Reformed Presbyterians & Westminister Confession

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    This is NOT a debate between Calvinism and Arminianism. Thank you for respecting this.

    A friend of mine is an elder in a Reformed Presbyterian Church that subscribes to the confession. I have been in Calvinist and Reformed Baptist churches that were Dispensational in eschatology, but did not use wine for communion (as some Reformed churches do) and other areas. Can someone kindly tell me the differences between Reformed Presbyterian Churches and Calvinist churches?

    What I DO NOT understand is that while as a BJU student they allowed students to attend this church and the pastor even spoke in Chapel (http://faithfpc.org/about-us/our-denomination/) yet did not allow students to attend 9 Marks Calvinist Churches, nor Reformed Baptist Churches. There has to be a dividing line somewhere. Thank you
     
  2. Rhys

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    The only difference between a 'Reformed' church and a 'Calvinistic' one is that the former almost always adhere to a written confession of faith. The Primitive Baptists are 5 point Calvinists, but non-creedal, and so they are not 'Reformed.'

    Otherwise, Reformed and Calvinist are interchangeable.

    Also, there are Reformed Baptist churches that are premillennial but not Dispensational. This type of teaching is usually called Historic Premillennialism, in that it was taught by some early church fathers (whereas Dispensationalism obviously was not).
     
  3. evangelist6589

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    Thanks for the reply. I am aware of Historic premilennialists and have read some of their books. Millard Erickson is one example.
     
  4. DocTrinsoGrace

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    Presbyterians as a Subset

    Although the term Reformed might be used, depending on context, to refer to a particular denominations that hold to the Three Forms of Unity (Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dordrecht), it generally has a broader historical definition. Thus, the old Presbyters were Reformed, but not all who are Reformed were Presbyters. In the same sense, Lutherans (Book of Concord) are Reformed, while clearly not all Reformed are Lutheran. Even old Anglicanism (Savoy Declaration of Faith) would be Reformed.

    I think that in the sense in which you are using the term, Reformed would be those Christians whose presuppositions are rooted in the Five Solas. Therefore, whereas traditionally Presbyterians would be included in that group, they would generally be distinguished by the Westminster Confession of Faith; i.e., an explicitly Calvinistic confession. The terms Reformed and Calvinistic are no more interchangeable than the words European and British.
     
  5. OldRegular

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    According to my good friend Charles H. Spurgeon we Baptists would not be considered "Reformed". I agree wholeheartedly!

     
  6. agedman

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    Not to argue to fine a point, but if I have read work by Augustine correctly, he was dispensational and premillennial until Rome was sacked, and then in his old age became amillennial.

    Others through church history have also taught a "dispensation" thinking.

    That it was "systematized" and labeled a century and half ago allows some to think that it was not regularly taught as a normal part of theological thinking.

    Segmenting the history of the Scriptures into some scheme has been around for millennia and too often contemporary folks what to view dispensation as the "new kid on the block" when it really isn't.

    The POPULARIZATION of dispensational teaching as presented in the past 1/2 century or a bit more is what is problematic - even straying into error by some who desire to hold some corner discovering some new "a word of knowledge." This is all too familiar making money off the gospel and seeking to be popular with the increased profitability it brings.

    Too much of that sort are involved in all areas of Christianity, and it is truly sad. It moved dispensation from theology into popularity, and was then held up for ridicule and shunning. What was taught was neither and accepted as a sound theological view.

    Most of us who tend towards the scholarly and "dispensational" are more in line with what was taught by such as Jonathan Edwards and not so much in lock step with that embraced by modern teaching and teachers. The sensational factor is still way over the top in my view, and that was all so very unnecessary other than laying the groundwork for a great falling away as the Scriptures say:
    "Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”

    But this verse can also be applicable to most any eschatological scheme and I predict will also be said involving arguments of soteriology, too. For why should one even believe if there is no hope in the return.

    Perhaps the BB will die, not from over burdened servers, but by the demise of those who hope in Christ.
     
  7. agedman

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    Could it be that there are two different reformed.

    Those that were already and those that are "johnny come lately?"

    Perhaps the reformation was when some woke up that the Baptist folks had it right all along.

