Thursday, February 7, 2013

on Christian Baptism

Jared Oliphint is to be commended for a very carefully argued and graciously stated response to the question of re-baptism. Please see his article posted on The Gospel Coalition blog on 2/6/13:

I have been studying the Scriptures with regard to the question of baptism since I have encountered it in preaching through Acts.  I wish that I was as well-organized with my thoughts as Jared is.  This is a very helpful starting point to addressing the question of Christian baptism.

Certainly there is more to the doctrine than what has been stated in this article.  This past week I worked through Understanding Four Views on Baptism. Counterpoints (Zondervan, 2007).  I found this resource to be very helpful.  The four views presented here are Baptist, Reformed, Lutheran, and church of Christ.  In my opinion, the best articles (and responses) are those by Richard Pratt (Reformed) and Robert Kolb (Lutheran).  These two writers tackle this issue from a use of both Old and New Testaments.  This is important, because it takes into consideration the grand picture of redemption, wrestling with both continuity and discontinuity between the testaments.  They also do well by way of connecting the discussion with the historic practices and creeds of the Christian Church, which is also important because we do not live in a vacuum but must (or, rather, we get to) regularly evaluate and build upon historic tradition and previous theological discussions.  

Also, a few years ago my wife and I watched a video produced by Third Millenium Ministries in which Dr. Richard Pratt explained the Reformed view of baptism.  This video is available online at Vimeo.
If you are more of a visual learner, I highly recommend this video to you.

Finally, our home church provides a copy of John P. Sartelle's little booklet What Christian Parents Should Know About Infant Baptism which is a very handy and readable tool for distribution.

I hope these resources will help you to see the Christ-exalting beauty of the sacrament of Christian Baptism.