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Tuesday
Jan032012

Theological Term of the Week

London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689
A statement of faith written by Particular Baptists in England to articulate what they believed to be biblical teaching on the things most important.

  • From the London Baptist Confession: 

    Chapter 29: Of Baptism

    1. Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party baptized, a sign of his fellowship with him, in his death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into him; of remission of sins; and of giving up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.

    2. Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance. 

    3. The outward element to be used in this ordinance is water, wherein the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

    4. Immersion, or dipping of the person in water, is necessary to the due administration of this ordinance. 

  • From the introduction to A Faith to Confess:
  • Between the years 1644 and 1648 an Assembly of Puritan Divines of England and Scotland had drawn up the Westminster Confession which was and is highly esteemed by believers. But its church Order was that of Presbyterianism, and Baptists differed from it on important matters such as the nature of the gathered church, baptism, the Lord’s supper and church government. Hence, when opportunity arose, they drew up their own Confession of Faith, accepting the fundamental doctrines of the Westminster Confession but making such adjustments to, and correction of, that Confession as seemed to their minds and consciences to be demanded by the pure Word of God. Thus a comparison of the two Confessions will reveal many word-for-word similarities but also sundry changes.

    A dozen years after the Baptist Confession was drawn up by persecuted ministers a new era of liberty dawned, and in 1689 thirty-seven leading Baptist ministers re-issued the Confession. In England and Wales it became the definitive Confession of the Particular or Calvinistic churches and remained so for the next two centuries. Its alternative title was the Old London Confession. In 1744 it was adopted by the Calvinistic Baptists of North America, and called by them the Philadelphia Confession of Faith.

Learn more:

  1. Theopedia: London Baptist Confession of 1689
  2. James Anderson: A Tabular Comparison of the 1646 WCF and the 1689 LBCF
  3. Tom Ascol: Interview on the London Baptist Confession of 1689
  4. Michael Haykin: The 1689 Confession: The Message (mp3); The 1689 Confession: The Men (mp3)
  5. Greg Nichols: Studies in the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith (mp3 series) 

Related terms:

Filed under Creeds and Confessions.

Do you have a term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms in alphabetical order.

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