Why I Am A Baptist

While some are less than helpful, there are some really insightful testimonies in Why I Am A Baptist, edited by Tom Nettles and Russell Moore (Nashville: B&H, 2001).

In Don Whitney’s essay he quotes from William Cathcart’s Baptist Encyclopedia (1881; emphasis mine):

The Baptists of this country hold that the Word of God is the only authority in religion, that its teachings are to be sacredly observed, and that to religious doctrines and observances there can be no additions except from it; they hold that a man should repent and be saved through faith in the meritorious Redeemer before he is baptized; that immersion alone is Scripture baptism; that only by it can the candidate represent his death to the world, burial with Christ, and resurrection to newness of life; that baptism is a prerequisite to the Lord’s Supper; they hold the doctrines of the Trinity, of eternal and personal election, total depravity, regeneration by the Holy Spirit, justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ, progressive sanctification, final perseverance a special providence, immediate and eternal glory for the righteous after death, and instant and unending misery for the ungodly. They hold the doctrinal articles of the Presbyterian Church, and they only differ from that honored Calvinistical community in the mode and subjects of baptism, and in their congregational church government.

Such uniformity could not be claimed today, but that this was case during the founding of our denomination is a major reason why I am a Baptist.

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