Calvinism and the London Baptist Confession of 1689

The 2nd London Baptist Confession of 1689
During the 17-century there were a number of issues in England that help bring about the change from the 1st 1644 LBC to the 2nd 1689 LBC, but more so that the Baptist and Presbyterians would be closer in work and deed than further a part like that we see in America today. A number of issues came about that brought the Second London Baptist Confession in it entirety, and in its likeness of its earlier cousin the Westminster Confession of Faith.

  1. 1661 – The Episcopalians had recaptured the machinery and endowments of the Church of England and they were bent on achieving uniformity in England, and not accepting Presbyterians, nor the WCF-1646.
  2. 1661 -1665 – A series of coercive acts which form the Clarendon Code were put into act effect to suppress the dissant, namely Presbyterians, but yet effecting Baptist as well, and other Congregationalists throughout England.
  3. 1672 – King Charles favored the restoration of Roman Catholicism and issued a Declaration of Indulgence which suspended all penal laws of an ecclesiastical nature against all Protestant dissenters, Presbyterian and Baptist.
  4. 1673 – England Parliament passed the Test Act which barred non-conformist from all military and civil offices.

These four key issues brought the Particular Baptist of London to show their agreement with Presbyterians and other Congregationalists through England by making the Westminster Confession their basis of a new (2nd) confession of their own. Thus the London Baptist purpose has been clearly stated,

Our (Baptist) hearty agreement with them (Presbyterians) in that wholesome protestant doctrine, which, with so clear evidence of Scriptures they have asserted.

One of the most evident “Presbyterian-friendly” areas the authors saw fit to change in the 1689 can be found in chapter 30 on The Lord’s Supper, that it is not restricted to scripturally baptized people, as in the 1644-LBC. The assembly writing the 2nd London Baptist Confession saw fit to work with the Presbyterians, for the sake of Protestantism during their time. While there are differences between the London baptist Confession and Westminster Confession of Faith (chapters 19-23), sections belittle some Presbyterians might add (chapter 7 & 25 ), and chapters done better by the Baptists (chapter 17), in all they often have more similarities in purpose than difference, thus showing the close relationship during the time of the Protestant Reformation.

Presbyterians at times make the remark that London Baptist copied their confession. While layout and words are almost identical at times (chapters 1, 9, 16, & 32) there are additions, differences, and sections condensed throughout the whole of the London Baptist Confession of 1689. If you do not agree, you can take a look at a Tabular Comparison of the WCF & 2nd-LBC for yourself.

The Particular Baptist and Calvinism
The London Baptist used the outline of the Westminster for their 1689, this base was far more complete and well laid out than their earlier confession of 1644. Being that it provided a well established order to their confession, changes had to be made in the 1689. There are a number of differences between the London Baptist Confession of 1644 and 1689. Sections were added to the 1689 on the areas of marriage, the Scriptures, the Sabbath, and a stronger emphasis on Calvinism than its earlier 1644 confession. This is most evident in the difference of verbiage between the 1644 and 1689 London Confessions dealing with what is called “Calvinistic” doctrines.

Total Depravity
6.2: Our first parents, by this sin, fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, and we in them whereby death came upon all: all becoming dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body.

6.3: They being the root, and by God’s appointment, standing in the room and stead of all mankind, the guilt of the sin was imputed, and corrupted nature conveyed, to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation, being now conceived in sin, and by nature children of wrath, the servants of sin, the subjects of death, and all other miseries, spiritual, temporal, and eternal, unless the Lord Jesus set them free.

6.5: The corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated; and although it be through Christ pardoned and mortified, yet both itself, and the first motions thereof, are truly and properly sin.

Unconditional Election
3.5: Those of mankind that are predestinated to life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of his mere free grace and love, without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving him thereunto.

3.6: As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so he hath, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto; wherefore they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ, by his Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power through faith unto salvation; neither are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.

