On baptizing infants

A good discussion about Baptism broke out at Internet Monk. Commenter Scott, as a Baptist, made some interesting points, as reposted at New Reformation Press:

While not precisely in line with any of the above confessions, there are three things that, over the past decade and a half and more as a Baptist, have struck me as wrong about the general credobaptist position.

1. Having raised some of my kids in the Baptist Church (and my youngest from birth) I’m struck that their is something almost schizophrenic about the way we treat kids. As toddlers, preschoolers, and young school age children, in Church and at home, we teach them that Jesus loves them and we raise them to love Jesus. At some point during elementary school, we change the story and we tell them that they have done wrong things and they need to tell Jesus that they are sorry and that they love him. For many of them, that’s a huge disconnect. Of course they love Jesus. They’ve always loved Jesus. Why is he suddenly angry with them and need them to tell him they are sorry? It’s a discontinuity that is not present in the churches that embrace children in Baptism from birth. Yes, the child needs to be raised in the faith and needs to make that faith their own one day. But there is no jump from you’re part of God’s family, now you’re not, and now you are again.

2. The view is far too centered or intellect, reason, and the capacity for verbal expression to feel like anything more than a mind game — and one that is easy to deconstruct. N.T. Wright did it well in one lecture I heard. He pointed out that we all know that we can relate to and love an infant. Moreover, that infant can relate back to us and can love us. Are we really going to say that the God who created and sustained that infant cannot relate to that infant, love that infant, and that the infant cannot relate to or be filled with love for God? Really? Because I’m not willing to say that. If anything God should be able to relate to and interact with that infant even more than I can. And every infant is a unique and fully human person. And as a person, they are no less capable of experiencing God than I am. Perhaps they are even more capable. Of course, that experience needs to grow and mature. There’s no magic in baptism. God will not coerce the will of the child as the child grows any more than God will coerce my will. But that makes the encounter and experience in Baptism no less real for an infant than for an adult.

3. If Baptism is an encounter with and experience of Christ, if it is a new birth of water and Spirit, if in it we are joined with Christ in his death, burial and Resurrection (all Scriptural statements) why would anyone deny their child that opportunity? Why would we leave our child open to the forces of darkness and evil who will not respect our child’s will like God will? In short, if Baptism actually does anything, if it’s more than just getting wet with water that has a reality independent of God, why would we deprive our children of it? On the other hand, if Baptism does nothing, if it just represents some interior reality, why do it at all? If it’s just a “symbol” in the modern, secular meaning of the term, then what’s the point? If Baptism actually accomplishes anything, then why deprive our children of it? If it accomplishes nothing, then what’s the point? The Baptist position is truly strange to me. They hold that it merely represents a spiritual truth and is otherwise meaningless. But it has to be done by immersion past the age of reason or it doesn’t count. And you have to have had a “valid” Baptism (with a lot of different variations in what makes a Baptism valid) to be a member of the Church. And that particular combination is just logically nuts. Baptism doesn’t “do” anything, but you have to have done it the “right” way.

via New Reformation Press » Blog Archive » An Interesting Discussion on Baptism

HT:  Larry

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Pete

    Wow, thanks for the post. I’m heading off for a three day golf weekend with a bunch of Baptist friends. I can pummel them with this stuff! Of course the very best argument I’ve ever heard against the “age of accountability” in relation to baptism is that, if there truly is an age of accountability before which children are not accountable to God, then the best thing we could ever do for them is kill them before they reach it.

  • Pete

    Wow, thanks for the post. I’m heading off for a three day golf weekend with a bunch of Baptist friends. I can pummel them with this stuff! Of course the very best argument I’ve ever heard against the “age of accountability” in relation to baptism is that, if there truly is an age of accountability before which children are not accountable to God, then the best thing we could ever do for them is kill them before they reach it.

  • http://www.thirduse.com FWS

    Ok. So allow me to be the Lutheran counterpart to Baptist Scott. Here is my confession:

    I have to confess that , raised as a Lutheran, I really just did not get the big deal Lutherans make about baptism.

    Luther’s response to the devil tempting him to question his own salvation was ” I was baptized!” . I really did not get that. Really. Not.

    Why? Let me try to remember what passed through my mind.

    1) I noticed that there were many people who were baptized as infants and apparently, to me, were no longer believers in Christ. That’s why I questioned this certainty of salvation as being centered in Baptism.I was baptized, but how was that any guarantee then that I was saved? So how was I looking for that certainty, as a Lutheran? I was “checking under the hood” spiritually to see if I had “faith”. Not that I really could define what faith that could save was really…..and besides, faith doesn’t save, only Christ does… so I think I did not really think that part through. I think I was REALLY looking for something , in me, that God had planted that would save me. Any baptists here can relate to that?

    2) I noticed that I was STILL a sinner. And this was constantly and especially “in my face” because I was aware of being something, or at least having some unwanted something within me that I could not shake, that God simply could not love. Later I discovered that the label for that was “Gay” or “homosexual” or …. So what good was some water splashed on me back when when I didnt even remember. What did any of that have to do with RIGHT NOW? Nothing that I could see really. And I was on a mission to get my sins fixed. I could not see how Baptism was of any use in that mission. I was really looking for Jesus and Christianity to give me the magic combination to overcome my more obvious sinning. And of course, I focussed , and totally so, on my sinning being merely and only my thoughts, words and deeds. If I could just , with the promise of the Holy Spirit work up the will to overcome those things…. Baptism? Meh. Not much help there in getting fixed…

    3) Finally, in making a list comparing the doctrines of the other protestants, I saw that things like justification by faith alone seemed alot more important. Why quibble about Baptism? I didnt really get that. My Wisconsin Lutheran Synod pastor commented once, that if the Lutheran Church did not exist,….. hmmmm… southern baptists didnt look bad…. So I take it from that that I was far from alone on all these views in my own church.

    I have radically different views now. I won’t share those. I will leave that to the other Lutherans here. Instead I would invite other Lutherans and Baptism here to come clean with where they have doubted their own “official” position.

    Please don’t pile on and agree with me as a gotcha. That would be boring right? Instead come up with your own confession. Thanks!

  • http://www.thirduse.com FWS

    Ok. So allow me to be the Lutheran counterpart to Baptist Scott. Here is my confession:

    I have to confess that , raised as a Lutheran, I really just did not get the big deal Lutherans make about baptism.

    Luther’s response to the devil tempting him to question his own salvation was ” I was baptized!” . I really did not get that. Really. Not.

    Why? Let me try to remember what passed through my mind.

    1) I noticed that there were many people who were baptized as infants and apparently, to me, were no longer believers in Christ. That’s why I questioned this certainty of salvation as being centered in Baptism.I was baptized, but how was that any guarantee then that I was saved? So how was I looking for that certainty, as a Lutheran? I was “checking under the hood” spiritually to see if I had “faith”. Not that I really could define what faith that could save was really…..and besides, faith doesn’t save, only Christ does… so I think I did not really think that part through. I think I was REALLY looking for something , in me, that God had planted that would save me. Any baptists here can relate to that?

    2) I noticed that I was STILL a sinner. And this was constantly and especially “in my face” because I was aware of being something, or at least having some unwanted something within me that I could not shake, that God simply could not love. Later I discovered that the label for that was “Gay” or “homosexual” or …. So what good was some water splashed on me back when when I didnt even remember. What did any of that have to do with RIGHT NOW? Nothing that I could see really. And I was on a mission to get my sins fixed. I could not see how Baptism was of any use in that mission. I was really looking for Jesus and Christianity to give me the magic combination to overcome my more obvious sinning. And of course, I focussed , and totally so, on my sinning being merely and only my thoughts, words and deeds. If I could just , with the promise of the Holy Spirit work up the will to overcome those things…. Baptism? Meh. Not much help there in getting fixed…

    3) Finally, in making a list comparing the doctrines of the other protestants, I saw that things like justification by faith alone seemed alot more important. Why quibble about Baptism? I didnt really get that. My Wisconsin Lutheran Synod pastor commented once, that if the Lutheran Church did not exist,….. hmmmm… southern baptists didnt look bad…. So I take it from that that I was far from alone on all these views in my own church.

    I have radically different views now. I won’t share those. I will leave that to the other Lutherans here. Instead I would invite other Lutherans and Baptism here to come clean with where they have doubted their own “official” position.

    Please don’t pile on and agree with me as a gotcha. That would be boring right? Instead come up with your own confession. Thanks!

  • Jonathan

    FWS,

    “Ich bin getauft.” = “I am baptized.” Like I am married, not I was married. It’s a relationship, a daily walk. Luther said when you get up in the morning and splash water on your face, you should remind yourself, “Ich bin getauft.”

  • Jonathan

    FWS,

    “Ich bin getauft.” = “I am baptized.” Like I am married, not I was married. It’s a relationship, a daily walk. Luther said when you get up in the morning and splash water on your face, you should remind yourself, “Ich bin getauft.”

  • Jack K

    FWS says: I have radically different views now. I won’t share those. I will leave that to the other Lutherans here. Instead I would invite other Lutherans and Baptism here to come clean with where they have doubted their own “official” position.”

    How, exactly is one able to respond to your radically different views if you won’t share them?

  • Jack K

    FWS says: I have radically different views now. I won’t share those. I will leave that to the other Lutherans here. Instead I would invite other Lutherans and Baptism here to come clean with where they have doubted their own “official” position.”

    How, exactly is one able to respond to your radically different views if you won’t share them?

  • WebMonk

    At some point during elementary school, we change the story and we tell them that they have done wrong things and they need to tell Jesus that they are sorry and that they love him. …. It’s a discontinuity that is not present in the churches that embrace children in Baptism from birth.

    In the Catholic Church, maybe, but in the only two Lutheran churches I’ve attended that was almost the verbatim children’s message that was taught. (the four or five RCC services I’ve attended had a children’s homily but none of them were you’ve-done-bad-so-ask-Jesus-to-forgive-you style, at least not that I remember)

    I suspect his point #1 isn’t valid across entire denominations, but is a more church-by-church issue. It could be more prevalent in credobaptism churches than pedobaptism, but it’s not universal in one and completely absent in the other.

  • WebMonk

    At some point during elementary school, we change the story and we tell them that they have done wrong things and they need to tell Jesus that they are sorry and that they love him. …. It’s a discontinuity that is not present in the churches that embrace children in Baptism from birth.

    In the Catholic Church, maybe, but in the only two Lutheran churches I’ve attended that was almost the verbatim children’s message that was taught. (the four or five RCC services I’ve attended had a children’s homily but none of them were you’ve-done-bad-so-ask-Jesus-to-forgive-you style, at least not that I remember)

    I suspect his point #1 isn’t valid across entire denominations, but is a more church-by-church issue. It could be more prevalent in credobaptism churches than pedobaptism, but it’s not universal in one and completely absent in the other.

  • http://www.klaru-baycrest.on.ca/index.php?section=384 Jon Erik Ween

    Very nice post, this. Too bad not a lot of baptists will ever see it.

    Seems to me there is a key to the nature of baptism in its comparison with the other sacrament: Communion. Having rejected transubstantiation, we recognize that communion also doesn’t “do” anything apart from reminding us of Christ in an intimate way (though that is SOMETHING, actually). So both sacraments embody our relationship with Christ, though in different ways: Communion is something WE do to ourselves as individuals within the body of believers (the Church, the body of Christ on earth). Baptism is something that is done TO US within that body. In baptism, the Church recognizes saving faith in an individual and baptizes that person. In communion, we recognize our own faith and partake. These are two sides of the same coin. They point to and embody our unity with Christ, a unity that is bestowed upon us by our Maker and Redeemer.

    I can relate to the point in the post about the schizophrenic denial of baptism to our children: We were in a baptist church for a time (a church that pretended to be reformed, though reformed baptist is really a contradiction in terms) and each time the communion plate passed by my (believing and baptized) children I would cringe. I eventually couldn’t take it that anymore and offered them to partake, which they gladly did. I am ashamed that it took me as long as it did. “This is the body of Christ, broken FOR YOU”. A lot of effort goes into fencing the table: “Don’t partake without examining yourselves”, etc, etc. Well, this whole thing in 1 Cor 11:17-34 is all about how the Corinthians were being selfish pigs and excluding believers from the table, just like my children were being excluded. I suppose once you’ve denied the faith in someone it is no sweat to deny them the table, though I am pretty sure the baptists are getting the “examine yourself” part all wrong.

    So then, the question really becomes: What is saving faith and who has it? This I think is key to the awful things that have happened in the setting of the Baptist debate (from excluding true believers from fellowship [which happens now] to throwing them into rivers with millstones around their necks or burning them at the stake [which happened some time ago]): It is an US versus THEM thing. WE are IN, THEY are OUT. Human beings have this compulsion to define belonging and will commit great atrocities to preserve that definition (isn’t that what war is really about?).

    Christ, however, was perfectly clear on who has the right kind of faith and should be IN: Matthew 18: 1-9 and Luke 18: 15-18.

    Let him who has ears hear.

    Soli Deo Gloria

    Jon

  • http://www.klaru-baycrest.on.ca/index.php?section=384 Jon Erik Ween

    Very nice post, this. Too bad not a lot of baptists will ever see it.

    Seems to me there is a key to the nature of baptism in its comparison with the other sacrament: Communion. Having rejected transubstantiation, we recognize that communion also doesn’t “do” anything apart from reminding us of Christ in an intimate way (though that is SOMETHING, actually). So both sacraments embody our relationship with Christ, though in different ways: Communion is something WE do to ourselves as individuals within the body of believers (the Church, the body of Christ on earth). Baptism is something that is done TO US within that body. In baptism, the Church recognizes saving faith in an individual and baptizes that person. In communion, we recognize our own faith and partake. These are two sides of the same coin. They point to and embody our unity with Christ, a unity that is bestowed upon us by our Maker and Redeemer.

    I can relate to the point in the post about the schizophrenic denial of baptism to our children: We were in a baptist church for a time (a church that pretended to be reformed, though reformed baptist is really a contradiction in terms) and each time the communion plate passed by my (believing and baptized) children I would cringe. I eventually couldn’t take it that anymore and offered them to partake, which they gladly did. I am ashamed that it took me as long as it did. “This is the body of Christ, broken FOR YOU”. A lot of effort goes into fencing the table: “Don’t partake without examining yourselves”, etc, etc. Well, this whole thing in 1 Cor 11:17-34 is all about how the Corinthians were being selfish pigs and excluding believers from the table, just like my children were being excluded. I suppose once you’ve denied the faith in someone it is no sweat to deny them the table, though I am pretty sure the baptists are getting the “examine yourself” part all wrong.

    So then, the question really becomes: What is saving faith and who has it? This I think is key to the awful things that have happened in the setting of the Baptist debate (from excluding true believers from fellowship [which happens now] to throwing them into rivers with millstones around their necks or burning them at the stake [which happened some time ago]): It is an US versus THEM thing. WE are IN, THEY are OUT. Human beings have this compulsion to define belonging and will commit great atrocities to preserve that definition (isn’t that what war is really about?).

    Christ, however, was perfectly clear on who has the right kind of faith and should be IN: Matthew 18: 1-9 and Luke 18: 15-18.

    Let him who has ears hear.

    Soli Deo Gloria

    Jon

  • Larry

    This guy is at least an honest man examining the religious situation and not jumping to defending carte blanche the doctrine he knows. This is a common thing I’ve found, experienced myself.
    I (we) observed this so many times in the church(es) (SB) at nearly every SB church we attended. I could tell you actual/real true story one after another concerning this with the kids. We had the opportunity to even teach some classes during our tenor and the refreshing thing about kids is that they speak surprisingly the honest about a doctrine being taught, true or false. I mean they call the shots precisely as they see or understand the teaching. A few examples the good, the bad and the ugly: These are first hand accounts (I KNOW they happened)
    1. A good friend ministers son, PhD theologian at Southern, devout to the church well taught in the doctrines, Calvinistic baptist, his son at the age of 13ish (unbaptized) one day after a SS class talking heavy on persecution (by the sword, real modern accounts) says to his dad, “I’m glad I don’t have to worry about that since I’m not a Christian”. His dad replies, “It doesn’t work like that (him not being a Christian).” I asked, sincerely understanding the doctrine at the time as a Baptist, “What do you mean it doesn’t work like that, it works exactly like that”.
    2. Another good friend, pastor, another church, not ours, SB son about 11ish, a very introspective soul is terrified (cannot sleep) about the state of his soul and wants to be baptized asked why he cannot. I had begun to move to Reformed at the time, but not quite there. I advised, “Well what are you waiting for, even by Baptist standards what else proof must you have that he needs to be baptized. What work would you have him do that you would apply to yourself? What was YOUR criteria for your own baptism?”
    3. Another good friend, laymen, we were still Calvinistic SB at this time. Their daughter, around age 14-15, wanted to become a Christian and be baptized. Our Sanhedrin, an elder, “examined her” for “signs of faith”. Ask her this question – put yourself in the mind of a nervous teen before an authority figure and being quite frankly more honest than us adults ever pretend to be about the inner workings of their hearts – “Do you still desire to sin”. Did you hear the question, don’t glaze past that, ask yourself that question in the present tense. She answered sheepishly and honestly, “Yes, I still have desires to sin”. It was not a brash “OH YES I LOVE IT”, but an honest heart answer. The elder tells her she is not ready to be baptized and become a Christian since she still desires to sin. Over the next four years she becomes a complete atheist/agnostic and is now presently in college as such and into the darkest stuff one can imagine. A complete fall away from anything Christian. An “Angry at the church” type.
    4. Another laymen fellow member, same story as above except I don’t know what happened after an elder said the same to her as they left the area but I know she was struggling with becoming agnostic/atheistic.
    5. In a Wednesday night class I was teaching at the time (again SB reformed), mixed teens, I decided to ask anonymously the kids this question (borrowing from D James Kennedy’s “Evangelism Explosion”, because I was worried based on discussions what we were teaching this group of unbaptized kids that we were sending out to do “evangelism type” work (in country and state of course). I made it 100% anonymous, gave them 3×5 cards, told them to think about it for a while, write their answer down, don’t give your name, put it in the box, “If you were to die tonight and God ask ‘why should I let you into My heaven’, what would you say?” Every single answer, including the pastor’s kids, and you have to realize this was a strong serious Calvinist SB church, doctrine was not a lazy thing here, exegesis (per se) was excruciatingly done; every single one gave a works answer and I mean a blatant one. It literally shocked me and I went to the pastor who didn’t understand my alarm. I said, “We are pretending these kids are part of the church, sending them and encouraging them to evangelize, teach about persecution and etc…but none seem to know the Gospel and they are teens not little kids.” Not to mention they were not baptized. He STILL didn’t see it.
    6. A family member who is in the ministry mind you, very young child, is given in their Christian academy an award for the “Greatest Display of The Fruits of The Spirit”. Got that, FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT, ‘you’re doing them’ the award says, displaying them such that an award is afforded you above all others. But cannot be baptized nor called a Christian. Same child one day asks their mother if she is (7 yrs. Old) elect and saved (scared about it – just had a SS class on the subject). Mother’s answer, “I don’t know.” Did you hear that picture of God they painted to their child, this is close family by the way, “I don’t know”.
    7. Same parent asked by my wife, “How do you teach your child the Lord’s Prayer that says, “OUR FATHER…”. Reply, “You can’t trust in that.” Did you hear that, cannot trust in the very Words of Christ (i.e. God).
    This often goes on in silence in most heterodox churches because its far too messy to discuss doctrine in an open and honest fashion for fear of talking about it honestly lest real sin struggles be unearthed and real doctrinal challenges surface. What I’ve discovered, and my friend who is still a minister in the baptist church is that once they hear you preach a pure Gospel, some will sheepishly finally cautiously come up to you and talk. Then the flood gates open once they find they can trust you. I think for the most part this is why blogs and such find themselves being the “secret” discussion place for doctrine rather than in the church itself. More people discuss the issues of doctrine on blogs than any church I’ve ever been in.

