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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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    We are a community of confessing believers who love the gospel of Jesus Christ, affirm the Biblical and Christ-exalting truths of the Reformation such as the five solas, the doctrines of grace, monergistic regeneration, and the redemptive historical approach to interpreting the Scriptures.

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  • « Our Top Ten Books of 2009 | Main | Book Review: Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth, by John Gerstner »

    Study Bible Recommendations

    There are some very good study Bibles out there, but to provide some sort of leadership for the people I serve, today I wrote the following article where I shortened the recommendations to just two: here - Pastor John Samson

    Posted by John Samson on December 8, 2009 01:59 PM

    Comments

    Ironically, I think that the Lutheran Study Bible (from the LCMS) is actually closer to being truly reformed than the ESV Study Bible or the Reformation Study Bible because those study bibles try to leave room for calvinistic baptists and Zwinglians and are extremely watered down on the sacraments and the law gospel distinction.

    Jared - It seems to me that believing that only those who embrace child sprinkling are "truly reformed" is more than a little shortsighted. See this article: http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=3651

    However, aside from being ambiguous about baptism, the ESV Study Bible is surprisingly covenantal in its outlook. It also clearly takes a stand on monergistic regeneration. When it first came out since it tried to appeal to a wide evangelical audience, I expected it to compromise on divisive issues, and, for the most part, it did not.

    I am a Calvinistic Southern Baptist and see no warrant for, or explicit example of, pedobaptism in the New Testament (I also agree with R.C. Sproul that there is nothing prohibiting it either - but that seems an argument from silence). Nor do I see a strong continuity with the circumcision of infants and the baptism of infants. Nevertheless, I am reformed in my thinking with regard to soteriology (monergistic) -- as are many Southern Baptists -- and I don't believe that differences with regard to baptism makes me any less "reformed" in the overall sense. By baptizing someone, Southern Baptists are saying that person is a professing believer. Presbyterian pedobaptism, on the other hand, is not affirming that the infant baptized is (or will become) a believer. So the two baptisms represent different things to each group. Apart from infant baptism, many Southern Baptists have far more in common with the PCA (theologically) than with other Baptists. I consider the PCA "brothers in the faith" more so than many Baptist groups. (PS. I and most of the staff in the church I attend use the ESV Study Bible and, or, the ESV Reformation Study Bible - of course, you may see this as "making your point." :)

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