Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Intellectual evangelicalism and credo-baptism. Christian Brady throws out an idea


First, the blog post. Robin was commenting that he (judging by the banner pictures that are all of men) grew up in a credo-baptist tradition1, but has come to believe that rather than being “the Bible way” is, in fact, “sub-Biblical.” I want to say right away, I love that term and I intend to use it. His point is a great one.
The problem is that much evangelical theology simply makes baptism unnecessary (and this applies to many evangelicals in paedo-baptist traditions too — evangelical Anglicans, for instance, are so terrified of baptismal regeneration that they often water down NT theology too). We do it because Jesus told us to but for many of us, in our heart of hearts, we consider it an optional extra. After all, the important stuff is repentance and faith and while baptism offers testimony to God’s work in our lives we hardly need to get batised to do that.
I confess I see myself in that paragraph and I accept the critique. One of the great things of my becoming an Anglican was realizing/discovering the “mystery” of faith. The term “mystery” here is used not in the Holmesian sense, there is nothing to be uncovered and explained, but rather in the historical and theological sense of something that is known only through revelation.

There's a bit more to read at your leisure if you're inclined.  It invites a question as to what the real significance of baptism is if it consider to be a symbol of a rebirth that has already taken place.  It's not that I can't appreciate or understand that line of argument but in another way it would seem to obviate the need for baptism on any other grounds than to make a theological case of "Well, Jesus said to do it so even though we deny that there is any inherent efficacy in the action itself we gotta do it because Jesus said to and we'll come up with an explanation for it as we go." 

1 comment:

Gary said...

Maybe the Infant Baptism debate has been approached from the wrong direction. Instead of starting with our disagreements, let's start with what Baptists/evangelicals and orthodox Christians AGREE upon: All persons who believe and have faith in Christ as their Savior should follow his command and be baptized as soon as possible. Agreed?

So the next question is: Can an infant believe and have faith?

Evangelical and Baptist brothers and sisters in Christ: If I can prove to you from Scripture that infants not only can but DO believe and have faith, would you accept infant baptism as Scriptural?