    I could multiply these stories EASILY, without any effort whatsoever, and they 100% true with no hyperbole or exaggeration whatsoever.

    Frank makes a good point on being honest even within orthodoxy of things one struggles with. This poison of silence permeates both heterodox and orthodox confessions in which it is much easier to just go silent on the issues. For the most part Christianity in our day and age is SCARED to defend herself lest she look angry. More deception comes in under smiles and “everything is peachy keen” handshakes than rank atheism opposing the faith. It’s almost a relief to argue sometimes with an atheist for at least they will argue and debate and thus the stark clarity of doctrines are made rather than a mélange of garbage.

    You know Luther himself made this point to regarding no less the sacrament of the altar, the very body and blood of Christ that even his own reason would gravitate toward his enemies position, Zwingli, on multiple levels as it is so easy and inherent to all men (even those confessing orthodoxy and truly believing it). As Luther so colorfully put it concerning reason’s temptation to all the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, “…the apple is still in our throats!” Every person struggles with this on all articles of faith to greater and lesser extents day to day, it is ever present, “is it true”, we ponder, “really is it true”. No temptation and trial is greater than that. All one can do is put out the eye of reason quickly and say, “But Christ said…”. It’s like Joseph when the pottifer’s wife so tempted him pulling his robe off, ALL HE COULD DO was simply run immediately out of the door to avoid caving in because he knew he could and would. Same thing when the temptation of reason beckons regarding baptism or the LS, is it true baptism saves, regenerates, this is the real body and blood of Jesus, or justification, is it true, is it that free, etc…ALL ONE CAN DO at such times is run out of the room naked with reason holding onto your rob lest you be tempted and fall into believing reason’s way.
    This guy nails it, it does create, at first a kind of schizophrenia among the very young and early on. If not changed, it creates at length the new agnostic/atheist. I’ve seen it happen first hand, more than once. At length it made me honestly question, if you really believe the doctrine of believers baptism, “was I baptized, did I have faith, was I elect…etc…”. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, I couldn’t help but ask these questions because we were laying them upon the kids. I’d be a hellish fool and hypocrite to not ask them of my own situation being that we taught them as THE doctrine of the church. Because when the kids would honestly ask, “how do I know”, I had to give an answer, “how did I know!” Otherwise I’m stuck in the same religious limbo, strike that, hell that I’m putting them into.

  • Larry

    This guy is at least an honest man examining the religious situation and not jumping to defending carte blanche the doctrine he knows. This is a common thing I’ve found, experienced myself.
    I (we) observed this so many times in the church(es) (SB) at nearly every SB church we attended. I could tell you actual/real true story one after another concerning this with the kids. We had the opportunity to even teach some classes during our tenor and the refreshing thing about kids is that they speak surprisingly the honest about a doctrine being taught, true or false. I mean they call the shots precisely as they see or understand the teaching. A few examples the good, the bad and the ugly: These are first hand accounts (I KNOW they happened)
    1. A good friend ministers son, PhD theologian at Southern, devout to the church well taught in the doctrines, Calvinistic baptist, his son at the age of 13ish (unbaptized) one day after a SS class talking heavy on persecution (by the sword, real modern accounts) says to his dad, “I’m glad I don’t have to worry about that since I’m not a Christian”. His dad replies, “It doesn’t work like that (him not being a Christian).” I asked, sincerely understanding the doctrine at the time as a Baptist, “What do you mean it doesn’t work like that, it works exactly like that”.
    2. Another good friend, pastor, another church, not ours, SB son about 11ish, a very introspective soul is terrified (cannot sleep) about the state of his soul and wants to be baptized asked why he cannot. I had begun to move to Reformed at the time, but not quite there. I advised, “Well what are you waiting for, even by Baptist standards what else proof must you have that he needs to be baptized. What work would you have him do that you would apply to yourself? What was YOUR criteria for your own baptism?”
    3. Another good friend, laymen, we were still Calvinistic SB at this time. Their daughter, around age 14-15, wanted to become a Christian and be baptized. Our Sanhedrin, an elder, “examined her” for “signs of faith”. Ask her this question – put yourself in the mind of a nervous teen before an authority figure and being quite frankly more honest than us adults ever pretend to be about the inner workings of their hearts – “Do you still desire to sin”. Did you hear the question, don’t glaze past that, ask yourself that question in the present tense. She answered sheepishly and honestly, “Yes, I still have desires to sin”. It was not a brash “OH YES I LOVE IT”, but an honest heart answer. The elder tells her she is not ready to be baptized and become a Christian since she still desires to sin. Over the next four years she becomes a complete atheist/agnostic and is now presently in college as such and into the darkest stuff one can imagine. A complete fall away from anything Christian. An “Angry at the church” type.
    4. Another laymen fellow member, same story as above except I don’t know what happened after an elder said the same to her as they left the area but I know she was struggling with becoming agnostic/atheistic.
    5. In a Wednesday night class I was teaching at the time (again SB reformed), mixed teens, I decided to ask anonymously the kids this question (borrowing from D James Kennedy’s “Evangelism Explosion”, because I was worried based on discussions what we were teaching this group of unbaptized kids that we were sending out to do “evangelism type” work (in country and state of course). I made it 100% anonymous, gave them 3×5 cards, told them to think about it for a while, write their answer down, don’t give your name, put it in the box, “If you were to die tonight and God ask ‘why should I let you into My heaven’, what would you say?” Every single answer, including the pastor’s kids, and you have to realize this was a strong serious Calvinist SB church, doctrine was not a lazy thing here, exegesis (per se) was excruciatingly done; every single one gave a works answer and I mean a blatant one. It literally shocked me and I went to the pastor who didn’t understand my alarm. I said, “We are pretending these kids are part of the church, sending them and encouraging them to evangelize, teach about persecution and etc…but none seem to know the Gospel and they are teens not little kids.” Not to mention they were not baptized. He STILL didn’t see it.
    6. A family member who is in the ministry mind you, very young child, is given in their Christian academy an award for the “Greatest Display of The Fruits of The Spirit”. Got that, FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT, ‘you’re doing them’ the award says, displaying them such that an award is afforded you above all others. But cannot be baptized nor called a Christian. Same child one day asks their mother if she is (7 yrs. Old) elect and saved (scared about it – just had a SS class on the subject). Mother’s answer, “I don’t know.” Did you hear that picture of God they painted to their child, this is close family by the way, “I don’t know”.
    7. Same parent asked by my wife, “How do you teach your child the Lord’s Prayer that says, “OUR FATHER…”. Reply, “You can’t trust in that.” Did you hear that, cannot trust in the very Words of Christ (i.e. God).
    This often goes on in silence in most heterodox churches because its far too messy to discuss doctrine in an open and honest fashion for fear of talking about it honestly lest real sin struggles be unearthed and real doctrinal challenges surface. What I’ve discovered, and my friend who is still a minister in the baptist church is that once they hear you preach a pure Gospel, some will sheepishly finally cautiously come up to you and talk. Then the flood gates open once they find they can trust you. I think for the most part this is why blogs and such find themselves being the “secret” discussion place for doctrine rather than in the church itself. More people discuss the issues of doctrine on blogs than any church I’ve ever been in.

    I could multiply these stories EASILY, without any effort whatsoever, and they 100% true with no hyperbole or exaggeration whatsoever.

    Frank makes a good point on being honest even within orthodoxy of things one struggles with. This poison of silence permeates both heterodox and orthodox confessions in which it is much easier to just go silent on the issues. For the most part Christianity in our day and age is SCARED to defend herself lest she look angry. More deception comes in under smiles and “everything is peachy keen” handshakes than rank atheism opposing the faith. It’s almost a relief to argue sometimes with an atheist for at least they will argue and debate and thus the stark clarity of doctrines are made rather than a mélange of garbage.

    You know Luther himself made this point to regarding no less the sacrament of the altar, the very body and blood of Christ that even his own reason would gravitate toward his enemies position, Zwingli, on multiple levels as it is so easy and inherent to all men (even those confessing orthodoxy and truly believing it). As Luther so colorfully put it concerning reason’s temptation to all the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, “…the apple is still in our throats!” Every person struggles with this on all articles of faith to greater and lesser extents day to day, it is ever present, “is it true”, we ponder, “really is it true”. No temptation and trial is greater than that. All one can do is put out the eye of reason quickly and say, “But Christ said…”. It’s like Joseph when the pottifer’s wife so tempted him pulling his robe off, ALL HE COULD DO was simply run immediately out of the door to avoid caving in because he knew he could and would. Same thing when the temptation of reason beckons regarding baptism or the LS, is it true baptism saves, regenerates, this is the real body and blood of Jesus, or justification, is it true, is it that free, etc…ALL ONE CAN DO at such times is run out of the room naked with reason holding onto your rob lest you be tempted and fall into believing reason’s way.
    This guy nails it, it does create, at first a kind of schizophrenia among the very young and early on. If not changed, it creates at length the new agnostic/atheist. I’ve seen it happen first hand, more than once. At length it made me honestly question, if you really believe the doctrine of believers baptism, “was I baptized, did I have faith, was I elect…etc…”. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, I couldn’t help but ask these questions because we were laying them upon the kids. I’d be a hellish fool and hypocrite to not ask them of my own situation being that we taught them as THE doctrine of the church. Because when the kids would honestly ask, “how do I know”, I had to give an answer, “how did I know!” Otherwise I’m stuck in the same religious limbo, strike that, hell that I’m putting them into.

  • Purple Koolaid

    I think “Why do baptisms at all” has pervaded the evangelical church. I have dozens of friends who only trust in “believer baptism” and they never seem to get around to having their children baptized.

  • Purple Koolaid

    I think “Why do baptisms at all” has pervaded the evangelical church. I have dozens of friends who only trust in “believer baptism” and they never seem to get around to having their children baptized.

  • MissionMobilizer

    Wow, Larry! That was a great post! Thanks for sharing. I’ve been teaching on baptism and salvation for a couple years at my Lutheran church and it’s amazing to me that lifelong Lutherans don’t understand our position on baptism. Your examples are good ones of what the “other side” can look like.

    I AM baptized!!

  • MissionMobilizer

    Wow, Larry! That was a great post! Thanks for sharing. I’ve been teaching on baptism and salvation for a couple years at my Lutheran church and it’s amazing to me that lifelong Lutherans don’t understand our position on baptism. Your examples are good ones of what the “other side” can look like.

    I AM baptized!!

  • Jimmy Veith

    As a Baptist myself, my view on infant baptisms have evolved over the years and I am much more accepting of infant baptism than most my fellow Baptist.

    Perhaps it is due in part because my big brother, “Dr. Veith”, the smartest person I know, and his family are now Lutherans. (We were all raised in a Disciples of Christ church, which did not practice infant baptism. However, there are lots of Methodists in our family background. My uncle was a Methodist Bishop, my Mother grew up as Methodists. Currently my Parents and sister and nephew are Methodists, and my daughter and son-in-law joined a Methodist church 2 years ago.) No wonder I am confused.

    Just to muddy up the water, my nieces on my wife’s side of the family got baptized as teenagers in a Baptist Church. I think the church belonged to the American Baptist association. When her parents decided to join a Southern Baptist Church, that church did not accept what they called “alien baptism”, so they had to be re-baptized. This caused a lot of questions. Did their first Baptism not work? There seems to be something wrong when Baptists don’t even accept the baptisms of other Baptists.

    By the way, the Baptist church that I belong to now, is a so-called “Moderate” Baptist church which is associated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. It accepted my “alien baptism” and I did not have to get re-baptized when I joined. Is this wrong too?

  • Jimmy Veith

    As a Baptist myself, my view on infant baptisms have evolved over the years and I am much more accepting of infant baptism than most my fellow Baptist.

    Perhaps it is due in part because my big brother, “Dr. Veith”, the smartest person I know, and his family are now Lutherans. (We were all raised in a Disciples of Christ church, which did not practice infant baptism. However, there are lots of Methodists in our family background. My uncle was a Methodist Bishop, my Mother grew up as Methodists. Currently my Parents and sister and nephew are Methodists, and my daughter and son-in-law joined a Methodist church 2 years ago.) No wonder I am confused.

    Just to muddy up the water, my nieces on my wife’s side of the family got baptized as teenagers in a Baptist Church. I think the church belonged to the American Baptist association. When her parents decided to join a Southern Baptist Church, that church did not accept what they called “alien baptism”, so they had to be re-baptized. This caused a lot of questions. Did their first Baptism not work? There seems to be something wrong when Baptists don’t even accept the baptisms of other Baptists.

    By the way, the Baptist church that I belong to now, is a so-called “Moderate” Baptist church which is associated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. It accepted my “alien baptism” and I did not have to get re-baptized when I joined. Is this wrong too?

  • Jimmy Veith

    Great comment Larry @7.

  • Jimmy Veith

    Great comment Larry @7.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Jimmy – “Is this wrong too?” is a law-based question. Rather, the answer you seek can be found in Ephesians 4:5, “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.” Sometimes the simplistic clarity of St. Paul can be difficult to grasp, particularly when approached with the mind. Does this verse mean what is says?
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Jimmy – “Is this wrong too?” is a law-based question. Rather, the answer you seek can be found in Ephesians 4:5, “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.” Sometimes the simplistic clarity of St. Paul can be difficult to grasp, particularly when approached with the mind. Does this verse mean what is says?
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Jenny

    Jon, doesn’t the Lutheran church deny Communion to non-Lutherans? As a “second-class Christian”, I also cringe (your words) whenever I am denied participating in the Lord’s Supper when attending Lutheran services. As if the grace that saved me just doesn’t quite merit me a place at the Table. Yes, I’ve read all about the reasons the Lutheran church gives in justifying this practice, and it still comes down to denying believers the opportunity to participate with other believers in the Lord’s Supper. Discrimination runs both ways, it would seem to me.

  • Jenny

    Jon, doesn’t the Lutheran church deny Communion to non-Lutherans? As a “second-class Christian”, I also cringe (your words) whenever I am denied participating in the Lord’s Supper when attending Lutheran services. As if the grace that saved me just doesn’t quite merit me a place at the Table. Yes, I’ve read all about the reasons the Lutheran church gives in justifying this practice, and it still comes down to denying believers the opportunity to participate with other believers in the Lord’s Supper. Discrimination runs both ways, it would seem to me.

  • rlewer

    #2

    Infant baptism is precisely about salvation by grace alone and justification by faith. We are saved by God’s work and not by our own decision. We confront Satan by what God has done (baptism, etc.) and not what we have done. If in any sense it is what we have done, Satan will win the argument.

    Salvation is from the outside, not from the inside. Infant baptism is the shiboleth of salvation by grace alone.

  • rlewer

    #2

    Infant baptism is precisely about salvation by grace alone and justification by faith. We are saved by God’s work and not by our own decision. We confront Satan by what God has done (baptism, etc.) and not what we have done. If in any sense it is what we have done, Satan will win the argument.

    Salvation is from the outside, not from the inside. Infant baptism is the shiboleth of salvation by grace alone.

  • MissionMobilizer

    Not all Lutherans practice “closed” communion, Jenny. My church has a fairly open communion table. Of course, my church is also the one where most of the members don’t even know what the Book of Concord is…

  • MissionMobilizer

    Not all Lutherans practice “closed” communion, Jenny. My church has a fairly open communion table. Of course, my church is also the one where most of the members don’t even know what the Book of Concord is…

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Personally, I think that “Commenter Scott’s” comments are not as much a weakness with the doctrine of credobaptism as they are a weakness in the presentation of the Gospel. That is, there is no contradiction between the doctrines of man’s sin and God’s justice, and the doctrine of God’s love. If God is love, he must be just, also.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Personally, I think that “Commenter Scott’s” comments are not as much a weakness with the doctrine of credobaptism as they are a weakness in the presentation of the Gospel. That is, there is no contradiction between the doctrines of man’s sin and God’s justice, and the doctrine of God’s love. If God is love, he must be just, also.

  • Arfies

    As a lifelong Lutheran, I credit myself with knowing something about the Gospel and the sacraments (or Sacraments, if you wish). As a retired pastor, it disturbs me to think that we may not have stressed and explained clearly the importance of seeing that Baptism and the Eucharist (Lord’s Supper) are not our actions but God’s work through and through–to create faith, to preserve it, and to strengthen it.

    It has always seemed to me that the differences between the branches of Christianity stem in most cases from our varying approach to Baptism and Communion. If they are in some sense primarily our own actions to proclaim faith or to remember the Savior, then they are good works by which we ingratiate ourselves to God. Note that I said “primarily.” Of course we manifest our faith when we seek Baptism (in the case of someone who is old enough to do that after hearing the Gospel) or receive Communion. That act is in a sense a “byproduct” of what is happening in the sacraments: God is taking us into his family, forgiving us, uniting us with Christ’s death and resurrection, creating us as new creatures, and promising always to be faithful to us (Baptism), and he is forgiving us, sharing with us all the benefits of his death and resurrection, cementing us in our fellowship with himself and with all other believers (communion of saints), as well as giving us the opportunity to let everyone else know where we stand (Eucharist).

    We have not earned, nor do we deserve, any of this; it’s all the good and gracious gift of God, who loved us enough to take our flesh upon himself, to live in our world, to suffer the punishment and death that we rightly deserve, and who will not sever his connection with us even though he does not deny us the ability to sever our connection with him.

    In short, if the main emphasis is not on God and his promises and saving actions, then we have gone wrong and have become the masters of our own fate, the movers and shakers of our own hope and salvation. How sad!

  • Arfies

    As a lifelong Lutheran, I credit myself with knowing something about the Gospel and the sacraments (or Sacraments, if you wish). As a retired pastor, it disturbs me to think that we may not have stressed and explained clearly the importance of seeing that Baptism and the Eucharist (Lord’s Supper) are not our actions but God’s work through and through–to create faith, to preserve it, and to strengthen it.

    It has always seemed to me that the differences between the branches of Christianity stem in most cases from our varying approach to Baptism and Communion. If they are in some sense primarily our own actions to proclaim faith or to remember the Savior, then they are good works by which we ingratiate ourselves to God. Note that I said “primarily.” Of course we manifest our faith when we seek Baptism (in the case of someone who is old enough to do that after hearing the Gospel) or receive Communion. That act is in a sense a “byproduct” of what is happening in the sacraments: God is taking us into his family, forgiving us, uniting us with Christ’s death and resurrection, creating us as new creatures, and promising always to be faithful to us (Baptism), and he is forgiving us, sharing with us all the benefits of his death and resurrection, cementing us in our fellowship with himself and with all other believers (communion of saints), as well as giving us the opportunity to let everyone else know where we stand (Eucharist).

    We have not earned, nor do we deserve, any of this; it’s all the good and gracious gift of God, who loved us enough to take our flesh upon himself, to live in our world, to suffer the punishment and death that we rightly deserve, and who will not sever his connection with us even though he does not deny us the ability to sever our connection with him.

    In short, if the main emphasis is not on God and his promises and saving actions, then we have gone wrong and have become the masters of our own fate, the movers and shakers of our own hope and salvation. How sad!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Bike @ 16,
    I’ll give you credit for not opening up with some comment about immersion only. Thank you.
    But now you are going to have to unpack your statement if you think anyone is going to understand what you are trying to say. “Commenter Scott” is not arguing that God is not just, or not love, but he is arguing that the credobaptist position is the fault of a weak understanding of the gospel and an even weaker presentation of it.”

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Bike @ 16,
    I’ll give you credit for not opening up with some comment about immersion only. Thank you.
    But now you are going to have to unpack your statement if you think anyone is going to understand what you are trying to say. “Commenter Scott” is not arguing that God is not just, or not love, but he is arguing that the credobaptist position is the fault of a weak understanding of the gospel and an even weaker presentation of it.”

