Good Friday, Easter, and your Baptism

Baptism is what connects you to Good Friday and to Easter.  If you have been baptized, Christ’s death is your death, and Christ’s resurrection is your resurrection.  So says the Bible in words that I don’t understand how non-believers in baptism can get around:

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.  (Romans 6:3-5)

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.

  • SKPeterson

    Well, it’s just obvious that what Paul wrote is not what he means. He did that a lot; always writing crazy, obscure things to people in out of the way places that aren’t relevant to anything outside some parochial fringe Jewish sects circa 100 C.E.

    When Paul says Baptism saves by uniting us to Christ, he’s not really saying that. When Paul says that we are saved by God’s grace alone, for the sake of Christ, he means that Christ did most of the salvific work, but that we must activate our faith and come to Jesus on our own – that is what Paul really means by Grace. Wine obviously was really grape juice – Paul never mentions wine in any other context than as grape juice, and even if it was “wine” it was a 95-5 water-wine solution.

    The best rule of thumb when reading the New Testament letters from Paul (and he only probably wrote 2 of them, maybe) is to take whatever is written and turn it around 180 degrees. Then you’ll be closer to Paul’s true meaning and intent. Or simply ignore anything that you find inconvenient or offensive, because Paul obviously didn’t mean those things either; they were probably added by Constantine so he could oppress the Empire.

  • SKPeterson

    Well, it’s just obvious that what Paul wrote is not what he means. He did that a lot; always writing crazy, obscure things to people in out of the way places that aren’t relevant to anything outside some parochial fringe Jewish sects circa 100 C.E.

    When Paul says Baptism saves by uniting us to Christ, he’s not really saying that. When Paul says that we are saved by God’s grace alone, for the sake of Christ, he means that Christ did most of the salvific work, but that we must activate our faith and come to Jesus on our own – that is what Paul really means by Grace. Wine obviously was really grape juice – Paul never mentions wine in any other context than as grape juice, and even if it was “wine” it was a 95-5 water-wine solution.

    The best rule of thumb when reading the New Testament letters from Paul (and he only probably wrote 2 of them, maybe) is to take whatever is written and turn it around 180 degrees. Then you’ll be closer to Paul’s true meaning and intent. Or simply ignore anything that you find inconvenient or offensive, because Paul obviously didn’t mean those things either; they were probably added by Constantine so he could oppress the Empire.

  • Booklover

    To go along with SK’s tone, here is something from the genius at Lutheran Satire:

  • Booklover

    To go along with SK’s tone, here is something from the genius at Lutheran Satire:

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

    Were they to take Baptism (and the Supper) seriously…then they might have some assurance.

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

    Were they to take Baptism (and the Supper) seriously…then they might have some assurance.

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    Thank you SK! If I ever care to return to fundijellyfishevenelical I finally know how to do it.

    St Stephen, they have warm feelings, liver shivers and their works for assurance! Man get with the program dude!
    :P

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    Thank you SK! If I ever care to return to fundijellyfishevenelical I finally know how to do it.

    St Stephen, they have warm feelings, liver shivers and their works for assurance! Man get with the program dude!
    :P

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    forgot the ism at the end.

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    forgot the ism at the end.

  • Stephen

    Dr Veith, The beauty that I found in Lutheranism is that you DON’T have to “get around” verses anymore. Baptism means baptism, forgivness of sins means forgivness of sins, This Is means It really is…. For You means it is really For You!

    Whoever sins your forgive on earth will be forgiven….

    So many waisted years rejecting the plain simple reading of the text.

    Blessed Good Friday!

  • Stephen

    Dr Veith, The beauty that I found in Lutheranism is that you DON’T have to “get around” verses anymore. Baptism means baptism, forgivness of sins means forgivness of sins, This Is means It really is…. For You means it is really For You!

    Whoever sins your forgive on earth will be forgiven….

    So many waisted years rejecting the plain simple reading of the text.

    Blessed Good Friday!

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

    Let’s translate instead of transliterating:

    Do you not know that all of us who have been immersed into Christ Jesus were immersed into his death? We were buried therefore with him by immersion into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

    For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (Romans 6:3-5)

    OK, first of all, let’s keep in mind that the transliteration of “baptizo” really isn’t what the ancients would have heard–what they would understand is a common word meaning to dip, immerse, or wash, with the context indicating the rite practiced by the church.

    Second, let’s note that we are “buried” with Him in immersion; that presupposes a death, does it not? So the argument, from this very passage, is that one buries/baptizes that which is already dead (slain by the convicting work of the Holy Spirit and response in faith), and per the immersion, one is free to walk in newness of life.

    Seems to me that the sacramentalist/paedobaptist position is the one reading things into the text, not the credobaptist position.

    Excuse me; credo-immersist. If you’re going to accuse people of not following the clear meaning of Scripture, gracious host, then you really ought to be following the clear meaning of Scripture, in which the proper mode of baptism is full immersion, as this is the main meaning of “baptizo.”

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

    Let’s translate instead of transliterating:

    Do you not know that all of us who have been immersed into Christ Jesus were immersed into his death? We were buried therefore with him by immersion into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

    For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (Romans 6:3-5)

    OK, first of all, let’s keep in mind that the transliteration of “baptizo” really isn’t what the ancients would have heard–what they would understand is a common word meaning to dip, immerse, or wash, with the context indicating the rite practiced by the church.

    Second, let’s note that we are “buried” with Him in immersion; that presupposes a death, does it not? So the argument, from this very passage, is that one buries/baptizes that which is already dead (slain by the convicting work of the Holy Spirit and response in faith), and per the immersion, one is free to walk in newness of life.

    Seems to me that the sacramentalist/paedobaptist position is the one reading things into the text, not the credobaptist position.

    Excuse me; credo-immersist. If you’re going to accuse people of not following the clear meaning of Scripture, gracious host, then you really ought to be following the clear meaning of Scripture, in which the proper mode of baptism is full immersion, as this is the main meaning of “baptizo.”

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    I used this in last night’s sermon, pointing out that the Sacraments transform us from spectators into participants in Christ’s Passion. We’re deeply accustomed to passively watching a story on a screen, seeing great or violent events while we’re safely in our seats. We have to exert our minds to realize that in viewing the cross we view ourselves. “But you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God…”

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    I used this in last night’s sermon, pointing out that the Sacraments transform us from spectators into participants in Christ’s Passion. We’re deeply accustomed to passively watching a story on a screen, seeing great or violent events while we’re safely in our seats. We have to exert our minds to realize that in viewing the cross we view ourselves. “But you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God…”

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

    Bike, I seem to remember reading somewhere something along the lines, “and you were dead in your trespasses… by nature children of the wrath of God…. or something to that effect. I believe that was in Ephesians somewhere like the second chapter? Correct me if I’m wrong.

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

    Bike, I seem to remember reading somewhere something along the lines, “and you were dead in your trespasses… by nature children of the wrath of God…. or something to that effect. I believe that was in Ephesians somewhere like the second chapter? Correct me if I’m wrong.

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

    Well, Bike, I didn’t mean to offend. So you do believe Baptism does something? Actually buries us into Christ’s death and resurrection? The key for you is just the mode of baptism, the necessity of immersion? I myself was immersed, and the practice in Luther’s day (someone correct me if I’m wrong) was often to immerse the infant. (I’ve seen that done in a Greek Orthodox church.) That’s why they had the big baptistries. The Lutheran teaching is that the amount of water doesn’t matter, since it’s the Word of God that goes with the water that makes it a baptism.

    One of the classic works of literature I teach sometimes is “Antigone,” about a young woman who defies the King’s edict by burying her brother. All it takes is a handful of dirt and a prayer.

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

    Well, Bike, I didn’t mean to offend. So you do believe Baptism does something? Actually buries us into Christ’s death and resurrection? The key for you is just the mode of baptism, the necessity of immersion? I myself was immersed, and the practice in Luther’s day (someone correct me if I’m wrong) was often to immerse the infant. (I’ve seen that done in a Greek Orthodox church.) That’s why they had the big baptistries. The Lutheran teaching is that the amount of water doesn’t matter, since it’s the Word of God that goes with the water that makes it a baptism.

    One of the classic works of literature I teach sometimes is “Antigone,” about a young woman who defies the King’s edict by burying her brother. All it takes is a handful of dirt and a prayer.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    Bike (@7) You are insisting on full immersion while giving us three different meanings for baptizo (dip, immerse, wash). Why is that? Substitute ‘wash’ where you have substituted ‘immerse’ and where does that leave us?

    And while you’re at it, you should check our Mark 7:4 and Luke 11:38. Mark 7:4…when they come from the marketplace, do they immerse before eating or is wash a valid translation here? In Luke 11:38, were the Pharisees astonished that Jesus did not immerse before eating, or is wash fine here as well? It seems that if we can use baptizo for ritual washings, then perhaps it doesn’t always have to mean immerse. You’re imposing your theological presuppositions on the text.

    Search for the language of symbolism in any of the texts dealing with baptism. It is nowhere to be found.

    http://hunnius.blogspot.com/2012/01/is-baptism-symbol.html
    http://hunnius.blogspot.com/2012/01/you-dont-actually-believe-baptism-saves.html

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    Bike (@7) You are insisting on full immersion while giving us three different meanings for baptizo (dip, immerse, wash). Why is that? Substitute ‘wash’ where you have substituted ‘immerse’ and where does that leave us?

    And while you’re at it, you should check our Mark 7:4 and Luke 11:38. Mark 7:4…when they come from the marketplace, do they immerse before eating or is wash a valid translation here? In Luke 11:38, were the Pharisees astonished that Jesus did not immerse before eating, or is wash fine here as well? It seems that if we can use baptizo for ritual washings, then perhaps it doesn’t always have to mean immerse. You’re imposing your theological presuppositions on the text.

    Search for the language of symbolism in any of the texts dealing with baptism. It is nowhere to be found.

    http://hunnius.blogspot.com/2012/01/is-baptism-symbol.html
    http://hunnius.blogspot.com/2012/01/you-dont-actually-believe-baptism-saves.html

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

    OK, Nick, how do you “dip” something? Do you not put it “into” water? Now, how do you wash prior to running water?

    Well, you immerse that which is to be dipped or washed, don’t you? Yes, there are alternative uses, but the proper way to translate is to start with the primary definition, isn’t it? You’re really confusing “immerse” as it really is with “immerse the whole body.”

    Again, in the passage quoted, the hearer would think first “immerse”, and then understand which immersion is to be understood from the context. (similar problems arise from the Greek words diakonos, apostolos, and episkopos–common words that took on ecclesiastical meaning, and are often transliterated instead of translated)

    Bror, Dr. Veith; it is the old sin nature that is buried in baptism. (nice bait and switch, Bror, but I didn’t bite)

    And regarding the mode, that is a second issue–the major issue is that as far as I can tell, immersion does not impart faith. One can take a look, for example, at the thief on the cross, the gaoler of Acts 16, and a lot of other places, and immersion follows the expression of faith. Or, does not in the case of the thief on the cross.

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

    OK, Nick, how do you “dip” something? Do you not put it “into” water? Now, how do you wash prior to running water?

    Well, you immerse that which is to be dipped or washed, don’t you? Yes, there are alternative uses, but the proper way to translate is to start with the primary definition, isn’t it? You’re really confusing “immerse” as it really is with “immerse the whole body.”

