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Antipaedobaptism in the Thought of John Tombes: An Untold Story from Puritan England
Dr. Mike Renihan

One reader said, "Looking at the plain cover, and knowing that this was Dr. Renihan's doctoral thesis, one might easily conclude that this is a boring book. This would be an epic mistake. Dr. Renihan has written a fascinating, highly engaging biography and examination of the thought of John Tombes, a little-known figure of the 17th Century who, as the previous reviewer indicated, doesn't really fit into any existing category of thinker on the subject of baptism. Many thanks to Dr. Renihan for writing this book!"

This volume is Dr. Renihan's doctoral dissertation and a very useful volume for those who are interested in the history of doctrine. John Tombes (1603-1676) baptist divine, was born of humble parentage at Bewdley, Worcestershire, in 1602 or 1603. He matriculated from Magdalen Hall, Oxford, on 23 Jan. 1617-18, aged 15. His tutor was William Pemble [q. v.] Among his college friends was John Geree [q. v.] He graduated B.A. on 12 June 1621.

He regularly attended Baxter's Thursday lecture at Kidderminster, and tried to draw Baxter, as he had already drawn Thomas Blake [q. v.], into a written discussion. Baxter would engage with him only in an oral debate, which took place before a crowded audience at Bewdley chapel on 1 Jan. 1649-50, and lasted from nine in the morning till five at night. Wood affirms that 'Tombes got the better of Baxter by far; ' Baxter himself says, 'How mean soever my own abilities were, yet I had still the advantage of a good cause.'

He published: 1. 'Vae Scandalizantium; or a Treatise of Scandalizing,' Oxford, 1641, 8vo; with title 'Christ's Commination against Scandalizers,' 1641, 8vo (dedicated to Viscount Scudamore). 2. 'Iehovah Iireh . . . Two Sermons in the Citie of Bristoll . . . March 14, 1642, with a short Narration of that . . . Plot,' 1643, 4to (8 May, dedicated to Fiennes). 3. 'Fermentum Pharisseorvm, or Wil-Worship,' 1643, 4to (1 July). 4. 'Anthropolatria,' 1645, 4to (9 May). 5. 'Two Treatises and an Appendix . . . Concerning Infant Baptisme,' 1645, 4to (16 Dec.; includes an 'Examen' of Marshall's sermon on baptism). 6. 'An Apology for the Two Treatises,' 1646, 4to; 'Addition,' 1652, 4to. 7. 'An Anti-dote against the Venome of Richard Baxter,' 1650, 4to (31 May). 8. 'Precursor . . . To a large view of Infant Baptism,' 1652, 4to. 9. 'Joannis Tombes Beudleiensis Refutatio positionis Dris. Henrici Savage,' 1652, 4to. 10. 'Antipaedobaptism,' 1652, 4to (28 Nov., dedicated to Cromwell); 2nd pt. 1654, 4to; 3rd pt. 1657, 4to (replies to twenty-three contemporary writers). 11. 'A Publick Dispute . . . J. Cragge and H. Vaughan,' 1654, 8vo. 12. 'A Plea for Anti-Paedobaptists,' 1654, 4to (26 May).

[?4?] 13. 'Felo de Se. Or, Mr. Richard Baxter's Self-destroying,' 1659, 4to. 14. 'A Short Catechism about Baptism,' 1659, 8vo (14 May). 15. 'True Old Light exalted above pretended New Light,' 1660, 4to (against quakers; preface by Baxter). 16. 'Serious Consideration of the Oath of . . .Supremacy ' [1660], 4to (22 Oct.) 17. 'Romanism Discussed, or, An Answer to H. T.,' 1660 4to (30 Nov.; preface by Baxter; replies to Henry Turbervile's 'Manual of Controversies,' Douay, 1654, 8vo). 18. 'A Supplement to the Serious Consideration' [1661], 4to (2 March). 19. 'Sepher Sheba; or, The Oath Book,' 1662, 4to. 20. 'Saints no Smiters; or the Doctrine of Fifth-Mon- archy-Men . . . Damnable,' 1664, 4to (dedicated to Clarendon). 21. 'Theodulia, or Defence of Hearing . . . The present Ministers of England,' 1667, 8vo (dedicated to Clarendon; licensed by the bishop of London's chaplain). 22. 'Emmanuel; or, God-Man,' 1669, 8vo (against Socinians; licensed by the archbishop of Canterbury's chaplain). 23. 'A Reply to Wills and Blinman,' 1675, 8vo. 24. 'Animadversiones in librum Georgii Bullii,' 1676, 8vo.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introductory Concerns