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    FWS,
    so, what you are arguing is that being surrounded by baptists, you picked up some baptist beliefs that caused you to doubt your Lutheran Baptism, until you understood your Lutheran faith better? I think that has probably happened to more than one Lutheran. It tends to be why Lutheran’s despise baptist theology so much, we see how satanic it is.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    FWS,
    so, what you are arguing is that being surrounded by baptists, you picked up some baptist beliefs that caused you to doubt your Lutheran Baptism, until you understood your Lutheran faith better? I think that has probably happened to more than one Lutheran. It tends to be why Lutheran’s despise baptist theology so much, we see how satanic it is.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Sorry guys, but “I am baptized” still sounds too much like a works-based salvation a la Rome to me. It sounds too much like putting faith in getting wet rather than in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Sola Fide is sola fide, and that means apart from any work whatsoever. While I confess that I don’t have the full understanding of Lutheran baptism, and would appreciate clarification, I don’t see how this differs from adding works to Salvation (Yes, we are commanded to be baptized, but we are also commanded to do many other things, which are readily and rightly recognized as sanctifying and not justifying, and I’m not seeing the distinction).

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Sorry guys, but “I am baptized” still sounds too much like a works-based salvation a la Rome to me. It sounds too much like putting faith in getting wet rather than in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Sola Fide is sola fide, and that means apart from any work whatsoever. While I confess that I don’t have the full understanding of Lutheran baptism, and would appreciate clarification, I don’t see how this differs from adding works to Salvation (Yes, we are commanded to be baptized, but we are also commanded to do many other things, which are readily and rightly recognized as sanctifying and not justifying, and I’m not seeing the distinction).

  • Jonathan

    @20.
    I am baptized…into Christ, into His death. It is His work, not mine. Thus, “Baptism now saves you.”
    http://bookofconcord.org/smallcatechism.php#baptism

  • Jonathan

    @20.
    I am baptized…into Christ, into His death. It is His work, not mine. Thus, “Baptism now saves you.”
    http://bookofconcord.org/smallcatechism.php#baptism

  • MissionMobilizer

    I find that at the root of much of this discussion on baptism is a fundamental difference in how we view justification. I think many non-Lutherans would view their salvation as a “decision”, I decided to follow Christ, asked him into my heart, or some other act on my part that at least in some way involves my consent or will. Perhaps the role of my will is small compared the work Christ does, but in some way, my consent is required or my “free choice” is necessary. This is how I grew up, and how I expressed my faith for most of my life.

    But when I became a Lutheran by marriage (the best way to get in, IMHO), I began to study this new theology, really seeking to understand what the differences were, and in doing so have come to see some major differences on a fundamental level. In fact, I’ve recently been listening to lectures and podcasts on the Lutheran view of justification and it has been extremely helpful in building a new foundation for me, one that impacts all of the above, not just baptism. So now forensic justification and imputed righteousness are part of my theological vocabulary, and I have a much clearer perspective on how I have no role in my justification, nor my sanctification. All of these are works God does because of Christ, not that I do in order to gain favor with God. When I am saved, it is because God chooses to do so based on Christ’s work, not my decision or confession.

    And if it isn’t my work at all, but Christ’s work, then it makes it a lot easier to talk about infant baptism. But if a “decision” is required for me to be justified, then infant baptism becomes very problematic. I don’t know if I’m muddying the waters here or helping move the discussion along, but these are some of the thoughts that have been rolling around in my head for the last year or so as I’ve really dug deep into these issues.

  • MissionMobilizer

    I find that at the root of much of this discussion on baptism is a fundamental difference in how we view justification. I think many non-Lutherans would view their salvation as a “decision”, I decided to follow Christ, asked him into my heart, or some other act on my part that at least in some way involves my consent or will. Perhaps the role of my will is small compared the work Christ does, but in some way, my consent is required or my “free choice” is necessary. This is how I grew up, and how I expressed my faith for most of my life.

    But when I became a Lutheran by marriage (the best way to get in, IMHO), I began to study this new theology, really seeking to understand what the differences were, and in doing so have come to see some major differences on a fundamental level. In fact, I’ve recently been listening to lectures and podcasts on the Lutheran view of justification and it has been extremely helpful in building a new foundation for me, one that impacts all of the above, not just baptism. So now forensic justification and imputed righteousness are part of my theological vocabulary, and I have a much clearer perspective on how I have no role in my justification, nor my sanctification. All of these are works God does because of Christ, not that I do in order to gain favor with God. When I am saved, it is because God chooses to do so based on Christ’s work, not my decision or confession.

    And if it isn’t my work at all, but Christ’s work, then it makes it a lot easier to talk about infant baptism. But if a “decision” is required for me to be justified, then infant baptism becomes very problematic. I don’t know if I’m muddying the waters here or helping move the discussion along, but these are some of the thoughts that have been rolling around in my head for the last year or so as I’ve really dug deep into these issues.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    I get it MissionMobilizer: “muddying the waters”! What a good discussion, everybody. I’m glad my brother Jimmy has been brought into it. Let’s keep it going as long as possible before it degenerates into mere potshots at other denominations. The virtue of this post of Scott’s comments is how it shows a personal a struggle over these issues.

    It is ironic and hard for non-Baptists to understand why Baptists (1) are called by a name that emphasizes baptism, while, at the same time, not believing it is particularly efficacious; and (2) why, not believing it is particularly efficacious, they nevertheless are so insistent about how it has to be done (by immersion, to believers only, into a particular church body, must be redone if a person were baptized in another church, etc.).

    The Lutheran view and practice are the polar opposite, which perhaps is also confusing to outsiders: (1) We believe it IS efficacious. (No, it is not a “work” but something done TO US by God, which connects us to Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and all that this means, which we receive in faith.) (2) And yet we accept baptism by any mode (sprinkling, pouring, immersion) and by any Christian church (as long as the baptism was in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), including the ones we most argue against. (It is true that we conservative Lutherans are not “ecumenical” when it comes to the Lord’s Supper, but we are very “ecumnical” when it comes to Baptism. Maybe someone can explain why that is.)

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    I get it MissionMobilizer: “muddying the waters”! What a good discussion, everybody. I’m glad my brother Jimmy has been brought into it. Let’s keep it going as long as possible before it degenerates into mere potshots at other denominations. The virtue of this post of Scott’s comments is how it shows a personal a struggle over these issues.

    It is ironic and hard for non-Baptists to understand why Baptists (1) are called by a name that emphasizes baptism, while, at the same time, not believing it is particularly efficacious; and (2) why, not believing it is particularly efficacious, they nevertheless are so insistent about how it has to be done (by immersion, to believers only, into a particular church body, must be redone if a person were baptized in another church, etc.).

    The Lutheran view and practice are the polar opposite, which perhaps is also confusing to outsiders: (1) We believe it IS efficacious. (No, it is not a “work” but something done TO US by God, which connects us to Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and all that this means, which we receive in faith.) (2) And yet we accept baptism by any mode (sprinkling, pouring, immersion) and by any Christian church (as long as the baptism was in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), including the ones we most argue against. (It is true that we conservative Lutherans are not “ecumenical” when it comes to the Lord’s Supper, but we are very “ecumnical” when it comes to Baptism. Maybe someone can explain why that is.)

  • Jonathan

    I think Dennis Pesky nailed it; one Lord, one faith, one baptism.

  • Jonathan

    I think Dennis Pesky nailed it; one Lord, one faith, one baptism.

  • Larry

    Jimmy,

    Thanks for the very kind complement.

    My wife’s background would empathize, she was rebaptized four times all within the baptist denomination and it confused her to death (in the same two counties no less). When I converted, much later in life, I wrestled with this especially after we married and I was trying to figure out what’s right and how do I know. I came close a couple of times of being rebaptized wondering about it all.

  • Larry

    Jimmy,

    Thanks for the very kind complement.

    My wife’s background would empathize, she was rebaptized four times all within the baptist denomination and it confused her to death (in the same two counties no less). When I converted, much later in life, I wrestled with this especially after we married and I was trying to figure out what’s right and how do I know. I came close a couple of times of being rebaptized wondering about it all.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Okay, but again, how does that differ from Rome’s view of baptism?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Okay, but again, how does that differ from Rome’s view of baptism?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    J. Dean, Rome believes that baptism gives forgiveness for original sin. Any sin we commit after our baptism we have to deal with through the sacrament of penance. The Lutheran view of baptism is actually “higher” than that of Rome, since we believe baptism applies to all of our sins–original, past, present, and future–by assuring us that we are in Christ and that His sacrifice applies to us. This is where justification by faith comes in. Rome also believes in ex opera operato (sp? case?), that Baptism works by virtue of its being done, sometimes described as a “magical” view of baptism, whereas Lutherans believe that it isn’t the action or the water that has efficacy but the faith that receives its benefits.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    J. Dean, Rome believes that baptism gives forgiveness for original sin. Any sin we commit after our baptism we have to deal with through the sacrament of penance. The Lutheran view of baptism is actually “higher” than that of Rome, since we believe baptism applies to all of our sins–original, past, present, and future–by assuring us that we are in Christ and that His sacrifice applies to us. This is where justification by faith comes in. Rome also believes in ex opera operato (sp? case?), that Baptism works by virtue of its being done, sometimes described as a “magical” view of baptism, whereas Lutherans believe that it isn’t the action or the water that has efficacy but the faith that receives its benefits.

  • MissionMobilizer

    I could be wrong on this, but I believe that one distinctive of Rome’s view is that baptism gets rid of your original sin. As a Lutheran, I still retain my original sin, but am justified by Christ anyway, sinful nature and all. Is that accurate?

  • MissionMobilizer

    I could be wrong on this, but I believe that one distinctive of Rome’s view is that baptism gets rid of your original sin. As a Lutheran, I still retain my original sin, but am justified by Christ anyway, sinful nature and all. Is that accurate?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    J.Dean,
    To put it bluntly, Works save, just not our works. When Lutheran’s confess “sola Fide” we confess belief in the work of Christ, his finished work on the cross yes, but also his application of that work to us in Baptism.
    We don’t bicker over whether baptism is a work or not. We bicker over whose work it is. It is Christ who baptizes. It is his work. and this is why Peter says it saves in chapter 3 of his letter.
    Baptism as a work saves, the same way Christ’s death on the cross is a work that saves.
    Practically speaking then, for Lutherans, to call baptism a work, meaning something we do, is tantamount to blasphemy. We can’t do it, it is something beyond our capability to do. It is Christ’s work, something he does through his church on behalf of us.
    on the flip side, to divorce baptism from faith makes faith into a work we do, and therefore is just another form of works righteousness. It is a false faith that ignores what God’s word says of baptism and what it does. It is a false faith that would make baptism into our work.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    J.Dean,
    To put it bluntly, Works save, just not our works. When Lutheran’s confess “sola Fide” we confess belief in the work of Christ, his finished work on the cross yes, but also his application of that work to us in Baptism.
    We don’t bicker over whether baptism is a work or not. We bicker over whose work it is. It is Christ who baptizes. It is his work. and this is why Peter says it saves in chapter 3 of his letter.
    Baptism as a work saves, the same way Christ’s death on the cross is a work that saves.
    Practically speaking then, for Lutherans, to call baptism a work, meaning something we do, is tantamount to blasphemy. We can’t do it, it is something beyond our capability to do. It is Christ’s work, something he does through his church on behalf of us.
    on the flip side, to divorce baptism from faith makes faith into a work we do, and therefore is just another form of works righteousness. It is a false faith that ignores what God’s word says of baptism and what it does. It is a false faith that would make baptism into our work.

  • Dennis Peskey

    J. Dean (#26) – to Rome’s position on the Lutheran view of Baptism (as presented in the Augsburg Confession, Article IX), I offer the response written in the Confutatio Pontificia: To Article IX (Baptism), “The ninth article, concerning Baptism – viz, that it is necessary to salvation, and that children ought to be baptized – is approved and accepted…”

    In short, the Lutheran Church and Rome share no difference regarding the Sacrament of Baptism.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    J. Dean (#26) – to Rome’s position on the Lutheran view of Baptism (as presented in the Augsburg Confession, Article IX), I offer the response written in the Confutatio Pontificia: To Article IX (Baptism), “The ninth article, concerning Baptism – viz, that it is necessary to salvation, and that children ought to be baptized – is approved and accepted…”

    In short, the Lutheran Church and Rome share no difference regarding the Sacrament of Baptism.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • http://www.klaru-baycrest.on.ca/index.php?section=384 Jon Erik Ween

    Hmmm, seems like I’ve stumbled into a Lutheran blog/discussion. Excuse my ignorance, but my wife pointed me here. I don’t have much time for blogs as a rule. Being Norwegian, I suppose I’m Lutheran by default, so can I stay IN?

    Anyhow, in “response” to Jenny, I think my point is really that there are all sorts of non-biblical traditions out there: IE, ways of doing things that are not clearly/explicitly mapped out in scripture. After all, exactly HOW much time/emphasis did Jesus place on Baptism? Communion? Hmm, proportionally, I’d say He cared relatively little about it, relative to loving one’s brother let’s say. Certainly, He wasn’t much concerned with detailing how the rituals were to unfold.

    It also seems to me that the areas where there is most discussion/division in the church are precisely in these less-than-scripturally-explicit traditions. I stumbled across a CREC congregation in Oregon where you have to go before the board of elders before you can take communion. Now, I am sure that they have carefully cogitated their way to that position, though if you read Corinthians carefully, THAT is not what “examining yourself” is about at all, as I pointed out. Same with baptism, and the how’s and who’s.

    Let’s see how this would work out in the example of the Ethiopian Eunuch: There they are, the Eunuch and Philip by the side of the road. The Eunuch asks: “What then prevents me from being baptized?”. To which, our theologically well decided, evangelical Philip would reply: “Well now, let’s head on back to Jerusalem and you can present your testimony to Peter and James. They will in turn consider your confession and discuss it with the group of apostles and if you are found worthy of inclusion into the fellowship of saints, we’ll put you on the baptismal schedule for the next full moon, provided there is enough water in the Jordan to get you totally immersed this time of year. Just keep yourself from becoming ritually unclean in the mean time, James hasn’t made up his mind about this judeizing business yet”.

    There is NOTHING in scripture that places the delivery of communion or baptism under the exclusive purview of the ecclesiastical orders (that is a Catholic hold-over) and scripture is DEVOID of legal language about the how’s and who’s of baptism/communion. Only, we are to be discerning of the body of Christ (the Church) and our own attitudes, making sure they are ones of Love and Grace.

    SDG

    Jon

  • http://www.klaru-baycrest.on.ca/index.php?section=384 Jon Erik Ween

    Hmmm, seems like I’ve stumbled into a Lutheran blog/discussion. Excuse my ignorance, but my wife pointed me here. I don’t have much time for blogs as a rule. Being Norwegian, I suppose I’m Lutheran by default, so can I stay IN?

    Anyhow, in “response” to Jenny, I think my point is really that there are all sorts of non-biblical traditions out there: IE, ways of doing things that are not clearly/explicitly mapped out in scripture. After all, exactly HOW much time/emphasis did Jesus place on Baptism? Communion? Hmm, proportionally, I’d say He cared relatively little about it, relative to loving one’s brother let’s say. Certainly, He wasn’t much concerned with detailing how the rituals were to unfold.

    It also seems to me that the areas where there is most discussion/division in the church are precisely in these less-than-scripturally-explicit traditions. I stumbled across a CREC congregation in Oregon where you have to go before the board of elders before you can take communion. Now, I am sure that they have carefully cogitated their way to that position, though if you read Corinthians carefully, THAT is not what “examining yourself” is about at all, as I pointed out. Same with baptism, and the how’s and who’s.

    Let’s see how this would work out in the example of the Ethiopian Eunuch: There they are, the Eunuch and Philip by the side of the road. The Eunuch asks: “What then prevents me from being baptized?”. To which, our theologically well decided, evangelical Philip would reply: “Well now, let’s head on back to Jerusalem and you can present your testimony to Peter and James. They will in turn consider your confession and discuss it with the group of apostles and if you are found worthy of inclusion into the fellowship of saints, we’ll put you on the baptismal schedule for the next full moon, provided there is enough water in the Jordan to get you totally immersed this time of year. Just keep yourself from becoming ritually unclean in the mean time, James hasn’t made up his mind about this judeizing business yet”.

    There is NOTHING in scripture that places the delivery of communion or baptism under the exclusive purview of the ecclesiastical orders (that is a Catholic hold-over) and scripture is DEVOID of legal language about the how’s and who’s of baptism/communion. Only, we are to be discerning of the body of Christ (the Church) and our own attitudes, making sure they are ones of Love and Grace.

    SDG

    Jon

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Jon,
    The blog happens to be administered by a rather prominent Lutheran, and other Lutherans like myself frequent it. Though many non-Lutherans do to. And we welcome your contributions. But no one is Lutheran by default, especially if they share your views concerning the importance of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which are to say the least, exegetically very weak.
    You might try to back up you hypothesis that where Paul Speaks of the Lord’s Supper, which Christ says is his Body and Blood, that it is the church you are supposed to discern. Contextually that makes no sense to me. What would that mean?
    Second, and more in line with the actual topic of this thread. you might give a careful reading to John chapter 3 before you make comments concerning Christ’s view of baptism as you have above. And lets not forget that he is the one who commissioned the apostles, and Paul, to give as much attention to it as they did. He is quite literally speaking through them on these things.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Jon,
    The blog happens to be administered by a rather prominent Lutheran, and other Lutherans like myself frequent it. Though many non-Lutherans do to. And we welcome your contributions. But no one is Lutheran by default, especially if they share your views concerning the importance of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which are to say the least, exegetically very weak.
    You might try to back up you hypothesis that where Paul Speaks of the Lord’s Supper, which Christ says is his Body and Blood, that it is the church you are supposed to discern. Contextually that makes no sense to me. What would that mean?
    Second, and more in line with the actual topic of this thread. you might give a careful reading to John chapter 3 before you make comments concerning Christ’s view of baptism as you have above. And lets not forget that he is the one who commissioned the apostles, and Paul, to give as much attention to it as they did. He is quite literally speaking through them on these things.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Bror, the trouble with the original comment about immersion (there you go, you paedo-rantist!) by “Commenter Scott” is that it’s not specifically about baptism at all, but rather about a perceived difference between preaching “God is love” and “man is sinful.”

    He then more or less assumes the paedo-baptist position as a starting point for discussion–by assuming that the administering of the ordinance confers grace upon the infant. In other words, he’s simply admitting that he doesn’t know the credo-baptist position, that it makes no sense to bury a sin nature that isn’t dead yet, and thus has no effect.

    For this reason, I heartily recommend Pete not use this as “ammunition” if he has any idea that his golf partners actually understand Baptist doctrine on immersion, to put it mildly.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Bror, the trouble with the original comment about immersion (there you go, you paedo-rantist!) by “Commenter Scott” is that it’s not specifically about baptism at all, but rather about a perceived difference between preaching “God is love” and “man is sinful.”

    He then more or less assumes the paedo-baptist position as a starting point for discussion–by assuming that the administering of the ordinance confers grace upon the infant. In other words, he’s simply admitting that he doesn’t know the credo-baptist position, that it makes no sense to bury a sin nature that isn’t dead yet, and thus has no effect.

    For this reason, I heartily recommend Pete not use this as “ammunition” if he has any idea that his golf partners actually understand Baptist doctrine on immersion, to put it mildly.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Dr. Veith (27) – The difference between Rome and the Lutheran Church is most pronounced in AC Art II (Original Sin). Whereas Lutherans believe, teach and confess the existence of “concupiscence” (the inclination to sin) remains even after Baptism, Rome states first” But the declaration of the article, the Original Sin is that men are born without the fear of God and without trust in God, is to be entirely rejected, since it is manifest to every Christian that to be without the fear of God and without trust in God is rather the actual guilt of an adult than the offence of a recently-born infant, which does not possess as yet the full use of reason…” This leads immediately to Rome’s conclusion regarding concusiscence, Moreover, the declaration is also rejected whereby they call the fault of origin concupiscence, if they mean thereby that concupiscence is a sin that remains sin in a child ever after baptism.”

