Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Calvinism/FAQ/Reformed Baptist

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Discussion imported from Template talk:Calvinism[edit]


I was wondering when you guys would get around to making a Calvinism template! At any rate, I just wanted to ask whether or not "Baptist" was appropo for this template. While there certainly are Calvinist Baptists, there are many Baptists who are not Calvinist, and it is kind of its own tradition with its own doctrinal history. Just a thought. KHM03 15:23, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

Particular Baptist, maybe? The problem with "Reformed Baptist" is that it is also the name of a very anti-Calvinistic restorationist sect. Mkmcconn (Talk) 16:40, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

Mkmcconn said above, regarding Reformed Baptist, "it is also the name of a very anti-Calvinistic restorationist sect". That's interesting because I have never heard of such and the wiki article on Reformed Baptist doesn't mention such. Hmmmm. Jim Ellis 19:21, July 21, 2005 (UTC)

The people the rest of us used to call "Campbellites" used to call themselves "Reformed Baptists". — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 18:59, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Barth and Reformed Baptists[edit]

User:Yakuman has repeatedly removed Karl Barth and Reformed Baptists, most recently with the comment that "Making Barth or RBs 'Calvinst' is speculative and POV -- Calvin himself would not recognize them."

First, as the article on Calvinism describes, Calvin is not the sole arbiter of what is now called Calvinism. Yakuman is defining Calvinism more strictly than the Wikipedia does.

Second, Reformed Baptists clearly claim to be Calvinists as that article clearly states, and contrary to Yakuman, it is POV to unilaterally remove them from this template. Charles Spurgeon certainly considered himself a Calvinist (see his "Defence of Calvinism"), as does John Piper (see, e.g., "What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism" and "How to Teach and Preach Calvinism") as does Founders Ministries, which exists to call Southern Baptists back to their Calvinist roots, as did the Calvinists who touched up the Westminster Confession of Faith to produce the Calvinist 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith.

Third, we had an extended discussion above about Barth and reached consensus, which neither Yakuman nor anyone else can unilaterally overrule without establishing an even broader consensus (cf. Wikipedia:Consensus#Consensus_can_change). We may not agree with what Barth has to say, but he certainly is in the Reformed tradition and is a sympathetic interpreter of Calvin (cf. The Theology of John Calvin). Moreover, as above, he is the single most influential follower of Calvin in the last century -- his influence goes far beyond the Reformed tradition (unlike, say, John Knox). --Flex (talk|contribs) 12:59, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree that since Reformed Baptists fall into the Calvinist category by their own confession, they would be appropriate to include on the Template:CalvinismBrian0324 13:33, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Yakuman seems to have a narrower classification in mind. His concerns might be satisfied by creating a different navigation template based on those more limited criteria; unless such a navigation scheme would be too limited in its scope to be really useful. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 17:19, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps, but this advice seems to be in conflict your concern in the following section about templates multiplying and having more than one in an article. What are your specific thoughts on these two deletions from this template? Should they stay or go? --Flex (talk|contribs) 18:12, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
In my opinion, they ought to stay. The only way to justify taking them out, would be to narrow the criteria for inclusion in this template. Narrowing criteria results in more templates - so my concern in both places is really the same. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 18:52, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Pro I'm in favour of keeping at least the Reformed Baptists. I won't express an opinion on Barth because I don't know enough. However, I'd make the standard "which Calvinists do you expect to see in heaven". If Barth is in by that criterion, then keep him, otherwise toss him out. Of course, that brings the rest of theology into the argument. Ouch :). Basically, the people I know are fairly happy with Kuyper and the Reformed Baptists, but not so happy with Barth.
-- TimNelson 07:10, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

What’s a Reformed Baptist? There are charismatics, dispensationalists, Amyraldians, fundamentalists, pietists, seventh-dayers, social gospellers, antinomians, neo-orthodox, theonomists, hypercalvinists, God-hates-#@%s protesters, liberals, assorted chiliasts, British Israelites, Paisleyites and others who use the name. And, I hate to say this, Karl Barth is in this group. There is no common confession, even though some use a modified WCF. No offense meant to any Baptists reading this, but this term is just plain vague. That's why I took it out. Yakuman 08:39, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

The article Reformed Baptist describes the convictions of this group fairly well. It's a well established terminology that has been around for several hundred years, apparently. I don't find it to be contradictory or confusing in the least. This template seems to have lost the broad sweep of Calvinist thought that has produced the likes of Charles Haddon Spurgeon. This makes for a more vague template - or exclusive.Brian0324 15:25, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Reformed Baptists straw poll[edit]

Polls are not binding, but they do allow testing for consensus. (See WP:CONSENSUS#Consensus_vs._supermajority.) Please only put "Yes", "No", or "Abstain" in the vote line. Put all discussion below. --Flex (talk|contribs) 15:46, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Do you support including "Reformed Baptists" as a link in the Calvinism template under the "Churches" heading?

