Are Baptism and the Lord's Supper sacraments and "means of grace"?

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elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
I mentioned before that the London Baptist Confession removes all of the Westminster Confession Chapter 27 regarding the sacraments.

WCF 27
1. Sacraments are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace, immediately instituted by God, to represent Christ and his benefits, and to confirm our interest in him: as also to put a visible difference between those that belong unto the Church, and the rest of the world; and solemnly to engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to his Word.
2. There is in every sacrament a spiritual relation, or sacramental union, between the sign and the thing signified; whence it comes to pass that the names and effects of the one are attributed to the other.
3. The grace which is exhibited in or by the sacraments, rightly used, is not conferred by any power in them; neither doth the efficacy of a sacrament depend upon the piety or intention of him that doth administer it, but upon the work of the Spirit, and the word of institution, which contains, together with a precept authorising the use thereof, a promise of benefit to worthy receivers.

It is replaced by LBC Chapter 28:
1. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances of positive and sovereign institution, appointed by the Lord Jesus, the only lawgiver, to be continued in his church to the end of the world.
2. These holy appointments are to be administered by those only who are qualified and thereunto called, according to the commission of Christ.

Every use of the word "sacrament" in the LBC is removed or replaced by "ordinance." The references to the sacraments being the signs and seals of the covenant of grace are removed, and also from 29.1. The "sacramental union" between the sign and the thing signified is removed. Every use of the term "grace" with reference to baptism.

So from a Baptist perspective, do you think baptism and the Lord's supper are sacraments? Means of grace? How would you define "sacrament" and "means of grace"? And, most important of all, what Scriptures would you use to defend it?

I want responses from BAPTISTS ONLY because:
1) The hermeneutical frameworks of Baptists and paedobaptists are very, very different. I want to discuss this among those of us in agreement on the proper recipients of baptism.
2) The Presbyterians are bound to defend "sacraments" and "means of grace" as scriptural because of their subordinate standard. We Reformed Baptists are not so bound. I'm more interested in a discussion revolving around Scripture rather than one in which the confessions are taken a priori as scriptural.
 

Joseph Scibbe

Puritan Board Junior
I want responses from BAPTISTS ONLY because:
1) The hermeneutical frameworks of Baptists and paedobaptists are very, very different. I want to discuss this among those of us in agreement on the proper recipients of baptism.
2) The Presbyterians are bound to defend "sacraments" and "means of grace" as scriptural because of their subordinate standard. We Reformed Baptists are not so bound. I'm more interested in a discussion revolving around Scripture rather than one in which the confessions are taken a priori as scriptural.


That's kind of a low blow to start a thread.

Well, I guess I never really thought out what "means of grace" means. I don't know if "means of grace" sounds best. I would say they are signs and demonstrations of the new covenant and the grace therein but do we receive grace from the Lords Supper and Baptism...I don't know I would say definitely not in the Roman sense. Can we define what you mean by "means of grace".
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
In that both encourage faith (both of the individual and the local body) they are a means of grace. The fact that both signs are commanded (thus the "ordinance") does not lessen their spiritual importance.

sent from my most excellent Motorola Atrix.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
I want responses from BAPTISTS ONLY because:
1) The hermeneutical frameworks of Baptists and paedobaptists are very, very different. I want to discuss this among those of us in agreement on the proper recipients of baptism.
2) The Presbyterians are bound to defend "sacraments" and "means of grace" as scriptural because of their subordinate standard. We Reformed Baptists are not so bound. I'm more interested in a discussion revolving around Scripture rather than one in which the confessions are taken a priori as scriptural.


That's kind of a low blow to start a thread.

Well, I guess I never really thought out what "means of grace" means. I don't know if "means of grace" sounds best. I would say they are signs and demonstrations of the new covenant and the grace therein but do we receive grace from the Lords Supper and Baptism...I don't know I would say definitely not in the Roman sense. Can we define what you mean by "means of grace".

Joe, what's low blow about it?

sent from my most excellent Motorola Atrix.
 

Reformed Roman

Puritan Board Freshman
I wouldn't say it's a low blow. I think it's good. If I talked to a Presbyterian about infant baptism so I could understand their viewpoint better, I wouldn't want baptists interrupting the conversation and saying "infant baptism is bad". I would want to talk with a Presbyterian, or multiple Presbyterians to understand their view. It goes the same with baptists. I can see their views and see how, or if they would line up with scripture.