    It is in the second article of the Augsburg Confession where Rome deviates from the Lutheran position which leads to their struggles with Psalm 51 (“in sin did my mother conceive me) and St. Paul’s struggle in Romans 7 (the do-do section of the Old Adam verses the New Man). I derive far too much pleasure asking Roman theologians to explain how St. Paul, after Baptism, could experience such vexation. The origin of works righteousness (and subsequently, their doctrine of ex opere operato can be found in their understanding of Genesis 3.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Dr. Veith (27) – The difference between Rome and the Lutheran Church is most pronounced in AC Art II (Original Sin). Whereas Lutherans believe, teach and confess the existence of “concupiscence” (the inclination to sin) remains even after Baptism, Rome states first” But the declaration of the article, the Original Sin is that men are born without the fear of God and without trust in God, is to be entirely rejected, since it is manifest to every Christian that to be without the fear of God and without trust in God is rather the actual guilt of an adult than the offence of a recently-born infant, which does not possess as yet the full use of reason…” This leads immediately to Rome’s conclusion regarding concusiscence, Moreover, the declaration is also rejected whereby they call the fault of origin concupiscence, if they mean thereby that concupiscence is a sin that remains sin in a child ever after baptism.”

    It is in the second article of the Augsburg Confession where Rome deviates from the Lutheran position which leads to their struggles with Psalm 51 (“in sin did my mother conceive me) and St. Paul’s struggle in Romans 7 (the do-do section of the Old Adam verses the New Man). I derive far too much pleasure asking Roman theologians to explain how St. Paul, after Baptism, could experience such vexation. The origin of works righteousness (and subsequently, their doctrine of ex opere operato can be found in their understanding of Genesis 3.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    bike,
    A sin nature that isn’t dead yet? please explain.
    I don’t think Scott assumed anything here. One, he backs up his statements about baptism conferring grace with many biblical passages and allusions, to which I could add more.
    What he does do is expose a confusion that arises based on the practice of the baptist communities. That the children are told Jesus loves them, they grow up loving Jesus, and then are told that Jesus doesn’t love them until they make this commitment to Jesus by being baptized. And none of it with any scriptural basis.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    bike,
    A sin nature that isn’t dead yet? please explain.
    I don’t think Scott assumed anything here. One, he backs up his statements about baptism conferring grace with many biblical passages and allusions, to which I could add more.
    What he does do is expose a confusion that arises based on the practice of the baptist communities. That the children are told Jesus loves them, they grow up loving Jesus, and then are told that Jesus doesn’t love them until they make this commitment to Jesus by being baptized. And none of it with any scriptural basis.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Oh boy, did Dr. Veith open a major can of contention; i.e., Baptism and the Lord’s Supper in one post (better activate my external harddrive for the E-Mail responses)! I’ll go for the condensed version first and unpack as necessary.

    Baptism: two paradigms; first, as a sacrament (God’s work alone) whereby He washes us, regenerates us and adopts us as heirs (shared by Lutherans, Romans, Orthodox, Reformed and Methodists). On the other side are the ordinance believers (Christ said “do it” so they do as a profession of their faith). In this tabernacle, we find the Baptists, Anabaptists and certain Wesleyan followers.

    Holy Communion: No nice neat distinction will be found here. First, the Lutherans stand alone (sola Luther?) by stating “Is means Is; we believe we receive bread and wine, body and blood for the forgiveness of our sins. I believe the Eastern Orthodox share a very similar view (need further catechesis on my part) which differenciates from Rome’s transubstantiation (used to be bread and wine; now is only body and blood). Those who share either Zwingli’s or Calvin’s view of the spiritual/symbolic presence do retain a sacramental view of Holy Communion. Finally, there are those denominations which hold a ordinate view of this sacrament (Christ said do this too – so they do). Here we find the obedient Baptists and Anabaptists. (There are the “liberal” christians who don’t like miracles, original sin or the need for forgiveness – they have abandoned any use of a sacramental or ordinate view of the Lord’s Supper.)

    If all this is a bit confusing, imagine what St. Paul confronted in the Corinthian church. This congregation seemed to have every denomination devised by mankind (and we probably lost a few in translation). It is at the Lord’s Supper where we most clearly confess our belief in God; who He is, what He has done and what He continues to do for us. This is the reason we close communion for the God we believe in gives His very body and blood for us, for our salvation. It is indeed a priviledge to participate in the Lord’s Supper and it would be most unloving for us to allow another believer who does not comprehend the fullness of this sacrament to participate with us. Holy Communion is a foretaste of the heavenly feast to come; we should not give that which is holy to the dogs.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Oh boy, did Dr. Veith open a major can of contention; i.e., Baptism and the Lord’s Supper in one post (better activate my external harddrive for the E-Mail responses)! I’ll go for the condensed version first and unpack as necessary.

    Baptism: two paradigms; first, as a sacrament (God’s work alone) whereby He washes us, regenerates us and adopts us as heirs (shared by Lutherans, Romans, Orthodox, Reformed and Methodists). On the other side are the ordinance believers (Christ said “do it” so they do as a profession of their faith). In this tabernacle, we find the Baptists, Anabaptists and certain Wesleyan followers.

    Holy Communion: No nice neat distinction will be found here. First, the Lutherans stand alone (sola Luther?) by stating “Is means Is; we believe we receive bread and wine, body and blood for the forgiveness of our sins. I believe the Eastern Orthodox share a very similar view (need further catechesis on my part) which differenciates from Rome’s transubstantiation (used to be bread and wine; now is only body and blood). Those who share either Zwingli’s or Calvin’s view of the spiritual/symbolic presence do retain a sacramental view of Holy Communion. Finally, there are those denominations which hold a ordinate view of this sacrament (Christ said do this too – so they do). Here we find the obedient Baptists and Anabaptists. (There are the “liberal” christians who don’t like miracles, original sin or the need for forgiveness – they have abandoned any use of a sacramental or ordinate view of the Lord’s Supper.)

    If all this is a bit confusing, imagine what St. Paul confronted in the Corinthian church. This congregation seemed to have every denomination devised by mankind (and we probably lost a few in translation). It is at the Lord’s Supper where we most clearly confess our belief in God; who He is, what He has done and what He continues to do for us. This is the reason we close communion for the God we believe in gives His very body and blood for us, for our salvation. It is indeed a priviledge to participate in the Lord’s Supper and it would be most unloving for us to allow another believer who does not comprehend the fullness of this sacrament to participate with us. Holy Communion is a foretaste of the heavenly feast to come; we should not give that which is holy to the dogs.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I’m just lurking here, but I gotta say that the post is thought provoking and there are some great comments in the meta.

    I’m not a Lutheran myself (I was raised & confirmed as a Methodist — but who can be one of those nowadays?). I think I’m a crypto-Lutheran, though. The Lutheran view of baptism certainly makes more Biblical sense than the views put forth by all the non-denom and pentecostalist type churches I’ve been associated with over the last couple of decades.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I’m just lurking here, but I gotta say that the post is thought provoking and there are some great comments in the meta.

    I’m not a Lutheran myself (I was raised & confirmed as a Methodist — but who can be one of those nowadays?). I think I’m a crypto-Lutheran, though. The Lutheran view of baptism certainly makes more Biblical sense than the views put forth by all the non-denom and pentecostalist type churches I’ve been associated with over the last couple of decades.

  • http://www.thirduse.com FWS

    Bror @ 19

    It was worse than that. I was raised in the Dakotas. There are not alot of baptists there, almost entirely Lutheran or Roman Catholic.

    Worse, I was a wierd kid. I started studying Pieper and systematics at around age 14. My project was to fix what was wrong with me with pure doctrine. That scheme would only occur to a Lutheran.

    So my thinking was not baptist influenced Bror, it was Old Adam inspired. I would have leaped on Baptism if I thought it would do anything to “sanctify” me somehow.

    The deal I was trying to cut with God was to do something so that i could overcome my sinning. When I realized that that was not going to happen, and that no church would probably accept me if I were really honest, I despaired and left the church for a good while.

    It was only when I decided to hold God to his Promise in Christ regardless of whether my life reflected saving faith or not,a dn when I decided that it did not matter whether a church would accept me or not that I returned to…. my baptism ! The law had ground me down (contrition is latinate meaning to grind down), to the point where i was the dog willing to eat the scraps the fell from the Master’s table.

    And where was the Promise that I decided I would hold God to and let everything about me be a liar? Holy Baptism. That’s where. In salvation there are always 3 things eh? There is 1) the Promise of Christ. 2) Faith clings to that Promise right there where God places it here in 2011 in our livess. It could be in the preached word, or in the Lords Supper . But in that Promise of being joined to the death and resurrection of Christ that is in Baptism there is a difference. I was called by my very own name there. The Name of the most Blessed and Holy Trinity was spashed onto …me. Sinful me. So then 3) I cling to that Promise that God has located and placed right there, in with and under that work of Baptism I received the Promised Mercy of our dear Lord Jesus who comes to me right there with his Promise. Baptism sure is done by human hands and is an “ordinance” or a “command” of Christ to do. Baptism IS a work that is Law. EVERYTHING we can see and do on earth is Law driving the Old Adam to do Fatherly Goodness and Mercy.

    But in with and under that workof human hands, is the Promise that God has placed there. And that Promise creates faith that clings to it and so receives the Promised Mercy. Right here. Right now. in 2011. We can’t go back to AD 33 and get it there. God must bring the Promise and create the faith in that promise and so give us the promised Mercy. He does this for sinners like me . And like you.

    O

  • http://www.thirduse.com FWS

    Bror @ 19

    It was worse than that. I was raised in the Dakotas. There are not alot of baptists there, almost entirely Lutheran or Roman Catholic.

    Worse, I was a wierd kid. I started studying Pieper and systematics at around age 14. My project was to fix what was wrong with me with pure doctrine. That scheme would only occur to a Lutheran.

    So my thinking was not baptist influenced Bror, it was Old Adam inspired. I would have leaped on Baptism if I thought it would do anything to “sanctify” me somehow.

    The deal I was trying to cut with God was to do something so that i could overcome my sinning. When I realized that that was not going to happen, and that no church would probably accept me if I were really honest, I despaired and left the church for a good while.

    It was only when I decided to hold God to his Promise in Christ regardless of whether my life reflected saving faith or not,a dn when I decided that it did not matter whether a church would accept me or not that I returned to…. my baptism ! The law had ground me down (contrition is latinate meaning to grind down), to the point where i was the dog willing to eat the scraps the fell from the Master’s table.

    And where was the Promise that I decided I would hold God to and let everything about me be a liar? Holy Baptism. That’s where. In salvation there are always 3 things eh? There is 1) the Promise of Christ. 2) Faith clings to that Promise right there where God places it here in 2011 in our livess. It could be in the preached word, or in the Lords Supper . But in that Promise of being joined to the death and resurrection of Christ that is in Baptism there is a difference. I was called by my very own name there. The Name of the most Blessed and Holy Trinity was spashed onto …me. Sinful me. So then 3) I cling to that Promise that God has located and placed right there, in with and under that work of Baptism I received the Promised Mercy of our dear Lord Jesus who comes to me right there with his Promise. Baptism sure is done by human hands and is an “ordinance” or a “command” of Christ to do. Baptism IS a work that is Law. EVERYTHING we can see and do on earth is Law driving the Old Adam to do Fatherly Goodness and Mercy.

    But in with and under that workof human hands, is the Promise that God has placed there. And that Promise creates faith that clings to it and so receives the Promised Mercy. Right here. Right now. in 2011. We can’t go back to AD 33 and get it there. God must bring the Promise and create the faith in that promise and so give us the promised Mercy. He does this for sinners like me . And like you.

    O

  • SKPeterson

    I will add to Dennis’s fine comment @36, but the practice of close/d communion has to do with notions of church fellowship. This has a long history in the Church in which doctrinal differences led to the honest assessment that fellowship was thus impaired. It did not necessarily mean that either side condemned the other as heretical (although it often enough did lead to such) but that each side recognized that their differences were such that sharing in the unity of the Eucharist was no longer possible. A good reference on how this played out is Eucharist and Church Fellowship in the First Four Centuries by Werner Elert, as well as the more recent Jesus Wars by Phillip Jenkins.

  • SKPeterson

    I will add to Dennis’s fine comment @36, but the practice of close/d communion has to do with notions of church fellowship. This has a long history in the Church in which doctrinal differences led to the honest assessment that fellowship was thus impaired. It did not necessarily mean that either side condemned the other as heretical (although it often enough did lead to such) but that each side recognized that their differences were such that sharing in the unity of the Eucharist was no longer possible. A good reference on how this played out is Eucharist and Church Fellowship in the First Four Centuries by Werner Elert, as well as the more recent Jesus Wars by Phillip Jenkins.

  • http://www.thirduse.com FWS

    dennis @34

    “concupiscence” (the inclination to sin)

    Brother Dennis. You homed in on the difference I agree. Art II of the Apology. But you missed that the Lutherans redefine that word “concupiscience” and so you are still with the Roman understanding.

    The point of art II is to say that we can’t understand original sin until we first understand what original Righeousness was. So they lay out this argument:

    1) Original Righeousness is the Original Adamic Image of God that was faith alone in Christ alone. The Image of God=faith in Christ.

    2) So original sin is then two things 1) the total lack of the Image of God that was faith in Christ. 2) “concupiscience” aka lust, or coveting, which is what? the tendency to sin? not quite! It is faith! it is the “vicious” faith that insists on trusting in anything at all BUT Christ.

    3) So how is it then that we are restored to Original Righeousness and the Image of God? Being reconformed to Natural Law or the Law or our original “divine design” No. This would be Calvin’s view and the view of St Thomas and the aristotelian scholastics. In that case the Gospel serves the end of restoring us to what? Conformity to the Law!

    4) We are restored to the Image of God in the New Man that is created , ex nihilo, in the waters of Baptism and that is alone, about faith in Christ alone. So the restoration of Original Righeousness is not to restore us to a right relation to the Law of God. It is to restore faith in Christ alone in our hearts. Once that is done, the Law and even the Gospel cease to be necessary.

    But the Law and the Gospel remain necessary here on earth. Why? Soley on account of the Old Adam who still clings to us.

    This is why the early Lutherans rejected the “natural law” as defined by aristotelian St Thomas and defines “natural law” as being the Law of God written in the Reason of man and nothing beyond that.

  • http://www.thirduse.com FWS

    dennis @34

    “concupiscence” (the inclination to sin)

    Brother Dennis. You homed in on the difference I agree. Art II of the Apology. But you missed that the Lutherans redefine that word “concupiscience” and so you are still with the Roman understanding.

    The point of art II is to say that we can’t understand original sin until we first understand what original Righeousness was. So they lay out this argument:

    1) Original Righeousness is the Original Adamic Image of God that was faith alone in Christ alone. The Image of God=faith in Christ.

    2) So original sin is then two things 1) the total lack of the Image of God that was faith in Christ. 2) “concupiscience” aka lust, or coveting, which is what? the tendency to sin? not quite! It is faith! it is the “vicious” faith that insists on trusting in anything at all BUT Christ.

    3) So how is it then that we are restored to Original Righeousness and the Image of God? Being reconformed to Natural Law or the Law or our original “divine design” No. This would be Calvin’s view and the view of St Thomas and the aristotelian scholastics. In that case the Gospel serves the end of restoring us to what? Conformity to the Law!

    4) We are restored to the Image of God in the New Man that is created , ex nihilo, in the waters of Baptism and that is alone, about faith in Christ alone. So the restoration of Original Righeousness is not to restore us to a right relation to the Law of God. It is to restore faith in Christ alone in our hearts. Once that is done, the Law and even the Gospel cease to be necessary.

    But the Law and the Gospel remain necessary here on earth. Why? Soley on account of the Old Adam who still clings to us.

    This is why the early Lutherans rejected the “natural law” as defined by aristotelian St Thomas and defines “natural law” as being the Law of God written in the Reason of man and nothing beyond that.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    FWS,
    I really don’t care how you got your baptist beliefs early on. I still say it permeates our culture, and unfortunately even infects lutheran churches where there aren’t many baptists to speak of. Pietism and baptist theology have much in common, and i’ve known a number of Lutheran’s who were crypto baptists often without realizing it.
    the fact of the matter is, It was finally the Lutheran view that won out as you examined the scriptures. And so who cares what the Old Adam did. BTW. I like how you blamed your early baptist beliefs on the Old Adam. Good job. That is where it is.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    FWS,
    I really don’t care how you got your baptist beliefs early on. I still say it permeates our culture, and unfortunately even infects lutheran churches where there aren’t many baptists to speak of. Pietism and baptist theology have much in common, and i’ve known a number of Lutheran’s who were crypto baptists often without realizing it.
    the fact of the matter is, It was finally the Lutheran view that won out as you examined the scriptures. And so who cares what the Old Adam did. BTW. I like how you blamed your early baptist beliefs on the Old Adam. Good job. That is where it is.

  • Craig

    FWS 38

    You said
    “My project was to fix what was wrong with me with pure doctrine. ”

    That is the Reformed paradim.

  • Craig

    FWS 38

    You said
    “My project was to fix what was wrong with me with pure doctrine. ”

    That is the Reformed paradim.

  • Pingback: What are your views on Baptism? - Page 11 - Christian Forums

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  • http://www.thirduse.com FWS

    SK Petersen @ 39

    The confusion of closed communion is about confusion over the Two Kingdoms. Many Lutherans think the Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms is the civil vs the churchly/sacred estate. And then we muddle by think church=faith alone. No rules.

    Instead the Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms and their respective Two Kinds of Righeousness is the practical modality of Law and Gospel.

    The earthly Kingdom is everything that we can see and do in our bodies. This includes especially all we can see and do in church. In this kingdom God rules, in with and under Old Adams, by extorting his Goodness and mercy out of them with what? the Law.

    In with and under this earthly Kingdom , unseen and invisible, is the heavely Kingdom. The heavenly kingdom is as far from the earthly kingdom as earth is from heaven, yet it is near. it is always to be found, in with and under that other earthly kingdom.

    So what is in that heavenly kingdom? faith alone in christ alone. Everything else is already included in that other earthly kingdom! In this kingdom God works his Goodness and mercy in the hearts of new men. There is no work being done here at all besides God’s Work.

    So what does this have to do with closed communion? Everything. Church is an earthly Government. just like the civil government. there need to be rules and lots of them to curb old adam. Old adam is deeply religious and wants to spiritualize the church. But what happens in church that we can see and do is Law. it requires rules.

    So this is why Chemnitz had no problem in his church with requireing that women wear simple black and no jewelwry when the communed at his church? “legalism”? no. Law. not law-ism. And this is also what was going on with st paul making lots of rules in his congretations. That is precisely why we dont need to follow st pauls rules about women covering heads etc. Those rules were for those congretations. Paul was speaking to them and not to us. And this is why we do closed communion. It is for the good order of the church and service to others who have not been properly instructed. And this is necessary and will be, as long as old adam still clings to us. This is not about some spiritual principle. And a pastor has the authority to modify or shape the application of that rule of closed communion as he sees meets a specific circumstance within the reason for why closed communion is necessary.

  • http://www.thirduse.com FWS

    SK Petersen @ 39

    The confusion of closed communion is about confusion over the Two Kingdoms. Many Lutherans think the Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms is the civil vs the churchly/sacred estate. And then we muddle by think church=faith alone. No rules.

    Instead the Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms and their respective Two Kinds of Righeousness is the practical modality of Law and Gospel.

