Baptism

You may also like...

180 Responses

  1. Jean says:

    Good video. While this is an Anglican understanding, I find a lot of agreement with the exposition given. In particular, the speaker said of Baptism:

    1) It is received. The baptized person receives in baptism.
    2) It achieves that which it symbolizes. It is more than a symbol.
    3) It equips.
    4) It is the means for entry into the Church.

  2. Josh says:

    A good explanation, some things I’d obviously disagree with, but I do appreciate his tone.

    This view, coupled with paedobaptism, FOR ME, offers so many problems that I’d leave the faith if it were the only option. I just couldn’t live with the cognitive dissonance that it would bring forth IN ME.

    I am glad that others have found peace and comfort here, as long as they don’t mind me finding peace and comfort elsewhere.

  3. Michael says:

    Josh,

    It’s all good with me… 🙂

  4. Steve says:

    Regarding cognitive dissonance, are there any denominations that would baptise an adult that has Alzheimer’s disease or similar handicap that is unable to make a visible profession of faith? Paedobaptism I understand, but never heard of adults being baptized without a visible profession which to me is sad to deny the least of these this sacrament.

  5. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I’d baptize them with joy…

  6. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve, Lutherans would – the work is God’s work through his word and water.

  7. Steve says:

    That’s great to hear Michael!

  8. Xenia says:

    The Baptists do baptize babies. My oldest daughter was baptized when she was 4 years old. A Sunday school teacher asked her if she loved Jesus and wanted to follow Him and of course she said yes and the next thing you know, she was being baptized. As far as I’m concerned, that’s an infant baptism because she certainly wasn’t making an informed commitment to Christ, she just like the Man with the beard on the flannel graph. Fine with me, by the way. We, her family, honored her baptism and did our best to raise her up as a Christian.

    One summer I helped at a vacation Bible school, with the little kids. On the last day, the teacher gave the required call to salvation. She basically asked them if they loved Jesus, and of course, they all said yes. Most of them had no idea what they were agreeing to, and most of them were kids from the neighborhood and we never saw them again. So- babies. Asking a little kid if they love Jesus is OK with me, by the way, as it’s pretty much all they can understand. Since apparently we are not really taking informed consent into account here, it would be much better to baptize them as infants, with all the prayers and blessings that accompany a baptism, to give some spiritual oomph to the beginning of their journey.

  9. Josh says:

    OH good grief. I’ll check back in in a couple of days.

  10. Steve says:

    So those who make this an issue about infants are really only focusing on one demographic when it’s really about a larger group in question.

  11. Jean says:

    Yes, Steve, absolutely. That’s why on Links I proposed to begin the discussion with the baptismal texts in the NT. First we should discuss who the actor is in baptism? Then, what is baptism? Then, what is being proffered in baptism?

    There are so many baptismal texts in the NT that one cannot easily brush them all aside. It evidently is a very important topic.

  12. Steve says:

    Xenia,

    I’m confused. You honored the baptism of your daughter in the Baptist faith but doesn’t the EO church require you to be christened again when you join? Isn’t that a baptism?

  13. Josh says:

    Lord, deliver me from amateur bible scholars.

  14. Jean says:

    Josh,

    I forgive you.

  15. JoelG says:

    One of my daughters, a very outgoing and enthusiastic young lady, was baptized as a wee lass. My son, a shy and introverted chap, was turned away because he couldn’t express his faith very well.

    This is one of the problems of “believers baptism” IMO.

  16. Josh says:

    Michael, can you ban me or something for a few days.

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Oooow, Josh graduated from seminary, now the rest of us are rank amateurs? I have a state college degree, a Bible degree from Liberty Bible College (before they were Liberty U and a Master’s in Apologetics from the old Simon Greenleaf School of Law taught by John Warwick Montgomery himself amount others.
    I have never referred to others as amateurs.

  18. Duane Arnold says:

    The NT texts on baptism do not per se address infant baptism. You can interpret them in that manner, but you can also interpret them in a different manner as well. Just saying…

  19. Josh says:

    MLD – I did not refer to you (or anyone else for that matter) as an amateur. I did make a snide comment that was not addressed towards you.

    There are some laughable assertions stated as fact, with no basis in fact, that make my blood boil. I do not want to engage in a way that discourages the faith of others, but I am finding it difficult.

    Hopefully, Michael will do us all a favor and ban me, as I have no self-control.

  20. Xenia says:

    Steve, the Orthodox recognize Trinitarian baptisms performed by other groups. When a convert is received into the Orthodox Church, if they had received a Trinitarian baptism in their past, they are received by chrismation, which includes the prayers that probably the earlier baptism omitted. The convert is anointed with oil.

    Some stricter Orthodox Churches do require the person be baptized again. Baptist and Calvary Chapel churches also require a re-baptism is the person was baptized as a baby, or baptized as a non-Protestant. I myself was received by chrismation since I had received a Trinitarian baptism at age 12. The Greeks thought that was good enough and just applied oil and prayers.

  21. Michael says:

    Josh,

    So far…in an odd turn of events…you are the one responding with hostility instead of arguments.

    As a “professional” bible scholar you know that’s not the way to respond.
    You can do better than this…state your case without rancor.
    I’d wager that most of those reading agree with you….give them good reasons to do so.

  22. Josh says:

    Please ban me.

    I am not a professional bible scholar. I am a run of the mill a-hole.

    I’ll attempt just turning off my browser.

    Sorry to all.

  23. Xenia says:

    Simon Greenleaf School of Law<<<

    Whatever happened to this school? I remember it being advertized on the Bible Answer Man when Walter Martin was the BAM.

  24. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia, I think they merged with Trinity University at least 20 yrs ago. I was there 30 plus yrs ago.

  25. Steve says:

    Xenia,
    Thanks for the explanation. Regarding CC they actually don’t require anyone to get rebaptized but may enourage it to be obedient and faithful. But they will gladly do it and I’ve seen both trinitarian and Jesus only baptisms happening simultaneously in CC where you could get inline for whatever formula you desired. Kind of a Burger King have it your way baptism.

  26. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve

    Really ?!? Non-Trinitarian? I don’t know that I’d call it heretical, but it’s certainly irregular… at least by my lights…

  27. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well when I was baptized at CC, they made it very clear to my wife that her baptism was basically a non thing as she was baptize at 2 weeks old. Now she fell for as she did not know better and got rebaptized. The kicker is that when we went to the SBC when it came time for membership, they did not want to accept our CC baptisms. We told them that was a deal breaker, but we had a couple of meetings and dropped their objections.

    This is quite humorous coming from 2 groups who believe baptism doesn’t do anything. ;-).

    Lutherans accept any Trinitarian water baptism.

  28. Steve says:

    Duane,. Yes, The pastor’s only words were, I baptize you in Jesus name. Very short and concatenated.

  29. Steve says:

    MLD, I can understand an SBC not accepting CC baptism. Maybe its because CC really has no standard for baptism other than it can’t be an infant and it has to be immersion. SBC I’m sure is much more concerned about it being Trinitarian. At least I hope they are.