10.1: Those whom God hath predestinated unto life, he is pleased in his appointed, and accepted time, effectually to call, by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by his almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace.

10.3: Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit; who worketh when, and where, and how he pleases; so also are all elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.

10.4: Others not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet not being effectually drawn by the Father, they neither will nor can truly come to Christ, and therefore cannot be saved: much less can men that receive not the Christian religion be saved; be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature and the law of that religion they do profess.

11.4: God did from all eternity decree to justify all the elect, and Christ did in the fullness of time die for their sins, and rise again for their justification; nevertheless, they are not justified personally, until the Holy Spirit doth in time due actually apply Christ unto them.

Limited Atonement
3.6: As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so he hath, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto; wherefore they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ, by his Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power through faith unto salvation; neither are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.

8.5: The Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience and sacrifice of himself, which he through the eternal Spirit once offered up unto God, hath fully satisfied the justice of God, procured reconciliation, and purchased an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father hath given unto Him

8.6: Although the price of redemption was not actually paid by Christ till after his incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefit thereof were communicated to the elect in all ages, successively from the beginning of the world, in and by those promises, types, and sacrifices wherein he was revealed, and signified to be the seed which should bruise the serpent’s head; and the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, being the same yesterday, and to-day and for ever.

8.8: To all those for whom Christ hath obtained eternal redemption, he doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same, making intercession for them; uniting them to himself by his Spirit, revealing unto them, in and by his Word, the mystery of salvation, persuading them to believe and obey, governing their hearts by his Word and Spirit, and overcoming all their enemies by his almighty power and wisdom, in such manner and ways as are most consonant to his wonderful and unsearchable dispensation; and all of free and absolute grace, without any condition foreseen in them to procure it.

Irresistible Grace
15.1: Such of the elect as are converted at riper years, having sometime lived in the state of nature, and therein served divers lusts and pleasures, God in their effectual calling giveth them repentance unto life.

15.2: Whereas there is none that doth good and sinneth not, and the best of men may, through the power and deceitfulness of their corruption dwelling in them, with the prevalency of temptation, fall into great sins and provocations; God hath, in the covenant of grace, mercifully provided that believers so sinning and falling be renewed through repentance unto salvation.

Perseverance of the Saints
17.1: Those whom God hath accepted in the beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, and given the precious faith of his elect unto, can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved, seeing the gifts and callings of God are without repentance, whence he still begets and nourisheth in them faith, repentance, love, joy, hope, and all the graces of the Spirit unto immortality; and though many storms and floods arise and beat against them, yet they shall never be able to take them off that foundation and rock which by faith they are fastened upon; notwithstanding, through unbelief and the temptations of Satan, the sensible sight of the light and love of God may for a time be clouded and obscured from them, yet he is still the same, and they shall be sure to be kept by the power of God unto salvation, where they shall enjoy their purchased possession, they being engraven upon the palm of his hands, and their names having been written in the book of life from all eternity.

17.2: This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father, upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ and union with him, the oath of God, the abiding of his Spirit, and the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace; from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.

17.3: And though they may, through the temptation of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins, and for a time continue therein, whereby they incur God’s displeasure and grieve his Holy Spirit, come to have their graces and comforts impaired, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded, hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves, yet shall they renew their repentance and be preserved through faith in Christ Jesus to the end.

Connections to Today’s Current Situation: London Baptist 1689 Influence on The Abstracts of Principles
James Petigru Boyce, often called the Cavalier and Puritan, was a pastor, university professor, and most of all known as the founder and first president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS), a seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Boyce more than appreciated Calvinistic theology, he was raised by a mother of Presbyterian decent, and studied under Archibald Alexander at Princeton Theological Seminary. As Timothy George has stated, “Princeton provided Boyce with a systematic framework in which to cast the Calvinist theology he had imbibed from Basil Manly Sr. and his other Charleston pastors.” After his education at Princeton, Boyce pastored for two-years before moving on to teach at Furman University. In 1856 Boyce gave an address titled “Three Changes in Theological Institutions” which would not only effect where he labored at the time, but would bring about the foundation of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

