Showing posts with label Acts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Acts. Show all posts

Sunday, April 07, 2024

Resurrection in Acts

It may be argued that the resurrection of Christ is the single most important truth ever preached. It is the lynchpin of the Christian faith.

The Holy Lamb of God came into the world, lived a perfect life, showed us the Father and died for our sins on the cross, but if God did not raise Jesus from the dead, we have no compelling evidence of any of these things and no reason to get excited about them. Paul trumpets the critical importance of resurrection in his letters to the Romans (“He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies”) and the Corinthians (“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins”).

But we don’t have to wait for the doctrinal teaching of the epistles to understand the unique significance of Christ’s resurrection. It’s right there in the historical books of the New Testament as the central fact of apostolic doctrine, the truth that changed the world.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: A Change in the Whether

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Crawford Paul, who serves as an elder in an Ontario local church, has written a short post entitled “Consider Moving Your Prayer Meeting to Sunday”.

Tom: Now I’m not sure, Immanuel Can, how many churches in North America still have weekly meetings dedicated pretty much exclusively to prayer. It may not be a large number. Mr. Paul’s suggestion seems to be generally well received. But it does bring up the question of how much flexibility churches have in such matters, assuming we are using scripture as our guide, of course.

We might start by asking what constitutes a local church in the first place.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

So You Want to Serve God …

Dear Daniel:

I’ve been watching you for a while now. I see that you are an earnest kind of person, spiritually speaking. You are enjoying your studies, but finding them a challenge sometimes too, I know. And it’s not easy to handle a young marriage at the same time. Good for you for keeping it all in balance. That wife of yours is a saint; but then again, so are you — I mean the real definition of “saint”, not just some putatively-exemplary dead person in a cathedral window, but a person who has been genuinely sanctified by the salvation in Christ Jesus and has taken his place among all those who love God.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Doesn’t Always Mean What We Think It Means (7)

In Greek, the words “Jew”, “Jews” and “Jewish” (sometimes translated “Judean”) are all variations on Ioudaios. That term was discussed in what some might call excruciating detail in the second post in this series, the length being necessary because of confusion arising from the way “Jew” is used today in popular secular and religious parlance.

Unsaved folk often refer to Gentiles converted to Judaism as “Jews”. This is most likely an accidental byproduct of unfamiliarity with biblical usage and/or the preferences of actual Jews, as opposed to evidence of a hidden agenda. Real Jews draw a clear distinction between their fellow Jews and converts to Judaism, whom they call proselytes. (Certain well-known evangelicals also use “Jew” to describe Gentiles, but for very specific theological reasons we won’t get into today.)

Suffice it to say that the Bible doesn’t use “Jew” that way.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Mining the Minors: Amos (38)

Spiritual fulfillment is not literal fulfillment.

That doesn’t make it less important, of course. We might reasonably make the case that spiritual fulfillment of the prophetic word can be more life changing and longer lasting than its literal counterpart. Examples will follow. The point to keep before us is that the prophecies of scripture often have multiple fulfillments — or perhaps we might say that there are multiple aspects to their fulfillment.

Every prophetic fulfillment of either kind has some connection, however distant, to the work of Christ. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. But one cannot fully comprehend the scope of his wonderful work without acknowledging both the literal and allegorical ways it illuminates and resolves the sometimes-obscure utterances of the ancient Hebrew seers.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Anonymous Asks (146)

“Is it okay to take communion at home?”

As is the case with many questions about the Christian faith, the answer to this one very much depends on the motive.

On the ‘yes’ side, there is plenty of New Testament precedent for taking communion at home.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

When the Holy Spirit is Silent

We love building narratives, don’t we.

Sometimes the tales we tell each other represent reality. Other times we are simply reading our own impressions, default assumptions and prejudices into the text of scripture.

