Wednesday, October 11, 2006

baptism, anyone?

I've been thinking about baptism lately, and I've reached a stalemate. Below is my dilemma. I'd appreciate comments, thoughts, opinions on any of the questions below - if anyone's up for it let's discuss! Coffee bible club interested? Thanks

"What I find confusing about the subject of baptism is not who should get baptised – I’m pretty confident that is open to believing adults and their children – nor what is it – it’s a covenantal sacrament, and at the very least I know it’s a good thing, with power attributed to it. The big question for me is, what happens at baptism? After pondering this question for the best part of a year I am still no clearer what the answer is. It is certainly not just a public witness of faith. That is what it’s been reduced to in some circles, but the Scriptures attribute more power to it than that. When someone is baptised, something spiritual happens. It has spiritual power. Which concludes that a baptised believer is more blessed than an unbaptised believer. That makes sense, because the Scriptures encourage us to do it. Is it not then a work? This brings us back to probably the most simple question asked of baptism today: if I am saved by grace, why do I need to get baptised?"


thebluefish said...


Join the Coffee Bible Club.

Wallace Benn recommended John Murray: Christian Baptism. Hasn't convinced me yet but is very helpful. Also Calvin is worth a look.

kenny said...

thanks dave

brecko said...

Wouldn't it be interesting to get people from all walks of the Christian faith to record what baptism has meant to them personally/ what they felt their own baptism had affected and effected?

My favourite sentence in this posting is "when someone is baptised, something spiritual happens", but I'm not sure that I am comfortable with the idea that a baptised believer is more blessed than a non-baptised believer (or anyone actually). Sun shines and rain falls on us all. Besides, grace is not one choice of many that God could have made, it is who God is. Baptised or unbaptised, we are all loved to the complete fullness of God's passion.

I found my baptism really significant in all sorts of ways. I hope there is not a 'right' answer to your question. Surely its beauty is in the individual experience of something that can be shared by so many people, and yet can feel so personal; that is layered with meaning and significance of which we can speak, but which we can never fully map out. I think I would find a collection of diverse individual testimonies much more inspiring than a dictionaried response.

pardeep said...

infAnt baptism

Little Mo said...

Isn't it enought to say that the "something spiritual" that happens is that you proclaim your new life in the way Jesus commanded?

brecko said...

I think you are right, I'm just not sure I know what that means!
Plus, doesn't that make it sound like the 'something spiritual' is our proclamation; i.e. something we do, as opposed to something we are given/ that happens to us?

kenny said...

Thanks guys, especially Pod for your profound input.
Mo, I think more happens, from Colossians 2 (and elsewhere) as Daniel says on the coffee blog. As Gilly points out I think there is blessing to be given through it rather than it being a work. And Gilly I think you've got a great point that not one believer is more blessed than the other as we're all in Christ, but yet the paradox is that baptism is still a blessed act. I also think there definitely is an objectivity to it, as well as a great subjective experience. Certainly I hope that it's not just subjective - I don't remember my baptism, but I hope that doesn't render it invalid! But I agree that a dictionaried response will not do. I think what I'm trying to figure out is some understanding of what is the objective truth of what baptism does. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm thinking about it too much.
Also Gilly, how are you?! Let's catch up!

ilona said...

Since this is a post from past months, and since your Bible Club group hasn't posted lately... I thought I would post an answer on my blog.