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Article on the Ordinances

I am putting the finishing touches on an article on Baptism and Communion for the inaugural issue of Theology for Ministry a new journal published by Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. I am encouraged by the goal of the editors which is provide a venue for discussion of shaping our ministries theologically rather than keeping theology neatly closed off from our practical work.

My assignment for this article was to address ways to improve our practice of the ordinances. While I cannot post the article, I thought I would mention the main points I am arguing. This may advertise for the journal and will also (hopefully) generate some conversation here on these important topics. I first gave some of the reasons that I think have led to the downgrade in our practice of the ordinances, arguing along the same lines of what I posted on the topic previously. Then I argue for one point in regard to each ordinance. On baptism I argue that baptism is the profession of faith, and as such it should be administered as closely as possible to conversion (similar to the argument in the post linked above). How else can it be the public profession? Dr. Bob Stein has argued for something similar here. I commend Stein’s article though I think in the end he may argue for too much.

Then, on baptism, as suggested by a Spurgeon quote posted previously, I argue for the weekly celebration of communion. I think the NT suggests this was the pattern of the early church. Beyond that it can be such a help to us as God’s ordained means of keeping our minds fixed on the finished work of Christ.

What do you think?

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