I was in a conversational Bible study recently. Our subject was Acts 15 and the “sharp disagreement” between Paul and Barnabas over whether or not John Mark, who had previously deserted them in Pamphylia, should accompany them to encourage the believers in Asia where they had planted churches and preached Christ. The disagreement, if you recall, was sharp enough that Paul and Barnabas parted ways. Barnabas took Mark and went with him back to Cyprus. Paul chose Silas and went through Syria and Cilicia.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Nothing New Under the Sun

If the shifting political and social narratives of the last several years have not convinced you that the vast majority of the general public are being lied to deliberately and repeatedly, then probably nothing will.

For myself, I am convinced that no matter the subject, just about the only story that isn’t accurate in any given news cycle is the one being told to us by politicians, corporations and media; the one which is said to be most popularly acceptable, and the one its authors are at greatest pains to preserve by censoring any contradictory information or expression of opinion that might make it less persuasive.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

David’s Covenant and the Resurrection

On Tuesday we looked at the first six public messages in the book of Acts to consider how one’s audience ought to determine the content of a gospel message, a pattern well established by the apostles in their preaching.

It seems obvious that the apostles did not simply memorize a few key points to preach about in every situation. They did not utilize a predictable series of Old Testament proof texts. They were not merely checking boxes, but responded to the needs of the particular audience to whom they were preaching.

So now here we are in Acts 13.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Gospel in Context

Ever preached from one of these?
Anybody who has browsed my Bible Study series is familiar with the conviction (not uniquely mine) that context may well be the single most significant tool for determining meaning available to English students of scripture. It has certainly been the most useful to me.

This is not about that. It’s about the importance of a different sort of context: situation and audience.

A few weeks ago Immanuel Can and I had occasion to discuss the subject of the gospel and what it actually is. The four Gospels themselves (of course) record the beginnings of the “good news”, but necessarily cannot fully elaborate on all its implications. It requires the rest of the New Testament to do that, but a very good starting point is a study of how the apostles actually preached it from the very beginning (up to and including Acts 13, at any rate, which is as far as I’ve currently gone in my study).

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Is Christianity a Religion?

Depends on your definition, doesn’t it.

As a unit of language, the word ‘religion’ has acquired so many nuances that it is almost useless. Everyone has his or her own idea of what religion means, but they often differ drastically from one another. It has become one of those words that just doesn’t really communicate much anymore.

If I ask, “Are you religious?” and you say “Yes”, I have actually discovered very little indeed about what you believe.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

His Own Place

“Judas turned aside to go to his own place.”

I have often wondered what the apostles meant by saying that Judas went to “his own place”.

I’m not the only one. For example, I’ve heard at least one Bible teacher say from the platform that the apostles (or perhaps Luke, the writer of Acts, in summing up their prayer in his own words) were sort of hedging their bets; discreetly avoiding passing judgment on Judas’ fate since they could not be 100% sure what had really happened to him. In this — or at least so it is alleged — they are modeling for us Christian virtue.

I find that explanation weak tea.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Stepping Up

“Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them …”

“Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question.”

It doesn’t always work this way in church. There are no guarantees. Sometimes the person who has done the hard work of contending for the faith in a particular area steps aside or is overshadowed by others who come along at the right time with the right gifts, experience and skill sets to be involved in the next step of any particular initiative.

And that’s okay when it happens. “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth,” says the apostle. That’s the right perspective to keep about such things.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Semi-Random Musings (15)

In the first century it was said without exaggeration that “from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him.” If you were interested in what Moses had to say, you could find out all about it in any city among the nations. Judaism was not some obscure cult religion. Its influence on the world was inversely proportionate to the relative insignificance of the Jewish people.

For the most part, it was not the conduct of the Jews among the nations that gave the Law its broad appeal and drew Gentile proselytes to it. In fact, Jews were often disliked and not infrequently persecuted.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

So You Want to Serve God …

 The most recent version of this post is available here.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

A Place of My Own

One thing is absolutely certain: we are all going someplace when we die. It may be nowhere more exciting than the digestive systems of worms and soil microbes, thereafter to be distributed throughout the earth’s ecosystem over time, but it is certainly a place. Or places, if you prefer.

