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1689 London Confession

The 1689 Confession, alongside the Westminster Confession and Savoy Declaration, are considered to be the most important Reformed Confessions made in the English-speaking world. There is no doubt that the 1689 confession relied heavily upon the work already done in writing the two other confessions, but this is not to understate its importance and influence in Baptist churches since that point.

Particular Baptists were quick to develop churches in colonial America, and in 1707 the Philadelphia Baptist Association was formed. This association formally adopted the 1689 confession in 1742 after years of tacit endorsement by individual churches and congregational members. It was then renamed The Philadelphia Confession of Faith. Further Calvinistic Baptist church associations formed in the mid-late 18th century and adopted the confession as The Baptist Confession.

During the Second Great Awakening in America, Particular Baptists and other Calvinistic expressions of Protestant Christianity came under sustained attack from the successful ministries of evangelists such as Charles Grandison Finney and theologians such as Nathaniel William Taylor. Many Particular Baptists retreated into Hyper-Calvinism, despite the fact that the 1689 confession does not espouse or support such extremes in Reformed theology.

The 1689 confession remains, to this day, a very important document for all Reformed Baptist churches internationally, allowing them to have an historical confession of faith that compares favourably to the Westminster Confession. Modern relationships between Reformed Baptists and other Reformed denominations (such as Presbyterians) have no doubt been strengthened by the historical similarities between the two confessions.

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