Why Don’t Reformed Churches Rebaptize People?

(This is a re-post from June 2013.) Confessional Reformed/Presbyterian churches don’t rebaptize a Christian who comes from another church to join theirs.  The Westminster Confession of Faith (28:7) says “the sacrament of baptism is but once to be administered to any person.”  For example, if a person was baptized in a Roman Catholic, Methodist, Brethren, or Baptist… Continue reading Why Don’t Reformed Churches Rebaptize People?

Baptism: Is Immersion Necessary? (Shaw)

Reformed churches do not insist on baptism by immersion. Instead, in Reformed churches various modes of baptism with water are acceptable. The Westminster Confession of Faith says that "[the] dipping of the person is not necessary; but baptism is rightly administered by pouring or sprinkling water upon the person" (XXVIII.3). What's the biblical background for… Continue reading Baptism: Is Immersion Necessary? (Shaw)

The Holy Spirit Speaking in Scripture (Shaw)

One of the principle aspects of the 16th century Protestant Reformation was the repeated emphasis on the sufficiency and authority of Holy Scripture. The Reformers, using Scripture, constantly referred to God's Word as the highest authority in the Christian life and in the Christian church. The Belgic Confession notes this very clearly in Article VII.… Continue reading The Holy Spirit Speaking in Scripture (Shaw)

Providence – General and Special

Westminster Confession 5.7 makes an excellent distinction between general and special providence.  [This is related to the Reformed distinction between common grace [benevolence] and saving grace and the distinction between Christ’s kingdom of power and his kingdom of grace/glory.]  Here’s WCF 5.7: “As the providence of God does, in general, reach to all creatures; so,… Continue reading Providence – General and Special

The Authority of the Church: What Kind?

I appreciate Robert Shaw’s explanation of Westminster Confession of Faith 1.10, which talks about the authority of Scripture and the authority of the church. “’That Supreme Judge, by which all controversies in religion are to be determined, is no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture,’ is asserted in opposition to the Papists,… Continue reading The Authority of the Church: What Kind?