    The earthly Kingdom is everything that we can see and do in our bodies. This includes especially all we can see and do in church. In this kingdom God rules, in with and under Old Adams, by extorting his Goodness and mercy out of them with what? the Law.

    In with and under this earthly Kingdom , unseen and invisible, is the heavely Kingdom. The heavenly kingdom is as far from the earthly kingdom as earth is from heaven, yet it is near. it is always to be found, in with and under that other earthly kingdom.

    So what is in that heavenly kingdom? faith alone in christ alone. Everything else is already included in that other earthly kingdom! In this kingdom God works his Goodness and mercy in the hearts of new men. There is no work being done here at all besides God’s Work.

    So what does this have to do with closed communion? Everything. Church is an earthly Government. just like the civil government. there need to be rules and lots of them to curb old adam. Old adam is deeply religious and wants to spiritualize the church. But what happens in church that we can see and do is Law. it requires rules.

    So this is why Chemnitz had no problem in his church with requireing that women wear simple black and no jewelwry when the communed at his church? “legalism”? no. Law. not law-ism. And this is also what was going on with st paul making lots of rules in his congretations. That is precisely why we dont need to follow st pauls rules about women covering heads etc. Those rules were for those congretations. Paul was speaking to them and not to us. And this is why we do closed communion. It is for the good order of the church and service to others who have not been properly instructed. And this is necessary and will be, as long as old adam still clings to us. This is not about some spiritual principle. And a pastor has the authority to modify or shape the application of that rule of closed communion as he sees meets a specific circumstance within the reason for why closed communion is necessary.

  • http://www.thirduse.com FWS

    sk @ 39

    If you read the article on the church in the apology carefully, you will see that they suggest that in the apostles creed, the phrase the “holy catholic church” refers to the visible church that is an earthly government and so is part and parcel of the earthly kingdom that includes and is the category st paul calls “the flesh” in romans 8. So then the “communion of saints ” perhaps refers to what they suggest? the “heavenly kingdom”! or Romans 8 “spirit”

    The kingdom of god comes in the first second and third article in ways that cannot be seen. In, with, and under is how lutherans say that. in the first article it is in with and under old adam and in with and under reason and the laws of man. This is how God works his Goodness and Mercy on earth.

    In the heavenly kingdom , Goodness and Mercy that is Christ alone, comes in with and under that earthly kingdom but only in the church, where in with and under the blessed word and sacraments, God works faith in the hearts of Old Adam. Same Fatherly Goodness and mercy. worked the same way, in with and under, and all, without merit or worthiness or faith or prayer. It is all gift. in all three articles.

    we just think that in the 1st article it comes by us doing the law. The law does us. we dont do it.

  • http://www.thirduse.com FWS

    sk @ 39

    If you read the article on the church in the apology carefully, you will see that they suggest that in the apostles creed, the phrase the “holy catholic church” refers to the visible church that is an earthly government and so is part and parcel of the earthly kingdom that includes and is the category st paul calls “the flesh” in romans 8. So then the “communion of saints ” perhaps refers to what they suggest? the “heavenly kingdom”! or Romans 8 “spirit”

    The kingdom of god comes in the first second and third article in ways that cannot be seen. In, with, and under is how lutherans say that. in the first article it is in with and under old adam and in with and under reason and the laws of man. This is how God works his Goodness and Mercy on earth.

    In the heavenly kingdom , Goodness and Mercy that is Christ alone, comes in with and under that earthly kingdom but only in the church, where in with and under the blessed word and sacraments, God works faith in the hearts of Old Adam. Same Fatherly Goodness and mercy. worked the same way, in with and under, and all, without merit or worthiness or faith or prayer. It is all gift. in all three articles.

    we just think that in the 1st article it comes by us doing the law. The law does us. we dont do it.

  • http://www.thirduse.com FWS

    craig @ 42

    Bingo. We Lutherans are not at all immune to that poison. When our conscience troubles us what do we do? we cast around for something to do, or to make a list of what we should do or did. That is what we do. it is what Reason tells us.

    The lifelong and most difficult task of any christian, and what alone makes one a christian, is to surrender to the article of the Forgiveness of Sins found alone in Christ and his works.

    We need to stop talking about Christs Works and USE them! we need to present them to God to appease his just wrath against our sin. We need to fear God and do this.

    And then we need to learn to follow the second table law and serve our neighbors. Because if we do not learn to do love for our neighbors, God will send plague and pestilence and make us do his Goodness and Mercy. he does this because our neighbors need this done. it is not because he needs our Obedience.

  • http://www.thirduse.com FWS

    craig @ 42

    Bingo. We Lutherans are not at all immune to that poison. When our conscience troubles us what do we do? we cast around for something to do, or to make a list of what we should do or did. That is what we do. it is what Reason tells us.

    The lifelong and most difficult task of any christian, and what alone makes one a christian, is to surrender to the article of the Forgiveness of Sins found alone in Christ and his works.

    We need to stop talking about Christs Works and USE them! we need to present them to God to appease his just wrath against our sin. We need to fear God and do this.

    And then we need to learn to follow the second table law and serve our neighbors. Because if we do not learn to do love for our neighbors, God will send plague and pestilence and make us do his Goodness and Mercy. he does this because our neighbors need this done. it is not because he needs our Obedience.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Dear FWS (#40) You may want to review Article II in the Augsburg Confession. For the non-Lutherans, I quote, “Our churches teach that since the fall of Adam (Romans 5:12), all who are naturally born are born with sin (Psalm 51:5), that is, without the fear of God, without trust in God, and with the inclination to sin, called concupiscence. Concupiscence is a disease and an original vice that is truly sin”

    Rome really took umbrage at calling concupiscence “truly sin” in their Confutation to the Augsburg Confession. If you are referring to Rome’s current view, I quote from the CCC (Vat II), 1264 Yet certain temporal consequences of sin remain in the baptized, such as suffering illness, death, and such frailties inherent in life as weaknesses of character, and so on, as well as an inclination to sin that Tradition calls concupiscence, or metaphorically, “the tinder for sin” (fomes peccati);…”

    My next question to you would be the substantiation of point 2 in your posting. While I’ve no disagreement with part 1), if you could clarify part 2) with perhaps documentation I would be most appreciative.

    Note to SKPeterson (#39) I do miss the old days when the cry, “The Doors, The Doors” did not refer to a defunct rock band from La-La Land.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Dear FWS (#40) You may want to review Article II in the Augsburg Confession. For the non-Lutherans, I quote, “Our churches teach that since the fall of Adam (Romans 5:12), all who are naturally born are born with sin (Psalm 51:5), that is, without the fear of God, without trust in God, and with the inclination to sin, called concupiscence. Concupiscence is a disease and an original vice that is truly sin”

    Rome really took umbrage at calling concupiscence “truly sin” in their Confutation to the Augsburg Confession. If you are referring to Rome’s current view, I quote from the CCC (Vat II), 1264 Yet certain temporal consequences of sin remain in the baptized, such as suffering illness, death, and such frailties inherent in life as weaknesses of character, and so on, as well as an inclination to sin that Tradition calls concupiscence, or metaphorically, “the tinder for sin” (fomes peccati);…”

    My next question to you would be the substantiation of point 2 in your posting. While I’ve no disagreement with part 1), if you could clarify part 2) with perhaps documentation I would be most appreciative.

    Note to SKPeterson (#39) I do miss the old days when the cry, “The Doors, The Doors” did not refer to a defunct rock band from La-La Land.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • http://www.thirduse.com FWS

    craig @ 42

    To bring this back, full circle to holy Baptism…

    I said in my last post this:

    “We need to stop talking about Christs Works and USE them! we need to present them to God to appease his just wrath against our sin. We need to fear God and do this. ”

    we were literally joined to the Death and Resurrection of Christ where? In Baptism! So to say ” I was baptised!!!” when our conscience troubles us is to USE the works of Christ! This is what baptism DOES for us.

    And then also Baptism SIGNIFIES something. It signifies that we fear God’s wrath and learn to not hurt or harm our neighbor in his body or needs , but instead help and befriend him in every bodily need, We love him. So we go about killing our Old Adam and our Ego to serve others. Tnis work, and it is work that WE do, is the perfect picture of Baptism, where there is a death that is a death for the benefit of others. We literally die to ourselves for the earthly creaturely lives of others to be made better.

    And we do this with the club of the Law that we hold over our Old Adam. We know that if we do not do this willingly, God will make us do it.

    We dont do the law finally. The Law does us.

    We can get with that program willingly or not…. Gods gracious and Fatherly Goodness and Mercy will be done indeed without our prayer even for all the wicked.

    This is equally true in the first, second and third article of the Creed (see Luthers small catechism for more on this…)

  • http://www.thirduse.com FWS

    craig @ 42

    To bring this back, full circle to holy Baptism…

    I said in my last post this:

    “We need to stop talking about Christs Works and USE them! we need to present them to God to appease his just wrath against our sin. We need to fear God and do this. ”

    we were literally joined to the Death and Resurrection of Christ where? In Baptism! So to say ” I was baptised!!!” when our conscience troubles us is to USE the works of Christ! This is what baptism DOES for us.

    And then also Baptism SIGNIFIES something. It signifies that we fear God’s wrath and learn to not hurt or harm our neighbor in his body or needs , but instead help and befriend him in every bodily need, We love him. So we go about killing our Old Adam and our Ego to serve others. Tnis work, and it is work that WE do, is the perfect picture of Baptism, where there is a death that is a death for the benefit of others. We literally die to ourselves for the earthly creaturely lives of others to be made better.

    And we do this with the club of the Law that we hold over our Old Adam. We know that if we do not do this willingly, God will make us do it.

    We dont do the law finally. The Law does us.

    We can get with that program willingly or not…. Gods gracious and Fatherly Goodness and Mercy will be done indeed without our prayer even for all the wicked.

    This is equally true in the first, second and third article of the Creed (see Luthers small catechism for more on this…)

  • http://www.klaru-baycrest.on.ca/index.php?section=384 Jon Erik Ween

    Bror (and friends)

    “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” So, I am exegetically puny, and proud of it. My point is that we, members of the Body of Christ, should quit beating each other over the head with and swaggering in our theological profundity. Would that we clung to the cross and loved each other! But, do a word search on “love” and another search on “baptism”, see how many hits you get and make up your own mind what the Lord might consider the more important. If there is any doubt left, look at 1 Cor 12:31.

    Being Lutheran “by default” was a joke. Sorry to be opaque.

    SDG

    Jon

  • http://www.klaru-baycrest.on.ca/index.php?section=384 Jon Erik Ween

    Bror (and friends)

    “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” So, I am exegetically puny, and proud of it. My point is that we, members of the Body of Christ, should quit beating each other over the head with and swaggering in our theological profundity. Would that we clung to the cross and loved each other! But, do a word search on “love” and another search on “baptism”, see how many hits you get and make up your own mind what the Lord might consider the more important. If there is any doubt left, look at 1 Cor 12:31.

    Being Lutheran “by default” was a joke. Sorry to be opaque.

    SDG

    Jon

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Jon,
    You have not begun to understand what is love if you think that in the name of love one can ignore false teaching concerning our Lord, His Baptism and His Lord’s Supper. You have not begun to understand Paul and what he means by knowing nothing but Christ and him crucified, means you can ignore what he writes concerning Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. And then to excuse yourself by saying you are just exegetically puny…. grow some gonads and defend what you write, or be quiet. To speak as one ignorant and trying at the same time to correct others from your own admitted ignorance? I don’t mind someone asking questions from ignorance, but to act as if your ignorance is something to be praised is the height of hubris.
    I do not glory in being “theologically profound.” But I take God’s word seriously, and not a thing to be taken lightly. And neither do I think being theologically weak is something to boast of. It’s God’s word a matter of life and death.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Jon,
    You have not begun to understand what is love if you think that in the name of love one can ignore false teaching concerning our Lord, His Baptism and His Lord’s Supper. You have not begun to understand Paul and what he means by knowing nothing but Christ and him crucified, means you can ignore what he writes concerning Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. And then to excuse yourself by saying you are just exegetically puny…. grow some gonads and defend what you write, or be quiet. To speak as one ignorant and trying at the same time to correct others from your own admitted ignorance? I don’t mind someone asking questions from ignorance, but to act as if your ignorance is something to be praised is the height of hubris.
    I do not glory in being “theologically profound.” But I take God’s word seriously, and not a thing to be taken lightly. And neither do I think being theologically weak is something to boast of. It’s God’s word a matter of life and death.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Oh, and I got the joke…. That wasn’t the point.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Oh, and I got the joke…. That wasn’t the point.

  • Jimmy Veith

    As I explained earlier, I was not “raised a Baptist”, but I married one and have been a member of a Baptist church for thirty years. .

    As such, I have heard numerous sermons on the topic of baptism. I think that most Baptist preachers are pretty good at emphasizing how we are saved by grace and not by works. Yet, they do preach the necessity for individuals to make a personal decision to be baptized, which is something that people do. (Sounds like works to me.)

    They get around this by saying that salvation is a gift from God, and that a decision to be baptized is not works but merely an acceptance of the gift of salvation; ie, one has to accept a gift before it becomes yours. What do you Lutherans have to say about this?

  • Jimmy Veith

    As I explained earlier, I was not “raised a Baptist”, but I married one and have been a member of a Baptist church for thirty years. .

    As such, I have heard numerous sermons on the topic of baptism. I think that most Baptist preachers are pretty good at emphasizing how we are saved by grace and not by works. Yet, they do preach the necessity for individuals to make a personal decision to be baptized, which is something that people do. (Sounds like works to me.)

    They get around this by saying that salvation is a gift from God, and that a decision to be baptized is not works but merely an acceptance of the gift of salvation; ie, one has to accept a gift before it becomes yours. What do you Lutherans have to say about this?

  • George A. Marquart

    Although our Confessions contain everything that Scripture teaches about Baptism, for a number of reasons the emphasis has shifted in a number of areas, to the point where, in many cases, the full doctrine of Baptism is not taught in our Lutheran churches:
    For some reason we feel uncomfortable about the Holy Spirit. It may be because Luther suspected everyone who spoke or wrote about the Holy Spirit to be a wild-eyed crypto-Schwärmer. As a result, the Catechism speaks about “water and the Word” rather than “water and the Spirit” as our Lord clearly taught. If you check the regular sections of our Confessions dealing with Baptism, you will hardly find Him. It is only when you get into the sections dealing with infant Baptism that we read of the gift of the Holy Spirit, the work of the Holy Spirit, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. As a result there are many in our Church who teach about the Holy Spirit as if He were some substance (like grace in the Roman Church), which can be used up, or leaked out, and which must be refilled or “topped off”. Supposedly the latter happens when we hear the Word of God, receive Holy Communion, and on numerous other occasions, as when we pray, “Fill us with your Holy Spirit.” Scripture clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in His children in Baptism, and that He stays with us forever. Or, as a well-known British theologian put it, “Certainly we must never conceive ‘salvation’ in purely negative terms, as if it consisted only of our rescue from sin, guilt, wrath and death. We thank God that it is all these things. But it also includes the positive blessing of the Holy Spirit to regenerate, indwell, liberate and transform us.” (John R. W. Stott, Baptism and Fullness. The Work of the Holy Spirit today. Inter Varsity Press, P. 25, 26.)

    We often fail to appreciate that faith is a gift from God which we receive in Baptism. It is not “belief in all of the things Jesus did”; otherwise Abraham could not be the Father of our Faith. Certainly we should not doubt what our Lord did for us, but we should also know that faith and belief, although thoroughly intertwined, are not one and the same thing. For this reason, an infant can receive faith in Baptism, even though that infant can have no clue about Jesus.

    There is also the whole matter of the relationship of Baptism to the Kingdom, but space will not permit that discussion now. Suffice it to say that even though our Lord claimed that the proclamation of the “Good News of the Kingdom” (Luke 4:43) was one reason He “was sent”, we tend to ignore what happened after the Resurrection. Well, Pentecost is a good time to remember!

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Although our Confessions contain everything that Scripture teaches about Baptism, for a number of reasons the emphasis has shifted in a number of areas, to the point where, in many cases, the full doctrine of Baptism is not taught in our Lutheran churches:
    For some reason we feel uncomfortable about the Holy Spirit. It may be because Luther suspected everyone who spoke or wrote about the Holy Spirit to be a wild-eyed crypto-Schwärmer. As a result, the Catechism speaks about “water and the Word” rather than “water and the Spirit” as our Lord clearly taught. If you check the regular sections of our Confessions dealing with Baptism, you will hardly find Him. It is only when you get into the sections dealing with infant Baptism that we read of the gift of the Holy Spirit, the work of the Holy Spirit, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. As a result there are many in our Church who teach about the Holy Spirit as if He were some substance (like grace in the Roman Church), which can be used up, or leaked out, and which must be refilled or “topped off”. Supposedly the latter happens when we hear the Word of God, receive Holy Communion, and on numerous other occasions, as when we pray, “Fill us with your Holy Spirit.” Scripture clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in His children in Baptism, and that He stays with us forever. Or, as a well-known British theologian put it, “Certainly we must never conceive ‘salvation’ in purely negative terms, as if it consisted only of our rescue from sin, guilt, wrath and death. We thank God that it is all these things. But it also includes the positive blessing of the Holy Spirit to regenerate, indwell, liberate and transform us.” (John R. W. Stott, Baptism and Fullness. The Work of the Holy Spirit today. Inter Varsity Press, P. 25, 26.)

    We often fail to appreciate that faith is a gift from God which we receive in Baptism. It is not “belief in all of the things Jesus did”; otherwise Abraham could not be the Father of our Faith. Certainly we should not doubt what our Lord did for us, but we should also know that faith and belief, although thoroughly intertwined, are not one and the same thing. For this reason, an infant can receive faith in Baptism, even though that infant can have no clue about Jesus.

    There is also the whole matter of the relationship of Baptism to the Kingdom, but space will not permit that discussion now. Suffice it to say that even though our Lord claimed that the proclamation of the “Good News of the Kingdom” (Luke 4:43) was one reason He “was sent”, we tend to ignore what happened after the Resurrection. Well, Pentecost is a good time to remember!

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • MissionMobilizer

    Jimmy, I have a friend who has recently become Lutheran from a Baptist background (he also married a Lutheran, like I said, a great way to get in!). He said the turnaround came for him when he and his then-fiancee were going through an in-depth study of Scripture with their pastor and the common theme throughout was one of God coming to man, not man accepting God, of God continually choosing us, not of us choosing God. This was a huge theological shift for him, and it made a big difference in how he saw the whole issue.

    An analogy that I have used, which may or may not be a good one, I’ll let you all determine that, is one of falling in love. As far as I am aware, no one chooses to fall in love. You don’t wake up one morning and say, “I’m going to fall in love today, with that girl over there.” In fact, what happens is that one morning you wake up and realize that you have already fallen in love. Now you may fight this, try to deny it, push it away, or you may embrace it fully, but the fact is that it has already happened to you. You don’t need to accept it to make it real. It already is real. You don’t go to the person you have fallen in love with and say, “I have decided that I am in love with you and I now give you permission to start a relationship with me.” That would just be creepy! In a lot of ways, I think evangelical Christianity sees our faith in this way. It’s like we give permission to God to save us. He can’t justify us until we choose him, or decide to follow him. Then he can save us. Instead, how I have come to see it is that in that moment when I would be tempted to say the sinner’s prayer to “get saved”, in fact at that moment, I have already been saved and what I am doing is confessing the new reality, not allowing it to happen. Does that make sense?

  • MissionMobilizer

    Jimmy, I have a friend who has recently become Lutheran from a Baptist background (he also married a Lutheran, like I said, a great way to get in!). He said the turnaround came for him when he and his then-fiancee were going through an in-depth study of Scripture with their pastor and the common theme throughout was one of God coming to man, not man accepting God, of God continually choosing us, not of us choosing God. This was a huge theological shift for him, and it made a big difference in how he saw the whole issue.

