Brandon Adams and pastor Patrick Hines got together to talk Reformed Covenant Theology on a recent episode of Semper Reformanda Radio.
Many thing’s were discussed during this episode with each side getting an initial twenty-minutes to explain their personal view of Gods covenants with man. When the pair finally got into a personal dialogue regarding these important topics, the word “presupposition” began to be thrown around quite a bit. This is a word I have been very consistent mentioning both here on my blog, as well as on the Twitter the last couple of years. More often than not, it is when I’m engaging my paedobaptist brethren where the word starts to be thrown around at a much higher rate. This is also a word I have found many people do not appreciate much. But to be clear, when I mention it in a conversation I am not saying that my paedobaptist brethren have presuppositions and I do not. Rather, I’m saying that we have them as well but that ours are different. I feel Brandon handles the word presupposition in a similar fashion than I during this episode. This really is not something to get baffled about or take personally. These are the things we need to get to in order to have a helpful discussion concerning why we believe the things we do. For example, the word “presupposition” was mentioned at the conclusion of a recent Regular Reformed Guys podcast with Dr. Samuel Renihan found here, almost daily on my Twitter feed found here, as well as by both Brandon and pastor Hines during this episode. So clearly I’m not the only one mentioning the word when trying to understand the other side.
Why do I mention this? Because presuppositions matter and in my opinion were the source of many frustrations displayed in this podcast by pastor Hines. It seemed hard for him to understand the many things he took for granted and as biblical truth, were the very things Brandon wanted to discuss in detail. For example, pastor Hines assumes many things are Biblical truth and imports them into his conversations with Brandon. A few of those assumptions (presuppositions) mentioned in this podcast would be, that there is multiple administrations of the covenant of grace, all of Israel being the church, all of Israel being the church and a type of the church at the same time, ἐκκλησια having to mean that all of Israel was the actual church instead of being described as a nation or assembly, baptism has replaced circumcision, etc. Towards the conclusion Brandon points this out to pastor Hines, explaining how he seems baffled because he can’t see how Brandon can reach the conclusions that he does. He can’t see the Reformed Baptist postion (it’s okay to disagree with it) because he is applying his own system of thought into every question he asks of Brandon, as well as every critique.
I would recommend looking past the emotion displayed in the audio as pastor Hines takes a rather aggressive approach, with Brandon presenting his perspective in a more calm manner. Listening to the words in this dialogue instead of the tone throughout from either side would be beneficial. I would also recommend focusing in specifically during the last twenty minutes. It is in my opinion that this is where Brandon brings to light just a few of the many inconsistencies we see in our paedobaptist brethren’s covenant theology. Things like the OPC report on Republication, pastor Hines not having a firm grasp on republication, pastor Hines describing over and again a position that is not aligned with the Westminster Confession of Faith (Mosaic Covenant different in Substance from Abrahamic Covenant and not the Covenant of Grace), etc. I think Brandon handled these inconsistencies very well, choosing to ask questions in a way that would allow pastor Hines to see for himself that all of the pieces might not fit together as tightly as he originally had thought they did. I hope that it at least gave him something to think about.
I look forward to Brandon and pastor Hines getting together for a second conversation soon. This was very helpful indeed.
Check out the entirety of this informal debate at the link below.
Update! Brandon Adams has updated his blog concerning this dialogue found here.
Update #2! Pastor Hines has issued an apology concerning his behavior during this debate, found here. This is a positive step forward, indeed.