Jesus + Nothing = Everything

I’ve blogged about Tullian Tchividjian, the grandson of Billy Graham and the successor to D. James Kennedy as pastor of the influential Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  In the course of some struggles over his ministry, he came to a deeper understanding of the Gospel with the help of some Lutheran writers (e.g., C. F. W. Walther, Bo Giertz, Gerhard Forde, Hal Senkbeil, Rod Rosenbladt).  He has written a book about his experience and his new liberating realization that he does not have to add anything to what Christ has done for him.  The book is entitled Jesus + Nothing = Everything.

No, he doesn’t become a Lutheran.  He remains a pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America. That’s not the point.  But he demonstrates what I have been contending, that we Lutherans in our theology have some great treasures that other Christians are searching for and yearning for.  We tend to keep to ourselves, though, and mainly just talk to each other, which means that our theological and spiritual heritage is little known in American Christianity, which is split between evangelicals and catholics, Calvinists and Arminians, fundamentalists and mainliners, and other dichotomies which Lutheranism reconciles.  Anyway, Lutherans would do well to see the excitement with which Rev. Tchividjian discovers and seizes upon Biblical insights that are commonplaces among Lutherans, to the point that they sometimes take them for granted.  (The book is resonating with other evangelicals.  Christianity Today named it one of the top books of 2012.)

He approached me–he liked my book Spirituality of the Cross:  The Way of the First Evangelicals–to write a blurb about his book, which I was glad to do.  Here is what I said about it.   I’ll add some other blurbs that capture the book’s flavor and how it’s being received:

“Many Christians today assume that the gospel just has to do with conversion, for way back when they first came to faith. They have lost the sense, well known to Christians of the past, that the gospel is for every moment of their lives. As a result, they often fall into a moralism that can be, as this book shows, just as idolatrous, self-focused, and godless as immorality. This book shows how the good news of free forgiveness in the cross of Jesus Christ is the driving energy that makes the Christian life possible. Pastor Tchividjian tells about how he himself discovered the full magnitude of God’s grace in the midst of difficult times in his own ministry. He does so in a way that will bring relief, exhilaration, and freedom to struggling Christians.”
—Gene Edward Veith Jr., provost, professor of Literature, Patrick Henry College; director, Cranach Institute, Concordia Theological Seminary; columnist; author

“Tullian Tchividjian knows, by biblical study and personal experience, that the greatest dangers to the church exist inside the church not outside and the greatest of these dangers is the subtle, deceptive, and seductive self-reliance and self-sufficiency of legalism. Perhaps the greatest contribution of this book is its page after page plea to the church not to be afraid of the glorious provisions and freedoms of the grace of Jesus.”
—Paul David Tripp, President, Paul Tripp Ministries; author, What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage

“In a powerful, concise, and popular style, Tchividjian announces, explicates, defends, and contrasts the gratuitous gospel of Christ’s person and work with the oft-misheld conviction of us sinners that, if we are somehow to be justified, it will have to be a matter of ‘making up for’ our offenses and of inward improvement. Chapter-by-chapter he argues that God’s saving plan is one of grace and not one of improvement. Filled with illustrations from his life as a pastor, this is no unapproachable, academic tome. But neither, thank God, is it today’s ‘Evangelical silly!’ Tchividjian wrestles openly with demons and their central lie in order that we truly ‘get’ what the Bible is really about. From every point on the compass, he contrasts ‘moral renovation’ with a free, one-sided rescue drenched in the blood of Jesus. Good news for everyone—but especially for Christians who are worn out by trying the other way, believing the lie, somehow knowing renovation isn’t working but knowing nowhere else to turn. Tchividjian is out to convince his reader that justification before God really is pure gift, is free, is by grace and through faith in Christ. . . sola!”
—Rod Rosenbladt, professor of theology, Concordia University

“Brace yourself for a gospel tornado! Tullian speaks from the heart to the heart, reclaiming the ‘good’ part of the good news in a bold and liberating fashion. To those suffering under the gravitational pull of internal as well as external legalism (a/k/a everyone), Jesus Plus Nothing Equals Everything represents the only lifeline there is—the mind-blowing, present-tense freedom of God’s justifying grace. No ‘if’s, ‘and’s or ‘but’s here, just the enlivening and relieving Word in all its profundity, with powerful illustrations to spare. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll read it over and over and over again (of course, you don’t have to)!”
—David Zahl, Director, Mockingbird Ministries; editor of The Mockingbird Blog www.mbird.com

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.

  • http://www.docsdining.blogspot.com Jason

    Thank you for pointing out that connection. Though I am not Lutheran, I have been saying for some time that Tchvidjian sounds Lutheran–and I like it. I wish some more of our Young, Restless, and Reformed folks would plumb the depths of scandalous grace of which Luther himself reminded the church.

  • http://www.docsdining.blogspot.com Jason

    Thank you for pointing out that connection. Though I am not Lutheran, I have been saying for some time that Tchvidjian sounds Lutheran–and I like it. I wish some more of our Young, Restless, and Reformed folks would plumb the depths of scandalous grace of which Luther himself reminded the church.

  • Danny

    There are more of us than you know that have enjoyed a deeper insight into the Gospel through LCMS types. Although, I feel a hostility that borders on mocking of Calvinists, I can look past that and understand that we all tie little idols to the cross. Much thanks to Rosenbladt and the WHI and Pirate Christian.

  • Danny

    There are more of us than you know that have enjoyed a deeper insight into the Gospel through LCMS types. Although, I feel a hostility that borders on mocking of Calvinists, I can look past that and understand that we all tie little idols to the cross. Much thanks to Rosenbladt and the WHI and Pirate Christian.

  • larry

    You’ve nailed a point I personally experienced, though I became eventually Lutheran for the same reason, but hear constantly among my evangelical (big tent if you will) friends time and time again. I know a Baptist pastor that constantly goes to the “Luther well” for the gospel that he brings to his small church. He does this to the point of no longer sounding Baptist anymore and usually catches flack for it (he’d tell you that). And he could tell you dozens of stories just in that realm of the despairing and starving in the broader religious wasteland out there. Another a life long Presbyterian friend of mine upon hearing some Gospel via yes a solid Lutheran pastor (mentioned here), passed it on to his siblings and older family told me a few weeks later, “Where in the world can we hear THAT preached”.

    For some they sense the need for the Gospel having been driven to despair by (fill in the blank) moralism, happy clappy, nebulous experience, etc… 100s of those stories. For others who have been life long X members at X denomination they “know something is wrong” but cannot “quite put their finger on it”. It’s like a slow poison, you just cannot nail it down, unless someone else does it for you.

    Two examples of the later: One a friend of mine who was in the reformed realm, life long, multiple family generations in fact, kept talking about the music at church and him not “quite getting it”. I could tell it was troubling him but he couldn’t put his finger on it. I offered, “what’s most important is what it is saying to you, not so much organ versus guitar. Is it saying “what Jesus did FOR you” or is it saying “what you are gonna do” even for Jesus?” It’s like a light bulb went off and he replied, “I think you’ve put your finger on what has been bothering me”. Again, slow hidden poison. The other was my own experience years ago. I was struggling with a well known Baptist theologian whom I read vociferously and followed. The problem was and the despair was I was not “desiring God” enough. Dr. Rosenbladt pulled me from that hell personally in an exchange with a “That’s law”, then gave me the Gospel in a form of “you are forgiven even IF you don’t desire God enough”. Very few are the pastors that know how to surgically diagnose and pull people out of such grips of hell. When one is locked into law yourself, either in deep dark despair approaching the despair of Judas, or a milder “something’s wrong but I cannot quite put my finger on it”, you cannot pull yourself out and Luther/Lutherans (true to their name and confession not just the outward name) have EVERYTHING to offer to this.

    Another way to say it is that the language, due to the doctrine (this is key because due to the doctrine of others, the official confessions of such, the language is restrict in the same measure the Lutherans are), in the Lutheran confessions that one is allowed to use is a pure Gospel language and it is the ONLY thing that pulls or better unbinds a man from the curse of the law. And it happens on many levels. This is simply fact.

    If a man is suffering the despair of:

    1. I don’t know if I really believe or not, maybe I’m not elect/saved/reborn/converted. The Gospel ala Luther, recognizing this person is bound by the curse of the law, is “God forgives you whether you believe or not”. You cannot do that in other confessions.

    2. I never see any improvement maybe I’m not elect/saved/reborn/converted. The Gospel via Luther, recognizing this person is bound by the curse of the law, is “You are forgiven for Christ’s sake even if you do not improve”. You cannot do that in other confessions and even many pietistic Lutherans don’t get this Gospel pulling of one out of the flames of hell, but those pulled out by it CERTAINLY do.

    3. How do I know by a sign of something tangible that I’m elect/saved/reborn/converted? The Gospel via Luther, recognizing this person is bound by the curse of the law, is “I am baptized”. You cannot do that in other confessions.

    4. I’m unworthy in everyway how can I come to the Lord’ know by a sign of something tangible that I’m elect/saved/reborn/converted? The Gospel via Luther, recognizing this person is bound by the curse of the law, is “I have done as Christ bids me and eaten His body and drank His blood and am therefore a rightful heir of His kingdom”. You cannot do that in other confessions.

    And these are just a few examples. False confessions and falsely done “Lutheran” confessors can mostly be detected not so much by the times when they do “get the Gospel right” but by the spiritual starvation and malnutrition that occurs, inevitably, when they basically over throw the Gospel and put it back into darkness by the other aspects of their official doctrine or in the case of Lutherans who don’t really understand their confession (not the incidental mistake here and there) by their pietism. A Lutheran example from our pastor. What if during personal confession/absolution (pure Gospel) the pastor then later tells someone that person’s sin. For one the pastor must be removed for he shows himself to be a hired hand and not a shepherd of Christ’s sheep by putting them in this spiritual deadly danger. Why so? Because the spiritual danger he puts the sheep into is temptation of despair or its all a shame, by showing this sin is not forgiven by talking about it. How so? C/A is pure Gospel, the pastor’s ear is the grave yard of the sin confessed and just as God forgets the sin(s) forever, being so forgiven for Christ’s sake (C/A is so WE will believe not because God needs it), so must the sin be put into the grave of the pastor’s ear who is absolving as if God himself is absolving (the drive for confession is the expectancy of Gospel/absolution). If a pastor exhumes said confession, he presents that God does not really forgive and forget forever but that the sin ‘hangs around’. This is spiritual poison no different than a false doctrine on a sacrament.

  • larry

    You’ve nailed a point I personally experienced, though I became eventually Lutheran for the same reason, but hear constantly among my evangelical (big tent if you will) friends time and time again. I know a Baptist pastor that constantly goes to the “Luther well” for the gospel that he brings to his small church. He does this to the point of no longer sounding Baptist anymore and usually catches flack for it (he’d tell you that). And he could tell you dozens of stories just in that realm of the despairing and starving in the broader religious wasteland out there. Another a life long Presbyterian friend of mine upon hearing some Gospel via yes a solid Lutheran pastor (mentioned here), passed it on to his siblings and older family told me a few weeks later, “Where in the world can we hear THAT preached”.

    For some they sense the need for the Gospel having been driven to despair by (fill in the blank) moralism, happy clappy, nebulous experience, etc… 100s of those stories. For others who have been life long X members at X denomination they “know something is wrong” but cannot “quite put their finger on it”. It’s like a slow poison, you just cannot nail it down, unless someone else does it for you.

    Two examples of the later: One a friend of mine who was in the reformed realm, life long, multiple family generations in fact, kept talking about the music at church and him not “quite getting it”. I could tell it was troubling him but he couldn’t put his finger on it. I offered, “what’s most important is what it is saying to you, not so much organ versus guitar. Is it saying “what Jesus did FOR you” or is it saying “what you are gonna do” even for Jesus?” It’s like a light bulb went off and he replied, “I think you’ve put your finger on what has been bothering me”. Again, slow hidden poison. The other was my own experience years ago. I was struggling with a well known Baptist theologian whom I read vociferously and followed. The problem was and the despair was I was not “desiring God” enough. Dr. Rosenbladt pulled me from that hell personally in an exchange with a “That’s law”, then gave me the Gospel in a form of “you are forgiven even IF you don’t desire God enough”. Very few are the pastors that know how to surgically diagnose and pull people out of such grips of hell. When one is locked into law yourself, either in deep dark despair approaching the despair of Judas, or a milder “something’s wrong but I cannot quite put my finger on it”, you cannot pull yourself out and Luther/Lutherans (true to their name and confession not just the outward name) have EVERYTHING to offer to this.

    Another way to say it is that the language, due to the doctrine (this is key because due to the doctrine of others, the official confessions of such, the language is restrict in the same measure the Lutherans are), in the Lutheran confessions that one is allowed to use is a pure Gospel language and it is the ONLY thing that pulls or better unbinds a man from the curse of the law. And it happens on many levels. This is simply fact.

    If a man is suffering the despair of:

    1. I don’t know if I really believe or not, maybe I’m not elect/saved/reborn/converted. The Gospel ala Luther, recognizing this person is bound by the curse of the law, is “God forgives you whether you believe or not”. You cannot do that in other confessions.

    2. I never see any improvement maybe I’m not elect/saved/reborn/converted. The Gospel via Luther, recognizing this person is bound by the curse of the law, is “You are forgiven for Christ’s sake even if you do not improve”. You cannot do that in other confessions and even many pietistic Lutherans don’t get this Gospel pulling of one out of the flames of hell, but those pulled out by it CERTAINLY do.

    3. How do I know by a sign of something tangible that I’m elect/saved/reborn/converted? The Gospel via Luther, recognizing this person is bound by the curse of the law, is “I am baptized”. You cannot do that in other confessions.

    4. I’m unworthy in everyway how can I come to the Lord’ know by a sign of something tangible that I’m elect/saved/reborn/converted? The Gospel via Luther, recognizing this person is bound by the curse of the law, is “I have done as Christ bids me and eaten His body and drank His blood and am therefore a rightful heir of His kingdom”. You cannot do that in other confessions.

    And these are just a few examples. False confessions and falsely done “Lutheran” confessors can mostly be detected not so much by the times when they do “get the Gospel right” but by the spiritual starvation and malnutrition that occurs, inevitably, when they basically over throw the Gospel and put it back into darkness by the other aspects of their official doctrine or in the case of Lutherans who don’t really understand their confession (not the incidental mistake here and there) by their pietism. A Lutheran example from our pastor. What if during personal confession/absolution (pure Gospel) the pastor then later tells someone that person’s sin. For one the pastor must be removed for he shows himself to be a hired hand and not a shepherd of Christ’s sheep by putting them in this spiritual deadly danger. Why so? Because the spiritual danger he puts the sheep into is temptation of despair or its all a shame, by showing this sin is not forgiven by talking about it. How so? C/A is pure Gospel, the pastor’s ear is the grave yard of the sin confessed and just as God forgets the sin(s) forever, being so forgiven for Christ’s sake (C/A is so WE will believe not because God needs it), so must the sin be put into the grave of the pastor’s ear who is absolving as if God himself is absolving (the drive for confession is the expectancy of Gospel/absolution). If a pastor exhumes said confession, he presents that God does not really forgive and forget forever but that the sin ‘hangs around’. This is spiritual poison no different than a false doctrine on a sacrament.

  • Michael B.

    When was the last time you saw somebody who was just happy he was going to heaven, and wasn’t worried about the normal everyday to day issues like politics, money, school, etc? I’m not saying that these people don’t exist — just not nowadays — it is said that many of the Christian martyrs gladly went to their own deaths.

  • Michael B.

    When was the last time you saw somebody who was just happy he was going to heaven, and wasn’t worried about the normal everyday to day issues like politics, money, school, etc? I’m not saying that these people don’t exist — just not nowadays — it is said that many of the Christian martyrs gladly went to their own deaths.

  • http://onedayworkweek.wordpress.com/ Josh S

    I really enjoyed his book and actually blogged about some of his thoughts because I thought they were worthy of sharing. I also read his blog now, and just this morning, he posted a quote from Luther’s Commentary on Galatians! He really does a great job of relating the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • http://onedayworkweek.wordpress.com/ Josh S

    I really enjoyed his book and actually blogged about some of his thoughts because I thought they were worthy of sharing. I also read his blog now, and just this morning, he posted a quote from Luther’s Commentary on Galatians! He really does a great job of relating the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • larry

    Luther once said that the worse trial and temptation is when there is no trial and persecuation. Why? Because faith thrives on the very trial and persecution that seeks to kill it. And the worse trial and persecution to occur is no trial and persecution, it literally is murdering faith before our eyes. Yet, being the worse trial and persecution, it too then creates, to its chagrin as always with the devil’s ways, a faith beyond measure for the same reasons.

    They don’t exist because the Gospel IS in such a hiding now days. One does not “create Christian martyrs ready to die for their confession of Christ” by law, but by the Gospel, especially not the law “you must die for your faith”. Only after the Gospel is firm and strong then does one begin, and it takes time to set in and over throw all the false inverted Gospel Law out there, to rise to the level above the cares of this world. And the grasp of vocation in connection with the Gospel is no small part of this!

    It’s a total lack of not understanding the depth of the very real spiritual warfare going on out there. As Luther also said, “the devil is closer to us than our own skin”. Temptation to not believe is our natural gravity in the ever real present personal tense, hence the need for the pure Gospel in Word and Sacrament constantly. Over time faith increasingly believes against what it sees that which it only hears about in all articles of faith so that faith’s heard reality becomes the REAL reality and the seen, sensed, smelled, tasted, felt, experience, reasoned “reality” becomes the façade it really is. When that happens the cares of this world are in fact nothing and death, how ever it comes, is laughed at by this faith.

    This is why in every single article of faith we confess “I believe” not “I figured out, saw, sensed, experienced, reasoned, etc…”. We believe in the opposition of appearance and reason before us. E.g. “I believe in one holy catholic/Christian church…” See here too is an article of faith that should strengthen us. For the question is from unbelief, “but yet there are so many hypocrites in the church, etc…” a constant charge that is in reality a confession of unbelief. But we confess that we BELIEVE them to be holy because of Christ, not because of themselves. That connects back to the reality of the Gospel and that in turn strengthens the faith that steers away from the anxieties of this world, etc… “Oh you really , really, really mean its really true!”

  • larry

    Luther once said that the worse trial and temptation is when there is no trial and persecuation. Why? Because faith thrives on the very trial and persecution that seeks to kill it. And the worse trial and persecution to occur is no trial and persecution, it literally is murdering faith before our eyes. Yet, being the worse trial and persecution, it too then creates, to its chagrin as always with the devil’s ways, a faith beyond measure for the same reasons.

    They don’t exist because the Gospel IS in such a hiding now days. One does not “create Christian martyrs ready to die for their confession of Christ” by law, but by the Gospel, especially not the law “you must die for your faith”. Only after the Gospel is firm and strong then does one begin, and it takes time to set in and over throw all the false inverted Gospel Law out there, to rise to the level above the cares of this world. And the grasp of vocation in connection with the Gospel is no small part of this!

    It’s a total lack of not understanding the depth of the very real spiritual warfare going on out there. As Luther also said, “the devil is closer to us than our own skin”. Temptation to not believe is our natural gravity in the ever real present personal tense, hence the need for the pure Gospel in Word and Sacrament constantly. Over time faith increasingly believes against what it sees that which it only hears about in all articles of faith so that faith’s heard reality becomes the REAL reality and the seen, sensed, smelled, tasted, felt, experience, reasoned “reality” becomes the façade it really is. When that happens the cares of this world are in fact nothing and death, how ever it comes, is laughed at by this faith.

    This is why in every single article of faith we confess “I believe” not “I figured out, saw, sensed, experienced, reasoned, etc…”. We believe in the opposition of appearance and reason before us. E.g. “I believe in one holy catholic/Christian church…” See here too is an article of faith that should strengthen us. For the question is from unbelief, “but yet there are so many hypocrites in the church, etc…” a constant charge that is in reality a confession of unbelief. But we confess that we BELIEVE them to be holy because of Christ, not because of themselves. That connects back to the reality of the Gospel and that in turn strengthens the faith that steers away from the anxieties of this world, etc… “Oh you really , really, really mean its really true!”

  • rlewer

    Beautiful discussion!

    My humble two cents worth: I have often said, “If you have the Gospel plus you have to put one penny in the offering plate, you no longer have the Gospel.”

  • rlewer

    Beautiful discussion!

    My humble two cents worth: I have often said, “If you have the Gospel plus you have to put one penny in the offering plate, you no longer have the Gospel.”

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

    While I applaud the Lutheran stance on sola fide, I would counter that it does not differ from Calvinism on this point. I have no problem with the fact that Pastor Tchividjian gleaned this from Lutherans, but he should have come to the same conclusion reading Calvin.

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

    While I applaud the Lutheran stance on sola fide, I would counter that it does not differ from Calvinism on this point. I have no problem with the fact that Pastor Tchividjian gleaned this from Lutherans, but he should have come to the same conclusion reading Calvin.

  • http://www.docsdining.blogspot.com Jason Kanz

    J.Dean,
    While I agree with you about Calvin, in my own reading, Luther seems to be much clearer on this point, though perhaps I am more thickheaded than most. Luther’s writings hemorrhage grace. I think Luther’s commentary on Galatians should be required reading for all Christians of every stripe. I cannot say that about many books.

  • http://www.docsdining.blogspot.com Jason Kanz

    J.Dean,
    While I agree with you about Calvin, in my own reading, Luther seems to be much clearer on this point, though perhaps I am more thickheaded than most. Luther’s writings hemorrhage grace. I think Luther’s commentary on Galatians should be required reading for all Christians of every stripe. I cannot say that about many books.

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

    J.Dean
    I think Luther and Calvin often sound a lot alike on this point. But there are subtle differences that make quite a bit of difference. So I’m one of those Lutherans that mocks Calvinists. I don’t have much time today, but google Philip Carey and read his take. He does a better job mining the difference than I could anyway, and he comes out of a reformed tradition. More or less, if Calvin and Luther were the same on this they’d be the same on the sacraments too, and there wouldn’t be any of this silly double predestination bit. The other book you might check is Luther discovers the gospel. Uuraas Saarinivaara. Basically, it shows that the theology Luther left, is the theology that Calvin resurrected.

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

    J.Dean
    I think Luther and Calvin often sound a lot alike on this point. But there are subtle differences that make quite a bit of difference. So I’m one of those Lutherans that mocks Calvinists. I don’t have much time today, but google Philip Carey and read his take. He does a better job mining the difference than I could anyway, and he comes out of a reformed tradition. More or less, if Calvin and Luther were the same on this they’d be the same on the sacraments too, and there wouldn’t be any of this silly double predestination bit. The other book you might check is Luther discovers the gospel. Uuraas Saarinivaara. Basically, it shows that the theology Luther left, is the theology that Calvin resurrected.

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

    And then I find this in my face book News Feed. http://gnesiolutheran.com/the-indissoluble-unity-of-sign-and-object/

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

    And then I find this in my face book News Feed. http://gnesiolutheran.com/the-indissoluble-unity-of-sign-and-object/

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

    By the way, I read Tullian’s book, and highly recommend it. Wrote a review for Amazon.

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

    By the way, I read Tullian’s book, and highly recommend it. Wrote a review for Amazon.

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

    Bror,
    I remember you telling me about that book. I’ve yet to purchase it, but I do have all intention of doing so.

    And I will google Mr. Carey. As always, thanks again for the input! Btw, I need to contact you about some questions regarding Lutheran theology; unfortunately my Email is down so I have to wait until it’s back up :(

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

    Bror,
    I remember you telling me about that book. I’ve yet to purchase it, but I do have all intention of doing so.

    And I will google Mr. Carey. As always, thanks again for the input! Btw, I need to contact you about some questions regarding Lutheran theology; unfortunately my Email is down so I have to wait until it’s back up :(

  • Kimberly

    I bought Jesus + Nothing = Everything after the last time Dr. Veith blogged about it. I’m so glad I did! Pastor Tchvidjian did a wonderful job presenting the Gospel at its sweetest, and as a Lutheran it was fun to see the influence of Lutherans I’ve read and need to read. This is a must-read book for people who want to know what the true Gospel is.

  • Kimberly

    I bought Jesus + Nothing = Everything after the last time Dr. Veith blogged about it. I’m so glad I did! Pastor Tchvidjian did a wonderful job presenting the Gospel at its sweetest, and as a Lutheran it was fun to see the influence of Lutherans I’ve read and need to read. This is a must-read book for people who want to know what the true Gospel is.

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

    I go to Pastor Tchvidjian’s site quite often and make comments.

    They do know the gospel over there, that’s for sure. But they lack a proper way to appropriate it.

    Calvin tried to undo a lot of what Luther did. So Calvinists lack the external Word. One can speak of the Sacraments over at pastor T.’s site and hear a rousing chorus of crickets for their trouble.

    If you don’t have an tangible, external Word, then one must internalize all of it, somehow, and there’s no assurance in any of that.

    My 2 cents.
    _______________

    PS- I’m going to put up a pretty good class (a bit later this morning) on ‘the external Word’.
    In case you know some Calvinist/Baptist/Non-denom. types that might be tired of all the projects that ‘internalizing the gospel’ begets.

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

    I go to Pastor Tchvidjian’s site quite often and make comments.

    They do know the gospel over there, that’s for sure. But they lack a proper way to appropriate it.

    Calvin tried to undo a lot of what Luther did. So Calvinists lack the external Word. One can speak of the Sacraments over at pastor T.’s site and hear a rousing chorus of crickets for their trouble.

    If you don’t have an tangible, external Word, then one must internalize all of it, somehow, and there’s no assurance in any of that.

    My 2 cents.
    _______________

    PS- I’m going to put up a pretty good class (a bit later this morning) on ‘the external Word’.
    In case you know some Calvinist/Baptist/Non-denom. types that might be tired of all the projects that ‘internalizing the gospel’ begets.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    I am currently reading it, after seeing a recommend from our host. I am liking what I see.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    I am currently reading it, after seeing a recommend from our host. I am liking what I see.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    I don’t get it. The Lutherans are celebrating Jesus + nothing and yet they’re doggedly holding to their grace + no-seriously-it’s-not-a-work-baptism = grace alone?

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    I don’t get it. The Lutherans are celebrating Jesus + nothing and yet they’re doggedly holding to their grace + no-seriously-it’s-not-a-work-baptism = grace alone?

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

    Rhology,

    We don’t baptize. God Baptizes.

    He ordered us to do it. So we do it.

    If He ordered us to do it…then He is in it…for us.

    That is all.

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

    Rhology,

    We don’t baptize. God Baptizes.

    He ordered us to do it. So we do it.

    If He ordered us to do it…then He is in it…for us.

    That is all.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Well, nobody’s arguing that baptism is not optional, but that’s not the same as showing that baptism is a prerequisite for regeneration.