  30. Jerod says:

    There is a lot in Matt. 3 that one should take literally – like repenting – and other things one could take literally if they so chose and it would be absolutely horrifying…

    10“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

          11“As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12“His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

    https://giphy.com/gifs/8vGJv6FmhETjW

    There are a lot of baptisms in scripture. Seems like folks want to pick and choose the ones they take literally and those they’d like to spiritualize.

  31. Jerod says:

    Forgot to post that I was responding to Jean using

    “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”

  32. My mother used to baptize often still moving baby parts after abortions when she was an RN in the early 70s. She was raised Dutch Reformed (Holland, MI).

    I was likely infant baptized by my birth family, who were Lutheran. I was river baptized when I was 12 in a church which later affiliated with CC (early 80s).

    Both kids, now 7 and 9, were baptized in the RCC, being Mexican. D wanted to be baptized when she saw another girl age doing it at CC. S9 (logical, Aspergers) said “you were already baptized!”

    Mom? Dad? Please stop fighting.

    Yet I’m still not to make of this subject.

  33. Jean says:

    Jerod,

    I offer my view on your comments to me:

    Consistent with the confession in the Nicene Creed, 
”I 
acknowledge
 one Baptism 
for 
the
 remission 
of 
sins.” The “one” follows Paul: “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

    Regarding John the B’s prophesy comparing his baptism with Christ’s, he is doing two things: (1) He is comparing his baptism with the coming Christian baptism, and in so doing is claiming that Christ’s baptism will be superior to his baptism; and (2) He is saying in the words of a prophet what Christ’s baptism will achieve.

    “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” This is consistent with Peter’s sermon in Acts Chapter 2 and Paul’s teaching about the efficacy of baptism: “he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”

    He will baptize you…with fire.” Here, fire conveys the idea of judgment. Christ’s baptism is God’s judgment against sin, as Paul teaches: “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.”

    Baptism into Christ delivers God’s judgment of the baptized into the present (removing the sting of death for the baptized), and also delivers God’s sanctification of the baptized by the Spirit into the present.

    When does Baptism save? The answer according to Peter Chapter 3 is “now.”

    The reason we have so many references to the power and efficacy of Baptism in the NT is in my opinion so that Christians may draw comfort and assurance throughout our lives that in the Sacrament of Baptism we have (i) the name of the Triune God placed upon us so that we may call upon our heavenly Father, through His Son in the power of the Holy Spirit at all times, and (ii) all the promises of the Gospel.

  34. Chris says:

    I’ve never heard or seen a CC baptize in a non-trinitarian way–that is definitely not the norm for CC. They do re-baptize if you were baptized as an infant (or at any point where you didn’t really “understand” what was going on–as defined by you). I’ve heard CC pastors say “if you were baptized as an infant you were just getting wet”. My guess is that’s pretty similar to other churches that don’t baptize infants.

  35. Duane Arnold says:

    Chris

    I was really surprised. It’s why I asked the question…

  36. chris says:

    I’ll ask a similar question as I did last week. For those on the more sacramental side, what does your denomination believe actually happens when you are baptized, ie what is the impact of the Grace received to the believer? Is original sin forgiven? Are all your sins forgiven ,up to that point or forever (and is that the only way to receive forgiveness)? Is this how you “become a Christian” (and is it the only way?)?

  37. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    chris,
    “For those on the more sacramental side, what does your denomination believe actually happens when you are baptized…?”

    For a Lutheran – and since I know I will be corrected with “some may have other opinions” I speak for the Lutheran doctrine – you are saved, your sins are washed away and you become a member of the church.

    Saul / Paul had a direct encounter with Jesus, spoke to him face to face so to speak – was he saved by that experience? His sins were not yet washed away and God made it a point to get him into the baptismal waters to complete the process. See Acts 22:12-16;

    12 “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13 came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that very hour I received my sight and saw him. 14 And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth; 15 for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’

    I think when he was baptized is when Paul was cleansed of his sins, received the Holy Spirit and became a part of the church.

  38. Jean says:

    Chris,

    Check out the short video at the top of this thread. It answers your question pretty well from an Anglican perspective.

  39. Duane Arnold says:

    Chris,

    As Anglicans, our theology is pretty well wrapped up with how we pray. This should give you an idea:

    Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy
    Spirit you have bestowed upon these your servants the
    forgiveness of sin, and have raised them to the new life of
    grace. Sustain them, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit. Give them
    an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to
    persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy
    and wonder in all your works. Amen.

    Then the Bishop or Priest places a hand on the person’s head, marking
    on the forehead the sign of the cross [using Chrism if desired] and saying to
    each one

    N., you are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked
    as Christ’s own for ever. Amen.

    Or this action may be done immediately after the administration of the
    water and before the preceding prayer.

    When all have been baptized, the Celebrant says

    Let us welcome the newly baptized.

    Celebrant and People

    We receive you into the household of God. Confess the faith
    of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection, and share with
    us in his eternal priesthood.

  40. Chris says:

    So from the Anglican and Lutheran perspective at least, it sounds like at a minimum forgiveness of sins and salvation are imparted at baptism. Is this the only way to be forgiven or saved? How does the forgiveness imparted through baptism differ from, say the forgiveness we can have through repentance, or confession or Eucharist?

  41. Duane Arnold says:

    In the Anglican view, Baptism is that initial imparting of grace that takes you forward to the grace received in confession, repentance and the Eucharist.

  42. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Chris from my point of view confession and taking the Eucharist are something that only “the already Christian” can do’ – so I place them in a sort of different category – how the christian receives the forgiveness of sin.

    What I am addressing here is how the unbeliever becomes a believer through the forgiveness of his sin.

    I think Acts 2:38 is clear that it is not just repentance that saves but repentance AND baptism. I would write it out like the;And Peter said to them, (“Repent and be baptized)… as one action.

    And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    I gotta be out for the next couple of hours leading the men’s group breakfast Bible study.

  43. Jean says:

    Chris, to add to what others have said:

    God works through different elements of creation to impact our senses in different ways. God’s grace is incarnational. Through the mouth of a pastor into the ears and down to the heart, we hear the Absolution. Through water (and the spoken Word) we feel our God’s forgiveness. In, with and under bread and wine (and the spoken Word) we taste our God’s forgiveness in the faith that we are receiving Christ’s body and blood.

  44. Michael says:

    I confess I find all of this mechanical…as if God were some sort of blessing vending machine that dispenses grace when the proper currency is offered and the correct lever pulled.

    I may be wrong.

  45. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    It is, in my view, simply “the new life of grace”… not a delivery system…

  46. Xenia says:

    I confess I find all of this mechanical…as if God were some sort of blessing vending machine that dispenses grace when the proper currency is offered and the correct lever pulled.<<<

    That's what it always sounds like to me, too, which is why I have found the Lutheran explanations given here so unattractive.