Biologically, we do not choose our place. It is imposed on us. Spiritually, however, we do; moreover, we testify to the choices we have made with every daily act we perform. Death makes all choice irrevocable.

This is true even when we are not aware we are making any choice at all.

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Conspiracy Theory

I’ve been enjoying the account of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, who became the apostle Paul, the writer of many books in the New Testament. The book of Acts tells Paul’s story several times, each version bringing out new details not recorded in the others.

Atheists and detractors like to point out alleged contradictions in scripture; anything that might be interpreted, however implausibly, with sufficient elasticity as to make less than perfect, logical sense of the biblical narrative. Such things are accounted for variously as factual mistakes, copyist’s errors or conspiracies among believers to commit pious fraud. is a great place to go if you want to see the sort of thing that passes for Bible criticism among those who have already made up their minds before reading a single verse.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Quote of the Day (40)

“Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” The book of Acts begins with this question.

Jesus does not answer it directly. Instead, the Lord draws his disciples’ attention away from Israel’s earthly kingdom and redirects it to their mission promoting his spiritual kingdom in this present age. After this, he is taken up into glory.

Some read this to mean there will be no restoration to national prominence for the Jews. Others believe the restoration of the kingdom to Israel is fulfilled in the Church’s present ministry on earth.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Facts and Conjectures

The facts are these: about 57 A.D., give or take, the apostle Paul traveled to Jerusalem, where he was arrested something less than seven days after his arrival. Initially at least, he was (falsely or mistakenly) accused by the Jewish religious authorities of profaning the temple. Later he was also accused of disturbing the peace, a charge more likely to be taken seriously by the Romans than any merely religious disagreement between members of a subject people group. His Roman custodians took him first to Caesarea and finally to Rome when he made an appeal to have his case heard by Caesar himself. He was imprisoned there for approximately two years.

Contrary to what I thought as a teen and young adult, Paul did not die in Rome. Not that time at least. I had my chronology muddled for years. In any case, even if martyrdom was not the result, we can reasonably conclude these four-plus years in Roman custody were not exactly fun and games.

And they were entirely voluntary.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Real Paul and Fake Paul

Marcus Antonius Felix was the procurator of the Roman province of Iudaea between A.D. 52 and 58. Secular history tells us he was a Greek, known for his cruelty and fond of bribes. His rule was characterized by political unrest, which he put down ruthlessly. He married three times, his middle wife being a Jewish divorcee named Drusilla who died two decades later in the famous first century eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

It would not be wildly out of line to suggest Felix’s “rather accurate knowledge” of The Way was likely a direct consequence of this second marriage.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Inadvertent Agents of Blessing

A little over 600 years prior to sending his Son into the world, God began to make obvious preparations for his next step in reconciling a fallen world to himself through Jesus Christ.

These weren’t God’s first steps in his program of salvation, of course, and for the most part they were not seen as movements forward at all by those who played a part in them, but they are obvious to us in hindsight, looking back over the centuries.

After all, how would the gospel have spread so effectively throughout Europe and Asia in the first century if there had been no Judean Captivity?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Devout … and Out

Lydia of Thyatira was a devout woman, a worshiper of God. When the Lord opened her heart, she became a convert to the faith. Many devout Greeks in Thessalonica were also persuaded by the message of Paul and Silas. Titius Justus was yet another devout man. He demonstrated his nascent faith by giving Paul shelter when the apostle was opposed and reviled in Macedonia.

But not all devout people responded favorably to the gospel when it was presented to them in the first century. In Pisidian Antioch, the “devout” women served as shock troops for the Jews persecuting Paul and Barnabas.

In ideological conflicts, we call such people “useful idiots”. They believe in what they are doing, but are grossly misinformed or insufficiently attentive. They are being cynically manipulated by others.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

They Ate and Drank with Him

“God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.”