    But then, they still clung to some papist thinking even when reformed.
     
  8. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Allow me a point of correction here; by "Calvinist" I assume they mean "Predestinarian" (we Old School Baptists / Primitive Baptists/ Old Regular Baptists......we are not descendants of Calvin).
     
  9. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Amen :thumbs::applause:
     
  10. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Once again brother CHS states an important point right up front....."We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians."
     
  11. Rhys

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    No, I mean Calvinistic in the sense that they, as far as I have read, follow all of what is commonly known as the five points of Calvinism -- predestination being but one of five tenants of that system. If Calvinist goes too far, Predestinarian doesn't go far enough.

    But, as long as Spurgeon quotes are being thrown around like hotcakes, might as well trump your point of correction with a point of correction:

    It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. -- A Defence of Calvinism.

    :tongue3:
     
  12. Jerome

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    But how many 'Reformed' here limit their Calvinism to "the Gospel, and nothing else"?

    "It is one thing to believe in the Doctrines of Grace, but quite another thing to accept all the encrustations which have formed upon those doctrines and also a very different matter to agree with the spirit which is apparent in some who profess to propagate the pure Truth of God." ― Charles Spurgeon, "Rivers Of Water In A Dry Place"
     
  13. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Go ask a Primitive Baptist if they are Calvinists then
     
  14. saturneptune

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    So, how many of you posters have ever served in a Reformed Presbyterian Church, or for that matter, any Presbyterian church? Answer: If any, hovers just above zero. It reminds me of the military geniuses that post in the political section that never served one day or got out of their air conditioned seminary dorm rooms or plush offices while others died for freedom. It is called not having a clue. Your entire opinion is formed by reading this author, or that theologian, and you never lived the experience.

    How many of you have read the entire 33 Chapters of the Westminster Confession of Faith? What is it in the Confession that is at odds with Scripture? It has been modified over the years, such as the section about relation to government and the Pope as the Anti Christ, but basically, how is the Confession at odds with Scripture?

    The terms "reformed" and "Calvinism" are thrown around like vague adjectives. Does anyone realize if we had left the church as Christ intended, there would be no need for "reform?" Most of you act like it is a noble crusade to correct the mistakes we made in the first place. And Calvinism, that is a good one. What most of you mean is his views on doctrines of sovereignty and grace. Yet, most of you ignore his views and writings on baptism, religious liberty, church-state relationships, and basic human dignity and respect.

    Oh and one final question, were those first Christians who were without a doubt Baptists, serving pot lucks before or after Peter became the first Pope?
     
  15. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Studied both Westminster & the 1689 & read Institutes & Calvin's golden books....all to gain some moorings when I 1st became a Christian. But you know many can interpret the Bible but few can give you what is necessary....the schooling of the holy spirit. That takes time to sit there and read with him at your side. I made an observation from my own weekly Bible study at a UMC with mostly Methodist men. They use a Barclay's study guide to interpret. Well Barclay himself was a universalist and didn't believe in the Trinity. You get my drift.
     
  16. pilgrim_99

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    I'm definitely no expert on BJU. But I do know a little about the Free Presbyterian Church. It is the denomination that was founded in Northern Ireland under the leadership of Ian Paisley. My understanding is that they have had a close relationship with BJU for many years. I understand that the Greenville congregation was their first one in North America.

    Basically, the FPC is considered fundamentalist while the 9 Marks type churches would be considered "New Evangelical." That is most likely your dividing line.

    Reformed Presbyterian is quite another thing entirely. They tend to have a strong emphasis on the Regulative Principle of Worship . This might include a cappella Exclusive Psalmody, which is not the practice in most conservative Presbyterian churches such as those in the PCA.
     
    #16 pilgrim_99, Dec 8, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2013
  17. Jerome

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    Here is a chart that attempts to make sense of all the Reformed and Presbyterian schisms and microdenominations:

    http://www.tateville.com/churches.html

    Several tiny 'Reformed Presbyterian' bodies are listed, as well as a 'Free Presbyterian' group.

    Not sure what exactly the convoluted OP means.
     

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