Baptists and the Reformation

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Archippus, Nov 29, 2003.

  1. Archippus

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    Do American Baptists consider themselves part of the Protestant movement? Most Baptists I know of here are proud of their Protestant heritage, but someone told me that some Baptists do not consider themsleves Protestant.
     
  2. rsr

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    There are a number of American Baptists who do not consider themselves Protestants, some of whom post on this board. I cannot say how widespread it is — Landmark Baptists will hold to that position, as will most most Primitives — but my guess is that is a minority position among American Baptists.

    There are any number of threads here on disputing Baptist heritage; to get the full flavor, set your view to show all threads from the past year.

    Here's one thread that discussed whether Baptists are Protestants:

    http://www.baptistboard.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=16;t=000270;p=2
     
  3. Major B

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    Some of us who are not "Landmarkers" nevertheless see a history of baptisTIC groups that existed outside the Catholic community, and Baptist beliefs stand far enough apart from liturgical churches so as to make one wonder if there is a real connection.
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    Amen, Major. How could baptistic-type churches spring up "overnight" in the Reformation era unless there were thousands of individuals and groups who already believed these basic premises that were hidden underground, waiting for the climate to change.

    I am not a protestant. Proudly not. But appreciate the open development of doctrine of the great Reformers.
     
  5. Squire Robertsson

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    I'll chime in with count me with the Major and Dr. Bob.
     
  6. Ephesus23

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    I'm an Independent Fundamental Baptist, and myself and my church do not consider ourselves Protestant.
     
  7. Matt Black

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    For me, the issue is between the Magisterial Reformation (Lutheran/Evangelical and Calvinist/ Reformed) and the (orthodox as opposed to unorthodox anti-Trinitarian) Radical Reformation (Anabaptists, Brethren, Hutterites, Mennonites, Separatists, Congregationalists, Independents and Baptists). I am very firmly in the Radical camp and, given that the label Protestant is more properly applied only to the 'children' of the Magisterial Reformation, I guess that means I am not a Protestant.

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  8. rsr

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    I don't have a problem with the label because I consider Baptists to be on the radical wing of the Protestant Reformation. I consider the orthodox/nonorthdox issue more important than the acceptance of the magisterium.
     
  9. Matt Black

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    It depends on how you define Protestantism. Historically, the label is strictly speaking only applicable to those protesting against Catholicism at the Diet of Speyer in 1529, and these were quite clearly Magisterial Reformers; no representatives from the Radical Reformation such as Anabaptists or Bohemian Brethren attended let alone protested, in fact they pretty much regarded the RCC as an apostate irrelevance - see eg art IV of the Schleitheim Confession which predates the Diet and the 'Protestation' by a good 2 years:- http://www.anabaptists.org/history/schleith.html ; far from protesting against Catholicism they wanted nothing to do with it. From this clearly Baptists are not Protestants

    If however you want to adopt the classic Catholic definition of Protestant ie: "all Christians who are not Catholic (and not Eastern Orthodox)", then quite clearly Baptists are Protestants.

    Which definition do you prefer to use?

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  10. rsr

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    Not that it's worth spilling that many electrons over, but I don't necessarily accept either (though I admit the second is probably closer.)

    Matt said:

    While this is correct, surely Protestant has traditionally carried more meaning than just Reformed or Lutheran. At times, the Anglican Church has considered itself Protestant, surely, especially when the Puritans had their brief ascendancy. The Act of Settlement specified that the monarchy would secure the Protestant succession.

    Given the influence of the Puritans and the Separatists on early Baptists, I think a good case could be made for the Protestant label; the Particular Baptists didn't discard it in the Second London Baptist Confession.

    The distinction between the magisterial Reformation and the Anabaptists is certainly a valid one, but even then they shared many initial beliefs. It wasn't until Zwingli refused to stand against paedobaptism and civil control over the church that the real split came. Conrad Grebel was a former Zwinglian, and it was Luther's writing that persuaded Menno Simons to leave the Latin Rite Church.

    So if someone calls me a Protestant; I can live with it.
     

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