Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Response to JD Hall on Infant Baptism

I was joined by Daniel Price of Boars in the Vineyard to discuss a recent argument against a Lutheran view of baptism by Pr. JD Hall on his program Pulpit and Pen.

The article Hall critiqued is found here

Andrew Taylor has written a helpful three part response:

Part 1                Part 2                Part 3


DavidC said...

Re: Hall's baptism, some people who are baptized as non-believers and reenter the water post-conversion would say that they were only baptized once because they consider the first instance a mere dunking; that doesn't 'count' as a baptism. Still, if this what Pr Hall meant, he should have been a lot more transparent with Pr Price than he apparently was

Anonymous said...

I find it rather interesting that in your podcast you stated that when it came to the issue of the perseverance of the saints and you could see the arguments both ways that you went with how the church historically stood on this issue. b/c you say that the church could not have gotten it wrong for 1600 years. I suppose you would say the same thing in regards to believers only baptism. But I find a rather glaring inconsistency and that is the issue of marriage, divorce and remarriage. I am sure that you are not ignorant in regards to sharp split that the church has in regards to this particular issue. There is much debate but when one looks how the church has understood the relevant texts in regards to marriage divorce and remarriage they overwhelmingly agree expect for 1 or 2 I believe. Also, for the first 5 century’s of the church they were in 100% agreement. Yet the Lutheran church clean what God calls adultery. For the Bible and church history tells us that all remarriage after a divorce no matter what the cause of the divorce is adultery. And those have divorced are not allowed to remarry unless their spouse is dead. Below is a link of the church fathers understanding of the relevant texts.

J. Dean said...

I suggest you read Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9, which make a clear exception in the case of infidelity, given by Our Lord Himself.

Back on topic: good podcast, Jordan. And I tend to agree that there is a big exodus into confessionalism from evangelicalism. One of my worries about this, however, is that those who are doing so might not leave behind the "bad baggage doctrines" but may end up bringing them along. I've seen a great many people switch churches but not necessarily switch beliefs, and this can be undermining to a church if it's not addressed. Confessional churches need to emphasize doctrinal distinctions so as to make sure that those who enter are aware of what is preached and taught, and that the things which are at odd with confessional Christianity need to be jettisoned. Otherwise, it's introducing an unhealthy organism into a healthy body.

Jordan Cooper said...

That certainly can be the case, but in my experience, it is oftentimes lifelong Lutherans who desire to bring non-Lutheran teachings into the churches rather than converts.

R. Motsenbocker said...

I believe that Pastor Cooper has already touched on this point, but by calling all those Christians heretical who believe and teach infant baptism, Pastor Hall paints himself into a corner. Given the historical evidence, Christians were baptizing infants in the second century. Infant baptism became a normative part of Christianity soon afterwards. Infant baptism would not be seriously challenged until the emergence of the Anabaptists in the 16th century. By my reckoning, that's at least a dozen centuries which Pastor Hall would describe most if not all Christians as heretical. That doesn't even include all those Christians who have lived and believed in the practice of infant baptism since the 16th century. Baptists argue that the Lutheran doctrine of baptism conflicts with Sola Scriptura, but their opposition to infant baptism upends the history of Christianity and turns it into an apostasy, a religion where its adherents were in error for more than half its existence.

Anonymous said...

I am one of those escaping from the theological mess out there into confessionalism. I certainly can't speak for others in the same situation, but I can for my husband and myself. After hearing the simplicity and clarity of the Gospel several months ago, we wasted no time in leaving behind the garbage of many years.

So far, in talking to a few lifelong Lutherans, we've found they're a bit too open to the very things that led us away from Christ, confused the Gospel and closed the Scriptures to us. I can understand it. If you haven't experienced it and are only seeing these things from a distance, other churches (that are growing!) can appear to have a more exciting and vibrant "experience". But that's all it is in the end. An empty experience that bends you in on yourself and shipwrecks whatever faith you started with.

You might be surprised how quickly those "bad baggage doctrines" can be jettisoned just by reading whole books of the Bible and finding a confessional church preaching law, lawfully and proclaiming the Gospel of Christ, and Him crucified for the forgiveness of sins. Once we heard the Gospel proclaimed in it's clarity and simplicity without the bait and switch of throwing the Law back on top, now we can't get enough. We're like children: "Tell me the story again."

Anonymous said...

I do hope you respond to his rebuttal to this program. He just keeps mischaracterizing the Lutheran position.

Anonymous said...

J. Dean,

With all do respect, I suggest that you read those texts as well. The ECF applied the exception only to the divorce not the remarriage. Grammitly the prepositional phrase modifies only the first verb phrase thus granting an exception to divorce but not remarriage. The church was unamious on this. Also, dont forget, the ECF spoke, thought, wrote and dreamed in Koine greek better than any greek scholar today. I suggest you copy and paste the link that I posted in my first post. Also, might I suggest that you read "Jesus on Divorce by william heth. Its an excellant work done by a scholar that seeks to be objecive as possible.