Thursday, February 02, 2023

The Early Development Of Baptismal Beliefs And Practices

Advocates of baptismal justification and some other views of baptism (e.g., infant baptism) often speak of their views as if they were universally agreed upon in earlier centuries. Some of the groups involved even claim that they belong to an institution that's always held all apostolic teaching in unbroken succession throughout church history, that the institution is infallible, that all or a large percentage of the church fathers were part of their institution, and so forth. So, it's significant accordingly if we see early baptismal theology being more developmental and varied than claims like the ones I just mentioned would suggest. And for those who think there was an early departure from apostolic teaching on one or more baptismal issues, evidence of development and variation in early views of baptism can provide significant evidence for their position accordingly.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Baptism And Justification In The Odes Of Solomon

The Odes Of Solomon is more difficult to judge than other sources in some ways. It's a songbook, consisting of poetry, and poetic language is often less exact and more difficult to interpret. And the speaker in the odes sometimes seems to change, even within a single ode, and it's sometimes hard to tell who's doing the speaking. For reasons like those, we have to be more cautious than usual in interpreting the document accordingly.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Baptism And Justification In Aristides

Aristides is one of the most neglected of the earliest church fathers. He seldom gets mentioned in patristic discussions, and I don't remember ever seeing anybody bring him up in the context of soteriology in particular. He didn't write much about soteriology, but he did make some comments of significance that are worth discussing.