As Boyce stated and made clear during the birth of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) “Three Changes” were a must to build a common theological seminary in the South. Boyce suggested three ideals that SBTS should embody, that they may stand strong for the years to come. The first being openness, a seminary for everyone and anyone who was called by God regardless of academic background or social status. Second, was excellence. Boyce was intent upon establishing an advanced program of theological study which in its academic rigor would be compared with they type of instruction that was being offered at Princeton, Andover, Harvard, and Yale. However it is the third change that Boyce brought to SBTS that would establish a set of doctrines that must be held and a confessional guidelines for those that taught at SBTS. Timothy George sheds light about this in his work Theologians of the Baptist Tradition;

“The third ideal was confessional identity. Boyce proposed that the seminary be established on a set of doctrinal principles that would provide consistency and direction for the future. This, too, was a radical step in the context of nineteenth-century Baptist life. Newton Theological Institute, the first seminary founded by Baptists in America, had no such confessional guidelines. Nor, indeed, did the Southern Baptist Convention, organized in 1845. However, Boyce firmly believed that it was necessary to protect the seminary from doctrinal erosion. From his student days in New England, Boyce was aware of the recent currents in theology: Unitarianism, Transcendentalism, the New Divinity. In particular, he spoke against the “blasphemous doctrines” of Theodore Parker, who had denied that Christianity was based on a special revelation of God. At the same time he was concerned about populist theologies in the South, and warned against the “twin errors of Campbellism and Arminianism.

While all three areas of Boyce’s address and vision are true of SBTS today (Thanks to Dr. Al Mohler), that is not the case of the SBC. Not that the SBC was founded on Boyce’s Abstracts of Principles, but the SBC did not follow the examples set before them from their earlier Baptist forerunners (London Baptist in 1689, Philadelphia Baptist in 1742 and New Hampshire Baptist in 1833) in making a confessional theology which would have given them the foundation to their denomination. While the SBC was finally organized as a convention by 1845, it had no foundational set of doctrines they would hold to until 80-years later in 1925. What now has now been changed, edited, revised, and added to a number of times throughout the past century has lead to the different views within the SBC in the area of salvation, losing its historical context of its earlier calvinistic brother, The New Hampshire Confession of Faith 1833.

The SBTS still today holds to its original confessional standard, maintaining that their professors hold in agreement to the Abstracts of Principles that Boyce had intended for its throughly Calvinistic foundation. As Timothy George points out, “The Abstract of Principles was intentionally modeled on the Philadelphia Confession of Faith, which was based on the Second London Confession, which, in turn, was a Baptist adaptation of the Westminster Confession.” Thus one sees the historical value in taking a look back into his or hers church history, seeing the Godly examples, the doctrinal stances, and theological guidelines God has given to His Church bringing great value to the future growth of the Church.

Additional Information to Read
Theologians of the Baptist Tradition, ed. Timothy George and David S. Dockery (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001).


Calvinism and the London Baptist Confession of 1644

Baptist Roots
Where did Baptists come from and, historically, what are their beliefs?  The majority of historians agree that today’s Baptists were derived from three major sixteenth-century streams: Particular Baptists, General Baptists, and Seventh-day Baptists. By the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, these denominations birthed a multitude. Separate Baptist, Primitive Baptist, American Baptist and Southern Baptist are just a few of today’s 100-plus Baptist denominations. Each of the three major Baptist groups claims a different line of descent. The Particular Baptists claim a heritage going back to the Protestant Reformers and Puritans of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The General Baptists trace their roots from the earlier Anabaptists of the fifteenth century, and the Seventh-Day Baptists came later, in the sixteenth century. All three major Baptist denominations started in England.