  47. Xenia says:

    I prefer the “Baking Cookies with Grandma” school of theology. 🙂

  48. Duane Arnold says:

    It’s interesting… In Anglicanism there seem to be at least three streams of thought. You have those who follow the RC idea of ex opera operato in which the act itself is salvific. Then you have the John Stott types who have a Biblical, Theological and Doctrinal approach that includes some sort of “decision”, either at baptism or later. Finally you have those who simply make use of the Prayer Book (my preference) in which the prayers and liturgy are all that are really descriptive of the very real mystery of what takes place. The third view is not “neat and tidy”, put then perhaps it’s not supposed to be “neat and tidy”.

  49. Jerod says:

    Jean
    If I follow your line of reasoning to its logical end I wind up at literal circumcision, don’t I ?

    I do believe that we should be baptized because Jesus was baptized as he was living by the Spirit therefore we should also follow suit if we are living by the Spirit.

    Also, your reasoning would suggest that the NAR is in the right when they have their parishioners doing fire tunnels and going into Altered States Of Consciousness thinking that their feet are burning and so on and so forth.

    The H2O is just hard water. If the hard heart isn’t circumcised no one is being led anywhere from birth or any other age.

  50. Jerod says:

    Duane,
    So it’s not what scripture actually says it’s what Thomas Cranmer said about scripture?

  51. JoelG says:

    Xenia,

    When you have time, can you explain the “Baking Cookies with Grandma” school of theology?

  52. Michael says:

    Duane,

    I’ll go with the third as well..

  53. Jean says:

    Personal opinion:

    When one gets to the point where Jesus and his gifts and ways of delivery of them appear unattractive or mechanical or unreasonable, I am reminded of His words:

    “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.”

    Jesus said these words because the Gospel confronts man’s objections. Jesus does not meet man’s expectations. He doesn’t play by our rules. He doesn’t activate our latent potential. He doesn’t reward the hard worker, the great scholar or the brave follower.

    Jesus delivers God’s grace into the empty hands and hearts of the sick, the least, the lost, the sinner, the baby, and in general, the poor in spirit.

    There’s no maze, no secret handshake, no code words to decipher, no hoops to jump through. There’s just one thing: I believe, help my unbelief. And he does render help, life giving help, even if it seems unattractive, mechanical and unreasonable.

  54. Steve says:

    Chris,. I am coming from a reformed/evangelical view that has a sacramental understanding that understands “sign and seal” of baptism. However we make a caviat that both infant and adult baptism can strengthen your faith but don’t guaretee you are saved. I’m not a theologian but we would probably make a dustiction between a sign that points and signifies something and the actual reality of what the sign is pointing to. I think the Lutheran’s confuse the sign with the reality but that’s just my opinion. In the age of fake news the Lutheran understanding has some issues to me but definitely helps me understand the problems of the purely symbolic view of Baptist and CC. As you stated CC is for the most part trinitarian but if you check out Joe Focht church in Philadelphia statement of belief you may think they are modalists or more likely they don’t really care. BTW, this issue with baptismal formula in CC goes back to Chuck Smith’s era where he also didn’t seem to care about the formula too much. Not sure if it’s because they were waffling on the idea of oneness Pentecostalism or if they had a distain for anything formuliac that resembled Roman Catholic practices.

  55. Josh says:

    “When one gets to the point where Jesus and his gifts and ways of delivery of them appear unattractive or mechanical or unreasonable,”

    And there is the problem. I don’t think ANYONE made reference to Jesus or His gifts seeming unattractive. I saw a few people say the way Jean understands these things are unattractive. Jesus does not necessarily equal every minute detail of Jean’s understanding.

  56. Michael says:

    Personal opinion: I am to the point where Lutheranism is a swear word.

    “When one gets to the point where Jesus and his gifts and ways of delivery of them appear unattractive or mechanical or unreasonable, I am reminded of His words:”

    When one gets to the point that they are so sure of themselves and so incredibly arrogant as to believe that their group alone has captured the mysteries of the Gospel and so judge everyone else… it reminds me of my words;

    “Bleep you and the Pharisees you rode in on”.

  57. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – what is mechanically about this? Annanias told Paul to be baptized and his sin would be washed away and Peter told the crowd, be baptized and you will receive the Holy Spirit.
    To me, and this may just be a Lutheran thing, but it sounds scriptural rather than mechanically.

    Also God is a blessing vending machine of sorts when the right currency is put in. That currency? Being a baptized child of God.

  58. Jean says:

    For the record, the very first comment in this thread is from me. I listened to the video and found 4 points of agreement and appreciation for the Anglican explanation.

    I have honored a prior article about not labeling.

    I have not returned disrespect and insults, and have even forgiven an offender on one occasion.

    I have tried to get people to focus on Scripture and not abstractions and have tried to deal with the substance of what is said, not on personalities.

    I have offered my own opinion just as I have been told to do.

    Can others say the same?

  59. Xenia says:

    Jerod, I’ve been rummaging through old posts trying to find the several places where I have explained this. No luck with the search, so here goes: (It’s my allegorical explanation of synergy as opposed to monergism.)

    In this allegory, I am Grandma. I have a houseful of grandchildren and I like to bake cookies. Some of the children like to help me bake cookies, and I love their help. The companionship brings us closer together and strengthens our relationship. Now I could bake perfect cookies by myself without the messy help of inexperienced children, but how will they learn to become like me if they don’t spend any time with me? So we bake cookies together and the kids get to know me and gradually, become more like me. The quality of the cookies improve, too, over time, although it’s the heart-felt companionship, not the quality of the cookies, that’s important.

    Some grandchildren only want to help a little bit, although they do enjoy eating the cookies. While these kids are part of the “Company of the Kitchen,” they aren’t learning much. They aren’t getting to know Grandma very well and they still can’t bake a decent cookie. They are always distracted by the….

    ….kids in the living room, watching cartoons and eating junk food. If these kids ever enjoyed baking, they have abandoned it for TV shows. They’ve left the Company of the Kitchen and have no interest in becoming conformed to the image of Grandma. They are always welcome to come back to the kitchen.

    Moral of the story: The more time spend working together (synergism) with Grandma, the more like her you become. Cookie production is not the point; the increasingly warm relationship with Grandma is what counts.

    Key:
    Grandma = Christ (I am not really comparing myself to Christ! Just making up a story!)
    Grandchildren= Humanity
    Company of the Kitchen = Church
    Becoming conformed to the image of Grandma = Theosis
    Baking Cookies with Grandma = Synergism
    Those in the Living Room = Unbelievers
    Those who occasionally bake with Grandma = nominal Christians
    Cookies = Good works

    The goal of Orthodox Christianity is to become conformed to the Image of God, which we call theosis. This is accomplished by cooperating with God. It takes a bit of work.

  60. Jerod says:

    When one gets to the point where Jesus and his gifts and ways of delivery of them appear unattractive or mechanical or unreasonable, I am reminded of His words:

    “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.”<<<

    See, to me it seems as if what you are arguing is 4 something to make sense in a tangible aspect. You need tangible sacraments in order to receive salvation. What is hard to grasp is that it perhaps is not so concrete.

    You said it well, "Jesus does not meet man’s expectations. He doesn’t play by our rules."

