Thursday, July 25, 2013

"How do I know if my child is a Christian?" A Response to the Gospel Coalition


10 comments:

David Gray said...

I think I would agree with pretty much everything you laid out here. I would add this thought, the scriptures do talk about how the heart must be circumcised, not just the flesh. The temptation is to use that knowledge to try and test the heart to see where a Christian is. That leads to the Puritans sort of hyper-introspection. In its more advanced form you get repeated prayers because you didn't mean it enough last time (me) or walking the aisle multiple times because you didn't mean it enough(a close relative). Having warned against that I think it is also possible in our lives to be indifferent to the internals of our lives and I don't think the scriptures would view that as a good thing. When you doubt look up to Christ on the cross not in at yourself.

Jordan Cooper said...

I certainly don't want to ignore the reality of the changed heart, and the fact that there are many who have been baptized who do indeed reject the Gospel. But it's the Puritan introspective approach that I am really seeking to avoid.

Jeff Johnson said...

It would have been nice if you would have talked about the role of faith.

David Gray said...

There is an interesting book I read while I lived in England by an Anglican minister who looked at the debates between Richard Hooker and Puritans like Cartwright. He compared both to Luther and Calvin and essentially concluded that in many respects Hooker was a better Calvinist than the Puritans. I think much of what gets described as Calvinism in America is better described as Puritanism. And I think often confessional Lutherans prefer to deal with Puritanism because the differences are much wider and more clear.

djk said...

Jordan, thanks for this post which I came across somewhere in the Twittersphere. This is a great discussion, and I'm writing on this at the moment, so very interested to hear your views. It struck me that your position as laid out in the clip, however, could almost be equated with a Catholic position - that there is an automatic efficacy about baptism (though I note your comment above.) Picking up Jeff's point above, what and when does faith come into a child's position before God, from your perspective? I understand Luther would not rule out the possibility that a child - even an infant - could have faith; Calvin rejects this, but talks instead of a baptized infant having the 'seeds of repentance and faith' by the Spirit. Luther, if I understand correctly, viewed faith as completing the work of baptism: 'When faith comes, baptism is complete.' ('Concerning rebaptism', Luthers Works 40: 246).

Any chance you could expand your thoughts, and any better understanding of Luther - on this? I would find that helpful.

Cheers

J. Dean said...

Well done video, Jordan. I went to the gospel coalition site and came away with the same impression you did, and I feel like this comes dangerously close to turning the evidence for justification into the grounds for justification.

EJ said...

Great video, very helpful. I recently got into a debate with my non-denominational friend about baptism. It truly amazes me that he can't take the Bible at its word that baptism saves. The debate was basically me telling him about all the verses that say baptism saves and is for forgiveness and gives us the Holy Spirit and him trying to explain them away. Your MacArthur baptism podcasts were very helpful to me and inspired me to try to convince my good friend to come to a fuller understanding of the truth and have his children baptized.

Wascally 5Point5 said...
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Wascally 5Point5 said...
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Levi Nunnink said...

I wrote a follow-up to this here: http://ln.roon.io/five-tests-five-questions-or-one-word. But I think I liked your level-headed response better. Mine's a bit hysterical.

One thing that I think is really disturbing about these tests is how condemning they are to a mentally disabled child. If I were a parent of an autistic or downs-syndrome child and I tried to apply these tests, I think I would despair.