Back on June 26 R. Scott Clark wrote A Gentle Rebuke to Brother John criticizing John Piper for inviting Doug Wilson to the September Desiring God Conference. Although I agreed with Scott in his confrontation of John on this point, I did not agree with everything he said in that post. I especially did not agree with his criticism of Reformed Baptists for their use of the term Reformed as a a description of themselves. Here are the specific comments with which I took exception:
Calling a Baptist “Reformed” is like calling Presbyterians “Baptist” because they believe in believer’s baptism. The Reformed churches do practice the baptism of unbaptized believers but they also baptize the infants of believers. No self-respecting, confessional Baptist should accept me as “Baptist” and Reformed folk should resist labeling anyone who rejects most of Reformed theology as “Reformed.”
You can read my response to Clark’s argument in the July 2 post entitled Why I Call Myself a Reformed Baptist. But I also wanted to point out some other reading that may be profitable, at least if you don’t mind wading through a lot of interaction and debate in the “comments” sections of a couple of blogs.
To begin with, R. Scott Clark has written a couple of other Heidelblog articles in which he takes exception to Reformed Baptists using the term Reformed to describe themselves. The first was posted back on July 3 and is entitled A Baptist Reads RCC and Benefits From It. And the second was posted on November 27 and is entitled Post-Thanksgiving Cartoons: A Reply to James White. The reason I suggest both articles, by the way, is not because either of them is particularly good, but because in the “comments” section of each one there are some very good arguments offered by Reformed Baptists in their exchange with Scott and other Presbyterians. Most notable among the Reformed Baptist contributors to this discussion is Robert Gonzales, who ably defends our point of view. In addition, Gonzales has posted his own article updating the status of the debate over at the RBS Tabletalk blog. That article was posted on November 28 and is entitled May Baptist Churches Use the Adjective “Reformed”? The Ongoing Debate. It is well worth reading if you have any interest at all in the discussion/debate. But I would still recommend wading through all of those comments over at the Heidelblog!