Summary on Covenant Continuity and Development – Response to Gavin Ortlund

Gavin Ortlund has written another response to my last rejoinder.  I agree with him that this has been a great discussion, and I also feel that we should draw it to a close. I think we have painted a clear distinction, and hopefully I can bring more clarity with this response.  Much of the question under debate here revolves around the terms continuity, overlap, and identity.  These are all possible ways of describing the relationship between the old pre-Christ covenants and the New Covenant.  Development of redemptive history is another key component.  Gavin has acknowledged overlap between the covenants, but he is wary of pressing to the point of identity.  He is wary of over-spiritualizing the Old Covenant to the point that redemptive history is “flattened”, having minimal real development.  Let me see if I can summarize my perspective here, then try to answer some of Gavin’s specific questions in a follow up blog post. Continue reading

Follow Up Response to Gavin Ortlund on Baptism

Gavin Ortlund has been kind enough to offer a rejoinder to my initial critique of his blog post against infant baptism.  I appreciate Gavin’s taking the time to respond to me, and I also hope that this exchange will be useful, edifying, and encourage everyone reading it to examine the Bible very thoroughly for themselves on this topic.  I also want to thank Gavin for his charitable demeanor and I have every intention of maintaining that.  Before diving into specific responses, I think it is good to take a step back and state the big picture.  It is clear that what is under debate here is the nature of the old (pre-Christ) covenants between God and His people, and how our perspective on these covenants (specifically the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants) impacts our view of the New Covenant in Christ. Continue reading

Reformed Paedobaptist Response to Gavin Ortlund’s Article – “Why I Changed My Mind About Baptism”

Gavin Ortlund, a PhD student at Fuller Theological Seminary in California, recently wrote a brief article for The Gospel Coalition’s blog, entitled “Why I Changed My Mind About Baptism”  Mr. Ortlund was baptized into the Church of Scotland and raised as a Presbyterian.  Through the course of his study, he has departed from the paedobaptist position and become a credo Baptist (i.e. believer’s baptism).  His article gives a brief summary of the reasoning behind this transition.  The article has garnered quite a bit of attention, with 120+ comments on the article and 540+ facebook “likes” at the time of my writing.  My attention was drawn to this article by an interview with Mark Horne on the City of God blog.

Here’s a link to the Gavin Ortlund article:
http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/03/08/why-i-changed-my-mind-about-baptism/ Continue reading

The Prophet’s Role of Advising World Leaders

These thoughts come primarily from insights given by Jeff Meyers in lectures on the book of Acts at Cornerstone Reformed Church, March 22-23, and a follow up conversation with my pastor, Burke Shade and friend Nathan Brunaugh. These men would likely credit their insights back to the work of James Jordan.

What should a Christian’s involvement with the state be (at any level of government)?  It is certainly not wrong for a Christian to enter public service and work within the system to bring about positive change.  However, the Bible presents a slightly different role, that of an advisor to the king or any other authority.  One that councils the leaders of the community, state, or nation in matters of justice, equity, wisdom, and righteousness in accordance with God’s law.  This could even go down to the family government level, with faithful Christians counseling and advising those who comes to them with questions about their different way of life.  This is the role of a prophet. Continue reading

Infant Baptism Part 9 – Old Testament Events as Baptisms

The New Testament gives four examples where Old Testament events or rituals are connected with baptism.  Two cases are one time events in the Old Testament that are explicitly associated with baptism in the New Testament.  These events will be discussed in this blog post.  In both of these cases, the household(s) of the believers are included in the baptism with the parents.  The other two cases are rituals involved with Israel’s purification system, which will be discussed in the next post.

The first example occurs in 1 Corinthians 10, where Paul is warning the church not to fall away in disbelief as Israel did. Continue reading