    Again, in the passage quoted, the hearer would think first “immerse”, and then understand which immersion is to be understood from the context. (similar problems arise from the Greek words diakonos, apostolos, and episkopos–common words that took on ecclesiastical meaning, and are often transliterated instead of translated)

    Bror, Dr. Veith; it is the old sin nature that is buried in baptism. (nice bait and switch, Bror, but I didn’t bite)

    And regarding the mode, that is a second issue–the major issue is that as far as I can tell, immersion does not impart faith. One can take a look, for example, at the thief on the cross, the gaoler of Acts 16, and a lot of other places, and immersion follows the expression of faith. Or, does not in the case of the thief on the cross.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    @Bike So is it a valid baptism if only the forehead is immersed? Is the only way to wash something to dip or immerse it? You’re the one dealing in linguistic semantics here. I’m perfectly happy to allow immersion as a mode of baptism. You would have any other washing invalidated. Perhaps even for a converted adult who experienced baptism through pouring? Which makes sense, I guess, when viewing baptism as law and not gospel. I wonder if you would apply this line of reasoning to the other sacrament? Is it okay to use grape juice, or are you a stickler on this ‘ordinance’ as well? My guess is that you’re not.

    You’re missing out on pure gospel here, Bike.

    Regarding the thief…
    http://hunnius.blogspot.com/2012/01/what-about-thief-on-cross.html

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    @Bike So is it a valid baptism if only the forehead is immersed? Is the only way to wash something to dip or immerse it? You’re the one dealing in linguistic semantics here. I’m perfectly happy to allow immersion as a mode of baptism. You would have any other washing invalidated. Perhaps even for a converted adult who experienced baptism through pouring? Which makes sense, I guess, when viewing baptism as law and not gospel. I wonder if you would apply this line of reasoning to the other sacrament? Is it okay to use grape juice, or are you a stickler on this ‘ordinance’ as well? My guess is that you’re not.

    You’re missing out on pure gospel here, Bike.

    Regarding the thief…
    http://hunnius.blogspot.com/2012/01/what-about-thief-on-cross.html

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bubba said (@7):

    So the argument, from this very passage, is that one buries/baptizes that which is already dead…

    The irony is that you got this part right. If only you’d stopped there. But you continued:

    …(slain by the convicting work of the Holy Spirit and response in faith)

    Yeah, um, what? Follow the parallel, please. Jesus died because he took our sins upon himself. So can you guess why we were dead before we were baptized? (Actually, Bror already gave away the answer @9).

    Bubba said (@12):

    Now, how do you wash prior to running water?

    Bubba, I am about to blow your mind. When I wash my car, did you know that I am able to do so with only a bucket and a sponge — no running water required! Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But Todd’s bucket must be massive, the size of a swimming pool, if he is able to submerge his whole car in it!” But (here is where your mind explodes), that’s not how I wash the car at all! No, I use the sponge (or cloth) to apply water to the car. And it works! The car actually gets washed! Without all the mess of having to fully immerse it! (Sometimes I also pour water from the smaller-than-a-car bucket, onto the car.) You should try it some time! Your method of washing cars is really difficult and gets the floormats all soggy!

    Anyhow, though you are bizarrely fixated on the mode of baptism, I won’t really care about what you think about that until you understand the effect (and the Agent) of baptism. (And once you understand those, I’ll be surprised if you still are so obsessed with the question of mode.)

    the major issue is that as far as I can tell, immersion does not impart faith. One can take a look, for example, at the thief on the cross, the gaoler of Acts 16, and a lot of other places, and immersion follows the expression of faith. Or, does not in the case of the thief on the cross.

    Might want to check your logic there, again. If one can provide an example from Scripture of someone who has faith without having been baptized, does that prove that “immersion does not impart faith”? Or is that, rather, proof that faith is not solely imparted through baptism?

    You might also want to read Acts 16 more carefully. When does the text explicitly say that he believed? That’s right, only after it says he was baptized. If you want to speculate that he actually believed before that, the burden of proof is on you.

    Anyhow, how does baptism “now save you” if it doesn’t impart faith?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bubba said (@7):

    So the argument, from this very passage, is that one buries/baptizes that which is already dead…

    The irony is that you got this part right. If only you’d stopped there. But you continued:

    …(slain by the convicting work of the Holy Spirit and response in faith)

    Yeah, um, what? Follow the parallel, please. Jesus died because he took our sins upon himself. So can you guess why we were dead before we were baptized? (Actually, Bror already gave away the answer @9).

    Bubba said (@12):

    Now, how do you wash prior to running water?

    Bubba, I am about to blow your mind. When I wash my car, did you know that I am able to do so with only a bucket and a sponge — no running water required! Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But Todd’s bucket must be massive, the size of a swimming pool, if he is able to submerge his whole car in it!” But (here is where your mind explodes), that’s not how I wash the car at all! No, I use the sponge (or cloth) to apply water to the car. And it works! The car actually gets washed! Without all the mess of having to fully immerse it! (Sometimes I also pour water from the smaller-than-a-car bucket, onto the car.) You should try it some time! Your method of washing cars is really difficult and gets the floormats all soggy!

    Anyhow, though you are bizarrely fixated on the mode of baptism, I won’t really care about what you think about that until you understand the effect (and the Agent) of baptism. (And once you understand those, I’ll be surprised if you still are so obsessed with the question of mode.)

    the major issue is that as far as I can tell, immersion does not impart faith. One can take a look, for example, at the thief on the cross, the gaoler of Acts 16, and a lot of other places, and immersion follows the expression of faith. Or, does not in the case of the thief on the cross.

    Might want to check your logic there, again. If one can provide an example from Scripture of someone who has faith without having been baptized, does that prove that “immersion does not impart faith”? Or is that, rather, proof that faith is not solely imparted through baptism?

    You might also want to read Acts 16 more carefully. When does the text explicitly say that he believed? That’s right, only after it says he was baptized. If you want to speculate that he actually believed before that, the burden of proof is on you.

    Anyhow, how does baptism “now save you” if it doesn’t impart faith?

  • SKPeterson

    I heard it said just the other day (on Issues, Etc., I believe by Norman Nagel, but maybe Wil Weedon or Art Just) that the thief on the cross was baptized in his own blood. I also remember that this was the first time that I can recall, where the pastor referred to the the request of James and John to be seated at the right and left of Jesus in his Kingdom, and the whole “Can you drink the cup” response of Jesus. Who got the honor to sit at the right and left hand of Jesus when he came into his kingdom? Two thieves.

  • SKPeterson

    I heard it said just the other day (on Issues, Etc., I believe by Norman Nagel, but maybe Wil Weedon or Art Just) that the thief on the cross was baptized in his own blood. I also remember that this was the first time that I can recall, where the pastor referred to the the request of James and John to be seated at the right and left of Jesus in his Kingdom, and the whole “Can you drink the cup” response of Jesus. Who got the honor to sit at the right and left hand of Jesus when he came into his kingdom? Two thieves.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SK (@15):

    …the thief on the cross was baptized in his own blood…

    Oof. What does that mean?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SK (@15):

    …the thief on the cross was baptized in his own blood…

    Oof. What does that mean?

  • Mary Jack

    If baptizo was such a general term, why would it be significant that Jesus and the Jews called John the Baptist? Was it really the equivolent of John the laundryman? No. Washings already had religious significance so washing terminology could share that significance.

    The text says “were washed into death.” My death can come from my forehead as well as someone else’s death can come from full-body immersion. Or would immersing into death only kill you if you went in head to toe?

    While I agree that immersion may be the most appealing form of baptism, I can’t help but think to make that absolutely necessary would be to criticize Jesus Himself, who at times only washed feet.

    Not every washing is a bath. Jesus said so. John 13:10. Would the Washers rest better at ease if instead of sprinkling we’d submerge a foot? I highly doubt it.

  • Mary Jack

    If baptizo was such a general term, why would it be significant that Jesus and the Jews called John the Baptist? Was it really the equivolent of John the laundryman? No. Washings already had religious significance so washing terminology could share that significance.

    The text says “were washed into death.” My death can come from my forehead as well as someone else’s death can come from full-body immersion. Or would immersing into death only kill you if you went in head to toe?

    While I agree that immersion may be the most appealing form of baptism, I can’t help but think to make that absolutely necessary would be to criticize Jesus Himself, who at times only washed feet.

    Not every washing is a bath. Jesus said so. John 13:10. Would the Washers rest better at ease if instead of sprinkling we’d submerge a foot? I highly doubt it.

  • Mary Jack

    It’s time to go immerse my baby. Oh, wait, WASH her. I think she’ll appreciate the fine distinction.

  • Mary Jack

    It’s time to go immerse my baby. Oh, wait, WASH her. I think she’ll appreciate the fine distinction.

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

    And from the Old Testament Reading for the Good Friday Noon Service, somewhat apropo to this discussion:
    Isaiah 52:15 (ESV)
    so shall he sprinkle many nations;
    kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
    for that which has not been told them they see,
    and that which they have not heard they understand.
    Kind of reminds me of this verse:
    Matthew 28:19 (ESV)
    Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
    And then there is this explanation of what the sprinkling will do in, but it couldn’t be talking of baptism, I mean it mentions water!
    Ezekiel 36:25 (ESV)
    I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.

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

    And from the Old Testament Reading for the Good Friday Noon Service, somewhat apropo to this discussion:
    Isaiah 52:15 (ESV)
    so shall he sprinkle many nations;
    kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
    for that which has not been told them they see,
    and that which they have not heard they understand.
    Kind of reminds me of this verse:
    Matthew 28:19 (ESV)
    Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
    And then there is this explanation of what the sprinkling will do in, but it couldn’t be talking of baptism, I mean it mentions water!
    Ezekiel 36:25 (ESV)
    I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.

  • SKPeterson

    Todd – I’m not sure exactly what that means to tell you the truth. I thought it was an interesting turn of phrase, but it seems to be the best phrasing we can have for those who have faith, but are not baptized. They die in the faith, yet it is the blood of their death that is poured out to pay for their sins? That doesn’t seem quite right, but I’ll see if I can unbury (pun) an explanation.

  • SKPeterson

    Todd – I’m not sure exactly what that means to tell you the truth. I thought it was an interesting turn of phrase, but it seems to be the best phrasing we can have for those who have faith, but are not baptized. They die in the faith, yet it is the blood of their death that is poured out to pay for their sins? That doesn’t seem quite right, but I’ll see if I can unbury (pun) an explanation.

  • Helen K.

    toDD @14. You blew my mind! Best explanation as to the mode and significance or lack thereof, I’ve ever heard.

    I was baptized by immersion many years ago at age 14 in a fast running current in a huge irrigation ditch in Oregon (you will appreciate Oregon, Todd.) (: Triple immersion, too. So I guess I’m covered?

  • Helen K.

    toDD @14. You blew my mind! Best explanation as to the mode and significance or lack thereof, I’ve ever heard.

    I was baptized by immersion many years ago at age 14 in a fast running current in a huge irrigation ditch in Oregon (you will appreciate Oregon, Todd.) (: Triple immersion, too. So I guess I’m covered?

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

    lots of people, like the thief on the cross, were saved without baptism before the institution of Christian baptism which happens after the resurrection. Of course, most of those people, like the thief on the cross, were circumcised…. Kind of hard to be baptized before baptism exists.

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

    lots of people, like the thief on the cross, were saved without baptism before the institution of Christian baptism which happens after the resurrection. Of course, most of those people, like the thief on the cross, were circumcised…. Kind of hard to be baptized before baptism exists.

  • Tom Hering

    I still want to know how St. Paul was immersed while in the house of Judas on the street called Straight. Baths were public facilities. And the traditional House of Saint Ananias in Damascus (dating from the 1st century) doesn’t contain a built-in pool (for what that’s worth).

  • Tom Hering

    I still want to know how St. Paul was immersed while in the house of Judas on the street called Straight. Baths were public facilities. And the traditional House of Saint Ananias in Damascus (dating from the 1st century) doesn’t contain a built-in pool (for what that’s worth).

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    tODD @14 I was literally rolling reading your car example. Classic.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    tODD @14 I was literally rolling reading your car example. Classic.