    An analogy that I have used, which may or may not be a good one, I’ll let you all determine that, is one of falling in love. As far as I am aware, no one chooses to fall in love. You don’t wake up one morning and say, “I’m going to fall in love today, with that girl over there.” In fact, what happens is that one morning you wake up and realize that you have already fallen in love. Now you may fight this, try to deny it, push it away, or you may embrace it fully, but the fact is that it has already happened to you. You don’t need to accept it to make it real. It already is real. You don’t go to the person you have fallen in love with and say, “I have decided that I am in love with you and I now give you permission to start a relationship with me.” That would just be creepy! In a lot of ways, I think evangelical Christianity sees our faith in this way. It’s like we give permission to God to save us. He can’t justify us until we choose him, or decide to follow him. Then he can save us. Instead, how I have come to see it is that in that moment when I would be tempted to say the sinner’s prayer to “get saved”, in fact at that moment, I have already been saved and what I am doing is confessing the new reality, not allowing it to happen. Does that make sense?

  • Larry

    “and that a decision to be baptized is not works but merely an acceptance of the gift of salvation; ie, one has to accept a gift before it becomes yours.”

    This varies greatly in the baptist world across the range of arminian to calvinist baptist and all the flavors of 3, 4, 5 and 7 point Calvinist. It’s not called works directly but the effort of “accepting it” becomes the work at length, ala, rebaptism.

    The subtle difference between the Reformed and the Baptist on baptism lay in this:

    For the baptist: There is no actual gift given in baptism for the baptist, it does not confer forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, regeneration or salvation. God’s will is not even conferred here.

    For the Reformed: At least the more pure John Calvin branch, the will of God is at least expressed in baptism toward one and one’s children (Calvin expresses this numerous times). It doesn’t confer his will, similar to it not doing so in the Baptist view, but it does express His desires as it were.

    This is why the despairing moving from Baptist doctrine and ordinances toward the more continental Reformed at first experience that salvation/Gospel are now “more possible” as opposed to before. Because at leasts God’s disposition toward me is expressed in Baptism, where it was not before. Yet this only last for a little while as election comes into play again and forgiveness pro me is not conferred but only rather possibly God’s will.

    That subtle difference waxes and wanes depending upon the flavor of Baptist one is in or the flavor of Reformed one is in.

  • Larry

    “and that a decision to be baptized is not works but merely an acceptance of the gift of salvation; ie, one has to accept a gift before it becomes yours.”

    This varies greatly in the baptist world across the range of arminian to calvinist baptist and all the flavors of 3, 4, 5 and 7 point Calvinist. It’s not called works directly but the effort of “accepting it” becomes the work at length, ala, rebaptism.

    The subtle difference between the Reformed and the Baptist on baptism lay in this:

    For the baptist: There is no actual gift given in baptism for the baptist, it does not confer forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, regeneration or salvation. God’s will is not even conferred here.

    For the Reformed: At least the more pure John Calvin branch, the will of God is at least expressed in baptism toward one and one’s children (Calvin expresses this numerous times). It doesn’t confer his will, similar to it not doing so in the Baptist view, but it does express His desires as it were.

    This is why the despairing moving from Baptist doctrine and ordinances toward the more continental Reformed at first experience that salvation/Gospel are now “more possible” as opposed to before. Because at leasts God’s disposition toward me is expressed in Baptism, where it was not before. Yet this only last for a little while as election comes into play again and forgiveness pro me is not conferred but only rather possibly God’s will.

    That subtle difference waxes and wanes depending upon the flavor of Baptist one is in or the flavor of Reformed one is in.

  • http://www.thirduse.com FWS

    dennis @42

    You asked me to substantiate that my point 2 is indeed what article II of our Apology says. I said this:

    original sin is then two things 1) the total lack of the Image of God that was faith in Christ. 2) “concupiscience” aka lust, or coveting, which is what? the tendency to sin? not quite! It is faith! it is the “vicious” faith that insists on trusting in anything at all BUT Christ [that rushes in to fill the vacuum of faith In Christ].

    First I would call your attention to Holy Scripture. The Greek word translated as “lust’ in the Bible is better translated as “covet”. This is the direction where I suggests the Confessions aim…

    Secondly a context if you will permit.

    Artistotelian scholasticism said that the Image of God is found in mans’ “higher powers” which is the ability to Reason and Love. “What separates men from beasts” it is often said… This is precisely why the Apology locates the Law and “natural law” where? in Reason! They are engaging this idea.

    Secondly, virtue, or right-eousness is achieved how? It is by employing reason and love to subdue and control mans’s “baser instincts” or “natural appetites (read “fomes”) that are driven by emotions (“it feels good!”). Rome calls these natural appetites driven by emotion “concupiscence”.

    Aristotle has a huge influence outside the church in our popular culture whether we realize this is where it came from or not. So this all seems reasonable as to how this all works. And the Confessions agree: “Regarding civil, second table morality, nothing can be demanded beyond Aristotle” we confess. So then “concupiscence” is 1) about what we do and feel and 2) it can’t really be held against us in a sense, since it is “natural ” to have appetites. So Rome says that concupiscence is “actual sin” not original sin. Makes sense!

    Ok now for the text of art II:

    3]…..the Latin description denies to nature even to innocent infants the power, i.e., it denies the gifts and energy by which to produce fear and trust in God [ie faith in Christ or Original Righteousness] , and, in adults over and above this innate evil disposition of the heart … so that, when we mention concupiscence, we understand …the constant inclination of the nature the evil inclination within, which does not cease as long as we are not born anew through the Spirit and faith [note they are saying that this DOES cease in the New Man in Baptism!].
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_2_originalsin.php#para3

    So note that they are shifting the meaning of “concupiscience” from acts to “movements of the heart” . they are making even original sin be all about faith and not works! Is tihs right? is this really the point of Art II? let’s read on. Rome says that “original sin” , that is removed in Baptism is what?

    5] ..a servitude, or a condition of mortality… a blemish or imposed load, or burden… [that is Adam's blame]. No one is condemned to eternal death on account of original sin. Those … born of a a slave are slaves, and bear this condition without any guilt. Original sin is not an innate evil, but a defect and burden. We are not on that account personally in sin. ibid

    So this is the frame for their mentioning “concupiscence”.:

    we made mention of “concupiscence,” [defining it ]as “diseases,” that “the nature of men is born corrupt and full of faults”[not a part of man, but the entire person with its entire nature is born in sin as with a hereditary disease 7] Nor, indeed, have we only made use of the term concupiscence, but we have also said that “the fear of God and faith are wanting.”

    So they are shifing the definition of “Original Sin” as being about faith and not about works . What we do is the symptom and not the root sin they will say…

    This we have added with the following design: The scholastic teachers … extenuate the sin of origin. They contend … the fomes …[think aristotle here!!] …t is a blemish of .. body, [ie they make sin=lust.] With such questions they have suppressed the main point. 8] Therefore, when they speak of the sin of origin, they do not mention the more serious faults of human nature

    So now what do you think they will list these “more serious faults”? Yes. The Heart Condition. Movements of the Heart! Faith!

    …, to wit, ignorance of God, contempt for God, being destitute of fear and confidence in God, hatred of God’s judgment, flight from God [as from a tyrant] when He judges, anger toward God, despair of grace, putting one’s trust in present things [money, property, friends], etc.,

    This is concupiscence as a faith that is in anything BUT Christ! But read on!

    .. to human nature the scholastics ascribe unimpaired strength for loving God above all things… They do not see 9] that they are saying things that are contradictory to one another.

    For what else is the being able in one’s own strength to love God above all things…. [faith in Christ!]..than to have original righteousness to be a new creature in Paradise, entirely pure and holy?

    So the Image of God is faith alone in Christ alone and so is Original Righeousness. And so also too, original sin is about faith alone. The works are consequences of Original Sin, which consists of a heart devoid of faith in Christ and filled with faith in everything and anything else!

    12] But after the scholastics mingled with Christian doctrine philosophy concerning the perfection of nature or light of reason,…and taught that men are justified before God by philosophic or civil righteousness.

    We also confess civil [outward] righeousness to be subject to reason, and, in a measure, within our power, however they could not see the inner 13] uncleanness of the nature of men. For this cannot be judged except from the Word of God , of which the scholastics, in their discussions, do not frequently treat.

    I hope that clarifies dear brother! In art III and IV the apology goes on to contrast faith as being what the first table of the Decalog “peculiarly ” deals with, vs Reason which is the Law of God devinely revealed in Reason , aka “natural law” which agrees with the Decalog, since it is the SAME Law of God.

  • http://www.thirduse.com FWS

    dennis @42

    You asked me to substantiate that my point 2 is indeed what article II of our Apology says. I said this:

    original sin is then two things 1) the total lack of the Image of God that was faith in Christ. 2) “concupiscience” aka lust, or coveting, which is what? the tendency to sin? not quite! It is faith! it is the “vicious” faith that insists on trusting in anything at all BUT Christ [that rushes in to fill the vacuum of faith In Christ].

    First I would call your attention to Holy Scripture. The Greek word translated as “lust’ in the Bible is better translated as “covet”. This is the direction where I suggests the Confessions aim…

    Secondly a context if you will permit.

    Artistotelian scholasticism said that the Image of God is found in mans’ “higher powers” which is the ability to Reason and Love. “What separates men from beasts” it is often said… This is precisely why the Apology locates the Law and “natural law” where? in Reason! They are engaging this idea.

    Secondly, virtue, or right-eousness is achieved how? It is by employing reason and love to subdue and control mans’s “baser instincts” or “natural appetites (read “fomes”) that are driven by emotions (“it feels good!”). Rome calls these natural appetites driven by emotion “concupiscence”.

    Aristotle has a huge influence outside the church in our popular culture whether we realize this is where it came from or not. So this all seems reasonable as to how this all works. And the Confessions agree: “Regarding civil, second table morality, nothing can be demanded beyond Aristotle” we confess. So then “concupiscence” is 1) about what we do and feel and 2) it can’t really be held against us in a sense, since it is “natural ” to have appetites. So Rome says that concupiscence is “actual sin” not original sin. Makes sense!

    Ok now for the text of art II:

    3]…..the Latin description denies to nature even to innocent infants the power, i.e., it denies the gifts and energy by which to produce fear and trust in God [ie faith in Christ or Original Righteousness] , and, in adults over and above this innate evil disposition of the heart … so that, when we mention concupiscence, we understand …the constant inclination of the nature the evil inclination within, which does not cease as long as we are not born anew through the Spirit and faith [note they are saying that this DOES cease in the New Man in Baptism!].
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_2_originalsin.php#para3

    So note that they are shifting the meaning of “concupiscience” from acts to “movements of the heart” . they are making even original sin be all about faith and not works! Is tihs right? is this really the point of Art II? let’s read on. Rome says that “original sin” , that is removed in Baptism is what?

    5] ..a servitude, or a condition of mortality… a blemish or imposed load, or burden… [that is Adam's blame]. No one is condemned to eternal death on account of original sin. Those … born of a a slave are slaves, and bear this condition without any guilt. Original sin is not an innate evil, but a defect and burden. We are not on that account personally in sin. ibid

    So this is the frame for their mentioning “concupiscence”.:

    we made mention of “concupiscence,” [defining it ]as “diseases,” that “the nature of men is born corrupt and full of faults”[not a part of man, but the entire person with its entire nature is born in sin as with a hereditary disease 7] Nor, indeed, have we only made use of the term concupiscence, but we have also said that “the fear of God and faith are wanting.”

    So they are shifing the definition of “Original Sin” as being about faith and not about works . What we do is the symptom and not the root sin they will say…

    This we have added with the following design: The scholastic teachers … extenuate the sin of origin. They contend … the fomes …[think aristotle here!!] …t is a blemish of .. body, [ie they make sin=lust.] With such questions they have suppressed the main point. 8] Therefore, when they speak of the sin of origin, they do not mention the more serious faults of human nature

    So now what do you think they will list these “more serious faults”? Yes. The Heart Condition. Movements of the Heart! Faith!

    …, to wit, ignorance of God, contempt for God, being destitute of fear and confidence in God, hatred of God’s judgment, flight from God [as from a tyrant] when He judges, anger toward God, despair of grace, putting one’s trust in present things [money, property, friends], etc.,

    This is concupiscence as a faith that is in anything BUT Christ! But read on!

    .. to human nature the scholastics ascribe unimpaired strength for loving God above all things… They do not see 9] that they are saying things that are contradictory to one another.

    For what else is the being able in one’s own strength to love God above all things…. [faith in Christ!]..than to have original righteousness to be a new creature in Paradise, entirely pure and holy?

    So the Image of God is faith alone in Christ alone and so is Original Righeousness. And so also too, original sin is about faith alone. The works are consequences of Original Sin, which consists of a heart devoid of faith in Christ and filled with faith in everything and anything else!

    12] But after the scholastics mingled with Christian doctrine philosophy concerning the perfection of nature or light of reason,…and taught that men are justified before God by philosophic or civil righteousness.

    We also confess civil [outward] righeousness to be subject to reason, and, in a measure, within our power, however they could not see the inner 13] uncleanness of the nature of men. For this cannot be judged except from the Word of God , of which the scholastics, in their discussions, do not frequently treat.

    I hope that clarifies dear brother! In art III and IV the apology goes on to contrast faith as being what the first table of the Decalog “peculiarly ” deals with, vs Reason which is the Law of God devinely revealed in Reason , aka “natural law” which agrees with the Decalog, since it is the SAME Law of God.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Bror, the “sin nature that isn’t dead yet” comment is simply noting that if we are indeed “buried with Him in baptism” (Romans 6:4), then it ought to be that we ought to be burying dead things, not things still alive. Those who have not died to sin (Romans 6:11) are therefore ineligible for the ordinance, in the Baptist view at least.

    Now look back at the comments that spawned this thread; more or less, the author of those comments is assuming paedobaptist theology regarding an imparting of faith in the infant through the faith of the parents, and glosses over the idea that one ought to voice faith prior to baptism.

    In other words, “Commenter Scott” has in all but name accepted the paedobaptist argument, and does not even mouth the credobaptist alternative. Like you note hidden Baptists in Lutheranism, this is just the converse. No big deal, and definitely not a powerful argument to use with one’s “Immersist” golf buddies.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Bror, the “sin nature that isn’t dead yet” comment is simply noting that if we are indeed “buried with Him in baptism” (Romans 6:4), then it ought to be that we ought to be burying dead things, not things still alive. Those who have not died to sin (Romans 6:11) are therefore ineligible for the ordinance, in the Baptist view at least.

    Now look back at the comments that spawned this thread; more or less, the author of those comments is assuming paedobaptist theology regarding an imparting of faith in the infant through the faith of the parents, and glosses over the idea that one ought to voice faith prior to baptism.

    In other words, “Commenter Scott” has in all but name accepted the paedobaptist argument, and does not even mouth the credobaptist alternative. Like you note hidden Baptists in Lutheranism, this is just the converse. No big deal, and definitely not a powerful argument to use with one’s “Immersist” golf buddies.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Bike,
    Quite frankly, that is the most incoherent line of drivel I have heard from a baptist in a long time.
    Take a minute and read Ephesians 2. We are dead in our trespasses. So when we are baptized it is one who is dead that is being buried. Our Old Adam being crucified. And that is the gist of Romans 6:11. We consider ourselves dead to sin because of our baptism. We aren’t baptized because we have made ourselves dead to sin. And lets not forget Romans 7 here. Paul considers himself dead to sin, it doesn’t mean sin is dead…
    Second, can you baptists ever not add to scripture to defend your position? Where is this command that you vocally confess your faith before you are baptized?
    Ever think Scott just actually read scripture, and saw what it actually says concerning baptism, so he cut all the extra biblical stuff out, like age of accountability, and vocalizing faith, before baptism?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Bike,
    Quite frankly, that is the most incoherent line of drivel I have heard from a baptist in a long time.
    Take a minute and read Ephesians 2. We are dead in our trespasses. So when we are baptized it is one who is dead that is being buried. Our Old Adam being crucified. And that is the gist of Romans 6:11. We consider ourselves dead to sin because of our baptism. We aren’t baptized because we have made ourselves dead to sin. And lets not forget Romans 7 here. Paul considers himself dead to sin, it doesn’t mean sin is dead…
    Second, can you baptists ever not add to scripture to defend your position? Where is this command that you vocally confess your faith before you are baptized?
    Ever think Scott just actually read scripture, and saw what it actually says concerning baptism, so he cut all the extra biblical stuff out, like age of accountability, and vocalizing faith, before baptism?

  • Booklover

    The “Lutheran Satirist” speaks to exactly this issue:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheLutheranSatire#p/u/11/JwxHzo0QVYY

  • Booklover

    The “Lutheran Satirist” speaks to exactly this issue:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheLutheranSatire#p/u/11/JwxHzo0QVYY

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    @Dennis #30
    You wrote “In short, the Lutheran Church and Rome share no difference regarding the Sacrament of Baptism.”
    Dr. Veith’s point was that Romish baptism doesn’t cover temporal sin after baptism thus necessitating the “sacrament” of penance: the so-called “2nd plank” after the ship of baptism had sunk. Luther inveighs most heavily against this Romish error and so would I. The Romish church undervalues baptism.

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    @Dennis #30
    You wrote “In short, the Lutheran Church and Rome share no difference regarding the Sacrament of Baptism.”
    Dr. Veith’s point was that Romish baptism doesn’t cover temporal sin after baptism thus necessitating the “sacrament” of penance: the so-called “2nd plank” after the ship of baptism had sunk. Luther inveighs most heavily against this Romish error and so would I. The Romish church undervalues baptism.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Want a chance of finding the gospel in your church?

    Then find a church that baptizes infants. (not that all churches that baptize infants know what the gospel is).

    If a church will NOT baptize infants, then the whole project will start with you…continue with you…and end with you. Everything will revolve around…YOU.

    That’s painting with a broad brush, but basically that is how it is.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Want a chance of finding the gospel in your church?

    Then find a church that baptizes infants. (not that all churches that baptize infants know what the gospel is).

    If a church will NOT baptize infants, then the whole project will start with you…continue with you…and end with you. Everything will revolve around…YOU.

    That’s painting with a broad brush, but basically that is how it is.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dennis @ 42

    I realize that I left out the part of art II of the Apology where they indentify faith in Christ alone as being the Image of God.

    And consider… if the Image of God is in any way defined as conformity to the Law of God, then that Image is not entirely lost… for the Law is written in the minds(note not the heart of men, and neither does romans 2:15 place the law in the hearts of man) of men according to the Apology art IV.

    here:

    16] Now in the Scriptures, righteousness comprises not only the second table of the Decalog [regarding good works in serving our fellow-man], but the first also…….

    , which teaches concerning 17] the fear of God, concerning faith, concerning the love of God. Therefore original righteousness was to embrace not only an even temperament of the bodily qualities [perfect health and, in all respects, pure blood, unimpaired powers of the body, as they contend], but also these gifts, namely, a quite certain knowledge of God, fear of God, confidence in God, or certainly 18] the rectitude and power to yield these affections [but the greatest feature in that noble first creature was a bright light in the heart to know God and His work, etc.]. And Scripture testifies to this, when it says, Gen. 1:27, that man was fashioned in the image and likeness of God. What else is this than that there were embodied in man such wisdom and righteousness as apprehended God, and in which God was reflected, i.e., to man there were given the gifts of the knowledge of God, the fear of God, confidence in God, and the like? 19] For thus Irenaeus and Ambrose interpret the likeness to God, the latter of whom not only says many things to this effect, but especially declares: That soul is not, therefore, in the image of God, in which God is not at all times.

