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Monday, May 28, 2007

Two New CD's

All the Lovely Losers by Jason Gray
I am not sure how to describe the genre of this album but the style is similar to Bebo Norman. My personal favorites are Blessed Be, Weak, This Far, The Cut, Into the Mystery, and You are Mercy.

Full Attention by Jeremy Riddle
This album contains many worship styled songs--songs with simple but foundational biblical lyrics. Riddle's style sounds much like Jeremy Camp. So if you like Camp's music, then you will greatly enjoy Full Attention. My favorites are God of All Glory, Hallowed Father, Sweetly Broken, God Moves in a Mysterious Way (new format of William Cooper's old hymn), and Stand in Awe.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Should Baptism Divide Us?

Dr. Greg Wills recently lectured and fielded questions on this topic at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he teaches Historical Theology. The title of his lecture is titled, Should the Water Divide Us? Baptism, Church Membership, and the Glory of Christ. Dr. Wills addresses the following three issues related to Baptism:

1. Is immersion essential to Baptism?
2. May we admit persons to church membership and the Lord's Supper who have not been immersed?
3. Does the administrator matter?

This is a timely address considering the many debates that have recently arisen in Baptist life such as Bethlehem Baptist Church's recent move in the direction (although not adopted to date) to allow for convinced Paedobaptists to join the church, the recent moves by some Baptist churches to accept believer's who were sprinkled instead of immersed into church membership, and the recent debate regarding the new IMB Baptism policy, specifically on the issue of whether or not a baptism is legitimate if the baptizing church did not endorse the doctrine of eternal security.

I will update the post with his answers after I listen to the address today.


Question 1.
Dr. Wills argues that when we enter into a mode debate we are unnecessarily giving ground away in the debate. Wills argues that baptism is the immersion of a believer in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Therefore there is no other legitimate mode.

Question 2.
Dr. Wills argues that only those who have been properly baptized can be received into the local church membership and partake in the Lord's Supper. He says the one who has not been immersed or the one has never been baptized as a believer, or one who has misunderstood the doctrine of Baptism (those who claim Baptism is regenerative) are in unrepentant sin and therefore ought not be allowed to partake of the Lord's Supper.

Question 3.
Wills says the administrator does matter. His personal view is that the ordinances should be administered by the recognized ministers of the local church. However he does not teach the illegitimacy of a baptism administered by a lay-person if the local church approves of it. He thinks it is unwise.

Wills aptly prefaces his address by saying that Baptism is not on the same level as other doctrinal issues, but he believes the doctrine is important as all teachings of Christ are important. We should strive to submit correctly to every commandment given by Scripture.

Wills does answer a question pointed at the IMB issue. He is not personally convinced of the necessity on the policy concerning eternal security, but he does believe the IMB has the right to adopt it. Furthermore, he says that if his own church adopted the same policy, he would submit to it.