    What if I said this?
    We don’t abstain from fleshly lusts; God abstains.
    We don’t extend hospitalit; God extends it.
    We don’t love the brethren; God loves the brethren.

    He ordered us to do it. So we do it.
    **And they are all prerequisites for regeneration.**

    If He ordered us to do it…then He is in it…for us.

    That is all.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Well, nobody’s arguing that baptism is not optional, but that’s not the same as showing that baptism is a prerequisite for regeneration.

    What if I said this?
    We don’t abstain from fleshly lusts; God abstains.
    We don’t extend hospitalit; God extends it.
    We don’t love the brethren; God loves the brethren.

    He ordered us to do it. So we do it.
    **And they are all prerequisites for regeneration.**

    If He ordered us to do it…then He is in it…for us.

    That is all.

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

    Rhology,

    We believe, as 1st Peter states, that “Baptism now saves you…”.

    And, as St. Paul says, “Those of us who have been baptized, have put on Christ.”

    Does some have to be baptized in order to be saved? NO. But on the flip side of that is that God has chosen to save IN baptism.

    Anyway…that’s a few of the reasons that we Lutherans believe so strongly in ‘the external Word of baptism’.

    Thanks for listening.

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

    Rhology,

    We believe, as 1st Peter states, that “Baptism now saves you…”.

    And, as St. Paul says, “Those of us who have been baptized, have put on Christ.”

    Does some have to be baptized in order to be saved? NO. But on the flip side of that is that God has chosen to save IN baptism.

    Anyway…that’s a few of the reasons that we Lutherans believe so strongly in ‘the external Word of baptism’.

    Thanks for listening.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @Rhology, Baptism is NOT a prerequisite for regeneration. It IS regeneration.

    We hold on to baptism as grace alone, because that is how the Bible speaks about baptism. Romans 6 makes it very clear that Baptism is in fact Jesus being given to us or as it is recorded we are united with Him in death and resurrection. We are not doing “Jesus+Baptism” because Baptism is Jesus, specifically Jesus given to us.

    What if I said this?
    We don’t abstain from fleshly lusts; God abstains.
    We don’t extend hospitalit; God extends it.
    We don’t love the brethren; God loves the brethren.

    We would say “Amen!”

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @Rhology, Baptism is NOT a prerequisite for regeneration. It IS regeneration.

    We hold on to baptism as grace alone, because that is how the Bible speaks about baptism. Romans 6 makes it very clear that Baptism is in fact Jesus being given to us or as it is recorded we are united with Him in death and resurrection. We are not doing “Jesus+Baptism” because Baptism is Jesus, specifically Jesus given to us.

    What if I said this?
    We don’t abstain from fleshly lusts; God abstains.
    We don’t extend hospitalit; God extends it.
    We don’t love the brethren; God loves the brethren.

    We would say “Amen!”

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Hi Steve,

    It’s easy to take obedience-related passages and twist them to where they are APPEARING to contradict sola fide.

    Rom 8:12So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

    Here we see that putting to death the deeds of the body is “a work of God”, since it’s “by the Spirit”.

    See? Sola fide is false, by the same logic Lutherans are using.
    (Thank God I’m a Reformed Baptist.)

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Hi Steve,

    It’s easy to take obedience-related passages and twist them to where they are APPEARING to contradict sola fide.

    Rom 8:12So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

    Here we see that putting to death the deeds of the body is “a work of God”, since it’s “by the Spirit”.

    See? Sola fide is false, by the same logic Lutherans are using.
    (Thank God I’m a Reformed Baptist.)

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Hi Dr Luther 21,

    And I hold on to putting to death the deeds of the body as grace alone, because that is how the Bible speaks about putting to death the deeds of the body.

    And as for your “amen”, how is that sola fide at all?

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Hi Dr Luther 21,

    And I hold on to putting to death the deeds of the body as grace alone, because that is how the Bible speaks about putting to death the deeds of the body.

    And as for your “amen”, how is that sola fide at all?

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • Bob

    Rhology,

    Paradox is a big part of Lutheran theology. Have you read the appendix to Veith’s “Spirituality of the Cross”? If you haven’t,
    I’m sure it would be of help to you.

    Baptism is solely a work of God’s grace in Christ.

    But/and it’s not invisible — God uses the Word + water attached to His promise, to do what He promised to do — salvation.

  • Bob

    Rhology,

    Paradox is a big part of Lutheran theology. Have you read the appendix to Veith’s “Spirituality of the Cross”? If you haven’t,
    I’m sure it would be of help to you.

    Baptism is solely a work of God’s grace in Christ.

    But/and it’s not invisible — God uses the Word + water attached to His promise, to do what He promised to do — salvation.

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

    We’re on holidays in Ft. Lauderdale right now and attended Tullian’s Coral Ridge church on Sunday. We were mightily impressed with the sermon – some of the best law/gospel preaching I’ve ever heard. I could certainly have done without the praise team, but thoroughly enjoyed the postlude (a Bach prelude and fugue) on a magnificent organ. I came up to Rev. Tchividian (sp?) afterwards, and told him that was some mighty fine law-gospel preaching. He replied “ah, a Lutheran?!” Very nice guy, unassuming, unpretentious. He preached the text with skill and honesty and displayed much soul-care from the lectern.
    The sermon, preached from an LCMS pulpit, would’ve sent me running to the altar for God’s holy body and blood. I hope the good reverend sees the light on the sacraments; that would’ve delivered concretely what he preached.

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

    We’re on holidays in Ft. Lauderdale right now and attended Tullian’s Coral Ridge church on Sunday. We were mightily impressed with the sermon – some of the best law/gospel preaching I’ve ever heard. I could certainly have done without the praise team, but thoroughly enjoyed the postlude (a Bach prelude and fugue) on a magnificent organ. I came up to Rev. Tchividian (sp?) afterwards, and told him that was some mighty fine law-gospel preaching. He replied “ah, a Lutheran?!” Very nice guy, unassuming, unpretentious. He preached the text with skill and honesty and displayed much soul-care from the lectern.
    The sermon, preached from an LCMS pulpit, would’ve sent me running to the altar for God’s holy body and blood. I hope the good reverend sees the light on the sacraments; that would’ve delivered concretely what he preached.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Paradox is a big part of Lutheran theology

    So salvation is by grace alone through faith alone and not by grace alone through faith alone?

    Isn’t that denying the Gospel?

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Paradox is a big part of Lutheran theology

    So salvation is by grace alone through faith alone and not by grace alone through faith alone?

    Isn’t that denying the Gospel?

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • Bob

    Sorry — you lost me.

    Read Veith’s explanation.

  • Bob

    Sorry — you lost me.

    Read Veith’s explanation.

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

    Rhology,

    OK.

    Enjoy your internally focused, emphasis on the ‘self’, Reformed Baptist stuff.

    You can’t win ‘em all :D

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

    Rhology,

    OK.

    Enjoy your internally focused, emphasis on the ‘self’, Reformed Baptist stuff.

    You can’t win ‘em all :D

  • larry

    It might help to know why paradox, in scripture, not just it is “Lutheran”, but why is it so. Because it gets back to the root problem of fallen human reason and original sin. Original sin is a trust (bondage of the will) issue not a “moral/law compass” issue (total depravity). There is paradox on all articles of faith, without exception, take your pick; the trinity, the two natures, the sacraments, creation, the church, the holy one’s in the church, etc… it “makes room for faith alone (sole fide)” and kills reason that asks the questions “but what about…”. It is black and utter darkness to reason. Same thing with predestination that “reasons” forth double predestination or “limited atonement”.

    It makes room for faith alone truly and only, reason can never perceive but the opposite (true sola fide), in the word alone that creates the very paradox that only faith (sola fide) “sees” (sola scriptura), so that it is only by grace alone. Reason goes where faith will not, hence said reason when it does this is repeating original sin ridden by Satan. Faith only goes where the Word speaks and in fact the face of what sense, reason, feelings, etc… detect. Hence for example we confess “I believe…in one holy catholic/christian church”. All we see/detect/discern/reason is many churches but the Word says “one”, faith hears it. All we see/detect/discern/reason a bunch of hypocrits within, certainly not holy ones, but the Word says “holy”, faith (alone) hears it, i.e. what reason is deaf to.

  • larry

    It might help to know why paradox, in scripture, not just it is “Lutheran”, but why is it so. Because it gets back to the root problem of fallen human reason and original sin. Original sin is a trust (bondage of the will) issue not a “moral/law compass” issue (total depravity). There is paradox on all articles of faith, without exception, take your pick; the trinity, the two natures, the sacraments, creation, the church, the holy one’s in the church, etc… it “makes room for faith alone (sole fide)” and kills reason that asks the questions “but what about…”. It is black and utter darkness to reason. Same thing with predestination that “reasons” forth double predestination or “limited atonement”.

    It makes room for faith alone truly and only, reason can never perceive but the opposite (true sola fide), in the word alone that creates the very paradox that only faith (sola fide) “sees” (sola scriptura), so that it is only by grace alone. Reason goes where faith will not, hence said reason when it does this is repeating original sin ridden by Satan. Faith only goes where the Word speaks and in fact the face of what sense, reason, feelings, etc… detect. Hence for example we confess “I believe…in one holy catholic/christian church”. All we see/detect/discern/reason is many churches but the Word says “one”, faith hears it. All we see/detect/discern/reason a bunch of hypocrits within, certainly not holy ones, but the Word says “holy”, faith (alone) hears it, i.e. what reason is deaf to.

  • Pete Bargas

    Dear Dr. Luther 21, or Any other Lutheran,

    Let me start by saying, I do for all intense and purposes, find myself leaning towards the theology of Calvin. However, I hold soft and loose to systems in ever search of biblical veritas. Whether that truth is espoused by Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, or any other reformer/exegete, I care little. I simply want sound doctrine, which has been logically argued from Scripture. My main issue with aligning too closely with a man is you must also align with their baggage as well, i.e. Luther’s view of the Book of James, Calvin’s anti-semitism, etc.

    On to my question – How, according to what you wrote regarding baptism, would a Lutheran exegete 1 Cor. 1:17? If Paul’s calling and concern was primarily for the preaching of the gospel, why did he not accompany the proclamation with baptism at every conversion? If what you say is true, how can Paul claim he is presenting the full gospel or the fullness of Christ, if he is not also baptizing?

  • Pete Bargas

    Dear Dr. Luther 21, or Any other Lutheran,

    Let me start by saying, I do for all intense and purposes, find myself leaning towards the theology of Calvin. However, I hold soft and loose to systems in ever search of biblical veritas. Whether that truth is espoused by Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, or any other reformer/exegete, I care little. I simply want sound doctrine, which has been logically argued from Scripture. My main issue with aligning too closely with a man is you must also align with their baggage as well, i.e. Luther’s view of the Book of James, Calvin’s anti-semitism, etc.

    On to my question – How, according to what you wrote regarding baptism, would a Lutheran exegete 1 Cor. 1:17? If Paul’s calling and concern was primarily for the preaching of the gospel, why did he not accompany the proclamation with baptism at every conversion? If what you say is true, how can Paul claim he is presenting the full gospel or the fullness of Christ, if he is not also baptizing?

  • Bob

    Pete,

    Here’s a link to a standard Lutheran commentary — you can go to 1:17

    http://www.kretzmannproject.org/

  • Bob

    Pete,

    Here’s a link to a standard Lutheran commentary — you can go to 1:17

    http://www.kretzmannproject.org/

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Steve Martin said:
    your internally focused, emphasis on the ‘self’, Reformed Baptist stuff.

    If that’s what you think of Reformed Baptist-ism, you don’t know it as well as you think.
    Oh well, thanks for the chat.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Steve Martin said:
    your internally focused, emphasis on the ‘self’, Reformed Baptist stuff.

    If that’s what you think of Reformed Baptist-ism, you don’t know it as well as you think.
    Oh well, thanks for the chat.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

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

    Rhology,

    I do believe I know far better than you do.

    Christian traditions that do not value the external Word in the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion, will inevitably look inward for their assurance. Then come all the religious projects and exercises to produce or to be able to ‘see’ good fruit…to cultivate ‘feelings’ of being saved, etc., etc., etc..

    Good luck with all of that. I hope you don’t get nosebleeds from clibbing the ladder of your own seriousness. :D

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

    Rhology,

    I do believe I know far better than you do.

    Christian traditions that do not value the external Word in the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion, will inevitably look inward for their assurance. Then come all the religious projects and exercises to produce or to be able to ‘see’ good fruit…to cultivate ‘feelings’ of being saved, etc., etc., etc..

    Good luck with all of that. I hope you don’t get nosebleeds from clibbing the ladder of your own seriousness. :D

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    I do believe I know far better than you do.

    You know my position better than I do? Well, OK….

    Christian traditions that do not value the external Word in the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion, will inevitably look inward for their assurance.

    I’m glad you’re here to tell me that I’m looking inward for my assurance when all this time I thought I was looking outward, at Jesus, for my assurance.
    I don’t really see how these external things can grant any assurance when one can take them and still end up in Hell, though. Maybe that’s more “paradox” (which would seem to be a code word for those who don’t want to leave Lutheranism, defined as “what someone calls an irreconcilable contradiction that would force a consistent person to give up Lutheranism”).

    Then come all the religious projects and exercises to produce or to be able to ‘see’ good fruit…to cultivate ‘feelings’ of being saved, etc., etc., etc..

    I’m afraid you may be projecting your view of Charles Stanley onto me. I’d appreciate if you simply asked me what I believe if you don’t know.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    I do believe I know far better than you do.

    You know my position better than I do? Well, OK….

    Christian traditions that do not value the external Word in the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion, will inevitably look inward for their assurance.

    I’m glad you’re here to tell me that I’m looking inward for my assurance when all this time I thought I was looking outward, at Jesus, for my assurance.
    I don’t really see how these external things can grant any assurance when one can take them and still end up in Hell, though. Maybe that’s more “paradox” (which would seem to be a code word for those who don’t want to leave Lutheranism, defined as “what someone calls an irreconcilable contradiction that would force a consistent person to give up Lutheranism”).

    Then come all the religious projects and exercises to produce or to be able to ‘see’ good fruit…to cultivate ‘feelings’ of being saved, etc., etc., etc..

    I’m afraid you may be projecting your view of Charles Stanley onto me. I’d appreciate if you simply asked me what I believe if you don’t know.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • Bob

    Maybe that’s more “paradox” (which would seem to be a code word for those who don’t want to leave Lutheranism, defined as “what someone calls an irreconcilable contradiction that would force a consistent person to give up Lutheranism”).

    Rhology,

    You certainly are coming across as someone who’s really judgmental of us who are Lutherans. If you came here for dialogue, fine. But I must say I feel pretty insulted by what I pasted in here.
    If you want to challenge folks here, drop the arrogant attitude and you might get a hearing.

  • Bob

    Maybe that’s more “paradox” (which would seem to be a code word for those who don’t want to leave Lutheranism, defined as “what someone calls an irreconcilable contradiction that would force a consistent person to give up Lutheranism”).

    Rhology,

    You certainly are coming across as someone who’s really judgmental of us who are Lutherans. If you came here for dialogue, fine. But I must say I feel pretty insulted by what I pasted in here.
    If you want to challenge folks here, drop the arrogant attitude and you might get a hearing.

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

    Rhology,

    Those who do not have an external Word and Sacrament theology, will by default, have an interanlizing of the Word.

    You may not realize it, or believe it to be so, but there is no other place for ‘your faith’ to land.

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

    Rhology,

    Those who do not have an external Word and Sacrament theology, will by default, have an interanlizing of the Word.

    You may not realize it, or believe it to be so, but there is no other place for ‘your faith’ to land.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Rhology said (@34):

    I don’t really see how these external things can grant any assurance when one can take them and still end up in Hell, though.

    A popular sentiment among some non-Lutherans here. I hope you’re not surprised if I think it misses the point, on several levels.

    First, there is the point that your argument could equally be applied to whatever it is that you do take comfort in. Do you find comfort in the words of the Bible? But many people read those and yet end up in Hell! Feel free to tell us what it is that you do trust in, but I think you’ll find that someone can make a claim about any of them that others trusted in those things (or at least thought they did) and yet ended up in Hell.

    Of course, that line of thinking — in addition to taking us nowhere but a complete absence of salvation — still misses the point that God is faithful, man is not. If men go to Hell, it is not because God failed to keep his promises, it is because man did not care about God’s promises. The men in Hell sought assurance in themselves. The saints in heaven sought assurance from God.

    And, ultimately, your argument here ignores what God tells us. It focuses on man’s unfaithfulness, and ignores God’s promises. Ask yourself: why did God himself tell us that baptism saves us? To assure us. It is his promise to us. To you.

    Ignore God’s promise if you want. But at your own peril.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Rhology said (@34):

    I don’t really see how these external things can grant any assurance when one can take them and still end up in Hell, though.

    A popular sentiment among some non-Lutherans here. I hope you’re not surprised if I think it misses the point, on several levels.

    First, there is the point that your argument could equally be applied to whatever it is that you do take comfort in. Do you find comfort in the words of the Bible? But many people read those and yet end up in Hell! Feel free to tell us what it is that you do trust in, but I think you’ll find that someone can make a claim about any of them that others trusted in those things (or at least thought they did) and yet ended up in Hell.

    Of course, that line of thinking — in addition to taking us nowhere but a complete absence of salvation — still misses the point that God is faithful, man is not. If men go to Hell, it is not because God failed to keep his promises, it is because man did not care about God’s promises. The men in Hell sought assurance in themselves. The saints in heaven sought assurance from God.

    And, ultimately, your argument here ignores what God tells us. It focuses on man’s unfaithfulness, and ignores God’s promises. Ask yourself: why did God himself tell us that baptism saves us? To assure us. It is his promise to us. To you.

    Ignore God’s promise if you want. But at your own peril.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    I loved this book! I don’t know how closely you all follow the YRR crowd, but Tullian caught some flack over this from someone who should be Emergent, but isn’t. And of course, there was the ever present middle voice, intoning blandly how we are really saying the same thing and can’t we all get along. In all of this the Gospel somehow slipped between the cracks.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    I loved this book! I don’t know how closely you all follow the YRR crowd, but Tullian caught some flack over this from someone who should be Emergent, but isn’t. And of course, there was the ever present middle voice, intoning blandly how we are really saying the same thing and can’t we all get along. In all of this the Gospel somehow slipped between the cracks.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    tODD @37,

    Do you find comfort in the words of the Bible?

    Yes, b/c of what the words express.
    They could just as easily express “you’re damned, with no hope” (hypothetically); in that case, the external (the book) wouldn’t give any hope at all. It’s the MESSAGE that matters.

    But many people read those and yet end up in Hell!

    B/c the Bible says that the effectual call is done via the Gospel proclamation, but what makes it effectual is the Holy Spirit’s action of regeneration, the Father’s drawing.
    Many people are properly baptised Lutheran and yet end up in Hell. Nobody’s claiming that all who hear the Gospel proclamation are saved, but I do from Lutherans that baptism always saves.
    It’s disanalogous.

    Feel free to tell us what it is that you do trust in

    The Gospel. That’s an easy one. :-)
    Why, what do you trust in?

    I think you’ll find that someone can make a claim about any of them that others trusted in those things (or at least thought they did) and yet ended up in Hell.

    You mean like those who trusted in baptism?
    Those who are truly regenerate are infallibly saved by Jesus (John 6:40-45, Romans 8:29-30). I’m not sure what you’re referring to.

    The men in Hell sought assurance in themselves. The saints in heaven sought assurance from God.

    I agree on that, but I don’t know how it’s relevant here.

    your argument here ignores what God tells us.

    Not really, since God told us clearly salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, not grace + something.

    why did God himself tell us that baptism saves us?

    To emphasise the non-optional nature of baptism for the believer.
    Why did God Himself tell us that it’s grace alone that saves us, not by works?
    Why can I simply redefine any work as “a work from God” like you do for baptism?

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    tODD @37,

    Do you find comfort in the words of the Bible?

    Yes, b/c of what the words express.
    They could just as easily express “you’re damned, with no hope” (hypothetically); in that case, the external (the book) wouldn’t give any hope at all. It’s the MESSAGE that matters.

    But many people read those and yet end up in Hell!

    B/c the Bible says that the effectual call is done via the Gospel proclamation, but what makes it effectual is the Holy Spirit’s action of regeneration, the Father’s drawing.
    Many people are properly baptised Lutheran and yet end up in Hell. Nobody’s claiming that all who hear the Gospel proclamation are saved, but I do from Lutherans that baptism always saves.
    It’s disanalogous.

    Feel free to tell us what it is that you do trust in

    The Gospel. That’s an easy one. :-)
    Why, what do you trust in?

    I think you’ll find that someone can make a claim about any of them that others trusted in those things (or at least thought they did) and yet ended up in Hell.

    You mean like those who trusted in baptism?
    Those who are truly regenerate are infallibly saved by Jesus (John 6:40-45, Romans 8:29-30). I’m not sure what you’re referring to.

    The men in Hell sought assurance in themselves. The saints in heaven sought assurance from God.

    I agree on that, but I don’t know how it’s relevant here.

    your argument here ignores what God tells us.

    Not really, since God told us clearly salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, not grace + something.

    why did God himself tell us that baptism saves us?

    To emphasise the non-optional nature of baptism for the believer.
    Why did God Himself tell us that it’s grace alone that saves us, not by works?
    Why can I simply redefine any work as “a work from God” like you do for baptism?

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • #4 Kitty

    @Rhology #34

    Maybe that’s more “paradox” (which would seem to be a code word for those who don’t want to leave Lutheranism, defined as “what someone calls an irreconcilable contradiction that would force a consistent person to give up Lutheranism”).

    That’s why it’s called “Theology” and not logic, mathematics, or science. In other words, we don’t expect it to make sense we just sort of make it up as we go along and then … believe it …I guess.

  • #4 Kitty

    @Rhology #34

    Maybe that’s more “paradox” (which would seem to be a code word for those who don’t want to leave Lutheranism, defined as “what someone calls an irreconcilable contradiction that would force a consistent person to give up Lutheranism”).

    That’s why it’s called “Theology” and not logic, mathematics, or science. In other words, we don’t expect it to make sense we just sort of make it up as we go along and then … believe it …I guess.

  • http://www.docsdining.blogspot.com Jason Kanz

    @ John (38),
    I actually appreciated that dialog between DeYoung and Tchvidjian more than most theological discussions I have read in recent years. It was excellent to see them “talk” without devolving into name calling, etc.

  • http://www.docsdining.blogspot.com Jason Kanz

    @ John (38),
    I actually appreciated that dialog between DeYoung and Tchvidjian more than most theological discussions I have read in recent years. It was excellent to see them “talk” without devolving into name calling, etc.

  • http://www.docsdining.blogspot.com Jason Kanz

    #4 Kitty wrote, “That’s why it’s called “Theology” and not logic, mathematics, or science. In other words, we don’t expect it to make sense we just sort of make it up as we go along and then … believe it …I guess.”

    I struggle with this statement. I believe that God is the God of logic. I struggle with the idea of paradox, though I am open to the ideas of mystery and even apparent paradox. Part of the reason people reject faith before even getting to the cross is that we seem to be okay with the fact that “we just sort of make it up as we go along” and “don’t expect it to make sense.” It does make sense and many fine Calvinists (and others) have sought diligently to show that it is a logically consistent worldview capable of being defended.

  • http://www.docsdining.blogspot.com Jason Kanz

    #4 Kitty wrote, “That’s why it’s called “Theology” and not logic, mathematics, or science. In other words, we don’t expect it to make sense we just sort of make it up as we go along and then … believe it …I guess.”

    I struggle with this statement. I believe that God is the God of logic. I struggle with the idea of paradox, though I am open to the ideas of mystery and even apparent paradox. Part of the reason people reject faith before even getting to the cross is that we seem to be okay with the fact that “we just sort of make it up as we go along” and “don’t expect it to make sense.” It does make sense and many fine Calvinists (and others) have sought diligently to show that it is a logically consistent worldview capable of being defended.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @#30 I am going to assume you are new to this blog, but I am still going to be brief.

    Lutherans do not align themselves with Luther (despite the name) we align ourselves with the confessions found in the Book of Concord. As for Luther’s baggage, your information concerning the Epistle of James is incomplete I suggest finding a copy of the preface Luther wrote later in his life, also we don’t think he is infallible so why bother worrying about what he got wrong, we acknowledge it for what it is.

    @Rhology, if we (Lutherans) are so wrong care to explain
    1 Peter 3:21 “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” Please explain to me why this passage doesn’t mean what it says.

    Also, you cannot disprove the efficacy of Baptism because people reject what is offered. Jesus made it pretty clear not everybody who received the Gospel would be saved.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @#30 I am going to assume you are new to this blog, but I am still going to be brief.

    Lutherans do not align themselves with Luther (despite the name) we align ourselves with the confessions found in the Book of Concord. As for Luther’s baggage, your information concerning the Epistle of James is incomplete I suggest finding a copy of the preface Luther wrote later in his life, also we don’t think he is infallible so why bother worrying about what he got wrong, we acknowledge it for what it is.

    @Rhology, if we (Lutherans) are so wrong care to explain
    1 Peter 3:21 “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” Please explain to me why this passage doesn’t mean what it says.

    Also, you cannot disprove the efficacy of Baptism because people reject what is offered. Jesus made it pretty clear not everybody who received the Gospel would be saved.

  • #4 Kitty

    @ Jason
    The church at one time didn’t even have the Trinity worked out or the nature of Christ. Want a more recent example? I don’t think we Lutherans have the canon set in stone yet. Our system of nonsense theology took time and we (the church) sort of …”made it up as we went along.” I respect using the word paradox or mystery if it means “Under Construction” or “Come Back Later”.

    It does make sense and many fine Calvinists (and others) have sought diligently to show that it is a logically consistent worldview capable of being defended.

    I appreciate that and I hope they find their way here. Puzzles are more fun that way.

  • #4 Kitty

    @ Jason
    The church at one time didn’t even have the Trinity worked out or the nature of Christ. Want a more recent example? I don’t think we Lutherans have the canon set in stone yet. Our system of nonsense theology took time and we (the church) sort of …”made it up as we went along.” I respect using the word paradox or mystery if it means “Under Construction” or “Come Back Later”.

    It does make sense and many fine Calvinists (and others) have sought diligently to show that it is a logically consistent worldview capable of being defended.

    I appreciate that and I hope they find their way here. Puzzles are more fun that way.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    1 Peter 3:21 says “NOT the removal of dirt from the flesh but an appeal to God for a clear conscience”.
    The appeal is the important thing, which is why Peter dissociates it from the physical.
    Baptism is inseparable from salvation because it’s not optional; it’s commanded; it’s what new Christians do, period.

