Practical Reasons Why Historical Theology is Valuable

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Historical theology has been defined as “the study of the interpretation of Scripture and the formulation of doctrine by the church of the past.”[1] Simply put, historical theology is answering this question: How has the church thought about the Bible in the past? Some people hear the words “historical theology” and think that there couldn’t be…



Eight Reasons to Study Baptist History

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I always begin church history classes the same way as our dear brother Tom Nettles, with a lecture called “Why Study Church History?” I’m not merely seeking to copycat my mentor; we live in an age in which what C.S. Lewis called “chronological snobbery”—the prioritizing of all things new and the despising of all things…