    While the Holy Spirit I believe urges us to follow Jesus example as closely as we possibly can I believe that the Lord hasn't bread of Grace to offer those who do not follow every minut detail. I cannot imagine someone getting to heaven and Christ casting them into the Lake of Fire because they were not baptized as an infant or an adult yet were baptized by trials, tribulations, or persecutions. Maybe I'm mistaken in that perception of the a Lutheran would View things. Is that how it works?

  61. Josh says:

    And now Michael is catching up to how I was feeling yesterday.

  62. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I have only just begun being disrespectful.
    You have no idea of the heights of disrespect that I can reach.
    I have had it now.

    The idea that someone who rejects your formulae rejects Christ and His gifts as well is disrespectful and frankly,disgusting.

    I’m not putting up with this scabulon anymore.

    Lutherans like to cluster together and assure each other that they alone are righteous and wise…they can do it elsewhere than here.

  63. Michael says:

    Xenia’s construction has more than a little merit to it…

  64. Jerod says:

    Voice to text :-\ “…has the depth and breadth of Grace…” *sigh*

  65. Michael says:

    The Anglican ethos is about being reasonable, irenic, and able to discuss things without anger.

    I’m not a very good Anglican yet.

    If you can’t share the beliefs of your tribe without demeaning the beliefs of another…then don’t let the door hit you where the dog bit you…

  66. Jean says:

    Well, I will bow out of the conversation then. I cannot defend against false claims nor will I return the favor. I don’t know how something could be my formula if I am agreeing with an Anglican video. Also, I never said anyone rejected Christ, and am on the record from a recent prior thread as saying that Christians include those who don’t believe in the Sacraments. I would rather be criticized for what I actually say, than a caricature of what I say. But, I can only control my side of a conversation.

  67. Josh says:

    Jerod, Michael, and I all quoted you directly, Jean.

  68. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Cut the crap.
    You said it right here:
    “When one gets to the point where Jesus and his gifts and ways of delivery of them appear unattractive or mechanical or unreasonable”

    What many of us find unattractive is not Jesus or his gifts, but the bullying and proselytizing of the resident Lutherans and their holy formulas.
    Then you whine about how unfair the rest of us are when you get pushback.

    I didn’t grow up in this era.
    When I grew up you smacked a bully in the chops and he learned not to mess with you.
    Don’t mess with us anymore…

  69. Jerod says:

    Xenia

    Good heavens! I love that analogy ! My kids love baking cookies with their grandmothers!

    At one point Grandma was in the kitchen. Grandma left the kitchen to build a better kitchen. Grandma entrusted the care of the kitchen to the older children who,

    instead of following Grandma’s more relational example,

    decided to focus an inordinate amount of attention to the recipe and decided to fill in what they considered gaps in the recipe with their own additions.

    Overtime we are no longer baking with attention to what Grandma meant baking to be,

    nor are we even baking Grandma’s recipe

    but what tradition says about Grandma’s recipe, and what tradition says Grandma said about the purpose of the kitchen. I see a problem there. I don’t think there’s any way you could argue we were still baking in the same kitchen as Grandma 🙂

  70. Jean says:

    I’m not whining and am not receiving pushback. You are telling me you don’t want my participation. Jerod probed my comment for more information, but you took it as an insult without seeking clarification, because you seem to want to put me personally down. I can take disagreement, pushback, whatever, but as a guest here, I can’t impose myself if I am not wanted. I will say however, that the bullying is more than two sided. It is almost unrelenting, even though I find extensive common ground with the Anglican views of the Sacraments which have been shared in two videos.

  71. Michael says:

    Jean,

    You have been directly quoted three times.
    You have not clarified anything, at least not intentionally.
    Own your words.
    You wrote them.

  72. Jean says:

    Do you want my clarification?

  73. Josh says:

    Jean, are you now saying that :

    “When one gets to the point where Jesus and his gifts and ways of delivery of them appear unattractive or mechanical or unreasonable”

    was not in response to Michael’s comment:

    “I confess I find all of this mechanical”. ?

    Really, Jean?

  74. Jerod says:

    I felt no bullying today by Jean or MLD, just strength of opinion. Shouldn’t they be fully convinced?

  75. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I don’t really care.
    The Lutheran Hour has come to a close here unless the tone changes dramatically.
    However, if I had left a couple thousand people believing that I had insulted them all, I would either clarify or make sure my insult was received in its fullness.

  76. Michael says:

    Jerod,

    One can be fully convinced without insulting the convictions of others.
    I’m fully convinced of a very few things, myself…so I don’t have enough hammers to smite back those who are fully convinced of all their dogma…

  77. Jerod says:

    …so I don’t have enough hammers to smite back those who are fully convinced of all their dogma…

    I lol at that visual for some odd reason

    Maybe we’re fully convinced of not being convinced, not a snowflake’s chance in Hell we’re going to be convinced.

  78. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t get it. No one here has condemned anyone to hell. If I were easily offended as some are here I would take it out on Xenia and her cookie baking analogy.

    I could say she has condemned all monergists to hell – those who will not help God save themselves by baking cookies. Those people, the monergists are sitting in the living room and identified by Xenia as unbelievers – non cookie bakers = condemned to hell.

    But my panties aren’t in as tight of a wad as some here. I can take and understand that she too holds a narrow view and accept it.

  79. Michael says:

    Jerod,

    There are over 23,000 different flavors of orthodox Christianity all claiming to be biblical, historical, and led by the Holy Spirit.
    They all have different dogmas and peculiarities that set them slightly or greatly apart from each other.
    As sinfully proud as I am, I simply don’t have the hubris to declare that I have found the sect that alone holds the truth.
    I try to hear from everyone and learn from everyone, believing that we are all common family that sees through a glass darkly.
    I just don’t have a lot in common with those who have solved it all…nor do I find them particularly helpful.

  80. Xenia says:

    MLD, some children might spend time with Grandma, and become like her, without understanding the term “synergism.” God sees the heart.

  81. Xenia says:

    Jerod, that’s a pretty good addendum you have posted. I guess we should pick the oldest kitchen, eh?

  82. Xenia says:

    Well folks, between posts I was outside gardening and I was stung by a BUMBLEBEE and I am trying to figure out if it’s a message from God….

  83. Jerod says:

    You’ve really grown on me, Michael.

    Most of us think or kitchen is the okayest in the world. And most of us think we’ve got the right recipe. It’s how we get from day to day. It’s how we convince ourselves the cookies actually taste good 😉

    God is probably happy we’re baking at all, as long a the kitchen is open to the house. But I bet he’s partial to latkes…

  84. Jerod says:

    Xenia, lol! I’m so sorry! Hope you’re not allergic.

    Love y’all

    Off to the dump, in the literal sense.

  85. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Ouch…meat tenderizer will help …

  86. Xenia says:

    For my parish it would be baking pierogi with Babushka.

    For the Greeks it would be baking Koulourakias with YiaYia.

  87. Jean says:

    Okay, thank you for the opportunity. I will clarify what I said:

    I read three opinions of the way in which I described the Sacraments as unattractive, mechanical or unreasonable. However, does unattractiveness, mechanicalness or unreasonableness mean I described them incorrectly or that my descriptions were unappealing to the preferences of the reader? No one said. It seems to me that what we should be probing in conversation (and some are) is what God says to us, not what our personal preferences might be about how we would like God to save us.