    20] And Paul shows in the Epistles to the Ephesians 5:9, and Colossians 3:10, that the image of God is the knowledge of God, righteousness, and truth.

    21] Nor does Longobard fear to say that original righteousness is the very likeness to God which God implanted in man. 22] We recount the opinions of the ancients, which in no way interfere with Augustine’s interpretation of the image.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dennis @ 42

    I realize that I left out the part of art II of the Apology where they indentify faith in Christ alone as being the Image of God.

    And consider… if the Image of God is in any way defined as conformity to the Law of God, then that Image is not entirely lost… for the Law is written in the minds(note not the heart of men, and neither does romans 2:15 place the law in the hearts of man) of men according to the Apology art IV.

    here:

    16] Now in the Scriptures, righteousness comprises not only the second table of the Decalog [regarding good works in serving our fellow-man], but the first also…….

    , which teaches concerning 17] the fear of God, concerning faith, concerning the love of God. Therefore original righteousness was to embrace not only an even temperament of the bodily qualities [perfect health and, in all respects, pure blood, unimpaired powers of the body, as they contend], but also these gifts, namely, a quite certain knowledge of God, fear of God, confidence in God, or certainly 18] the rectitude and power to yield these affections [but the greatest feature in that noble first creature was a bright light in the heart to know God and His work, etc.]. And Scripture testifies to this, when it says, Gen. 1:27, that man was fashioned in the image and likeness of God. What else is this than that there were embodied in man such wisdom and righteousness as apprehended God, and in which God was reflected, i.e., to man there were given the gifts of the knowledge of God, the fear of God, confidence in God, and the like? 19] For thus Irenaeus and Ambrose interpret the likeness to God, the latter of whom not only says many things to this effect, but especially declares: That soul is not, therefore, in the image of God, in which God is not at all times.

    20] And Paul shows in the Epistles to the Ephesians 5:9, and Colossians 3:10, that the image of God is the knowledge of God, righteousness, and truth.

    21] Nor does Longobard fear to say that original righteousness is the very likeness to God which God implanted in man. 22] We recount the opinions of the ancients, which in no way interfere with Augustine’s interpretation of the image.

  • Howard

    When do Lutherans internalize the Gospel and confess with their lips that, “Jesus is Lord”? It may be fine to say I have been baptized but what does it mean? Why should saying I am baptized bring me comfort? Why shouldn’t Christ upon his cross bring me comfort? If I grow up in a Christian home and told over again, “Jesus loves me”, maybe I think that’s just because I’m me. Don’t we have to know that Jesus loves us because He is Jesus? When do I realize that I am, “By nature sinful and unclean”, as once was said in public confession, and maybe the love of Christ is some kind of miracle? Is God, apart from Christ, still our wrathful judge? Or have such notions gone by the wayside? When do I come for myself to the point of Mark 1:15? Dr. Veith is wrong when he says Baptists have no theology of baptism. For the Baptist, baptism is the public statement that I am a believer, Christ is my sin bearer, I acknowledge I am saved by the blood of the cross, and call Jesus, “Lord” and give my life to him. What is wrong with that? Did you ever hear a Lutheran say that about baptism? For a sacramentalist, (Lutheran among others), baptism is a perfunctory thing, which more often than not, leads to nothing. What did baptism mean to A. Hitler, a baptized Catholic?
    To say I have been baptized is pointless unless I internalize it and make Jesus my Lord. We are saved by grace, if and when we believe, not when we are baptized.

  • Howard

    When do Lutherans internalize the Gospel and confess with their lips that, “Jesus is Lord”? It may be fine to say I have been baptized but what does it mean? Why should saying I am baptized bring me comfort? Why shouldn’t Christ upon his cross bring me comfort? If I grow up in a Christian home and told over again, “Jesus loves me”, maybe I think that’s just because I’m me. Don’t we have to know that Jesus loves us because He is Jesus? When do I realize that I am, “By nature sinful and unclean”, as once was said in public confession, and maybe the love of Christ is some kind of miracle? Is God, apart from Christ, still our wrathful judge? Or have such notions gone by the wayside? When do I come for myself to the point of Mark 1:15? Dr. Veith is wrong when he says Baptists have no theology of baptism. For the Baptist, baptism is the public statement that I am a believer, Christ is my sin bearer, I acknowledge I am saved by the blood of the cross, and call Jesus, “Lord” and give my life to him. What is wrong with that? Did you ever hear a Lutheran say that about baptism? For a sacramentalist, (Lutheran among others), baptism is a perfunctory thing, which more often than not, leads to nothing. What did baptism mean to A. Hitler, a baptized Catholic?
    To say I have been baptized is pointless unless I internalize it and make Jesus my Lord. We are saved by grace, if and when we believe, not when we are baptized.

  • Jon Erik Ween

    Bror is very helpful in making my point: Arrogant, doctrinaire condescension is precisely what splits the church and poisons the discourse. WHERE did Christ EVER demand that we put up or shut up? Love and humility MUST precede any approach to scripture and theology. It does not stop there, of course, but the point I am making is prior: We need to get our head out of creedal doctrine (Lutheran or otherwise) and into the spirit in scripture. Remember, it is ALWAYS the “defenders of the faith” who drive in the nails and with any comprehension of scripture and history, every sapient human will realize their potential for being wrong. Of course, the converse is also true.

    SDG

    Jon

  • Jon Erik Ween

    Bror is very helpful in making my point: Arrogant, doctrinaire condescension is precisely what splits the church and poisons the discourse. WHERE did Christ EVER demand that we put up or shut up? Love and humility MUST precede any approach to scripture and theology. It does not stop there, of course, but the point I am making is prior: We need to get our head out of creedal doctrine (Lutheran or otherwise) and into the spirit in scripture. Remember, it is ALWAYS the “defenders of the faith” who drive in the nails and with any comprehension of scripture and history, every sapient human will realize their potential for being wrong. Of course, the converse is also true.

    SDG

    Jon

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    No, Bror, we are not dead to sin because of our immersion (or sprinkling as it may be). We are, like the thief on the cross next to our Lord, dead to sin because of faith. As in Acts 2, repentance leads to faith which is acted upon in immersion.

    Sorry, Bror, but the Bible simply says no such thing as you claim.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    No, Bror, we are not dead to sin because of our immersion (or sprinkling as it may be). We are, like the thief on the cross next to our Lord, dead to sin because of faith. As in Acts 2, repentance leads to faith which is acted upon in immersion.

    Sorry, Bror, but the Bible simply says no such thing as you claim.

  • Booklover

    The author’s point #1 is one I have experienced with sadness as I have raised four boys in baptistic churches after marrying a Baptist. (I was raised MSLutheran.) There is a huge disconnect in having them “decide,” rather than raising them from birth as God’s child. I am not claiming that either church was perfect, and I believe there are true believers in each church, but I’m just sharing what I’ve experienced.

    In the Lutheran church, there is a lovely little spot on the narthex wall which had pictures of cradles with babies sweetly lying in them. Each cradle bore the name of a baptized child in the congregation. As the congregation passed by, they remembered to pray for each little one, and they were reminded that these little ones were part of the family, a real community binder.

    If salvation is truly all of God, why would we deny it to little ones?

  • Booklover

    The author’s point #1 is one I have experienced with sadness as I have raised four boys in baptistic churches after marrying a Baptist. (I was raised MSLutheran.) There is a huge disconnect in having them “decide,” rather than raising them from birth as God’s child. I am not claiming that either church was perfect, and I believe there are true believers in each church, but I’m just sharing what I’ve experienced.

    In the Lutheran church, there is a lovely little spot on the narthex wall which had pictures of cradles with babies sweetly lying in them. Each cradle bore the name of a baptized child in the congregation. As the congregation passed by, they remembered to pray for each little one, and they were reminded that these little ones were part of the family, a real community binder.

    If salvation is truly all of God, why would we deny it to little ones?

  • Booklover

    Jon @63:

    Every church has its own creed. Those that proudly proclaim they don’t, actually do. Instead of following a historical creed, they usually follow the “creed” of a personality, usually the preacher of the moment, which is really quite dangerous.

    In my experience, it has been the “non-creedal” churches which are really most ignorant of history. Or, let’s say, their historical knowledge goes back perhaps as far as D.L. Moody.

    You say that “love” trumps doctrine. Yet Jesus is the way, the TRUTH, and the life.

  • Booklover

    Jon @63:

    Every church has its own creed. Those that proudly proclaim they don’t, actually do. Instead of following a historical creed, they usually follow the “creed” of a personality, usually the preacher of the moment, which is really quite dangerous.

    In my experience, it has been the “non-creedal” churches which are really most ignorant of history. Or, let’s say, their historical knowledge goes back perhaps as far as D.L. Moody.

    You say that “love” trumps doctrine. Yet Jesus is the way, the TRUTH, and the life.

  • Booklover

    bike @64:

    It is good to make the argument from someone other than the thief on the cross. In studies of theology, the rule is to base doctrine on an overview of Scripture, not on an exceptional case.

  • Booklover

    bike @64:

    It is good to make the argument from someone other than the thief on the cross. In studies of theology, the rule is to base doctrine on an overview of Scripture, not on an exceptional case.

  • Booklover

    Howard @62:

    As a Missouri Synod Lutheran who married Baptist, I have experienced what you relate. I was uncomfortable when, at the funeral of my father, the Lutheran Pastor kept repeating that Dad was saved because of his baptism. It would have been much more comforting to hear him put Jesus’ name in there somewhere.

    But don’t use the tired Hitler argument as proof against infant baptism. You will find wife-beaters, alcoholics, drug addicts, and Pharisees galore in the baptistic churches, even though they have “internalized their faith” or “made Jesus their Lord.” Every church is gifted with its own batch of sinners.

  • Booklover

    Howard @62:

    As a Missouri Synod Lutheran who married Baptist, I have experienced what you relate. I was uncomfortable when, at the funeral of my father, the Lutheran Pastor kept repeating that Dad was saved because of his baptism. It would have been much more comforting to hear him put Jesus’ name in there somewhere.

    But don’t use the tired Hitler argument as proof against infant baptism. You will find wife-beaters, alcoholics, drug addicts, and Pharisees galore in the baptistic churches, even though they have “internalized their faith” or “made Jesus their Lord.” Every church is gifted with its own batch of sinners.

  • Mark Veenman

    Howard, the adage “if a debate goes on long enough, someone, somewhere, at some time, will drop the name Hitler and lose the argument” has been fulfilled in your post. There are, I’m sure, a number of Baptists who have lost their faith and perished. Do I conclude now that faith doesn’t save? I’m not sure what is so difficult in understanding that God delivers His Grace in packages called “the Word” and “the Sacraments”. It’s really very biblical.

  • Mark Veenman

    Howard, the adage “if a debate goes on long enough, someone, somewhere, at some time, will drop the name Hitler and lose the argument” has been fulfilled in your post. There are, I’m sure, a number of Baptists who have lost their faith and perished. Do I conclude now that faith doesn’t save? I’m not sure what is so difficult in understanding that God delivers His Grace in packages called “the Word” and “the Sacraments”. It’s really very biblical.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Howard,
    In response to your post here, I’d point you to Acts 16:31-34.
    The whole story should be taken into account, but those verses are pivotal.
    First Paul and Silas tell the Jailer that to be saved he needs to believe in the Lord Jesus, him and his household.
    Second. The Jailer and his household are baptized.
    Third, the Jailer rejoices that he has believed.
    Point being? The relationship to faith and baptism cannot be so easily divided as you like. Here faith and baptism are used in such a way as to be but synonymous. Faith and Baptism go hand in hand, they work off each other and through each other.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Howard,
    In response to your post here, I’d point you to Acts 16:31-34.
    The whole story should be taken into account, but those verses are pivotal.
    First Paul and Silas tell the Jailer that to be saved he needs to believe in the Lord Jesus, him and his household.
    Second. The Jailer and his household are baptized.
    Third, the Jailer rejoices that he has believed.
    Point being? The relationship to faith and baptism cannot be so easily divided as you like. Here faith and baptism are used in such a way as to be but synonymous. Faith and Baptism go hand in hand, they work off each other and through each other.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Jon Erik Ween,
    The problem is, you are no less doctrinaire or arrogant than I. But you would have me bow down to your post modern disinterpretation of scripture, which you think really can’t teach us anything about God, but we never the less are supposed to get into the spirit of Scripture. Where did Christ ever say put up or shut up? have you not read the gospels? He does it with Pharisees and Sadducees repeatedly! And then he tells the disciples to make disciples baptizing and teaching all that he has commanded them to teach, but you would have us ignore everything they teach.
    And btw. The Scriptures ARE CREEDAL! Deuteronomy 6:4 is just the beginning of Creeds in the Scripture. one might point to the second chapter 0f Philippians, Quite possibly one of the earliest New Testament docs we have, which quotes a creed by which the earliest of Christians knew the Gospel and were baptized long before there were any New Testament Scriptures written. And there is that “Jesus is Lord” bit that makes for a nice creed over taking Deuteronomy 6:4. In fact it was these creeds by which the early church would determine if a letter was actually coming from an apostle or was a forgery.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Jon Erik Ween,
    The problem is, you are no less doctrinaire or arrogant than I. But you would have me bow down to your post modern disinterpretation of scripture, which you think really can’t teach us anything about God, but we never the less are supposed to get into the spirit of Scripture. Where did Christ ever say put up or shut up? have you not read the gospels? He does it with Pharisees and Sadducees repeatedly! And then he tells the disciples to make disciples baptizing and teaching all that he has commanded them to teach, but you would have us ignore everything they teach.
    And btw. The Scriptures ARE CREEDAL! Deuteronomy 6:4 is just the beginning of Creeds in the Scripture. one might point to the second chapter 0f Philippians, Quite possibly one of the earliest New Testament docs we have, which quotes a creed by which the earliest of Christians knew the Gospel and were baptized long before there were any New Testament Scriptures written. And there is that “Jesus is Lord” bit that makes for a nice creed over taking Deuteronomy 6:4. In fact it was these creeds by which the early church would determine if a letter was actually coming from an apostle or was a forgery.

  • LAJ

    Howard @62. To try to answer your first question. Lutherans confess Jesus is Lord every Sunday when we recite the Creed. Faith is not something we create in ourselves; it comes from outside ourselves from God in His Word. We believe that Word of God because God Himself creates faith in us when we are baptized and whenever we hear His Word.

  • LAJ

    Howard @62. To try to answer your first question. Lutherans confess Jesus is Lord every Sunday when we recite the Creed. Faith is not something we create in ourselves; it comes from outside ourselves from God in His Word. We believe that Word of God because God Himself creates faith in us when we are baptized and whenever we hear His Word.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Bike,
    you are getting to be a little dense.
    1. you say we are only supposed to be burying dead things and then you reference Romans 6:11.
    2. I have referenced and shown you that we are born dead in our trespasses, no one is buried alive in baptism we are all dead, children of wrath, as Ephesians 2:1ff make abundantly clear.
    3. your reference to Romans 6:11 is part of a greater discussion of baptism. But the “CONSIDER” YOUR SELF DEAD that is logizthe yourself dead to sin, or recon yourself dead to sin and alive to Christ, comes after not before the baptism. So it is on account of your baptism, in which you were buried with Christ and made to walk in the newness of life being united with his resurrection, that you consider or recon yourself dead to sin and alive to Christ. you are not baptized after you have died to sin, because it is in baptism that the Old Adam, your “sin nature”, is put to death and crucified.
    And that my friend is EXACTLY what Romans 6 is saying.
    And you actually know nothing about the thief on the cross, except that he believed in Christ. We don’t know when that faith came into being. We have no idea if he was or was not baptized. We are though pretty certain he was circumcised. Which given Col. 2, and the fact that Baptism had yet to be given the mandate of Matthew 28, makes your argument very tenable.
    Now Do I believe a person can possibly be saved without baptism? yes. But if they have faith, and opportunity to be baptized they will be baptized. As I said earlier the two necessarily go hand in hand. If they come to faith and die before that opportunity, as we tend to suppose of the thief on the cross, than they are still saved, no doubt. That does not excuse parents and church bodies from denying the grace of God to infants, or making them think of baptism and faith as something they do for God to be obedient to him, and thus leading them into despair. Jesus says something about a millstone concerning that kind of treatment to those LITTLE ONES WHO BELIEVE in Him.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Bike,
    you are getting to be a little dense.
    1. you say we are only supposed to be burying dead things and then you reference Romans 6:11.
    2. I have referenced and shown you that we are born dead in our trespasses, no one is buried alive in baptism we are all dead, children of wrath, as Ephesians 2:1ff make abundantly clear.
    3. your reference to Romans 6:11 is part of a greater discussion of baptism. But the “CONSIDER” YOUR SELF DEAD that is logizthe yourself dead to sin, or recon yourself dead to sin and alive to Christ, comes after not before the baptism. So it is on account of your baptism, in which you were buried with Christ and made to walk in the newness of life being united with his resurrection, that you consider or recon yourself dead to sin and alive to Christ. you are not baptized after you have died to sin, because it is in baptism that the Old Adam, your “sin nature”, is put to death and crucified.
    And that my friend is EXACTLY what Romans 6 is saying.
    And you actually know nothing about the thief on the cross, except that he believed in Christ. We don’t know when that faith came into being. We have no idea if he was or was not baptized. We are though pretty certain he was circumcised. Which given Col. 2, and the fact that Baptism had yet to be given the mandate of Matthew 28, makes your argument very tenable.
    Now Do I believe a person can possibly be saved without baptism? yes. But if they have faith, and opportunity to be baptized they will be baptized. As I said earlier the two necessarily go hand in hand. If they come to faith and die before that opportunity, as we tend to suppose of the thief on the cross, than they are still saved, no doubt. That does not excuse parents and church bodies from denying the grace of God to infants, or making them think of baptism and faith as something they do for God to be obedient to him, and thus leading them into despair. Jesus says something about a millstone concerning that kind of treatment to those LITTLE ONES WHO BELIEVE in Him.

  • Mark Veenman

    Reminds me of a blasphemous charismatic hymn I heard recently which did the following violence to the great commission: “Go ye therefore and teach all nations. Go ye therefore and baptise men”.

  • Mark Veenman

    Reminds me of a blasphemous charismatic hymn I heard recently which did the following violence to the great commission: “Go ye therefore and teach all nations. Go ye therefore and baptise men”.

  • Stephen

    The false assumption that underlies Believer’s Baptism, as well as all other attempts to “make it true in me,” is the fundamental flaw that the eternal truth of God revealed in Jesus Christ can or will “be made true” through the ascent, agreement or activity of the human person. Essentially, this false understanding, a very modern one that locates truth in the knowing/believing subject, asserts that there is no truth that exists regardless of or outside and independent of the believer. It relies on the believer, not that which is believed. What is required to make truth “true” is the participation of a willing human subject – i.e. the truth must be affirmed by something in the human. Apart from this human activity which confirms and conforms to truth, the truth cannot be considered real. It must have its actuality in the human person. Again, this is a false epistemology for the revealed truth of God (Eph 2:8,9).

    But that is not the truth of the Gospel. It exists prior, before all worlds or human consciousness, and remains when all else passes away (Mark 13;31). “Sanctify them with your truth – thy word is truth” Jesus prays, and St. Paul tells us that no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:3). The reality of the Word made flesh, the One God who was in the beginning and ever shall be, Alpha and Omega, is that this one, eternal truth is just that – eternal, existing outside and beyond our human context. It is truth. Through the gift of faith given in God’s election, at his good pleasure, received in baptism by the water and the Word (Eph 5:26), His Holy name, the name by which we are saved (Acts 4:12) we care called to faith in the One true God. Baptism now saves us.

