Bonhoeffer uses a similar phrase 'worldly Christianity'. It's J Gresham Machen that I want to line up most closely with. See his Christianity and culture here. Having done commentaries on Proverbs (Heavenly Wisdom) and Song of Songs (Heavenly Love), a matching title for Ecclesiastes would be Heavenly Worldliness. For my stance on worldliness, see 3 posts here.

Strict Baptists

I've been thinking of the phrase Strict Baptist and I think one can fairly say there is more than one way of using the phrase. I guess the four categories I'm thinking of more or less get stricter and stricter. Anyway, I think we can say that Strict Baptists are those who
 
1. Insist on a baptised membersip and will give communion only to church members or members of churches of the same faith and order. (Gospel Standard Strict Baptists)
2. Insist on a baptised membership and will give communion only to church members or members of other churches who have been baptised by immersion. (Regular Strict or Grace Baptists)
3. Insist on a baptised membership and will give communion to church members or members of other churches regardless of baptism.
4. Welcome into membership all believers regardless of baptism and will give communion to church members or members of other churches regardless of baptism but insist that leaders are baptised by immersion and teach that view.
 
I think we are really 4 though we may present as a 3.

2 comments:

MFH said...

Interesting. I am a 2 having had a 1 upbringing, and regukarly ministering in such churches. The word strict comes from restricted.. ie resticted access to the Lords Table. I dont think 4 qualifies as a re-stricted baptist.
The question is which is more biblical.
You said there were 5 categories. What is the fifth?
Ta Martin

Gary Brady said...

Sorry that five should have been four, which I have changed now (misread me notes). Historically strict does refer to the Lord's Table, of course, but I noticed that Spurgeon calls himself a Strict Baptist in at least one place because of his strictness over membership. If we grant him that I think we can extend the term a little further to the fourth category because there are churches that are not strict at all and are happy to have paedobaptist and credobaptist elders. As for "more biblical" I think it is difficult to argue as the circumstances we are dealing with did not exist in NT times (all true Baptists would agree on this). All NT Christians were SBs in sense 2. The problems arise once genuine Christians take a different view of baptism.