Are we still Debating who is “Truly” Reformed?

Kevin DeYoung, a pastor in the Reformed Churches of America (RCA), answers the question Is John Piper Really Reformed?  Naturally the post compelled DeYoung to revisit the ancestors of Reformed theology.  Essential to DeYoung’s arguments is the work of famed Dutch Reformed theologian Herman Bavinck.

According to Bavinck, the Reformation gave rise to denominations and churches that “were of Calvinistic origin.”

So yes, John Piper is Reformed.  And so too are Al Mohler and Mark Dever.

What do these three men have in common?  Well, they are Baptists, and according to DeYoung, they are “Reformed” Baptists.  But if we are talking being Reformed according to the Three Forms and the Westminster Standards, then they are not TRULY Reformed.

As a footnote, while this is a hill that I’m not willing to die on, lest we forget, as a Baptist and therefore an offspring of the 16th century Reformation, I too am compelled to point to 17th century Particular Baptists and their 1677/89 Second London Baptist Confession, which was patterned after the Westminster Confession of Faith and with slight modifications to reflect their Baptist distinctives.

This entry was posted in Al Mohler, Baptists, John Piper, Kevin DeYoung, Mark Dever, Reformed Baptist and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Are we still Debating who is “Truly” Reformed?

  1. Jon Hughes says:

    This is a joke. Piper need and others need to “go a lot farther back and dig a lot deeper down”, and are not among the “most truly Reformed”??? This is patronising nonsense and overly introspective. Hasn’t he got anything more productive to write about?

    No wonder I find N.T. Wright a breath of fresh air.

    • TC says:

      Yes, Wright is indeed a breath of fresh air against all this nitpicking. I couldn’t agree more with your indictment, come to think about it.

  2. Craig Benno says:

    To truly be reformed, why are we stuck on Calvin? Whats wrong with Luther, Huss…

    • TC says:


      That’s the problem saying “I am of Paul,” “I am of Luther,” “I am of Calvin,” etc.

      • Craig Benno says:

        Well said T.C. I think we are to be a church that has the spirit / attitude of the reformers, so that we are not stuck in tradition for traditions sake – rather instead we continually ensure we are looking to understand the Scriptures for what they truly say and to truly put into practice that what they say is to be put into practice.

  3. TC says:

    Yes, the reformers have given us semper reformanda, “always reforming,” but we are often stuck and fighting with each other. Quite ironic!

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