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

    Oh Tom, obviously they had one of those inflatable jobbies. They had the kids blow it up, while the women went for water.

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

    Oh Tom, obviously they had one of those inflatable jobbies. They had the kids blow it up, while the women went for water.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @14 I am going to have to remember the bucket and the sponge illustration.

    I have found that every person who insists that baptizo means immersion doesn’t understand a lick of Greek and/or linguistics.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @14 I am going to have to remember the bucket and the sponge illustration.

    I have found that every person who insists that baptizo means immersion doesn’t understand a lick of Greek and/or linguistics.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    Dr. Luther @26

    Baptists have so much riding on maintaining baptizo as solely meaning immersion. If they give up this fight, then they really must give up their entire system.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    Dr. Luther @26

    Baptists have so much riding on maintaining baptizo as solely meaning immersion. If they give up this fight, then they really must give up their entire system.

  • Tom Hering

    Bror @ 25, I hope it had the kiddie slide feature, so they could slip St. Paul in. He could sit up, but he probably couldn’t get into the pool on his own, because it wasn’t until after his baptism that he took some food and regained his strength.

  • Tom Hering

    Bror @ 25, I hope it had the kiddie slide feature, so they could slip St. Paul in. He could sit up, but he probably couldn’t get into the pool on his own, because it wasn’t until after his baptism that he took some food and regained his strength.

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

    Bike, could you tell me what this verse is about if it isn’t about baptism? Hebrews 10:22 (KJV)
    Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

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

    Bike, could you tell me what this verse is about if it isn’t about baptism? Hebrews 10:22 (KJV)
    Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

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

    Tom, I’m sure they were able to hoist him in with pulleys and ropes.

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

    Tom, I’m sure they were able to hoist him in with pulleys and ropes.

  • Tom Hering

    Bror, yeah, that’s it. God never intended for baptism to be easily performed – on anyone, anytime, anywhere. I mean, if it was okay to just pour or sprinkle, they could’ve performed baptisms in those ancient prisons, or in the holds of slave ships, or other unsavory places!

  • Tom Hering

    Bror, yeah, that’s it. God never intended for baptism to be easily performed – on anyone, anytime, anywhere. I mean, if it was okay to just pour or sprinkle, they could’ve performed baptisms in those ancient prisons, or in the holds of slave ships, or other unsavory places!

  • SKPeterson

    Tom – The first baptism Paul had from Barnabas wasn’t his real baptism; Paul never mentions it in his letters as being his real baptism, so we have to conclude that he was probably really baptized later in Jerusalem when he went back with Barnabas to talk to Peter and James. There’s really no other possible, logical explanation for Paul’s real baptism other than that. Remember, Paul is perhaps the least reliable New Testament author we have; really marginal and Luke’s accounts of the early Church are highly suspect – talking to actual witnesses? Yeah, right.

  • SKPeterson

    Tom – The first baptism Paul had from Barnabas wasn’t his real baptism; Paul never mentions it in his letters as being his real baptism, so we have to conclude that he was probably really baptized later in Jerusalem when he went back with Barnabas to talk to Peter and James. There’s really no other possible, logical explanation for Paul’s real baptism other than that. Remember, Paul is perhaps the least reliable New Testament author we have; really marginal and Luke’s accounts of the early Church are highly suspect – talking to actual witnesses? Yeah, right.

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

    Bror; it’s about Temple worship, which did feature sprinklings and did not feature baptisms.

    Acts 9:17; archeological excavations of Jewish settlements routinely show water basins large enough for an immersion, and the text allows for the possibility that Paul left the house to be immersed. Not a textual difficulty for the Baptist at all!

    Using a sponge to wash; possible among Gentiles, but it’s not a kosher animal, so tODD did blow my mind with that one, just not in the way he was thinking. See comment on Acts 9:17 for the usual mode of washing among Jews.

    More importantly, if immersion/baptism is a sacrament, my take is that it’s odd that Jesus and Paul do not make that much of a deal about it. Christ’s recorded interactions, beyond His baptism and a period of time spend doing the same, simply do not center around this, and quite frankly rarely mention it–except to mock the washings of the Pharisees. In the same way, what do we make of Paul’s comment to the Corinthians that he is glad he did not perform many baptisms? Again, if it’s a main path by which faith comes to people, that’s an odd take from Paul. He did bring them to faith–and did not end up baptizing many of them.

    Now I concede, of course, that there are some passages–e.g. 1 Peter 3:21–that can at least plausibly be interpreted in a sacramentalist way. The trick here is that when the totality of the New Testament and the Scriptures are accounted for, faith seems to come by hearing the Word of God, and baptism follows afterwards.

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

    Bror; it’s about Temple worship, which did feature sprinklings and did not feature baptisms.

    Acts 9:17; archeological excavations of Jewish settlements routinely show water basins large enough for an immersion, and the text allows for the possibility that Paul left the house to be immersed. Not a textual difficulty for the Baptist at all!

    Using a sponge to wash; possible among Gentiles, but it’s not a kosher animal, so tODD did blow my mind with that one, just not in the way he was thinking. See comment on Acts 9:17 for the usual mode of washing among Jews.

    More importantly, if immersion/baptism is a sacrament, my take is that it’s odd that Jesus and Paul do not make that much of a deal about it. Christ’s recorded interactions, beyond His baptism and a period of time spend doing the same, simply do not center around this, and quite frankly rarely mention it–except to mock the washings of the Pharisees. In the same way, what do we make of Paul’s comment to the Corinthians that he is glad he did not perform many baptisms? Again, if it’s a main path by which faith comes to people, that’s an odd take from Paul. He did bring them to faith–and did not end up baptizing many of them.

    Now I concede, of course, that there are some passages–e.g. 1 Peter 3:21–that can at least plausibly be interpreted in a sacramentalist way. The trick here is that when the totality of the New Testament and the Scriptures are accounted for, faith seems to come by hearing the Word of God, and baptism follows afterwards.

  • JunkerGeorg

    BikeBubbler says in post #33:

    “More importantly, if immersion/baptism is a sacrament, my take is that it’s odd that Jesus and Paul do not make that much of a deal about it.”
    —–

    Wow.

  • JunkerGeorg

    BikeBubbler says in post #33:

    “More importantly, if immersion/baptism is a sacrament, my take is that it’s odd that Jesus and Paul do not make that much of a deal about it.”
    —–

    Wow.

  • LC

    Double wow.

    Acts 22:16
    Romans 6:1-5
    Galatians 3:27
    Colossians 2:11-12
    Ephesians 5:25-28
    1 Cor. 12:13

    Yeah, Paul just didn’t care at all about baptism. And when Jesus talks about it in Matthew 28:19-20, he only says that its how you make disciples.

  • LC

    Double wow.

    Acts 22:16
    Romans 6:1-5
    Galatians 3:27
    Colossians 2:11-12
    Ephesians 5:25-28
    1 Cor. 12:13

    Yeah, Paul just didn’t care at all about baptism. And when Jesus talks about it in Matthew 28:19-20, he only says that its how you make disciples.

  • LC

    And Peter. Peter’s theology about baptism is the most screwed up of all. He actually claims that baptism forgives sins in Acts 2:38-41. And then he goes and says it saves you in 1 Peter 3:21.

    Who cares what Peter says anyway? He was the loudmouth apostle, always speaking before he thinks.

  • LC

    And Peter. Peter’s theology about baptism is the most screwed up of all. He actually claims that baptism forgives sins in Acts 2:38-41. And then he goes and says it saves you in 1 Peter 3:21.

    Who cares what Peter says anyway? He was the loudmouth apostle, always speaking before he thinks.

  • Tom Hering

    “Acts 9:17; archeological excavations of Jewish settlements routinely show water basins large enough for an immersion, and the text allows for the possibility that Paul left the house to be immersed.” – @ 33.

    Bike, the street called Straight (Via Recta) was the decumanus maximus, the main east-west street in Roman-occupied Damascus. It ran the full length (1500 meters) of the new walled city, as laid out by Roman architects. It was lined with buildings of Roman – not Jewish – architecture.

    No, the text (Acts 9:18) doesn’t allow for St. Paul to have left the house for his baptism. It says “he got up and was baptized.” “Got up” = anistemi = rose/stood. He rose/stood and was baptized. No indication whatsoever that St. Paul went anywhere between rising/standing and being baptized.

    Unless by “text allows” you mean Scripture permits you to imagine whatever you like. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    “Acts 9:17; archeological excavations of Jewish settlements routinely show water basins large enough for an immersion, and the text allows for the possibility that Paul left the house to be immersed.” – @ 33.

    Bike, the street called Straight (Via Recta) was the decumanus maximus, the main east-west street in Roman-occupied Damascus. It ran the full length (1500 meters) of the new walled city, as laid out by Roman architects. It was lined with buildings of Roman – not Jewish – architecture.

    No, the text (Acts 9:18) doesn’t allow for St. Paul to have left the house for his baptism. It says “he got up and was baptized.” “Got up” = anistemi = rose/stood. He rose/stood and was baptized. No indication whatsoever that St. Paul went anywhere between rising/standing and being baptized.

    Unless by “text allows” you mean Scripture permits you to imagine whatever you like. :-)

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    @Tom 37

    I bet baptists would allow more definitional room for anistemi than baptizo. I wonder why that is?

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    @Tom 37

    I bet baptists would allow more definitional room for anistemi than baptizo. I wonder why that is?

  • JunkerGeorg

    I can only imagine how these “immersion only” Baptist Arminian folk must interpret 1 Cor. 10:2, ““and they were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” (Oh, wait, correction, “…and they were all immersed unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.”)

    Funny, but I always had read the account in Exodus 14 (cf Psalm 136:15) to be that it was Pharaoh and his army who were immersed (drowned) in the Red Sea, an immersion (drowning) which wasn’t an intentional burial “presupposing their death” beforehand, that is, in physical terms, a physical death which happened previous to this immersion (just read Bike Bubba’s post #7 for the logic, or lack thereof on this point…).

    While, yes, I had thought it was precisely “immersion” in/by the collapsing Red Sea which had killed the Egyptians, I thought it was precisely the opposite of “immersion” for the Israelites in their crossing of the Red Sea. But since “baptized” must mean “immersed” to the Baptist Arminian, then following such logic, or lack thereof, it must have meant that they swam underwater all the way to the other side. They must have had quite the lungs! :)

  • JunkerGeorg

    I can only imagine how these “immersion only” Baptist Arminian folk must interpret 1 Cor. 10:2, ““and they were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” (Oh, wait, correction, “…and they were all immersed unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.”)

    Funny, but I always had read the account in Exodus 14 (cf Psalm 136:15) to be that it was Pharaoh and his army who were immersed (drowned) in the Red Sea, an immersion (drowning) which wasn’t an intentional burial “presupposing their death” beforehand, that is, in physical terms, a physical death which happened previous to this immersion (just read Bike Bubba’s post #7 for the logic, or lack thereof on this point…).

    While, yes, I had thought it was precisely “immersion” in/by the collapsing Red Sea which had killed the Egyptians, I thought it was precisely the opposite of “immersion” for the Israelites in their crossing of the Red Sea. But since “baptized” must mean “immersed” to the Baptist Arminian, then following such logic, or lack thereof, it must have meant that they swam underwater all the way to the other side. They must have had quite the lungs! :)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bike Bubba (@33) said:

    Using a sponge to wash; possible among Gentiles, but it’s not a kosher animal…

    Um, are you just being thick on purpose? Honestly.

    First of all, one might notice that the only place sponges are explicitly mentioned is at the Crucifixion, when a sponge was soaked with wine vinegar, put it on a stalk, and gave it to Jesus to drink, which he received. So if it was in fact not kosher for for a Jew to even touch or use a sponge, then what you’re telling me is that Jesus decided to break the kosher laws in one of his final acts in his otherwise sinless life of spotless law-keeping. Is that your argument? (And what of the Jews that brought it to him?)