    So I quoted from Matthew (i.e., A disciple is not above his teacher…), within the context of which Jesus is continually preaching and acting in ways that do not measure up to the way fallen mankind thinks the Christ should be doing things. In fact, John the Baptist, “among those born of women there has arisen no one greater,” in a moment of weakness succumbs to this human trait: “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” So, I think the temptation to want to master Christ is universal even among Christians

    If I read “A disciple is not above his teacher,” I read Jesus speaking today to all mankind, and I read this verse as applying in the present time all the time. I believe in our fallen state Jesus is saying that we have an inclination to want to master Christ in terms of how he saves us, and thus reminds us that He is the master and we should set aside our preferences, which will pretty much always collide with God’s.

    So, in the end I was trying to identify the potential source of some of your objections and get us back to the text. But, I want to make clear that it’s not as though I am not fallen as much as anyone else. I may be more attuned to my sin that some others, and this causes me to continually check whether I am applying reason in a magisterial or ministerial manner. But I intend no insult, bullying or offense.

    Even when I write something that agrees with an Anglican priest, someone will attribute my thought to me personally or my tradition or my denomination. I liked what Duane wrote the other day about dropping the labels. I don’t think our conversations have to be a win-lose dialogue; I think we can all benefit even if we don’t wholly agree on everything. But the only way to do this is to focus on the topic and not on each other.

  88. Josh says:

    ” some children might spend time with Grandma, and become like her, without understanding the term “synergism.” God sees the heart.”

    Watch out y’all, Xenia’s been reading The Shack!

    🙂

  89. Jerod says:

    Xenia, perhaps! But in the 300 years years twixt the first and Nicene kitchen some of the older children decided to make some “universal designs” to the original model in the hopes of attracting more of the house to the kitchen. I like Michael’s idea that we, none of us, have any clue what we’re actually doing. And I like your idea that even though we have no idea what we’re actually doing God uses that and accepts our cookies (mmmm, spectacular!) even though we have put way too much baking powder and not enough salt in them.

  90. Josh says:

    Only heretics put salt in cookies.

  91. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Your formulations demand a specific interpretation of the text.
    There is not one interpretation shared by all here.
    When you talk about “getting back to the text” you are really talking about your sects interpretation of the text.
    Even in your clarification you are appealing to your sects interpretation.

    That’s all well and good…as long as it is clear that for some of us that interpretation is not straight from the mouth of God.

  92. Steve says:

    Xenia,

    If God sees my heart and doesn’t show me mercy, I’m afraid I would fall down dead. The heart is desperately wicked. So not sure what you are getting at when you ssy God looks at the heart. I hope He sees a broken heart that only He can fix.

  93. Michael says:

    “The heart is desperately wicked. ”

    The renewed and regenerate heart led by the Spirit is certainly not.

  94. Jean says:

    Michael,

    If one quotes and affirms the Nicene Creed, “
I 
acknowledge 
one Baptism 
for 
the
 remission 
of 
sins,” is it fair to call that affirmation sectarian?

  95. Jerod says:

    “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” So, I think the temptation to want to master Christ is universal even among Christians”

    Jean! Exactly! Intangible aspects of Christ Messianic mission did not look to John as they should have looked and that made him doubt because he could not put his finger on something that was tangible and understandable to him. Until, I’m assuming, Jesus said “the blind see and the deaf hear!” Jesus meant that in both the literal and spiritual sense, didn’t he?

    I’m gone! Jiminy…

  96. Jerod says:

    Josh, you think your original recipe or something? 😉

  97. Michael says:

    “If one quotes and affirms the Nicene Creed, “
I 
acknowledge 
one Baptism 
for 
the
 remission 
of 
sins,” is it fair to call that affirmation sectarian?”

    I’m not in the mood for games.
    Even the creeds have sectarian interpretations.

  98. Josh says:

    Jean – You used “a disciple is not above his teacher” as a weapon against those disagreeing with you. You assumed that because other Christians understand this in another way that they think they are above Jesus. It is your constant attitude, the tone of most of your proof-text barrages, and I for one find it infuriating.

    I have said may times that I am glad you found a place that brings you comfort. I would die a quick, painful death in that system. Just understand that in many doctrinal distinctions of Christianity, one size does not fit all.

  99. JoelG says:

    “The renewed and regenerate heart led by the Spirit is certainly not.”

    How does one measure this renewal and regeneration?

  100. Michael says:

    JoelG,

    There is no need to measure.
    By faith you have been renewed and regenerated.

  101. Josh says:

    Even that creed must be interpreted by the one saying it, as we saw with our discussion of the Athanasian Creed.

  102. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, “The renewed and regenerate heart led by the Spirit is certainly not.”

    Since you used the word “certainly”, you sound pretty certain of your statement.

    Shouldn’t you have said something like, “well, the way I look at it, I do not think the heart is still wicked… but I could be wrong as I know others hold a different view.”

    This is the restriction you hold some of us to – to qualify everything we say so it doesn’t sound like we actually believe what we state.

  103. Michael says:

    I think Josh hit on something important.
    I believe that God in His great mercy provided all these different homes for different types of people.
    I find the dogmatism on every point claustrophobic and suffocating…I simply can’t live in faith as a confessional Christian.
    Others find it a great assurance and comfort.
    I can celebrate each place…

  104. Josh says:

    The difference, MLD, is in words of encouragement versus words of condemnation.

  105. Michael says:

    Thank you, Josh.

  106. Jean says:

    Joel,

    Romans Chapter 7:19-8:1.

  107. Jerod says:

    Jeez, can’t leave.

    It is my understanding that faith is two sided

    There is the gift of faith and our faithfulness to God in response to receiving it. To me, that is what Hebrews is talking about when the writer says “faith is the evidence/assurance”.

  108. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – I could, in pettiness, take his statement as very condemning. If the heart is renewed and regenerated why does it still sin like the old one – at least mine?

    I could say he is claiming that if I still sin it’s because my heart has not been regenerated.

    His certainty in such areas diminishes me.

  109. Josh says:

    You could say that, MLD, but obviously he didn’t say that, and I think that he’d respond to you with some kind reassurance.

    You’re stretching here. Maybe you guys ought to just try to be nice?

  110. Michael says:

    MLD,

    You’re on my last nerve.
    In most of these discussions and in most articles I do preface my words as being representative of my tradition and I think I’ve demonstrated an ecumenical spirit by putting up with this stuff for years.
    If it isn’t good enough there are Lutheran blogs galore where you guys can spoon together all the way to glory.

  111. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – I have an ecumenical spirit – I engage with everyone and I have never condemned anyone for their belief or challenged their christianhood – never, never, never not once in these many years. Even in stating what I believe, I never say and your view is wrong – but if someone says Baptism Saves there is an automatic assumption the “Baptism doesn’t save” is wrong – it goes with discussion.

    But I get called an anti Semite yesterday by implication and that just slides by with no comment from anyone.

