(1) Church of Christ emphasizes water baptism (baptismal regeneration) and not Spirit baptism.
(2) Landmark Baptists stress the local church and not the universal body of Christ with an emphasis on water baptism (not baptismal regeneration) and not Spirit baptism. “The word ‘baptized’ unless clearly meant to be figurative, must mean water baptism, for this is its basic meaning” (Anderson, Baptist Unshackled, p. 106).
James Robinson Greaves is known as the father of Landmarkism. In 1851, Graves called a meeting at the Cotton Grove Baptist Church in Jackson, Tennessee to react to the liberalism creeping into the Southern Baptist Churches. This group formed the Cotton Grove Resolutions which became the organizational document for Landmarkism (1) Can Baptists with their principles on the Scriptures, consistently recognize those societies not organized according to the Jerusalem church, but possessing different government, different officers, a different class of members, different ordinances, doctrines and practices as churches of Christ? (2) Ought they to be called gospel churches or churches in a religious sense? (3) Can we consistently recognize the ministers of such irregular and unscriptural bodies as gospel ministers? (4) Is it not virtually recognizing them as official ministers to invite them into our pulpits or by any other act that would or could be construed as such recognition? (5) Can we consistently address as brethren those professing Christianity who not only have not the doctrine of Christ and walk not according to his commandments but are arrayed in direct and bitter opposition to them?
The following syllogism expresses Landmarkism. Major premise: To be valid, Christian ordinations and baptisms must be performed by a valid New Testament church. Minor premise: Only valid Baptist churches are valid New Testament churches. Conclusion: Therefore, only ordinations and baptisms performed by valid Baptist churches are valid Christian ordinations and baptisms. Dr. Mike Stallard has an excellent article at his website entitled The Significance of the Central Motif and Stratification for Method: A Case Study of Landmark Baptist Theology.
(3) Pentecostal Theology believes that usually the baptism of the Holy Spirit is subsequent to salvation and is evidenced by speaking in tongues and all of the spiritual gifts are operative for today and must be sought. “The baptism of believers in the Holy Ghost is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance” (Constitution of Assemblies of God).
(4) Charismatics, unlike Pentecostals, are not dogmatic on the timing of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, (whether at conversion or subsequent) nor the evidence of speaking in tongues.
(5) The “Third Wave” movement is another Charismatic renewal movement with an emphasis on “Power Evangelism.” The late, John Wimber, and former senior pastor of the Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Anaheim, California described “Power Evangelism:”
“Power evangelism is evangelism that is preceded and undergirded by supernatural demonstrations of God’s presence. . . .Usually this takes the form of words of knowledge . . . healing, prophecy, and deliverance from evil spirits” (John Wimber, Power Evangelism, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1986, p. 45).
“They teach, however, that baptism in the Holy Spirit happens to all Christians at conversion, and that subsequent experiences are better called ‘filling’ with the Holy Spirit” (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994, p. 763). Wayne Grudem was trained Westminster Seminary (a Covenant theology seminary) and yet he is a part of the Vineyard movement. He represents the Third Wave when he writes “as far as the apostle Paul was concerned, baptism in the Holy Spirit occurred at conversion.” Wayne Grudem’s view on speaking in tongues is different from Traditional Dispensationalism as the following statement reveals. “While an experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit may result in the gift of speaking in tongues, or in the use of some other gifts that had not previously been experienced, it also may come without the gift of speaking in tongues. In fact, many Christians throughout history have experienced powerful infillings of the Holy Spirit that have not been accompanied by speaking in tongues. With regard to this gift as well as all other gifts, we must simply say that the Holy Spirit ‘apportions each one individually as he will’ (1 Cor.12:11)’” (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994, 768, 784).
