This comes from Dr. Malcolm Yarnell, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary from > http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/peter_lumpkins/2008/04/baptist-ident-1.html. This is an excerpt:
The first reason that I am a traditional Baptist is because Baptists begin the Christian life in the only way that Jesus Christ gave to His followers–by hearing His Word, believing it, confessing it, and obeying it by receiving baptism.
Second, Baptists do not baptize babies, because doing so alters the command of Christ and the orderly practice of His apostles, Who always placed conversion prior to baptism.
Third, Baptists do not baptize only in the name of Jesus, because doing so ignores the command of Christ, which was clear that baptism should be in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Fourth, Baptists do not baptize apart from the local church, because baptism involves local church membership.
Fifth, Baptists do not baptize into an illusory invisible church, because they understand that a church requires a covenant and that can only be done where two or more people (and people have visible bodies) have gathered.
Sixth, Baptists do not sprinkle or pour, because they know that only immersion is faithful to the New Testament witness regarding the cross and the empty tomb of the gospel.
Finally, Baptists do not baptize those who lack the assurance of their eternal salvation, because the doctrine that one may lose one’s salvation indicates a lack of submission to Christ’s own doctrine.
These seven biblical doctrines concerning baptism speak much about Baptist identity.
If we compromise these revealed teachings of Christ, we will begin to lose our Baptist identity because we will have compromised the Lordship of Christ. I am a Baptist because I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord. And because I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, I must submit to His will. We may never compromise one aspect of Christ’s will, even in the name of supposed Christian unity.
It is still important label-Baptist-for all the divisions and negative images that thing evokes. For me-I am a recent Baptist-and I hold it dear and a good distinction from other Reformation groups-and in fact because of that, I am glad to be a baptist christian. I am not aware of the meaning held by other baptist for this culture and time -but I want to use the term ‘baptist’ because it distinguishes me from those groups that persecuted their brothers and was able to use the power of the state to stop us fro testifying to the truth-that salvation is by grace through FAITH ALONE.. True it judged most Christian at the time of Reformation as non-Christian. But it is better to be judge now here on earth and be misunderstood by men-than to be judged later at the Great White Throne and see the monstrous error of state church persecution of fellow believers. That is what a baptist to me means. And I hope fellow baptist now will not be tempted by allure of political power. Our baptist ancestors made sure that we understand that with the testimony of their blood.
But still modern baptist are not the same as the Reformation or first generation English Baptist. Modern baptist does not have thr same deep convictions as their forefathers have. So for lack of better term-I still need the term baptist-but it have to modified like Reformed or New C ovenantal or Sovereign Graca.