    Secondly, we are discussing how someone might have been baptized, so it’s not even clear whether kosher laws would come into consideration, because, you know, New Testament?

    Thirdly — and this is really where I wonder if you’re just being foolish on purpose — I said “sponge (or cloth)”. Which makes your entire point about sponges irrelevant.

    This isn’t even the first time on this blog you’ve expressed utter amazement at the idea that one could wash something without fully immersing it. But it seems like your theological argument about baptism very much depends on your personal inability to figure out how to wash things (i.e. “Sponge … or nothing!”).

    Others have already addressed your, um, fascinating claim that “Jesus and Paul do not make that much of a deal about” baptism. I mean, gosh, baptism was only one of the few things Jesus mentioned in his final words to his disciples (Matt 28:16-20) as instructions for them to follow. But I guess you don’t think that commission was so great, huh?

    In the same way, what do we make of Paul’s comment to the Corinthians that he is glad he did not perform many baptisms?

    Gosh, sometimes when I’m feeling giddy I like to, I don’t know, read things in context? And when I do, I observe that Paul isn’t merely saying he’s glad people weren’t baptized. He’s saying that, given the divisions in the church, with some people saying they follow Paul, etc., Paul is glad he didn’t personally baptize those who were baptized “so no one can say that you were baptized into my name.” But, you know, if you don’t read all that context, your mileage may vary.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bike Bubba (@33) said:

    Using a sponge to wash; possible among Gentiles, but it’s not a kosher animal…

    Um, are you just being thick on purpose? Honestly.

    First of all, one might notice that the only place sponges are explicitly mentioned is at the Crucifixion, when a sponge was soaked with wine vinegar, put it on a stalk, and gave it to Jesus to drink, which he received. So if it was in fact not kosher for for a Jew to even touch or use a sponge, then what you’re telling me is that Jesus decided to break the kosher laws in one of his final acts in his otherwise sinless life of spotless law-keeping. Is that your argument? (And what of the Jews that brought it to him?)

    Secondly, we are discussing how someone might have been baptized, so it’s not even clear whether kosher laws would come into consideration, because, you know, New Testament?

    Thirdly — and this is really where I wonder if you’re just being foolish on purpose — I said “sponge (or cloth)”. Which makes your entire point about sponges irrelevant.

    This isn’t even the first time on this blog you’ve expressed utter amazement at the idea that one could wash something without fully immersing it. But it seems like your theological argument about baptism very much depends on your personal inability to figure out how to wash things (i.e. “Sponge … or nothing!”).

    Others have already addressed your, um, fascinating claim that “Jesus and Paul do not make that much of a deal about” baptism. I mean, gosh, baptism was only one of the few things Jesus mentioned in his final words to his disciples (Matt 28:16-20) as instructions for them to follow. But I guess you don’t think that commission was so great, huh?

    In the same way, what do we make of Paul’s comment to the Corinthians that he is glad he did not perform many baptisms?

    Gosh, sometimes when I’m feeling giddy I like to, I don’t know, read things in context? And when I do, I observe that Paul isn’t merely saying he’s glad people weren’t baptized. He’s saying that, given the divisions in the church, with some people saying they follow Paul, etc., Paul is glad he didn’t personally baptize those who were baptized “so no one can say that you were baptized into my name.” But, you know, if you don’t read all that context, your mileage may vary.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bubba, I think I found the problem here. We may be using different Bible translations. I looked up some of the aforementioned passages in a different translation, and I see where you’re coming from about baptism not being emphasized much as a sacrament.

    Matthew 28:18ff: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you — including baptism, but don’t baptize until after they’ve been taught, which is why I’m mentioning it after teaching. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”

    Acts 2:37ff: “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ Peter replied, “Repent first and be baptized second, in that order, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ to demonstrate your obedience. You already have the gift of the Holy Spirit. This requirement is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.’”

    Acts 16:33ff: “At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God, he and his whole family — but he did that before he was baptized.”

    Acts 18:8: “Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed first and were baptized second, in that precise order.”

    Acts 22:14ff: “Then he said: ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and demonstrate the obedience of the faith you already have.’”

    Romans 6:2ff: “We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus demonstrated the faith we already had? We therefore demonstrated our obedience through baptism in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

    1 Corinthians 12:13: “For we were all baptized to demonstrate our obedience as one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we already had the Spirit before we were baptized.”

    Galatians 3:26ff: “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized have demonstrated your obedience.”

    Ephesians 5:25-27: “…just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, commanding her to obey the washing ordinance, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, an obedient church.”

    Colossians 2:11ff: “In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having demonstrated your obedience in baptism”

    Titus 3:4ff: “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He commanded us to obey the ordinance that indicates we already have faith.”

    1 Peter 3:20-21: “In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism in which you are commanded to demonstrate your obedience to God…”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bubba, I think I found the problem here. We may be using different Bible translations. I looked up some of the aforementioned passages in a different translation, and I see where you’re coming from about baptism not being emphasized much as a sacrament.

    Matthew 28:18ff: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you — including baptism, but don’t baptize until after they’ve been taught, which is why I’m mentioning it after teaching. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”

    Acts 2:37ff: “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ Peter replied, “Repent first and be baptized second, in that order, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ to demonstrate your obedience. You already have the gift of the Holy Spirit. This requirement is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.’”

    Acts 16:33ff: “At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God, he and his whole family — but he did that before he was baptized.”

    Acts 18:8: “Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed first and were baptized second, in that precise order.”

    Acts 22:14ff: “Then he said: ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and demonstrate the obedience of the faith you already have.’”

    Romans 6:2ff: “We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus demonstrated the faith we already had? We therefore demonstrated our obedience through baptism in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

    1 Corinthians 12:13: “For we were all baptized to demonstrate our obedience as one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we already had the Spirit before we were baptized.”

    Galatians 3:26ff: “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized have demonstrated your obedience.”

    Ephesians 5:25-27: “…just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, commanding her to obey the washing ordinance, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, an obedient church.”

    Colossians 2:11ff: “In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having demonstrated your obedience in baptism”

    Titus 3:4ff: “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He commanded us to obey the ordinance that indicates we already have faith.”

    1 Peter 3:20-21: “In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism in which you are commanded to demonstrate your obedience to God…”

  • Tom Hering

    Todd :-) you missed one. Mark 16:14-16.

    Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not immersed those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach immersion to all creation. He who has believed and has been immersed shall be saved; but he who has been poured or sprinkled shall be condemned.”

  • Tom Hering

    Todd :-) you missed one. Mark 16:14-16.

    Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not immersed those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach immersion to all creation. He who has believed and has been immersed shall be saved; but he who has been poured or sprinkled shall be condemned.”

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Bike Bubba,

    Have you read this article, per chance:

    Does Water Baptism Save?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Bike Bubba,

    Have you read this article, per chance:

    Does Water Baptism Save?

  • Tom Hering

    The article TUAD linked to says,

    Certain groups hold that water baptism is necessary for salvation.

    Lutherans don’t believe this.

    Salvation is by God’s grace, through faith, apart from works …

    Lutherans agree.

    God has not ordained water baptism to be a magical ritual by which we may obtain salvation.

    Lutherans agree.

  • Tom Hering

    The article TUAD linked to says,

    Certain groups hold that water baptism is necessary for salvation.

    Lutherans don’t believe this.

    Salvation is by God’s grace, through faith, apart from works …

    Lutherans agree.

    God has not ordained water baptism to be a magical ritual by which we may obtain salvation.

    Lutherans agree.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Bike Bubba,

    Also, have you read this article:

    The Danger of Believing Water Baptism Saves

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Bike Bubba,

    Also, have you read this article:

    The Danger of Believing Water Baptism Saves

  • Tom Hering

    The second article TUAD linked to says,

    … water baptism plays absolutely no role in salvation …

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! :-D

  • Tom Hering

    The second article TUAD linked to says,

    … water baptism plays absolutely no role in salvation …

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! :-D

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

    OK, TUAD, so how do you interpret the Bible passage quoted in the post? (And note what Tom Hering points out about what Lutherans do and don’t believe. Our understanding of Baptism is wholly integrated with our theology of faith alone and grace alone. You keep separating them and playing them against each other. As a result, you say that Lutherans believe things we really don’t.) But anyway, I ask because I want to learn: What do you do with the Romans 6 passage? When it says that we are buried with Christ “by” Baptism, doesn’t that state that Baptism is the means by which this happens? How else can you take it?

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

    OK, TUAD, so how do you interpret the Bible passage quoted in the post? (And note what Tom Hering points out about what Lutherans do and don’t believe. Our understanding of Baptism is wholly integrated with our theology of faith alone and grace alone. You keep separating them and playing them against each other. As a result, you say that Lutherans believe things we really don’t.) But anyway, I ask because I want to learn: What do you do with the Romans 6 passage? When it says that we are buried with Christ “by” Baptism, doesn’t that state that Baptism is the means by which this happens? How else can you take it?

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    @ bike and any other baptists or baptist types reading this blog post.

    As a former Baptist, for over 30 years, I get where you are coming from. What changed my mind on baptism, water involved, was scripture alone. Among the verse regarding the efficacy and regenerative power of baptism are as follows;

    Please fill in the blank(s);

    John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of _____ and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

    John 19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and _____.

    1 John5:6 This is he who came by ______ and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the _____ only but by the _____ and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the _____ and the blood; and these three agree. 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son.

    Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with ______ through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

    I challenge you, brothers and sisters to stop clinging to your tradition and cling to the strong promises of God in the text. You will rejoice exceedingly for one can never be unbaptized.

    You are in God’s peace. †

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    @ bike and any other baptists or baptist types reading this blog post.

    As a former Baptist, for over 30 years, I get where you are coming from. What changed my mind on baptism, water involved, was scripture alone. Among the verse regarding the efficacy and regenerative power of baptism are as follows;

    Please fill in the blank(s);

    John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of _____ and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

    John 19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and _____.

    1 John5:6 This is he who came by ______ and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the _____ only but by the _____ and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the _____ and the blood; and these three agree. 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son.

    Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with ______ through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

    I challenge you, brothers and sisters to stop clinging to your tradition and cling to the strong promises of God in the text. You will rejoice exceedingly for one can never be unbaptized.

    You are in God’s peace. †

  • Tom Hering

    Ephesians 5:26 … the washing of water with the word (ESV & NASB) … the washing with water through the word (NIV) … the washing of water by the word (KJV).

    That’s the Lutheran view in a nutshell! Our opponents keep separating the word from the water, and the promise from the command.

  • Tom Hering

    Ephesians 5:26 … the washing of water with the word (ESV & NASB) … the washing with water through the word (NIV) … the washing of water by the word (KJV).

    That’s the Lutheran view in a nutshell! Our opponents keep separating the word from the water, and the promise from the command.

  • Craig

    Baptists, like Bike, are obsessed with how much a water is used in a baptism. Yet they believe that baptism does nothing. That seems really ironic to care about something that does nothing. It is a total waste of time discussing the mode. Here is the question; Does God deliver anything good to the one being baptized? Arguing about the mode takes the focus off the give that God gives in baptism and puts it right back on man and that is where the Baptist wants it. This is truly sad.

    And to you TAUD I think that your acting like a total clown by posting your stupid links that are anti-Lutheran on a Lutheran’s blog. And that lame Truth Divides… name use gutlessly and it is weak. You think that you are so full of truth with your retarded quasi reformed doctrine. Boy you’ve really rocked the Lutheran confessions. I have no idea how they will go on with your “Truth.” If baptism does nothing then why do you care so much about what Lutherans confess? If you are wrong and God has given baptism as a gift to his church you are standing in the way of his work. Is that really a good place to be?

