A name is a loaded thing. It gives one description, a moniker, categories, and a sense of belonging. It also permits social interaction, structure, and order. Names are a fundamental element of human existence. But what does one do if a name no longer correctly describes him, or if the meaning the name portrays has changed over time, or if that name has become so broad that it encompasses those with whom one would never associate?
These are some of the questions I have been asking myself for years regarding the “Baptist” title. Baptist is one of those names that has become so broad and has developed so many connotations that it is hardly helpful as a name any more. Generally, the Baptist name encompasses almost anyone who professes Christ who does not hold to infant baptism. Apart from that, one can be Calvinistic or Arminian in his soteriology, covenantal, dispensational, etc., in his view of the New Covenant, charismatic or cessationist with regard to the gifts of the Spirit, congregational or elder-ruled with regard to ecclesiology, etc., etc., etc. In other words, the only thing that holds Baptists together is the dryness of their infants.