Other Seventeenth-Century Baptists
The Seventh-Day Baptists, known to follow the Judeo-Christian tradition of worshipping on the seventh day of the week, were never large in number, nor are they today. They number less than 50,000 worldwide. The General Baptists were named for their theological stance of having a general, and thoroughly Arminian, view of the atonement.  Lead by John Smyth, they were a noncreedal denomination. By the eighteenth century, English General Baptists had mostly moved into Unitarianism, while most of America’s General Baptists were overtaken by the diverse strands within the Regular Baptist denominations.

The Particular Baptists
Particular Baptists were also commonly called Strict Baptists because of their practice of closed communion, their theological stance on Christ’s definite atonement for His elect, and their two-office congregational polity. It was the Protestant forerunners, like the Reformers & Puritans, that brought about a strong confessional emphasis among Particular Baptists’ theology. The Particular Baptists first appeared in a London church organized by Henry Jacob following his exile from Holland. This church was founded on a basis of confession of individual faith and of a covenant, and it contained both Independent Puritans and radical Separatists. In 1633, the issue of who would administer baptism splintered the two camps. In 1638, the first Particular Baptist Church was established in London under the leadership of John Spilsbery.

The theology of these Baptists appealed to the nation’s prevalent Calvinism and offered no obstacle to the mass of Englishmen. With the rapid growth of the Particular Baptist came serious accusations, such as Pelagianism and Anarchy. This is important to note because both groups were part of the radical wing of Anabaptism; thus, Anabaptism cannot trace its historical roots to the Particular Baptist denomination.

By 1644, the seven Particular Baptist churches in London were quick to follow their Protestant forerunners’ confessional examples. To document their doctrinal differences from the General Baptists and Anabaptists, the seven closely associated and London-based Particular Baptist churches prepared to published their own confessional statement of theology.

The London Confession of 1644 served as an apologetic theology, defending Particular Baptist views against the Arminian General Baptists and other radical groups like the Anabaptists. Henry C. Vedder called it “one of the chief landmarks of Baptist history.” There were five key futures that made it different from the multitude of Protestant Reformed Confessions of its time:

  1. Two representatives from each of the six Particular churches and three from Spilsbery’s church were included in the signatories of the confession.
  2. It had a strong Christological focus.
  3. It was building a confessional theology that gave structure to the New Testament’s administration of the Covenants of Grace—not attempting to reform the National Church.
  4. It charged that the act of baptism was to be a complete immersion of the individual and gave an outline for conduct in case of civil persecution.

It gave the Particular Baptists of its time a distinctive Baptist theology of the church, all while affirming the Reformed view of salvation

The Particular Baptists and Calvinism
1644 brought a year of growth for the Particular Baptists as they more clearly defined the doctrinal standards in their confessional statement. 1645 brought a year of trouble. . Arminian General Baptists charged the Particular Baptists with not addressing free will, communalism, and falling from grace enough, especially within the L0ndon Confession of 1644’s first edition.The General Baptists’ response to the London Confession of 1644 was documented in a pamphlet titled “The Foundation of Free Grace Opened,” which gave their dictional stance against limited atonement, clearly siding with Arminian theology.

The differences and disagreements between 1645’s General and Particular Baptists gave rise to a second edition of the 1644 London Confession and of the First London Baptist confession of 1644. Third and fourth editions would be made later in 1651 and 1652. As William L. Lumpkin commented, about the Particular Baptists,

In the Army of Cromwell, Baptists had distinguished themselves and had risen to positions of leadership . . . (Calvinist) Baptists were everywhere in prominent positions, and no longer lived in fear of the King and Parliament. The Westminster Confession has appeared in 1646, and by comparing the London Baptist Confession with it men could see that Baptists indeed belonged to the mainstream of Reformed life.

Calvinistic theology can be seen in a number of areas within the Particular Baptist’s confessional documents. Here are just a few examples taken from the second-edition London Baptist Confession of 1646.