  • Craig

    Baptists, like Bike, are obsessed with how much a water is used in a baptism. Yet they believe that baptism does nothing. That seems really ironic to care about something that does nothing. It is a total waste of time discussing the mode. Here is the question; Does God deliver anything good to the one being baptized? Arguing about the mode takes the focus off the give that God gives in baptism and puts it right back on man and that is where the Baptist wants it. This is truly sad.

    And to you TAUD I think that your acting like a total clown by posting your stupid links that are anti-Lutheran on a Lutheran’s blog. And that lame Truth Divides… name use gutlessly and it is weak. You think that you are so full of truth with your retarded quasi reformed doctrine. Boy you’ve really rocked the Lutheran confessions. I have no idea how they will go on with your “Truth.” If baptism does nothing then why do you care so much about what Lutherans confess? If you are wrong and God has given baptism as a gift to his church you are standing in the way of his work. Is that really a good place to be?

  • Tom Hering

    “That seems really ironic to care about something that does nothing.”

    Yeah, unless you see the Christian life as being primarily about obedience. Then getting things right can become an obsession. You even look for the one-and-only-way to be obedient in a matter where a one-and-only-way hasn’t been commanded. Like Baptism, which you believe is of no effect – unless you do it wrong. Then your whole walk of obedience is in danger of going down the drain.

  • Tom Hering

    “That seems really ironic to care about something that does nothing.”

    Yeah, unless you see the Christian life as being primarily about obedience. Then getting things right can become an obsession. You even look for the one-and-only-way to be obedient in a matter where a one-and-only-way hasn’t been commanded. Like Baptism, which you believe is of no effect – unless you do it wrong. Then your whole walk of obedience is in danger of going down the drain.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    @ TUAD 45

    Boy does John Piper not get the means of grace. And to think for five years, this guy was my main teacher. He actually separates regeneration from the preaching of the gospel there. I’m not sure if anybody else noticed that. That seems bold even for a baptist. I guess the Holy Spirit HAS TO work immediately rather than mediately. Somebody should have told the authors of scripture that.

    I love his quote, “How many people are in hell today because they thought, ‘I was born again when I was baptized’?” Well, Mr. Piper, how many people are in hell today because they were assuming they were born again based on their ‘changed life’, or ‘adherence to the law’, or ‘their affections’? The answer is that the Holy Spirit has not revealed any of that to us. Do we have a documented case of someone who believed they were born again through water and the word in baptism and is now in hell? That would be an nice little study there.

    Interesting that the anti-Roman Catholic crowd is so hung up on works and fruit and affections that they deny the sufficiency of trusting in God’s word. But it is silly to think that the gospel is enough.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    @ TUAD 45

    Boy does John Piper not get the means of grace. And to think for five years, this guy was my main teacher. He actually separates regeneration from the preaching of the gospel there. I’m not sure if anybody else noticed that. That seems bold even for a baptist. I guess the Holy Spirit HAS TO work immediately rather than mediately. Somebody should have told the authors of scripture that.

    I love his quote, “How many people are in hell today because they thought, ‘I was born again when I was baptized’?” Well, Mr. Piper, how many people are in hell today because they were assuming they were born again based on their ‘changed life’, or ‘adherence to the law’, or ‘their affections’? The answer is that the Holy Spirit has not revealed any of that to us. Do we have a documented case of someone who believed they were born again through water and the word in baptism and is now in hell? That would be an nice little study there.

    Interesting that the anti-Roman Catholic crowd is so hung up on works and fruit and affections that they deny the sufficiency of trusting in God’s word. But it is silly to think that the gospel is enough.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    It’s interesting that instead of going through the hard work of actually trying to refute the Lutheran (biblical) position, our opponents just set up a straw man and work with the ex opere operato view of the sacraments. Or they refute some weird Church of Christ position, which TUAD’s article did. I need to create a catchy jingle about the means of grace; maybe somebody would get it then.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    It’s interesting that instead of going through the hard work of actually trying to refute the Lutheran (biblical) position, our opponents just set up a straw man and work with the ex opere operato view of the sacraments. Or they refute some weird Church of Christ position, which TUAD’s article did. I need to create a catchy jingle about the means of grace; maybe somebody would get it then.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Dr. Gene Veith, #47: “OK, TUAD, so how do you interpret the Bible passage quoted in the post? … But anyway, I ask because I want to learn: What do you do with the Romans 6 passage? When it says that we are buried with Christ “by” Baptism, doesn’t that state that Baptism is the means by which this happens? How else can you take it?

    Dr. Veith, we are “mere Christians”, you and I. If I recall correctly, you have published in Touchstone magazine, whereby Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants of various persuasions recognize that there are other Christians within other Faith-Traditions, if you catch my drift. Having established that, despite irreconciliable perspectives on baptism and other matters, I can and do still recognize many confessional Lutherans as fellow brothers and servant-soldiers for Christ. I’d like for that to be known.

    Now we all realize that there’s not going to be agreement on baptism. Let’s all be fine with that. Instead, let’s focus our clarity on the differences, whilst still civilly regarding each other as fellow Touchstone Christians. Would you agree, Dr. Veith?

    As regards to your question, you, of course, know that I would be able to respond, at least briefly, to your questions. Here’s a section from the above linked reference in #43, “Does Water Baptism Save?”:

    Romans 6:3-5Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

    This passage is often misunderstood because of the assumption that the words “baptized” and “baptism” always imply the water ritual. The Greek words “baptizo” and “baptisma” used here speak of union. The passage could be rendered in this way:

    Or do you not know that all of us who have been united with Christ Jesus have been united with His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through our union with His death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

    It is not the removal of dirt from the flesh which allows us to “walk in newness of life” (1 Peter 3:21). Rather, it is our union with Christ by the new heart given to us by His Holy Spirit. This is symbolized by water baptism, it is true. But water baptism does not cause it.

    The “likeness of His death” referred to here is not being submerged beneath the water, but ceasing to follow our sinful desires and to follow Christ instead—just as our Lord humbled Himself to do His Father’s will by going to the Cross to suffer and die for us (Philippians 2:5-11).

    Likewise, “the likeness of His resurrection” has nothing to do with emerging from the waters of baptism—it refers to our future glorification with Christ in His heavenly kingdom.

    ——

    For another explanation of Romans 6:3-5, Dr. Veith, read this article: Baptism and Romans 6:3-5.

    Thank you for your polite inquiries, Dr. Veith. I appreciate your blog and I deeply appreciate you being a Lutheran Culture Warrior.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Dr. Gene Veith, #47: “OK, TUAD, so how do you interpret the Bible passage quoted in the post? … But anyway, I ask because I want to learn: What do you do with the Romans 6 passage? When it says that we are buried with Christ “by” Baptism, doesn’t that state that Baptism is the means by which this happens? How else can you take it?

    Dr. Veith, we are “mere Christians”, you and I. If I recall correctly, you have published in Touchstone magazine, whereby Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants of various persuasions recognize that there are other Christians within other Faith-Traditions, if you catch my drift. Having established that, despite irreconciliable perspectives on baptism and other matters, I can and do still recognize many confessional Lutherans as fellow brothers and servant-soldiers for Christ. I’d like for that to be known.

    Now we all realize that there’s not going to be agreement on baptism. Let’s all be fine with that. Instead, let’s focus our clarity on the differences, whilst still civilly regarding each other as fellow Touchstone Christians. Would you agree, Dr. Veith?

    As regards to your question, you, of course, know that I would be able to respond, at least briefly, to your questions. Here’s a section from the above linked reference in #43, “Does Water Baptism Save?”:

    Romans 6:3-5Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

    This passage is often misunderstood because of the assumption that the words “baptized” and “baptism” always imply the water ritual. The Greek words “baptizo” and “baptisma” used here speak of union. The passage could be rendered in this way:

    Or do you not know that all of us who have been united with Christ Jesus have been united with His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through our union with His death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

    It is not the removal of dirt from the flesh which allows us to “walk in newness of life” (1 Peter 3:21). Rather, it is our union with Christ by the new heart given to us by His Holy Spirit. This is symbolized by water baptism, it is true. But water baptism does not cause it.

    The “likeness of His death” referred to here is not being submerged beneath the water, but ceasing to follow our sinful desires and to follow Christ instead—just as our Lord humbled Himself to do His Father’s will by going to the Cross to suffer and die for us (Philippians 2:5-11).

    Likewise, “the likeness of His resurrection” has nothing to do with emerging from the waters of baptism—it refers to our future glorification with Christ in His heavenly kingdom.

    ——

    For another explanation of Romans 6:3-5, Dr. Veith, read this article: Baptism and Romans 6:3-5.

    Thank you for your polite inquiries, Dr. Veith. I appreciate your blog and I deeply appreciate you being a Lutheran Culture Warrior.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    I once had a conversation with a baptist relative about baptism, and she said, “I’ve never really thought about Romans 6 being about actual baptism.” I think the conversation ended shortly after because I was so dumbfounded at the position. Thankfully I had never gone to that extreme while I was a baptist. TUAD has resurrected the argument; perhaps it’s not as novel as I thought?

    TUAD, do you see the danger in your own position? In order to explain away the clear words of scripture, you’re going to the extreme of saying that baptism does not mean baptism, as if Paul couldn’t have used another word if that’s what he meant.

    Because you cannot fathom how baptism can ‘do’ what scriptures say it ‘does’, you are resorting to changing God’s Holy word. This is a radical direction. You are proving that you’re own presuppositions are more important to your theology than what the word teaches. TUAD has taken us back to Rome. Only TUAD’s assortment of authoritative blogs can rightly interpret scripture.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    I once had a conversation with a baptist relative about baptism, and she said, “I’ve never really thought about Romans 6 being about actual baptism.” I think the conversation ended shortly after because I was so dumbfounded at the position. Thankfully I had never gone to that extreme while I was a baptist. TUAD has resurrected the argument; perhaps it’s not as novel as I thought?

    TUAD, do you see the danger in your own position? In order to explain away the clear words of scripture, you’re going to the extreme of saying that baptism does not mean baptism, as if Paul couldn’t have used another word if that’s what he meant.

    Because you cannot fathom how baptism can ‘do’ what scriptures say it ‘does’, you are resorting to changing God’s Holy word. This is a radical direction. You are proving that you’re own presuppositions are more important to your theology than what the word teaches. TUAD has taken us back to Rome. Only TUAD’s assortment of authoritative blogs can rightly interpret scripture.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    I just laughed out loud at the thought that some baptists hold that baptizo must always mean immersion, but sometimes baptizo doesn’t mean baptism. Hilarious.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    I just laughed out loud at the thought that some baptists hold that baptizo must always mean immersion, but sometimes baptizo doesn’t mean baptism. Hilarious.

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

    Objections to the Sacraments are proof that the old sinner has not been fully reconciled to the Living God and His grace in what He has commanded.

    Nope…not yet. They must still exert themselves and go a few more rounds with God.

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

    Objections to the Sacraments are proof that the old sinner has not been fully reconciled to the Living God and His grace in what He has commanded.

    Nope…not yet. They must still exert themselves and go a few more rounds with God.

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

    Nick H,
    I guess on a certain level I find it a bit funny too. on the other hand I find it to be satanic.
    It is that sort of a hermeneutic that makes all of scripture nothing but a wax nose.
    The context doesn’t support it in the least either. Baptists always interpret this as if Paul is referring to a liver shiver or something along those lines, a “spiritual” baptism. They have to resort to this if they are going to continue to deny the efficacy of baptism, which it should not need to be said is with water at all, Eph. 4 makes it clear that there is one baptism in the New Testament Church, the one Jesus Commanded the disciples to do, and which they seem to think required water. And this is the baptism Paul is referring to, as he would have no idea if the people in Rome had experienced a liver shiver of the type Bike and Tuad want to turn this into. He would know that they had been baptized, and he can appeal to this to tell them who they now are because of it.