Based on his personal experience, Peter could have finished this sentence any number of impressive ways. He could have said, “God made him appear to us ... who saw with our own eyes the rolled-back stone and the empty tomb,” or “... who witnessed him perform miracles,” or “... who were shown the marks of his crucifixion in his hands and his side,” or even “... who saw him taken bodily into heaven and heard the testimony of angels about it.”

Instead, he talks about sharing food with the risen Christ: “God made him appear to us who ate and drank with him.”

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Credentialism and Truth

“As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.”

The Jewish religious authorities came teeming out of the woodwork to harass the apostles for two reasons. Primarily it was the public proclamation of resurrection through Jesus that irked them. Resurrection was a huge bone of contention for Sadducees in particular, who did not believe in it. Adding the name of Jesus to the mix, a man the authorities had only recently had put to death, only compounded the problem.

But we should not overlook Luke’s observation that they really did not like the apostles teaching the people.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

A Word of Discouragement

“If you look at most successful people, somewhere in their background there is someone cheering for them and believing in what they can accomplish,” says Harrison Barnes.

“Have you ever been in a situation where you really needed someone to just say the words ‘It will be okay’? Until you reach that point, you might underestimate the power of encouragement,” say the people at

Encouragement means believing in people, cheering for them and getting them to think positively about their chances of success at what they are doing. Or at least so goes the conventional wisdom.

Naturally I disagree, or this wouldn’t be much of a post.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Details, Details …

Hebrews says that God spoke by the prophets (and presumably to the prophets) “at many times and in many ways”. Among these methods were visions, dreams and riddles.

The apostle Peter had one such experience on the housetop of Simon the tanner while waiting for a bite to eat and praying. Luke says, “He fell into a trance.” Peter heard a voice uttering actual words (as opposed to merely receiving an impression) and saw an accompanying vision, but the end result was perplexity, not sudden clarity.

Peter had indeed witnessed something spiritually meaningful, but had yet to find the appropriate context in which to apply the instruction he had received.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

What’s Our Excuse?

We’re getting away from it now, in the kangaroo courts of Human Rights Tribunals and college campus inquisitions, but due process used to be a thing.

Built into the Law of Moses were several important procedural provisions designed to ensure that justice was done, including the oft-quoted “On the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses the one who is to die shall be put to death; a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness.” First century Jews applied this principle across the board. It was the essence of fairness.

Yet we have it on the authority of several gospel writers that in the case of the Lord Jesus, the rulebook went out the window, as it did at Stephen’s trial and in Jewish attempts to get their hands on the apostle Paul.

In first century Judea, the kangaroos were out in force.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Seems Good to Me

Elders haven’t got the easiest job in the world.

The average local church requires answers to a hundred different questions in the course of a year. Some are of an obvious and urgent spiritual nature. Others appear innocuous and procedural, though even these may be chock-a-block with hidden spiritual landmines.

Sure, deacons handle many of the day-to-day administrative details in gatherings where New Testament principles of operation are given priority, but that still leaves an awful lot of territory to be talked over, prayed through and hashed out between busy men just trying to do the best possible job of shepherding the people of God, often while caring for their own families and leading busy lives.

The most careful, prayerful, diligent and confident leader must still occasionally ask himself “Are we getting this right?” Or if he doesn’t, he should.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Truth Recycled

Novelty can be overrated.

Oh, people like to hear new things. An original twist on even the most well-worn religious theme is bound to perk up an ear or two.

One of the more remarked-on features of Jesus’ earliest ministry was that it was accompanied by demonstrations of spiritual authority. Unclean spirits fled at his rebuke. But Mark records that at least part of the excitement in Capernaum was that the Lord’s teaching was thought to be new.

And new ideas get people talking.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Quote of the Day (38)

Moira Greyland on being raised by sexually abusive parents:

“I understand why it feels so hollow to forgive: I have no problem at all with never even getting mad at what they did to me. My response is frozen in time. I cannot even begin to forgive them for what they did to other people, which is why I was able to take action against them when a child was in danger.”