  112. Steve says:

    I do wonder why we sing the song “create in me a clean heart” if it’s already clean. To me this is a sanctification issue which I believe is quite mysterious.

  113. Michael says:

    I seriously doubt that the comment you are referring to had anything to do with accusing you of anti-Semitism…

  114. Michael says:

    Steve,

    There are lots of lyrics that I wonder why we sing.

  115. Xenia says:

    As you all know, I am someone who belongs to a Church that is all about the sacraments. I believe baptism saves and the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ. You all know this about me.

    However, I do wish almost every conversation we have here on the Pphx didn’t wind up arguing about his. In some way it takes the beauty and mystery out of the Sacraments to analyze and debate them continually. I don’t even read this type of thread very carefully anymore.

    We are (rightfully) appalled by the degeneracy we see in many churches. Ok, we know this to be true. How about a few threads where we rejoice in good things we see happening in the churches in our area? Or even nationally?

  116. Xenia says:

    “create in me a clean heart” <<< is the type of song I appreciate.

    I believe that the Fall marred, but did not entirely blot out, the Image of God in all people. At baptism, the Image is restored but, just like the Disciple's feet, it gets dirty and needs cleaning up by Christ. This is part of our life in Christ,

  117. Jean says:

    Steve,

    The line in Psalm 51, “Create in me a clean heart…” in the Lutheran understanding is referring to the heart as the seat of a man’s conscience. The conscience becomes defiled by sin, it becomes impure, dirty.

    If we confess our sins, “he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

    Thus, in a Lutheran Church, before one would draw near to the throne of grace to receive Christ’s body and blood, he or she would participate in the rite of confession and absolution. In this way, he or she could partake of Christ’s holiness for blessing.

  118. Xenia says:

    “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

    I want to see God.

  119. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, his comment was a response to our discussion against Jews, their scholarship and if we use it for Christian doctrine. His followup was something to the effect that it was typical of a disciple of Martin Luther.

    Wink, wink I think we know what he meant – but I am unoffenable.

  120. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    You admonition is timely and true.
    I will confess however, that I’m having a hard time finding much good these days…especially when we look at the political divide and its implications.
    I’m not saying there is no good…I’m just having a hard time seeing it.

  121. Xenia says:

    I see a lot of good.

    Last week our parish had a retirement party for our Matushka, that is, the priest’s wife. It was a surprise party. All 26 of her grandchildren, all under age 13, were present and she tenderly introduced each one of them to us. (We already knew them, but it was a sweet gesture.) The room was filled with people who love Matushka and Father G. It was such a tribute to the faithfulness of God and the faithfulness of this family. One daughter got up and talked about how her mother was such a godly, selfless person and she started sobbing (and so did I). What an example my dear friend Matushka H. is!

    Actually, I pretty much feel this way every Sunday. I feel the presence of God, the Saints, and all His people. Some of these people are stinkers but I love them anyway and they seem to love me as well.

    There is so much good going on in so many churches.

    Let’s hear about some of it!

    I propose a ban on debates about Baptism and the Eucharist for a while. Let’s talk about something else. 🙂

  122. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    End times? 🙂

  123. Xenia says:

    Almost every Sunday when my husband and I are driving away, one of us will say “I love those people so much!”

  124. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Well done.

  125. JoelG says:

    There’s a lot of good in the world. People faithfully going to work everyday and taking care of their families. Teachers pouring their lives into their students. Doctors, nurses, veterinarians taking care of the sick. Police and firefighters protecting their communities.

    I also think there’s a lot of good that happens that no one ever sees. Large and small kindnesses that will never get any press coverage.

    God oversees it all and the Kingdom quietly goes about it’s business.

  126. Michael says:

    JoelG,

    Yes…that is so.

    I find myself overwhelmed today with the dirt and especially with the horrors happening on our border.
    I’ll take a break over the weekend and reboot…

  127. Duane Arnold says:

    As I see that I was mentioned, I thought that I should respond…
    Well, let’s consider the humor.

    MLD offers an allegorical interpretation of a passage in Ezekiel as prefiguring baptism.

    I suggest that many rabbinic interpreters would not see the text in that manner.

    MLD applauds Jean saying, “Who cares what the non-Christian Jewish Rabbis say? They missed the Christ altogether in the OT. They’re interpretations concerning the fulfillment of OT prophesies were and are dead wrong.”

    When challenged, MLD writes, “Heck, even Jesus didn’t like the way the Jews handled the Bible.”

    I reply, “Spoken like a disciple of Martin Luther…”

    Michael adds that his commentaries actually warn against that particular allegorical interpretation.

    I add, “If one would bother to read the Jewish commentaries, before passing judgement….”

    Why?

    The allegorical interpretation of the Old Testament was introduced to Christian theologians by Philo Judaeus, a Jewish commentator through Origen.

    So, using a Jewish methodology to allegorizing the OT passage he wanted to say something, MLD also condemns Jewish commentators of being dead wrong.

    As did Luther… as I said, let’s consider the humor…

  128. Duane Arnold says:

    I should add, it was not about anti-semitism, it was about knowing the history of interpretation.

  129. Jean says:

    The history of Christian interpretation of Scripture (some would say) began on the road to Emmaus.

  130. Duane Arnold says:

    … and has continued for almost 2000 years…

  131. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, right, wink, wink.

    And I said 3 times I was not proof texting baptism in that passage – but that would require critical reading on your part.

    Carry on.

  132. Duane Arnold says:

    MLD

    Allegory…. A-L-L-E-G-O-R-Y…

  133. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t know where the allegory is. God tells Ezekiel he will cleanse the people with water and the result will be a new heart and the Holy Spirit. Just like we do today.

    Perhaps you were baptized allegorically, but I got the real thing.

  134. Xenia says:

    We all know about the levels of biblical interpretation: Literal, moral, spiritual and allegorical.

    I think the Ezekiel passage MLD quoted is a good example of an allegorical interpretation of Scripture and that being the case, does, IMO, pertain to baptism. It is not literally about baptism, but the passage can certainly be used as way to think about baptism. MLD never said it was the proof text end all proof texts, I think he just said baptism can be found in the Old Testament. There is a way of reading the OT where everything pertains to the person of Jesus Christ. The Orthodox, and looks like the Lutherans as well, see the OT this way. For myself, when I read that passage, baptism is what immediately pops into my mind. But that’s not *all* that passage is about, certainly. But as a Christian, that’s where my mind goes- to Christ.

  135. Duane Arnold says:

    Xenia

    I agree that it can be read allegorically and agreed with MLD when I wrote, “You see it that way looking back from the NT (as I would as a Christian). There are also other ways of looking at this passage that are not about baptism…”

    To which MLD replied, “Duane, there may be other ways to look at it, but in normal circle they are called ‘the wrong way’. Just because some one has a thought or writes a paper, doesn’t make it valid or acceptable – it just makes it wrong.”

    I still believe that there are other ways of looking at this passage that have value and are not, as MLD says, “Wrong”.

  136. Xenia says:

    If an Orthodox priest was giving a homily on the Ezekiel passage, he would almost certainly compare it to baptism while also giving the literal and moral explanation.

