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“Reformed Baptist”: Anachronistic Oxymoron or Useful Signpost?

  • Matthew C. Bingham
Chapter
Part of the Christianities in the Trans-Atlantic World book series (CTAW)

Abstract

A growing number of Christian churches around the world describe themselves as “Reformed Baptist.” But while those adopting the moniker believe it to accurately describe their distinct theological heritage, some within the wider Presbyterian and Reformed community strongly disagree. Some Reformed historians and theologians have argued that the term “Reformed Baptist” is an anachronistic oxymoron, an inaccurate label that both distorts our understanding of what it means to be “Reformed” and obscures the real identity of those it purports to describe. This chapter critically engages with these claims from both historical and theological perspectives. While conceding that the term “Reformed Baptist” would not have been easily intelligible to early modern actors, the chapter argues that this historical reality does not imply any logical inconsistency on the part of those adopting the label today. Thus, the term “Reformed Baptist” remains a useful signpost for the twenty-first-century church.

Keywords

Baptist Presbyterian Reformed Puritanism Early modern Britain Historical theology 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew C. Bingham
    • 1
  1. 1.Systematic Theology and Church HistoryOak Hill CollegeLondonUK

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