Walter Breen, Greyland’s father, died in a California prison at the age of 64. He was there because of his daughter’s testimony.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

You Don’t Want To Be ‘That Guy’

I wonder what it was like for the Jews who sang David’s psalms.

I suspect a bunch of them were kind of like we tend to be. You know how you can sing a hymn 100 times and on the 101st time it suddenly dawns on you what the writer was trying to communicate.

The same words were all there before; they all meant the same thing they mean when you figure them out, but somehow you sang them over and over again from childhood without really processing them. Maybe you were reading the music and trying to figure out if you should go for that high note or drop down an octave for safety’s sake; or a kid down the pew was fidgeting and kept dropping crumbs from the cookie you wish her grandma hadn’t given her; or you were somewhere else entirely in your own head, possibly contemplating missing the NFL pre-game show.

Whatever the distraction may have been, you sang those words but didn’t register them. You missed the point.

I’ve certainly done it enough.

Monday, May 01, 2017

The Commentariat Speaks (10)

Ministers ... er ... ministering.
From the department of “If I live long enough, absolutely everything will get covered here at least once”, here is commenter Nate on the subject of women in church leadership:

“actually we [Methodists] aren’t nearly as hung up on this as you guys are. The point is ... regardless of how you can twist scripture ... women factually were leaders in the apostolic church. Yes ... including pheobe [sic] and more importantly lydia.

Not to mention Timothy’s own grandmother who paul credits.”

No scripture twisting required, but perhaps a little actual scripture reading would help.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Inbox: The ‘Stealth Pastor’

After reading our recent post on “The Role of a Senior Pastor”, David B. asks a perfectly legitimate question:

“From the ‘brethren assemblies’ perspective, what is your opinion on the ‘full time worker’?”

From any perspective, denominational or otherwise, there’s a point well worth considering here, and that is that “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. Things are what they are at their core, not merely what you label them. A garbage dump smells like a garbage dump even if you call it a Post-Consumer Product Management Initiative.

Sometimes your nose tells you what your eyes may not.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Rare In These Days

Northern hairy-nosed wombats are rare.
What was ubiquitous at one time and in one place may be exceedingly rare in others. This may be a bad thing, or a good thing ... or just a thing.

The writer of 1 Samuel notes that in the days before Samuel was called, “the word of the Lord was rare ... there was no frequent vision”.

Now, the Holy Spirit is not for a moment suggesting that the people of Israel lacked necessary direction from God for their lives, or that it was impossible to please God because nobody had the slightest idea what he wanted.

Not at all.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Inbox: Description vs. Prescription

In response to the post Is and Ought, Tertius writes:

“Long time Bible readers will make such distinctions, but perhaps not know the way to explain to others why they must be made. You have put a well packaged set of rules for interpretation and application in their hands and so are helping teachers how to teach; a much needed service to the Church.

An example or two of the common mistake of using the descriptive in the narrative in Acts as though it was prescriptive would be a useful addition.”

I agree. I think we can probably find several.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

So You Want to Serve God …

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Inbox: Timing Is Everything

God’s timing is always impeccable.

The gospel spread like wildfire in the first century precisely because God had put all the pieces in place centuries prior. As James noted when the apostles and elders gathered in Jerusalem to discuss the issue of imposing the Law of Moses on Gentiles, “from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues”.

Ironically, the fact that the whole world of James’ day had access to an obscure set of Jewish laws was a function of Israel’s disobedience.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Cause to Celebrate

I’ve always been pretty laid back. There are generations of finely-tuned English restraint in my end of the gene pool, the most obvious result of which is that I tend to be more comfortable with fairly austere, reserved modes of praise.

But people were made to celebrate. Including me.

We’ve done it all through history, in good ways and bad. Celebration seems to be hardwired into the human race, Brits notwithstanding. Whatever doesn’t come out in church comes out anywhere near a football pitch. All cultures celebrate, though it may look vastly different from one cultural setting to another.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Spirits and Spirits

The original Greek New Testament consists entirely of capital letters. It has no spaces, no punctuation, no accents or diacritical marks.