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

    Nick H,
    I guess on a certain level I find it a bit funny too. on the other hand I find it to be satanic.
    It is that sort of a hermeneutic that makes all of scripture nothing but a wax nose.
    The context doesn’t support it in the least either. Baptists always interpret this as if Paul is referring to a liver shiver or something along those lines, a “spiritual” baptism. They have to resort to this if they are going to continue to deny the efficacy of baptism, which it should not need to be said is with water at all, Eph. 4 makes it clear that there is one baptism in the New Testament Church, the one Jesus Commanded the disciples to do, and which they seem to think required water. And this is the baptism Paul is referring to, as he would have no idea if the people in Rome had experienced a liver shiver of the type Bike and Tuad want to turn this into. He would know that they had been baptized, and he can appeal to this to tell them who they now are because of it.

  • Tom Hering

    For our opponents to maintain their position, it isn’t enough to separate promise and command, or Word and water. Words must be separated from the Word.

    How can they say they uphold the inerrancy of Scripture – as they themselves define inerrancy (the Bible makes no false or misleading statements on any topic whatsoever). Lutherans may not have the same concept of inerrancy our opponents do, but we don’t go around changing the Word. We most certainly don’t go around saying the Word is a bit off when it speaks of faith and practice.

    Who’s the theological liberal here, eh?

  • Tom Hering

    For our opponents to maintain their position, it isn’t enough to separate promise and command, or Word and water. Words must be separated from the Word.

    How can they say they uphold the inerrancy of Scripture – as they themselves define inerrancy (the Bible makes no false or misleading statements on any topic whatsoever). Lutherans may not have the same concept of inerrancy our opponents do, but we don’t go around changing the Word. We most certainly don’t go around saying the Word is a bit off when it speaks of faith and practice.

    Who’s the theological liberal here, eh?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    • In the Bible there are many different lords spoken of. Numbers 21:28 speaks about the lords of the Arnon. Joshua 13:3 speaks about the lords of the Philistines.
    • Even though the Bible mentions many different lords there is only one true Lord and that is God all mighty. (Deuteronomy 10:17)
    • Note that Jesus Christ is also called LORDS of LORDS. (Revelation 19:16)

    • In the Bible there are many different gods spoken of. In Genesis 3:5 Satan tempts Eve with being as the gods. In Exodus 20:23 the Lord tells Israel that they are not to make any gods of gold or silver. In Psalm 82:1 the Bible says that God judges among the gods.
    • Even though the Bible mentions many different gods there is only one true God and that is God almighty. (Deuteronomy 10:17)

    • One doesn’t have to look very far to find out that there are many different faiths in this world. It seems everyone believes in something. Some believe that you have to work to get saved others believe that works keep you saved. Others believe that there is someone else who can get you to heaven besides the Lord Jesus Christ.

    • But the Bible plainly teaches that the only way to heaven in the church age is through faith and faith alone in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 14:6 ; Acts 13:38-39 ; Romans 10:9-13 ; Ephesians 2:8-9)
    • Therefore the one real faith is in the Lord Jesus Christ and his finished work on Calvary.

    In Ephesians 4:5 we see that there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. This does not contradict what we said earlier about there being 7 different baptisms. So if there is more than one baptism what exactly is this verse saying? Let us explain.

    • Now the Bible also gives 7 different baptisms and we will list them as follows:
    1) Baptism unto Moses (1 Corinthians 10:1-4)
    2) John’s Baptism for Israel (Matthew 3:11)
    3) Baptism of Suffering (Matthew 20:22)
    4) Peter’s Baptism for Israel (Acts 2:38)
    5) Baptism for saved Gentiles (Acts 10:43-44)
    6) Baptism of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 3:11 ; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
    7) Baptism of Fire (Matthew 3:11)

    • Even though there are 7 different baptisms there is only one true baptism in regards to salvation for a gentile in the church age.

    So what Ephesians 4:5 is saying is that there is one true Lord which is God almighty. There is one true faith which is in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ and him alone. And there is only one true baptism that has anything to do with saving someone in the church age and that is the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.

    Baptism of the Holy Ghost : (Matthew 3:11 ; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
    In Matthew we see that John the Baptist says that he is baptizing with water but there will come one after him who will baptize with the Holy Ghost. He is talking about Jesus and the baptism of the Holy Ghost did not come until after the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus back to heaven.

    In 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 we see that this baptism of the Holy Ghost is a spiritual baptism that places us into the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:30-32) It has nothing to do with water. This baptism takes place immediately upon asking for salvation. We also see that in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 and 28-31 that this baptism has nothing to do with speaking in tongues because tongues according to these verses are a gift of the Spirit and not everyone receives the same gifts but all are baptized into the body of Jesus Christ.

    In Colossians 2:9-13 we see this baptism is connected with spiritual circumcision and it takes place immediately upon receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior. Note that there is also no water in this passage as well.

    Therefore in the age in which we now live (the church age) there is only one baptism that has anything to do with actually saving you and it is the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. This is a spiritual baptism that takes place the moment that one is saved and it places him spiritually into the body of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Read it all: HERE.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    • In the Bible there are many different lords spoken of. Numbers 21:28 speaks about the lords of the Arnon. Joshua 13:3 speaks about the lords of the Philistines.
    • Even though the Bible mentions many different lords there is only one true Lord and that is God all mighty. (Deuteronomy 10:17)
    • Note that Jesus Christ is also called LORDS of LORDS. (Revelation 19:16)

    • In the Bible there are many different gods spoken of. In Genesis 3:5 Satan tempts Eve with being as the gods. In Exodus 20:23 the Lord tells Israel that they are not to make any gods of gold or silver. In Psalm 82:1 the Bible says that God judges among the gods.
    • Even though the Bible mentions many different gods there is only one true God and that is God almighty. (Deuteronomy 10:17)

    • One doesn’t have to look very far to find out that there are many different faiths in this world. It seems everyone believes in something. Some believe that you have to work to get saved others believe that works keep you saved. Others believe that there is someone else who can get you to heaven besides the Lord Jesus Christ.

    • But the Bible plainly teaches that the only way to heaven in the church age is through faith and faith alone in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 14:6 ; Acts 13:38-39 ; Romans 10:9-13 ; Ephesians 2:8-9)
    • Therefore the one real faith is in the Lord Jesus Christ and his finished work on Calvary.

    In Ephesians 4:5 we see that there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. This does not contradict what we said earlier about there being 7 different baptisms. So if there is more than one baptism what exactly is this verse saying? Let us explain.

    • Now the Bible also gives 7 different baptisms and we will list them as follows:
    1) Baptism unto Moses (1 Corinthians 10:1-4)
    2) John’s Baptism for Israel (Matthew 3:11)
    3) Baptism of Suffering (Matthew 20:22)
    4) Peter’s Baptism for Israel (Acts 2:38)
    5) Baptism for saved Gentiles (Acts 10:43-44)
    6) Baptism of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 3:11 ; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
    7) Baptism of Fire (Matthew 3:11)

    • Even though there are 7 different baptisms there is only one true baptism in regards to salvation for a gentile in the church age.

    So what Ephesians 4:5 is saying is that there is one true Lord which is God almighty. There is one true faith which is in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ and him alone. And there is only one true baptism that has anything to do with saving someone in the church age and that is the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.

    Baptism of the Holy Ghost : (Matthew 3:11 ; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
    In Matthew we see that John the Baptist says that he is baptizing with water but there will come one after him who will baptize with the Holy Ghost. He is talking about Jesus and the baptism of the Holy Ghost did not come until after the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus back to heaven.

    In 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 we see that this baptism of the Holy Ghost is a spiritual baptism that places us into the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:30-32) It has nothing to do with water. This baptism takes place immediately upon asking for salvation. We also see that in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 and 28-31 that this baptism has nothing to do with speaking in tongues because tongues according to these verses are a gift of the Spirit and not everyone receives the same gifts but all are baptized into the body of Jesus Christ.

    In Colossians 2:9-13 we see this baptism is connected with spiritual circumcision and it takes place immediately upon receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior. Note that there is also no water in this passage as well.

    Therefore in the age in which we now live (the church age) there is only one baptism that has anything to do with actually saving you and it is the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. This is a spiritual baptism that takes place the moment that one is saved and it places him spiritually into the body of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Read it all: HERE.

  • Tom Hering

    TUAD, no one here doubts that Scripture can be made to say anything anyone wants it to say. But thanks for a demonstration of this, anyways. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    TUAD, no one here doubts that Scripture can be made to say anything anyone wants it to say. But thanks for a demonstration of this, anyways. :-D

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

    Wow, seems to me that first Cor 12 contradicts the idea explicitly that there are two separate baptisms for Jews and Gentiles. And if it mentions baptism it mentions water. No water no baptism just ask the Ethiopian eunuch.

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

    Wow, seems to me that first Cor 12 contradicts the idea explicitly that there are two separate baptisms for Jews and Gentiles. And if it mentions baptism it mentions water. No water no baptism just ask the Ethiopian eunuch.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Tom Hering: “TUAD, no one here doubts that Scripture can be made to say anything anyone wants it to say.”

    Yes, we see that everytime Confessional Lutheran Frank Sonntek posts comments about same-sex behavior not being a sin.

    Confessional Lutheran Kerner’s comments in #214 regarding what Confessional Lutheran Frank Sonntek does with Scripture are particularly helpful:

    “And the reason we hit that impasse is because the argument is advanced that the words of Scripture concerning men having sex with men mean something other than what they actually say, or that they are addressed only to men least likely to need them. Even though Scripture pretty clearly says that men having sex with men is always sinful, period, the end (and any unbiased reader reaches that conclusion from multiple lines of thought), we are constantly being told that these prohibitions do not apply to homosexuals, or that they only mean certain kinds of sex, or any other rationalization that somehow allows self-identifying homosexuals to ignore what Scripture says about the sex they want to have with each other. This is done by a convoluted process of rationalization that reduces the law to saying whatever I can convince myself is my reason tells me the law says.

    This does violence to the words of Scripture and that is sinful in itself. And I’d be happy to say so in any other context in which it came up. But this particular topic seems to generate this sort of argument over and over again because the actual words of Scripture are so utterly opposed to the position (that for a man to have sex with another man may be non-sinful under some circumstances) that its proponents want to assert.

    It is the terribly flawed approach to Scripture tha I object to, far more than this particular topic of men having sex with other men.”

    From HERE.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Tom Hering: “TUAD, no one here doubts that Scripture can be made to say anything anyone wants it to say.”

    Yes, we see that everytime Confessional Lutheran Frank Sonntek posts comments about same-sex behavior not being a sin.

    Confessional Lutheran Kerner’s comments in #214 regarding what Confessional Lutheran Frank Sonntek does with Scripture are particularly helpful:

    “And the reason we hit that impasse is because the argument is advanced that the words of Scripture concerning men having sex with men mean something other than what they actually say, or that they are addressed only to men least likely to need them. Even though Scripture pretty clearly says that men having sex with men is always sinful, period, the end (and any unbiased reader reaches that conclusion from multiple lines of thought), we are constantly being told that these prohibitions do not apply to homosexuals, or that they only mean certain kinds of sex, or any other rationalization that somehow allows self-identifying homosexuals to ignore what Scripture says about the sex they want to have with each other. This is done by a convoluted process of rationalization that reduces the law to saying whatever I can convince myself is my reason tells me the law says.