    When the truth of saving faith is taught or understood to depend for its certainty upon our human participation outside of the command of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit (Mat 28:18-20), be that in the form of repentance “in order that we receive” God’s grace or “acceptance of Christ as savior” (both unbiblical, modern constructions that emphasize the human subject and their activity) then we blaspheme the Holy Spirit, making our fallen will a sanctifying element in making God’s work effective. But the scriptures testify that the saving grace of God is complete in the cross of Jesus Christ apart from any participation on our part (1 Cor 2:2). Sinners are ever in rebellion against the lordship of Christ desiring to “own” the truth. This has been true since the Fall. The law, expressed most completely in the 1st commandment, cannot be kept ( Gal 2:21). And yet, God has saved us because God is love, fulfilling the law completely in Jesus Christ:

    1 John 4:10 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

    The confession of faith which claims “I am baptized” places the fact of salvation where it actually resides, not in the sinful human person or their believing activity, but in the death and resurrection of Christ into which we are baptized (Rom 6:3). This is to cling to the Word alone which is Christ alone.

  • Stephen

    The false assumption that underlies Believer’s Baptism, as well as all other attempts to “make it true in me,” is the fundamental flaw that the eternal truth of God revealed in Jesus Christ can or will “be made true” through the ascent, agreement or activity of the human person. Essentially, this false understanding, a very modern one that locates truth in the knowing/believing subject, asserts that there is no truth that exists regardless of or outside and independent of the believer. It relies on the believer, not that which is believed. What is required to make truth “true” is the participation of a willing human subject – i.e. the truth must be affirmed by something in the human. Apart from this human activity which confirms and conforms to truth, the truth cannot be considered real. It must have its actuality in the human person. Again, this is a false epistemology for the revealed truth of God (Eph 2:8,9).

    But that is not the truth of the Gospel. It exists prior, before all worlds or human consciousness, and remains when all else passes away (Mark 13;31). “Sanctify them with your truth – thy word is truth” Jesus prays, and St. Paul tells us that no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:3). The reality of the Word made flesh, the One God who was in the beginning and ever shall be, Alpha and Omega, is that this one, eternal truth is just that – eternal, existing outside and beyond our human context. It is truth. Through the gift of faith given in God’s election, at his good pleasure, received in baptism by the water and the Word (Eph 5:26), His Holy name, the name by which we are saved (Acts 4:12) we care called to faith in the One true God. Baptism now saves us.

    When the truth of saving faith is taught or understood to depend for its certainty upon our human participation outside of the command of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit (Mat 28:18-20), be that in the form of repentance “in order that we receive” God’s grace or “acceptance of Christ as savior” (both unbiblical, modern constructions that emphasize the human subject and their activity) then we blaspheme the Holy Spirit, making our fallen will a sanctifying element in making God’s work effective. But the scriptures testify that the saving grace of God is complete in the cross of Jesus Christ apart from any participation on our part (1 Cor 2:2). Sinners are ever in rebellion against the lordship of Christ desiring to “own” the truth. This has been true since the Fall. The law, expressed most completely in the 1st commandment, cannot be kept ( Gal 2:21). And yet, God has saved us because God is love, fulfilling the law completely in Jesus Christ:

    1 John 4:10 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

    The confession of faith which claims “I am baptized” places the fact of salvation where it actually resides, not in the sinful human person or their believing activity, but in the death and resurrection of Christ into which we are baptized (Rom 6:3). This is to cling to the Word alone which is Christ alone.

  • kerner

    Howard @62:

    Lutherans do a lot of the things you are asking about on a regular basis. I confess every other week that “I believe in One Lord, Jesus Christ…who for us men, and for our salvation came down from heaven…and was crucified also for us…”

    Back before contemporary liturgists monkeyed with the wording, I weekly confessed that “I am by nature sinful and unclean”, but that is still the gist of our confession.

    If we have any fault there it might be that by repeating these fundamentals of the faith so frequently they become for some so automatic that some of us cease to think about them.

    ” When do I come for myself to the point of Mark 1:15?”

    I never come for myself. Christ comes for me. If I did something for myself, my salvation would be based on works.

    “For the Baptist, baptism is the public statement that I am a believer, Christ is my sin bearer, I acknowledge I am saved by the blood of the cross, and call Jesus, “Lord” and give my life to him. What is wrong with that?”

    Only that there is no Biblical support for the proposition that baptism is, or is meant to be, a public statement. All the Bible verses that describe what Baptism is, or what it does, indicate that baptism is part of the means by which God saves His people.

    But baptism is not some kind of magic talisman. It is like God’s Word (through which the Holy Spirit also works). People reject the Holy Spirit working in God’s Word every day, alas. And some (as did A. Hitler, probably) reject the Holy Spirit working in their baptisms.

    Assuming he was confirmed, A. Hitler probably made a public confession of faith. How much good did that do him?

  • kerner

    Howard @62:

    Lutherans do a lot of the things you are asking about on a regular basis. I confess every other week that “I believe in One Lord, Jesus Christ…who for us men, and for our salvation came down from heaven…and was crucified also for us…”

    Back before contemporary liturgists monkeyed with the wording, I weekly confessed that “I am by nature sinful and unclean”, but that is still the gist of our confession.

    If we have any fault there it might be that by repeating these fundamentals of the faith so frequently they become for some so automatic that some of us cease to think about them.

    ” When do I come for myself to the point of Mark 1:15?”

    I never come for myself. Christ comes for me. If I did something for myself, my salvation would be based on works.

    “For the Baptist, baptism is the public statement that I am a believer, Christ is my sin bearer, I acknowledge I am saved by the blood of the cross, and call Jesus, “Lord” and give my life to him. What is wrong with that?”

    Only that there is no Biblical support for the proposition that baptism is, or is meant to be, a public statement. All the Bible verses that describe what Baptism is, or what it does, indicate that baptism is part of the means by which God saves His people.

    But baptism is not some kind of magic talisman. It is like God’s Word (through which the Holy Spirit also works). People reject the Holy Spirit working in God’s Word every day, alas. And some (as did A. Hitler, probably) reject the Holy Spirit working in their baptisms.

    Assuming he was confirmed, A. Hitler probably made a public confession of faith. How much good did that do him?

  • Lou

    One thing that is often overlooked by paedo-baptists (I’m presbyterian) is that even paedo-baptists are actually credo-baptists when someone gets saved and brought to their church.

    Too much emphasis on infant baptism as church practice and doctrine (imo) neglects that, if we are on mission, we should still be doing more believer baptisms than infant baptisms!

  • Lou

    One thing that is often overlooked by paedo-baptists (I’m presbyterian) is that even paedo-baptists are actually credo-baptists when someone gets saved and brought to their church.

    Too much emphasis on infant baptism as church practice and doctrine (imo) neglects that, if we are on mission, we should still be doing more believer baptisms than infant baptisms!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Lou,
    There should be no distinction whatsoever, we baptize infants because they are beleivers. Paedobatists because we are credo baptists! We make no distinction. It is the socalled credo baptiststs that make the false distinction. And yes it is annoying when they seem to think we never baptize an adult.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Lou,
    There should be no distinction whatsoever, we baptize infants because they are beleivers. Paedobatists because we are credo baptists! We make no distinction. It is the socalled credo baptiststs that make the false distinction. And yes it is annoying when they seem to think we never baptize an adult.

  • Lou

    Bror, think you missed my point. IF the church is doing it’s outward mission, and people are getting saved, we should be doing at least as many adult baptisms as infant baptisms.
    I called it ‘believers baptism’ because that’s a Presbyterian thing to say.

  • Lou

    Bror, think you missed my point. IF the church is doing it’s outward mission, and people are getting saved, we should be doing at least as many adult baptisms as infant baptisms.
    I called it ‘believers baptism’ because that’s a Presbyterian thing to say.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Lou,
    I don’t miss the point, I just despise presbyterianism, and the things it leads people to say. For what its worth the church is doing its mission when it baptizes infants, just as much as when it does an adult. For what its worth, I think I have actually baptized more adults.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Lou,
    I don’t miss the point, I just despise presbyterianism, and the things it leads people to say. For what its worth the church is doing its mission when it baptizes infants, just as much as when it does an adult. For what its worth, I think I have actually baptized more adults.

  • Lou

    Agreed, that is why I qualified mission with “outward” (since without first an effective inward mission, no outward mission could follow)

  • Lou

    Agreed, that is why I qualified mission with “outward” (since without first an effective inward mission, no outward mission could follow)

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Lou,

    the Goodness and mercy of God will happen whether or not the presbyterians or lutherans get the magic balance and formula right or not.

    God’s will will be done without our prayer or asking, or willingness or worthiness . This will happen especially and even for all the wicked (insert both of our names here please where “wicked” is the placeholder).

    That inward mission is precisely what God works , in with and under the waters of Holy Baptism and the preaching of the Word of God.

    And we should fear God’s wrath and follow his command to administer , properly, Holy Baptism and the Word of Reconciliation. So your part would be to repent of your false teaching so that God does not need to send a more painful way to have your Old Adam conform to his will.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Lou,

    the Goodness and mercy of God will happen whether or not the presbyterians or lutherans get the magic balance and formula right or not.

    God’s will will be done without our prayer or asking, or willingness or worthiness . This will happen especially and even for all the wicked (insert both of our names here please where “wicked” is the placeholder).

    That inward mission is precisely what God works , in with and under the waters of Holy Baptism and the preaching of the Word of God.

    And we should fear God’s wrath and follow his command to administer , properly, Holy Baptism and the Word of Reconciliation. So your part would be to repent of your false teaching so that God does not need to send a more painful way to have your Old Adam conform to his will.

  • Lou

    fms: What?
    Repent of desiring to be used in God’s misson to see people be saved?
    Absolutely offensvie to anyone who is truly in Christ.

  • Lou

    fms: What?
    Repent of desiring to be used in God’s misson to see people be saved?
    Absolutely offensvie to anyone who is truly in Christ.

  • George A. Marquart

    With regard to missinary activity and election, you may want to read Rev. H. R. Curtis’ paper, “Saved from the Shopkeepers Prison.” Here is the web site of the “Gottesdienst” archive where you can find it.
    http://gottesdienstonline.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2011-05-18T19%3A22%3A00-07%3A00&max-results=7
    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    With regard to missinary activity and election, you may want to read Rev. H. R. Curtis’ paper, “Saved from the Shopkeepers Prison.” Here is the web site of the “Gottesdienst” archive where you can find it.
    http://gottesdienstonline.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2011-05-18T19%3A22%3A00-07%3A00&max-results=7
    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • Larry

    Sorry I missed out on more good conversation, been on a much needed vacation.

    “For what it’s worth the church is doing its mission when it baptizes infants, just as much as when it does an adult.”

    Bingo! And this lends to what growth is also, not just numbers but those in the faith. As a parent and as pastors well know It is NO small challenge to raise for a life time infants to children to teens to early adults to mid-life adults to the elderly adults finally to the dying adults a Christian from infant baptism through the Lord’s Supper unto final death.

    We tend to think in “giter done in one” then move on with baptism and catechism. Yet just the other day I was reading Luther on the catechism in which comments it ought to be a life long study. Not just, memorize for the test then move on. In a small way I’ve experienced this with teaching it to my own children and learning and ruminating it around in my head seeing connections in Scripture I’d never seen before, “oh that connects the Lord’s Prayer here and here and to the commandments here and to the Gospel there”. THAT is lost in our superhighway fast life style of America.

    And it is these GREAT treasures that sustain a person all their life through any and all trials that come their way not to mention eventual death that ALL WILL face, the hour of greatest temptation to despair of hope.

    Bror’s correct and being ex-PCA myself at one time the reformed borrow and (today) allow MUCH Baptist doctrine into their pulpits. When I was there initially at our church when they baptized infants they spent 15 minutes telling what baptism was not to apologize to the Baptist and satiate “believer’s baptism” in the audience that one wondered, “Well then what is it”.
    In reality it’s Sinner’s Baptism, that’s why infants are baptized as well as adults. Non-sinners don’t need a baptism anymore than the healthy don’t need a doctor. Luther warned of being a “pretend sinner”.

  • Larry

    Sorry I missed out on more good conversation, been on a much needed vacation.

    “For what it’s worth the church is doing its mission when it baptizes infants, just as much as when it does an adult.”

    Bingo! And this lends to what growth is also, not just numbers but those in the faith. As a parent and as pastors well know It is NO small challenge to raise for a life time infants to children to teens to early adults to mid-life adults to the elderly adults finally to the dying adults a Christian from infant baptism through the Lord’s Supper unto final death.

    We tend to think in “giter done in one” then move on with baptism and catechism. Yet just the other day I was reading Luther on the catechism in which comments it ought to be a life long study. Not just, memorize for the test then move on. In a small way I’ve experienced this with teaching it to my own children and learning and ruminating it around in my head seeing connections in Scripture I’d never seen before, “oh that connects the Lord’s Prayer here and here and to the commandments here and to the Gospel there”. THAT is lost in our superhighway fast life style of America.

    And it is these GREAT treasures that sustain a person all their life through any and all trials that come their way not to mention eventual death that ALL WILL face, the hour of greatest temptation to despair of hope.

    Bror’s correct and being ex-PCA myself at one time the reformed borrow and (today) allow MUCH Baptist doctrine into their pulpits. When I was there initially at our church when they baptized infants they spent 15 minutes telling what baptism was not to apologize to the Baptist and satiate “believer’s baptism” in the audience that one wondered, “Well then what is it”.
    In reality it’s Sinner’s Baptism, that’s why infants are baptized as well as adults. Non-sinners don’t need a baptism anymore than the healthy don’t need a doctor. Luther warned of being a “pretend sinner”.

  • Larry

    It produces, beleiver’s baptism, produces a lot of direct doctrinal hiccups which the original baptist author here that prompted this post is wisely considering.

    We have parallel age kids in our family to ours and I can’t help to wonder what this very young unbaptized child wonders in their mind when they hear our children pray “our Father…”, how that makes them think about themselves being so considered as not Christians themselves, that they cannot really say that. And make mistake about it kids think about these things. Even if this young child asks about it they’ll get a quick slip and slide shuffle from her baptist parents as an answer because such puts the doctrine directly on trial for an answer.

    This is the paranoia that this guy is speaking of as baptist children grow up. How do you teach your children the Lord’s Prayer that specifically says, “Our Father…” and the entire thing since it ALL presuppose, every word of it, the one praying it is a Christian.

    Another true story: Some wonderful friends of ours that we use to attend the same calvinistic SB church together, an elder at one time in the S. Seminary to be a pastor were homeschooling their children and part of what donned on the mother was in teaching the kids as Paul said in Ephesians, and the Lord’s Prayer, etc…it hit her one day; “How do I teach them this, this is for believers (baptized)”. Which her kids were not. At length it hit her that as baptist as the children grew older in order to teach the doctrine (her words), ‘we were actually teaching our kids OUT OF the faith’.

    They are Lutherans now and he’s a LCMS pastor.

  • Larry

    It produces, beleiver’s baptism, produces a lot of direct doctrinal hiccups which the original baptist author here that prompted this post is wisely considering.

    We have parallel age kids in our family to ours and I can’t help to wonder what this very young unbaptized child wonders in their mind when they hear our children pray “our Father…”, how that makes them think about themselves being so considered as not Christians themselves, that they cannot really say that. And make mistake about it kids think about these things. Even if this young child asks about it they’ll get a quick slip and slide shuffle from her baptist parents as an answer because such puts the doctrine directly on trial for an answer.

    This is the paranoia that this guy is speaking of as baptist children grow up. How do you teach your children the Lord’s Prayer that specifically says, “Our Father…” and the entire thing since it ALL presuppose, every word of it, the one praying it is a Christian.

    Another true story: Some wonderful friends of ours that we use to attend the same calvinistic SB church together, an elder at one time in the S. Seminary to be a pastor were homeschooling their children and part of what donned on the mother was in teaching the kids as Paul said in Ephesians, and the Lord’s Prayer, etc…it hit her one day; “How do I teach them this, this is for believers (baptized)”. Which her kids were not. At length it hit her that as baptist as the children grew older in order to teach the doctrine (her words), ‘we were actually teaching our kids OUT OF the faith’.

    They are Lutherans now and he’s a LCMS pastor.

  • Lou

    Why Lutherans don’t/can’t evangelize:
    http://robinwoodchurch.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/why-lutherans-cant-evangelize/

    Bror: your link had articles criticizing church growth, methodistic type guys (Hybels) which is not to be considered true Evangelism/Mission. Lutherans have A LOT to learn when it comes to mission and evangelism.

  • Lou

    Why Lutherans don’t/can’t evangelize:
    http://robinwoodchurch.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/why-lutherans-cant-evangelize/

    Bror: your link had articles criticizing church growth, methodistic type guys (Hybels) which is not to be considered true Evangelism/Mission. Lutherans have A LOT to learn when it comes to mission and evangelism.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Lou,
    I had a Link? Sorry I don’t recall. In anycase, what you assert is an oft repeated criticism of reformed folks. I think all churches could do better at this sort of thing. However, I don’t think we are as lutherans are going to learn a whole lot about it from church bodies that can’t properly tell one what the gospel is in the first place.
    Listen Lou, I have nothing against you. I just do despise reformed theology in all of it guises, arminian and calvinist alike, Presb. Or baptist.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Lou,
    I had a Link? Sorry I don’t recall. In anycase, what you assert is an oft repeated criticism of reformed folks. I think all churches could do better at this sort of thing. However, I don’t think we are as lutherans are going to learn a whole lot about it from church bodies that can’t properly tell one what the gospel is in the first place.
    Listen Lou, I have nothing against you. I just do despise reformed theology in all of it guises, arminian and calvinist alike, Presb. Or baptist.

  • momofmany

    I must live in the only town that is different from all others. I grew up Methodist and married a Lutheran. We are now Baptist. I was told the first time I visited my husband’s church that I was going to hell. Why? Because i had not been confirmed in that church, but I had been baptized as an infant. I believed Jesus died for me, I believed in the Ressurection and that did not matter to this church.

    Our church now did not ask us to be baptized again because ours “did not count” the first time. I actually wanted to be baptized again as an adult with my husband.

    So I guess according to some people I have my bases covered. No matter what denomination I am a part of I have it right.

    Good thing my Jesus doesn’t see it that way.

  • momofmany

    I must live in the only town that is different from all others. I grew up Methodist and married a Lutheran. We are now Baptist. I was told the first time I visited my husband’s church that I was going to hell. Why? Because i had not been confirmed in that church, but I had been baptized as an infant. I believed Jesus died for me, I believed in the Ressurection and that did not matter to this church.

    Our church now did not ask us to be baptized again because ours “did not count” the first time. I actually wanted to be baptized again as an adult with my husband.

    So I guess according to some people I have my bases covered. No matter what denomination I am a part of I have it right.

    Good thing my Jesus doesn’t see it that way.

  • Lou

    Sorry Bror, it was George that had the link that I was responding to. I apologize for getting that wrong, I should have paid closer attention.
    But the article I pointed to with regard to evangelism and Lutheran ineffectiveness is written by a Lutheran (not presby, baptist, etc..) Thanks!

    Amen, Momof many

  • Lou

    Sorry Bror, it was George that had the link that I was responding to. I apologize for getting that wrong, I should have paid closer attention.
    But the article I pointed to with regard to evangelism and Lutheran ineffectiveness is written by a Lutheran (not presby, baptist, etc..) Thanks!

    Amen, Momof many

  • http://robinwoodchurch.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/1036/ David Housholder

    I had a huge thing happen to me with baptism this month.

    All of my previous opinions on baptism literally dissolved into the waters of a Jewish mikveh in Galilee.

    My (very short) story: http://robinwoodchurch.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/1036/

  • http://robinwoodchurch.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/1036/ David Housholder

    I had a huge thing happen to me with baptism this month.

    All of my previous opinions on baptism literally dissolved into the waters of a Jewish mikveh in Galilee.

    My (very short) story: http://robinwoodchurch.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/1036/


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