Can you be Evangelical and Reformed?

If one grasps the fact that evangelical doctrine is essentially Baptist, then the answer is no, because baptistic ideas are contrary to the Bible.  There is also the fact that the Reformed Confessions all reject the idiosyncratic baptistic teachings.  Baptists have no idea of the covenant, and cannot see the relevance of the OT to the NT, and how the NT is the fulfilment  of the OT Abrahamic covenants of promise.  Indeed, many baptistic writers have written against it in no uncertain words.

There are of course those who are unaware of the essential incompatibility of the two theologies.  You have men calling themselves Reformed who are really predestinationalist Baptists, or, Reformed Baptists.  Strictly speaking it is a contradiction in terms, but people can call themselves what they like.

The thing to bear in mind is the absolute intolerance of infant baptism that marks the true Baptist, or Evangelical.  There are evangelicals who practice infant baptism, but they are doing so for reasons of tradition and church law, not because of a proper understanding of the issues.  I studied and trained in such a church.

This “tell” of hostility to infant baptism is the dead give-away to the absence of a proper covenant theology.

Then there are those who allow both credo-baptism and infant-baptism.  Again, that is the fruit of not understanding the covenant.  There was a large church near me that split into three over this very issue.  They were Presbyterians without a covenant theology, so they made convinced baptists into elders, they pushed their anti-covenant agenda, and before long the true Presbyterians were compelled to leave.

The turmoil over the Federal Vision boils down to hostility to the covenant from within Reformed churches themselves, the very places where the covenant should be celebrated.  The Federal Vision is authentic Augustinian Reformation theology, plain and simple.


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