Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Baptism in the Early Church

On today's program I discussed baptismal regeneration and the early church. I went through various Patristic sources to demonstrate that there is a strong doctrine of baptism as a means for the forgiveness of sins and reception of the Holy Spirit in the early church. Here is the program.

5 comments:

David Gray said...

Of course Westminster says that baptism confers what it promises. It also strongly implies that salvation is ordinarily annexed unto baptism. And even Luther and Chemnitz don't argue that salvation is not possible without baptism. The Reformation wasn't very far apart in the first generation or two.

Jordan Cooper said...

Yes, the Westminster Confession does teach that baptism confers grace, but it does not necessarily confer it at the moment of administration, and only does so for the elect. Those differences are significant, though that strand of the Reformed tradition is much better than the purely symbolic approach that so many take.

For a Lutheran, baptism is efficacious. For a Presbyterian, baptism is often efficacious. There is assurance to be found in the Lutheran position which cannot be found in even the most sacramental Reformed approach.

David Gray said...

>>For a Lutheran, baptism is efficacious. For a Presbyterian, baptism is often efficacious. There is assurance to be found in the Lutheran position which cannot be found in even the most sacramental Reformed approach.

I'm not sure the difference amounts to much. If I look to Christ and his work on the cross in faith my baptism gives me great assurance. If a Lutheran doesn't look to Christ in faith then they should not feel any assurance in their baptism. After all you can lose your salvation under Lutheran doctrine as I understand it. If such a person repents and returns to faith then they may again look back to their baptism in faith.

Admittedly you won't find so much of what I describe in the RPCNA. A lot of modern folk who call themselves Calvinists would have substantial problems with Calvin who also approved of things like absolution during worship.

J. Dean said...

A very good and informative broadcast.

Now see, until beginning to seriously study the Reformed faith a few years back, I had no idea at all that Calvinism was anything other than merely symbolic. I had assumed that there were only three view's: Rome's, Luther's (which to be honest at the time I didn't think varied that much from Rome's) and Zwingli's. It's only been recently that I've learned that 1.) the Reformed view (non-Zwingli) has a sort of efficacious take on the sacraments and 2.) that the Lutheran view of the sacraments is significantly different than Rome's (although I'm not quite sure how the Roman "ex operate operato" is to be understood).

Joe said...

Wondering if you could have a section on you site devoted to works that you recommend reading on various topics. I know you have referenced many in the different podcasts...but thought it would be helpful if they were all in a specific section.

Thanks.

-Joe H