    This does violence to the words of Scripture and that is sinful in itself. And I’d be happy to say so in any other context in which it came up. But this particular topic seems to generate this sort of argument over and over again because the actual words of Scripture are so utterly opposed to the position (that for a man to have sex with another man may be non-sinful under some circumstances) that its proponents want to assert.

    It is the terribly flawed approach to Scripture tha I object to, far more than this particular topic of men having sex with other men.”

    From HERE.

  • Tom Hering

    TUAD, just how low are you willing to go in a discussion? Never mind – don’t answer. It’s clear to everyone.

  • Tom Hering

    TUAD, just how low are you willing to go in a discussion? Never mind – don’t answer. It’s clear to everyone.

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

    Is it possible that the word “baptism” can be used in a context implying something other than water baptism? For example, John the Baptist’s testimony that Jesus will baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire: obviously that passage does not mean we take infants (or anybody else to be baptized) and roast them over coals.

    So could “baptized with Christ into death” in Romans 6 be describing something other that water washing?

    BTW, for the record I care far less about the method of baptism than I do the faith accompanying that baptism.

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

    Is it possible that the word “baptism” can be used in a context implying something other than water baptism? For example, John the Baptist’s testimony that Jesus will baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire: obviously that passage does not mean we take infants (or anybody else to be baptized) and roast them over coals.

    So could “baptized with Christ into death” in Romans 6 be describing something other that water washing?

    BTW, for the record I care far less about the method of baptism than I do the faith accompanying that baptism.

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

    J. Dean, John the Baptist does not imply that Jesus would baptize without water but that his own baptism conveys nothing but water, where as when Christ would baptize it would bring the Holy Spirit and the sanctifying fire of his holiness.

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

    J. Dean, John the Baptist does not imply that Jesus would baptize without water but that his own baptism conveys nothing but water, where as when Christ would baptize it would bring the Holy Spirit and the sanctifying fire of his holiness.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    J. Dean @65

    What Bror mentioned @58 is important to keep in mind when looking at the passage. Paul can’t read the hearts of everyone in the church at Rome; he doesn’t know what types of subjective experiences they may or may not have had. What he does know is that the people in the church would have been baptized. Therefore he points them to something objective and tells them what it means. In the context, he is saying ‘No you can’t keep on sinning! Christ buried you through baptism…etc.’

    The big question is what gives a person the impulse to deny the most obvious textual reading in favor of something else? What would it do to their theological systems if they took the plain meaning that baptism is the means of burial?

    And for the record as well, we Lutherans care about the faith accompanying baptism as well, thought baptism is true, whether we believe it or not.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    J. Dean @65

    What Bror mentioned @58 is important to keep in mind when looking at the passage. Paul can’t read the hearts of everyone in the church at Rome; he doesn’t know what types of subjective experiences they may or may not have had. What he does know is that the people in the church would have been baptized. Therefore he points them to something objective and tells them what it means. In the context, he is saying ‘No you can’t keep on sinning! Christ buried you through baptism…etc.’

    The big question is what gives a person the impulse to deny the most obvious textual reading in favor of something else? What would it do to their theological systems if they took the plain meaning that baptism is the means of burial?

    And for the record as well, we Lutherans care about the faith accompanying baptism as well, thought baptism is true, whether we believe it or not.

  • JunkerGeorg

    “The faith accompanying baptism”……Hmmmm……Methinks he means fides reflexa without putting it in those terms. I’m most concerned about the faith GIVEN in baptism, the Spirit-given faith by which the soul can and does receive and contain the Christ/Salvation given unto one in baptism by God. But even fides reflexa always ‘reflects’ upon the inheritance one has been given in baptism.

    But again, the doctrine of faith in terms of the distinction between fides directa and fides reflexa is crucial here in this discussion of Holy Baptism. It is an issue that should be pressed more over/against the Arminian mindset in the context of this discussion (debate?) on baptism, at least imo. In other words, it is not merely a disagreement over the doctrine of Holy Baptism, but also disagreement over the doctrine of faith (and hence, given all theology is one, it is ultimately then a disagreement over Christology at root.)

  • JunkerGeorg

    “The faith accompanying baptism”……Hmmmm……Methinks he means fides reflexa without putting it in those terms. I’m most concerned about the faith GIVEN in baptism, the Spirit-given faith by which the soul can and does receive and contain the Christ/Salvation given unto one in baptism by God. But even fides reflexa always ‘reflects’ upon the inheritance one has been given in baptism.

    But again, the doctrine of faith in terms of the distinction between fides directa and fides reflexa is crucial here in this discussion of Holy Baptism. It is an issue that should be pressed more over/against the Arminian mindset in the context of this discussion (debate?) on baptism, at least imo. In other words, it is not merely a disagreement over the doctrine of Holy Baptism, but also disagreement over the doctrine of faith (and hence, given all theology is one, it is ultimately then a disagreement over Christology at root.)

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

    Quite Frankly, I’d rather have the problem of being a gay man answering to God for buggering another man on the last day, than for having buggered God’s word the way TUAD is doing here.

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

    Quite Frankly, I’d rather have the problem of being a gay man answering to God for buggering another man on the last day, than for having buggered God’s word the way TUAD is doing here.

  • Tom Hering

    Bror, good morning, but I have to strongly object to your comment @ 69. Do you honestly think you’re being a Christian when you cause my coffee to go down the wrong pipe, and it ends up sprayed all over my keyboard and monitor?

  • Tom Hering

    Bror, good morning, but I have to strongly object to your comment @ 69. Do you honestly think you’re being a Christian when you cause my coffee to go down the wrong pipe, and it ends up sprayed all over my keyboard and monitor?

  • Pete

    Bror @69 – “Quite Frankly..” very clever, capitalizing the “F”.

    SK @ 15 (waaay back up the thread). Very interesting. What about this – I’ve always been a bit perplexed by the “blood and water from Jesus’ side” thing. Did you see Mel Gibson’s take on that in his movie? I initially pooh-poohed it as Hollywood “over-the-top” but on further reflection find it interesting. Depending on what side of Jesus that particular thief was and what side Jesus was stabbed, it might be that the spray of water hit him and not the other thief. Certainly, at that point, he was still alive although Jesus was not. Is it possible that, rather than being saved without being baptized, he was actually the first baptized person in the new, Christian era. Interesting. Also relatively unfalsifiable and to be taken as such.

  • Pete

    Bror @69 – “Quite Frankly..” very clever, capitalizing the “F”.

    SK @ 15 (waaay back up the thread). Very interesting. What about this – I’ve always been a bit perplexed by the “blood and water from Jesus’ side” thing. Did you see Mel Gibson’s take on that in his movie? I initially pooh-poohed it as Hollywood “over-the-top” but on further reflection find it interesting. Depending on what side of Jesus that particular thief was and what side Jesus was stabbed, it might be that the spray of water hit him and not the other thief. Certainly, at that point, he was still alive although Jesus was not. Is it possible that, rather than being saved without being baptized, he was actually the first baptized person in the new, Christian era. Interesting. Also relatively unfalsifiable and to be taken as such.

  • Pete

    In that scenario he – the thief on the cross – would also obviously not have been immersed.

  • Pete

    In that scenario he – the thief on the cross – would also obviously not have been immersed.

  • Tom Hering

    Pete, fascinating speculation, but it gets a little too close to the idea that Baptism is necessary for salvation.

  • Tom Hering

    Pete, fascinating speculation, but it gets a little too close to the idea that Baptism is necessary for salvation.

  • Pete

    Yeah.

  • Pete

    Yeah.

  • Tom Hering

    Woops!

    BoC, Large Catechism, Holy Baptism, 6, “… it is most solemnly and strictly commanded that we must be baptized or we cannot be saved …”

  • Tom Hering

    Woops!

    BoC, Large Catechism, Holy Baptism, 6, “… it is most solemnly and strictly commanded that we must be baptized or we cannot be saved …”

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

    Now see, if Tom @75 is correct, then how is that not salvation by works? Yes, Scripture commands it, but Scripture also commands we abstain from fornication, drunkenness, etc., yet I don’t know of anybody here who would think that salvation comes because of our works.

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

    Now see, if Tom @75 is correct, then how is that not salvation by works? Yes, Scripture commands it, but Scripture also commands we abstain from fornication, drunkenness, etc., yet I don’t know of anybody here who would think that salvation comes because of our works.

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

    J.Dean, do you pay attention to nothing said on this blog? Of course we aren’t. Saved by our works. Baptism isn’t. Our work! Christ is the one who baptizes the holy spirit does the work, we passively receive in baptism. Next you will be saying since faith comes by hearing and we need to hear we are saved by our work of hearing.

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

    J.Dean, do you pay attention to nothing said on this blog? Of course we aren’t. Saved by our works. Baptism isn’t. Our work! Christ is the one who baptizes the holy spirit does the work, we passively receive in baptism. Next you will be saying since faith comes by hearing and we need to hear we are saved by our work of hearing.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    It’s funny to me how often we modern people — including we modern Lutherans, even myself — disdain the Confessions as being old and dated. I say this because, in reading up on Tom’s reference to the Book of Concord (@75), I found this reply to J. Dean’s comment (@76), as if it was written for him personally:

    But as our would-be wise, new spirits assert that faith alone saves, and that works and external things avail nothing, we answer: It is true, indeed, that nothing in us is of any avail but faith, as we shall hear still further. But these blind guides are unwilling to see this, namely, that faith must have something which it believes, that is, of which it takes hold, and upon which it stands and rests. Thus faith clings to the water, and believes that it is Baptism, in which there is pure salvation and life; not through the water (as we have sufficiently stated), but through the fact that it is embodied in the Word and institution of God, and the name of God inheres in it. Now, if I believe this, what else is it than believing in God as in Him who has given and planted His Word into this ordinance, and proposes to us this external thing wherein we may apprehend such a treasure?

    Now, they are so mad as to separate faith, and that to which faith clings and is bound, though it be something external. Yea, it shall and must be something external, that it may be apprehended by the senses, and understood and thereby be brought into the heart, as indeed the entire Gospel is an external, verbal preaching. In short, what God does and works in us He proposes to work through such external ordinances. Wherever, therefore, He speaks, yea, in whichever direction or by whatever means He speaks, thither faith must look, and to that it must hold. Now here we have the words: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. To what else do they refer than to Baptism, that is, to the water comprehended in God’s ordinance? Hence it follows that whoever rejects Baptism rejects the Word of God, faith, and Christ, who directs us thither and binds us to Baptism. …

    But if they say, as they are accustomed: Still Baptism is itself a work, and you say works are of no avail for salvation; what, then, becomes of faith? Answer: Yes, our works, indeed, avail nothing for salvation; Baptism, however, is not our work, but God’s (for, as was stated, you must put Christ-baptism far away from a bath-keeper’s baptism). God’s works, however, are saving and necessary for salvation, and do not exclude, but demand, faith; for without faith they could not be apprehended. For by suffering the water to be poured upon you, you have not yet received Baptism in such a manner that it benefits you anything; but it becomes beneficial to you if you have yourself baptized with the thought that this is according to God’s command and ordinance, and besides in God’s name, in order that you may receive in the water the promised salvation. Now, this the fist cannot do, nor the body; but the heart must believe it.

    Thus you see plainly that there is here no work done by us, but a treasure which He gives us, and which faith apprehends; just as the Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross is not a work, but a treasure comprehended in the Word, and offered to us and received by faith. Therefore they do us violence by exclaiming against us as though we preach against faith; while we alone insist upon it as being of such necessity that without it nothing can be received nor enjoyed.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    It’s funny to me how often we modern people — including we modern Lutherans, even myself — disdain the Confessions as being old and dated. I say this because, in reading up on Tom’s reference to the Book of Concord (@75), I found this reply to J. Dean’s comment (@76), as if it was written for him personally:

    But as our would-be wise, new spirits assert that faith alone saves, and that works and external things avail nothing, we answer: It is true, indeed, that nothing in us is of any avail but faith, as we shall hear still further. But these blind guides are unwilling to see this, namely, that faith must have something which it believes, that is, of which it takes hold, and upon which it stands and rests. Thus faith clings to the water, and believes that it is Baptism, in which there is pure salvation and life; not through the water (as we have sufficiently stated), but through the fact that it is embodied in the Word and institution of God, and the name of God inheres in it. Now, if I believe this, what else is it than believing in God as in Him who has given and planted His Word into this ordinance, and proposes to us this external thing wherein we may apprehend such a treasure?

