Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
11/28/2009 - James White
Just a few more thoughts on yesterday's post on what it means to be "Reformed."
Dr. Clark has responded, and by doing so, confirmed that the comments I posted were, in fact, his. You can read his comments and how I have so "badly" misunderstood both he and the Reformed faith here.
You can also find a comment he made that is in some ways even more troubling relating to his false accusation that Baptists say he is not a Christian here. Evidently, being baptized makes you a Christian---shades of my debate with Doug Wilson in 2004. (Summary of my position in that debate: without the gospel, you don't have Christianity. Period).
Michael Haykin sent it over the fence here. Much appreciated.
Here's my final thought: the subjects and mode of baptism does not define what it means to be Reformed. If Dr. Clark wishes to so severely reduce that term so as to limit the number of the Reformed to a tiny few, that is his right. If he wishes to reduce my own faith in the same way to "particular Baptist," I can't stop him, but, I won't be joining him in his minimalism. Years ago I gave a seminar on why "Five points are not enough." Dr. Clark keeps saying being Reformed is more than the five points. Of course it is. It involves one's view of God, a view that sees Him as Holy and just and sovereign, and man as His creature. It stands apart from man's religions, and the vast majority of "Christendom," in acknowledging God's absolute right to do with His creation as He sees fit. It is absolutely theocentric, purposefully and willfully rejecting the impulse to focus upon man, instead acknowledging that the glory of God's grace is worthy to be praised for all eternity. To be Reformed means you believe in a Savior worthy of worship, One who actually saves, not one who just does His best. You believe the Gospel is Trinitarian, holy, lofty, awe-inspiring and worthy of the entirety of your life and being. You not only accept the five points, you accept the consistent exegesis and hermeneutics, let alone the view of an inspired, authoritative, consistent, sufficient Word from God, that leads to those five points. And as a result, your view of God, yourself, church, worship, and the world, is inalterably changed. To be Reformed is to worship God in a way the world just doesn't get, and which evangelicalism as a whole doesn't get, either. You long for the Word, you long to hear His truth proclaimed and honored, and you find anything that detracts from the glory of His truth reprehensible. You see God's grand decree in His Triune self-glorification from creation to consummation and your heart is drawn out in worship and adoration and awe as a result. That is what it means to be Reformed.
Now evidently you can believe all of that, but, if you don't think Calvin's unique means of connecting circumcision to baptism is compelling in light of a tremendous amount of counter argumentation, well, you just aren't Reformed. I leave it to my kind readers to decide if "Reformed" should be thusly restricted.