How Does the Holy Spirit Operate in the Believer’s Life?
Which is why Michael Horton offers an entire chapter on “How the Spirit Gives” in his new book Rediscovering the Holy Spirit.
I’m glad he does. Because as a former pastor I’ve found Horton’s view to be true: people struggle to understand how the Spirit ordinarily operates in their life. After explaining the relationship between the Spirit and the means of grace, Horton helps us understand how the Spirit gives by getting specific:
Hearing Christ preached, being baptized, and taking Communion are not substitutes for faith but are the means through which the Spirit gives us faith and confirms our faith to the…
Did the Early Church Practice Infant Baptism or Full Immersion?
It’s not hard to determine how the early church celebrated baptism.
You can find several accounts in writings from the early church, including Tertullian’s On Baptism and Hippolytus’ Apostolic Tradition. The Didache also helps us understand how baptism functioned in the life of the church.
Let’s take a look.
How baptisms were performed
Here’s how the process worked:
If someone wanted to be baptized, they first underwent a period of instruction and moral examination. Because baptisms usually took place on Easter Sunday, this period of instruction happened during Lent.
On the Thursday before Easter, the person being baptized began a period of fasting, praying, confessing sin, and attending Scripture readings and instructions. Exorcisms were also performed, in order to banish demons from the person.
Then, early on Sunday morning—the day of…
[Common Places]: Toward a Liturgical Anthropology: Helps from James K. A. Smith
Introduction: a philosophical handmaiden to liturgical anthropology
How might theological anthropology benefit from James K. A. Smith’s Cultural Liturgies series? I suggest that Smith’s project offers theology a philosophical handmaiden to the liturgical anthropology of Romans 6:17: “Thanks be to God that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the pattern of teaching to which you were delivered.”
The shape of homo liturgicus (1): inside out
The Apostle Paul’s word of gratitude in Romans 6:17 envisions the baptized human being as a worshipping animal, what Smith calls homo liturgicus. To be human, according to this vision, is to be the kind of creature that is moved from the inside out. Christian obedience flows “from the…
Wednesday Giveaway – Understanding Four Views on Baptism
Although most – but not all – Christian traditions practice baptism, there remains much disagreement about how exactly the sacrament should be performed, not to mention theological disagreement about what it might accomplish or mean.
In light of these disagreements pastors, theologians, students, and laity are often left to ask questions such as: What is the significance of water baptism? Who should be baptized? Is infant baptism scriptural? Which is the proper baptismal mode: sprinkling, pouring, or immersion? Should people be rebaptized if they join a church that teaches a different form of baptism? Should baptism be required for church membership?
In today’s giveaway, Understanding Four Views…
Moore, O’Conner, and the Baptist View of The Lord’s Supper
Christ’s Presence as Memorial
Russell D. Moore
Novelist Flannery O’Connor was at a dinner party when “the conversation turned on the Eucharist.” In response to a comment from the ex-Catholic intellectual Mary McCarthy in which she said she thought of the bread of Communion as a pretty good symbol, O’Connor said, “Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it.”
Many Christians can sympathize with O’Connor’s reflexively Catholic dismissal of a “symbolic” view of the Lord’s Supper. And, in one sense, she is exactly right. If the bread and the wine are simply “symbols” — along the lines of a contemporary corporate logo —…