For the edification of confessional Reformed Baptist pastors 

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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.

246 pages
Published 2016



A Defense of Confessionalism: Biblical Foundations & Confessional Considerations

A Defense of Confessionalism

Series Description

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

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

Product Description

“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.

118 pages
Published 2016

The Covenant of Works: Its Confessional and Scriptural Basis

The Covenant of Works: Its Confessional and Scriptural Basis

“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

138 pages
Published 2016

Associational Churchmanship: Second London Confession of Faith 26.12-15

Associational Churchmanship

“Theology does not occur in a vacuum. It develops out of real-life situations. Men study the Word of God, contemplate its teaching, and express their conclusions. Often it is the circumstances of life that force them to think more closely and clearly about their doctrinal views and that sharpen the expressions of truth. When Arius challenged the divinity of Christ, Christians faced new questions, and the result of the debate was a clearer view of the deity of our Savior. We could give many illustrations from the history of the Church of that increasing clarity and understanding in the Creeds and Confessions of Christianity.

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

90 pages
Published 2016

Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors’ Conference ’17


SCRBPC ’17, November 6-7, 2017: 2LCF 4, Of Creation
  • Of Creation, Richard Barcellos, Ph.D. (four lectures)
  • Overview of 2LCF 4, Of Creation, James M. Renihan, Ph.D. (one lecture)
  • “In the space of six days,” James M. Renihan, Ph.D. (one lecture)
  • “Besides the law written in their hearts, they received a command…,” – Moral and Positive Law, Samuel Renihan, Drs. (one lecture)

SCRBPC 2016 on Youtube

SCRBPC 2016 on Youtube

Click playlist button in top left corner to see all the videos, including interviews.

SCRBPC ’16 lecture titles as of today

Drs. Stefan T. Lindblad, B.A. in History and Classics from Seattle Pacific University, M.Div. from Westminster Seminary California and the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies, and Ph.D. candidate in Systematic and Historical Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary, is our speaker at this fall’s conference. The conference will be held on October 24-25, 2016.

Here are the lecture titles thus far:

1. Tremendum Mysterium: A Historical and Theological Primer on the Divine Decree
2. The Will of God: One or Three?
3. Christ & the Decree Revisited
4. A Prelude to Dordt: Arminius & Trelcatius at the University of Leiden

SCRBPC ’15 testimony of Pastor Brandon F. Smith

I am not normally enthusiastic about traveling cross-country, but I am thankful that I attended the Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors’ Conference in 2015. During 24 years of ministry I have attended many conferences. I gleaned helpful thoughts from an assortment of presentations in the past, but this conference was different. Every lecture challenged me as a pastor and theologian in my thinking about the immensity and greatness of our God. I sat, at times, in awe of Him and other times giving thanks to Him. The conference reassured me of my need as a pastor to grapple with the doctrine of God both biblically and in general revelation. We need not give up the “battlefield of general revelation” to secular thinkers. My job, as pastor/theologian, requires me to think through who God is even in places of mystery. Although the doctrine of God leads to mystery sometimes, there is still much for me to learn concerning our God. I went away encouraged to read more on theology proper for my personal growth and the benefit of the local church.

Pastor Brandon F. Smith
Trinity Reformed Baptist Church Jackson, GA

SCRBPC ’15 registration now open

You can register here. If your wife is coming, please indicate in comment box at bottom of registration page.

SCRBPC ’15 registration opens next week


This year, we are privileged to have Drs. Renihan and Dolezal address the doctrine of God. You can view the full schedule here. We are planning on having a panel discussion with Drs. Renihan and Dolezal and Sam Renihan (author of two books on the subject) on the doctrine of divine impassibility. Each night closes with a Q&A. Besides the lectures and Q&A, we also provide two complimentary meals (lots of meat!). We hope you can join us! Here is the registration page.