Sometimes it's just good to only hear from one party. I hope members of the board respect that.

I do think the Spirit works through communion. Because it was an institution given but ultimately it points back to the Cross, Jesus, and the Word. It's a great means of grace in my opinion because it's a time to reflect on our life and come to the trhone of grace. It's also a place where we can reflect on the cross and the grace given to us, and keep it centered in our mind. These things indeed grace us very much, so yes I would say it's a means of grace, but not because there is some special power in the bread or wine ( or grape juice :) ) I think it's a means of grace though and edifies because it points us back to Christ and the gospel.
 

Joseph Scibbe

Puritan Board Junior
I want responses from BAPTISTS ONLY because:
1) The hermeneutical frameworks of Baptists and paedobaptists are very, very different. I want to discuss this among those of us in agreement on the proper recipients of baptism.
2) The Presbyterians are bound to defend "sacraments" and "means of grace" as scriptural because of their subordinate standard. We Reformed Baptists are not so bound. I'm more interested in a discussion revolving around Scripture rather than one in which the confessions are taken a priori as scriptural.


That's kind of a low blow to start a thread.

Well, I guess I never really thought out what "means of grace" means. I don't know if "means of grace" sounds best. I would say they are signs and demonstrations of the new covenant and the grace therein but do we receive grace from the Lords Supper and Baptism...I don't know I would say definitely not in the Roman sense. Can we define what you mean by "means of grace".

Joe, what's low blow about it?

sent from my most excellent Motorola Atrix.

Perhaps I misread but it looked like he was saying that the paedos were taking the Confessions higher than Gods Word.


In answer to the question, the point of the Lords Supper is to examine yourself and repent of sin and then remember the Body and Blood as you eat. I think that Jesus was being honest when he said "This is my body...". No not in a physical transformative sense but still in a very real spiritual way. The point of Baptism is that it is an outward identification of your being in the covenant community of believers and have been buried into Christ. Whether you call those means of grace or not is up to you.
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
Perhaps I misread but it looked like he was saying that the paedos were taking the Confessions higher than Gods Word.

It's not that at all. It's simply that, by virtue of their subscription to a Reformed confession (in this case, the WCF), which is a prerequisite to membership on this board, they are constrained to defend it as scriptural.

Certain topics on PB are "settled" and not open to discussion because of the positions the confessions take. For example, no one here can advocate Arminianism or Federal Vision -- it would be closed down. In the same way, I don't think debating the nature of the sacraments is open for discussion among paedobaptists.

I desire a discussion in which no one feels confessionally bound or constrained to one view or the other regarding sacraments/ordinances, and we can legitimately have that discussion on PB among Reformed Baptists.
 

Joseph Scibbe

Puritan Board Junior
Perhaps I misread but it looked like he was saying that the paedos were taking the Confessions higher than Gods Word.

It's not that at all. It's simply that, by virtue of their subscription to a Reformed confession (in this case, the WCF), which is a prerequisite to membership on this board, they are constrained to defend it as scriptural.

Certain topics on PB are "settled" and not open to discussion because of the positions the confessions take. For example, no one here can advocate Arminianism or Federal Vision -- it would be closed down. In the same way, I don't think debating the nature of the sacraments is open for discussion among paedobaptists.

I desire a discussion in which no one feels confessionally bound or constrained to one view or the other regarding sacraments/ordinances, and we can legitimately have that discussion on PB among Reformed Baptists.

I apologize and redact my former statement about it being a low blow.
 

JP Wallace

Puritan Board Sophomore
Of course they are means of grace, if they weren't Christ would not have told us to do them. Anything God tells us to do is in some way a means of grace, that is a way in which God communicates grace and the benefits of union with Christ to his people.

Praying is a means of grace, fellowshipping with God's people on the Sabbath is a means of grace, sitting under preaching is a means of grace, reading the Scriptures prayerfully at home is a means of grace.

God is not in the business of arbitrarily telling us to do things, 'just because', rather everything he tells us to do has a spiritual, beneficial function for us and for his glory.

Frankiy I just don't understand why anyone has a problem with the LS and Baptism being a means of grace, so long as it is understood that it is a completely different doctrine from the Roman Catholic concept. Means of grace are only means of grace by the Spirit, and received only by faith, not in the things themselves but in what/who they speak of, signify, portray etc.
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
Thank you all for your thoughts.

