Reformed Baptist Fellowship

Matrix of Reformed Baptists

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on August 2, 2010 at 9:03 pm

The three part series Matrix of Reformed Baptists seeks to discover the religious, political, and social pressures which formed and developed that which has come to be known as Reformed Baptist Churches.  Without knowing something of these shaping influences over the course of seventeen hundred years of Church history, we cannot rightly understand how these churches came to be what they are today.

In Lesson One it will be seen that from the time of Constantine onward the dominant expression of the Christian Church has been that system wherein the State compelled its citizenry to embrace the “Christian” religion.  From the 4th century through the 15th century this Constantinian Model of Christianity was Roman Catholicism.  After the first few tumultuous and uncertain years of the Protestant Reformation the dust settled and a Constantinian Model of Christianity could be found throughout European countries not only in the Roman Catholic version but also in the Reformed version.  But whether Catholic or Reformed it was Constantianism still.  It was the Corpus Christianum of old whether supported by a Catholic Emperor or a Protestant and Reformed King.

When in the 16th Century the Pope was removed as head of the Catholic Church of England and Henry VIII declared himself to be head of the Church of England nothing essentially changed.  The Church goers in London were just as much compelled in religion under the one as the other.  This series of social and political pressures brings us to the turbulent 17th century in England where Baptist Churches were brought into being.

In Lesson Two we trace our way through the middle decades of this 17th century (1630-1690) which will bring us to the forefathers of modern day Reformed Baptists.  This lesson looks at the rough hewn and seemingly insignificant details of a handful of Particular Baptists forging out an elementary Baptist ecclesiology in the midst of a nation where powers were vying for political and religious control.

Not one, but two historic Baptist Confessions of Faith were produced in London during these years.  The First London Baptist Confession was published in 1644 (revised in 1646) and the Second London Baptist Confession was published in 1689 (though written in 1677).

The differences between the 1644 and 1689 LBC’s are significant and hold lessons for us even today.  Was one of these Confessions more Baptist than the other?  Did one of these have a more biblical treatment of the Moral Law than the other?  These questions are taken up as well as several other significant details.

Lesson Three rounds out the overview of the Matrix from which Reformed Baptists emerged, taking up 20th century progress and development and a look ahead at early 21st century trends.

Not unlike the early decades of 17th century England we find that a mere handful of men and institutions in the early and middle decades of the 20th century were used of God to call Evangelical Churches back to their early Reformational roots.

There arose in the middle of the 20th century a handful of Baptist Churches which embraced wholeheartedly the 1689 Confession and in the final quarter of that century churches began to include “Reformed Baptist” in their name.

Will Reformed Baptists hold fast to those things most surely believed among us?  Will they falter after just two generations? Will they succumb to fads and pressures to conform to contemporary models of Church?  Hopefully these lessons on the Matrix of Reformed Baptists will inspire the current generation to preserve that which was handed to us at such great cost over three hundred years ago.

Pastor Bob Brown
Reformed Baptist Church
  1. Thanks, Bob. I’m looking forward to this. Will you posting the three lessons?

  2. Blessings. Wow, I’m reformed Southern Baptist myself, and hope to learn a lot from you. My church is a Founder’s church and we hope to contribute much to the cause in the SBC.

  3. Barzillai, I mean Barcelou…

    The blue letters are hyperlinks. No, I’m not calling anyone Hyper…

    And thank you, Pastor Bob, for sharing with us this very edifying history of RBs. As the song goes, may those who come behind us find us faithful!

  4. Thanks Pastor Bob,

    What a rich heritage we have. May the knowledge of our past have a powerful impact upon our present and future!

    Men shall speak of the might of your awesome acts, and I will declare your greatness. They shall utter the memory of your great goodness, and shall sing of your righteousness…

    Mike W

  5. Well, they’re hyperlinks but aren’t working correctly.

  6. So does the first person to name all the RBs get a prize?

  7. What is wrong with the links?

  8. They’re working now!

  9. MP, I knew they were links. I’m not that old. 🙂 Does that mean that Bob will not be posting the three lessons here in script form?

  10. I will identify the Reformed Baptist in the upper left corner. He is my pastor, John Grevious.

  11. I think I recognize that fine man in the center. Praise God for all of these men.

  12. “Thanks, Bob. I’m looking forward to this. Will you posting the three lessons?”

    Rich, the notes would have to be reworked and the resulting length might not be compatible with a blog format.

  13. J.C. Ryle on Matthew 7:13-14; We have no reason to be discouraged and cast down, if the religion we profess is not popular, and few agree with us. We must remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in this passage: “The gate is strait.” Repentance, and faith in Christ, and holiness of life, have never been fashionable. The true flock of Christ has always been small.

  14. David – Thank you for that quote from Ryle. He sure knew how to speak the truth.

  15. David Charles wrote:
    J.C. Ryle on Matthew 7:13-14; We have no reason to be discouraged and cast down, if the religion we profess is not popular, and few agree with us. We must remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in this passage: “The gate is strait.” Repentance, and faith in Christ, and holiness of life, have never been fashionable. The true flock of Christ has always been small.

    On Today’s Grace Gems:

    “If the world hates you–keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world–it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world–but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you!” John 15:18-19

    Such is the testimony of the Lord Jesus.

    Real Christians have never been favorites of the world–and while it continues what it is, they never can be.

  16. […] Bob Brown’s Sunday School Lessons from Reformed Baptist Church of Louisville via Reformed Baptist Fellowship […]

  17. […] Bob Brown’s Sunday School Lessons from Reformed Baptist Church of Louisville via Reformed Baptist Fellowship […]

  18. […] Bob Brown’s Sunday School Lesson from Reformed Baptist Church of Louisville via Reformed Baptist Fellowship […]

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