    So, baptism is efficacious but doesn’t actually do anything.
    That’s a big difference. I say the Holy Spirit regenerates and the Father draws, and that is effectual/efficacious 100% of the time. You say we have to do a work to be saved, and it works some of the time, and even when it works it doesn’t actually save you. It just, what? Gets you into a state of grace until you sin bad enough to remove its benefit from you?
    That’s not very Romans 8:29-30, you know. Or John 6:40-45. Or John 10:28-30, where Jesus says “My sheep…will never perish”. Sounds like His sheep can perish if Lutheranism is true.
    Thank God it ain’t.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    1 Peter 3:21 says “NOT the removal of dirt from the flesh but an appeal to God for a clear conscience”.
    The appeal is the important thing, which is why Peter dissociates it from the physical.
    Baptism is inseparable from salvation because it’s not optional; it’s commanded; it’s what new Christians do, period.

    So, baptism is efficacious but doesn’t actually do anything.
    That’s a big difference. I say the Holy Spirit regenerates and the Father draws, and that is effectual/efficacious 100% of the time. You say we have to do a work to be saved, and it works some of the time, and even when it works it doesn’t actually save you. It just, what? Gets you into a state of grace until you sin bad enough to remove its benefit from you?
    That’s not very Romans 8:29-30, you know. Or John 6:40-45. Or John 10:28-30, where Jesus says “My sheep…will never perish”. Sounds like His sheep can perish if Lutheranism is true.
    Thank God it ain’t.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • George A. Marquart

    Jeus+Nothing=Everything=The Gospel. But it is not true that “the good news of free forgiveness in the cross of Jesus Christ is the driving energy that makes the Christian life possible.” For some reason we Lutherans, who claim that our understanding of Christianity is perfect, forget (or avoid?) the Holy Spirit. Martin Luther wrote beautifully about Him in his explanation of the Third Article of the Creed, and confusingly in his explanation of the Petition, “Thy Kingdom Come.” Sasse wrote in 1960, “If indeed the true doctrine of the Holy Spirit has lost its citizenship (Heimatrecht) in church and congregation, then it cannot be long before the reality of the Holy Spirit is also lost to us …” The truth of the matter is that we do not proclaim the Gospel purely if we ignore the role of the Holy Spirit. I have searched this posting and comments, and the Holy Spirit is not there. (By the time I finished this, He made an appearance in #45)

    If the make the Gospel “the driving force” then our faith is reduced to a psychological experience. The Gospel has no force or power of its own. When Paul speaks of the Gospel in Romans 1, he calls it “the power of God.” The Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, He shares this power, and it is through this power that when “He calls us through the Gospel,” we can believe the Good News.

    So then, what is the driving energy that makes the Christian life possible? It is our very nature! This is not presumptuous; it is what Scripture and the Confessions teach. Not the nature with which we were born, but the new nature given to us when we were baptized:
    “The Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord
    VI. The Third Use of the Law
    17] But when man is born anew by the Spirit of God, and liberated from the Law, that is, freed from this driver, and is led by the Spirit of Christ, he lives according to the immutable will of God comprised in the Law, and so far as he is born anew, does everything from a free, cheerful spirit; and these are called not properly works of the Law, but works and fruits of the Spirit, or as St. Paul names it, the law of the mind and the Law of Christ.”

    1 Corinthians 2:12, “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. 13 And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual. 14 Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else’s scrutiny. 16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”

    When Luther wrote, “I am baptized,” this, to him, was the ultimate declaration that all of salvation is a gift – nothing depends on us. To him “we are all beggars” was joyous relief, not a complaint. But without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, there can always be that slight suspicion that, “maybe I have not done enough, or done it correctly?”

    The Gospel-The Holy Spirit=Nothing, but it is still true that Jesus+Nothing=Everything. Such is the vastness of God’s mercy.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Jeus+Nothing=Everything=The Gospel. But it is not true that “the good news of free forgiveness in the cross of Jesus Christ is the driving energy that makes the Christian life possible.” For some reason we Lutherans, who claim that our understanding of Christianity is perfect, forget (or avoid?) the Holy Spirit. Martin Luther wrote beautifully about Him in his explanation of the Third Article of the Creed, and confusingly in his explanation of the Petition, “Thy Kingdom Come.” Sasse wrote in 1960, “If indeed the true doctrine of the Holy Spirit has lost its citizenship (Heimatrecht) in church and congregation, then it cannot be long before the reality of the Holy Spirit is also lost to us …” The truth of the matter is that we do not proclaim the Gospel purely if we ignore the role of the Holy Spirit. I have searched this posting and comments, and the Holy Spirit is not there. (By the time I finished this, He made an appearance in #45)

    If the make the Gospel “the driving force” then our faith is reduced to a psychological experience. The Gospel has no force or power of its own. When Paul speaks of the Gospel in Romans 1, he calls it “the power of God.” The Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, He shares this power, and it is through this power that when “He calls us through the Gospel,” we can believe the Good News.

    So then, what is the driving energy that makes the Christian life possible? It is our very nature! This is not presumptuous; it is what Scripture and the Confessions teach. Not the nature with which we were born, but the new nature given to us when we were baptized:
    “The Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord
    VI. The Third Use of the Law
    17] But when man is born anew by the Spirit of God, and liberated from the Law, that is, freed from this driver, and is led by the Spirit of Christ, he lives according to the immutable will of God comprised in the Law, and so far as he is born anew, does everything from a free, cheerful spirit; and these are called not properly works of the Law, but works and fruits of the Spirit, or as St. Paul names it, the law of the mind and the Law of Christ.”

    1 Corinthians 2:12, “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. 13 And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual. 14 Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else’s scrutiny. 16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”

    When Luther wrote, “I am baptized,” this, to him, was the ultimate declaration that all of salvation is a gift – nothing depends on us. To him “we are all beggars” was joyous relief, not a complaint. But without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, there can always be that slight suspicion that, “maybe I have not done enough, or done it correctly?”

    The Gospel-The Holy Spirit=Nothing, but it is still true that Jesus+Nothing=Everything. Such is the vastness of God’s mercy.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

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

    Rhology,
    If you don’t perceive baptism as grace poured over you, you have the wrong conception of baptism. What part of it is not grace? That is my question to you.

    This is why Lutheran’s don’t see even a paradox here, not to my knowledge. Baptism is grace. Baptism is gospel, and the Holy Spirit works through it just as much as he does through the spoken word, bringing Christ into our lives. (Same with the Lord’s Supper btw).

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

    Rhology,
    If you don’t perceive baptism as grace poured over you, you have the wrong conception of baptism. What part of it is not grace? That is my question to you.

    This is why Lutheran’s don’t see even a paradox here, not to my knowledge. Baptism is grace. Baptism is gospel, and the Holy Spirit works through it just as much as he does through the spoken word, bringing Christ into our lives. (Same with the Lord’s Supper btw).

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Hi Bror Erickson!

    What part of it is not grace? That is my question to you.

    Because it’s something you do.
    Works are not grace.

    Baptism is grace. Baptism is gospel

    No, grace is grace, and gospel is gospel.
    You are freaking me out, seriously. Don’t say stuff like that. Works are not the Gospel.

    the Holy Spirit works through it just as much as he does through the spoken word, bringing Christ into our lives

    That’s not all y’all say, though. Y’all tell us that baptism actually saves people, and that’s just not true at all. Grace does, regeneration does, and it is forever.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Hi Bror Erickson!

    What part of it is not grace? That is my question to you.

    Because it’s something you do.
    Works are not grace.

    Baptism is grace. Baptism is gospel

    No, grace is grace, and gospel is gospel.
    You are freaking me out, seriously. Don’t say stuff like that. Works are not the Gospel.

    the Holy Spirit works through it just as much as he does through the spoken word, bringing Christ into our lives

    That’s not all y’all say, though. Y’all tell us that baptism actually saves people, and that’s just not true at all. Grace does, regeneration does, and it is forever.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @Rhology, um, I am not sure you understand what you are saying. Peter did not disassociate it from the physical. What he did was clarify what is being washed. It is not an external washing as say washing of the hands but it is a washing of the conscience through the resurrection.

    Also, baptism is never commanded. It was included in a command, but baptism itself is never commanded. Relying on English translations I can see where one makes the mistake, but in the Greek particularly in Matthew 28, it is a participle not an imperative. It is in fact, the means by which the command is carried out.

    “So, baptism is efficacious but doesn’t actually do anything.” Keep putting words in my mouth and I will ignore you as I would any other troll. Now, I said that just because some have rejected the gifts that baptism gives does not negate God’s promise given in baptism. You cannot judge its merits simply because people have refused God’s gifts. People from the time of the fall have been rejecting God word but that does not negate His promise that where His word goes it accomplishes that which he sent it to do. What it means is that you are trying to disprove God’s gift with a leap of logic originating in the unanswerable question, “Why some and not others?” It has been very clearly stated in the parable of the sower and in other places that people would and can reject the faith. You are rejecting the testimony of Scripture in order to keep your worldview. Do not confuse Romans 8 as speaking about everybody who is called, it speaks only of the elect those who do not fall into the sin that leads to death (1 John 5)

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @Rhology, um, I am not sure you understand what you are saying. Peter did not disassociate it from the physical. What he did was clarify what is being washed. It is not an external washing as say washing of the hands but it is a washing of the conscience through the resurrection.

    Also, baptism is never commanded. It was included in a command, but baptism itself is never commanded. Relying on English translations I can see where one makes the mistake, but in the Greek particularly in Matthew 28, it is a participle not an imperative. It is in fact, the means by which the command is carried out.

    “So, baptism is efficacious but doesn’t actually do anything.” Keep putting words in my mouth and I will ignore you as I would any other troll. Now, I said that just because some have rejected the gifts that baptism gives does not negate God’s promise given in baptism. You cannot judge its merits simply because people have refused God’s gifts. People from the time of the fall have been rejecting God word but that does not negate His promise that where His word goes it accomplishes that which he sent it to do. What it means is that you are trying to disprove God’s gift with a leap of logic originating in the unanswerable question, “Why some and not others?” It has been very clearly stated in the parable of the sower and in other places that people would and can reject the faith. You are rejecting the testimony of Scripture in order to keep your worldview. Do not confuse Romans 8 as speaking about everybody who is called, it speaks only of the elect those who do not fall into the sin that leads to death (1 John 5)

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Peter did not disassociate it from the physical. What he did was clarify what is being washed.

    Well, I disagree with you, and how precisely does water wash the heart? That’s the deal – either way you slice it, it’s a heart issue, and that’s the arena of the Holy Spirit, which is a supernatural work, and not a work that we do.
    Baptism is a work we do, by definition. How do we know? Because we do it. That’s what “work” means.
    Your interpretation renders sola fide meaningless.

    baptism is never commanded

    Sure it is. Acts 2:38.

    “So, baptism is efficacious but doesn’t actually do anything.” Keep putting words in my mouth and I will ignore you as I would any other troll.

    Instead of getting your hackles up, just answer the question. Stick to the issue. If you’re wondering how, see how Steve Martin above treated me and how I responded.

    You cannot judge its merits simply because people have refused God’s gifts.

    So, does baptism save or not?

    People from the time of the fall have been rejecting God word but that does not negate His promise that where His word goes it accomplishes that which he sent it to do.

    How is that analogous? Sounds like God’s Word gets it done 100% of the time, and you’re trying to give an excuse why baptism doesn’t get it done 100% of the time. I don’t get it.

    What it means is that you are trying to disprove God’s gift with a leap of logic originating in the unanswerable question, “Why some and not others?”

    It’s not unanswerable; it’s answered quite clearly in Romans 9 and John 6:44-45.

    You are rejecting the testimony of Scripture in order to keep your worldview

    That’s for you to prove, not assert.

    Do not confuse Romans 8 as speaking about everybody who is called, it speaks only of the elect those who do not f
    all into the sin that leads to death (1 John 5)

    Hahaha, to prove that I’m rejecting the testimony of Scripture to keep my worldview, you cite two completely unrelated prooftexts and eisegete them together, while misinterpreting both. Nicely done.
    Romans 8 says that all who are justified are glorified. There’s nothing unclear about that.
    Let me ask you: Are there those who are justified who are not glorified? How is that possible?
    And 1 John 5 refers to sin that leads to physical death; to contend that it leads to spiritual death (out of a justified state) is to assert that Jesus was flatly wrong in John 10:29, that His sheep can indeed perish.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Peter did not disassociate it from the physical. What he did was clarify what is being washed.

    Well, I disagree with you, and how precisely does water wash the heart? That’s the deal – either way you slice it, it’s a heart issue, and that’s the arena of the Holy Spirit, which is a supernatural work, and not a work that we do.
    Baptism is a work we do, by definition. How do we know? Because we do it. That’s what “work” means.
    Your interpretation renders sola fide meaningless.

    baptism is never commanded

    Sure it is. Acts 2:38.

    “So, baptism is efficacious but doesn’t actually do anything.” Keep putting words in my mouth and I will ignore you as I would any other troll.

    Instead of getting your hackles up, just answer the question. Stick to the issue. If you’re wondering how, see how Steve Martin above treated me and how I responded.

    You cannot judge its merits simply because people have refused God’s gifts.

    So, does baptism save or not?

    People from the time of the fall have been rejecting God word but that does not negate His promise that where His word goes it accomplishes that which he sent it to do.

    How is that analogous? Sounds like God’s Word gets it done 100% of the time, and you’re trying to give an excuse why baptism doesn’t get it done 100% of the time. I don’t get it.

    What it means is that you are trying to disprove God’s gift with a leap of logic originating in the unanswerable question, “Why some and not others?”

    It’s not unanswerable; it’s answered quite clearly in Romans 9 and John 6:44-45.

    You are rejecting the testimony of Scripture in order to keep your worldview

    That’s for you to prove, not assert.

    Do not confuse Romans 8 as speaking about everybody who is called, it speaks only of the elect those who do not f
    all into the sin that leads to death (1 John 5)

    Hahaha, to prove that I’m rejecting the testimony of Scripture to keep my worldview, you cite two completely unrelated prooftexts and eisegete them together, while misinterpreting both. Nicely done.
    Romans 8 says that all who are justified are glorified. There’s nothing unclear about that.
    Let me ask you: Are there those who are justified who are not glorified? How is that possible?
    And 1 John 5 refers to sin that leads to physical death; to contend that it leads to spiritual death (out of a justified state) is to assert that Jesus was flatly wrong in John 10:29, that His sheep can indeed perish.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

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

    Pete @30,
    I see others have tackled your questions here, but I’d like to reiterate, what they have said. Lutheran’s feel quite free to ditch the baggage. Lutheran was at first a perjorative term used to describe people who held to his views concerning election and the sacraments, views that actually differ quite a bit from Calvin’s. On this you might read http://www.amazon.com/Luther-Discovers-The-Gospel-Catholicism/dp/140673229X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1331670975&sr=8-1
    Which I have recommended already elsewhere, but seriously you might find it worth your time. I did. I won’t go into Luther and James right now, but then on that you might find Reu, “Luther and Scripture” to be interesting too. Luther was not alone in his day in that view, most everyone held to it. on the other hand, I tend to view Calvin’s entire thought process to be the baggage one wants to avoid. I don’t find it all that logical, and find it to be at odds with scripture, hence illogical.
    As for 1 cor. I think it is fairly obvious from the text itself that Paul actually did baptize, and he did so for a reason. He did not see it as against the gospel to baptize, but part of what Christ sent him to do. In fact he baptized the same way Jesus did, by having others do it for him, but in a few cases he actually did the baptizing. He is thankful that this was limited as now people are actually divided by who baptized them. And he would not want to contribute to that debate. We are all actually baptized by Christ any how, it does not matter who is actually pouring the water. John the Baptist makes this clear when he says that he who comes after me will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. Jesus is doing the baptizing and with the water comes the Holy Spirit as even Matt. 28 makes quite plain.
    However, Paul was sent primarily to preach, He could delegate the rest of what he was to do, have others baptize, feed the poor and so on, But Paul was sent to preach. Our Lutheran confessions talk about preaching as the greatest responsibility of the pastor, that thinng which one shall not do with out a proper call and so forth. And This finds support here. For more on all that you could see Lockwood’s commentary on 1 Corinthians.
    But I also think it is quite dangerous, though a typical calvinist thing to do, to use this passage as a way of writing off all that Paul has to say concerning baptism elsewhere and even in this letter! Especially when he links baptism to being both sanctified and justified in 1 Cor. 6.

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

    Pete @30,
    I see others have tackled your questions here, but I’d like to reiterate, what they have said. Lutheran’s feel quite free to ditch the baggage. Lutheran was at first a perjorative term used to describe people who held to his views concerning election and the sacraments, views that actually differ quite a bit from Calvin’s. On this you might read http://www.amazon.com/Luther-Discovers-The-Gospel-Catholicism/dp/140673229X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1331670975&sr=8-1
    Which I have recommended already elsewhere, but seriously you might find it worth your time. I did. I won’t go into Luther and James right now, but then on that you might find Reu, “Luther and Scripture” to be interesting too. Luther was not alone in his day in that view, most everyone held to it. on the other hand, I tend to view Calvin’s entire thought process to be the baggage one wants to avoid. I don’t find it all that logical, and find it to be at odds with scripture, hence illogical.
    As for 1 cor. I think it is fairly obvious from the text itself that Paul actually did baptize, and he did so for a reason. He did not see it as against the gospel to baptize, but part of what Christ sent him to do. In fact he baptized the same way Jesus did, by having others do it for him, but in a few cases he actually did the baptizing. He is thankful that this was limited as now people are actually divided by who baptized them. And he would not want to contribute to that debate. We are all actually baptized by Christ any how, it does not matter who is actually pouring the water. John the Baptist makes this clear when he says that he who comes after me will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. Jesus is doing the baptizing and with the water comes the Holy Spirit as even Matt. 28 makes quite plain.
    However, Paul was sent primarily to preach, He could delegate the rest of what he was to do, have others baptize, feed the poor and so on, But Paul was sent to preach. Our Lutheran confessions talk about preaching as the greatest responsibility of the pastor, that thinng which one shall not do with out a proper call and so forth. And This finds support here. For more on all that you could see Lockwood’s commentary on 1 Corinthians.
    But I also think it is quite dangerous, though a typical calvinist thing to do, to use this passage as a way of writing off all that Paul has to say concerning baptism elsewhere and even in this letter! Especially when he links baptism to being both sanctified and justified in 1 Cor. 6.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Especially when he links baptism to being both sanctified and justified in 1 Cor. 6.

    He says “you were washed”. Please prove that this means baptism and not spiritual washing, like regeneration. How does baptism matter in terms of turning a sinner into a saint?
    Let me put it this way – regenerate a sinner and he becomes a saint 100% of the time.
    Baptise a sinner and he becomes a saint… not very much.

    See the difference?

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Especially when he links baptism to being both sanctified and justified in 1 Cor. 6.

    He says “you were washed”. Please prove that this means baptism and not spiritual washing, like regeneration. How does baptism matter in terms of turning a sinner into a saint?
    Let me put it this way – regenerate a sinner and he becomes a saint 100% of the time.
    Baptise a sinner and he becomes a saint… not very much.

    See the difference?

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

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

    Its hard not to think of Baptism as man’s work. But God gives it and He does everything in it as has already been said. It is His gift, as it is given by Jesus himself to give comfort throughout one’s Christian life. And the gifts that God attaches to Baptism by His Name and promise are pure grace. God’s Word speaks clearly on Baptism. Titus 3:4-6. My favorite baptismal passage. Thanks for the recommend, good Doctor V. I’m putting this on my short list.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Its hard not to think of Baptism as man’s work. But God gives it and He does everything in it as has already been said. It is His gift, as it is given by Jesus himself to give comfort throughout one’s Christian life. And the gifts that God attaches to Baptism by His Name and promise are pure grace. God’s Word speaks clearly on Baptism. Titus 3:4-6. My favorite baptismal passage. Thanks for the recommend, good Doctor V. I’m putting this on my short list.

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

    Rhology,
    How could I go about proving that it meant baptism and not a spiritual washing like regeneration, since by proving it meant baptism would prove that it was a spiritual washing and regeneration?
    I suppose I might point to say Ezekiel 36, or Acts 16 and the whole thing with the jailer, where the Holy Spirit seems to equate believing with being baptized, unless of course you don’t believe that Acts is inspired by the Holy Spirit.
    Once I “proved” it was baptism, then it would be he means spiritual baptism and not water baptism. And Lutherans just don’t see the same dichotomy as you do. Jesus commanded the disciples to make disciples by baptizing, they understood that this baptizing was something done with water. They were even able to count how many had been baptized, which if it was just some sort of inner spiritual feeling would be impossible to count. And baptizing and washing were interchangeable terms in the New Testament, in Luke 12 the Pharisee is upset that Jesus doesn’t wash before dinner, that is the English translation, the Greek says he didn’t baptize before dinner. Then you have Mark 7 where the terms are used interchangeably in the same sentence. So what other washing does Christ in anyway attach salvation or justification too? Or Sanctification? The question in my head is how would the original people hearing this letter interpret wash here? What is Paul reminding them of, a feeling he doesn’t know they had or not, or a baptism he knows was performed on them?
    Well I hope that helps. I might also point out the tenth chapter, and what that means for baptism.

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

    Rhology,
    How could I go about proving that it meant baptism and not a spiritual washing like regeneration, since by proving it meant baptism would prove that it was a spiritual washing and regeneration?
    I suppose I might point to say Ezekiel 36, or Acts 16 and the whole thing with the jailer, where the Holy Spirit seems to equate believing with being baptized, unless of course you don’t believe that Acts is inspired by the Holy Spirit.
    Once I “proved” it was baptism, then it would be he means spiritual baptism and not water baptism. And Lutherans just don’t see the same dichotomy as you do. Jesus commanded the disciples to make disciples by baptizing, they understood that this baptizing was something done with water. They were even able to count how many had been baptized, which if it was just some sort of inner spiritual feeling would be impossible to count. And baptizing and washing were interchangeable terms in the New Testament, in Luke 12 the Pharisee is upset that Jesus doesn’t wash before dinner, that is the English translation, the Greek says he didn’t baptize before dinner. Then you have Mark 7 where the terms are used interchangeably in the same sentence. So what other washing does Christ in anyway attach salvation or justification too? Or Sanctification? The question in my head is how would the original people hearing this letter interpret wash here? What is Paul reminding them of, a feeling he doesn’t know they had or not, or a baptism he knows was performed on them?
    Well I hope that helps. I might also point out the tenth chapter, and what that means for baptism.

  • Patrick Kyle

    “. Please prove that this means baptism and not spiritual washing, like regeneration”

    Rhology, the burden of proof is on you in this case. The case that ‘washing’ means anything other baptism is only used by those denying the efficacy of baptism. ‘Spiritual washing’ is a made up term used to combat those who hold a sacramental view.

  • Patrick Kyle

    “. Please prove that this means baptism and not spiritual washing, like regeneration”

    Rhology, the burden of proof is on you in this case. The case that ‘washing’ means anything other baptism is only used by those denying the efficacy of baptism. ‘Spiritual washing’ is a made up term used to combat those who hold a sacramental view.

  • Fred

    If baptism is seen as a work…

    Then so is “Accepting Jesus as your Savior” — the beloved “decisional regeneration” of the Baptists and others

    Plus, I can’t seem to find that in the Bible…

  • Fred

    If baptism is seen as a work…

    Then so is “Accepting Jesus as your Savior” — the beloved “decisional regeneration” of the Baptists and others

    Plus, I can’t seem to find that in the Bible…

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

    Rhology,
    Well scripture demands us to believe the gospel too, so I suppose one could look at faith as a work and then we’d have to do away with this sola fide bit, or grace alone bit.
    “Baptism is a work, and works are not gospel.” This is what you are going with, and I gather you believe it is a work because it is commanded. That is interesting. not that I haven’t seen it before but it is awfully shallow, being as scripture ascribes all the work in their to that of the Holy Spirit.
    our works don’t save us. This is what Lutheran’s beleive. We cannot be saved by anything “we” do. We are saved by that which God does, especially through his Son Jesus Christ. His works do save us. I’m trying to go about this in the least snarky way I can. But our baptism is no more a work than hearing the gospel is a work. We need to hear the gospel to believe. Perhaps we can take credit that we heard the gospel and say we were saved by our works.
    Well that won’t work, that example, too often people need to work too hard to hear the gospel in too many sermons. So perhaps it is a work. O.K. that last part was snark.
    John the Baptist says it is Jesus baptizing. He is doing the work, not me. Jesus works save. Otherwise we are all doomed. But if Jesus works save, then baptism saves, just as he says through his apostle Peter.
    But if not, well then what are we talking about?
    Have to go, I’ll check back tomorrow.

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

    Rhology,
    Well scripture demands us to believe the gospel too, so I suppose one could look at faith as a work and then we’d have to do away with this sola fide bit, or grace alone bit.
    “Baptism is a work, and works are not gospel.” This is what you are going with, and I gather you believe it is a work because it is commanded. That is interesting. not that I haven’t seen it before but it is awfully shallow, being as scripture ascribes all the work in their to that of the Holy Spirit.
    our works don’t save us. This is what Lutheran’s beleive. We cannot be saved by anything “we” do. We are saved by that which God does, especially through his Son Jesus Christ. His works do save us. I’m trying to go about this in the least snarky way I can. But our baptism is no more a work than hearing the gospel is a work. We need to hear the gospel to believe. Perhaps we can take credit that we heard the gospel and say we were saved by our works.
    Well that won’t work, that example, too often people need to work too hard to hear the gospel in too many sermons. So perhaps it is a work. O.K. that last part was snark.
    John the Baptist says it is Jesus baptizing. He is doing the work, not me. Jesus works save. Otherwise we are all doomed. But if Jesus works save, then baptism saves, just as he says through his apostle Peter.
    But if not, well then what are we talking about?
    Have to go, I’ll check back tomorrow.

  • #4 Kitty

    @Patrick Kyle

    Rhology, the burden of proof is on you in this case. The case that ‘washing’ means anything other baptism is only used by those denying the efficacy of baptism. ‘Spiritual washing’ is a made up term used to combat those who hold a sacramental view.

    Why is the burden of proof on Rhology? The verse uses ἀπελούσασθε when it could have just as easily used a form of βαπτίζειν.

  • #4 Kitty

    @Patrick Kyle

    Rhology, the burden of proof is on you in this case. The case that ‘washing’ means anything other baptism is only used by those denying the efficacy of baptism. ‘Spiritual washing’ is a made up term used to combat those who hold a sacramental view.

    Why is the burden of proof on Rhology? The verse uses ἀπελούσασθε when it could have just as easily used a form of βαπτίζειν.

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

    Rhology @ 34: “I’m glad you’re here to tell me that I’m looking inward for my assurance when all this time I thought I was looking outward, at Jesus, for my assurance.”
    Rhology @ 50: “That’s the deal – either way you slice it, it’s a heart issue….”