I think we can all agree that we experience grace, blessing, etc. through Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Zach indicated that in our reflection and remembrance on the cross, we experience grace. Pastor Wallace indicated that these are means of grace, but so is praying, fellowship, reading Scripture, and all other things that we do in obedience to Christ.

However, I think the doctrine of "means of grace" is that there is something about Baptism and the Lord's Supper as means of grace that is distinctive from other spiritual disciplines or acts of obedience. Perhaps they ought to be called "special means of grace."

I want to bring our attention back to WCF Chapter 27. It discusses "sign and seals of the covenant of grace," "spiritual relation" and "sacramental union," and "a promise of benefit to worthy receivers." Do you fully affirm WCF Chapter 20? Why or why not? Do you think the LBC should have kept it?

To start the ball rolling, I think baptism is a "sign" of the new covenant, but not the "seal" of the new covenant. Circumcision is called the sign and seal of the covenant, but I believe the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the seal of the new covenant. The Holy Spirit is called the seal (2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13, 4:30), while baptism is never called a seal. I would object at least to that part of the WCF, but there have been other Reformed Baptists who have affirmed baptism as the seal of the new covenant.
 

JP Wallace

Puritan Board Sophomore
Don't have much time (heading off on vacation soon :) ) so not really answering your questions, rather just providing some more info. - but it should be understood that Calvin himself believed that Spirit was 'the' seal but that since the Spirit was working in the sacraments/ordinances that they to were seals. Here' are some articles from the Consensus Tigurinus

Article 15. How the Sacraments Confirm.
Thus the sacraments are sometimes called seals, and are said to nourish, confirm, and advance faith, and yet the Spirit alone is properly the seal, and also the beginner and finisher of faith. For all these attributes of the sacraments sink down to a lower place, so that not even the smallest portion of our salvation is transferred to creatures or elements.

Article 16. All Who Partake of the Sacraments Do Not Partake of the Reality.
Besides, we carefully teach that God does not exert his power indiscriminately in all who receive the sacraments, but only in the elect. For as he enlightens unto faith none but those whom he hath foreordained to life, so by the secret agency of his Spirit he makes the elect receive what the sacraments offer.

Article 17. The Sacraments Do Not Confer Grace.
By this doctrine is overthrown that fiction of the sophists which teaches that the sacraments confer grace on all who do not interpose the obstacle of mortal sin. For besides that in the sacraments nothing is received except by faith, we must also hold that the grace of God is by no means so annexed to them that whoso receives the sign also gains possession of the thing. For the signs are administered alike to reprobate and elect, but the reality reaches the latter only.


Now I point this out merely (though importantly) to correct what I feel is a frequent misunderstanding about the 'Presbyterian' view of the sacraments; that they see the seal as being the sacraments and not the Spirit, while the 'Baptist' view is that this cannot be because the Spirit is THE seal of the covenant and not the sacraments. My point is this of course; Calvin did not view these as mutually exclusive.

Also in relation to whether they are means of grace or not see Spurgeon from a sermon (the reference I am afraid I have lost)

Other means, however, are made use of to bless men’s souls. For instance, the two ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. They are both made a rich means of grace. But let me ask you, is there any thing in baptism that can possibly bless any body? Can immersion in water have the slightest tendency to be blessed to the soul? And then with regard to the eating of bread and the drinking of wine at the Lord’s Supper, can it by any means be conceived by any rational man that there is any thing in the mere piece of bread that we eat, or in the wine that we drink? And yet, doubtless, the grace of God does go with both ordinances for the confirming of the faith of those who receive them, and even for the conversion of those who look upon the ceremony. There must be something, then, beyond the outward ceremony; there must, in fact, be the Spirit of God, witnessing through the water, witnessing through the wine, witnessing through the bread, or otherwise none of these things could be means of grace to our souls. They could not edify; they could not help us to commune with Christ; they could not tend to the conviction of sinners, or to the establishment of saints. There must, then, from these facts, be a higher, unseen, mysterious influence — the influence of the divine Spirit of God.

REFERENCE FOUND (Google!)
Sermon No. 251
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, May 8th, 1859, by the
REV. C. H. Spurgeon
at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.
 
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PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Don you can look at this years conference from the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America to listen to this years sermons on the means of Grace.