Total Depravity
Article VI: first Eve, then Adam being seduced did wittingly and willingly fall into disobedience and transgression of the Commandment of their great Creator, for the which death came upon all, and reigned over all, so that all since the Fall are conceived in sin, and brought forth in iniquity, and so by nature children of wrath, and servants of sin, subjects of death, and all other calamities due to sin in this world and for ever, being considered in the state of nature, without relation to Christ.

[See also Article V.]

Unconditional Election
Article V: Subject to the eternal wrath of the great God by transgression; yet the elect, which God has loved with an everlasting love, are redeemed, quickened, and saved, not by themselves, neither by their own works, lest any man should boast himself, but wholly and only by God of His free grace and mercy through Jesus Christ.

[See also Article XVII and Article XIX.]

Limited Atonement
Article XXI: That Christ Jesus by His death did bring forth salvation and reconciliation only for the elect, which were those which God the Father gave Him; and that the Gospel which is to be preached to all men as the ground of faith, is, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the ever blessed God, filled with the perfection of all heavenly and spiritual excellencies, and that salvation is only and alone to be had through the believing in His name.

[See also Article XXX.]

Irresistible Grace
Article XXII: That faith is the gift of God wrought in the hearts of the elect by the Spirit of God, whereby they come to see, know, and believe the truth of the Scriptures, and not only so, but the excellency of them above all other writing and things in the world, as they hold forth the glory of God in His attributes, the excellency of Christ in His nature and offices, and the power of the fullness of the Spirit in His workings and operations; and thereupon are enabled to cast the weight of their souls upon this truth thus believed.

[Se alsoArticle V and Article XII].

Perseverance of the Saints
Article XXXVI: To this Church He has made His promises, and given the signs of His Covenant, presence, love, blessing, and protection: here are the fountains and springs of His heavenly grace continually flowing forth; thither ought all men to come, of all estates, that acknowledge Him to be their Prophet, Priest, and King, to be enrolled amongst His household servants, to under His heavenly conduct and government, to lead their lives in His walled sheepfold, and watered garden, to have communion here with the saints, that they may be made to be partakers of their inheritance in the Kingdom of God.

[See also Article XXVII.]

Connections to Today’s Current Situation
Where do Baptists come from, and what are their historical beliefs? The question lives on, surfacing again in the twenty-first century within America’s largest Baptist denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention. As Rev. Dr. Tom Ascol stated, (during the Southern Baptist Convention of 1995), “Never in our history have we stood in greater need of reexamining our roots.” The issue is the same today as it was in 1995.

With regards to today’s current situation involving soteriology within the Southern Baptist denomination, members must look past the “traditional” views of the twentieth century and back to their historical fathers of the seventeenth century. We must not forget the theology that the Baptist church is founded upon. Southern Baptists need to clearly see the historical value of their Protestant Faith and its theological stances. As Baptist historian W. T. Whitley once stated (on Baptists’ redress of their own history), “. . . if a later generation finds that it does not agree with its predecessors, whether in content or in emphasis, it has openly revised and re-stated what it does believe or it has discarded the old confession and framed another.”

Additional Reading Information on Calvinism and Baptist Church


James Boyce, Southern Seminary & Confessions

As Boyce stated and made clear during the birth of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) “Three Changes” were a must to build a common theological seminary in the South. Boyce suggested three ideals that SBTS should embody, that they may stand strong for the years to come. The first being openness, a seminary for everyone and anyone who was called by God regardless of academic background or social status. Second, was excellence. Boyce was intent upon establishing an advanced program of theological study which in its academic rigor would be compared with they type of instruction that was being offered at Princeton, Andover, Harvard, and Yale. However it is the third change that Boyce brought to SBTS that would establish a set of doctrines that must be held and a confessional guidelines for those that taught at SBTS. Timothy George sheds light about this in his work Theologians of the Baptist Tradition (which I started reading this week and highly recommend reading);

