by David and Tim Bayly on August 30, 2004 - 9:46am
In response to my post, No, Virginia, the Bible is not politically correct..., Joel Martin comments:
I'm completely unsurprised by this. The Neutered International Version has always been a vehicle for an Evangelical, zeitgeistian agenda. It's an attempt to eliminate the glaring theological problems of Evangelical Protestantism by erasing them from Scripture. The rationale is obvious: if Evangelicalism doesn't match the Bible, make the Bible match Evangelicalism. So why are we surprised to find it once again retranslated to further an unBiblical agenda?
This line (from your post, No, Virginia...) struck me: "At the time, the NIV was the Bible translation standard of the Bible-believing, English-speaking world, so it was the efforts to modernize this particular translation that were our focus."
Making the NIV the standard for the "Bible-believing, English-speaking world" is right up there with making the New World (JW) "translation" the standard. The NWT eliminates the Trinity and other un-JW-like doctrines by retranslating, and hoping the reader won't ever check the Greek. The NIV does the same with concepts from Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox and other Traditional churches, to make it appear that the popular Evangelical Protestantism is really the Christianity of the Bible. It's written in order to make Catholicism, et. al. irrelevant. This way, those Christians can be dismissed as not "Bible-believing." After all, if it's in the NIV, it's in the Bible. Which is why the first line was a trigger for me. There are more Bible-believers who use the NAB (the standard English Catholic translation) than the NIV. But the NIV mentality makes it easier to draw a boundary between us and the "real" Bible-believers, because we don't believe in the "real" NIV Bible.
Okay, being a Papist, I'm more sensitive about the NIV than most. But the NIV's popularity has the effect of stifling inquiry into what the Bible means. It prevents the reader from asking troublesome questions about teachings like Sola Scriptura, the primacy of Peter, sacramental theology, and the like. Most Protestants don't agree with me on these questions; so be it. But we should all be afraid of a Bible translation surreptitiously reworded to interpret itself according to an agenda. Once that became acceptable, it was a short step to gender-inclusiveness and other false interpretations. Here we go down the slippery slope.
First, I largely concur with your estimation of the merits of the NIV itself--and not simply the NIVI and its progeny. Until I got involved in this battle I was not aware of the NIV's inaccuracies. As time went on, though, I found that I could no longer use the NIV because my eyes were opened to the exact thing you mention: namely, that the sex-neutering of the NIVI is only the logical extension of a translation philosophy (dynamic equivalence) that had already gone far down the road of corrupting any number of texts in the NIV itself.
As to whether the NIV is specifically anti-Roman Catholic, I have no doubt there are places where it is, although I question your mention of the Protestant/Roman Catholic division over sola scriptura and the primacy of Peter as examples of such.
On the other hand, I know the NIV is biased concerning the Sacraments, and not in an anti-Roman Catholic direction, either. I'm a presbyterian holding to infant baptism and some time back there was an interesting article...
by David and Tim Bayly on September 26, 2005 - 12:18pm
Noticing the blistering and non-blistering attacks of Baptists being sustained by John Piper and his elders in response to their proposal to allow those baptized as infants to join their church without being required to be rebaptized as adults by immersion only, it occurred to me that it would be good to place this letter up on our blog as a means of defending John and his fellow elders. Of course I realize that Baptists feel betrayed by John's actions in a way that I, as a paedo-baptist, cannot identify with because I think they're wrong, biblically and theologically.
But the issue I want to address is the refusal of Christians who disagree over this matter to worship and live in love together within a local church when they do so in many other contexts including seminaries, conferences, larger church meetings (general assembly worship and communions services, etc.), and so on. We, the elders of Church of the Good Shepherd, believe this dishonors God and often is a refusal of believers to obey the biblical imperative of unity within the Body of Christ.
