I like Richard Baxter’s practical theology but reading Baxter without some caution is dangerous.

From the article:Richard_Baxter_by_Robert_White

This book’s title is actually misleading because it does not mean “reformed” as we know it concerning a covenantal view and doctrines of grace, but rather simply “renewed.” Baxter speaks of the need to reform or renew pastoral ministry via closer examination of members in the churches. The idea sounds quite attractive, but the motives are questionable.

This is because theoretic or marrow theology necessarily impacts practical and pastoral theology. Just as a person in the pew can be motivated out of guilt to do this or that, so can the pastor. And in the case of the Reformed Pastor, Baxter sets forth what was reputed to be the best thing since sliced bread of the time to many. However, it is far from accurate to say all or even most accepted Baxter’s practical works in addition to the marrow of his theology built thereupon.

Baxter did not believe Christ was his righteousness, but that his faith and works contributed to his salvation not much different than Rome. Those such as John Owen and Robert Traill spoke against this theology…

Read more here.


3 thoughts on “Baxter’s so called “Reformed Pastor”

    1. Hi Father Robert,

      Honestly, if it wasn’t for Packer I don’t know if Baxter would have been so popular today. Baxter’s views about soteriology have always been an issue and at odds with Reformed Christians. Anglicans have been much more accepting of non-Cavlinist doctrine, ignoring the 39 Articles for most of its history and even moving toward Roman Doctrine and Practice in the Oxford movement. Is it any wonder that Anglicans like Baxter’s soteriology? not really. I read Baxter but know it’s important to point out his theological landmines to others before recommending him.

      Yours in Him who saves to the utter most.


      1. Banner of Truth Trust has been printing Baxter’s: Reformed Pastor for many, many years. And I don’t think “Banner” cares too much for old Pack? 😉 Myself as an Anglican, I have learned to keep, if not an open mind, at least one that can dialogue with most historic Christianity! But yes, Baxter surely does have some serious differences, but he was such a “Disciple of Christ” himself, that we can work through most of it, at least in my opinion.

        *Note however, I would agree that if Anglicanism is to be classic, and truly Reformed, the Thirty-Nine Articles are part of the mainstay!

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