Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Study in Baptismal Regeneration: Intro

Recently a fellow blogger, who has commented on various of my posts in defense of the claim that water baptism is a prerequisite for salvation, began a series addressing the "Gift of the Holy Spirit." It seems to me, although I could be wrong, that the series is largely designed to attempt to refute my claim that the Bible clearly teaches that Cornelius and his household were saved prior to baptism in water in Acts 10. Whether my perception is accurate or not, that is certainly one conclusion articulated later in the series, which I knew would be the case, thus originally sparking my interest in the series.

Here at my blog, I'm going to go through the posts comprising this series and highlight the errors communicated therein. I will not address the entirety of the series in one post, but will instead begin a series of my own. It likely will not, however, correspond one-to-one with the posts to which I'm responding. In the meantime, I do encourage my readers to briefly check this series out (and then follow along more carefully with me as I respond in my series), because I think doing so will illustrate something important.

Many Christians hold to true biblical doctrine, but do so merely on the basis of tradition and what they've been taught, and without having carefully considered opposing views. That is, they don't critically analyze their beliefs and study Scripture carefully to ensure that their beliefs are true, and they haven't tested other views in light of Scripture. As a result, when a pair of LDS missionaries or Jehovah's Witnesses knock at the door, or when a Roman Catholic or Oneness Pentecostal friend or family member challenges them, such Christians often find themselves overwhelmed by the arguments presented to them in favor of these false views. If we have not carefully examined our faith and the cases made in support of heresies and less serious errors, and tested them all in light of Scripture, we may find ourselves led astray.

Such is the case with the study presented by the blogger. A cursory look may suggest that his arguments are sound. Having not carefully examined the case made by proponents of baptismal regeneration, and for that matter any system of salvation resulting from works of obedience, many Christians will find the blogger's case persuasive. This is why it's so critical that we take our faith and the Bible seriously, and very thoughtfully and carefully conform our world view to Scripture, and prepare ourselves to defend the faith from those who teach a false gospel.

With all that being said, before I begin my series in response, I just want to say that my prayer is that whereas this blogger and I have dialogued in less than loving ways in the past (in my opinion), in this series I will be more respectful in the way I present my argument. In the end, whether or not you come to agree with me, I hope you'll agree I was not disrespectful. Stay tuned for part 1 of my series in which we'll look at the blogger's case against salvation through "faith alone."

1 comment:

  1. Chris said, "for that matter any system of salvation resulting from works of obedience"

    That is a false premise, as all proponents of conversion at the point of water baptism teach that we are saved by God's grace alone. There is nothing we can do to earn salvation.