Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Baptist Distinctives (The Conclusion)

After reading Pascal Denault's The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant Theology:  A Comparison Between 17th Century Particular Baptist and Paedobaptist Federalism, I decided to collect my thoughts and make some chapter-by-chapter observations.  You can find my post on the Introduction here, Chapter 1 here, Chapter 2 here, Chapter 3 here, and Chapter 4 here.  For a general overview of the covenants found in the Bible, see my post on Redemptive History here.  Now let's look at the last chapter titled 'Conclusion'.

The fundamental distinction between Baptist and Presbyterian federalism is determined by covenant theology.  Mr. Denault argues that Presbyterian beliefs were artificially constructed to justify their tradition of paeodobaptism.  In exposing Presbyterian faults, Baptists embraced reformed theology and harmonized credobaptism with the doctrines of the grace of God.

If this "debate" was in full-swing in the 17th century, why are Baptist rediscovering their reformed heritage today?  Mr. Denault answers:  "The Baptist theology was relatively well preserved until the twentieth century where many Baptist churches slid into Arminianism and Dispensationalism."  Like Mr. Denault, I hope to clarify my own understanding of covenant theology, and my prayer is that this blog series has helped you do the same.