The third ideal was confessional identity. Boyce proposed that the seminary be established on a set of doctrinal principles that would provide consistency and direction for the future. This, too, was a radical step in the context of nineteenth-century Baptist life. Newton Theological Institute, the first seminary founded by Baptists in America, had no such confessional guidelines. Nor, indeed, did the Southern Baptist Convention, organized in 1845. However, Boyce firmly believed that it was necessary to protect the seminary from doctrinal erosion. From his student days in New England, Boyce was aware of the recent currents in theology: Unitarianism, Transcendentalism, the New Divinity. In particular, he spoke against the “blasphemous doctrines” of Theodore Parker, who had denied that Christianity was based on a special revelation of God. At the same time he was concerned about populist theologies in the South, and warned against the “twin errors of Campbellism and Arminianism.”

Two things come to mind. One while all three are true of SBTS today, some more than others, it does interest me today why SBTS would use dominantly and primarily use Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine and not their own confessional standards, The Abstract of Systematic Theology written by their founder James Boyce’s. Then second, if the Abstracts by Dr. Boyce truly came from the Philadelphia Confession, which came from the 2nd London Baptist Confession, which had agreed with the Cannons of Dort, then how could an Arminian Professor sign and adhere to the Abstracts to teach at SBTS?

***Quote taken from Timothy George and David S. Dockery, Theologians of the Baptist Tradition (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001), 77.


When Baptist Cared About Antinomianism

The quote below is by  Scottish Presbyterian Thomas Chalmers (1780–1847), who  is speaking specifically of the English Particular (Calvinist) Baptists would held to the LBC-1689. He states the following from his observations of them during his time,

Let it never be forgotten of the Particular Baptists of England that they form the denomination of [Andrew] Fuller and [William] Carey and [John] Ryland [Jr.] and [Robert Hall [Jr.] and [John] Foster; that they have originated among the greatest of all missionary enterprises; that they have enriched the Christian literature of our country with authorship of the most exalted piety as well as of the first talent and the first eloquence; that they have waged a very noble and successful war with the hydra of Antinomianism; that perhaps there is not a more intellectual community of ministers in our island or who have put forth to their number a greater amount of mental power and mental activity in the defence and illustration of our common faith; and, what is better than all the triumph of genius or understanding, who, by their zeal and fidelity and pastoral labour among the congregations which they have reared, have done more to swell the lists of genuine discipleship in the walks of private society—and thus both to uphold and to extend the living Christianity of our nation.

From Presbyterian Thomas Chalmers personal experience and witness of the Particular Baptist during his time, they defended the Christian Faith against such theological errors like Antinomianism. Now if such could be said about today’s American Baptist, could you imagine the difference in understanding Law and Grace?

*** Quote taken from Lectures on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1844), 76.


Baptist & Presbyterian Confessions for the sake of Protestantism

Presbyterians will at times make the remark that London Baptist copied their confession. While layout and words are almost identical at times (chapters 1, 9, 16, and 32) there are additions, differences, and sections condensed throughout the whole of the LBC. If you do not agree, you can take a look at a Tabular Comparison of the WCF & 2nd-LBC for yourself. An issue at times I have heard from my close Presbyterian brothers (closer than my American-Baptist brothers) is that the London Baptist stole their outline, or copied their work. During the 17-century there were a number of issues in England that help bring about the change from the 1st 1644 LBC to the 2nd 1689 LBC, but more so that the Baptist and Presbyterians would be closer in work and deed than further a part like that we see in America today. A number of issues came about that brought the Second London Baptist Confession in it entirety, and in its likeness of its earlier cousin the Westminster Confession of Faith.

1. 1661 – The Episcopalians had recaptured the machinery and endowments of the Church of England and they were bent on achieving uniformity in England, and not accepting Presbyterians, nor the WCF-1646.

2. 1661 -1665 – A series of coercive acts which form the Clarendon Code were put into act effect to suppress the dissant, namely Presbyterians, but yet effecting Baptist as well, and other Congregationalists throughout England.