    Now, they are so mad as to separate faith, and that to which faith clings and is bound, though it be something external. Yea, it shall and must be something external, that it may be apprehended by the senses, and understood and thereby be brought into the heart, as indeed the entire Gospel is an external, verbal preaching. In short, what God does and works in us He proposes to work through such external ordinances. Wherever, therefore, He speaks, yea, in whichever direction or by whatever means He speaks, thither faith must look, and to that it must hold. Now here we have the words: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. To what else do they refer than to Baptism, that is, to the water comprehended in God’s ordinance? Hence it follows that whoever rejects Baptism rejects the Word of God, faith, and Christ, who directs us thither and binds us to Baptism. …

    But if they say, as they are accustomed: Still Baptism is itself a work, and you say works are of no avail for salvation; what, then, becomes of faith? Answer: Yes, our works, indeed, avail nothing for salvation; Baptism, however, is not our work, but God’s (for, as was stated, you must put Christ-baptism far away from a bath-keeper’s baptism). God’s works, however, are saving and necessary for salvation, and do not exclude, but demand, faith; for without faith they could not be apprehended. For by suffering the water to be poured upon you, you have not yet received Baptism in such a manner that it benefits you anything; but it becomes beneficial to you if you have yourself baptized with the thought that this is according to God’s command and ordinance, and besides in God’s name, in order that you may receive in the water the promised salvation. Now, this the fist cannot do, nor the body; but the heart must believe it.

    Thus you see plainly that there is here no work done by us, but a treasure which He gives us, and which faith apprehends; just as the Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross is not a work, but a treasure comprehended in the Word, and offered to us and received by faith. Therefore they do us violence by exclaiming against us as though we preach against faith; while we alone insist upon it as being of such necessity that without it nothing can be received nor enjoyed.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Tom (@75), I wonder if this sentence from the same section of the Large Catechism sheds light on the one you quoted:

    Hence it follows that whoever rejects Baptism rejects the Word of God, faith, and Christ, who directs us thither and binds us to Baptism.

    That is to say, one has to ask about the man who says he is a Christian and yet is not baptized, and refuses to be baptized. He is rejecting the promise of salvation that God holds out to him.

    Sure, we could think of extreme cases — like the oft-mentioned thief on the cross — in which a person comes to faith and yet apparently cannot be baptized before dying. But such are rather rare exceptions.

    But for the rest of us, we have both the command to be baptized, and the promises God attaches to that. If we reject those, is it any different than a man who says he is a Christian and yet rejects Christ’s propitiation for his sins?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Tom (@75), I wonder if this sentence from the same section of the Large Catechism sheds light on the one you quoted:

    Hence it follows that whoever rejects Baptism rejects the Word of God, faith, and Christ, who directs us thither and binds us to Baptism.

    That is to say, one has to ask about the man who says he is a Christian and yet is not baptized, and refuses to be baptized. He is rejecting the promise of salvation that God holds out to him.

    Sure, we could think of extreme cases — like the oft-mentioned thief on the cross — in which a person comes to faith and yet apparently cannot be baptized before dying. But such are rather rare exceptions.

    But for the rest of us, we have both the command to be baptized, and the promises God attaches to that. If we reject those, is it any different than a man who says he is a Christian and yet rejects Christ’s propitiation for his sins?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And, yes, I’m likely talking to myself on this ancient thread, but … J. Dean asked (@76):

    how is that not salvation by works?

    It occurs to me that Baptists (et al.) are so concerned with avoiding works-righteousness that they also exclude any possibility of (to coin a phrase?) means-righteousness. Because baptism, like Communion (and, yes, like the Word of God itself) is not “salvation by works”, but salvation by means.

    And in expressing revulsion to this, Baptists appear, if ever so slightly, to take a gnostic approach to the material world — that is to say, they spiritualize everything. But God made the world. And he works through it.

    This is easier for a Baptist to understand, perhaps, if he thinks of God’s Word itself. To hear their arguments, Baptists conceive of God’s Word as some sort of mystical thing that just gets beamed into their hearts. Now, some Baptists actually claim this happens, or at least they are always praying for God to speak his word to them in this mystical fashion — and much error has come from people listening to this mystical voice instead of reading Scripture.

    But still Baptists read their physical Bibles (whether electronic or paper), and believe that salvation is found in those words. And those words are copies of copies of copies … of physical letters long ago written down by men. All physical stuff. All conveying God’s promises.

    How, then, is reading one’s Bible not “salvation by works”? It’s a silly question, isn’t it? Baptists get that. They just don’t understand how to apply it to baptism (or Communion).

    The real question, then, is why. Why do Baptists think the physical act of reading the Bible (or hearing a sermon, etc.) is somehow not a physical engagement in the world? Why does that not trip their gnostic-lite sensors about the material world?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And, yes, I’m likely talking to myself on this ancient thread, but … J. Dean asked (@76):

    how is that not salvation by works?

    It occurs to me that Baptists (et al.) are so concerned with avoiding works-righteousness that they also exclude any possibility of (to coin a phrase?) means-righteousness. Because baptism, like Communion (and, yes, like the Word of God itself) is not “salvation by works”, but salvation by means.

    And in expressing revulsion to this, Baptists appear, if ever so slightly, to take a gnostic approach to the material world — that is to say, they spiritualize everything. But God made the world. And he works through it.

    This is easier for a Baptist to understand, perhaps, if he thinks of God’s Word itself. To hear their arguments, Baptists conceive of God’s Word as some sort of mystical thing that just gets beamed into their hearts. Now, some Baptists actually claim this happens, or at least they are always praying for God to speak his word to them in this mystical fashion — and much error has come from people listening to this mystical voice instead of reading Scripture.

    But still Baptists read their physical Bibles (whether electronic or paper), and believe that salvation is found in those words. And those words are copies of copies of copies … of physical letters long ago written down by men. All physical stuff. All conveying God’s promises.

    How, then, is reading one’s Bible not “salvation by works”? It’s a silly question, isn’t it? Baptists get that. They just don’t understand how to apply it to baptism (or Communion).

    The real question, then, is why. Why do Baptists think the physical act of reading the Bible (or hearing a sermon, etc.) is somehow not a physical engagement in the world? Why does that not trip their gnostic-lite sensors about the material world?

  • Tom Hering

    Todd @ 80, what struck me about the quotation @ 78 is the way our Confessions locate Baptism – not in the realm of works, but squarely in the realm of gift. But if Baptism involves a command, the Baptist might ask, doesn’t that make it a work of obedience? Well, if I tell you to open your Christmas present, are you working, or receiving?

  • Tom Hering

    Todd @ 80, what struck me about the quotation @ 78 is the way our Confessions locate Baptism – not in the realm of works, but squarely in the realm of gift. But if Baptism involves a command, the Baptist might ask, doesn’t that make it a work of obedience? Well, if I tell you to open your Christmas present, are you working, or receiving?

  • Tom Hering

    And did I give you the present because I knew you’d make the effort to tear the wrapping off?

  • Tom Hering

    And did I give you the present because I knew you’d make the effort to tear the wrapping off?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Tom (@81), the way I read it (@79), the BoC applies the paradoxical formula we see throughout Scripture, in which, to put it poorly, God gets the credit for all that is good and we get the credit for all that is bad.

    That is to say, God commands baptism (just as he also commands us to believe), but if we are baptized (or if we believe), we can’t say “I did this,” but only “God did this” — to our salvation. But if we refuse to be baptized, or if we refuse to believe, we are solely responsible — to our damnation.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Tom (@81), the way I read it (@79), the BoC applies the paradoxical formula we see throughout Scripture, in which, to put it poorly, God gets the credit for all that is good and we get the credit for all that is bad.

    That is to say, God commands baptism (just as he also commands us to believe), but if we are baptized (or if we believe), we can’t say “I did this,” but only “God did this” — to our salvation. But if we refuse to be baptized, or if we refuse to believe, we are solely responsible — to our damnation.

  • Bryan

    Since the baptist argument seems to founded on the definition of the word(s) Bapto/baptizo I would like to ask about the rest of the grammatical issues. The entomology of these words does not rest Sony on wooden definitions. In practice they are very different types of verbs.

    Bapto is a verb which shows action and in ancient literature is limited by force and effect. So for example, dip and plunge would have opposite meanings. Plunge, despite being included along side dip in many lexicons, is representative of great force and is unlimited in it effect.

    Baptezo by contrast demonstrates condition. It is not limited by force or effect. ”Thy hand, Great Chaos, let the curtain fall; and universal darkness buries all.” (Alexander Pope) I used this quote because of the previous reference to Romans 6. Buries does not carry with it the idea of how the burial should be executed. Being buried in the ground, in a hole, at sea or in a land slide involve very different mechanics. Buries is simply a state of being.

    This means two things in practical term. One Bapto and baptize can not be used as synonyms. Two the word baptizo is a reference to the state of being united with Christ not the physical process by which it was accomplished. This rules out all arguments on translating a word as dip, wash or cleanse. The mechanics are not the focus. 

    Lastly I find it odd that people who are so often against liturgy and anything thing that smacks of tradition so easily go to tradition on this subject. The fact that the EO have ” alway” immersed and insist on it does not prove anything. They took their version of the practice and institutionalized like so many other things. That can be good and bad. If I granted that immersion was the universal practice of the ancient church and that adherence to that practice was required there would be a great deal more that would be included. You can’t make that kind of demand and then modify or follow only half. The examples used to support immersion also include: dipping 3 time, naked, and face forward. I insist that the number of immersions is just as significant as the mode.

  • Bryan

    Since the baptist argument seems to founded on the definition of the word(s) Bapto/baptizo I would like to ask about the rest of the grammatical issues. The entomology of these words does not rest Sony on wooden definitions. In practice they are very different types of verbs.

    Bapto is a verb which shows action and in ancient literature is limited by force and effect. So for example, dip and plunge would have opposite meanings. Plunge, despite being included along side dip in many lexicons, is representative of great force and is unlimited in it effect.

    Baptezo by contrast demonstrates condition. It is not limited by force or effect. ”Thy hand, Great Chaos, let the curtain fall; and universal darkness buries all.” (Alexander Pope) I used this quote because of the previous reference to Romans 6. Buries does not carry with it the idea of how the burial should be executed. Being buried in the ground, in a hole, at sea or in a land slide involve very different mechanics. Buries is simply a state of being.

    This means two things in practical term. One Bapto and baptize can not be used as synonyms. Two the word baptizo is a reference to the state of being united with Christ not the physical process by which it was accomplished. This rules out all arguments on translating a word as dip, wash or cleanse. The mechanics are not the focus. 

    Lastly I find it odd that people who are so often against liturgy and anything thing that smacks of tradition so easily go to tradition on this subject. The fact that the EO have ” alway” immersed and insist on it does not prove anything. They took their version of the practice and institutionalized like so many other things. That can be good and bad. If I granted that immersion was the universal practice of the ancient church and that adherence to that practice was required there would be a great deal more that would be included. You can’t make that kind of demand and then modify or follow only half. The examples used to support immersion also include: dipping 3 time, naked, and face forward. I insist that the number of immersions is just as significant as the mode.