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

    Rhology @ 34: “I’m glad you’re here to tell me that I’m looking inward for my assurance when all this time I thought I was looking outward, at Jesus, for my assurance.”
    Rhology @ 50: “That’s the deal – either way you slice it, it’s a heart issue….”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Rhology (@39), I’m clearly not keeping up with the conversation, and I’m pretty close to certain we’re talking past each other, whether intentionally or not. But here’s a reply, anyhow…

    I’d asked “Do you find comfort in the words of the Bible?”, to which you replied:

    Yes, b/c of what the words express.

    I could go one of two ways here. One would be to continue to apply your argument against you. In that case, I would say: But the words of the Bible are external things! You can “take” them, as it were, and still end up in Hell! How can you find any assurance in them?

    The other way would be to say that “b/c of what [it] expresses” is exactly why I find baptism so assuring — it is an external thing connected with God’s miraculous working!

    Does that make sense? What you allow for when it comes to the words of Scripture, you do not believe when it comes to baptism. In short, I don’t find your argument terribly consistent.

    When I said, merely rhetorically, “But many people read those and yet end up in Hell!”, you replied:

    B/c the Bible says that the effectual call is done via the Gospel proclamation, but what makes it effectual is the Holy Spirit’s action of regeneration, the Father’s drawing.

    I’m probably guilty of doing it too, but saying “the Bible says” is a bad practice. If you’re citing something, then cite something specific. Otherwise, I’m not sure what you’re thinking of. Also, “effectual call” — what does that mean? That appears to be a theological term specific to your tradition. I’m not sure what passages of Scripture you think of when you say that.

    Many people are properly baptised Lutheran and yet end up in Hell.

    This is, of course, fundamental to your argument, so I have to ask: how do you know? How do you know who ends up in Hell? I’m not denying that people go to Hell, not at all. But you speak with certainty here.

    When I asked you to “Feel free to tell us what it is that you do trust in”, you said:

    The Gospel. That’s an easy one.

    Okay, I’ll play your game. Do you trust in it enough? Is it the true Gospel, or a perverted, manmade gospel? Are you, in short, saved, one of the elect, etc.? How do you know? How can you be sure?

    I ask also because you do that thing that so many in your position do, which is add that most soul-troubling of terms. Can you spot it?

    Those who are truly regenerate are infallibly saved by Jesus

    “Truly”. So, Rhology, are you truly regenerate, or are you just fooling yourself?

    And as to the point in that quote, there is also 1 Cor. 10:12. As a Lutheran, I fully embrace the point in both of those, without feeling a need to explain the apparent tension. From what I’ve read, you seem to ignore the 1 Cor. passage.

    God told us clearly salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, not grace + something

    And God also tells you that baptism “now saves” you. You can’t cherry-pick what God says, or play one of God’s statements off another. Besides, what God gives us in baptism is, again, grace. Just as God can impart grace through the vibrations in the air that bring the Word, without us holding to grace+soundwaves; just as God can impart grace through the reflection of light off a page (reading the Gospel) without us holding to grace+photons, so he can impart grace through water and the Word, or through bread, wine, and the Word. The means do not add to or take away from the grace that they impart. They are simply God’s chosen tools.

    Finally, when I asked you, “why did God himself tell us that baptism saves us?”, you said:

    To emphasise the non-optional nature of baptism for the believer.

    Yeah, that’s not what “saves” means.

    You also asked:

    Why did God Himself tell us that it’s grace alone that saves us, not by works?

    Um, not by whose works? The answer: not by ours. God’s working does, of course, save us. And that’s what baptism is, as God himself promises.

    Why can I simply redefine any work as “a work from God” like you do for baptism?

    Why don’t you try finding scriptural backing for “any work” and we’ll see where that takes us!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Rhology (@39), I’m clearly not keeping up with the conversation, and I’m pretty close to certain we’re talking past each other, whether intentionally or not. But here’s a reply, anyhow…

    I’d asked “Do you find comfort in the words of the Bible?”, to which you replied:

    Yes, b/c of what the words express.

    I could go one of two ways here. One would be to continue to apply your argument against you. In that case, I would say: But the words of the Bible are external things! You can “take” them, as it were, and still end up in Hell! How can you find any assurance in them?

    The other way would be to say that “b/c of what [it] expresses” is exactly why I find baptism so assuring — it is an external thing connected with God’s miraculous working!

    Does that make sense? What you allow for when it comes to the words of Scripture, you do not believe when it comes to baptism. In short, I don’t find your argument terribly consistent.

    When I said, merely rhetorically, “But many people read those and yet end up in Hell!”, you replied:

    B/c the Bible says that the effectual call is done via the Gospel proclamation, but what makes it effectual is the Holy Spirit’s action of regeneration, the Father’s drawing.

    I’m probably guilty of doing it too, but saying “the Bible says” is a bad practice. If you’re citing something, then cite something specific. Otherwise, I’m not sure what you’re thinking of. Also, “effectual call” — what does that mean? That appears to be a theological term specific to your tradition. I’m not sure what passages of Scripture you think of when you say that.

    Many people are properly baptised Lutheran and yet end up in Hell.

    This is, of course, fundamental to your argument, so I have to ask: how do you know? How do you know who ends up in Hell? I’m not denying that people go to Hell, not at all. But you speak with certainty here.

    When I asked you to “Feel free to tell us what it is that you do trust in”, you said:

    The Gospel. That’s an easy one.

    Okay, I’ll play your game. Do you trust in it enough? Is it the true Gospel, or a perverted, manmade gospel? Are you, in short, saved, one of the elect, etc.? How do you know? How can you be sure?

    I ask also because you do that thing that so many in your position do, which is add that most soul-troubling of terms. Can you spot it?

    Those who are truly regenerate are infallibly saved by Jesus

    “Truly”. So, Rhology, are you truly regenerate, or are you just fooling yourself?

    And as to the point in that quote, there is also 1 Cor. 10:12. As a Lutheran, I fully embrace the point in both of those, without feeling a need to explain the apparent tension. From what I’ve read, you seem to ignore the 1 Cor. passage.

    God told us clearly salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, not grace + something

    And God also tells you that baptism “now saves” you. You can’t cherry-pick what God says, or play one of God’s statements off another. Besides, what God gives us in baptism is, again, grace. Just as God can impart grace through the vibrations in the air that bring the Word, without us holding to grace+soundwaves; just as God can impart grace through the reflection of light off a page (reading the Gospel) without us holding to grace+photons, so he can impart grace through water and the Word, or through bread, wine, and the Word. The means do not add to or take away from the grace that they impart. They are simply God’s chosen tools.

    Finally, when I asked you, “why did God himself tell us that baptism saves us?”, you said:

    To emphasise the non-optional nature of baptism for the believer.

    Yeah, that’s not what “saves” means.

    You also asked:

    Why did God Himself tell us that it’s grace alone that saves us, not by works?

    Um, not by whose works? The answer: not by ours. God’s working does, of course, save us. And that’s what baptism is, as God himself promises.

    Why can I simply redefine any work as “a work from God” like you do for baptism?

    Why don’t you try finding scriptural backing for “any work” and we’ll see where that takes us!

  • Frank

    I’m all for scholarship and such. It has its place. But, it all comes down to something quite simple: are you trusting in yourself and your efforts and righteousness… or in Christ’s? That is the question.

  • Frank

    I’m all for scholarship and such. It has its place. But, it all comes down to something quite simple: are you trusting in yourself and your efforts and righteousness… or in Christ’s? That is the question.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Continuing on a bit later, Bror asked Rhology concerning baptism, “What part of it is not grace?”. Rhology replied (@48),

    Because it’s something you do. Works are not grace.

    Funny. I am baptized. And I am quite certain it was not something I did at all! I was just a few days old — my ability to control things was nil. Baptism was, in fact, done to me. I am baptized. I did not, however, baptize myself. As such, I take no credit for my baptism.

    You are freaking me out, seriously. Don’t say stuff like that. Works are not the Gospel.

    I really do need to straighten this out for you, because otherwise you’re going to make a terrible mistake. Whose works are “not the Gospel”? Those of sinful man? Then we agree. But is God’s work the Gospel? Of course. But what about Jesus’ physical work on the Cross on our behalf? Still not the Gospel? But if that is the Gospel, then what about other instances where God tells us he chooses to work through the physical to impart salvation? Like, you know …

    Concerning Lutherans, you said:

    Y’all tell us that baptism actually saves people, and that’s just not true at all.

    Well, it’s not just us Lutherans, of course. It’s God’s Word that says that. Surely you know the passage — we’ve alluded to it a number of times already.

    Nonetheless, it is a wee bit troubling to see you so plainly contradict Scripture. Peter says “baptism … now saves you”. And you say, what? “That’s just not true at all.” Okay then.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Continuing on a bit later, Bror asked Rhology concerning baptism, “What part of it is not grace?”. Rhology replied (@48),

    Because it’s something you do. Works are not grace.

    Funny. I am baptized. And I am quite certain it was not something I did at all! I was just a few days old — my ability to control things was nil. Baptism was, in fact, done to me. I am baptized. I did not, however, baptize myself. As such, I take no credit for my baptism.

    You are freaking me out, seriously. Don’t say stuff like that. Works are not the Gospel.

    I really do need to straighten this out for you, because otherwise you’re going to make a terrible mistake. Whose works are “not the Gospel”? Those of sinful man? Then we agree. But is God’s work the Gospel? Of course. But what about Jesus’ physical work on the Cross on our behalf? Still not the Gospel? But if that is the Gospel, then what about other instances where God tells us he chooses to work through the physical to impart salvation? Like, you know …

    Concerning Lutherans, you said:

    Y’all tell us that baptism actually saves people, and that’s just not true at all.

    Well, it’s not just us Lutherans, of course. It’s God’s Word that says that. Surely you know the passage — we’ve alluded to it a number of times already.

    Nonetheless, it is a wee bit troubling to see you so plainly contradict Scripture. Peter says “baptism … now saves you”. And you say, what? “That’s just not true at all.” Okay then.

  • George A. Marquart

    May I offer a few thoughts on the “Baptism” debate:

    1. Baptism is commanded by our Lord. When Scripture says “commanded”, it is understood that in the Kingdom of God, the Church, there are no commands as there are in the world. Our Lord knew that when He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you,” one cannot love because of a command to do so. He expressed His will, knowing that, being regenerated by the Holy Spirit, His people now want to do His will. All they need is to know what it is. The Lutheran Confessions refer to this understanding as “The Third Use of the Law.”

    2. Since Baptism involves action by human beings and a concrete substance, water, it is a work. But it is not a “work” in the theological sense that it is our work by which we earn salvation, because we do not do it to ourselves. God does it for us through the hands of His appointed representatives.

    3. Baptism is the means God has appointed for His chosen ones to enter the Kingdom of His Son. This is the norm so to speak. But since God Himself is the author of salvation, He is not limited to saving only the baptized. Nevertheless, we, His servants have been told only of this means for bringing people into His Kingdom.

    4. Baptism is not just a rite. In Baptism the “child of wrath” becomes a beloved child of God. It is an organic change caused by the Holy Spirit who dwells in each one of God’s children. The “child of wrath” dies in the waters of Baptism and an entirely new creature, who has the mind of Christ, is reborn and rises out of that water.

    I can sprinkle the appropriate passages from Scripture into each of the above paragraphs, but am refraining from doing so because I am afraid to run into the space limitations of this blog. However, if anyone wants them, I have them readily at hand, and not just one, but several clear statements of Scripture for each assertion.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    May I offer a few thoughts on the “Baptism” debate:

    1. Baptism is commanded by our Lord. When Scripture says “commanded”, it is understood that in the Kingdom of God, the Church, there are no commands as there are in the world. Our Lord knew that when He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you,” one cannot love because of a command to do so. He expressed His will, knowing that, being regenerated by the Holy Spirit, His people now want to do His will. All they need is to know what it is. The Lutheran Confessions refer to this understanding as “The Third Use of the Law.”

    2. Since Baptism involves action by human beings and a concrete substance, water, it is a work. But it is not a “work” in the theological sense that it is our work by which we earn salvation, because we do not do it to ourselves. God does it for us through the hands of His appointed representatives.

    3. Baptism is the means God has appointed for His chosen ones to enter the Kingdom of His Son. This is the norm so to speak. But since God Himself is the author of salvation, He is not limited to saving only the baptized. Nevertheless, we, His servants have been told only of this means for bringing people into His Kingdom.

    4. Baptism is not just a rite. In Baptism the “child of wrath” becomes a beloved child of God. It is an organic change caused by the Holy Spirit who dwells in each one of God’s children. The “child of wrath” dies in the waters of Baptism and an entirely new creature, who has the mind of Christ, is reborn and rises out of that water.

    I can sprinkle the appropriate passages from Scripture into each of the above paragraphs, but am refraining from doing so because I am afraid to run into the space limitations of this blog. However, if anyone wants them, I have them readily at hand, and not just one, but several clear statements of Scripture for each assertion.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • Helen K.

    A wonderful discussion. I wish I had known all this when I was 22 years old and was drawn to Lutheranism, but was discouraged to persue it due to my non-denominational, i.e. mostly Baptist upbringing. Finally in my “golden years” I am at last assured of God’s forgiveness in my life and certain of my salvation. The Means of Grace was the big hurdle I had to overcome. So I well understand where Rhology is coming from. Peace and Grace to you all!

  • Helen K.

    A wonderful discussion. I wish I had known all this when I was 22 years old and was drawn to Lutheranism, but was discouraged to persue it due to my non-denominational, i.e. mostly Baptist upbringing. Finally in my “golden years” I am at last assured of God’s forgiveness in my life and certain of my salvation. The Means of Grace was the big hurdle I had to overcome. So I well understand where Rhology is coming from. Peace and Grace to you all!

  • larry

    In the broader sense of the conversation Rhology is simply proving the point that this is an essential difference between the Augsburg Confession (aka “Lutheran”) and the capital “R” reformed churches/confessions whereby two separate religions are proclaimed when all is said and done, and two different spirits.

    Now within the realm of Reformed, of which I once was, there are two schools of thought that constantly battle this out on the sacraments when all is boiled down. Those who like Rhology see for example baptism as a work in some form or another and not grace, and those that do see it as grace but a sign of a grace pointing elsewhere to the reality (i.e. the reformed rejoinder “don’t confound the thing signified with the reality”) – ends up being effectively the same thing, a divorce of the Word from the Spirit.

    Tchividjian has not discovered this yet because on the surface there is some Gospel he’s heard via Luther and one can sustain an interpretation of Calvin that sounds “Lutheran” due to Calvin’s rather crafty language as opposed to Zwingli’s crass language. Whether he investigates this over time or not and finds that difference and realizes it is so and the Gospel is at danger at length only time will tell. Personally I hope he does, his journey thus far is not unlike many of us converts from baptist/reformed realms to “Luther”.

    Ultimately its how strong the Law works in a person or how resistant they may be to it. It takes the Law to so empty a man that he is made ready to hear, “this baptism saves you”, “repent and be baptized everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the forgiveness of sins”, and “this is My body….My blood…given/shed…for the forgiveness of your sins”. Up until then reason serving the devil and flesh within will not allow the Gospel to be heard because it is too assertive in trying to “understand” questioning the Word of God on the issue. It’s never an issue of “lack of understanding”, in fact reason is the problem here, the Word can’t be heard even though it speaks clearly. Reason is offended by “this baptism saves you” and turns to find other words like “but what about Bob who fell away”. Faith clings to “this baptism saves you” in the face of the countering devil’s words “but what about Bob who fell away”.

    That’s the devil works from original sin forward. First, man is offended by something God said (do not eat of…this baptism saves you…this is My body). Second the devil tempts faith away from the Word (hath God really said, “but what about Bob who fell away”, “does ‘is’ really mean IS”) by appealing to “reason” (temptation to idolatry/adultery). Third other words are sought out (you will not surely die, it means spiritual baptism, it means ‘represents’). Fourth, and very subtly one has faith in their faith, the enthusiasm whereby works begin (though not labeled as works). The devil calls grace works (e.g. baptism) and works grace so that he may lead people away from true grace.

    It is as stated at the fall, ‘the serpent was the most crafty of all the creatures’.

  • larry

    In the broader sense of the conversation Rhology is simply proving the point that this is an essential difference between the Augsburg Confession (aka “Lutheran”) and the capital “R” reformed churches/confessions whereby two separate religions are proclaimed when all is said and done, and two different spirits.

    Now within the realm of Reformed, of which I once was, there are two schools of thought that constantly battle this out on the sacraments when all is boiled down. Those who like Rhology see for example baptism as a work in some form or another and not grace, and those that do see it as grace but a sign of a grace pointing elsewhere to the reality (i.e. the reformed rejoinder “don’t confound the thing signified with the reality”) – ends up being effectively the same thing, a divorce of the Word from the Spirit.

    Tchividjian has not discovered this yet because on the surface there is some Gospel he’s heard via Luther and one can sustain an interpretation of Calvin that sounds “Lutheran” due to Calvin’s rather crafty language as opposed to Zwingli’s crass language. Whether he investigates this over time or not and finds that difference and realizes it is so and the Gospel is at danger at length only time will tell. Personally I hope he does, his journey thus far is not unlike many of us converts from baptist/reformed realms to “Luther”.

    Ultimately its how strong the Law works in a person or how resistant they may be to it. It takes the Law to so empty a man that he is made ready to hear, “this baptism saves you”, “repent and be baptized everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the forgiveness of sins”, and “this is My body….My blood…given/shed…for the forgiveness of your sins”. Up until then reason serving the devil and flesh within will not allow the Gospel to be heard because it is too assertive in trying to “understand” questioning the Word of God on the issue. It’s never an issue of “lack of understanding”, in fact reason is the problem here, the Word can’t be heard even though it speaks clearly. Reason is offended by “this baptism saves you” and turns to find other words like “but what about Bob who fell away”. Faith clings to “this baptism saves you” in the face of the countering devil’s words “but what about Bob who fell away”.

    That’s the devil works from original sin forward. First, man is offended by something God said (do not eat of…this baptism saves you…this is My body). Second the devil tempts faith away from the Word (hath God really said, “but what about Bob who fell away”, “does ‘is’ really mean IS”) by appealing to “reason” (temptation to idolatry/adultery). Third other words are sought out (you will not surely die, it means spiritual baptism, it means ‘represents’). Fourth, and very subtly one has faith in their faith, the enthusiasm whereby works begin (though not labeled as works). The devil calls grace works (e.g. baptism) and works grace so that he may lead people away from true grace.

    It is as stated at the fall, ‘the serpent was the most crafty of all the creatures’.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @Bror Erickson #55,

    How could I go about proving that it meant baptism and not a spiritual washing like regeneration, since by proving it meant baptism would prove that it was a spiritual washing and regeneration?

    It will be difficult, I admit, since baptism is a work that man does and we know from all sorts of Scriptures that regeneration is strictly a work of God’s grace alone through faith alone.

    I suppose I might point to say Ezekiel 36, or Acts 16 and the whole thing with the jailer, where the Holy Spirit seems to equate believing with being baptized

    1) That’s because, as I’ve said above, baptism is not optional.
    2) There are also numerous psgs in which baptism is not so closely related to regeneration, and is certainly not a prerequisite. So what do we do with ALL of this data? It leads us away from Lutheranism.

    unless of course you don’t believe that Acts is inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    Seriously, is this kind of comment helpful for anyone?

    Once I “proved” it was baptism, then it would be he means spiritual baptism and not water baptism.

    Well, if you’re complaining about the fact that Spirit baptism is prominent in the NT, that would indeed be a problem you have, but not me.

    And Lutherans just don’t see the same dichotomy as you do.

    So much the worse for Lutherans’ ability and willingness to take ALL of the NT for what it says.

    Jesus commanded the disciples to make disciples by baptizing, they understood that this baptizing was something done with water.

    Dude, I’m a Baptist. Why do you think I would disagree with this statement?

    They were even able to count how many had been baptized, which if it was just some sort of inner spiritual feeling would be impossible to count.

    Yes.

    So what other washing does Christ in anyway attach salvation or justification too? Or Sanctification?

    That would depend on the context, wouldn’t it?
    But what does this have to do with making a man’s work into God’s regenerative act?

    The question in my head is how would the original people hearing this letter interpret wash here?

    It would depend on whether they also remembered that the Gospel is God’s salvation by grace alone through faith alone.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @Bror Erickson #55,

    How could I go about proving that it meant baptism and not a spiritual washing like regeneration, since by proving it meant baptism would prove that it was a spiritual washing and regeneration?

    It will be difficult, I admit, since baptism is a work that man does and we know from all sorts of Scriptures that regeneration is strictly a work of God’s grace alone through faith alone.

    I suppose I might point to say Ezekiel 36, or Acts 16 and the whole thing with the jailer, where the Holy Spirit seems to equate believing with being baptized

    1) That’s because, as I’ve said above, baptism is not optional.
    2) There are also numerous psgs in which baptism is not so closely related to regeneration, and is certainly not a prerequisite. So what do we do with ALL of this data? It leads us away from Lutheranism.

    unless of course you don’t believe that Acts is inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    Seriously, is this kind of comment helpful for anyone?

    Once I “proved” it was baptism, then it would be he means spiritual baptism and not water baptism.

    Well, if you’re complaining about the fact that Spirit baptism is prominent in the NT, that would indeed be a problem you have, but not me.

    And Lutherans just don’t see the same dichotomy as you do.

    So much the worse for Lutherans’ ability and willingness to take ALL of the NT for what it says.

    Jesus commanded the disciples to make disciples by baptizing, they understood that this baptizing was something done with water.

    Dude, I’m a Baptist. Why do you think I would disagree with this statement?

    They were even able to count how many had been baptized, which if it was just some sort of inner spiritual feeling would be impossible to count.

    Yes.

    So what other washing does Christ in anyway attach salvation or justification too? Or Sanctification?

    That would depend on the context, wouldn’t it?
    But what does this have to do with making a man’s work into God’s regenerative act?

    The question in my head is how would the original people hearing this letter interpret wash here?

    It would depend on whether they also remembered that the Gospel is God’s salvation by grace alone through faith alone.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @Fred #57

    Then so is “Accepting Jesus as your Savior” — the beloved “decisional regeneration” of the Baptists and others

    And your evidence that I don’t also hold that view in complete derision is…?

    That is simply ignorant and disrespectful.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @Fred #57

    Then so is “Accepting Jesus as your Savior” — the beloved “decisional regeneration” of the Baptists and others

    And your evidence that I don’t also hold that view in complete derision is…?

    That is simply ignorant and disrespectful.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @Bror Erickson #58

    This is what you are going with, and I gather you believe it is a work because it is commanded.

    No, it’s a work because it’s something WE DO. I believe I made that perfectly clear above.
    The Gospel is grace alone through faith alone. Baptism is not faith. Baptism is baptism. Faith is faith. However you want to define faith (fiducia, assentia, etc), it’s not an action one takes with the body. It’s really as simple as that. It’s pretty obvious it’s only your Lutheran glasses that don’t let you see it.

    That is interesting. not that I haven’t seen it before but it is awfully shallow, being as scripture ascribes all the work in their to that of the Holy Spirit.

    Then what’s your answer to my original objection?
    What if I said this?
    We don’t abstain from fleshly lusts; God abstains.
    We don’t extend hospitalit; God extends it.
    We don’t love the brethren; God loves the brethren.

    He ordered us to do it. So we do it.
    **And they are all prerequisites for regeneration.**

    If He ordered us to do it…then He is in it…for us.

    It’s easy to take obedience-related passages and twist them to where they are APPEARING to contradict sola fide.

    Rom 8:12So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

    Here we see that putting to death the deeds of the body is “a work of God”, since it’s “by the Spirit”.

    See? Sola fide is false, by the same logic Lutherans are using.

    We are saved by that which God does, especially through his Son Jesus Christ. His works do save us

    If that were true, you wouldn’t be arguing that we’re saved by something WE do.

    But our baptism is no more a work than hearing the gospel is a work.

    You might have a point if someone were claiming that someone can be saved by hearing the Gospel.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @Bror Erickson #58

    This is what you are going with, and I gather you believe it is a work because it is commanded.

    No, it’s a work because it’s something WE DO. I believe I made that perfectly clear above.
    The Gospel is grace alone through faith alone. Baptism is not faith. Baptism is baptism. Faith is faith. However you want to define faith (fiducia, assentia, etc), it’s not an action one takes with the body. It’s really as simple as that. It’s pretty obvious it’s only your Lutheran glasses that don’t let you see it.

    That is interesting. not that I haven’t seen it before but it is awfully shallow, being as scripture ascribes all the work in their to that of the Holy Spirit.

    Then what’s your answer to my original objection?
    What if I said this?
    We don’t abstain from fleshly lusts; God abstains.
    We don’t extend hospitalit; God extends it.
    We don’t love the brethren; God loves the brethren.

    He ordered us to do it. So we do it.
    **And they are all prerequisites for regeneration.**

    If He ordered us to do it…then He is in it…for us.

    It’s easy to take obedience-related passages and twist them to where they are APPEARING to contradict sola fide.

    Rom 8:12So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

    Here we see that putting to death the deeds of the body is “a work of God”, since it’s “by the Spirit”.

    See? Sola fide is false, by the same logic Lutherans are using.

    We are saved by that which God does, especially through his Son Jesus Christ. His works do save us

    If that were true, you wouldn’t be arguing that we’re saved by something WE do.

    But our baptism is no more a work than hearing the gospel is a work.

    You might have a point if someone were claiming that someone can be saved by hearing the Gospel.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @Mark Veenman #60

    You misunderstand my position, since the Holy Spirit acts on the heart, which is what I was referring to in comment 50.
    If the Holy Spirit hadn’t transformed my heart, I wouldn’t look at Jesus at all, but rather at my own sinful desires all the time.
    Thanks for the chance to clarify, though.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @Mark Veenman #60

    You misunderstand my position, since the Holy Spirit acts on the heart, which is what I was referring to in comment 50.
    If the Holy Spirit hadn’t transformed my heart, I wouldn’t look at Jesus at all, but rather at my own sinful desires all the time.
    Thanks for the chance to clarify, though.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @tODD #61

    But the words of the Bible are external things! You can “take” them, as it were, and still end up in Hell! How can you find any assurance in them?

    1) Talking about assurance is a category you want to use in this discussion, not me. I was talking about being saved, and you intro’d assurance.
    2) If we don’t equivocate on what “take” means here, no, I couldn’t still end up in Hell. If by “taking” the words of the Bible, we mean “you repent and believe the Gospel b/c you got regenerated”, then no, Jesus says His sheep will never perish. There’s zero chance of ending up in Hell in that case.
    3) But Lutheranism says that anyone who gets baptised properly can still end up in Hell, and then Lutherans still have the gall to say garbage like “baptism always saves” and “baptism is Gospel”.

    I’m probably guilty of doing it too, but saying “the Bible says” is a bad practice.

    1) Not if you can back it up. But it certainly is when you can’t, true.
    2) I thought Lutherans were monergists.

