400th Anniversary of the Baptist Confession of Faith
Last week this blog marked the 140th birthday of Bethlehem Baptist Church. Today we note that Bethlehem Baptist Church takes her place in a movement much older.
Historians consider Thomas Helwys’ “Declaration of Faith” written in 1611 to be the first Baptist confession of faith.
"A Baptist Catechism" was adapted by John Piper. He describes his adaptation as "a slightly revised version of ‘The Baptist Catechism’ first put forth by Baptists in 1689 in Great Britain. It was adopted by the Philadelphia Baptist Association in 1742. It is patterned on the well-known reformed Westminster Catechism.”
Baptists began as a Reformation movement in Western Europe founded on the conviction of a personal relationship with Christ and the belief that becoming a Christian is a choice proclaimed through the public immersion in water of adults, rather than infant baptism. Named because of their baptismal practices, Baptists have long championed religious tolerance, the separation of church and state, the voluntary association of independent churches, and the marriage of evangelism and social justice.
Tomorrow we’ll quote C.H. Spurgeon on the subject of Baptists.