Home > Theology > A Reformed Baptist Perspective on Public Theology – The Reformed Confessions (Part II)

A Reformed Baptist Perspective on Public Theology – The Reformed Confessions (Part II)

Read the first four posts here, here, here, and here.


By William F. Leonhart III and Gabriel Williams

In the last post, we examined the approach of the framers of The Belgic Confession to public theology, specifically as it regards civil government. In this article and the next, we will shift our attention from the Continental Reformation to the English Reformation. Without further introduction, let us begin with the earliest of the English confessions we will consider: The Baptist Confession (1644 / 1646).

Not Anabaptists

The considerations that would lead to further development of the public theology laid out in The Belgic Confession came sooner for the early English Baptists than for others. In 1644, a group of Baptists came together in London to publish a new confession of faith. This Confession was meant to be a source of unity for the churches in question, but it also had a secondary purpose. On the European continent, Anabaptism had spread since the time of Zwingli. The early Anabaptists, especially those who were initially among Zwingli’s disciples, were very thoughtful, orthodox, and studious in their approach to theological systematization. However, as the years passed and persecution ensured that Anabaptists had less and less ecclesiastical resources at their disposal, they began to become more extreme in their stances against government and to develop heretical and heterodox views on key doctrines.

As persecution arose for Reformed pastors and theologians at different points of British history, the Reformed would often flee to the continent. Continental Europe, especially in Switzerland and the Dutch provinces, was understood to be more favorable toward the Reformation. In their sojourn on the continent, many Reformed pastors…..




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