    Also, “effectual call” — what does that mean? That appears to be a theological term specific to your tradition.

    It means precisely what it sounds like it means. The Holy Spirit calls someone – effectually – to repent and believe because He has regenerated them.

    I’m not sure what passages of Scripture you think of when you say that.

    1 John 5:1, John 6:40-45, Eph 2:8-9 among others.

    This is, of course, fundamental to your argument, so I have to ask: how do you know?

    Are you denying it’s possible to lose one’s salvation? Why did you say above “But the words of the Bible are external things! You can “take” them, as it were, and still end up in Hell! How can you find any assurance in them?

    Do you trust in it enough? Is it the true Gospel, or a perverted, manmade gospel?

    1) Yes, I trust in it enough, b/c the Father drew me and the Holy Spirit regenerated me.
    2) You’re talking about assurance again.
    3) It’s the true Gospel. I can know this because I can read. Galatians 1:6-10, for example, where it makes clear that the Gospel includes no works of man (you know, like baptism).

    From what I’ve read, you seem to ignore the 1 Cor. 10:12 passage.

    You didn’t ask me about it, so how could you know whether I ignore it?

    And God also tells you that baptism “now saves” you.

    Already dealt with that.

    You can’t cherry-pick what God says, or play one of God’s statements off another.

    Took the words right out of my mouth.

    Besides, what God gives us in baptism is, again, grace.

    Besides, what God gives us in our abstaining from fleshly lusts is, again, grace.
    Besides, what God gives us in our practicing hospitality is, again, grace.
    Besides, what God gives us in always restraining the tongue is, again, grace.
    Besides, what God gives us in ____ is, again, grace.

    By this logic, the following are prerequisites for salvation:
    -abstaining from fleshly lusts
    -hospitality
    -restraining the tongue
    -anything else I can think of.

    This sounds an awful lot like…law.

    Yeah, that’s not what “saves” means.

    Thank God the Bible is longer than that one sentence so we can know that someone doing a work isn’t actually what effects a man’s regeneration.

    Um, not by whose works?

    Go ahead, pray that God will baptise you.

    Didn’t work, did it? As I recall, when I was baptised, I had to make the appointment, climb up in the baptistry, stand there, go under the water…
    Those were things *I* did. This is not complicated. It’s only your presuppositions that won’t let you see it.

    Why don’t you try finding scriptural backing for “any work” and we’ll see where that takes us!

    Did that already too. Why don’t you try interacting with what I’ve already said and we’ll see where that takes us!

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @tODD #61

    But the words of the Bible are external things! You can “take” them, as it were, and still end up in Hell! How can you find any assurance in them?

    1) Talking about assurance is a category you want to use in this discussion, not me. I was talking about being saved, and you intro’d assurance.
    2) If we don’t equivocate on what “take” means here, no, I couldn’t still end up in Hell. If by “taking” the words of the Bible, we mean “you repent and believe the Gospel b/c you got regenerated”, then no, Jesus says His sheep will never perish. There’s zero chance of ending up in Hell in that case.
    3) But Lutheranism says that anyone who gets baptised properly can still end up in Hell, and then Lutherans still have the gall to say garbage like “baptism always saves” and “baptism is Gospel”.

    I’m probably guilty of doing it too, but saying “the Bible says” is a bad practice.

    1) Not if you can back it up. But it certainly is when you can’t, true.
    2) I thought Lutherans were monergists.

    Also, “effectual call” — what does that mean? That appears to be a theological term specific to your tradition.

    It means precisely what it sounds like it means. The Holy Spirit calls someone – effectually – to repent and believe because He has regenerated them.

    I’m not sure what passages of Scripture you think of when you say that.

    1 John 5:1, John 6:40-45, Eph 2:8-9 among others.

    This is, of course, fundamental to your argument, so I have to ask: how do you know?

    Are you denying it’s possible to lose one’s salvation? Why did you say above “But the words of the Bible are external things! You can “take” them, as it were, and still end up in Hell! How can you find any assurance in them?

    Do you trust in it enough? Is it the true Gospel, or a perverted, manmade gospel?

    1) Yes, I trust in it enough, b/c the Father drew me and the Holy Spirit regenerated me.
    2) You’re talking about assurance again.
    3) It’s the true Gospel. I can know this because I can read. Galatians 1:6-10, for example, where it makes clear that the Gospel includes no works of man (you know, like baptism).

    From what I’ve read, you seem to ignore the 1 Cor. 10:12 passage.

    You didn’t ask me about it, so how could you know whether I ignore it?

    And God also tells you that baptism “now saves” you.

    Already dealt with that.

    You can’t cherry-pick what God says, or play one of God’s statements off another.

    Took the words right out of my mouth.

    Besides, what God gives us in baptism is, again, grace.

    Besides, what God gives us in our abstaining from fleshly lusts is, again, grace.
    Besides, what God gives us in our practicing hospitality is, again, grace.
    Besides, what God gives us in always restraining the tongue is, again, grace.
    Besides, what God gives us in ____ is, again, grace.

    By this logic, the following are prerequisites for salvation:
    -abstaining from fleshly lusts
    -hospitality
    -restraining the tongue
    -anything else I can think of.

    This sounds an awful lot like…law.

    Yeah, that’s not what “saves” means.

    Thank God the Bible is longer than that one sentence so we can know that someone doing a work isn’t actually what effects a man’s regeneration.

    Um, not by whose works?

    Go ahead, pray that God will baptise you.

    Didn’t work, did it? As I recall, when I was baptised, I had to make the appointment, climb up in the baptistry, stand there, go under the water…
    Those were things *I* did. This is not complicated. It’s only your presuppositions that won’t let you see it.

    Why don’t you try finding scriptural backing for “any work” and we’ll see where that takes us!

    Did that already too. Why don’t you try interacting with what I’ve already said and we’ll see where that takes us!

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @Larry #66

    this is an essential difference between the Augsburg Confession (aka “Lutheran”) and the capital “R” reformed churches/confessions whereby two separate religions are proclaimed when all is said and done, and two different spirits.

    Wow. Two separate religions?
    I wouldn’t go that far, b/c thankfully Lutheranism exhibits inconsistency when it comes to the obvious equation of “baptism is a prerequisite for regeneration” and “regeneration is by grace alone through faith alone”, as I noted in my first comment.
    There are numerous reasons to thank God that people are often inconsistent, and this is one of them.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @Larry #66

    this is an essential difference between the Augsburg Confession (aka “Lutheran”) and the capital “R” reformed churches/confessions whereby two separate religions are proclaimed when all is said and done, and two different spirits.

    Wow. Two separate religions?
    I wouldn’t go that far, b/c thankfully Lutheranism exhibits inconsistency when it comes to the obvious equation of “baptism is a prerequisite for regeneration” and “regeneration is by grace alone through faith alone”, as I noted in my first comment.
    There are numerous reasons to thank God that people are often inconsistent, and this is one of them.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Is baptism a work at all?

    Is it righteous?

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Is baptism a work at all?

    Is it righteous?

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

    Rhology,
    what is your hermeneutic for deciding aether a passage is talking about spirit baptism as opposed to the one baptism that Ephesians 4 about?

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

    Rhology,
    what is your hermeneutic for deciding aether a passage is talking about spirit baptism as opposed to the one baptism that Ephesians 4 about?

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    You’ll have to be more specific, I’m afraid.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    You’ll have to be more specific, I’m afraid.

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

    Now that I’m on an honest computer….
    Yes Rhology, I want to know what your hermeneutic is for deciding whether a passage talking about baptism or washing, is talking about baptism with water, or this mythical spirit baptism that happens without water. Let me explain.
    Lutherans believe there is one baptism, this because Ephesians 4 is quite explicit in talking about one baptism. So we believe this baptism must needs be that baptism into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit by which Jesus commanded his disciples to make disciples. We believe that that baptism is done with water, because a cursory reading of Acts makes it clear that water was needed, see the Ethiopian eunuch. It is also clear from Acts (2:38-39) that the disciples understood the Holy Spirit was given with this baptism as a rule. Therefore when we read baptism we understand it to mean this one baptism done with water in which the Spirit is given. From this we are also lead to believe that when ever the word wash is used in reference to regeneration (Titus 3), Sanctification (Ephesians 5) or sanctification and justification (1 Cor. 6) that this is also referring to the baptism with which scripture tells us the Holy Spirit is given, being as baptism can be translated wash (Luke 12) and washing can be used interchangeably with baptism (Mark 7).
    So we are baffled when people start positing two baptisms and claiming that there can be a baptism without water, or that some verse clearly speaking of baptism is not talking about the rite that Jesus commanded his disciples, but some other baptism done without water, of which we find no scriptural basis.
    So again, my question is, on what basis do you decide that there are two baptisms, that the baptism done according to Christ’s command does not bring the Holy Spirit, justification and sanctification or salvation, And further more, how then can I know of which baptism scripture is speaking. Do we just say it is talking about spirit baptism anytime it talks of justification, sanctification or regeneration, because we have a platonic bias against matter such as water that we import to the text. Or is there a hermeneutic based on scripture that gives us a better way of distinguishing between the two baptisms scripture tells us don’t exist in Ephesians 4.

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

    Now that I’m on an honest computer….
    Yes Rhology, I want to know what your hermeneutic is for deciding whether a passage talking about baptism or washing, is talking about baptism with water, or this mythical spirit baptism that happens without water. Let me explain.
    Lutherans believe there is one baptism, this because Ephesians 4 is quite explicit in talking about one baptism. So we believe this baptism must needs be that baptism into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit by which Jesus commanded his disciples to make disciples. We believe that that baptism is done with water, because a cursory reading of Acts makes it clear that water was needed, see the Ethiopian eunuch. It is also clear from Acts (2:38-39) that the disciples understood the Holy Spirit was given with this baptism as a rule. Therefore when we read baptism we understand it to mean this one baptism done with water in which the Spirit is given. From this we are also lead to believe that when ever the word wash is used in reference to regeneration (Titus 3), Sanctification (Ephesians 5) or sanctification and justification (1 Cor. 6) that this is also referring to the baptism with which scripture tells us the Holy Spirit is given, being as baptism can be translated wash (Luke 12) and washing can be used interchangeably with baptism (Mark 7).
    So we are baffled when people start positing two baptisms and claiming that there can be a baptism without water, or that some verse clearly speaking of baptism is not talking about the rite that Jesus commanded his disciples, but some other baptism done without water, of which we find no scriptural basis.
    So again, my question is, on what basis do you decide that there are two baptisms, that the baptism done according to Christ’s command does not bring the Holy Spirit, justification and sanctification or salvation, And further more, how then can I know of which baptism scripture is speaking. Do we just say it is talking about spirit baptism anytime it talks of justification, sanctification or regeneration, because we have a platonic bias against matter such as water that we import to the text. Or is there a hermeneutic based on scripture that gives us a better way of distinguishing between the two baptisms scripture tells us don’t exist in Ephesians 4.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Lutherans believe there is one baptism, this because Ephesians 4 is quite explicit in talking about one baptism

    Clearly that passage discusses water baptism.
    And yet…
    Matthew 3:11As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

    It’s not as simple as what you want to make it.

    It is also clear from Acts (2:38-39) that the disciples understood the Holy Spirit was given with this baptism as a rule.

    Right, since they were all baptised in the Upper Room right before the tongues of fire came to rest on them.

    we are also lead to believe that when ever the word wash is used in reference to regeneration (Titus 3)

    Which is specifically set apart in the verse itself from anything man does.
    http://vintage.aomin.org/NotByWorks.html

    So we are baffled when people start positing two baptisms

    Like John the Baptist did? Yes, that must be baffling indeed. For a Lutheran.
    What’s also baffling is how any work can be interchanged with baptism to be a prerequisite for regeneration, as I’ve shown above, and yet Lutherans still talk about how they’re sola fide.

    And further more, how then can I know of which baptism scripture is speaking.

    The context. Specifically, if the baptism in question in the given verse/passage seems to be making baptism a prerequisite for regeneration, you can know it’s Spirit baptism and/or playing on the importance and non-optional nature of water baptism for believers.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Lutherans believe there is one baptism, this because Ephesians 4 is quite explicit in talking about one baptism

    Clearly that passage discusses water baptism.
    And yet…
    Matthew 3:11As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

    It’s not as simple as what you want to make it.

    It is also clear from Acts (2:38-39) that the disciples understood the Holy Spirit was given with this baptism as a rule.

    Right, since they were all baptised in the Upper Room right before the tongues of fire came to rest on them.

    we are also lead to believe that when ever the word wash is used in reference to regeneration (Titus 3)

    Which is specifically set apart in the verse itself from anything man does.
    http://vintage.aomin.org/NotByWorks.html

    So we are baffled when people start positing two baptisms

    Like John the Baptist did? Yes, that must be baffling indeed. For a Lutheran.
    What’s also baffling is how any work can be interchanged with baptism to be a prerequisite for regeneration, as I’ve shown above, and yet Lutherans still talk about how they’re sola fide.

    And further more, how then can I know of which baptism scripture is speaking.

    The context. Specifically, if the baptism in question in the given verse/passage seems to be making baptism a prerequisite for regeneration, you can know it’s Spirit baptism and/or playing on the importance and non-optional nature of water baptism for believers.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • Robin

    Rhology, I am assuming by what I have read you are not here merely to dialogue about your differences with Lutherans rather you are here to pronounce that Lutherans are not actually saved/ among the elect. Am I correct? If not, my deepest apologizes. Now, I am not Lutheran but I am wondering about this argument that you keep bringing up about baptism being our work. If you say that we are saved by grace alone and therefore God through Christ is our only means of Justification, i.e. we can’t do anything to save ourselves, then why would baptism (which is something Christ institutes in the New Testament that seems to be necessary for our election in the son) be something we do? Are you saying that the point of baptism is for us to show we are really serious about Jesus? Should we be baptized multiple times if we fear we may not be saved/elect? I think it is strange that you are coming from a reformed perspective but you sound a like lot any arminian baptist I have ever met.

  • Robin

    Rhology, I am assuming by what I have read you are not here merely to dialogue about your differences with Lutherans rather you are here to pronounce that Lutherans are not actually saved/ among the elect. Am I correct? If not, my deepest apologizes. Now, I am not Lutheran but I am wondering about this argument that you keep bringing up about baptism being our work. If you say that we are saved by grace alone and therefore God through Christ is our only means of Justification, i.e. we can’t do anything to save ourselves, then why would baptism (which is something Christ institutes in the New Testament that seems to be necessary for our election in the son) be something we do? Are you saying that the point of baptism is for us to show we are really serious about Jesus? Should we be baptized multiple times if we fear we may not be saved/elect? I think it is strange that you are coming from a reformed perspective but you sound a like lot any arminian baptist I have ever met.

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

    Rhology,
    I’m glad you bring up John the Baptist, I find it peculiar the way baptists read his sermon there. Any lexicon will tell you that baptism necessarily denotes water. John the baptist has then no reason to note that he baptizes with water except to explain that his baptism carries nothing with it, it is only water. On the other hand, Jesus will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with Fire, does not mean that this baptism with the Holy Spirit will be done apart from water. In fact we know that Jesus baptized with water, though he baptized none, but the disciples baptized…(John 3: especially 22ff, but see also his conversation with Nicodemus where one has to be born of water and the spirit)
    As for the disciples in the upper room, they did not take “their baptism in the Holy Spirit complete with tongues of fire” to be normative for everyone, instead they baptized the crowd with water following that event and emphasized that through this baptism with water, the Holy Spirit is given. If what they experienced in the upper room was to be normative then well I dare say we are all screwed. haven’t seen to many tongues of fire dancing on heads. So lets stick to where scripture makes normative statements.
    If Ephesians 4 is talking of “water baptism” then you have no right to talk of anything else, or reading anything else when scripture talks of baptism unless otherwise explicitly stated.
    Second, we don’t see it as a prerequisite for regeneration. I don’t know where you get that. We see that regeneration happens in baptism, that scripture attaches regeneration to this. We also happen to recognize that God is not limited to this one means, and yet he has commanded this one means. It is not faith that dismisses baptism. Faith rests in the promises that Jesus Christ gives.
    So this brings us to the sola fide part. Faith believes, faith believes not only in Jesus, but believing in Jesus also believes what Jesus says and promises even through his apostles, otherwise it is not faith. So faith believes also what Jesus says about baptism, that in it we are forgiven our sins, given the Holy Spirit, regenerated, sanctified and justified. Being as these things, impossible for man to do, are done in baptism we attribute the work of baptism to Jesus Christ who instituted it, and the Holy Spirit who scripture says is given and operable in and through it. That is, that just as the pastor is commanded to preach the word, converts are not his to claim but the Holy Spirit’s, because the Holy Spirit is the one working in and through the word to bring about conversion which is impossible for man to do, so the Holy Spirit is the one working in and through baptism to bring about conversion, regeneration, this one baptism of which Ephesians 4 talks about, and this one baptism that the disciples were commanded to do (they were not commanded, for instance, to make tongues of fire dance on someone’s head) and which they did with water.
    I hope that helps. Your last paragraph does not help me though at all in understanding your position. You mean to tell me that apart from anything scripture says, you assume that the Holy Spirit cannot work in and through the baptism Jesus commanded his disciples, and therefore if it talks about regeneration it is at best “playing on” the nonoptional nature of water baptism?
    One question, why if regeneration, justification, sanctification and salvation have no part to play in baptism, is it non optional? I would think that makes it more optional, even inconsequential. Why would Jesus command such a useless thing to be done? Why do you demand such a useless thing to be done. What happens if someone doesn’t do it? Do they go to hell? Wait, but doing it doesn’t save them from hell, so what does it do? How in the end is your position not legalistic on this if such a useless thing is optional?

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

    Rhology,
    I’m glad you bring up John the Baptist, I find it peculiar the way baptists read his sermon there. Any lexicon will tell you that baptism necessarily denotes water. John the baptist has then no reason to note that he baptizes with water except to explain that his baptism carries nothing with it, it is only water. On the other hand, Jesus will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with Fire, does not mean that this baptism with the Holy Spirit will be done apart from water. In fact we know that Jesus baptized with water, though he baptized none, but the disciples baptized…(John 3: especially 22ff, but see also his conversation with Nicodemus where one has to be born of water and the spirit)
    As for the disciples in the upper room, they did not take “their baptism in the Holy Spirit complete with tongues of fire” to be normative for everyone, instead they baptized the crowd with water following that event and emphasized that through this baptism with water, the Holy Spirit is given. If what they experienced in the upper room was to be normative then well I dare say we are all screwed. haven’t seen to many tongues of fire dancing on heads. So lets stick to where scripture makes normative statements.
    If Ephesians 4 is talking of “water baptism” then you have no right to talk of anything else, or reading anything else when scripture talks of baptism unless otherwise explicitly stated.
    Second, we don’t see it as a prerequisite for regeneration. I don’t know where you get that. We see that regeneration happens in baptism, that scripture attaches regeneration to this. We also happen to recognize that God is not limited to this one means, and yet he has commanded this one means. It is not faith that dismisses baptism. Faith rests in the promises that Jesus Christ gives.
    So this brings us to the sola fide part. Faith believes, faith believes not only in Jesus, but believing in Jesus also believes what Jesus says and promises even through his apostles, otherwise it is not faith. So faith believes also what Jesus says about baptism, that in it we are forgiven our sins, given the Holy Spirit, regenerated, sanctified and justified. Being as these things, impossible for man to do, are done in baptism we attribute the work of baptism to Jesus Christ who instituted it, and the Holy Spirit who scripture says is given and operable in and through it. That is, that just as the pastor is commanded to preach the word, converts are not his to claim but the Holy Spirit’s, because the Holy Spirit is the one working in and through the word to bring about conversion which is impossible for man to do, so the Holy Spirit is the one working in and through baptism to bring about conversion, regeneration, this one baptism of which Ephesians 4 talks about, and this one baptism that the disciples were commanded to do (they were not commanded, for instance, to make tongues of fire dance on someone’s head) and which they did with water.
    I hope that helps. Your last paragraph does not help me though at all in understanding your position. You mean to tell me that apart from anything scripture says, you assume that the Holy Spirit cannot work in and through the baptism Jesus commanded his disciples, and therefore if it talks about regeneration it is at best “playing on” the nonoptional nature of water baptism?
    One question, why if regeneration, justification, sanctification and salvation have no part to play in baptism, is it non optional? I would think that makes it more optional, even inconsequential. Why would Jesus command such a useless thing to be done? Why do you demand such a useless thing to be done. What happens if someone doesn’t do it? Do they go to hell? Wait, but doing it doesn’t save them from hell, so what does it do? How in the end is your position not legalistic on this if such a useless thing is optional?

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

    is not optional?

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

    is not optional?

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

    Robin,
    Keep asking questions like that and you will be Lutheran before long :)

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

    Robin,
    Keep asking questions like that and you will be Lutheran before long :)

  • Ross

    @Rhology #71

    “1) Talking about assurance is a category you want to use in this discussion, not me. I was talking about being saved, and you intro’d assurance.”

    Faith=assurance. You keep saying we are saved by faith (assurance) alone, right? Sola fide?

    “1) Yes, I trust in it enough, b/c the Father drew me and the Holy Spirit regenerated me.”

    How do you know this to be true?

  • Ross

    @Rhology #71

    “1) Talking about assurance is a category you want to use in this discussion, not me. I was talking about being saved, and you intro’d assurance.”

    Faith=assurance. You keep saying we are saved by faith (assurance) alone, right? Sola fide?

    “1) Yes, I trust in it enough, b/c the Father drew me and the Holy Spirit regenerated me.”

    How do you know this to be true?

  • Bob

    Rhiology,

    If you really think we’re not saved…well, what is there to say?

    Keep seeking. Many of us were Baptist, Reformed and other before joining the Lutheran church.

  • Bob

    Rhiology,

    If you really think we’re not saved…well, what is there to say?

    Keep seeking. Many of us were Baptist, Reformed and other before joining the Lutheran church.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    you are here to pronounce that Lutherans are not actually saved/ among the elect

    If you really think we’re not saved…well, what is there to say?

    Did y’all not notice a Lutheran said that, not me?
    I have in fact specifically denied such. Look at comment 72, please.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    you are here to pronounce that Lutherans are not actually saved/ among the elect

    If you really think we’re not saved…well, what is there to say?

    Did y’all not notice a Lutheran said that, not me?
    I have in fact specifically denied such. Look at comment 72, please.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @Robin #78

    If you say that we are saved by grace alone and therefore God through Christ is our only means of Justification, i.e. we can’t do anything to save ourselves, then why would baptism (which is something Christ institutes in the New Testament that seems to be necessary for our election in the son) be something we do?

    A zillion reasons. I recommend picking up a book about baptism by a Baptist. 1st and foremost among the reasons would be “Jesus said to,” simple as that.

    Are you saying that the point of baptism is for us to show we are really serious about Jesus?

    I suppose that would be one secondary or maybe even tertiary reason, yes.

    Should we be baptized multiple times if we fear we may not be saved/elect?

    I don’t understand the question. What connection do you think I think baptism has with being saved/elect?

    I think it is strange that you are coming from a reformed perspective but you sound a like lot any arminian baptist I have ever met.

    This may be due to the widespread Lutheran ignorance of Baptist theology.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @Robin #78

    If you say that we are saved by grace alone and therefore God through Christ is our only means of Justification, i.e. we can’t do anything to save ourselves, then why would baptism (which is something Christ institutes in the New Testament that seems to be necessary for our election in the son) be something we do?

    A zillion reasons. I recommend picking up a book about baptism by a Baptist. 1st and foremost among the reasons would be “Jesus said to,” simple as that.

    Are you saying that the point of baptism is for us to show we are really serious about Jesus?

    I suppose that would be one secondary or maybe even tertiary reason, yes.

    Should we be baptized multiple times if we fear we may not be saved/elect?

    I don’t understand the question. What connection do you think I think baptism has with being saved/elect?

    I think it is strange that you are coming from a reformed perspective but you sound a like lot any arminian baptist I have ever met.

    This may be due to the widespread Lutheran ignorance of Baptist theology.

  • Bob

    ‘widespread Lutheran ignorance of Baptist theology.’

    That’s a sweet overgeneralization.

    Prove it.

    Talk is cheap.

    You need to get out a little more. I know plenty of Lutherans who used to be Baptist. They actually know Baptist theology quite well and moved on.

  • Bob

    ‘widespread Lutheran ignorance of Baptist theology.’

    That’s a sweet overgeneralization.

    Prove it.

    Talk is cheap.

    You need to get out a little more. I know plenty of Lutherans who used to be Baptist. They actually know Baptist theology quite well and moved on.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @Bror Erickson #79

    Any lexicon will tell you that baptism necessarily denotes water.

    Then why did he say “with the Holy Spirit” and not “with water”?

    Jesus will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with Fire, does not mean that this baptism with the Holy Spirit will be done apart from water.

    Where does John say this?

    As for the disciples in the upper room, they did not take “their baptism in the Holy Spirit complete with tongues of fire” to be normative for everyone

    Yes, I know they didn’t. Maybe you should have been more careful in your first statement; that’s why I mentioned the Pentecost incident.

    instead they baptized the crowd with water following that event and emphasized that through this baptism with water, the Holy Spirit is given

    Or with repentance, since he says “Repent” in Acts 2:38.
    Unless you want to make Peter say “If you do this thing, you will receive the Holy Spirit”. I guess if you want to make that statement, why still claim sola fide?

    If Ephesians 4 is talking of “water baptism” then you have no right to talk of anything else

    Don’t talk to me; talk to John the Baptist. It’s his fault.

    Second, we don’t see it as a prerequisite for regeneration.

    “Baptism is Gospel” and “baptism always saves” are statements from Lutherans on this very blog. I have to disagree.

    We see that regeneration happens in baptism

    Does regeneration normatively happen apart from baptism?
    If not, what is the substantive objection to saying “baptism is a prereq for regeneration”? I don’t get it.

    So faith believes also what Jesus says about baptism, that in it we are forgiven our sins, given the Holy Spirit, regenerated, sanctified and justified.

    Take that last sentence and put in any other work. Tell me why that would be illegitimate.

    You mean to tell me that apart from anything scripture says, you assume that the Holy Spirit cannot work in and through the baptism Jesus commanded his disciples

    NEver said anything resembling this.

    One question, why if regeneration, justification, sanctification and salvation have no part to play in baptism, is it non optional?

    Correction: It plays no part in justification or regeneration.
    Plenty to do with sanctification, and plenty to do with “salvation” in the wider sense in which salvation = the entire exercise of God of redemption of fallen man, from start to ultimate finish.

    And as to why, see my answer to Robin one comment ago.

    I would think that makes it more optional, even inconsequential.

    This is a good read.

    How in the end is your position not legalistic on this if such a useless thing is optional?

    Two flawed premises = a bad question.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @Bror Erickson #79

    Any lexicon will tell you that baptism necessarily denotes water.

