For The Truth

Friday, July 07, 2006

On Baptism & a Redefinition of Baptist Identity

New Testament baptism requires a proper subject (a believer who comes to faith in Christ voluntarily), the proper mode (immersion) and the proper meaning (a symbol of death, burial and resurrection).
Hershel Hobbs (as quoted by Ken Camp)

Any compromise of Baptist conviction concerning the requirement of believer’s baptism by immersion amounts to a redefinition of Baptist identity. More importantly, it raises the most basic questions of ecclesiology. We must give those questions intent attention in these days.
Dr. R. Albert Mohler

I personally believe that the clearness, prominence, and normativity of the Scriptural command for believer baptism in the church means that Dr. Mohler is correct on this.
Justin Taylor

To read more on this issue see Baptist and Church Membership at Between Two Worlds and follow the links.

Dr. John Piper and the council of elders at Bethlehem Baptist Church have asserted the belief that “the door to local church membership should be roughly the same size as the door to membership in the universal body of Christ.”  But if Christ commanded His disciples to be baptized, then should we not seek to understand what that is biblically?  And are not those living in contradiction to this command in disobedience to our Lord?  Should not the clear directions of our Savior define the parameters of the door to local church membership?


  • Good quotes, Cal. I find Justin Taylor's agreement with Mohler quite interesting.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:47 AM  

  • Cal,

    On Justin's blog you said to me, "If our Lord commanded it, then He requires it." Although I suspect that you did not mean to imply that I am advocating disobedience to Christ's commands that is certainly the implication. You are completely missing the point. The issue is what is "required" for membership, not what is required for obedience to Christ. We would obviously agree that ALL of Christ’s commands are “required” for the believer. Nevertheless, not all are required for membership. If all of Christ’s commands are required for membership within his church then neither of us are appropriate candidates for membership within his church.


    Jeremy Archer

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:48 AM  

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