Above: Ambrogio Borgognone da Fossano (1453-1523), Ordination of Augustine of Hippo. A friend recently recommended Archibald Boyd’s Episcopacy, Ordination, Lay Eldership, and Liturgy: F…
Must the answer to every question, simply depend on who is giving the answer? And yet, even if this be granted concerning them that are of the world, ought this to be the case concerning them that are in the Church? These are the questions one often grapples with, when he is presented with two different answers to one and the same question, like, Who should be baptized?
On the one hand, while the Baptist tradition teaches that those who profess faith in Jesus Christ are the only proper candidates for baptism, the Reformed strictly maintain that not only those that do actually profess faith, but also the infants of believing parents are to be baptized. The problem here is that both camps appeal to the Bible in support of their respective positions; both sides appeal to the same passages of Scripture to substantiate their conclusions! Despite their fundamental…
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Defending the Conclusion
Ecclesial Continuity Not Enough
At this point it may be objected by our Baptist brethren that acknowledging the continuity of the Church does not necessarily require us to acknowledge the continuity of the sacraments, nor of their application, seeing that the sacraments of the Church are simply the outward expressions of the particular economy under which the Church operates during a given dispensation, and concerning which the Church has in fact, experienced a great and significant alteration. Upon these grounds, it is supposed that there emerges a critical point of discontinuity in precisely the wrong place for those who advocate the baptism of covenant children.
In response, and with all due respect of course, we might begin by acknowledging any common ground existing in the objection itself, thereby affirming what ought not be denied; namely, that the sacraments of the Church are in fact outward expressions whose…
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Sacramental Continuity; Unto You & Your Children
Of all the passages which are brought to the table in favor of sacramental continuity, there is perhaps none more critical than Acts 2:37-39. The context of this passage was that great, foretold, historical occurrence of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which would bring about the supernaturalrebirth and expansion of the Church – thereby confirming the finished work of Jesus Christ in his death, resurrection, ascension and coronation as God’s messianic King.
This multifaceted event was to mark the critical transition point in covenant history, in that the coming of the Holy Spirit, had been prophetically tied to the last days of the Old Testament economy (Joel 2:28-32) and consequently to the inauguration of the New Covenant era. In this era, Gentiles would now be universally summoned by the promise of the gospel, and engrafted into the Church of Jesus…
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As Christians, we all profess belief in the resurrection of the body. Even though we all will meet death and will be laid in the grave, we all are confident that a day is coming when the trump of God shall sound, and the dead in Christ shall rise. We will rise from the grave.
But what exactly do we mean by the word “resurrection”? This is a question which should be carefully pondered by all Christians, because it is a question which points us to our future hope, our hope of wholeness and immortality in the blessed presence of Christ. Today, I hope to shed some light on the nature of our future resurrection. But to begin, I think it is very important for us to understand what the resurrection is not.
First of all, we need to understand that we will not be resurrected as mere spirits…
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The great Saints of the Orthodox Church believed that the Scriptures are very clear, and that much of what they say can be clearly understood simply by reading them. They frequently relied directly on the text of Scripture, and they believed that their audience had the ability to understand the clear teachings of Scripture.
Of course, that does not mean they embraced Sola Scriptura.
They did not rely on Scripture alone.
For the first few centuries, Christians did not have a full understanding of which books belonged in Scripture, and which books needed to be excluded. And the Scriptures they did have, they interpreted in accordance with the Faith they had received from the Apostles and their successors, the bishops. They did not follow Scripture alone.
Unfortunately, some people go too far the other way, almost suggesting that we should follow Scripture-hardly-at-all. They think most people have little hope of interpreting Scripture correctly, so they believe we should predominantly…
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