    Then why did he say “with the Holy Spirit” and not “with water”?

    Jesus will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with Fire, does not mean that this baptism with the Holy Spirit will be done apart from water.

    Where does John say this?

    As for the disciples in the upper room, they did not take “their baptism in the Holy Spirit complete with tongues of fire” to be normative for everyone

    Yes, I know they didn’t. Maybe you should have been more careful in your first statement; that’s why I mentioned the Pentecost incident.

    instead they baptized the crowd with water following that event and emphasized that through this baptism with water, the Holy Spirit is given

    Or with repentance, since he says “Repent” in Acts 2:38.
    Unless you want to make Peter say “If you do this thing, you will receive the Holy Spirit”. I guess if you want to make that statement, why still claim sola fide?

    If Ephesians 4 is talking of “water baptism” then you have no right to talk of anything else

    Don’t talk to me; talk to John the Baptist. It’s his fault.

    Second, we don’t see it as a prerequisite for regeneration.

    “Baptism is Gospel” and “baptism always saves” are statements from Lutherans on this very blog. I have to disagree.

    We see that regeneration happens in baptism

    Does regeneration normatively happen apart from baptism?
    If not, what is the substantive objection to saying “baptism is a prereq for regeneration”? I don’t get it.

    So faith believes also what Jesus says about baptism, that in it we are forgiven our sins, given the Holy Spirit, regenerated, sanctified and justified.

    Take that last sentence and put in any other work. Tell me why that would be illegitimate.

    You mean to tell me that apart from anything scripture says, you assume that the Holy Spirit cannot work in and through the baptism Jesus commanded his disciples

    NEver said anything resembling this.

    One question, why if regeneration, justification, sanctification and salvation have no part to play in baptism, is it non optional?

    Correction: It plays no part in justification or regeneration.
    Plenty to do with sanctification, and plenty to do with “salvation” in the wider sense in which salvation = the entire exercise of God of redemption of fallen man, from start to ultimate finish.

    And as to why, see my answer to Robin one comment ago.

    I would think that makes it more optional, even inconsequential.

    This is a good read.

    How in the end is your position not legalistic on this if such a useless thing is optional?

    Two flawed premises = a bad question.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @Ross #82

    Faith=assurance

    Not really. Faith = a gift from God à la Ephesians 2:8-9. Assurance is entirely different.

    You keep saying we are saved by faith (assurance) alone, right? Sola fide?

    Not assurance, no. Faith.

    How do you know this to be true?

    Now that is a question about assurance, and you’ll note that I was setting that apart as a separate question in earlier comments as well.
    This topic is farther afield than I’m willing to spend much time discussing, but I will say this: Since a Lutheran can be properly baptised and partake of the Eucharist, etc and go to Hell, I don’t see you have much to go on here.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @Ross #82

    Faith=assurance

    Not really. Faith = a gift from God à la Ephesians 2:8-9. Assurance is entirely different.

    You keep saying we are saved by faith (assurance) alone, right? Sola fide?

    Not assurance, no. Faith.

    How do you know this to be true?

    Now that is a question about assurance, and you’ll note that I was setting that apart as a separate question in earlier comments as well.
    This topic is farther afield than I’m willing to spend much time discussing, but I will say this: Since a Lutheran can be properly baptised and partake of the Eucharist, etc and go to Hell, I don’t see you have much to go on here.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Widespread ≠ everyone.
    Widespread = widespread.

    I’m sure there are those, but this specific statement demonstrated ignorance, and it’s not the 1st or even 3rd time in this thread alone a Lutheran has demonstrated pretty significant ignorance.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Widespread ≠ everyone.
    Widespread = widespread.

    I’m sure there are those, but this specific statement demonstrated ignorance, and it’s not the 1st or even 3rd time in this thread alone a Lutheran has demonstrated pretty significant ignorance.

  • Bob

    Know why Baptists don’t believe in sex before marriage?

    ‘Cause it might lead to dancing.
    :)

  • Bob

    Know why Baptists don’t believe in sex before marriage?

    ‘Cause it might lead to dancing.
    :)

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Or movies! :-D

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Or movies! :-D

  • Bob

    Cards?
    :)

  • Bob

    Cards?
    :)

  • Bob

    widespread= diffused or prevalent

    Special pleading

  • Bob

    widespread= diffused or prevalent

    Special pleading

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    How is it special pleading?

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    How is it special pleading?

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

    Rhology,
    Peter doesn’t say do this anything, he says be baptized. he uses the the passive, baptism is done to you. and he does attach the holy spirit to it. He makes it impossible for one to repent and not be baptized at the same time. Baptism is crucial here. It is not something done apart from repentance or faith. Indissoluble by the way, to believe is to repent, to repent is to believe, and to be baptized is to both believe and to repent. One at this juncture could not say that he had repented and not have been baptized. But Peter attaches the Holy Spirit to baptism, and explicitly so, there. Just as John the Baptist tells us that when Jesus baptizes us the Holy Spirit will accompany that baptism, which it doesn’t in his which is merely a baptism of water and nothing else.
    Of course, in your reading of Acts 2 you don’t really get around the doing of something. You think one needs to repent to receive the Holy Spirit. Which seems to be something we do? I say repentance to is a gift of God given in baptism. but hey. Go on with your cockeyed reading of the New Testament that twists verses from their plain meaning to mean something entirely different. I certainly hope that at some point, for your own assurance of salvation, you have had tongues of fire dance on your head, otherwise how do you know you were baptized?

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

    Rhology,
    Peter doesn’t say do this anything, he says be baptized. he uses the the passive, baptism is done to you. and he does attach the holy spirit to it. He makes it impossible for one to repent and not be baptized at the same time. Baptism is crucial here. It is not something done apart from repentance or faith. Indissoluble by the way, to believe is to repent, to repent is to believe, and to be baptized is to both believe and to repent. One at this juncture could not say that he had repented and not have been baptized. But Peter attaches the Holy Spirit to baptism, and explicitly so, there. Just as John the Baptist tells us that when Jesus baptizes us the Holy Spirit will accompany that baptism, which it doesn’t in his which is merely a baptism of water and nothing else.
    Of course, in your reading of Acts 2 you don’t really get around the doing of something. You think one needs to repent to receive the Holy Spirit. Which seems to be something we do? I say repentance to is a gift of God given in baptism. but hey. Go on with your cockeyed reading of the New Testament that twists verses from their plain meaning to mean something entirely different. I certainly hope that at some point, for your own assurance of salvation, you have had tongues of fire dance on your head, otherwise how do you know you were baptized?

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    be baptized

    “Be” is imperative.
    Passive would be “you are baptised”.
    Also, the imperative is “repent”, right?

    he does attach the holy spirit to it

    Yes, to “Repent and be baptised”.
    Nothing wrong with that. Nothing inconsistent with my position.

    He makes it impossible for one to repent and not be baptized at the same time.

    Not impossible. Contrary to the command.

    It is not something done apart from repentance or faith.

    Not so much in this psg. Other psgs.

    Indissoluble by the way, to believe is to repent, to repent is to believe, and to be baptized is to both believe and to repent.

    More exegesis is required to substantiate this assertion.

    Of course, in your reading of Acts 2 you don’t really get around the doing of something.

    Repentance is a gift from God, and the proclamation of the Gospel is the means God uses to call people to Himself and bring them to repentance.
    One doesn’t “do” repentance. It’s a change wrought by God inside a person.

    You think one needs to repent to receive the Holy Spirit. Which seems to be something we do?

    1) Next you’ll be telling me that faith is a work too, since it “something we do”.
    There’s a clear difference between repentance and faith, and works, in the NT.
    2) We repent because we’re already regenerate. But go on, explain how an unregenerate person can do a spiritual good, like repenting of his sin. This oughta be interesting.
    3) Then explain how this is consistent with monergism.
    (Of course, maybe you’re not a monergist. I just though confessional Lutherans were.)

    Go on with your cockeyed reading of the New Testament that twists verses from their plain meaning to mean something entirely different.

    You mean like “faith alone is actually faith plus something, but that’s still faith alone”? Right, sure. My position is cockeyed.

    I certainly hope that at some point, for your own assurance of salvation, you have had tongues of fire dance on your head, otherwise how do you know you were baptized?

    Another assurance question. Why do you keep bringing it up?
    This topic is farther afield than I’m willing to spend much time discussing, but I will say this: Since a Lutheran can be properly baptised and partake of the Eucharist, etc and go to Hell, I don’t see you have much to go on here.

    You know, I’ve asked a lot of questions, and I don’t see you answering very much or any of them. Hows about you start doing so? That would be what people like to call “fair”.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    be baptized

    “Be” is imperative.
    Passive would be “you are baptised”.
    Also, the imperative is “repent”, right?

    he does attach the holy spirit to it

    Yes, to “Repent and be baptised”.
    Nothing wrong with that. Nothing inconsistent with my position.

    He makes it impossible for one to repent and not be baptized at the same time.

    Not impossible. Contrary to the command.

    It is not something done apart from repentance or faith.

    Not so much in this psg. Other psgs.

    Indissoluble by the way, to believe is to repent, to repent is to believe, and to be baptized is to both believe and to repent.

    More exegesis is required to substantiate this assertion.

    Of course, in your reading of Acts 2 you don’t really get around the doing of something.

    Repentance is a gift from God, and the proclamation of the Gospel is the means God uses to call people to Himself and bring them to repentance.
    One doesn’t “do” repentance. It’s a change wrought by God inside a person.

    You think one needs to repent to receive the Holy Spirit. Which seems to be something we do?

    1) Next you’ll be telling me that faith is a work too, since it “something we do”.
    There’s a clear difference between repentance and faith, and works, in the NT.
    2) We repent because we’re already regenerate. But go on, explain how an unregenerate person can do a spiritual good, like repenting of his sin. This oughta be interesting.
    3) Then explain how this is consistent with monergism.
    (Of course, maybe you’re not a monergist. I just though confessional Lutherans were.)

    Go on with your cockeyed reading of the New Testament that twists verses from their plain meaning to mean something entirely different.

    You mean like “faith alone is actually faith plus something, but that’s still faith alone”? Right, sure. My position is cockeyed.

    I certainly hope that at some point, for your own assurance of salvation, you have had tongues of fire dance on your head, otherwise how do you know you were baptized?

    Another assurance question. Why do you keep bringing it up?
    This topic is farther afield than I’m willing to spend much time discussing, but I will say this: Since a Lutheran can be properly baptised and partake of the Eucharist, etc and go to Hell, I don’t see you have much to go on here.

    You know, I’ve asked a lot of questions, and I don’t see you answering very much or any of them. Hows about you start doing so? That would be what people like to call “fair”.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Indissoluble by the way, to believe is to repent, to repent is to believe, and to be baptized is to both believe and to repent.

    This discounts the indubitable existence of false professions and baptisms done under false pretenses. What were you trying to say when you stated this?

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Indissoluble by the way, to believe is to repent, to repent is to believe, and to be baptized is to both believe and to repent.

    This discounts the indubitable existence of false professions and baptisms done under false pretenses. What were you trying to say when you stated this?

  • Robin

    Rhology,
    this is Robin again… You said that Lutherans are ignorant about baptist beliefs because I said that you seemed like an arminian not reformed. If you will read what I wrote again, you will notice that I am not a Lutheran and in fact grew up in a baptist home. I am well acquainted with baptists, (arminians) because I was one! You say you are reformed baptist however, you speak as if you have attended an arminian baptist church all your life.

  • Robin

    Rhology,
    this is Robin again… You said that Lutherans are ignorant about baptist beliefs because I said that you seemed like an arminian not reformed. If you will read what I wrote again, you will notice that I am not a Lutheran and in fact grew up in a baptist home. I am well acquainted with baptists, (arminians) because I was one! You say you are reformed baptist however, you speak as if you have attended an arminian baptist church all your life.

  • Robin

    @ Rhology again: Perhaps we are talking about two different things since by the way you spell baptize (baptise) I take it you are British, South African, or Australian so your experience as a baptist will not be the same as someone growing up in the southern United States.

  • Robin

    @ Rhology again: Perhaps we are talking about two different things since by the way you spell baptize (baptise) I take it you are British, South African, or Australian so your experience as a baptist will not be the same as someone growing up in the southern United States.

  • Ross

    @Rhology #88

    So does Hebrews 11:1 really mean faith is NOT the assurance of things hoped for?

    I’m really trying to understand your position. Are you saying that you can have “saving faith” even if you doubt God’s promises?

  • Ross

    @Rhology #88

    So does Hebrews 11:1 really mean faith is NOT the assurance of things hoped for?

    I’m really trying to understand your position. Are you saying that you can have “saving faith” even if you doubt God’s promises?

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @95 I haven’t chimed in for a while because, you have been doing so well and time has been an issue on my end. I just wanted to add that Baptism in Acts 2:38 is that really fun passive 3rd person imperative, loads of fun to translate as there is no real English equivalent.

    Oh and by the way, Rhology, it also means it isn’t a command.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @95 I haven’t chimed in for a while because, you have been doing so well and time has been an issue on my end. I just wanted to add that Baptism in Acts 2:38 is that really fun passive 3rd person imperative, loads of fun to translate as there is no real English equivalent.

    Oh and by the way, Rhology, it also means it isn’t a command.

  • Bob

    ‘you are here to pronounce that Lutherans are not actually saved/ among the elect
    If you really think we’re not saved…well, what is there to say?
    Did y’all not notice a Lutheran said that, not me?
    I have in fact specifically denied such. Look at comment 72, please.’

    So, after a thread of 100+ posts, what exactly you do believe about Lutheranism? Are we in or out?
    Why exactly are you here — just to argue against our view of baptism? Do you think the sacraments are from the devil?

    Cut the horsecrap and be clear.

  • Bob

    ‘you are here to pronounce that Lutherans are not actually saved/ among the elect
    If you really think we’re not saved…well, what is there to say?
    Did y’all not notice a Lutheran said that, not me?
    I have in fact specifically denied such. Look at comment 72, please.’

    So, after a thread of 100+ posts, what exactly you do believe about Lutheranism? Are we in or out?
    Why exactly are you here — just to argue against our view of baptism? Do you think the sacraments are from the devil?

    Cut the horsecrap and be clear.

  • Marie

    Rhology, what confession do you subscribe to? 1689 London? Is your congregation a member of ARBCA? You are right that there is gross simplification/conflation by Lutherans of the Reformed, Baptist, and Reformed Baptist doctrines. I hear it often on Issues, Etc. My own pastor does this sometimes, and we try to correct him/inform him. However, there are similarities (and shared history) between the three. Uncomfortable similarities. But, Lutheran folks, how would we like it to be lumped with the ELCA or LCMC? Or a bad LCMS church that doesn’t include “Lutheran” in their church name and reads Hybels’ books?

    I have had numerous confusing conversations with my Reformed Baptist mother-in-law. I assume a serious Calvinist and serious Lutheran would have much more in common than say a Calvinist and the local EV Free church or Assemblies of God. But that isn’t always the case, usually because of lexicon and having different definitions for the same terms. She is often surprised by the pure Reformation doctrines that we freely teach to our children . I am often shocked by the RB books (e.g. Lloyd-Jones on the Beatitudes) and sermons which spend 90% on Law and the remainder on Gospel (and then it’s just a footnote. In the Lloyd-Jones book, I underlined 2 paragraphs that mentioned Christ’s atonement).

    Plenty more qualified than myself are answering the baptism debate. However, I always like it when a Baptist and a Lutheran quote “not the washing of dirt…” simultaneously, then do a double-take. Happens all the time.

    I am very thankful folks like Mike Horton and Tullian are preaching Gospel, even if they never become Lutheran.

  • Marie

    Rhology, what confession do you subscribe to? 1689 London? Is your congregation a member of ARBCA? You are right that there is gross simplification/conflation by Lutherans of the Reformed, Baptist, and Reformed Baptist doctrines. I hear it often on Issues, Etc. My own pastor does this sometimes, and we try to correct him/inform him. However, there are similarities (and shared history) between the three. Uncomfortable similarities. But, Lutheran folks, how would we like it to be lumped with the ELCA or LCMC? Or a bad LCMS church that doesn’t include “Lutheran” in their church name and reads Hybels’ books?

    I have had numerous confusing conversations with my Reformed Baptist mother-in-law. I assume a serious Calvinist and serious Lutheran would have much more in common than say a Calvinist and the local EV Free church or Assemblies of God. But that isn’t always the case, usually because of lexicon and having different definitions for the same terms. She is often surprised by the pure Reformation doctrines that we freely teach to our children . I am often shocked by the RB books (e.g. Lloyd-Jones on the Beatitudes) and sermons which spend 90% on Law and the remainder on Gospel (and then it’s just a footnote. In the Lloyd-Jones book, I underlined 2 paragraphs that mentioned Christ’s atonement).

    Plenty more qualified than myself are answering the baptism debate. However, I always like it when a Baptist and a Lutheran quote “not the washing of dirt…” simultaneously, then do a double-take. Happens all the time.

    I am very thankful folks like Mike Horton and Tullian are preaching Gospel, even if they never become Lutheran.

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

    Rhology,
    I thought I had answered your questions. Perhaps though you could ask them again, and I’ll see if I can’t do better. It might be a little tricky though because time is quickly becoming an issue, I have an afternoon of visitations, Lenten service and adult confirmation tonight. Tomorrow I am getting my boy, and I doubt after I get him I’ll have much time to spend in this endeavor, which seems a bit futile as I’m getting the impression we are past an honest inquiry as to what Lutherans believe and how the reconcile grace and faith alone with their insistence that God is operable communicating his grace through baptism, which you want to classify as our work and not his. Perhaps DL21 will have time to jump in more, if I am mistaken that this isn’t just belligerent argumentation for arguing sakes.
    In any case, I’m glad that you see repentance as an act of God and faith as a gift from God. This is wonderful news, as I also believe these things. In fact I believe they are tantamount to the same thing as the first commandment demands belief and we can’t repent of breaking it without in fact believing. Repentance+believing atleast when it comes to God.
    However repentance and believing are both attached to baptism in many places throughout scripture. and this is what I was getting at. It’s a package deal, faith, repentance and baptism, the three go and work together as gifts from God. Baptism being the concrete means through which God works faith and repentance and gives the Holy Spirit. I do not see how one can conceive of repentance as a gift from God and then still have a problem with baptism being a gift.
    If God can command us to repent, and yet still be the one working repentance, why can’t he command us to be baptized and yet still be the one baptizing? It is as far as I can see what God’s word says of baptism, that he is the one working there. Certainly he uses other people to bring about baptism, just as he uses other people to bring about the hearing of God’s word. But then this goes back to Lutheran ideas of vocation for which this blog is famous. God uses people to accomplish his purposes. He gives us daily bread through the work of others. He gives us the bread that comes from heaven through the work of his pastors, who proclaim his word and administer his sacraments. So while you see a pastor baptizing, it is God that is working.
    And that is how we see it. We do not relegate baptism to some inconsequential thing that we must do simply because God orders us to do it, but something through which God works Grace, it is part and parcel of the gospel itself because in baptism God promises so much, and he promises it there because it is clear and concrete we can know water has been poured over us and God’s word spoken, that when this happened God sanctified us to be his children. We never have to wonder if what we felt was baptism by the spirit, or lust for the girl we were accompanying to the revival, or indigestion. We never have to wonder if we were baptized, we know we were, water was poured, God’s word spoken, promises made by God.

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

    Rhology,
    I thought I had answered your questions. Perhaps though you could ask them again, and I’ll see if I can’t do better. It might be a little tricky though because time is quickly becoming an issue, I have an afternoon of visitations, Lenten service and adult confirmation tonight. Tomorrow I am getting my boy, and I doubt after I get him I’ll have much time to spend in this endeavor, which seems a bit futile as I’m getting the impression we are past an honest inquiry as to what Lutherans believe and how the reconcile grace and faith alone with their insistence that God is operable communicating his grace through baptism, which you want to classify as our work and not his. Perhaps DL21 will have time to jump in more, if I am mistaken that this isn’t just belligerent argumentation for arguing sakes.
    In any case, I’m glad that you see repentance as an act of God and faith as a gift from God. This is wonderful news, as I also believe these things. In fact I believe they are tantamount to the same thing as the first commandment demands belief and we can’t repent of breaking it without in fact believing. Repentance+believing atleast when it comes to God.
    However repentance and believing are both attached to baptism in many places throughout scripture. and this is what I was getting at. It’s a package deal, faith, repentance and baptism, the three go and work together as gifts from God. Baptism being the concrete means through which God works faith and repentance and gives the Holy Spirit. I do not see how one can conceive of repentance as a gift from God and then still have a problem with baptism being a gift.
    If God can command us to repent, and yet still be the one working repentance, why can’t he command us to be baptized and yet still be the one baptizing? It is as far as I can see what God’s word says of baptism, that he is the one working there. Certainly he uses other people to bring about baptism, just as he uses other people to bring about the hearing of God’s word. But then this goes back to Lutheran ideas of vocation for which this blog is famous. God uses people to accomplish his purposes. He gives us daily bread through the work of others. He gives us the bread that comes from heaven through the work of his pastors, who proclaim his word and administer his sacraments. So while you see a pastor baptizing, it is God that is working.
    And that is how we see it. We do not relegate baptism to some inconsequential thing that we must do simply because God orders us to do it, but something through which God works Grace, it is part and parcel of the gospel itself because in baptism God promises so much, and he promises it there because it is clear and concrete we can know water has been poured over us and God’s word spoken, that when this happened God sanctified us to be his children. We never have to wonder if what we felt was baptism by the spirit, or lust for the girl we were accompanying to the revival, or indigestion. We never have to wonder if we were baptized, we know we were, water was poured, God’s word spoken, promises made by God.

  • jonathan

    rhology,

    i am not a christian. i take it you are. what must i do to be saved?

  • jonathan

    rhology,

    i am not a christian. i take it you are. what must i do to be saved?

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    jonathan,

    You have offended a holy God who will not ignore lawbreaking. You are guilty and will be judged.
    To be saved, repent of your lawbreaking and put your faith and trust in the Savior whom God sent to be the sacrifice and your substitute, in your place for the punishment you deserve. Ask Him to forgive your sin and give you the free gift of eternal life.
    Then read your Bible, obey it, and be baptised in a church that teaches the Bible. If you don’t know where to start looking, I’ll be happy to help you find one.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    jonathan,

    You have offended a holy God who will not ignore lawbreaking. You are guilty and will be judged.
    To be saved, repent of your lawbreaking and put your faith and trust in the Savior whom God sent to be the sacrifice and your substitute, in your place for the punishment you deserve. Ask Him to forgive your sin and give you the free gift of eternal life.
    Then read your Bible, obey it, and be baptised in a church that teaches the Bible. If you don’t know where to start looking, I’ll be happy to help you find one.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Are you saying that you can have “saving faith” even if you doubt God’s promises?

    If you’re asking whether Christians can pass through dark periods of their lives in which they experience doubt, I figure it’s hardly very pastoral to say yes.
    Some of the disciples doubted in Matthew 28 just before the Ascension.
    Never make man’s lawkeeping the centerpiece of your faith.

    Dr Luther 21, fair enough. :-)

    @Bob #102
    What does it matter what *I* believe about Lutherans?
    And as far as cutting the horsecrap, did you see comment #66?

    Why exactly are you here — just to argue against our view of baptism?

    Your view of baptismal regeneration, yes, pretty much. I think it’s very dangerous and is incompatible with the Gospel if one were inclined to take it to its logical conclusion.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Are you saying that you can have “saving faith” even if you doubt God’s promises?

    If you’re asking whether Christians can pass through dark periods of their lives in which they experience doubt, I figure it’s hardly very pastoral to say yes.
    Some of the disciples doubted in Matthew 28 just before the Ascension.
    Never make man’s lawkeeping the centerpiece of your faith.

    Dr Luther 21, fair enough. :-)

    @Bob #102
    What does it matter what *I* believe about Lutherans?
    And as far as cutting the horsecrap, did you see comment #66?

    Why exactly are you here — just to argue against our view of baptism?

    Your view of baptismal regeneration, yes, pretty much. I think it’s very dangerous and is incompatible with the Gospel if one were inclined to take it to its logical conclusion.

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

    oh, I think this will get good now.

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

    oh, I think this will get good now.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @Marie #103

    1689 London is closest, yes. I don’t know if I’m all the way there with that one’s covenant theology, but that’s good enough for the purposes of this discussion.

    I assume a serious Calvinist and serious Lutheran would have much more in common than say a Calvinist and the local EV Free church or Assemblies of God.

    But a Calvinist BAPTIST might have more in common with EV Free or AoG. I guess it depends on the relative weight one ascribes to various doctrinal differences. Tough to be objective on something like that! :-)

    I am very thankful folks like Mike Horton and Tullian are preaching Gospel, even if they never become Lutheran.

    In the view of at least a few Lutherans in this thread, I don’t see how they could agree with this statement. After all, “baptism is Gospel”, etc.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @Marie #103

    1689 London is closest, yes. I don’t know if I’m all the way there with that one’s covenant theology, but that’s good enough for the purposes of this discussion.

    I assume a serious Calvinist and serious Lutheran would have much more in common than say a Calvinist and the local EV Free church or Assemblies of God.

    But a Calvinist BAPTIST might have more in common with EV Free or AoG. I guess it depends on the relative weight one ascribes to various doctrinal differences. Tough to be objective on something like that! :-)

    I am very thankful folks like Mike Horton and Tullian are preaching Gospel, even if they never become Lutheran.

    In the view of at least a few Lutherans in this thread, I don’t see how they could agree with this statement. After all, “baptism is Gospel”, etc.

  • Craig

    jonathan 105

    Repent and believe the 5 points of Calvinism! That was an easy one.

    Oh ya…for your sanctification you must convert all evangelicals to believe in the limited atonement and frequent Lutheran blogs to correct their funky views of baptism and TLS. Remember Jesus is stuck at the right hand of God and cannot be a part of baptism or TLS. BTW I heard that Jesus is having a hard time finding the physical right hand since God is spirit. Maybe the next time rhology communes and has ascended to the right hand he can help Jesus find him???

  • Craig

    jonathan 105

    Repent and believe the 5 points of Calvinism! That was an easy one.

    Oh ya…for your sanctification you must convert all evangelicals to believe in the limited atonement and frequent Lutheran blogs to correct their funky views of baptism and TLS. Remember Jesus is stuck at the right hand of God and cannot be a part of baptism or TLS. BTW I heard that Jesus is having a hard time finding the physical right hand since God is spirit. Maybe the next time rhology communes and has ascended to the right hand he can help Jesus find him???

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Rhology said (@107):

    Never make man’s lawkeeping the centerpiece of your faith.