So from our founding almost a decade ago, Church of the Good Shepherd has been in every way (structure, officers, constitution, bylaws, etc.) a Presbyterian Church of America congregation with one critical exception: we allow our officers freedom of conscience in time and mode of baptism. This one exception means that, although I am myself a member of the PCA (Ohio Valley Presbytery), our congregation is not allowed to join the denomination because about half the men serving as teaching and ruling elders are credo, not paedo-baptists. In other words, they believe that the sign of the covenant ought not to be placed on children of believers.
Now, here's the scandal. I think credo-baptists are wrong, biblically; and I have no difficulty sharing with them the shepherding of our congregation and united worship services each Lord's Day. We disagree over this matter and we live together in unity.
There are any number of objections that will be made to our commitment by our good readers, I'm sure, but I think the following letter will anticipate many of them. And the ones not anticipated here may be taken up below.
Here, then, is the letter of response written to a former PCA ruling elder...
by David and Tim Bayly on February 1, 2006 - 5:23pm
Last night we began studying the life of Jonathan Edwards at the Reformed Evangelical Pastors College. We're using Iain Murray's biography as our text, supplementing it with selections from Edwards himself, as well as Philip Gura's quite helpful, Jonathan Edwards: America's Evangelical (2005) and George Marsden's, Jonathan Edwards: A Life (2003).
I've particularly appreciated Gura's careful explanation of the family, community, and theological context of the development of the halfway covenant in New England. As a result of his work, for the first time I think I have some understanding of the many different pressures brought to bear on Edwards as he began to oppose the halfway covenant and found himself caught up in a conflagration within Northampton which led a short time later to what many saw as his ignominious departure from his congregation after over two decades of faithful work there.
One question at the center of the halfway covenant was what to do with the children of parents who, while they themselves had grown up in a Christian home with fathers and mothers who had a testimony of a work of grace in their own lives, had no such testimony themselves and consequently had not sought admission to the Lord's Table. So when they, in turn, had their own children, the question was whether their children ought to be admitted to the Sacraments? Or, to put it crassly, can we properly speak of covenant grandchildren?
In that connection, I was reminded of a letter I read some time back written by John Calvin in response to a series of questions he'd been asked by John Knox. One question in particular bears closely on this matter. Edwards records Knox's question as follows:
It is not without reason that you inquire whether it be lawful to admit to the sacrament of baptism the children of idolaters and excommunicated persons before their parents have testified their repentance.
So that our readers may have something of the context for Calvin's answer, you'll find the entire letter reproduced below...
by David and Tim Bayly on September 19, 2006 - 8:34am
In the comments section, "Pastor TA" asks a good question: Why does a PCA covenant child have a godfather?
David and I have always been very close to our cousin, John DeWalt, who never had children of his own. Since Mary Lee gave birth to Michal at home three days after Christmas, John was able to hold Michal in his arms within minutes of her birth. It was love at first sight and John, also a Presbyterian, asked if he could be Michal's godfather? Of course we said "yes."
What a godfather he's been--a gift from God in every way! He's challenged Michal's thinking, cultivated her creativity, pushed her academically, helped her financially, preached to her, given her regular Scripture memorization assignments, sent her gifts (including his old MR2), prayed with and for her ...and the list goes on. Michal heard from John by mail at least once a week throughout her childhood, and she saw him in person usually twice a year. (John often joined the extended Bayly family for our Christmas celebrations and summer vacations).
Still, I'd been taught well enough to have twinges of conscience over Michal having a godfather. Then I purchased a set of Calvin's letters and came across the following response by Calvin to a letter he'd received from John Knox on 27 August 1559 inquiring "whether it be lawful to admit to the sacrament of baptism the children of idolaters and excommunicated persons before their parents have testified their repentance."
