The musical metaphor endures because cover bands for John Calvin and Martin Luther continue to recycle their greatest hits. This is why some Reformed pastors assert, for example, that infant baptism amounts to "getting a baby wet." These men read Luke 18:15 without pondering what it means for crowds to have brought infants to Jesus. They also ignore what Paul wrote in the second chapter of his letter to the Colossians about baptism being "the circumcision of Christ." In other words, as the centurion who talked Jesus out of making a house call by saying "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you under my roof" well knew, premises matter.
Fortunately, there is hope for us all. As the late John Denver reminded anyone willing to listen while the baritone burr of a Muppet choir cradled his tenor to wondrous effect, that hope patrols the estuary "where the river meets the sea." If you do not remember that tune, you can still take comfort in knowing that Christians of varying confessions meet each other at the cross and at the empty tomb, where we jointly and joyfully affirm that "All things work together for good for those who love God."
Continue reading part two of this article here.