FormatTitleSpeaker
SERMONS FROM THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY - 2011
MP3April 5th - Morning Devotions - The Motive of Faithful PerseveranceDavid Johnson
MP3Defining the Means of GraceDr. James Renihan
MP3Preaching the Ordinary Means of GraceTom Lyon
MP3April 6th - Morning Devotions - Real Faith Active and ConcreteJim Dundas
MP3Baptism as a Means of GraceDr. Fred Malone
MP3The Lord's Supper as a means of GraceDr. Richard Barcellos
MP3April 7th - Morning Devotions - EncouragementSteve Woodman
MP3Prayer as a means of GraceDr. Mike Renihan
MP3The Minister's Expectation of SuccessSteve Garrick
MP3Annual Circular LetterRon Baines



To save a sermon on your computer just click MP3. When the window opens and starts playing right click on it and hit save as (video maybe) Then it will download to your computer. Save link will not save the sermon.
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
Now I point this out merely (though importantly) to correct what I feel is a frequent misunderstanding about the 'Presbyterian' view of the sacraments; that they see the seal as being the sacraments and not the Spirit, while the 'Baptist' view is that this cannot be because the Spirit is THE seal of the covenant and not the sacraments. My point is this of course; Calvin did not view these as mutually exclusive.

Pastor Wallace, that's fascinating. Thank you for that.

My position still stands firm, though. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit upon regeneration. As Baptists, we believe the New Covenant members are all those who are regenerated. I don't see why we ought to extend the "seal" to Baptism and/or the Lord's Supper. For the paedobaptist, baptism is a sign and seal of a covenant membership to an infant child regardless of whether the child is regenerated, but for a Baptist, we recognize that true new covenant membership is regeneration.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I agree with Don on this one. The Holy Spirit is our Seal in the New Covenant. It isn't the sacrament / ordinance of Baptism.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Is there a link to a PDF version for those who don't want to listen, but want to read these messages?
 

JP Wallace

Puritan Board Sophomore
"Elnwood:For the paedobaptist, baptism is a sign and seal of a covenant membership to an infant child regardless of whether the child is regenerated, but for a Baptist, we recognize that true new covenant membership is regeneration."

But I think that is precisely where there is another misunderstanding. The efficacy of the sacrament is not tied to the time of administration, thus it may be a sign and a seal of the new covenant but does not in fact effectually seal, until received by faith - again here is Calvin (safe source).

Article 20. The Benefit Not Always Received in the Act of Communicating.
The advantage which we receive from the sacraments ought by no means to be restricted to the time at which they are administered to us, just as if the visible sign, at the moment when it is brought forward, brought the grace of God along with it. For those who were baptized when mere infants, God regenerates in childhood or adolescence, occasionally even in old age. Thus the utility of baptism is open to the whole period of life, because the promise contained in it is perpetually in force. And it may sometimes happen that the use of the holy Supper, which, from thoughtlessness or slowness of heart does little good at the time, afterward bears its fruit.

Likewise it is not completely accurate to juxtapose our understanding that new covenant members are believers only, with the implication that Presbyterians believe that infants are members of the covenant in the same way. While there is variance here, in general Presbyterians only understand infants as being 'externally' within the covenant community, which is different.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I would prefer to say that the infants of believers "sit under the administration of the Covenant of Grace" (i.e. hearing the Word, witnessing the activities of the Covenant Community) rather than the language of being "in" the Covenant, for only those in Christ are in the Covenant, all the rest may sit under the external administration of this covenant but not really be "in" it.
 

JP Wallace

Puritan Board Sophomore
Actually Rev. Winzer's comments though strictly speaking banned :)um:) they are very helpful and positive (so are Boliver's) and I think his clarification about seal being connected with faith is very important (and at least similar) to my point above. And I at least very much appreciate Rev. Winzer's appreciation that many of us RB's like Dr. Renihan are very consciously trying to be as close as possible to the 'full' Reformed orthodoxy, not just because we like the traditions and associations there-with, but because we believe it is biblical.

I think it is somewhat important for us to accurately understand the Presbyterian position before we critique it. And that is something I think we have frequently failed to do at the risk of burning a straw man.