Here Princeton Seminary professor Samuel Miller presents the presbyterian understanding of the efficacy of baptism:
But it may be asked, what kind or degree of efficacy do
as connected with baptism? Do they suppose that there is any beneficial
physical or moral, in all cases, connected with the due
administration of this
sacrament? I answer, none at all. They suppose that the washing
with water in this
ordinance is an emblem and a sign of precious benefits; that
it holds forth certain
great truths, which are the glory of the Christian covenant, and the joy of the
Christian's heart; that it is a seal affixed by God to his covenant with
whereby he certified his purposes of grace, and pledges his blessing to all who
receive it with a living faith; nay, that it is the seal of valuable
privileges, even to those who are not then, or at any other time,
of the Spirit;" that, as a solemn rite appointed by Christ, it is
make a solemn impression on the serious mind; but that when it is
the persons, or the offspring of those who are entirely destitute of
is no pledge or certainty that it will be accompanied with any
They receive the water, but not the Spirit. They are
the visible church, but not into the spiritual body of Christ, and are,
after before, like Simon the Sorcerer, "in the
gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity" (Acts 8:23).
by David and Tim Bayly on November 18, 2007 - 8:32pm
(Tim) It may be helpful to read this post and the comments that follow in order to make sense of my response to this question put to me by J. Pirschel: “If you had a member of your church who professed faith and was in good standing and they died, would you withhold calling them ‘Christian’ because of the ‘maybe’ of election?”
I answer, no. Scriptural promises are bound to baptism, professions of faith, covenant family membership, and covenant obedience, and those promises are given for our comfort in the valley of the shadow of death.
Yet when we apply those promises pastorally, we must beware of doing so in such a way that we silence the Word of God.
How to work this out in the death of an unborn child, infant, toddler, adolescent, adult, or even a pensioner is a matter of pastoral wisdom and judgment. In the case of children of the covenant who have never demonstrated an ongoing rejection of covenantal obligations, it is our privilege to apply covenant promises.
To claim those promises, though, is not to say that our ministry should be devoid of statements of God’s sovereign prerogatives with respect to children of the covenant. Here we get back to Jacob and Esau...
…Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed… For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him. (Genesis 18:18,19)
(Tim) When the Lord entered into a covenant with Abraham, He was pleased for that covenant’s fulfillment to be dependent upon Abraham “command(ing) his children and his household… to keep the way of the Lord….” Still today, it pleases God to use means to accomplish his will, and he has declared the Church should be built up, instructed, and guarded by men—not angels. Where those men are missing or their work is soft and effeminate, the Church has suffered the removal of her vital manhood; she has been emasculated. (n. 1)
When we speak of the emasculation of the church, though, we are not saying she has been robbed of her Bridegroom nor that her adoptive Father has cast her out of his household. Christ is “faithful over God’s house as a son” (Hebrews 3:6 RSV), (n. 2) and we have his promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against her. So then, the Church can never be emasculated in any definitive sense, even though her officers may be characterized by a womanly softness and sentimentality.
Such, though, is the church of our time. About twenty years ago I heard Elisabeth Elliot Gren say, “The problem with the church today is that it’s filled with emasculated men who don’t know how to say ‘no’ to a woman.” At the time, I was floored by Elliot’s audacity, but now I realize she was guilty of understatement. Christian men today have a problem saying “no” to almost anyone—not just women. Preachers, elders, and Sunday school teachers place an overwhelming emphasis on the positive and have an almost insurmountable aversion to the negative.
In the mid-eighties, my father was asked to represent the pro-life side at a campus-wide dialogue on abortion held at the Stupe, Wheaton College’s student union. He began his presentation with the statement, “I am not here to represent the pro-life, but the anti-abortion side of this issue..."
by David and Tim Bayly on November 6, 2008 - 1:18pm
(Tim) Jake Mentzel bought Mark Driscoll's new booklet and reports Tim Keller has waved his magic wand and Mark's now walking around in a trance repeating Tim's mantra: "A woman can do anything an unordained man can do." I'm disappointed.
But really, it shouldn't be too much of a surprise. When they hang out with each other, either Mark's going to rub off on Tim or Tim's going to rub off on Mark. And ninety-nine out of a hundred times, I'd have my money on Tim.
(Tim) Recently, I've done some reading on the teaching of Scripture concerning children who die early in life, whether in the womb, at birth, or before the age at which they are able properly to discern the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ--to examine themselves as they come to His Table.
First, we have to admire the single-mindedness of the Roman Catholics. Although the doctrine of limbo is widely reported to be on life support at the Vatican right now (and I'm sure abortion has played a key role in bringing it into question), we can see they acted on principle in their manufacture of this dogma. (And yes, despite their efforts to deny it, this doctrine has been dogma until now.)
From conception, children are corrupted by Adam's sin; therefore children, too, need to be saved from that corruption if they are to enter Heaven; baptism washes off the corruption of original sin, saving a man; children who die in the womb are not baptized; therefore, children who die in the womb are not saved. Thus such statements as these...
(Tim) We are examining the teaching of Scripture concern matters related to the state of the souls of children of believers who die in the womb, as infants, or as very young children. And in the course of this discussion, under the first post in this series, Pastor Dave Curell made reference to Calvin’s comments on 1Corinthians 7:14. For the record, here are Calvin’s comments pertinent to this discussion. There’s a reason Calvin is widely recognized as the prince of exegetes. No one comes close to his precision and judicious restraint in explaining Scripture.
After Calvin's comments, we'll pick up our theme as it is opened up by God's Covenant promises and work.
First, then, the text, followed by Calvin's explanation.
And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy.(1Corinthians 7:13, 14)
Verse 14: "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified."
Paul therefore declares here, that marriage is, nevertheless, sacred and pure, and that we must not be apprehensive of contagion, as if the wife would contaminate the husband....
(Tim) Our spam filter has been acting up again causing legitimate comments to be thrown into a spam bin where, in thirty days, they die if David or I don't go in and browse the smut to see if there's some treasure. You can imagine that browsing the smut is, for us, not something we want to do. So that, combined with time constraints, means we are late to find those treasures. And that means when we do find the treasures and post them, often they're so late to the queue that they don't show up on the "Recent Comments" column of the blog's main page. So, you'd have to be reading old comments for the fun of it to find them.
Sad state of affairs, isn't it?
All this to point your attention to a couple comments you don't want to miss, both toward the bottom of the page. One is by Eric Rasmusen who, grieving the loss of his parents and nine-year-old daughter, Lizzie, last month, wrestles with the question of Scripture's teaching on the eternal destiny of children of believers...
(Tim: this from Pastor Dave Curell on the ClearNote Fellowship Blog)
...There’s always that one guy who not only attacks the morality of
the film, but also claims an absolute authoritative
understanding of what is morally acceptable. He doesn't simply imply
that, in his view, something is right or wrong, but he claims his view is the authoritative view. And by this piece of chutzpah,
he becomes the worst of the killjoys—the dogmatic one. Why? Because his
conviction calls into question every piece of entertainment we consume. Nothing's sacred or safe any longer. Seriously, if he casts down Avatar, won’t Star Wars soon fall along with
Christians hate such killjoys. They're cosmic bummers.
by David and Tim Bayly on August 21, 2010 - 12:08pm
Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live. (Deuteronomy 30:6)
(Tim) In 1Corinthians 3:4 ff. the Apostle Paul is rebuking the Corinthians' party spirit. Different factions of the congregation were lined up behind this or that minister of the Gospel using this or that man to get a leg up on their opponents. So the Apostle Paul has the dicey job of defending his own apostolic authority and doctrine, honoring the beautiful feet of ministers of the Word while also opposing the hero worship at the heart of the Corinthian division.
He ends up saying, on the one hand, that ministers of the Gospel are the means by which God's people come to faith in Jesus Christ; but on the other hand, that ministers of the Gospel are nothing. So it's both ministers are God's chosen instrument and ministers are nothing.
For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?
What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. (1 Corinthians 3:4-7)
See the careful footwork?
Ministers are "servants through whom (the Corinthians) believed." Ministers are servants who "planted" and "watered as "God caused the growth." And...
Ministers are not anything (which is another way of saying ministers are nothing).
Our hearts are filled with love for the ministers of the Gospel who planted and watered so we might hear and believe the Good News, and be saved. But immediately, the faithful minister, the Apostle Paul, the Holy Spirit reminds us ministers are nothing at all. It is always God Who gives us the opportunity and causes the growth.
Now stick with me, here. I know it all seems so very obvious as not to need any comment, but follow the logic here, carefully.
by David and Tim Bayly on September 22, 2010 - 7:50am
(Tim) Here's a helpful article demonstrating how we should think and believe concerning the children of believers who, by faith, are marked by the Covenant sign of baptism, today, as Abraham marked the members of his household with the Covenant sign of circumcision, yesterday. At the heart of much controversy in the Church is the question, "What are we to think about the souls of our children who die in the womb or infancy...
Now since this charge is expressly given to the apostles along with the preaching of the word, it follows that none can lawfully administer baptism but those who are also the ministers of doctrine. When private persons, and even women, are permitted to baptize, nothing can be more at variance with the ordinance of Christ, nor is it any thing else than a mere profanation. - Calvin on Matthew 28:16-20
Increasingly, the session of ClearNote Church of Bloomington has been receiving applicants for membership who have been baptized by Cru girlfriends, their parents, a parachurch aquaintance, or almost anyone other than a church officer administering the Sacraments as a fulfillment of his office.
We've worked through this carefully, finally coming to the conclusion that baptisms done privately by friends and relatives are not true baptisms. There are many issues, here, and the arguments are long and involved, but at the end of it there was no doubt in our minds that the Sacraments are given by our Lord to the Church--not to individuals and families--and that to be a fulfillment of our Lord's commands, they must be administered by the officers our Lord has called and set apart to lead His Church.
Sitting in presbytery ordination exams, many times I've heard the question, "What is the proper mode of baptism?" The required answer, of course, is "sprinkling," and that's what most every candidate says. Then the candidate is asked this follow-up question: "Will you baptize by immersion if asked to do so?" Well-schooled candidates respond with this shibboleth, "Well, I suppose an unusual situation could arise in which I would be willing to do so, but sprinkling is the proper mode and I would only deviate from that mode for an extraordinary reason." Some overzealous men, though, win brownie points by responding, "No and never! Live presbyterian or die!"
Presbyterians and baptists bickering with each other like teenage girls--that's what this presbytery ritual is all about. Assuming raising Covenant children is not the only form of evangelism presbyterians are doing in our day, we can expect adult baptisms in our work and in most of those cases it's our practice to immerse...
Some noticed my comment under another post, that I do not think men should place their children, wives, or themselves under the care of Lutheran pastors and churches, today. Why not?
Principally because modern Lutherans administer, teach, and write about the Sacraments in a way that leads tender souls to trust in the ritual and the elements rather than Jesus Christ. Here's the opening paragraph from a Concordia Publishing House pamplet distributed at no cost in the foyers of Missiouri Synod Lutheran churches around the country. Titled "What About Holy Baptism," it opens with this paragraph:
Suppose for a moment that there was a doctor who had such incredible talent that he could prevent people from dying, and bring those who had died back to life, never to die again. Just imagine how people would do whatever they could to be treated by this doctor! Now consider that in Holy Baptism, God actually does give us the gift of eternal life! Let's learn more about this marvelous blessing. (The pamplet goes on to make statements about the connection between "the Word" and the water, and once or twice faith is mentioned, but the first paragraph is an accurate representation of the whole.)
