Thursday, June 20, 2024

The Recent Disputes Over Baptismal Regeneration And The Southern Baptist Convention

There's been a lot of discussion lately about how Southern Baptists view the reference to baptism in the Nicene Creed. I've seen the usual false claims about how everybody in the early church believed in baptismal regeneration, all of the church fathers believed in it, nobody opposed it before the Reformation, and so on. Few opponents of baptismal regeneration say anything significant about the extrabiblical evidence for their position, and the few who speak up typically only mention a small percentage of that evidence. For example, it's seldom mentioned that the ancient sources who held some kind of highly efficacious view of baptism widely disagreed about the nature of that efficaciousness. Christians of the patristic era disagreed about the meaning of "baptism for the forgiveness of sins". That's not a later development. There's a major need for opponents of baptismal regeneration to improve their handling of the issue. Here are some resources to that end.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Faith Alone In Celsus And His Sources

I've often mentioned that we need to take more than the church fathers into account when thinking about the patristic era. (See here for one of my posts discussing the topic.) Several decades ago, Thomas Torrance published a book that was highly critical (overly critical) of how the earliest church fathers viewed grace (The Doctrine Of Grace In The Apostolic Fathers [Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock, 1996]). Despite being so negative about the earliest fathers, he was more positive about some sources later in the second century: