committed to historic Baptist & Reformed beliefs

 

 

GLOSSARY


Since both the faith and practice of the New Testament churches have been laid aside by so many, the "old paths" of Biblical practice often seem unusual and new despite their apostolic origin. The old apostolic doctrines of grace are slandered as "Calvinism" and the old practices of Baptists are smeared as "Landmarkism." We believe both "tulip-ism" and strict Baptist polity are Scriptural although both have been largely abandoned. Because of this present situation, you may be unacquainted with Baptist terms. This glossary is provided to enable all to read with ease and understanding the terms used..

Anabaptist:

literally a "re-baptizer" - a collective name given often in ancient times to many groups who insisted on immersing all who joined them despite previous "baptisms" at the hands of other societies. Among these groups the Lord's truth-loving churches existed in former days. Baptists do not believe it is possible to "re-baptize" anyone though we are charged with doing so because we baptize aright those previously "baptized" by other groups lacking New Testament authority. Our old writers vigorously denied being "Anabaptists" because they knew it impossible to re-baptize anyone. A believer, previously immersed unscripturally, can be re-immersed and in actuality baptized for the first time upon this repeat immersion

Apostate:

one who has willfully left the doctrines and practices of the Bible.

Church:

a church of Christ is a congregation of Scripturally-baptized believers organized in harmony with New Testament precept and procedure. This definition is consistent with the New Testament Greek word "ecclesia" and its usage both in sacred and secular writings.

Council of Trent:

(1545-63) convened to damn those who opposed "free will" and those who resisted the Roman Catholic Church. It set forth dogmatically the doctrines of Romanism. It "...among other things dogmatized the medieval theology of the Scholastics. It made the Latin Vulgate, including 11 O.T. apocryphal books, the authorized Bible, and declared Scripture AND tradition as ultimate authority." 1 Further, this council proclaimed "If any one affirms that the baptism of John had the same force as the baptism of Christ, let him be anathema" - a blow directed at the Anabaptists of the day as well as certain Protestants.

Donatists, Novatians, Petrobrussians, Cathari, Arnoldists, Hussites, Waldenses, Lollards:

etc. are historic nicknames applied in various localities to those people known collectively as Anabaptists. That there was a connection between these groups is clear. 2 It is among these groups that New Testament churches are to be found although obviously not all within these groups were saved nor were all the congregations so labelled necessarily sound. Among these are the spiritual forefathers of modern New Testament Baptists.

Hosius, Cardinal Stanislaus:

Born May 5, 1504 in Krakow, Poland, Hosius died August 5, 1579, at Capranica, the Papal Estates, Italy. Appointed Cardinal in 1561, Hosius was later appointed presiding Papal legate to the Council of Trent. He is described as "the most brilliant writer, the most eminent theologian, and the best bishop of his time." 3 Because he carried on such a relentless campaign against all dissenters from the Roman church, he was dubbed "hammer of the heretics." 4

"Landmarkers" or "Landmark Baptists:

" Baptists who maintain the historic Baptist (and we believe, Biblical) position regarding the nature, origin and succession of true churches of Christ are often called and sometimes call themselves "Landmarkers." The nickname originated from an essay published in 1854 entitled "An Old Landmark Reset" written by J.M. Pendleton, a Baptist minister in the United States. The principles and practices of historic Landmarkism can be proved to be as old as the New Testament. This is not to say that everything believed by some who call themselves "Landmarkers" is Scriptural. Some "Landmarkers" have gone off to extreme views, such as "new-lightism." Historic Landmarkism is church practice consistent with Bible principles.

Mosheim, Johann Laurenz von:

(1694? - 1755). Known as the father of modern church history, this Lutheran was no friend of Baptists, but gets high marks for his attempt at honest reporting of the facts. He has been praised as follows: "...von Mosheim, a German preacher, university professor at Goetingen, and noted scholar, was the first to attempt to write Church history objectively. Instead of publishing history to produce propaganda, von Mosheim tried to examine the development of the Church without bias or party line." 5

Munster:

City in Westphalia (region of western Germany bordering on the Netherlands). Scene of tumultuous riots during the Peasant Wars. The Anabaptists were falsely blamed for the riots which were led by Thomas Munzer, radical reformer and former comrade of Martin Luther. Some have tried to trace the Baptists back to these fanatical "madmen of Munster." One of the ablest of historians wrote:

"The most searching investigation has failed to prove that Munzer, the leader of the riots in the Peasant Wars, was a Baptist, or that the Baptists were in anyway responsible for the uprisings." 6

Ordinances:

Baptists hold only two ordinances as Scriptural, namely water baptism of believers and the Lord's supper, both of which they view as being church ordinances as opposed to mere "Christian ordinances." By that it is meant that Baptists view the ordinances as properly observed only by a (local) New Testament kind of (Baptist) church. Ordinances differ from sacraments in that an ordinance is merely a memorial, while it is claimed by ritualists that a sacrament is a work which actually conveys grace to the recipient. Those who hold the sacramental view believe grace is obtained by religious works and ceremonies - a thing contrary to the very definition of grace which is unearned favor or unmerited love.

Pedobaptist:

one who "baptizes" infants whether by sprinkling, pouring or immersion. There is no mention of this practice in the New Testament; thus, Baptists view it as an unscriptural and evil innovation. Its promoters practice it because they believe the rite washes away the guilt of sin and makes the unconscious babe a child of God.

Perpetuity:

the concept that churches of the New Testament sort have had continual existence since the first one was established by Christ and that they shall continually exist until He comes again. Closely related to "succession." (see "Succession" below).

Protestant:

used of those individuals and religious societies which separated from or arose in protest against the Roman Catholic Church during the period of history known as the "Reformation." The term is also used of groups later splitting off those earlier splits. Baptists, originating with Christ, are not Protestants in this sense though they have consistently opposed the errors of Romanism.

Quasi-baptists:

churches or individuals who are designated Baptist, but who only slightly resemble historic Baptists in doctrine and practice. Used of liberal, loose, irregular and apostate Baptists.

Succession:

the concept of churches being founded by the authority of previously existing churches. J.R. Graves, erroneously called the father of Landmarkism, wrote:

"The sense in which any existing Baptist Church is the successor of the First Church of Judea -the model and pattern of all -is the same as that existing between any regular organization and the first such organization that was ever instituted. Ten thousand local organizations of like nature may have existed and passed away, but this fact in no wise affects the continuity of the organization. From the day that organization was started, it has stood; and though it may have decayed in some places, it has flourished in others, and never had but one beginning..." 7

Transubstantiation:

the Catholic teaching that in the Mass the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ in a non-bloody sacrifice. Hear from one of Rome's own authorized statements:

"This is the word the Roman Catholic Church has adopted as most accurately expressing what happens at the Consecration at Mass. At this moment, by divine power, what was bread and wine now becomes the Body and Blood of Christ. The Catholic, therefore, subscribes to the traditional doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church which, in the words of the Council of Trent, speaks of 'the change of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood (of Christ), only the appearances of bread and wine remaining; which change the Catholic Church most fitly calls transubstantiation." 8 Brackets mine:C.A.P.

 


1 Merrill F. Unger, Th.D., Ph.D., UNGER'S BIBLE HANDBOOK, (Chicago, Moody Press, 1966), p. 913.

2 Of the Cathari (one group of Anabaptists) it is said, "They derived their teachings from Paulicians: their chief ramifications were the Albigenses and the Bogomils." Clarke F. Ansley, Ed., THE COLUMBIA ENCYCLOPEDIA IN ONE VOLUME, NY, Columbia University Press, 1945), p. 313.

The various groups evidently had not only a connection of principles and doctrines, but as the waters of one stream flow into another, so these succeeded and sometimes paralleled one another.

3 Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th Edition, Vol. 6, article "Hosius", p. 77

4 Douglas, Elwell, and Toon, op cit., p. 189.

5 William P. Barker, WHO'S WHO IN CHURCH HISTORY, (Grand Rapids, Baker, 1977), p. 198.

6 Christian, op cit., p. 153.

7 J.R. Graves, OLD LANDMARKISM (Texarkana, Bogard Press reprint of the second edition, 1881), p. 84.

8 Mabel Quin, Ed., THE CATHOLIC PEOPLES ENCYCLOPEDIA, Vol. 3 (Chicago, The Catholic Press, Inc., 1966), p. 1019.

This three volume set bears the Imprimatur of Cletus F. O'Donnell, J.C.D. and this statement: "The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are official declarations that a book or pamphlet is free from doctrinal or moral error..."

 
 
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