This is sacramentalism and it destroys souls. Yet sacramentalism is foundational to much of Christendom today. It permeates Lutheranism, Anglicanism, Episcopalianism, and Roman Catholicism, and it is connived at by many Reformed and Presbyterian denominations and pastors. In fact if we're honest we'll admit that the sacramental error is cheek-by-jowl next to every Biblical practice of infant baptism, bedeviling paedobaptist churches just as the sacramentalism of decisional regeneration bedevils credobaptist churches.
It is never, ever right to lead the souls under our care to believe that Baptism saves us...
This article by Dad (Joe Bayly) was published in his monthly column, "Out of My Mind," which ran for twenty-five years in Eternity magazine. Originally published in December 1966, the article was titled, "Is There a Parallel Between Infant Baptism and Early Decisions for Jesus?"
* * *
Have you ever considered the possibility of a parallel between infant baptism or "confirmation," on the one hand, and early "decisions for Christ" on the other?
Most of us evangelicals fear an act of religious formality early in life that may be trusted in the absence of conversion. “Of course I’m a Christian—I was confirmed at the age of twelve” rings an alarm in our minds. But “Of course I’m a Christian—I raised my hand in a children’s meeting” doesn’t set off the same alarm.
Some parents and teachers go even further, trying to convince the doubting teen-ager that he’s really a Christian, because “you asked Jesus to come into your heart in the primary department.” Assurance comes from the adult who remembers an act, rather than from the Spirit who may—or may not—indwell the life.
Under another post, a longtime reader named Jay asks a question that seems worth answering on the main page.
* * *
Answering a question like this by writing rather than in person is very difficult, pastorally. How can I show you I love you and am very concerned that you know the mercy of God for your particular set of temptations, especially in a time and place when any condemnation of sodomy is seen as at least shrill, and likely smug, insensitive, and grounded in self-righteousness, to boot?
Still, I will work to answer you because you say others are unwilling to do so, and because you are a precious soul belonging to the Lord of us all Who bought us each with His Own Blood and has called us to be holy as He is holy. If you want, I can put you in touch with those struggling with your particular set of temptations who are a part of our church here in Bloomington and you may ask them if what I write here is from love or censoriousness? You may ask whether you’d find our church to be loving of all regardless of their particular besetting sin, or loving only of those with more acceptable besetting sins?
So on to the difficult work others have avoided.
You wrote, “I would not consider myself heterosexual at all. Is being straight a requirement?”
Let’s clarify the question. The opposite of straight is gay, so another way of asking the question would be, “My psychological and emotional identity and inclinations are completely homosexual, so can I be give in to them as long as I don’t go all the way?” Or another way of saying it would be, “May I give myself to gayness rather than straightness in everything but physical intercourse, and will this please God?”
The Wisconisn Evangelical Lutheran Synod sees the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and raises them one. Or maybe ten.
In my former home of Pardeeville, Wisconsin, the WELS congregation was the dominant religious presence in town. When they called a new pastor, Mary Lee and I decided to invite him with his wife and children over for dinner. After a cordial introduction, we sat down at the table and I turned to him and said, "I've heard lots of things through the years, but let me ask you directly: do you pray, do I pray, or do we not pray at all?"
He answered, "You go ahead and pray and we'll sit by," and immediately his good wife turned to their children and said, "We're going to pray; fold your hands and close your eyes." God bless her.
We had a pleasant evening. During the conversation the WELS pastor told us his grandmothers was a godly Baptist and that he didn't pray with her, either...
But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. - Galatians 4:26
Until believers understand that Scripture teaches the Church is our mother; and that, as Cyprian and Calvin put it, the man who won't have the Church as his mother may not have God as his Father; until then, parachurch religious organizations like InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Navigators, and Campus Crusade for Christ International will continue to hold pride of position in college and university communities, devouring the lion's share of mission giving and prayer flowing to those communities from congregations around the country. And this is tragic...
A blog calling itself "Thinking Christian" with a commendation by Josh McDowell featured prominently doesn't bode well for the state of critical thinking in the church today. Josh has done fine work but he's far from state of the art in the discipline Harry Blamires outlines in his little classic, The Christian Mind (which if you haven't read, you certainly should).