Before this morning I knew most of that, though not the bit about the capitals. There was, apparently, no functional equivalent in ancient Greek to our lower case letters, which leaves us at the mercy of translators when we try to make distinctions between concepts like “Spirit” (as in “Holy Spirit” on the many occasions when the word “Holy” is not supplied) and “spirit” (the human spirit, or possibly a spirit of another sort entirely).

I’m indebted to Tertius for many of the following thoughts …

Friday, March 18, 2016

Too Hot to Handle: A Change in the Whether

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thought Experiment #2: Light Momentary Affliction

Paul was, in his own words, a former blasphemer, persecutor and ignorant opponent of Jesus Christ.

That’s not Paul being humble. That’s simply factual.

Acts 8 tells us that before his encounter on the road to Damascus with the One he was persecuting, Saul ravaged the church, entering house after house, dragging off men and women to have them imprisoned.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Whose I Am and Whom I Serve

How do you characterize your relationship with God?

When people ask you, what do you say? How do you describe it?

Anybody can make a list, even a long list, and many have done so. But if you were addressing unbelievers and had to distill the relationship down to one or two very primary, fundamental elements, which aspects would you choose?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Fulfillment That Isn’t

God doesn’t always work exactly the same way.

Now he is consistent. He does not change his nature from one day to the next. His character is immutable. But he is also endlessly creative, as the world around us and the cosmos well demonstrate.

So when we study the Old Testament prophets we should not be surprised to find that the Lord uses consistent, repeated themes throughout history. It is in his nature. We should also not be surprised at the occasional unexpected and creative twist. That also has ample precedent.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

When the Holy Spirit is Silent

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

So You Want to Serve God ...

A more current version of this post is available here.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Debunking Baptismal Myths #5: Faith By Proxy

Tired of this yet? Me too. I promise: last one.

We’re looking in depth at a series of objections raised by one of our readers to the Protestant argument that one must be a believer to be baptized.

Two of these are specific to a single verse in Acts 16, so we’ll deal with them together. They concern the baptism of a woman from Thyatira and those of her household.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Recommend-a-blog (5)

I don’t think we’ve posted much on the subject of biblical commendation. If we have, I didn’t tag it appropriately and can’t find it now. [IC, that’s a really unsubtle cue …]

Happily, even if we fail to deliver, there remains a blogosphere. James Gibbons makes three timely and relevant observations about commendation in a post that you should read if you’ve ever thought about serving the Lord outside your own local church.

Currently, the practice of commendation is poorly understood among evangelicals and completely irrelevant in high churches.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Debunking Baptismal Myths #4: Trump Cards and Semantic Ranges

We’re looking in depth at a series of objections raised by one of our readers to the Protestant argument that one must be a believer to be baptized.

One such objection cites the words of Peter to Jews in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost right after the Holy Spirit had come upon the disciples. The sound from heaven of a mighty, rushing wind drew Jews from all around, and upon their arrival they found a group of Galileans mysteriously speaking in languages ranging from those of Mesopotamia to those of Crete and the Arab nations.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Debunking Baptismal Myths #3: Baptizing the Household

We’re looking in depth at a series of objections raised by one of our readers to the Protestant argument that one must be a believer to be baptized.

One such objection cites New Testament references to the baptism of entire households. Though there is no evidence at all to demonstrate that this involved anyone other than believing family members, it is suggested that this provides support for the practice of infant baptism.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Debunking Baptismal Myths #2: Baptism and Belief

We’re looking in depth at a series of objections raised by one of our readers to the Protestant argument that one must be a believer to be baptized.

First off, Protestants would almost universally concur with the statement that it is possible to be baptized and not be a believer. Not good, but certainly possible. It happens. Rightly or wrongly, evangelical churches vet prospective candidates for baptism quite thoroughly in the hope of avoiding that exact situation. Baptizing an unbeliever — and possibly giving him or her a false sense of security about whether he or she has actually found peace with God through faith in Christ — is something most Christians want no part of.