Sunday, 25 January 2009

Muller - How many points?

Over at Riddleblog, you can read this essay by Richard Muller on what constitutes Reformed theology. Is it sufficient to the name 'Reformed' to hold to a merely predestination viewpoint or the five points? Even more to the point, is the tag 'Reformed Baptist' an oxymoron? I found the following quote quite profound and challenging:

"Salvation does not arise out of human merit but by grace alone through the acceptance, by graciously engendered faith, of the sufficient sacrifice of Christ for our sins. Baptism, rightly understood from the human side, signifies the placement of our children into the context where the promised grace of God is surely at work. And who more than an infant, incapable of meritorious works, can indicate to us that this salvation is by grace alone? By way of contrast, the restriction of baptism to adult believers who make a "decision" and who come forward voluntarily to receive a mere ordinance stands against recognition of baptism as a sign of utter graciousness on the part of God: Baptism here is offered only to certain individuals who have passed muster before a human, albeit churchly, court — or to state the problem slightly differently, who have had a particular experience viewed as the necessary prerequisite to baptism by a particular churchly group. If grace and election relate to this post-decision baptism, they can hardly be qualified by the terms "irresistible" and "unconditional." There is an inescapable irony in refusing baptism to children, offering it only to adults, and then telling the adults that they must become as little children in order to inherit the kingdom of heaven. "

3 comments:

JohnGreenview said...

An eloquent example of how misplaced human logic can supplant biblical truth.

JohnGreenview said...

...in any case the NT does sanction the baptism of babies...baby Christians.

JohnGreenview said...

...furthermore salvation is not prescribed in Scripture as 'by grace alone'; it is 'by grace alone through faith alone'... oh dear how complicated and confused our theology becomes when we abandon 'the simplicity that is in Christ'.