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Featured Systematic Theologies and their Apologics.

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by 37818, Sep 10, 2022.

  1. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Systematic Theologies and their Apologics go hand in hand. The pair should have a common starting point.

    Now each of us, most likely, were not converted to the faith directly by either.

    Now personally I was lead to believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior though the use of eight Scripture passages. [In 9962.]

    Now each of us may have similar or even some how different paths to our coming to the faith. [Jude 1:3.]

    Now also there are points of each of our beliefs where individually we might disagree. Merely the disagreements are not the problem, but the inability to simply and clearly present a truth as so the other person or persons might understand that different view. And if unable to agree, to return a simple and clean explanation of that truth.

    Merely saying "you are wrong" is not a refutation.
     
  2. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    There have been two primary starting points in evangelical Christianity when it comes to systematic theology.

    First, and easily the longest, is Covenant Theology. In Covenant Theology the narrative is understood through God establishing covenants with his chosen people.

    Second, and about 150 years old, is Dispensational Theology. In Dispensational Theology the narrative creates breaks in time where God is supposed to change his means and methods of dealing with man. Rather than emphasizing covenants the emphasis is on searching to find difference in God's interaction with men at different times.

    I, personally, find Dispensationalism to be a backwards viewing theology where artificial, man-made, breaks are declared to exist in the Bible by theologians. Their opinion, regarding the various breaks, becomes the standard of understanding the Bible.

    With Covenant Theology the covenants God established drive the understanding of scripture. There is no man-made breaks. There is only God's covenant making that drives the narrative.

    In Dispensationalism you can get hyper-dispensational thoughts as scholars make up their own breaks. The Bible becomes subject to man. An example of dispensational twisting is the 7 church ages theory being foisted here at the BB.

    So, the narrative you start out with will determine the system of theology you follow. Because dispensationalism is man-made in its breakdown you tend to see free-will promoters being steeped in dispensationalism. Since they create the breaks and try to force God into those breaks, it is natural that they would think they control their salvation. They, therefore, breakdown the Bible in a system that emphasizes the will of man as primary in the narrative.
     
  3. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    A big long rant. Not really presenting a starting point covenant or really explaining what that starting point itself consists. Neither simple nor clear.

    The 27 books are named after the New Covenant, Jeremiah 31:31-34. Aka The New Testament.
     
  4. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    The 27 books have been placed in a man-made label called the New Testament (Covenant).

    Covenant Theology starts with Adam in Genesis 3. It recognizes God saving his chosen ones by grace and justifying them by faith. This theme runs through all 66 books.
     
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  5. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Your Covenant Theology is man made Theology. Theology is metaphysics. And epistemology comes before the metaphysics.
     
  6. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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  7. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Not at all.
    You and I can sit down and read the Covenants God makes. It is right in God's word.

    Adamic Covenant:
    *Genesis 3:15*
    I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
    Noahic Covenant:
    *Genesis 9:8-13*

    Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

    Abrahamic Covenant

    *Genesis 15:1-21*

    After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness. And he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away. As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”
     
  8. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Mosaic Covenant:
    *Exodus 19:2-11*
    They set out from Rephidim and came into the wilderness of Sinai, and they encamped in the wilderness. There Israel encamped before the mountain, while Moses went up to God. The Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.” So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” And Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord. And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.” When Moses told the words of the people to the Lord, the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.

    Davidic Covenant
    *2 Samuel 7:1-17*
    Now when the king lived in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.” But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: Would you build me a house to dwell in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling. In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’” In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.
     
  9. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    New Covenant
    *Jeremiah 31:31-34*
    “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

    *Hebrews 8:7-13*

    For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
     
  10. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    There, the Covenants God has made with His chosen people. No philosophy needed. Read and see how all the Scripture points us toward Jesus.
     
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  11. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Start are not the covenants but God and then His written word by which these covenants are revealed. But then how did we come to that understanding? The start has to be how we know.
     
  12. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    Covenant theology gets you things like infant baptism....
     
  13. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Not from the word of God.
     
  14. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Only if you attempt to equate baptism with circumcision, which is a stretch.

    However, Baptist churches do baby dedications, which are basically the same thing.
     
  15. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Only if one conflates baptism and circumcision. The earliest Particular Baptists were all covenant theologians, including those who wrote the 1689 Confession.

    There is an excellent book, The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant Theology by Pascal Denault (Solid Ground Christian Books) which explains the difference between Baptist and paedobaptist covenant theology and two websites, https://www.1689federalism.com/ (American)and www.brokenwharfe.com (British) which promote Baptist C.T.
     
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  16. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    That is hardly the same thing.
     
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  17. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    It is the same thing. Both are covenantal commitments by the parents and the church to raise the child up in the statutes of God with the understanding that God either will or won't save the child.

    Now, Lutherans, Episcopalians and Roman Catholics go too far and declare baptismal regeneration, which is a false teaching, but Presbyterians see baptism as a covenantal connection to the church, just as children in Israel were in covenant with God, but were not necessarily living in faith, trusting in the Promised One.

    Baby dedication is nearly identical in its function.
     
  18. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    Presbyterians do not practice believer's baptism for those baptized as infants. No, it is not the same thing.
     
  19. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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  20. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Correct, they baptize as a sign of the covenantal connection to the church, just as circumcision was a covenantal connection to the nation of Israel in the Mosaic Covenant. They do not practice baptismal regeneration.
    Therefore their infant baptism is synonymous with Baptists infant dedication.

    Where they differ is that there is no need to baptize a person after God gives saving faith because even then the purpose of baptism is to symbolize the covenantal connection to the church. If an infant was baptized into the covenantal church, there would be no need to re-baptized them into the covenantal church. If a child doesn't believe, they are no longer in the covenant.

    In this area I disagree with RC Sproul and agree with John MacArthur. The Presbyterian view is not correct.
     
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