Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I love This Video

This is a little bit of a departure for me, but watch this.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Prayer request--The story of the strategy for getting Baby Isabella Lafferty safely from her mother's womb

I received this in an email from a reputable source.
It's a blog style prayer request and update.
I don't know what I can reaaly say that they don't say better-
Exit Strategy

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Monday, September 17, 2007

A Practical Example on Baptismal Issues

First, if you haven't done so already, read the posts on baptism below.
Then go read this. It's by a credobaptist, questioning Baptist practice on Church Membership. I'm going to checking back as well to see his follow up posts. Thanks to Dave at Rotundus for sharing it with me.

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A Note on the Baptism Posts

Just so nobody gets the wrong idea.

Recently I have posted here on baptism, and left comments on various blogs about baptism. In those comments I have tried to make it clear I consider Baptists my brothers and sisters in the Lord. As far as I can tell we do not teach a different gospel, nor do we worship a different Christ.

What my main concern has been is how we interact with each other in terms of fellowship. This then affects how we view and practice the Lord's Supper and church membership in addition to other areas of Christian life. From my perspective I understand why a Baptist holds to their beliefs and practices. But I see inconsistencies in that. If we are all brothers & sisters--why the barriers?

From their point of view I hold to inconsistencies, and some have pointed out to me we have a "two tiered membership." (For example-elders in a PCA church must hold to Presbyterian distinctives such as paedobaptism, but members do not need to-they only need a credible confession of faith.)

I have explained before that they are adding conditions not found in the Bible, by not admitting all believers into membership. Also a "two tiered membership" is Biblical as the Bible gives extra conditions and accountability to elders. (See
1 Tim 3:1-7 (& verses 8-13 speak of deacons);Titus 1:5-9; and James 3:1

James 3:1, while it doesn't mention elders, does speak about teachers-and in 1 Tim 3:2 elders are to be able to teach. The elders are responsible for the teaching in the church. (Although others may teach in some settings, the elders are still overseers of that teaching.) So when James writes, "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness" he is showing that those who teach have a higher level of accountability.

I am under no delusion that my posts will be turning all Baptists to my views, nor am I condemning them for holding those views. What I am saying is this: Even though we have some disagreements on important issues, we do agree on the essentials. That is we agree on what is needed for salvation. So let's act like that more often.

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Book Recommendation #2-Willing to Believe by RC Sproul (A repost from 2005)

Whether or not man has free will, and what free will means is often a fiercely debated topic in the church, and yet many do not know about the history of this debate, the development of various doctrines concerning it, or the implications of what they believe. Consequently they may hold to a faulty view they’ve never worked through or examined in Scripture. WILLING TO BELIEVE by R.C. Sproul is a wonderful historic survey focused on this debate. Starting with Pelagius and Augustine, (Both born in AD 354), and going up to Lewis Sperry Chafer, (Who died in 1952), he looks at major players on all sides of the debate, (And some who tried to straddle it). None of the ideas related here have totally died out, as each generation either builds on the past (For good or bad), or ignores the past and repeats its mistakes. Unfortunately some of the false views are common in the church today.

This debate is important and has consequences. As Sproul points out in the introduction, “How we understand the will of man touches heavily on our view of humanity and God’s character…Any view of the human will that destroys the biblical view of human responsibility is seriously defective. Any view of the human will that destroys the biblical view of God’s character is even worse.” The debate also involves how we view man’s depravity and God’s effectual grace.

We encounter Pelagius, Augustine, The Council of Ephesus (AD 431), John Cassian, The Synod of Orange (529), Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney, and Lewis Sperry Chafer. Sproul tracks history for us, both good and bad.

Sproul concludes by pointing out the close connection between one’s view of the fall, regeneration, and free will. They all affect each other. He praises God, who is salvation. Sproul’s approach and the historical context make it easy to follow.
It lets you sort things out for yourself.

Willing to Believe is published by Baker Book House & is 224 pages.
(Originally posted Septemebr 21, 2005)

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LOTW September 17, 2007

Well I'm back with a new "Links of the Whenever", formerly "Links of the Week"

First--since our congregation is using John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" as a basis for Christian Education, here's a link to the book online. If you don't have a copy of your own-check it out here. It's at the CCEL website, which has many classic Christian writings, there for your perusal and study. It's an excellent resource for Christians.

And on the silly side, here's a fun fan site for the 1960's Batman TV show. Just for fun.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

A Baptist Proves that Baptism is not by Immersion; well sort of

This is no ways meant to actually prove anything. But it was amusing, and has a point to think about.
A Baptist Proves that Baptism is not by Immersion; well sort of.

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Interesting Quote from an Interesting Book on Baptism

I just finished reading the book, The Waters that Divide, by Donald Bridges and David Phypers. Bridge, a Baptist minister in England, and Phypers, and Anglican wrote this book together. They didn't do it in a debate style, but co-wrote it. They presented both sides. While the paedo-baptist position ion this book is more geared to the Anglican view, it does try to cover other paedo-baptist views. (Unfortunately this book seems to be out of print.)

While the Biblical reasons are the most important reasons, their section on hostory is quite interesting and informative. The John Owen quote I provided in the post below this one isn't from this book, but I found it after trying to verify the context of a quote they use from Owen. In fact they compare Owen with Bunyan. And they come out quite similar, despite Bunyan being claimed by Baptists. This is not referred to to "prove" paedobaptism. The chapter is more in relationship to how paedobaptists and credobaptists interact and fellowship. And that is currently an active issue on the internet and in some churches.

Two of the later chapters are titled "Problems for Paedobaptists" and "Problems for Baptists." These chapters are not about problems with either view, but are about problems those with either view could face. The paedobaptist chapter does concern Anglicans more, but contained these words I found quite illuminating. After discussing how there are churches that will baptize any infant that is requested (which they both disagree with-as do I) and lament how baptisms are often done before, after or otherwise separate from the main Sunday service, they write:
If baptism is the means of entry into the church, then it should take place in the presence of the church congregation, not merely on church premises. If paedobaptism involves obligations for the church then as many church members as possible must attend baptisms that they might be aware of the obligations involved in receiving new members into fellowship. If paedobaptism is to mean anything at all to those who are baptized it must constantly nbe dispalyed before them, and its significance explained as they grow in the life of the church, but as long as baptism remains a hole-in-a-corner affair this can never be.

(Bridges, Donald & David Phypers, The Waters that Divide, Inter-Varsity Press, 1977, p. 155)

Good stuff to think about, and part of the reason I am glad our congregation has baptisms during the service and we remind the congregation of the responsibilities and we are reminded of our own baptisms--no matter what age we were baptised at.

(And if you can get a copy of the book, check it out.)

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