So my hopes weren't high when I started reading the post by blog-owner Tom Gilson titled "Is Campus Crusade Falling Away from Christ?" Gilson works as a "strategic planner" for Campus Crusade for Christ International, so this is an institutional voice speaking, here.
The piece demonstrates the depth of thought and BIblical discernment that, in my observation, has always characterized Cru. Their men seem incapable of receiving substantive criticism or instruction without responding superficially, always telling us their intentions are perfect and God is blessing them with trillions of souls "trusting Jesus."
The superficiality makes sense, though, if you consider that, over the course of years, a man comes to resemble his dog...
There's been an exchange concerning Cru/Campus Crusade for Christ International and parachurch organizations over at a blog hosted by First Things. Here's my latest comment. Really, someone should write a book...
by David and Tim Bayly on August 21, 2011 - 5:45am
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19, 20)
My wife, mother, and I are in Bristol, VA, one week before the race for something infinitely more important: the baptism of my niece and nephew, Frances and David Bayly, upon their confession of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Pastor John Dawson and the church session granted me the privilege of administering the Sacrament later today at a worship service of Abingdon Presbyterian Church that will be held creekside near Pavilion D at Chapel Bridge in Steele Creek Park.
If you're in the area, we'd love to have you join us! The baptism will be under the bridge at 1:30 PM. (TB)
by David and Tim Bayly on October 20, 2011 - 8:18am
Here's a revealing, Biblically inaccurate interview with another in a long line of Evangelical intellectuals who felt that repudiating--really, really repudiating--their Baptist roots required them to turn to the Roman Catholic heresy. Honestly, what's with these guys? Can I see the hand of a man--just one man--who repents of his parachurch, Baptist heritage without becoming a Sacramentalist (you know, ex opere operato and all that), and then a full-blown Roman Catholic?
This is why I've said to my F-V sympathizing friends that we have to find a way to innoculate our parachurch, Baptist brothers against feeling the need to take the most radical step possible to put the faith of their childhood behind them.
First they embrace infant baptism, and that's not enough; then it's the smells and bells of...
by David and Tim Bayly on January 1, 2012 - 7:09pm
This post is by Pastor David Wegener who is back in the States for the year on home assignment for Mission to the World. David serves the Theological College of Central Africa in Ndola, Zambia as a Bible, theology, and church history lecturer, and Academic Dean. David and his wife, Terri, will return to Zambia this coming summer. Their presence fills all of us with joy. (TB)
* * *
This morning we had a baptism of infants at Clearnote Church, Bloomington, and, since Tim was out of town, I conducted that part of the service. I began with a brief explanation of how we have those who hold to believer’s-only baptism and those who are paedobaptists in our congregation. Then I told a story readers of this blog may find humorous...
by David and Tim Bayly on January 2, 2012 - 4:10pm
Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, “faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness." How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised?
Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised; and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them, and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised. (Romans 4:9-12)
One reader commented under another post: "Another interesting argument I came across recently from John Piper: When the New Testament church debated in Acts 15 whether circumcision should still be required of believers as part of becoming a Christian, it is astonishing that not once in that entire debate did anyone say anything about baptism standing in the place of circumcision. If baptism is the simple replacement of circumcision as a sign of the new covenant, and thus valid for children as well as for adults, as circumcision was, surely this would have been the time to develop the argument and so show that circumcision was no longer necessary. But it is not even mentioned."
My response: Weak argument although I'll take John Piper over John MacArthur any day when it comes to arguments against paedobaptism...
Looking for a church home in Toledo, Bloomington, or Indianapolis? We'll put up a post about Christ the Word soon, but much of what is said here about Clearnote Church Indianapolis and Clearnote Church, Bloomington is characteristic of Christ the Word, Toledo, also.