    Rhology also answered the question “what must i do to be saved?” with this answer (@106):

    To be saved, repent of your lawbreaking and put your faith and trust in the Savior whom God sent to be the sacrifice and your substitute, in your place for the punishment you deserve. Ask Him to forgive your sin and give you the free gift of eternal life. Then read your Bible, obey it, and be baptised in a church that teaches the Bible.

    Hmm. That statement is not exactly lacking in law, much less focus on man’s law-keeping.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Rhology said (@107):

    Never make man’s lawkeeping the centerpiece of your faith.

    Rhology also answered the question “what must i do to be saved?” with this answer (@106):

    To be saved, repent of your lawbreaking and put your faith and trust in the Savior whom God sent to be the sacrifice and your substitute, in your place for the punishment you deserve. Ask Him to forgive your sin and give you the free gift of eternal life. Then read your Bible, obey it, and be baptised in a church that teaches the Bible.

    Hmm. That statement is not exactly lacking in law, much less focus on man’s law-keeping.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @Bror Erickson #104

    The unanswered questions are numerous, but perhaps the most important is this:

    tODD had said:
    Besides, what God gives us in baptism is, again, grace.

    I say:
    Besides, what God gives us in our abstaining from fleshly lusts is, again, grace.
    Besides, what God gives us in our practicing hospitality is, again, grace.
    Besides, what God gives us in always restraining the tongue is, again, grace.
    Besides, what God gives us in ____ is, again, grace.

    By this logic, the following are prerequisites for salvation:
    -abstaining from fleshly lusts
    -hospitality
    -restraining the tongue
    -anything else I can think of.

    This sounds an awful lot like…law.

    However repentance and believing are both attached to baptism in many places throughout scripture.

    And in other places they’re not attached to baptism. I think my position can account for this, but I don’t know about yours.

    We do not relegate baptism to some inconsequential thing that we must do simply because God orders us to do it

    Is this not a false dilemma?
    It’s not EITHER prerequisite for regeneration OR completely inconsequential. I don’t think you read the link I linked you, did you?

    it is part and parcel of the gospel itself

    Works are not part and parcel of the Gospel. that’s the problem.

    We never have to wonder if what we felt was baptism by the spirit, or lust for the girl we were accompanying to the revival, or indigestion. We never have to wonder if we were baptized, we know we were, water was poured, God’s word spoken, promises made by God.

    This is madness.
    What kind of promise is it when a properly-baptised Lutheran can end up in Hell? Who cares?
    “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and yet loses his soul?”

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    @Bror Erickson #104

    The unanswered questions are numerous, but perhaps the most important is this:

    tODD had said:
    Besides, what God gives us in baptism is, again, grace.

    I say:
    Besides, what God gives us in our abstaining from fleshly lusts is, again, grace.
    Besides, what God gives us in our practicing hospitality is, again, grace.
    Besides, what God gives us in always restraining the tongue is, again, grace.
    Besides, what God gives us in ____ is, again, grace.

    By this logic, the following are prerequisites for salvation:
    -abstaining from fleshly lusts
    -hospitality
    -restraining the tongue
    -anything else I can think of.

    This sounds an awful lot like…law.

    However repentance and believing are both attached to baptism in many places throughout scripture.

    And in other places they’re not attached to baptism. I think my position can account for this, but I don’t know about yours.

    We do not relegate baptism to some inconsequential thing that we must do simply because God orders us to do it

    Is this not a false dilemma?
    It’s not EITHER prerequisite for regeneration OR completely inconsequential. I don’t think you read the link I linked you, did you?

    it is part and parcel of the gospel itself

    Works are not part and parcel of the Gospel. that’s the problem.

    We never have to wonder if what we felt was baptism by the spirit, or lust for the girl we were accompanying to the revival, or indigestion. We never have to wonder if we were baptized, we know we were, water was poured, God’s word spoken, promises made by God.

    This is madness.
    What kind of promise is it when a properly-baptised Lutheran can end up in Hell? Who cares?
    “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and yet loses his soul?”

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Craig is just trolling and being 100% unhelpful.

    tODD misses the fact that I used the law in the last sentence in its teaching sense, teaching us to live holy. Also unhelpful.
    I even threw in “then be baptised”, and tODD didn’t give me any credit for it. I’m disappointed.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Craig is just trolling and being 100% unhelpful.

    tODD misses the fact that I used the law in the last sentence in its teaching sense, teaching us to live holy. Also unhelpful.
    I even threw in “then be baptised”, and tODD didn’t give me any credit for it. I’m disappointed.

  • Ross

    Rhology,

    From London Baptist Confesssion of 1689, Ch.18 Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation:
    “Although temporary believers, and other unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favour of God and state of salvation, which hope of theirs shall perish; yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before him, may in this life be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, which hope shall never make them ashamed.”

    No wonder you separate faith and assurance. It doesn’t sound like assurance is even possible. Unless, of course, you “truly” believe, love God “sincerely”, and walk in all “good conscience”. Sounds like it all depends on you.

    How do you know you’re not “vainly deceiving yourself” with “false hope” and “carnal presumptions”?

    Do you love God sincerely enough? Do you walk in “good conscience”?

    Maybe this is part of the confession with which you disagree?

  • Ross

    Rhology,

    From London Baptist Confesssion of 1689, Ch.18 Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation:
    “Although temporary believers, and other unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favour of God and state of salvation, which hope of theirs shall perish; yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before him, may in this life be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, which hope shall never make them ashamed.”

    No wonder you separate faith and assurance. It doesn’t sound like assurance is even possible. Unless, of course, you “truly” believe, love God “sincerely”, and walk in all “good conscience”. Sounds like it all depends on you.

    How do you know you’re not “vainly deceiving yourself” with “false hope” and “carnal presumptions”?

    Do you love God sincerely enough? Do you walk in “good conscience”?

    Maybe this is part of the confession with which you disagree?

  • Bob

    (Sigh). Finally. Some clarity.

    Rhiology,

    So…

    What kind of regeneration do you believe in?

    You seemed to bristle when someone brought up “decisional” regeneration.

    Hmmmm?

  • Bob

    (Sigh). Finally. Some clarity.

    Rhiology,

    So…

    What kind of regeneration do you believe in?

    You seemed to bristle when someone brought up “decisional” regeneration.

    Hmmmm?

  • jonathan

    rhology,

    thanks for the response. how can i possibly obey the bible? how do i know if my church teaches the bible?

  • jonathan

    rhology,

    thanks for the response. how can i possibly obey the bible? how do i know if my church teaches the bible?

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Bob,

    The kind that the Holy Spirit performs in a sinful man to transform him.

    Ross,
    Assurance is possible, sure, but it’s not very relevant here. I don’t want to get sidetracked when so many of my own questions are unanswered by Lutherans here. This is not Quiz The Baptist Hour. Hit me at my blog if you want to know.
    Also, you need to answer how Lutheranism offers anything better, given my questions.

    jonathan,
    I’ll put up with this one more comment and then you’re going to be asked some questions too.
    You can obey the Bible because the Holy Spirit will transform you and give you a new heart with new desires and the ability to obey what you read. You’ll have been made into a new man, a slave of Jesus instead of a slave to sin.
    Your church teaches the Bible if they submit all questions to its authority. If the pastor opens it up when he preaches and talks about what it says.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Bob,

    The kind that the Holy Spirit performs in a sinful man to transform him.

    Ross,
    Assurance is possible, sure, but it’s not very relevant here. I don’t want to get sidetracked when so many of my own questions are unanswered by Lutherans here. This is not Quiz The Baptist Hour. Hit me at my blog if you want to know.
    Also, you need to answer how Lutheranism offers anything better, given my questions.

    jonathan,
    I’ll put up with this one more comment and then you’re going to be asked some questions too.
    You can obey the Bible because the Holy Spirit will transform you and give you a new heart with new desires and the ability to obey what you read. You’ll have been made into a new man, a slave of Jesus instead of a slave to sin.
    Your church teaches the Bible if they submit all questions to its authority. If the pastor opens it up when he preaches and talks about what it says.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • Bob

    The kind that the Holy Spirit performs in a sinful man to transform him.

    So…

    Mormons are regenerated?

    They experience moral transformation.

    C’mon…

    No offense, but that’s a crap answer.

  • Bob

    The kind that the Holy Spirit performs in a sinful man to transform him.

    So…

    Mormons are regenerated?

    They experience moral transformation.

    C’mon…

    No offense, but that’s a crap answer.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Mormons are regenerated?
    They experience moral transformation.

    I am speechless.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Mormons are regenerated?
    They experience moral transformation.

    I am speechless.

  • jonathan

    rhology,

    please ask me anything you want, i appreciate you’re answers to me..my question is, if i’m supposed to repent for my sin (lack of obedience) to receive the free gift of eternal life, and then i receive the holy spirit who will transform my life, but i continue following my old desires (that internet porn is addictive) how do i know i’m really saved? did i really get eternal life if i keep sinning? at what point have i obeyed enough to know i’m a christian? what if i don’t feel any different? what if everyone else seems so happy being a christian but i don’t? what if i really didn’t repent enough? what if i find a girlfriend (don’t tell my wife), get her pregnant, arrange to have my wife killed so she doesn’t find out and i can be with my girlfriend, am i still a christian??

    i hope you don’t dismiss my questions because they are very real and ones i have lived with my entire life.. search the blog, i don’t comment..these are real concerns and i would appreciate hearing your answers..

  • jonathan

    rhology,

    please ask me anything you want, i appreciate you’re answers to me..my question is, if i’m supposed to repent for my sin (lack of obedience) to receive the free gift of eternal life, and then i receive the holy spirit who will transform my life, but i continue following my old desires (that internet porn is addictive) how do i know i’m really saved? did i really get eternal life if i keep sinning? at what point have i obeyed enough to know i’m a christian? what if i don’t feel any different? what if everyone else seems so happy being a christian but i don’t? what if i really didn’t repent enough? what if i find a girlfriend (don’t tell my wife), get her pregnant, arrange to have my wife killed so she doesn’t find out and i can be with my girlfriend, am i still a christian??

    i hope you don’t dismiss my questions because they are very real and ones i have lived with my entire life.. search the blog, i don’t comment..these are real concerns and i would appreciate hearing your answers..

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    jonathan,

    If you’re really serious, then email me and I’ll get you hooked up with a solid pastor in your area with whom you can meet face to face to get these questions answered. My email is found on my Blogger profile page.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    jonathan,

    If you’re really serious, then email me and I’ll get you hooked up with a solid pastor in your area with whom you can meet face to face to get these questions answered. My email is found on my Blogger profile page.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • Ross

    Rhology,

    I appreciate your invitation to contact you via your blog but I will decline that offer. I’m already familiar with reformed baptists b/c I used to be one (even the LBC 1689 part). I already know that you don’t have assurance b/c I didn’t either.

    If by “lutheranism” you mean churches that believe, teach, and confess that doctrine contained in the Book of Concord and derived from Holy Scripture, then they most certainly do offer something better. The true body of blood of Jesus given FOR YOU for the forgiveness of sins. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation (and assurance).

    I pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal this truth to you from His Word so that you might have assurance and peace.

  • Ross

    Rhology,

    I appreciate your invitation to contact you via your blog but I will decline that offer. I’m already familiar with reformed baptists b/c I used to be one (even the LBC 1689 part). I already know that you don’t have assurance b/c I didn’t either.

    If by “lutheranism” you mean churches that believe, teach, and confess that doctrine contained in the Book of Concord and derived from Holy Scripture, then they most certainly do offer something better. The true body of blood of Jesus given FOR YOU for the forgiveness of sins. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation (and assurance).

    I pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal this truth to you from His Word so that you might have assurance and peace.

  • jonathan

    rhology,

    thanks for the offer..i had hoped to get some answers in this string because the lutherans seem to be offering a tangible, physical, real thing (not myself or emotions) i can cling to for assurance of my salvation..i hear them saying i can trust in God’s promises which are linked with the physical (sacraments)..i hear you saying i need to work harder..

    i appreciate your civilized tone..so many of these blog encounters turn nasty..

  • jonathan

    rhology,

    thanks for the offer..i had hoped to get some answers in this string because the lutherans seem to be offering a tangible, physical, real thing (not myself or emotions) i can cling to for assurance of my salvation..i hear them saying i can trust in God’s promises which are linked with the physical (sacraments)..i hear you saying i need to work harder..

    i appreciate your civilized tone..so many of these blog encounters turn nasty..

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    i hear you saying i need to work harder..

    When? You asked me how to be saved. I told you. Then I threw in some guidance as to what comes next. Regeneration and justification are the first, and there’s way more to knowing Jesus than those.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    i hear you saying i need to work harder..

    When? You asked me how to be saved. I told you. Then I threw in some guidance as to what comes next. Regeneration and justification are the first, and there’s way more to knowing Jesus than those.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    I already know that you don’t have assurance b/c I didn’t either.

    Sorry to hear that. Until you answer my questions about assurance toward the Lutheran side, however, I guess that’s that.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    I already know that you don’t have assurance b/c I didn’t either.

    Sorry to hear that. Until you answer my questions about assurance toward the Lutheran side, however, I guess that’s that.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    The true body of blood of Jesus given FOR YOU for the forgiveness of sins. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation (and assurance).

    I affirm these statements 100%. I don’t see how a Lutheran could and still be consistent, though. Perhaps y’all have forgotten the Calvinist doctrine of God’s preservation of His saints? John 10:28-29?

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    The true body of blood of Jesus given FOR YOU for the forgiveness of sins. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation (and assurance).

    I affirm these statements 100%. I don’t see how a Lutheran could and still be consistent, though. Perhaps y’all have forgotten the Calvinist doctrine of God’s preservation of His saints? John 10:28-29?

  • Ross

    You affirm that you receive the true body and blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins in the Lord’s Supper? Maybe you’re Lutheran after all. :)

    So you disagree with LBC 1689, Ch. 30?
    “The outward elements in this ordinance, duly set apart to the use ordained by Christ, have such relation to him crucified, as that truly, although in terms used figuratively, they are sometimes called by the names of the things they represent, to wit, the body and blood of Christ, albeit, in substance and nature, they still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they were before.”

  • Ross

    You affirm that you receive the true body and blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins in the Lord’s Supper? Maybe you’re Lutheran after all. :)

    So you disagree with LBC 1689, Ch. 30?
    “The outward elements in this ordinance, duly set apart to the use ordained by Christ, have such relation to him crucified, as that truly, although in terms used figuratively, they are sometimes called by the names of the things they represent, to wit, the body and blood of Christ, albeit, in substance and nature, they still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they were before.”

  • Bob

    Ross #126

    I guess that’s called paradox.
    :)

  • Bob

    Ross #126

    I guess that’s called paradox.
    :)

  • Bob

    Regeneration and justification are the first, and there’s way more to knowing Jesus than those.

    Really?

  • Bob

    Regeneration and justification are the first, and there’s way more to knowing Jesus than those.

    Really?

  • Bob

    ‘they still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they were before.”

    Awwww…

    So close, but still, just juice and crackers.

  • Bob

    ‘they still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they were before.”

    Awwww…

    So close, but still, just juice and crackers.

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

    Here is what Lutherans believe about the Sacraments and why Lutheran sacramental theology is by no means any kind of addition to justification by faith or to the grace of God, but rather an expression of those most important teachings:

    Augsburg Confession Article XIII: Of the Use of the Sacraments.

    1] Of the Use of the Sacraments they teach that the Sacraments were ordained, not only to be marks of profession among men, but rather to be signs and testimonies of the will of God 2] toward us, instituted to awaken and confirm faith in those who use them. Wherefore we must so use the Sacraments that faith be added to believe the promises which are offered and set forth through the Sacraments.

    3] They therefore condemn those who teach that the Sacraments justify by the outward act, and who do not teach that, in the use of the Sacraments, faith which believes that sins are forgiven, is required.

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

    Here is what Lutherans believe about the Sacraments and why Lutheran sacramental theology is by no means any kind of addition to justification by faith or to the grace of God, but rather an expression of those most important teachings:

    Augsburg Confession Article XIII: Of the Use of the Sacraments.

    1] Of the Use of the Sacraments they teach that the Sacraments were ordained, not only to be marks of profession among men, but rather to be signs and testimonies of the will of God 2] toward us, instituted to awaken and confirm faith in those who use them. Wherefore we must so use the Sacraments that faith be added to believe the promises which are offered and set forth through the Sacraments.

    3] They therefore condemn those who teach that the Sacraments justify by the outward act, and who do not teach that, in the use of the Sacraments, faith which believes that sins are forgiven, is required.

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

    And then there is the Small Catechism:

    What is Baptism?–Answer.

    Baptism is not simple water only, but it is the water comprehended in God’s command and connected with God’s Word.

    Which is that word of God?–Answer.

    Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Matthew: Go ye into all the world and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

    Secondly.

    What does Baptism give or profit?–Answer.

    It works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.

    Which are such words and promises of God? Answer.

    Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Mark: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

    Thirdly.

    How can water do such great things?–Answer.

    It is not the water indeed that does them, but the word of God which is in and with the water, and faith, which trusts such word of God in the water. For without the word of God the water is simple water and no baptism. But with the word of God it is a baptism, that is, a gracious water of life and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Ghost, as St. Paul says, Titus, chapter three: By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our Savior, that, being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying.

    Fourthly.

    What does such baptizing with water signify?–Answer.

    It signifies that the old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts, and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise; who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

    Where is this written?–Answer.

    St. Paul says Romans, chapter 6: We are buried with Christ by Baptism into death, that, like as He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

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

    And then there is the Small Catechism:

    What is Baptism?–Answer.

    Baptism is not simple water only, but it is the water comprehended in God’s command and connected with God’s Word.

    Which is that word of God?–Answer.

    Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Matthew: Go ye into all the world and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

    Secondly.

    What does Baptism give or profit?–Answer.

    It works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.

    Which are such words and promises of God? Answer.

    Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Mark: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

    Thirdly.

    How can water do such great things?–Answer.

    It is not the water indeed that does them, but the word of God which is in and with the water, and faith, which trusts such word of God in the water. For without the word of God the water is simple water and no baptism. But with the word of God it is a baptism, that is, a gracious water of life and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Ghost, as St. Paul says, Titus, chapter three: By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our Savior, that, being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying.

    Fourthly.

    What does such baptizing with water signify?–Answer.

    It signifies that the old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts, and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise; who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

    Where is this written?–Answer.

    St. Paul says Romans, chapter 6: We are buried with Christ by Baptism into death, that, like as He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com/ Nick H.

    I started reading through the comments here and quickly ran out of time to get through them all, so I’m not sure how long the baptism debates lasted. I am a former Calvinistic Baptist turned Lutheran and I actually wrote a couple of posts on baptism coming from that perspective. I hesitate to link them given the nature of some of the debate on here, but here goes anyway. Maybe someone might find it helpful.

    http://hunnius.blogspot.com/2012/01/is-baptism-symbol.html
    http://hunnius.blogspot.com/2012/01/you-dont-actually-believe-baptism-saves.html

    The first post is just my humble contribution to the topic, while the second has many links that I think are very helpful in understanding where Lutherans are coming from on this issue.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com/ Nick H.

    I started reading through the comments here and quickly ran out of time to get through them all, so I’m not sure how long the baptism debates lasted. I am a former Calvinistic Baptist turned Lutheran and I actually wrote a couple of posts on baptism coming from that perspective. I hesitate to link them given the nature of some of the debate on here, but here goes anyway. Maybe someone might find it helpful.

    http://hunnius.blogspot.com/2012/01/is-baptism-symbol.html
    http://hunnius.blogspot.com/2012/01/you-dont-actually-believe-baptism-saves.html

    The first post is just my humble contribution to the topic, while the second has many links that I think are very helpful in understanding where Lutherans are coming from on this issue.

  • Bob

    Nick,

    I read your article from your first link.

    You did a great job! Clear and straight. I especially like that God often uses matter — it was C.S. Lewis who said, “God loves matter; he invented it.”

    It’s one of those “cross” things, I guess, where the mighty God works through common, material things. I hadn’t thought about that He did in the OT often, too.

    I’ll bet it will be of benefit to Rhology and others curious about the Lutheran view of baptism and how it differs from the Baptist POV.

  • Bob

    Nick,

    I read your article from your first link.

    You did a great job! Clear and straight. I especially like that God often uses matter — it was C.S. Lewis who said, “God loves matter; he invented it.”

    It’s one of those “cross” things, I guess, where the mighty God works through common, material things. I hadn’t thought about that He did in the OT often, too.

    I’ll bet it will be of benefit to Rhology and others curious about the Lutheran view of baptism and how it differs from the Baptist POV.

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

    Rhology, you write,
    “This is madness.
    What kind of promise is it when a properly-baptised Lutheran can end up in Hell? Who cares?
    “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and yet loses his soul?”
    Hmm, I thought you weren’t concerned about assurance, but it seems you are quite concerned.
    Thing is God makes promises, he gives gifts, he does the work in baptism. and yes a person can end up in hell even after all that, if they really want to go, God will allow them to reject all those promises, and reject the gift. I don’t know why people do this sort of thing, but they do.
    As far as that goes, all the hoopla you gave Jonathan up there has a worse track record for people leaving the faith than the gifts and promises of God in baptism. People say the sinners prayer every week, and those who have said that prayer end up leaving the faith all the time. So I don’t know what you think you accomplish by adding all that to the word of God, but it doesn’t seem to be putting you in any better position.
    It isn’t God’s promises and gifts that are at fault for the damnation of a sinner, but the sinner himself. It’s quite that simple.
    As for madness. I think it is quite insane to admit that there is only one baptism and then insist one maintaining that there are two. I think it is insane to adopt a hermeneutic that basically says I don’t believe God can do that in baptism therefore it isn’t talking about baptism. I think it is insane to discount the effectiveness of God’s promises based on what I think I see happening in the lives of others.
    In any case, I have to go. It has been fun talking to you. hope to see you around some more. You’ll excuse me if I find a Father Son weekend to be a bit more important than this conversation right now. There are others able to answer your questions I’m sure.

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

    Rhology, you write,
    “This is madness.
    What kind of promise is it when a properly-baptised Lutheran can end up in Hell? Who cares?
    “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and yet loses his soul?”
    Hmm, I thought you weren’t concerned about assurance, but it seems you are quite concerned.
    Thing is God makes promises, he gives gifts, he does the work in baptism. and yes a person can end up in hell even after all that, if they really want to go, God will allow them to reject all those promises, and reject the gift. I don’t know why people do this sort of thing, but they do.
    As far as that goes, all the hoopla you gave Jonathan up there has a worse track record for people leaving the faith than the gifts and promises of God in baptism. People say the sinners prayer every week, and those who have said that prayer end up leaving the faith all the time. So I don’t know what you think you accomplish by adding all that to the word of God, but it doesn’t seem to be putting you in any better position.
    It isn’t God’s promises and gifts that are at fault for the damnation of a sinner, but the sinner himself. It’s quite that simple.
    As for madness. I think it is quite insane to admit that there is only one baptism and then insist one maintaining that there are two. I think it is insane to adopt a hermeneutic that basically says I don’t believe God can do that in baptism therefore it isn’t talking about baptism. I think it is insane to discount the effectiveness of God’s promises based on what I think I see happening in the lives of others.
    In any case, I have to go. It has been fun talking to you. hope to see you around some more. You’ll excuse me if I find a Father Son weekend to be a bit more important than this conversation right now. There are others able to answer your questions I’m sure.

  • George A. Marquart

    Dr. Veith @ 131. Here is part of what you quoted from the Small Catechism:
    “What does such baptizing with water signify?–Answer.
    It signifies (German “bedeutet” or “means”) that the old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts, and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise; who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.
    Where is this written?–Answer.
    St. Paul says Romans, chapter 6: We are buried with Christ by Baptism into death, that, like as He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

    With all respect, the problem with this is that the Scripture quoted does not say what Luther says, nor is there any that says that. Romans speaks of “one” burial with Chirst and one rising. This describes how a person is reborn “by water and the Spirit”, as our Lord said. I don’t know where the notion comes from that “a new man daily come forth and arise.” Once a person has become a child of God in Baptism, that person lives in the Kingdom of God (the Church, according to our Confessions), but Scripture nowhere teaches that this process is or should be repeated every day. Sanctification, at best, does not produce “a new man” every day. There is, in fact, a certain absurdity in proposing that the “new man who comes forth daily” “shall live before God … forever.” Because on the next day, that person has to repent and become a “new man” all over again. The new man is “simul justus et peccator” – not justus in the morning and peccator in the evening.

    Please do not think that I have anything against contrition or repentance. But they are different for the unregenerate and the child of God.

    I firmly believe that Martin Luther was the greatest theologian in post-Apostolic times. But he was human and subject to error. This gives me no joy, but neither can I ignore it. For this reason, in my thoughts on the “Baptism” debate, which I posted earlier, I did not refer to this section of the Small Catechism.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart
    PS.: Should you choose to respond to this, please note that I will be away from my computer until 20 March.

  • George A. Marquart

    Dr. Veith @ 131. Here is part of what you quoted from the Small Catechism:
    “What does such baptizing with water signify?–Answer.
    It signifies (German “bedeutet” or “means”) that the old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts, and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise; who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.
    Where is this written?–Answer.
    St. Paul says Romans, chapter 6: We are buried with Christ by Baptism into death, that, like as He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

    With all respect, the problem with this is that the Scripture quoted does not say what Luther says, nor is there any that says that. Romans speaks of “one” burial with Chirst and one rising. This describes how a person is reborn “by water and the Spirit”, as our Lord said. I don’t know where the notion comes from that “a new man daily come forth and arise.” Once a person has become a child of God in Baptism, that person lives in the Kingdom of God (the Church, according to our Confessions), but Scripture nowhere teaches that this process is or should be repeated every day. Sanctification, at best, does not produce “a new man” every day. There is, in fact, a certain absurdity in proposing that the “new man who comes forth daily” “shall live before God … forever.” Because on the next day, that person has to repent and become a “new man” all over again. The new man is “simul justus et peccator” – not justus in the morning and peccator in the evening.

    Please do not think that I have anything against contrition or repentance. But they are different for the unregenerate and the child of God.

    I firmly believe that Martin Luther was the greatest theologian in post-Apostolic times. But he was human and subject to error. This gives me no joy, but neither can I ignore it. For this reason, in my thoughts on the “Baptism” debate, which I posted earlier, I did not refer to this section of the Small Catechism.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart
    PS.: Should you choose to respond to this, please note that I will be away from my computer until 20 March.