1- New Classification Needed

2- The History and Development of John Tombes's Antipaedobaptist Polemic and the Literature that Produced it

3- The Baptismal Theology: Early Influences

4- Organisation and Exegetical Arguments

5- Theological Arguments

6- Historical Arguments

7- Practical Arguments and a Statement of Tombes' Theology of Baptism

8- Reaction from Tombes' Contemporaries

Conclusion

Bibliography

Appendix: A Short Catechism about Baptism by Tombes

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Recovering a Covenantal Heritage: Essays in Baptist Covenant Theology
Edited by Richard Barcellos

If you are interested in covenant theology, this book is for you. It in no way pretends to be a fully worked-out Baptist covenant theology. It contains essays by thirteen different authors who do not necessarily advocate the fine details of every contribution, something that is quite common with multiple-author works.

After the Preface and Introduction, the first main section is historical. It seeks to set a historical-theological context for the reader. The second section discusses various biblical issues related to covenant theology. The third section of the book, though the shortest, seeks to put things together, though certainly not in any comprehensive sense.

Recommendations by Voddie Baucham, Nathan Finn, Conrad Mbewe, Tom Nettles, and others!

Table of Contents

*Preface - Richard C. Barcellos, Ph.D.

*Introduction - James M. Renihan, Ph.D.

Historical

1. A Brief Overview of Seventeenth-Century Reformed Orthodox Federalism - Richard C. Barcellos, Ph.D.

2. Covenant Theology in the First and Second London Confessions of Faith - James M. Renihan, Ph.D.

3. By Farther Steps: A Seventeenth-Century Particular Baptist Covenant Theology - Pascal Denault, Th.M.

4. The Puritan Argument for the Immersion of Believers: How Seventeenth-Century Baptists Utilized the Regulative Principle of Worship - Stephen Weaver, Jr., Ph.D.

5. The Antipaedobaptism of John Tombes - Michael T. Renihan, Ph.D.

6. The Abrahamic Covenant in the Thought of John Tombes - Michael T. Renihan, Ph.D.

7. John Owen on the Mosaic Covenant - Thomas E. Hicks, Jr., Ph.D.

8. A 'Novel' Approach to Credobaptist and Paedobaptist Polemics - Jeffrey A. Massey

Biblical

9. The Fatal Flaw of Infant Baptism: The Dichotomous Nature of the Abrahamic Covenant - Jeffrey D. Johnson, D.Min.

10. The Difference Between the Old and New Covenants: John Owen on Hebrews 8:6 - John Owen, D.D.

11. The Newness of the New Covenant (Part 1) - James R. White, Th.D.

12. The Newness of the New Covenant (Part 2) - James R. White, Th.D.

13. Acts 2:39 in its Context (Part 1): An Exegetical Summary of Acts 2:39 and Paedobaptism - Jamin Hnbner, Th.D.

14. Acts 2:39 in its Context (Part 2): Case Studies in Paedobaptist Interpretations of Acts 2:39 - Jamin Hnbner, Th.D.

15. An Exegetical Appraisal of Colossians 2:11-12 - Richard C. Barcellos, Ph.D.

Biblical-Theological

16. Reformed Baptist Covenant Theology and Biblical Theology - Micah and Samuel Renihan

*Scripture Index

*Name and Subject Index

"Recovering a Covenantal Heritage is more than a book title; it is a welcomed clarion call for modern Reformed Baptists. May it receive a wide and thorough reading, and spark a renewal of distinct Reformed Baptist theology!" - Voddie Baucham, Pastor of Preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church; Author of 'Joseph and the Gospel of Many Colors'

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