I am not sure if you mean the first or the second edition, Steve. Denault tries to clarify his arguments better in the second edition to maximise communication between Covenantal Baptists and Paedobaptists. The first edition sounded a bit dispensational!Pascal Denault in his, The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant Theology,
I loved reading that review. Thank you, brother.You are right, Stephen - I have the First (2013) Edition, not the Revised (2014). Thanks for that update.
While looking this up, I found an Amazon customer review (by a Presbyterian) of both editions that may be of interest to some:
Here's the link to the review (the pdf attached didn't connect to it): https://smile.amazon.com/gp/custome...ef=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00QZNH38S
[Even so, I prefer my Reformed approach]
Thank you. Your bolded quote was helpful to me in my journey on this. I too have been perplexed over the elect / seed / baptism area, and more recently, pondering what appears to be the great emphasis on the work of the Spirit in the NT, and what bearing or impact this may have on this issue. I too can see that simplicity is actually vital evidence we can grasp the much bigger picture of the scope of salvation. I'm currently in the labyrinth of it all, but looking for those connections in order to bring the threads together for that reason.
God realizes his covenant in the line of generations. He gathers his church from age to age from the children of believers. As the Puritans were fond of saying, ‘God casts the line of election in the loins of godly parents.’ For the sake of the elect children, all are baptized.” [Emphasis added]
Excuse my ignorance but this area confuses me as a Baptist and I will try to explain. How does one line this up with the idea of gentiles being grafted into the covenant? Reprobate to me always meant people that are not elect. Isn't the idea of human family lineage eliminated in the New Covenant with gentiles being grafted in? How is this different from Israel's physical line in the OT view?“God realizes his covenant in the line of generations. He gathers his church from age to age from the children of believers. As the Puritans were fond of saying, ‘God casts the line of election in the loins of godly parents.’ For the sake of the elect children, all are baptized.”
Yes, the book did sound like it stressed the discontinuity too much. His book (the first edition) actually drove me AWAY from the 1689 Federalism position. I am glad he is modifying his stance. The first edition also said some critical things about Presbyterians (such as they formulated Covenant Theology to protect their pet doctrine of infant baptism).I am not sure if you mean the first or the second edition, Steve. Denault tries to clarify his arguments better in the second edition to maximise communication between Covenantal Baptists and Paedobaptists. The first edition sounded a bit dispensational!
Thanks for posting this. I'll read the entire post when I get some free time. In the interim I skimmed the comments (I'm always interested in the comments) and this response by R. Scott Clark caught my eye:In the meanwhile, I notice that R. Scott Clark, in an excellent post of his on the Heildelblog interacts with the RBs' Essay Stephen has asked for comments on in this post: One Important Difference Between The Reformed And Some Particular Baptists: God The Son Was In, With, And Under The Types And Shadows. I had been noticing this myself, but Dr. Clark brought it out clearly and succinctly. He also interacts with Nehemiah Coxe.
Thanks for the response. The definition of "Reformed" is indeed key. I personally don't use the label to describe myself and increasingly find it to not be very useful in discussions today. I think the debates over who is in and who is out to be rather unfortunate...especially considering the elastic qualities the category has taken on, but I digress.Hello BLM,
Yes, I know — this is a vexing issue. I suppose the crux of it is defining “Reformed”. Reforming doctrine to be in accord with apostolic, Biblical doctrine? The Reformation itself was launched by paedobaptist émigrés from Roman Catholicism, and there were some (not including the radical anabaptists) who thought such had not reformed enough—holding the baptism of infants as they did—but still wanted to be considered under the banner of the Reformed due to the latter’s profound doctrinal excellence, save in the matter of infant baptism, which also, however, required their having radically differing views of the covenants. Basically, they did not want to be rejected by the paedobaptists.
In my signature, after thinking this over some weeks ago, I changed the description of the church I am presently a member of (the PCA Presbyterians having gone too far off the track in my area) from Baptist – [Reformed] to [Doctrines of Grace]. That way the Baptists are identified with the “five points of Calvinism” as regards soteriology, but not the original Reformers with their covenantal and paedo views.
It is a major difference. Not “country-clubish” or “trivial”, but such that the two churches cannot join in spiritual outreach and discipleship activities, save one silence itself and its distinctives.
To be Reformed reflects on how we consider and view our children, and subsequently raise them. To the Doctrines of Grace Baptists, are they not, although beloved, still seen as “little vipers” save they be regenerated and converted? To the Reformed they are seen as bearing the sign and seal of the elect and treated—nurtured and admonished—as such, the parents yet understanding there may be reprobates among them; nonetheless they cherish and nourish all in the hope and trust of God’s grace. It’s a different attitude and approach to child-rearing, as well as teaching and preaching.
The difference in the communities in that regard is great. Which is not to say that among the Baptists there are not godlier men and women than many in the paedo community! The paedos are not better followers of Christ, save in the matter of the children. And some of their children turn out to be godlier than many of the paedos’. Though the communities of the PRC, which I have been speaking of and drawing upon in previous posts, I consider exemplars in this matter—which is not to say that I agree with all their teachings.