  • larry

    Nick,

    Very nicely written. Our background/experience is not unalike, including our wives background/reaction. Her, my wife’s, by the time we went Lutheran sticking point wasn’t infant baptism as we already experienced that moving from C. Baptist to Reformed. But rather that baptism saves you such that you can say to the questions and all like them “how do you know you are saved/elect/reborn/regenerate/converted…etc…” “I am baptized”. I had the same struggle about one year in advance of her. Then one day it “hit her” the way it hit me, “what is it you are REALLY believing in”. The assurance/faith (trust alone) connection. Because the old answer, baptist or reformed, given to “how do I know” usually boils down to a personal, “well I believe…”. But I said what are you really resting in that assures you for you yourself that you are saved, listen again to all the baptism passages, “this baptism saves you”, “repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus, all of you, FOR the forgiveness of YOUR sins, and you WILL RECEIVE the gift of the Holy Spirit…the promise is to you, and your children, and all who are far off to whom the Lord God will call”. Then it hit her, as it did me, what really was being rested in whereby assurance was sought whereby trust is given.

    The “faith in faith” deception is very very very subtle because it doesn’t say “faith in faith” but cloaks itself in Biblical words. It is in fact original sin and so close to our fallen nature we don’t “detect it” and deny it out right. But without a Word from God that GIFTS to us in fact not theory, we can have nothing but “faith in faith” then attach some other words to it instead of the Word of God extra nos. God must gift to us His Words, and His Words are not just promissory as we normally understand that (i.e. a promise here that is not the reality and the reality over there = the essence of all symbolic theologies on the sacraments) but as Luther put it “DO Words”, “…his Word IS the deed itself”, His Words ARE the reality their self. Thus, baptism is the deed itself of forgiveness of sin, rebirth, salvation, giving the Holy Spirit and so forth. Likewise with the Lord’s Supper it is the proof among other things, that I am a rightful heir of the kingdom, ‘he who eat My flesh and drinks My blood HAS eternal life” (forgiveness of sin, the kingdom, etc…).

    The sacraments are the strong Word of Christ that fells the devil, flesh and world everytime. This is why Luther would answer the devil’s temptation, “how do you know you are elect”, with, “Devil I don’t care you go find that out I am baptized” (i.e. I have God’s do/reality Word and THERE is where my faith is, not in itself).

    If the sacrament, which in reality is a “Worded of God thing”, is left in one way or another “symbolic” (i.e. sign here, reality over there = which denudes the Word of God from it and is no different than shaman who exercise the Word of God from His creation) AND not all are saved, THEN something must bridge that gap that is wordless from God between the denuded sign “here” to the reality over there. The false doctrines (1) take away the Word from the sacrament by making it a symbol of a reality, (2) set off the course of finding other words in mystery they call “the spirit” (spiritualizing) in order to (3) ‘get to’ the reality ‘over there’. This is in opposition to God’s Worded water, bread and wine whose Word IS the reality and deed itself.

    Another way to see this is really the power of John’s Gospel, especially the opening in which John says only through the Word, the Son, was all things made that are and nothing IS that didn’t come through Him. Thus, to seek “spiritual baptism” in lieu of water baptism (again spiritualizing) is to commit original sin again and seek God nude in His majesty without His words. It’s the created creature seeking to fly outside of the Word, literally outside of all creation which is all Worded and no creature exists that was not Worded, into the raw majesty of God to be like God, indeed god one’s self. The “don’t confuse the sign with the thing signified” false doctrine is the way the creature attempts to “rift time and space, all creation (Worded things that are)” to travel into the majesty of God outside of time and space (creation, the Worded things that are) and quite literally be as god him/herself. I.e. God says, ‘My Word is in the creatures water, bread and wine precisely as spoken’. Taking that and making it “sign here, reality over there” (i.e. don’t confuse the sign with the thing signified) is the original sin attempting to leave creation and be “unworded” in the nude majesty of God, to be god like God was in the blessed Trinity before all things were. In short is an attempt to put oneself into the narrative of the Nicene Creed as if also “eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.”

  • larry

    Nick,

    Very nicely written. Our background/experience is not unalike, including our wives background/reaction. Her, my wife’s, by the time we went Lutheran sticking point wasn’t infant baptism as we already experienced that moving from C. Baptist to Reformed. But rather that baptism saves you such that you can say to the questions and all like them “how do you know you are saved/elect/reborn/regenerate/converted…etc…” “I am baptized”. I had the same struggle about one year in advance of her. Then one day it “hit her” the way it hit me, “what is it you are REALLY believing in”. The assurance/faith (trust alone) connection. Because the old answer, baptist or reformed, given to “how do I know” usually boils down to a personal, “well I believe…”. But I said what are you really resting in that assures you for you yourself that you are saved, listen again to all the baptism passages, “this baptism saves you”, “repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus, all of you, FOR the forgiveness of YOUR sins, and you WILL RECEIVE the gift of the Holy Spirit…the promise is to you, and your children, and all who are far off to whom the Lord God will call”. Then it hit her, as it did me, what really was being rested in whereby assurance was sought whereby trust is given.

    The “faith in faith” deception is very very very subtle because it doesn’t say “faith in faith” but cloaks itself in Biblical words. It is in fact original sin and so close to our fallen nature we don’t “detect it” and deny it out right. But without a Word from God that GIFTS to us in fact not theory, we can have nothing but “faith in faith” then attach some other words to it instead of the Word of God extra nos. God must gift to us His Words, and His Words are not just promissory as we normally understand that (i.e. a promise here that is not the reality and the reality over there = the essence of all symbolic theologies on the sacraments) but as Luther put it “DO Words”, “…his Word IS the deed itself”, His Words ARE the reality their self. Thus, baptism is the deed itself of forgiveness of sin, rebirth, salvation, giving the Holy Spirit and so forth. Likewise with the Lord’s Supper it is the proof among other things, that I am a rightful heir of the kingdom, ‘he who eat My flesh and drinks My blood HAS eternal life” (forgiveness of sin, the kingdom, etc…).

    The sacraments are the strong Word of Christ that fells the devil, flesh and world everytime. This is why Luther would answer the devil’s temptation, “how do you know you are elect”, with, “Devil I don’t care you go find that out I am baptized” (i.e. I have God’s do/reality Word and THERE is where my faith is, not in itself).

    If the sacrament, which in reality is a “Worded of God thing”, is left in one way or another “symbolic” (i.e. sign here, reality over there = which denudes the Word of God from it and is no different than shaman who exercise the Word of God from His creation) AND not all are saved, THEN something must bridge that gap that is wordless from God between the denuded sign “here” to the reality over there. The false doctrines (1) take away the Word from the sacrament by making it a symbol of a reality, (2) set off the course of finding other words in mystery they call “the spirit” (spiritualizing) in order to (3) ‘get to’ the reality ‘over there’. This is in opposition to God’s Worded water, bread and wine whose Word IS the reality and deed itself.

    Another way to see this is really the power of John’s Gospel, especially the opening in which John says only through the Word, the Son, was all things made that are and nothing IS that didn’t come through Him. Thus, to seek “spiritual baptism” in lieu of water baptism (again spiritualizing) is to commit original sin again and seek God nude in His majesty without His words. It’s the created creature seeking to fly outside of the Word, literally outside of all creation which is all Worded and no creature exists that was not Worded, into the raw majesty of God to be like God, indeed god one’s self. The “don’t confuse the sign with the thing signified” false doctrine is the way the creature attempts to “rift time and space, all creation (Worded things that are)” to travel into the majesty of God outside of time and space (creation, the Worded things that are) and quite literally be as god him/herself. I.e. God says, ‘My Word is in the creatures water, bread and wine precisely as spoken’. Taking that and making it “sign here, reality over there” (i.e. don’t confuse the sign with the thing signified) is the original sin attempting to leave creation and be “unworded” in the nude majesty of God, to be god like God was in the blessed Trinity before all things were. In short is an attempt to put oneself into the narrative of the Nicene Creed as if also “eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.”

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    I’m happy to leave our discussion here as well. Thanks all for your interactions.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    I’m happy to leave our discussion here as well. Thanks all for your interactions.

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

  • cody

    I felt that way when I read Spirituality of the Cross! Such a great book. I have read it more than once. I tried to get my family and others as excited, to no avail! I even persuaded them to go to the (only) local Lutheran church, which my wife didn’t “like.” The congregation was friendly and warm, but seemed genuinely surprised (even shocked!) that we weren’t Lutheran. I regret not standing up and visiting again despite my family’s objections. That way, I could have gotten to know some people when their shock had subsided!

  • cody

    I felt that way when I read Spirituality of the Cross! Such a great book. I have read it more than once. I tried to get my family and others as excited, to no avail! I even persuaded them to go to the (only) local Lutheran church, which my wife didn’t “like.” The congregation was friendly and warm, but seemed genuinely surprised (even shocked!) that we weren’t Lutheran. I regret not standing up and visiting again despite my family’s objections. That way, I could have gotten to know some people when their shock had subsided!

  • Bob

    Cody,

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    I wasn’t raised Lutheran but my wife was, for part of her childhood. That made it easier the first time I went to a L. service. We also found the people to be warm and kind. And have ever since! That was about 7 years ago.

  • Bob

    Cody,

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    I wasn’t raised Lutheran but my wife was, for part of her childhood. That made it easier the first time I went to a L. service. We also found the people to be warm and kind. And have ever since! That was about 7 years ago.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I even persuaded them to go to the (only) local Lutheran church, which my wife didn’t “like.”

    Yeah, I didn’t like it much either for the first 22 years, but it eventually grew on me! My husband was raised Lutheran and would only join a Lutheran church. So, I was stuck. The most I was able to do was get us out of the ELCA. Now I am happy and see that he was right all along. I guess that is why God gave me a faithful husband. I am thankful for that.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I even persuaded them to go to the (only) local Lutheran church, which my wife didn’t “like.”

    Yeah, I didn’t like it much either for the first 22 years, but it eventually grew on me! My husband was raised Lutheran and would only join a Lutheran church. So, I was stuck. The most I was able to do was get us out of the ELCA. Now I am happy and see that he was right all along. I guess that is why God gave me a faithful husband. I am thankful for that.

  • cody

    Thanks, Bob. I am really considering going back now. My life is really interesting right now. I have stopped going to the church where my wife and I became members and where my kids were baptized (UMC). I am getting divorced and my wife lives with a new man. I want more than ever to be a part of a church and to raise my kids there. It all seems so daunting, though. I am kind of a pansy when it comes to walking into a new church! Not the point of this thread, though…
    I think I will check out that bbok and maybe my local LCMS again with my kids next week.

  • cody

    Thanks, Bob. I am really considering going back now. My life is really interesting right now. I have stopped going to the church where my wife and I became members and where my kids were baptized (UMC). I am getting divorced and my wife lives with a new man. I want more than ever to be a part of a church and to raise my kids there. It all seems so daunting, though. I am kind of a pansy when it comes to walking into a new church! Not the point of this thread, though…
    I think I will check out that bbok and maybe my local LCMS again with my kids next week.

  • cody

    Incidentally, I work at a used bookstore and people have been asking for that book a lot. In my wholly unqualified opinion, the Lutheran message does resonate. I think also of the broad appeal of the Issues, etc. program, of which I am a huge fan.

  • cody

    Incidentally, I work at a used bookstore and people have been asking for that book a lot. In my wholly unqualified opinion, the Lutheran message does resonate. I think also of the broad appeal of the Issues, etc. program, of which I am a huge fan.

  • Bob

    Hi, Cody,

    I really hope you’ll gin up your courage — or whatever it is you need — and go back!

    Yes, the Lutheran message resonates. I have a couple of friends who are what I call closet Lutherans — they belong to a different branch of the church and for whatever reason they can’t join a Lutheran church.

    The books I like best that explain Lutheranism are Dr. Veith’s “Spirituality of the Cross.” Next is Craig Parton’s “The Defense Never Rests” — especially good with folks from a nondenom/low church Protestand and/or Baptist background –he’s a former Campus Crusade apologist. The third is by Daniel Preus, “Why I Am a Lutheran — Jesus at the Center.” Each book is excellent in its own way.

    I’m sure there are other folks on here who’d recommend others, in addition.

    God’s peace and blessings to you.

  • Bob

    Hi, Cody,

    I really hope you’ll gin up your courage — or whatever it is you need — and go back!

    Yes, the Lutheran message resonates. I have a couple of friends who are what I call closet Lutherans — they belong to a different branch of the church and for whatever reason they can’t join a Lutheran church.

    The books I like best that explain Lutheranism are Dr. Veith’s “Spirituality of the Cross.” Next is Craig Parton’s “The Defense Never Rests” — especially good with folks from a nondenom/low church Protestand and/or Baptist background –he’s a former Campus Crusade apologist. The third is by Daniel Preus, “Why I Am a Lutheran — Jesus at the Center.” Each book is excellent in its own way.

    I’m sure there are other folks on here who’d recommend others, in addition.

    God’s peace and blessings to you.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Only for Nick Hunning and George Marquart (or anyone else who wants to read an involved article):

    Sola Fide Compromised? Martin Luther and the Doctrine of Baptism.

    Excerpts (but do read the whole thing):

    “Since justification does not occur apart from the reception of the sacrament of baptism, the doctrine of justification is compromised because we are not justified by faith alone but by faith and baptism. One must believe and be baptized. Luther’s qualifications notwithstanding, his view inevitably turns baptism into a work. This is most clearly seen in the case of an adult. Since forgiveness is ordinarily only given in baptism, when an adult hears and believes the gospel he must remain in an unjustified state until he obeys the command to be baptized. Consequently, faith alone in the promise is not enough for justification. Obedience must be added to faith.

    Once again, we can hear Luther and his defenders protesting that baptism is not a work….

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Only for Nick Hunning and George Marquart (or anyone else who wants to read an involved article):

    Sola Fide Compromised? Martin Luther and the Doctrine of Baptism.

    Excerpts (but do read the whole thing):

    “Since justification does not occur apart from the reception of the sacrament of baptism, the doctrine of justification is compromised because we are not justified by faith alone but by faith and baptism. One must believe and be baptized. Luther’s qualifications notwithstanding, his view inevitably turns baptism into a work. This is most clearly seen in the case of an adult. Since forgiveness is ordinarily only given in baptism, when an adult hears and believes the gospel he must remain in an unjustified state until he obeys the command to be baptized. Consequently, faith alone in the promise is not enough for justification. Obedience must be added to faith.

    Once again, we can hear Luther and his defenders protesting that baptism is not a work….

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    (My last contribution to this thread.)

    I am glad that folks like Pastor Tullian’s preaching and gospel teaching. It would probably surprise no one that Pastor Tullian most likely denies baptismal regeneration.

    And so it’s good that many Lutherans embrace him and many others who deny baptismal regeneration as brothers and sisters in Christ.

    There are irreconciliable differences on the issue of baptism, and that’s okay. And it’s good to gain clarity on the differences and the reasons for those differences.

    Towards that end, here is a rather longish post for those interested in understanding why there are so many Christians who deny baptismal regeneration:

    Does Water Baptism Save?

    Pax.

    P.S. Remember, this is my last comment on this thread.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    (My last contribution to this thread.)

    I am glad that folks like Pastor Tullian’s preaching and gospel teaching. It would probably surprise no one that Pastor Tullian most likely denies baptismal regeneration.

    And so it’s good that many Lutherans embrace him and many others who deny baptismal regeneration as brothers and sisters in Christ.

    There are irreconciliable differences on the issue of baptism, and that’s okay. And it’s good to gain clarity on the differences and the reasons for those differences.

    Towards that end, here is a rather longish post for those interested in understanding why there are so many Christians who deny baptismal regeneration:

    Does Water Baptism Save?

    Pax.

    P.S. Remember, this is my last comment on this thread.

  • Helen K.

    @Truth Unites and Divides @ 146. Thank you for the interesting links. Although I am now a confessing Lutheran, I was taught from childhood that water baptism was not regenerational. I am going to go through the two link you gave out of interest. I was taught that baptism and the Lord’s Supper are “ordinances” as I’m sure many have been.

  • Helen K.

    @Truth Unites and Divides @ 146. Thank you for the interesting links. Although I am now a confessing Lutheran, I was taught from childhood that water baptism was not regenerational. I am going to go through the two link you gave out of interest. I was taught that baptism and the Lord’s Supper are “ordinances” as I’m sure many have been.

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

    It just blows my mind, that despite all that scripture teaches concerning baptism, people refuse to see it as God working his grace in a person.
    when one drives a wedge between baptismal regeneration and grace alone,, one has to wonder if they even believe in grace. It is a pernicious lie that baptism is anything but God’s grace being applied to a person.
    When one says that we are saved by grace apart from works as it says in Ephesians 2, it is necessary to ask apart from what works?, apart from whose works? We are saved apart from our works. We are not saved apart from God’s work. In fact we are saved on behalf of God’s works, because our works would never be good enough to save us.
    So the question becomes, whose work is baptism? If it is our work it is nothing and of no avail, it cannot save. If it is Christ’s work, if it is a work of God, then it says exactly what scripture says it does in the first three verses that TUADS article cites.
    John the baptists says that Jesus will come and baptize us with the Holy Spirit. He seems to think that Jesus is the actor in baptism, he is the doer, the worker. I think I might find myself agreeing with John the Baptist. In Ezekiel 36 God says he will be the one sprinkling clean water on us, and giving us his spirit, replacing our hearts of stones with hearts of flesh and so on. There in Ezekiel 36:25 and following God seems to think he will be the one working in and through baptism. I am inclined to believe him.
    In John chapter 3 the beloved disciple explains that it is Jesus baptizing though he did not actually baptize but his disciples did. That is the disciples were pouring the water, saying the word’s but Jesus got the credit for it, it was considered to be Jesus doing the baptizing.
    Later in Matthew 28 you have Jesus instituting baptism, he commands his disciples to baptize all nations. Since Jesus instituted it, it is his work.
    In fact, no where in scripture is baptism ever mentioned as something we do, but something done to us. For these reasons, baptism is not our work apart from which we must be saved, but God’s work through which we are saved, just as scripture so clearly says in so many places, not the least of which the three verses that begin TUaD’s article.

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

    It just blows my mind, that despite all that scripture teaches concerning baptism, people refuse to see it as God working his grace in a person.
    when one drives a wedge between baptismal regeneration and grace alone,, one has to wonder if they even believe in grace. It is a pernicious lie that baptism is anything but God’s grace being applied to a person.
    When one says that we are saved by grace apart from works as it says in Ephesians 2, it is necessary to ask apart from what works?, apart from whose works? We are saved apart from our works. We are not saved apart from God’s work. In fact we are saved on behalf of God’s works, because our works would never be good enough to save us.
    So the question becomes, whose work is baptism? If it is our work it is nothing and of no avail, it cannot save. If it is Christ’s work, if it is a work of God, then it says exactly what scripture says it does in the first three verses that TUADS article cites.
    John the baptists says that Jesus will come and baptize us with the Holy Spirit. He seems to think that Jesus is the actor in baptism, he is the doer, the worker. I think I might find myself agreeing with John the Baptist. In Ezekiel 36 God says he will be the one sprinkling clean water on us, and giving us his spirit, replacing our hearts of stones with hearts of flesh and so on. There in Ezekiel 36:25 and following God seems to think he will be the one working in and through baptism. I am inclined to believe him.
    In John chapter 3 the beloved disciple explains that it is Jesus baptizing though he did not actually baptize but his disciples did. That is the disciples were pouring the water, saying the word’s but Jesus got the credit for it, it was considered to be Jesus doing the baptizing.
    Later in Matthew 28 you have Jesus instituting baptism, he commands his disciples to baptize all nations. Since Jesus instituted it, it is his work.
    In fact, no where in scripture is baptism ever mentioned as something we do, but something done to us. For these reasons, baptism is not our work apart from which we must be saved, but God’s work through which we are saved, just as scripture so clearly says in so many places, not the least of which the three verses that begin TUaD’s article.

  • Robin

    My favorite part about TUAD’s last post is he got to throw out a couple of flame throwers and then remind everyone that this is his last post on this thread. Very nice TUAD. Do you call people on the phone and say “before I say this, I am not going to let you speak and as soon as I tell you how it is, I am going to hang up?” If that is the case, I bet you’re a blast to hang out with.

  • Robin

    My favorite part about TUAD’s last post is he got to throw out a couple of flame throwers and then remind everyone that this is his last post on this thread. Very nice TUAD. Do you call people on the phone and say “before I say this, I am not going to let you speak and as soon as I tell you how it is, I am going to hang up?” If that is the case, I bet you’re a blast to hang out with.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    We meet again TUAD…

    My goodness, you’d think that none of these critics of the Lutheran doctrine of baptism have ever even bothered to study the position. ‘Oh, you teach that baptism saves?! What a weirdo. That denies sola fide!’ It’s the means of grace people.

    Read my posts above (@133) to get some solid links to pastors and teachers who explain this position in detail. But I’ll leave you with this question. How weird does it sound if I said to you, “You believe that you have to hear the word and have faith?!? You’re teaching faith + works. That denies sola fide!”

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    We meet again TUAD…

    My goodness, you’d think that none of these critics of the Lutheran doctrine of baptism have ever even bothered to study the position. ‘Oh, you teach that baptism saves?! What a weirdo. That denies sola fide!’ It’s the means of grace people.

    Read my posts above (@133) to get some solid links to pastors and teachers who explain this position in detail. But I’ll leave you with this question. How weird does it sound if I said to you, “You believe that you have to hear the word and have faith?!? You’re teaching faith + works. That denies sola fide!”

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

    where does scripture ever speak of “water baptism”? questions one should ask himself. John the baptist thought of his baptism as nothing but water, in contrast to what he thought of the baptism Jesus would bring.

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

    where does scripture ever speak of “water baptism”? questions one should ask himself. John the baptist thought of his baptism as nothing but water, in contrast to what he thought of the baptism Jesus would bring.

  • Mark Veenman

    TUaD @146:
    “I am glad that folks like Pastor Tullian’s preaching and gospel teaching. It would probably surprise no one that Pastor Tullian most likely denies baptismal regeneration.”

    Don’t assume too much about the PCA re. Baptismal regeneration. Rev. Tchividjian subscribes (I assume) to the Westminster Confession. BR is, sadly, a hotly debated topic among the reformed. The ensuing confusion is one reason I left the continental reformed faith.
    My point is that Tullian may very well hold to BR. Here’s David Wright:
    We can open up this question further by noting the opinion of a well-respected scholar of Reformation theology, David F. Wright (University of Edinburgh; a ruling elder in the Church of Scotland). He writes,

    What then about the efficacy of baptism according to the Westminster Confession? Its central affirmation seems clear: “the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited and conferred by the Holy Ghost” (28.6). It is true that a variety of qualifications to this assertion are entered…But these qualifications serve in fact only to highlight the clarity of the core declaration, which is set forth as follows in the preceding chapter on sacraments in general:

    niether doth the efficacy of a sacrament depend upon the piety or intention of him that doth administer it, but upon the work of the Spirit, and the word of institution; which contains…a promise of benefit to worthy receivers (27.3).

    The Westminster divines viewed baptism as the instrument and occasion of regeneration by the Spirit, of the remission of sins, of ingrafting into Christ (cf. 28.1). The Confession teaches baptismal regeneration. (from “Baptism at the Westminster Assembly” in The Westminster Confession into the 21st Century, volume 1, ed. by J. Ligon Duncan III, Mentor 2003:168-9)

  • Mark Veenman

    TUaD @146:
    “I am glad that folks like Pastor Tullian’s preaching and gospel teaching. It would probably surprise no one that Pastor Tullian most likely denies baptismal regeneration.”

    Don’t assume too much about the PCA re. Baptismal regeneration. Rev. Tchividjian subscribes (I assume) to the Westminster Confession. BR is, sadly, a hotly debated topic among the reformed. The ensuing confusion is one reason I left the continental reformed faith.
    My point is that Tullian may very well hold to BR. Here’s David Wright:
    We can open up this question further by noting the opinion of a well-respected scholar of Reformation theology, David F. Wright (University of Edinburgh; a ruling elder in the Church of Scotland). He writes,

    What then about the efficacy of baptism according to the Westminster Confession? Its central affirmation seems clear: “the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited and conferred by the Holy Ghost” (28.6). It is true that a variety of qualifications to this assertion are entered…But these qualifications serve in fact only to highlight the clarity of the core declaration, which is set forth as follows in the preceding chapter on sacraments in general:

    niether doth the efficacy of a sacrament depend upon the piety or intention of him that doth administer it, but upon the work of the Spirit, and the word of institution; which contains…a promise of benefit to worthy receivers (27.3).

    The Westminster divines viewed baptism as the instrument and occasion of regeneration by the Spirit, of the remission of sins, of ingrafting into Christ (cf. 28.1). The Confession teaches baptismal regeneration. (from “Baptism at the Westminster Assembly” in The Westminster Confession into the 21st Century, volume 1, ed. by J. Ligon Duncan III, Mentor 2003:168-9)

  • Mark Veenman

    Baptismal regeneration is taught so frequently even in the early church that it can be considered a patristic commonplace. It is orthodox and founded on clear scriptural principles and early church practice, as noted above.

  • Mark Veenman

    Baptismal regeneration is taught so frequently even in the early church that it can be considered a patristic commonplace. It is orthodox and founded on clear scriptural principles and early church practice, as noted above.

  • http://bioethike.com Robert

    Good Lord in Heaven! What happened to Ephesians 2:10? In his article on sanctification, Forde explicitly denies that moral living as a Christian has anything to do with being a Christian!

  • http://bioethike.com Robert

    Good Lord in Heaven! What happened to Ephesians 2:10? In his article on sanctification, Forde explicitly denies that moral living as a Christian has anything to do with being a Christian!

  • Pingback: Google

  • Pingback: Accra Ghana

  • Pingback: Fiwi Studio

  • Pingback: newspaper obituaries

  • Pingback: Online Businesses

  • Pingback: cellulite

  • Pingback: safety led lights

  • Pingback: teen sex

  • Pingback: additional info

  • Pingback: Bonuses

  • Pingback: New York Personal Injury Lawyer

  • Pingback: trail gear

  • Pingback: search engine optimization

  • Pingback: tablet repair

  • Pingback: קניית סירות בשלט

  • Pingback: cheap supra footwear

  • Pingback: talent

  • Pingback: pages-blanches-france

  • Pingback: Increasing Wordcount

  • Pingback: self published author blog

  • Pingback: book ra deluxe kostenlos spielen ohne anmeldung

  • Pingback: work from home opportunities

  • Pingback: Ariana Grande Porn

  • Pingback: yacht charter

  • Pingback: electronic dance music genres

  • Pingback: facebook hacking software

  • Pingback: limos

  • Pingback: market

  • Pingback: peppermint essential oil

  • Pingback: SEO Specialist in Philadelphia

  • Pingback: email processor jobs

  • Pingback: top google ranking

  • Pingback: make money from home

  • Pingback: leaflet distribution company

  • Pingback: Korea

  • Pingback: work place like home

  • Pingback: Nationwide Computer Recycling

  • Pingback: home cleaning

  • Pingback: iconic new york

  • Pingback: repairman

  • Pingback: news

  • Pingback: gold bullion

  • Pingback: telescopic mast

  • Pingback: ads

  • Pingback: mp3

  • Pingback: Ivy Enterprise, LLC


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X