    – This is what happened; this is literally what God is saying about the Hebrews at this point in time.
    – The moral lesson: Keep yourself from idols, little children!
    – The allegory: this is like baptism.

  137. Duane Arnold says:

    Xenia

    “While also giving…” That’s the point…

  138. Xenia says:

    MLD, do you think the Ezekiel passage is *only* about baptism or do you believe it also describes a literal situation in Israel at that point and time and that there’s a moral lesson against idolatry?

  139. Jean says:

    When someone asks a Lutheran, “What is theology for?” “What is Scriptural interpretation for?” I would expect him to say something to the effect that theology is for (or in the service of) proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I would expect her to say that Scriptural interpretation should be in the service of what Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” I, as a Lutheran, expect theology and interpretation to preach and teach Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets.

    I acknowledge there are other interpretations. From Marcion, to Pelagius, the Rabbis, to Ellen, Joseph and Thomas Jefferson, I acknowledge the list is more numerous than I care to count. But, so what? People are free to hear, read, believe or reject pretty much whatever they want in this country.

  140. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    I expect all that… I also expect truth. “Facts are stubborn things…”

  141. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t see where the allegory might be. Ezekiel from about this chapter through the end is speaking of end times events (not mark of the beast end times, but the end times Peter declared from Jesus on the cross until the consummation of all things.)

    I think, and I may be stretching here, that we can all agree with Paul that there will be a mass coming to Jesus of Jews sometime in this “end times” period. I think this is who God is talking about through Ezekiel.

    If Jews come to Jesus, it will be the way all Christians come – the way this Jew (me) came – through the waters of baptism. Through this baptism Ezekiel speaks of people receive a new heart and the Holy Spirit. Some may not see it this way but I expect to see real people getting water baptized and brought into God’s kingdom.

    I do not think it is some type of learning illustration.

  142. Xenia says:

    Well, I went back and read it again and boy, it really does seem to read like MLD says it reads. Once you see it that way it’s hard to see it any other way.

  143. Xenia says:

    It reads like prophecy, not allegory.

  144. Duane Arnold says:

    Xenia

    Sorry to disagree, but that is a reading looking back from the NT….

  145. Jerod says:

    IMV, the NT is inspired commentary on the OT. So it’d be a proper reading, imo. Parts of John’s revelation are illustrated fur the reader looking back from the NT at the OT.

  146. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, why do you object to having the NT interpret the OT. Jesus said the OT was about himself – no rabbi commented in that fashion – and missed Jesus.
    They interpret to this day Isaiah 53’s suffering servant as the nation Israel itself – and even today miss Jesus.
    They interpret the land promise as still owed to them, ignoring that it was fulfilled in Joshua and limit it to the nation state of Israel – missing that Paul said the promise was of the whole world – and miss Jesus.

    Just because they have some meshuggah way of understanding the Bible, does not make it valid over how the NT reads the OT.

  147. Xenia says:

    Duane,

    Sorry to disagree<<<

    That's alright.

    … but that is a reading looking back from the NT<<<

    What Old Testament prophecy (or typology) doesn't work this way?

    Who knew that Jonah's 3 days in the belly of the fish was about Christ's 3 days in the tomb until we read it in the New Testament?

  148. Duane Arnold says:

    Xenia

    Some OT readings are specifically referenced as typological in the NT… Jonah, for instance, or Isaiah 53. But to say, as MLD did, that all other readings and interpretations are wrong does not allow for literal or analogical readings. It is not “either or”, it is “both and”. This is true even of OT passages referenced in the NT (for instance the story of Jonah has more to it than just the 3 days in the belly of the fish). It is especially true for other OT passages not specifically referenced in the NT. To those we may have an allegorical interpretation, but it does not follow that all other interpretations are “wrong” as MLD asserted.

  149. Duane Arnold says:

    MLD

    “Duane, why do you object to having the NT interpret the OT.” That of course is a lie, as I said exactly the opposite – “You see it that way looking back from the NT (as I would as a Christian).” From you, however, that sort of misstatement is the norm.

    Once again, that is your interpretation of the passage in Ezekiel. Fine and good. To say, however, that all other interpretations are “wrong” speaks of arrogance, not scholarship.

  150. Jean says:

    Duane,

    Some see Jesus diagnosing the issue in John’s Gospel:

    “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.”

    The Scriptures (i.e., OT) bear witness to Jesus. That is a Christian confession. That is a salutary hermeneutic. The Rabbis don’t acknowledge Jesus in any of the OT oracles. Their interpretations are veiled by unbelief.

    “But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

    What the Rabbis, like all people, need first to properly interpret Scripture is faith in Jesus and the Holy Spirit to remove the veil, so that Christ may be found as the fulfillment of the OT prophesies.

  151. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    Some basics for OT hermeneutics… and I do mean basics.

    1. Yes, for the Christian reader the center of the OT is Christ.
    2. The OT also had a message for its original readers, not just for us.
    3. The OT writers did not fully understand everything about which they wrote.
    4. The OT writers did truly understand some things they described.

    All four principles are involved, not just one…

  152. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, I do not say all others are wrong. What I say is just because they are out there does not make them right, equally valid or to be paid attention to just because they have crossed someone’s mind.
    You seem to think that Jewish interpretations outweigh or should be in equal standing to NT interpretations.
    He’s are non Christians just like Jews. When their opinions go against NT interpretations, I feel no obligation to give it any credit – just because it is out their.

    If your Jewish interpreters say that this passage applies only to the people of Ezekiel’s day, they are wrong.
    I have read several Jewish commentaries in the past, I had Jewish family members to witness to so I needed their resources. Crack open some and see what they say on Isaiah 7 or 9 – check out Genesis 22 – all are wrong.

    So what did the rabbit’s say on my passage on Ezekiel 36 and do you agree with them?

  153. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I hate auto correct especially when I am out walking.
    3rd paragraph should say JWs are non Christians just like Jews…

  154. Jean says:

    Duane,

    Here are my comments on your hermeneutical principles:

    “1. Yes, for the Christian reader the center of the OT is Christ.” Some would say that the entire Bible is for the Christian and for all mankind as God’s saving Word of grace in and through Jesus Christ. The Bible is a holy Word. God is three persons of one essence. Jesus is one of the three persons of the Trinity. To deny Jesus is God is to violate the first three Commandments of the Decalogue. That would be a misuse and desecration of God’s holy Word.

    “2. The OT also had a message for its original readers, not just for us.” No disagreement here. But, what some would say is that such original message was but a shadow or type of the better things that have been revealed in these last days through the incarnation, life, death, resurrection, ascension and exultation of Jesus. Jesus’ self-attestation is that he came to fulfill the law and the prophets.

    “3. The OT writers did not fully understand everything about which they wrote.” We don’t have the OT human authors here to interrogate in an effort to parse their self-understanding. Some would say that the Holy Spirit is the true author of the OT and He fully understands what He inspired the human authors to write and that His inspiration is living today in the Word. To those who have, more will be given. To those who have not, even what they have will be taken from them.

    “4. The OT writers did truly understand some things they described.” Same comment as #3 above.