It's hard to move and have to find a new church home. All of us have done it and those of us a part of Clearnote Fellowship want to make your work a little easier by telling you why we love our Clearnote churches in Bloomington and Indianapolis. So read on and spend a little time learning about the work God is doing within Clearnote Fellowship.
First, a few words about our doctrine and denominational roots. If this stuff isn't your brand of coffee, click through and start reading about our ministries.
Doctrinal and denominational roots...
The roots of Clearnote Fellowship are deep into the Presbyterian Church in America: I've served as a teaching elder of the PCA in Wisconsin and Indiana for almost twenty years; six of Clearnote Church, Bloomington's elders have been members of PCA churches; son Joseph Bayly who pastors Clearnote Church, Indianapolis was a part of the PCA's campus ministry (RUF) and attended a PCA congregation while studying at Vanderbilt; we have referred many families moving away from Clearnote Church, Bloomington to PCA congregations across the country; and several sons of our church now serve as PCA pastors.
This to say the people of Clearnote Fellowship have decades of experience as members and officers of the PCA, so those of you moving and looking for a PCA church in Bloomington or a PCA church in Indianapolis will find the congregations of Clearnote Fellowship to be spiritual homes where you and your children will thrive. Come and visit our Bloomington or Indianapolis congregations...
Those following the doctrinal battle of the past couple of years within the PCA's Northwest Presbytery were surprised to see a pastor of that presbytery, Jason Stellman, announcing a couple days ago that he's renounced his ordination vows. He says he has embraced two of Rome's dogmas: that the Word of God is subordinate to the Church's tradition, and that infusion is right and imputation wrong. In other words he has publicly repudiated sola Scriptura and sola fide.
It's important to note that Mr. Stellman has been at the center of his presbytery's doctrinal battle as prosecutor of his fellow presbyter, Dr. Peter Leithart, for heresy. Mr. Stellman's work was completed when the court acquitted the accused. Now the accuser himself has embraced some of the very errors he was opposing in his prosecutorial work.
The two things cannot be unrelated, and while the precise nature of that relationship is known only by God, it would be foolish not to look for warnings we may take from this train wreck. Since Rome's heresies lead to apostasy, wise men will examine the paths of those who have fallen for indications of what we must avoid if we are to persevere to the end.
That said, nine days before Mr. Stellman embraced Roman Catholic doctrine, the acquitted posted a short piece saying he is too catholic to embrace Roman Catholicism. In that piece Dr. Leithart summarized his opposition to Rome...
Doug Wilson has a good post distinguishing between historic Evangelicalism (the kind Edwards and Lloyd-Jones and Iain Murray represent) and three-ring circus Evangelicalism (the kind Billy Graham and Robert Schuller and Wheaton represent). Coming at the issue through his own father's commitment and gifting for evangelism, Doug's post hammers one point and hints at another--both of which are critically important.
First, the billions of decisions for Christ claimed by the evangelists of three-ring Evangelicalism do not bear the fruit of men being regenerated. Assuming regeneration is their goal (which is a debatable assumption), their claims of billions saved, when tested over weeks and months and years, prove to be false. This Evangelical sacrament known as "decisions for Christ" has proven itself largely bankrupt of the Holy Spirit's power, and the moral squalor of these United States today demonstrates this to the point of exhaustion.
Second, the hundreds of millions of washing-of-water Trinitarian baptisms touted by Reformed neo-sacramentalists do not bear the fruit of men being regenerated...
As a teacher of theology I knew a fair bit about Charles Hodge, generally speaking, but reading Paul Gutjahr's biography gave me an inside view.
I knew Hodge used Turretin's text for his theology courses and didn’t publish his own Systematic Theology until the 1870s. Why did he wait so long? Gutjahr fills in the details. It turns out Princeton Seminary's governing board asked Hodge not to take his three-volume systematic theology into print because they thought it would cause a decline in enrollment if anyone could buy his theology text.
I knew his Systematic Theology was thin on the doctrine of the Church. I didn’t know ...