I think Pergamum's last comment (21) is an excellent example of someone who has sought to understand and compare/contrast his own understanding with the Presbyterian understanding, and I think he is doing a good job. Our children raised in the fear and admonition of the Lord in connection with the Church of Christ are not the New Covenant equivalents of Old Covenant era Ammonites or Moabites, they are Israelites as it were according to the flesh, yet they may or may not be true Israelites of faith. How that works out into covenant administration etc. is where we need to be focussing our attention. Perhaps as Pergamum suggests 'under' is the preposition we should prefer rather than 'in'.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I am not sure the English Particular Baptists were monolithic in their rejection of the word 'sacrament'.

Hercules Collins, in 1680, published the Orthodox Catechism.

This leading Particular Baptist minister understood that the theology articulated by the Heidelberg divines was consonant with his own and with the broader movement of which he was a part. Dr. James Renihan; True Cofessions; pg 235

In the Orthodox Catechism, Collins follows the Heidelberg Catechism in using the word 'sacrament':

Q. What are the sacraments? A.: They are the sacred signs, and seals, set before our eyes, and ordained of God for this cause, that he may declare and seal by them the promise of his Gospel unto us...

Also, the authors of the True Confession of 1596 did not balk at the word 'sacrament'.

34 That such asq God hath giuen guiftes to enterpret the Scriptures, tryed in the exercise of Prophecie, giving attendance to studie and learning, may and ought by the appointment of the Congregation, to teach publickly the vvord, vntill the people bee meet or, and God manifest men vvith able guifts and fitnes to such Office or Offices as Christ hath appointed to the publick ministerie of his church; but rno Sacraments to bee administred vntill the Pastora or Teachers bee chosen and ordeyned into their Office.

I don't think modern RBs need to go overboard in interpreting the change from 'sacrament' to 'ordinance' in the 1689. I don't think the English Particular Baptists saw the wording as an important battleground.
 
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steadfast7

Puritan Board Junior
Very helpful thread Don!

- "Baptism seals only the elect" - A Brakel, Christian's Reasonable Service. I remember reading and underlining this quote. So in this sense, it is a seal, but for the elect.
- I think we do need to be a little different from the paedos in the understanding of means of grace, don't we, cause then why wouldn't we call baptism and the LS "sacraments" and understand them in the same way? In the paedobaptist scheme, the means of grace begins in infancy through one's baptism and follows the course of one's life; while we tend to view baptism as linked to regeneration in a definitive moment.
- I also think we can't borrow the paedobaptist's term "administration of the covenant of grace" without causing a lot of confusion (and resentment?), because by "administration" they are thinking of the wellspring of the covenant and its subsequent sign that was enacted, namely Abraham and circumcision.

As much as we want to be as close as possible to the Reformed understanding and borrow all the same terminology, I'm not sure it can be done while remaining faithful to credobaptism. We see the 1689'ers doing this with their distinction of ordinance vs. sacrament.

wanting and waiting to be more informed/corrected on the above...

---------- Post added at 08:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:38 PM ----------

in terms of our designation of the status of infants of believers, can't we simply echo scripture and call them "holy" ?
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
One other thing, Keach was not shy about using the word 'sacrament' to describe the Lord's Supper.

Which absurd and monstrous conceit of theirs (Roman Catholic) hath been learnedly confuted by many ancient and modern writers, so that it may be thought needless to add any thing here upon that account; yet that we may make our way the more plain to these metaphorical and figurative expressions used by our Saviour, when he instituted the holy sacrament of the Supper, saying, "This is my body," something briefly we shall offer, in confutation of the pernicious doctrine... Rev. Benjamin Keach; Tropologia; pg. 632
 

steadfast7

Puritan Board Junior
I personally don't have a problem with the term 'sacrament' along with its full meaning, but confessionally speaking, isn't it significant that there's a distinct change in terminology? Also, if we are confessors of a particular confession and its distinctives, all personal opinions and pre-1689 documents ought to be subservient to it (if not irrelevant), no?
 

steadfast7

Puritan Board Junior
I personally don't have a problem with the term 'sacrament' along with its full meaning, but confessionally speaking, isn't it significant that there's a distinct change in terminology? Also, if we are confessors of a particular confession and its distinctives, all personal opinions and pre-1689 documents ought to be subservient to it (if not irrelevant), no?

I heard a lecture once where the speaker believed the 1689 was using "ordinance" as a way of distancing themselves from Rome. The change in word was not necessarily a change in meaning.