Polls - meta[edit]

Wikipedia is not an experiment in democracy or any other political system. Its primary method of determining consensus is discussion, not voting. Although editors occasionally use straw polls in an attempt to test for consensus, polls or surveys may actually impede rather than assist discussion. They should be used with caution, if at all, and may not be treated as binding. WP:NOT#DEMOCRACY Yakuman 03:58, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
It's in the hope that they will assist by promoting discussion instead of unilateral actions, that the poll is being taken. Thanks for the reminder, however: Wikipedia is not an experiment in democracy, nor of tyranny. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 04:11, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

This is the very sort of personal attack I'm talking about. You first accused me of being and troll and now I'm a tyrant. I'm sorry, but I don't see why this should be dragged out. This should have been over days ago. As for this issue, I have explained myself clearly. I don't know what to say without repeating myself; in fact, I am repeating myself. You seem willing to take strident measures to enforce your opinion, which strikes me as the real tyranny. I have considered nothing that severe. Yakuman 04:39, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

That is not a personal attack. I posted advice that, if you think that others are being trollish, do not react. But like you, I see no reason why this should be dragged out. It should have been over days ago. 04:49, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

The obvious target is me, Mark. You want your POV enforced and I apparently stand in your way. I don't want my opinion enforced. The obvious NPOV point is that debatable subjects be left out. You realize this, but instead of accepting a necessary conclusion, you stretch the definition of debatable to strain the Zwinglian gnat and demand I give you a criteria. If you refuse to hear the simple arguments, why should I give you complex ones? Yakuman 04:57, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

What is not debatable? The Amyrauldians and Barthians debate that the Calvinists misinterpret Calvin. Freedom from debatability is a luxury, and not the same thing as NPOV. Verifiability is the measure. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 05:07, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

RB Discussion[edit]

see article: Reformed Baptist

People who are interested in learning about Calvinism because it's become a matter of controversy in their own ecclesial environment are probably Baptists. By itself that's not enough reason to include the link, but combined with other reasons -- the common usage of "Calvinist", the tendency (as far as I've seen) for RBs and conservative Presbyterians to make common cause far more often than not -- it just makes more sense to include it. (But then, I might be biased, being an RB myself.) A.J.A. 16:16, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

If we define a Calvinist as someone who adheres to monergistic salvation and the doctrines of grace, I support the inclusion of the RB crowd. If the definition of Calvinist is otherwise, I reserve the right to revoke my vote, depending on what definition is presupposed in this discussion.—Emote Talk Page 16:27, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
My position is that Calvinism has several commonly used meanings (including a strict adherence to one particular, precisely defined branch of the Reformed tradition, an adherence to the DoG, and a general position within the Reformed tradition [cf. the quote about Barth above from The Harvard Theological Review, etc.]), and we should be inclusive of all of these meanings even if we don't personally like all of them. (I can supply multiple references for each if anyone is in doubt about the multifaceted usage.) Some would exclude Barth as being outside of Calvinism, and others would further exclude Charles Spurgeon, John Piper, and Tim Keller as being outside, etc. etc. (you know what they say: Presbyterians do schism like Italians do spaghetti). However, the neutrality policy requires that we represent all significant points of view on the matter, which leads toward broader inclusion, not exclusion. In other words, we must be descriptionists (i.e., noting how the word is used), not prescriptionists (i.e., saying how it ought to be used). Now, who wants a big group hug? :-) --Flex (talk|contribs) 16:52, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Spurgeon was quoted as saying, "It is our firm belief, that what is commonly called Calvinism, is neither more nor less than the good old Gospel of the Puritans, the Martyrs, the Apostles, and of our Lord Jesus Christ." Evidently he had no difficulty with the label. Aside from the issue of believer baptism, he had much in common with the Presbyterians of his day.Brian0324 16:59, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
And he still does! --Flex (talk|contribs) 17:03, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Spurgeon is not necessarily an example of Baptist or RB thought. As I mentioned above, all sorts of people use the tag for themselves. It isn't a coherent, unified category. If we are talking about church government, then they are a subset of congregationalism. The RBs are such a complex group that they really deserve their own template. Yakuman 04:12, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Reformed Baptist churches are Baptist: a coherent, unified category. They differ from the rest of us by not baptizing their children, and by practicing congregationalist polity, etc.: like Spurgeon, Carl F.H. Henry, John Piper, who unlike other Baptists are Calvinists. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 04:15, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

These are only a few examples of a very, very large group, as I've said. The term is vague. For example, fundy baptists who routinely attack predestination will still call themselves "mild" Calvinists. And other Baptists, who accept it, refuse the name. It's too much to slog through and maintain NPOV. In fact, the category is so big that it really should be covered on its own. Yakuman

You're approaching this very subjectively, Yakuman. Particular or Reformed Baptists are Baptists who are also Calvinists. Simple. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 04:45, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

It would seem that way. Yet Baptists are a diverse lot and there are all sorts of people who don't resemble Spurgeon, Keller, or Henry and yet use the name. And there are others who do, yet want nothing to do with the term and concept of Calvinism. That's what makes the issue blurry. Yakuman 05:04, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Those who want nothing to do with the term and concept of Calvinism are not Reformed Baptists. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 05:09, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Just one small note: Tim Keller is not a Baptist, as Yakuman implies here. He's a baby-baptizing presbyterian. --Flex (talk|contribs) 12:50, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
There are all sorts of people who use the name "Christian" and might be considered by some to be the farthest thing from what is described in Scripture. If we approached Wikipedia according to the very narrow definitions that are provided in the Bible, it would be an impossible task to reconcile every article in order to exclude "false professors" by that standard. The same principle applies to the Template:Calvinism - if a notable figure like Spurgeon claimed to teach Calvinism - and is controversial because of his Calvinistic stance, then it is reasonable to include Calvinists who do not fit cleanly into Calvin's own definition - if he had one.Brian0324 14:12, 29 March 2007 (UTC)