December 17, 2017

FrontLine–Mar/Apr 2014


Check out the latest from FrontLine, opening editorial and Table of Contents below:

March/April 2014 | VOLUME 24 | NUMBER 2

Baptist Distinctives

Clearly, there are some Fundamentalists who are not Baptist, and there are many Baptists who are not Fundamentalists. But by its name and nature the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International (FBFI) is both Fundamental and Baptist. Consequently, the following words appear in the FBFI Statement of Purpose:

We purpose, in the Spirit of Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and to the glory of God, to militantly promote historic Fundamentalism and to promote our historic Baptist distinctives, while maintaining ecclesiastical, personal and civil (church and state) separation—all in the spirit of a godly, spirit-filled aggressiveness.

To advance that purpose, this issue of FrontLine presents a series of articles on the subject of “Baptist Distinctives.” On the one hand, Baptists tend to have a clear meaning in mind when they use the term “Baptist distinctives.” On the other hand, even among Fundamental Baptists, it is not unusual to hear the objection, “I don’t like to call separation of church and state a Baptist distinctive, because many others believe in separation of church and state.” However, it would be very unusual to hear an objection to calling baptism by immersion a Baptist distinctive. Why tolerate the term on one point and not the other?

Perhaps the word “distinctive” is not as clear to others as we might think. One meaning is “characteristic,” and that is probably the sense in which we use it with reference to doctrines or convictions we have in common with non-Baptists. In contrast, the word “distinction” is commonly used to mean “distinguishing from others.” But to use “distinction” would be a pointless distinction itself, since the words are used interchangeably. Even if there was a technical distinction, it is a bit late in Baptist history to quibble over it.

Still, the underlying point is valid. Of course, we do not believe that no group but our own believes one or more of these distinctives. We do, however, believe them. The cluster of convictions we call “Baptist distinctives” are, as stated in our Purpose, “historic Baptist distinctives,” and we have the right and responsibility to call them that as we promote them. Naturally, others have the right to object, and we have the responsibility to be charitable; after all, as Baptists, we believe in soul liberty.

John C. Vaughn


God’s Work through His People: A History of Baptist Principles

Mike Sproul
A study of the principles that bind Baptists together ties me to Christ and His mission for us.

Biblical Authority

Larry Ball
Reading the stories of Baptist history burned the Baptist convictions of my predecessors into my heart.

Regenerate Church Membership

Dave Sproul
Regenerate church membership can be traced back to the Book of Acts.

Individual Soul Liberty

Nathan Mestler
Tolerance used to mean …

Two Ordinances

Nathan Mestler
Baptists believe in two ordinances: baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Two Offices: Pastor and Deacon

Dave Sproul
Historically, Baptists have been back-to-the- Bible people.

Autonomy of the Local Church

Larry Ball
The concept of local church autonomy needs to be fully understood in an age where it is threatened from many sides.

Separation of Church and State

Mike Sproul
Baptists do not believe the state should coerce in matters of spiritual judgment.

The Priesthood of the Believer

Nathan Mestler
We have no mediator who stands between us and God except “the man Christ Jesus.”

Basic Axioms Foundational to Fundamentalism

David C. Innes

Wanted: A Few Godly Men

CH (COL) Joe Willis

We would like to thank Dr. Mike Sproul for coordinating this issue of FrontLine magazine.

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Although Proclaim & Defend is the blog of the FBFI, the articles we post are not an expression of the views of the FBFI as a whole, they are the views of the author under whose name they are published. The FBFI speaks either through position statements by its board or through its president. Here at Proclaim & Defend, we publish articles as matters of interest or edification to the wider world of fundamentalist Baptists and any others who might be interested.

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