RBDL Intro & Guidelines

What is the Reformed Baptist Discussion List?

RBDL is a mailing list to facilitate the gracious interaction of like-minded brethren who call themselves by the historical and theological denominator Reformed Baptist. The standards are the Scriptures and subordinate to them the Second London Baptist Confession, commonly called the 1689 Confession. Others willing to submit to these standards in the discussions are welcome.

Who moderates this list?

Stan Reeves of Auburn, Alabama, an elder at Grace Heritage Church, is the moderator and technical guru for the list.

How do interested parties participate?

Participation is possible on a number of levels as your time and interest allow:

  1. A reader: one who is a member of the list for his own edification as he reads the email discussion without comment.
  2. A casual participant: one who reads regularly and responds on occasion.
  3. Mail list junkie: one who reads regularly and responds with great frequency.
For instance, Pastor A's alleged expertise is in the field of the 17th century baptismal debates in Puritan England. If this subject arises, he would become a very active participant where at other times he may read and comment occasionally. The level of participation is up to the individual.

What does the moderator do? What are the parameters of the discussions?

The moderator sorts out issues that relate to the list and answers queries from list members and those wishing to join. He also decides on appropriate topics for discussion. The moderator's decisions are final.

Typical topics of discussion are the historical elements of the Particular Baptist-Reformed Baptist tradition, exegetical concerns touching Reformed Baptist distinctives, theological matters pertaining to the Reformed Faith, and the practical application of these things to all matters of life. Aspects of ecclesiology are a large area for discussion.

By and large, we want to facilitate discussion among people who have examined the Scriptures and who have found the 1689 Confession to be an accurate summary of the system taught therein. If someone is still in the process of evaluating the confession, then he is welcome to lurk and learn. If someone has disagreements with significant matters addressed by the confession, then he must respect the doctrinal framework and orientation of this list or find some other place to air his views. He is welcome to engage in discussions within the framework of the confession wherever his convictions allow.

Nearly all Reformed Baptists holding to this confession qualify some aspect of the document. Therefore, honest questions on confessional matters may be entertained at the discretion of the moderator. Always remember to savor your discussion with godly salt. Those who repeatedly or blatantly manifest ungracious speech and attitudes will be removed from the list.

How does one join?

Follow the instructions on the RBDL subscription page to subscribe.

The list of subscribers is private and is only accessible to the moderator.

For other subscribe/unsubscribe requests, see the page referenced in your subscribe email or the address above.

The list email address will be included in the subscriber acknowledgment once your subscription is approved.

What rules should I follow in posting?

  1. As always, please follow general courtesy and netiquette.
  2. Don't post attachments.
  3. Try to avoid posting HTML messages.
  4. Do not quote entire posts or long sections of posts you're responding to. (Note that most email clients include the entire message you're replying to. This needs to be deleted, except for relevant snippets to provide immediate context.) Either summarize, or only quote the specific part you're responding to. NOTE: The moderator takes this rule very seriously!
  5. Do not post long or complete articles from other sources. This is a discussion list. Provide a web address to the article or offer to send it to interested parties.
  6. Do not quote from private correspondence that was intended to be kept private if the author can be identified explicitly or implicitly.
  7. Be careful to follow fair-use laws in quoting copyrighted material (small quotes are fine).
  8. If you're replying to a digest, please replace the subject "Re: rblist Digest..." with a subject specific to your post.
  9. All who post notes must send them with their email address and full name appearing in the message or header. No anonymous posts will be allowed unless they are cleared with the moderator.

What other rules should I follow?

  1. Please post a small biographical note with your first public post. This will function as an introduction to the list.
  2. If you send private correspondence to a list member regarding an RBDL thread, you should begin the subject line with "PRIVATE" or "OFF LIST" to ensure that there is no misunderstanding about your intentions.
  3. The individual posts are not intended to be posted to other mailing lists. Posts should not be used beyond this list without the permission of the posting party. It's the gracious thing to do.
  4. If you need to unsubscribe or change your subscription options, please attempt to do it yourself through the rblist Subscribers page or by following the instructions in the FAQ before contacting the moderator.

How much email will I receive?

The volume of posts varies dramatically depending on the level of interest in active topics. Some days will see no posts at all, and other days will see 10 posts or more.

There are two formats in which the list is sent:

  1. Digest Form: one email message containing all of the RBDL posts for a given day is sent automatically each day.

  2. Individual Posts: posts are sent to you as they come into the server. For each note posted to the list, you will receive an email (except for your own posts).

You may change the format in which you receive messages under rblist Subscribers. The default for new subscribers is individual posts.

An RSS feed is available to members. Members can find out the details here.

Do you have an archive of past posts?

RBDL has an online archive, an archive of recent digests, and a search form for searching through the archive. None of this is visible to non-subscribers or public search engines, since the archives are password-protected.

To access these things, use the address http://www.rblist.org/.


The archive has everything in HTML format and is pretty slick. If you're a digest subscriber and you're involved in a discussion and can't wait to see if there are responses, you can check the archive. Also, if you're away from your normal account but can remember the URL, you can still access the archive and the digest.

The search form uses the Geneva search engine. RBDL has its own private archive that isn't accessed by others who are using the search engine. The search engine index will be updated nightly. We hope this is a useful tool to access all these high-level discussions we've had and use them for further study and discussion.

If you have any questions, please address them to the moderator.