(6) “Second Blessing” Fundamentalists believe there is a second work of the Holy Spirit after salvation to empower the believer for service and soulwinning. Men like D. L. Moody and R. A. Torrey called this second work the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Others like John R. Rice did not call it the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Here are John R. Rice’s comments:
In that great book, The Holy Spirit: Who He Is, and What He Does, Dr. R. A. Torrey in chapter five gives three defining statements as to what the baptism of the Holy Spirit is. So, before we consider the experiences of great soul winners and how they were filled with the Spirit, let us consider Dr. Torrey’s definition. Dr. Torrey says the following:
(1) In the first place, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a definite experience of which one may know whether he has received it or not. . . .(2) In the second place, the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a work of the Holy Spirit distinct from and additional to His regenerating work. . .(3) In the third place, the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a work of the Holy Spirit always connected with and primarily for the purpose of testimony and service.
While we do not insist on the term, “the Baptism with the Holy Spirit,” we believe Dr. Torrey has given a good definition of this special enduement of power from on high (John Rice, The Power of Pentecost or The Fullness of the Spirit, Wheaton: Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1949, p. 392.).
(7) Covenant Theology does not address the doctrine of the Holy Spirit extensively. Wayne Grudem admits this point: “Systematic theology books have not traditionally included a chapter on baptism in the Holy Spirit or filling with the Holy Spirit as part of the study of the ‘order of salvation,’ the study of the various steps in which the benefits of salvation are applied to our lives” (p. 763). More recent covenant theologian, Robert Reymond writes “The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the work of the glorified Christ and is tantamount to the Spirit’s regenerating work. It precedes and is the precondition to faith in Christ, while the Spirit’s sealing follows upon faith in Christ” (Robert Reymond, Systematic Theology, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, page 764). As a covenant theologian, Reymond believes regeneration precedes faith. This really fits the covenant theology view that NT water baptism which includes infants and as an ordinance symbolizes Holy Spirit baptism (Reymond, page 928), replaces the OT circumcision as the sign of “imputation of the righteousness of faith” (Reymond, page 937). Here is another example of Covenant theology emphasizing the continuity between the OT Israel and NT church. Dispensationalism stresses the discontinuity between Israel and the Church and would say that water baptism which is only for believers does not replace OT circumcision of unbelieving infants.
(8) Reformed Baptist like covenant theologians believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is more than identification with the body of Christ but also includes other ministries of the Holy Spirit such as empowerment for service.
1. The normative dispensational view is expressed by Dr. Windsor from Central Baptist Theological Seminary: “Baptism by the Spirit into Christ is a non-experiential, judicial placement of the convert into Christ. He thus becomes a member of the universal church (or body of the church)” (Dr. Windsor, Systematic Theology 402 Notes, page 43).
2. Covenant theologian, Wayne Grudem writes that the “‘baptism in the Holy Spirit,’ therefore, must refer to the activity of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the Christian life when he gives us new spiritual life (in regeneration) and cleanses us and gives a clear break with the power and love of sin (the initial stage of sanctification). In this way ‘baptism in the Holy Spirit’ refers to all that the Holy Spirit does at the beginning of our Christian lives” (Grudem, page 768). Holy Spirit baptism does not include all of these ministries of the Holy Spirit just the identification of the believer with the body of Christ.
These other ministries of the Holy Spirit are unique but separate ministries called regeneration, sanctification, and filling.
3. The reformed Baptist view on baptism of the Holy Spirit is represented by Robert McCabe and Leon Wood. The Reformed Baptist view is a move in the direction of the Covenant Theology position. The Leon Wood writes his point of view: “The last matter to notice is that baptism involves a certain aspect of empowerment for the believer.” Wood quotes Acts 1:8 to Biblically support his view. Acts 1:8, however, is prophesying the filling of the Holy Spirit that the disciples received on the Day of Pentecost in addition to the baptism and indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Charismatics, Pentecostals, Third Wavers, and “Second Blessing” fundamentalists make the baptism of the Holy Spirit experiential when it is positional in Scripture and not an experience we seek. In part two, I will discuss the Traditional view of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.