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  #1  
Unread 8th September 2009, 04:46 PM
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what are the main theological differences between reformed baptist and presbyterian?

For someone who knows a good deal about this, what are the main theological differences between a reformed baptist church and presbyterian church (theology, and also practice, etc.). Thanks.

God bless,
--Ben
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  #2  
Unread 8th September 2009, 05:26 PM
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The big difference is how we understand the covenant. The difference in our understanding of covenant is most clearly seen in how we understand and practice baptism (i.e. Paedo/infant baptism verses Believers "only" baptism).

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Kenith
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Unread 8th September 2009, 05:37 PM
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ya beat me to it CH!!!


To add:

Presbyterians hold dear to Confessions, mainly the Westminster Confession of Faith, and Creeds, ie the Apostles Creed among others, a lot moreso and in a different way than a Reformed Baptist would I believe.
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Last edited by LiturgyInDMinor; 8th September 2009 at 05:43 PM.
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  #4  
Unread 9th September 2009, 12:03 PM
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In addition to what's already been said, I would point out the glaring difference in church polity. Baptists are congregationalists (each local congregation is independent and autonomous) while we Presbyterians, obviously, hold to the presbyterian form of church government.

Thomas Witherow's The Apostolic Church: Which Is It? deals well with this issue, even though it's dated. You can read it online here:
The Apostolic Church - Which is it?
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"Here is found the most fundamental difference between liberalism and Christianity—liberalism is altogether in the imperative mood, while Christianity begins with a triumphant indicative; liberalism appeals to man's will, while Christianity announces, first, a gracious act of God." —J. Gresham Machen

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  #5  
Unread 10th September 2009, 12:44 AM
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A good read: What Baptists Can Learn from John Calvin CHRISTIAN READER: Baptists and John Calvin AMR
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  #6  
Unread 10th September 2009, 02:00 PM
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I think all the above responses are very helpful! A couple other things that I would point out:

As far as the covenants go, Presbyterians (and the reformation tradition in general) tend to see an essential continuity between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. They see the New Covenant as naturally growing out of the Old Covenant in the sense of expansion because of the coming of Christ who was the fulfillment of the Old Covenant types and shadows. The Baptists tend to see an essential discontinuity between the two. That is why the Presbyterians practice infant baptism (while denying baptismal regeneration) and the Baptists only baptize professing adults.

While the Presbyterians (at least the conservative, confessional ones) hold to the Westminster Confession, many of the reformed Baptists do not really hold to a confessional document. Some of them hold to the 1689 London Baptist Confession, or some other confession, but not always. As such, there tends to be some more variety in reformed Baptist circles, it's not always as tightly controlled. Often times "reformed" Baptist just means holding to the Doctrines of Grace, which would basically make them "Particular" Baptists as opposed to "General" Baptists. Sometimes it means more, like adhering to a form of Covenant Theology or New Covenant Theology.

Another theological difference that hasn't been mentioned yet is the sacraments. The Baptists hold to a "memorialistic" view of the baptism and communion. In other words, they are ordinances that point to our outward testimony, God isn't really present there in any special way. Presbyterians hold to a "pneumatic" view of the sacraments. In other words, the focus is on the Gospel and what God is doing, it is not about our personal testimony, because we testify to Christ and Him crucified. Presbyterians view the sacraments as signs and seals of the covenant, confirming Gospel promises - they are means of grace whereby Christ ministers to us spiritually.
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  #7  
Unread 23rd September 2009, 12:31 AM
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This is a really interesting topic...one that has been on my mind a lot lately. I want to post a sermon by John MacArthur on Israel and eschatology, but my "posts aren't high enough yet"

But ill surely post it when I am able! Its a swell sermon!
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Unread 23rd September 2009, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by kenrapoza View Post
I think all the above responses are very helpful! A couple other things that I would point out:

As far as the covenants go, Presbyterians (and the reformation tradition in general) tend to see an essential continuity between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. They see the New Covenant as naturally growing out of the Old Covenant in the sense of expansion because of the coming of Christ who was the fulfillment of the Old Covenant types and shadows. The Baptists tend to see an essential discontinuity between the two. That is why the Presbyterians practice infant baptism (while denying baptismal regeneration) and the Baptists only baptize professing adults.

While the Presbyterians (at least the conservative, confessional ones) hold to the Westminster Confession, many of the reformed Baptists do not really hold to a confessional document. Some of them hold to the 1689 London Baptist Confession, or some other confession, but not always. As such, there tends to be some more variety in reformed Baptist circles, it's not always as tightly controlled. Often times "reformed" Baptist just means holding to the Doctrines of Grace, which would basically make them "Particular" Baptists as opposed to "General" Baptists. Sometimes it means more, like adhering to a form of Covenant Theology or New Covenant Theology.

Another theological difference that hasn't been mentioned yet is the sacraments. The Baptists hold to a "memorialistic" view of the baptism and communion. In other words, they are ordinances that point to our outward testimony, God isn't really present there in any special way. Presbyterians hold to a "pneumatic" view of the sacraments. In other words, the focus is on the Gospel and what God is doing, it is not about our personal testimony, because we testify to Christ and Him crucified. Presbyterians view the sacraments as signs and seals of the covenant, confirming Gospel promises - they are means of grace whereby Christ ministers to us spiritually.

Wonderful summation ken!
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  #9  
Unread 23rd September 2009, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by REFORMATA View Post
This is a really interesting topic...one that has been on my mind a lot lately. I want to post a sermon by John MacArthur on Israel and eschatology, but my "posts aren't high enough yet"

But ill surely post it when I am able! Its a swell sermon!

You can always post your link by spelling it out...ie, wwwDOTyadayadaDOTcom.

Up to you...I guess it depends on the length of the link, etc.
I like MacArthur despite his self-professed "leaky dispensational" tendencies.
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Unread 23rd September 2009, 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by REFORMATA View Post
This is a really interesting topic...one that has been on my mind a lot lately. I want to post a sermon by John MacArthur on Israel and eschatology, but my "posts aren't high enough yet"

But ill surely post it when I am able! Its a swell sermon!
Originally Posted by NRB View Post
You can always post your link by spelling it out...ie, wwwDOTyadayadaDOTcom.

Up to you...I guess it depends on the length of the link, etc.
I like MacArthur despite his self-professed "leaky dispensational" tendencies.

Howdy Reformata,

Welcome to Christian Forums. I don't know if anyone has said that to you. Plenty of time for a link, no need to get yourself into trouble as a Noob posting links. You can summarize his position from the sermon.
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