  155. Duane Arnold says:

    MLD

    “Duane, I do not say all others are wrong.”

    You wrote, “Duane, there may be other ways to look at it, but in normal circle they are called ‘the wrong way’. ” If you want a discussion, try telling the truth…

    “You seem to think that Jewish interpretations outweigh or should be in equal standing to NT interpretations.” Never said that either. Try telling the truth.

  156. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    A good fundamentalist approach… not an especially compelling hermeneutic.

  157. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, I have always spoken in the context of you continual tag line “some think differently” as if they automatically hold a valid position just because a thought enters their mind and they put it on paper. Sola Nonsence, by nonsense alone is your position.

    To the other point, if we all can look back from the NT and see Ezekiel in a biblical light (one you agree with) why am I obligated to read Jewish scholarship to find a non Christian view?

  158. Duane Arnold says:

    MLD

    “Sola Nonsence, by nonsense alone is your position.” Well, there’s a compelling argument. If you’re not lying about other people’s positions, you resort to this sort of childish behavior. Let me know when you actually want to discuss something.

  159. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Let me get this right, you call Jean a fundamentalist and me a liar and being childish and you think you have room to be critical of my Sola Nonsense comment?
    Watch out, the people around me on my walk are wondering why I keep LOL 😆

  160. Duane Arnold says:

    MLD

    Once again, you have nothing to discuss…

  161. Jerod says:

    Back to the original issue…

    If water is efficacious, why did John the Baptist consider the disciples baptism greater than his own baptisms?

    Along Duane’s line, couldn’t there also be merit to the Jewish idea of amniotic fluid, a man’s seed, relating to new belief (infant status) in the new faith, which Paul also refers to?

    Couldn’t Jesus also be stating that this “water” of which we must be born is the Living Water from a believer shared with another (washing with water by the word -not literal)?

  162. Jerod says:

    As Duane said, not either/or but also/and

  163. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The water is not efficacious by itself, otherwise everyone would be getting baptized every time they hoped in the shower or a swimming pool. It is the water and the word.

    John the Baptist was actually the last of the OT prophets doing an OT act – sort of like the washings. The disciples were doing something else.

    If every human comes from / through the amniotic fluid why would that be mentioned in some salvation formula? Wouldn’t that be like saying we are saved by our breath and the spirit, or our blood circulation and the spirit?

    Why does everyone want to run right to “not literal”?

  164. Jean says:

    Jerod,

    Regarding your question: “If water is efficacious, why did John the Baptist consider the disciples baptism greater than his own baptisms?”, in the Lutheran tradition, it is the Word added to the water in the rite of baptism that renders baptism efficacious. The water alone is just ordinary water. The water with the Word in the rite of baptism delivers the promises of God to the baptized.

    Although John the B. explains why the baptism of Christ was greater than his baptism in the Gospel of John, I thought you might like to reflect on this story from Acts Chapter 19, which illustrates the point that the two baptisms conveyed two different promises of God:

    “And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ And they said, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ And he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ They said, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ And Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.’ On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. There were about twelve men in all.”

    John’s baptism did not promise the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ baptism does.

    I didn’t understand the second question.

    Regarding the third question, there are just too many water baptism passages in the NT to see them as allegory. Once I understand that it is the Word that makes baptism effective, and not the water alone, not only did I resolve the problem as seeing water as being portrayed as magical, but I now see that baptism does not run contrary to justification by faith, which also comes by hearing the Word.

  165. Jerod says:

    Naturally I have to ask about the thief on the cross, then. He had everything except H20. I suppose you might then say it was living water, either in the firm of the Spirit or the fluid that came from Jesus’ side. Why do you think the Spirit chose to author that in the Passion account?

  166. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    In actuality the thief on the cross was saved under the old covenant – Jesus had not yet died on the cross.

  167. Jerod says:

    What is concerning me is that Lutheranism seems to resemble Jesus +

  168. Jerod says:

    No one baptized him. Presumably

  169. Jerod says:

    That would require the baptism of John, right?

  170. Jerod says:

    And you’re saying there’s a dual covenant?

  171. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jerod – I would make the suggestion that he was saved because he had Jesus right next to him telling him he was saved.

    Now, if you follow the time line, Jesus did not institute Christian baptism until after the cross and resurrection.
    Since Jesus wasn’t going to be there to tell every single soul personally they were saved, how did he tell them to make disciples – baptize them and teach them. If you want to call it Jesus + —– I will call it Jesus plus his word – and both come to you together in the waters of baptism.

  172. Jean says:

    Jerod,

    Jesus commissioned His disciples for mission. He told them how to make disciples. While He was with them, He saved many people left and right by speaking and touching. He is God incarnate. To one He said “go wash in the pool,” to another “your sins are forgiven, to another, “come out.”

    To His disciples, “baptize.”

    Blessed is the one who is not offended by Him.

  173. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jerod.
    “And you’re saying there’s a dual covenant?”
    No because dual to me seems like 2 concurrent covenants. There was the Old Covenant now dead and buried and we are currently under God’s New Covenant – based on Jesus’ crucifixion. Remember that passage at the institution for the supper – his blood of the covenant stuff? That is that new covenant.

  174. Em says:

    I cannot conclude that baptism is, of itself, a necessity for redemption…
    That said, it is definitely required as an act of submission and obedience.
    Speaking as a sprinkled Presbyterian who had to resolve the issue of submersion (Jesus was) in order to follow my Baptist husband into the Southern Baptist church – when did sprinkling with a little water replace submersion…. ?
    going under on a dunk tank is a very humbling event, btw. 😉

  175. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, curious where you got the description of Jesus’ baptism?
    If you did find one is it prescriptive of how all are to be baptized?

  176. Em says:

    Well, MLD… I suppose it was possible that John the Baptist used a gourd .. and “coming up out of the water” refers to wading out of the river… Then there’s Matt 3:11 which seems to refer to another baptism altogether
    If i’ve opened another aspect of doctrine altogether… ? I am truly sorry…. and repentant

  177. Josh says:

    Jerod, you hot the nail on the head with JEsus+. There is always another hoop to jump through. I’ll stick with Christ Alone.

  178. Stephen’s speech sums it up, it was (and is) about faith.

  179. Duane Arnold says:

    Josh

    Three points from center court…

  180. Michael says:

    I’m closing this thread now.
    I’m closing it because I’m embarrassed that as children suffer in filthy clothes without access to soap, blankets, sleep, or comfort in American internment camps this is what we find compelling enough to write about.
    We who all know Jesus amuse ourselves with potshots at each other when I suspect that Jesus is wondering why we aren’t grieving over the evil being done by our brethren as if He signed off on it.
    I don’t know what the cosmic mechanics of baptism are.
    I really don’t care much, either.
    I do know what it’s like to be separated from everything that brings consolation, I know what it’s like to be alone, and I know what it’s like to be afraid.
    I know that without Christ I would suffer all these things and more.
    So tonight, I am removing this diversion and asking that instead of formulating the next counter argument or proof text that you pray for those kids and you pray for the presence of Jesus to be real among them.
    Maybe pray that He be real again among the rest of us too.
    Good night and God bless.