The Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies (JIRBS) is published to explain and support the theology of Holy Scripture as it is summarized in the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith. The journal will be published annually.
This is the first book in the series Recovering our Confessional Heritage. The series is sponsored by the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies in cooperation with RBAP. The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies is a graduate theological school which aids churches in preparing men to serve in the Gospel Ministry. For more information please visit irbsseminary.org.
The purpose of the series . . . is to address issues related to the Second London Confession of Faith of 1677/89 (2LCF). . . . The series will include treatments of various subjects by multiple authors. The subjects to be covered are those the series editors (along with consultants) determine to be of particular interest in our day. The authors will be those who display ample ability to address the issue under discussion. Some of the installments will be more involved than others due to the nature of the subject addressed and perceived current needs. Many of the contributions will cover foundational aspects of the self-consistent theological system expressed in the Confession. Others will address difficult, often misunderstood, or even denied facets of the doctrinal formulations of the 2LCF. Each installment will have a “For Further Reading” bibliography at the end to encourage further study on the issue discussed. ~ from the series editors, James M. Renihan and Richard C. Barcellos
“In Chapter 1, I seek to show how creeds and confessions exist in every church, denomination, or association, though they are not always written down. This is owing primarily to a mistaken view of what creeds and confessions actually are, as well as a wrong understanding of the relationship between sola Scriptura and written confessions of faith. Having an unwritten creed is susceptible to several dangers for the people of God.
In Chapter 2, the biblical warrant for creeds and confessions is established. The church has always been a creedal church, even during the apostolic era, and though we hold to the cessation of special revelation, we do not hold to the cessation of illumination and the ongoing need to earnestly contend for the faith.
Chapter 3 is devoted to a further definition of what a confession of faith is and how it differs from the Scriptures. The Scriptures are the infallible Word of God; the confession is our interpretation of the Word of God. This precludes the confession from ever taking the place of Scripture or being over Scripture, because apart from the Scripture, interpretation would be moot.
In Chapter 4, the confession is shown to be a consensus document, both in its original formation and in its continued function. It is important to understand and appreciate the amazing consensus our confession and our sister confessions have had in the past, the need for a clearer understanding of what it means to subscribe the confession, and how the confession functions within the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA).
Chapter 5 addresses very briefly the matter of words and terms and the need to understand the authorial intent of the confession.
The concluding remarks found in Chapter 6 are practical applications, addressed primarily to ministers and elders, and especially those who represent their churches in the General Assembly of their Association.” ~ Arden L. Hodgins, Jr.
“Moses, writing after the historical acts of creation, utilizes the covenantal name of God, Yahweh, while discussing Adam’s Edenic vocation (Gen. 2:4ff.). Isaiah utilizes concepts that started with Adam to explain the universal guilt of man, while using the word “covenant” (Isa. 25:5-6). Hosea, looking back upon previous written revelation, makes explicit what was implicit in it. The prophet’s inspired words give us God’s infallible knowledge of one of the similarities between ancient Israel and Adam. Both had a covenant imposed on them by God and both transgressed their covenants (Hos. 6:7). Paul, while reflecting on Adam’s Edenic vocation, contrasts the disobedience of Adam and its results with the obedience of Christ and its results (Rom. 5:19). The term “works” in the phrase “covenant of works” contrasts with “grace” and “gift” in Romans 5:17. Paul asserts that Adam was a type of Christ (Rom. 5:14). Adam sinned and fell short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). Christ did not sin (Heb. 4:15) and, upon his resurrection, entered into glory (Luke 24:46; Acts 26:19-23; 1 Pet. 1:10-12), a quality of life conferred upon him due to his obedience (Rom. 5:21). This is the life he confers upon all believers.
These scriptural realities, understood by the utilization of the hermeneutical principles of the Holy Spirit as the only infallible interpreter of Holy Scripture, analogia Scriptura, analogia fidei, and scopus Scripturae, led to the confessional formulation of the doctrine of the covenant of works.” ~ Richard C. Barcellos
The doctrine of associational churchmanship expressed in our Confession is another one of these circumstances. Our discussion will involve the following: first, the three ways to describe interchurch relations; second, the church in the Second London Confession of Faith (2LCF); third, an overview of chapter 26.1-11 and brief exposition of 26.12-13; fourth associationalism; and finally, a conclusion and application.” ~ James M. Renihan