I know that I am paedo, but thought this information might be useful.
But by making the change, they are not only distinguishing from Rome, but also the Westminsters and the pre-1689ers (as shown above). I would think they needed a good reason to do this.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I personally don't have a problem with the term 'sacrament' along with its full meaning, but confessionally speaking, isn't it significant that there's a distinct change in terminology? Also, if we are confessors of a particular confession and its distinctives, all personal opinions and pre-1689 documents ought to be subservient to it (if not irrelevant), no?

In order to understand the meaning behind the words of a confession you must examine their use in context.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
The 'they' who signed the 1689 confession included Keach and Collins, both of whom used the word 'sacrament' in the quotes I provided. Therefore, it is at least possible, if not likely, that the words 'sacrament' and 'ordinance' were fairly synonymous in their thinking.

The Baptists were concerned to demonstrate to all that their doctrinal convictions had been, from the very start, orthodox and too a large degree identical with the convictions of the Puritans around them. In order to do this, they looked for the best available means by which to prove that their views were indeed closely in line with the convictions of the other churches around them. They did this by issuing a Confession of faith. Dr. James Renihan, Confessing the Faith in 1644 and 1689
available here: Confessing the Faith in 1644 and 1689, James M. Renihan | The Reformed Reader

The overall paradigm of the English Particular Baptists was one of puritan conciliation, not controversy. Those who walk in the spirit of the English Particular Baptist do the same. I think our attitude should be that if our Baptist forefathers did not clearly delineate a controversy, then no controversy should be assumed.
 

steadfast7

Puritan Board Junior
I'd be thrilled if we can say with confidence that their concept of ordinance was synonymous with sacrament, but I'm left with the problems that
1. given as it may that they were distinguishing from Rome, the change in wording results also in distinguishing from their Reformed forebears. If there was no reason to cause even a hint of division, then why change the already-perfect terminology? I'm sure they would have known that the change in terminology would at least have the potential of stirring division/controversy.
2. just because Keach and Collins previously used 'sacrament' in earlier writings, doesn't mean the 1689 endorses it. Many of the Westminsters had variations on certain theological issues, which is not reflection in the confession.

All I'm saying is if the Baptists wanted to put themselves in line with Reformed orthodoxy, they would have echoed them at every possible opportunity - it's the natural thing to do.

"fairly synonymous" is really not sufficient when speaking of wording in a confession of faith, not when the stakes are so high.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I'd be thrilled if we can say with confidence that their concept of ordinance was synonymous with sacrament, but I'm left with the problems that
1. given as it may that they were distinguishing from Rome, the change in wording results also in distinguishing from their Reformed forebears. If there was no reason to cause even a hint of division, then why change the already-perfect terminology? I'm sure they would have known that the change in terminology would at least have the potential of stirring division/controversy.
2. just because Keach and Collins previously used 'sacrament' in earlier writings, doesn't mean the 1689 endorses it. Many of the Westminsters had variations on certain theological issues, which is not reflection in the confession.

All I'm saying is if the Baptists wanted to put themselves in line with Reformed orthodoxy, they would have echoed them at every possible opportunity - it's the natural thing to do.

"fairly synonymous" is really not sufficient when speaking of wording in a confession of faith, not when the stakes are so high.

Actually, the 1689 was penned in 1677. It wasn't publicly ratified until after the Toleration Act in 1689. Collins' Orthodox Confession was published in 1680, and Keach's Tropologia was published in 1682. All of these writings were from the same period.

No doubt there were 'variations on certain theological issues' just like in Westminster, but this fact does not at all prove that the change from 'sacrament' to 'ordinance' represented some monolithic departure by all Particular Baptists, which is the only point I was trying to make.
 

steadfast7

Puritan Board Junior
Actually, the 1689 was penned in 1677. It wasn't publicly ratified until after the Toleration Act in 1689. Collins' Orthodox Confession was published in 1680, and Keach's Tropologia was published in 1682. All of these writings were from the same period.

No doubt there were 'variations on certain theological issues' just like in Westminster, but this fact does not at all prove that the change from 'sacrament' to 'ordinance' represented some monolithic departure by all Particular Baptists, which is the only point I was trying to make.
That's very fair enough. By all means individuals had their particular word choices, but as a confessional document that seeks to articulate carefully what a system is teaching, the departure of wording in this instance could only infer a desire to distinguish. How could it be taken any other way if the traditional word is already perfectly sound?
 
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