Goodwin vs. Gillespie: An Old Testament Debate for Church Polity
There is an interesting read over at the Reformed Forum. Jonathan Brack recounts a debate that took place at the Westminster Assembly between congregationalists and presbyterians.
for Goodwin, ecclesiastical and civil are one and the same in the Old Testament. To this, Lord Say added that on these grounds,
It ware much better to find out those places that established a ground for this ruling elder in the New Testament wher this constitution was.
What Goodwin and Lord Say failed to recognize was that this was the exact point being debated. If one were to cut loose the Old Testament ground for elder rule, then one were to cut loose the very ground for Presbyterianism, not to mention baptism.
To this Mr. Vines pressed Goodwin and Lord Say on the exact same hermeneutical point made by Gillespie two days earlier,
For that we must not looke to the state of the Jewish church, is only a warrantableness for the analogy of the Old Testament & New, granted. The brother that spake last said before we must cut loose the argument of Jewish church; [for] but how shall we prove pedo-Baptism?
Richard Vines saw the inconsistency in hermeneutical method being deployed by the Congregationalists. If we were to cut loose the Old Testament ground for church polity, then what is to stop us from the Anabaptist tenet of cutting loose our progeny as well?