3. 1672 – King Charles favored the restoration of Roman Catholicism and issued a Declaration of Indulgence which suspended all penal laws of an ecclesiastical nature against all Protestant dissenters, Presbyterian and Baptist.

4. 1673 – England Parliament passed the Test Act which barred non-conformist from all military and civil offices.

These four key issues brought the Particular Baptist of London to show their agreement with Presbyterians and other Congregationalists through England by making the Westminster Confession their basis of a new (2nd) confession of their own. Thus the London Baptist purpose has been clearly stated,

Our (Baptist) hearty agreement with them (Presbyterians) in that wholesome protestant doctrine, which, with so clear evidence of Scriptures they have asserted.”

I believe one of the most evident “Presbyterian-friendly” areas the authors saw fit to change in the 1689 can be found in chapter 30 on The Lord’s Supper, that it is not restricted to scripturally baptized people, as in the 1644-LBC. The assembly writing the 2nd-LBC saw fit to work with the Presbyterians, for the sake of Protestantism during their time. While yes, yes, yes I understand their are differences (chapters 19-23), sections belittle some Presbyterians might add (chapter 7 & 25 ), and chapters done better by the Baptists (chapter 17), in all they often have more similarities in purpose than one may think.


Recommended Books from Founders Ministries

Booth, Abraham (1734 – 1806)


Read some Alexander Maclaren (1826 – 1910)



What Really is a Reformed Baptist Church Anymore?

What Is A Reformed Baptist Church? William Payne

What Is A Reformed Baptist Church? Jim Savastio

Who Are The Reformed Baptists? Poh Boon Sing, Damansara Church, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Earl M. Blackburn,Heritage Baptist Church, Shreveport, Louisiana

What Is A Reformed Baptist Church? Reformed Baptist Church of Sault Ste Marie, Michigan

What Is A Reformed Baptist Church? Andrew Kerkham, Tauranga Reformed Baptist Church, Papamoa, Tauranga, New Zealand


Are You Baptist, If so what kind?

If your a baptist you have a confessional heritage like any other denomination. However at times in America it can easily seem that Baptist over look their historical roots. What is your favorite Baptist Confession and why?

1644 London Baptist Confession of Faith

1698 LondonBaptist Confession of Faith

1742 Philadelphia Confession of Faith

1833 New Hampshire Baptist Confession of Faith

1858 Abstract of Principles

If you are baptist, which one do you hold to? any? and why?

If you don’t, then why do you not?


“Baptists & the Cross” Discounted Rates

The fourth annual conference of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies is scheduled for August 30-31, 2010.  The theme is:  Baptists and the Cross:  Contemporary and Historical Reflections. The conference will feature speakers such as Danny Akin (president, SEBTS), David Bebbington (professor, University of Stirling), Maurice Dowling (professor,Irish Baptist College), James Fuller (professor, University of Indianapolis), Tom Schreiner (professor, SBTS), Glendon Thompson (president, TBS and pastor of Jarvis Street Baptist Church), and Stephen Wellum (professor, SBTS).  For full bios of the speakers, see here.

Discounted registration rates are now available for the conference and there is a special rate for students.  Students may receive a discounted rate by using the code: “8051974″.  For more information on the conference visithttp://events.sbts.edu/andrewfuller.


Podcast Interview with Dr. Haykin

Steve Weaver writes,

“I recently had the opportunity to record a series of podcasts with Dr. Michael A. G. Haykin. The first of these is attached to this post. It focuses on the Center’s upcoming conference “Baptists and the Cross: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives”. Forthcoming podcasts will feature a discussion of Dr. Haykin’s upcoming book ‘The Empire of the Holy Spirit’ and an interview by Dr. Haykin with Dr. Stephen Wellum about his upcoming presentation at our conference on “Baptism and Crucicentrism”.

Download Podcast


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