Why was the unique sacrificial rite in Genesis 15 required, and what did it signify? Was it simply a self-maledictory oath on the Lord’s behalf, or was there something deeper going on?
“A baptism which does not discern between the fruit of the womb and the fruit of the tomb is anti-Christ, denying He has come in the flesh.”
This post follows on from Exposed To The Elements.
An online paedobaptist friend commented that he had never heard sacred architecture offered as an argument for credobaptism before. My experience with the brilliant Bible teaching by the various Federal Vision gents is that I get a principle under my belt, then automatically begin to see its implications for all of Scripture. But then numerous times I would be surprised when no one had thought of applying it consistently. The main offender is paedobaptism. Despite their claims, it is a rite that does not spring naturally from Scripture. In fact, it has to be protected from Scripture, from the very principles I have been taught by paedobaptists.
Who was Darius the Mede?
In his commentary on the book of Daniel, The Handwriting On The Wall, (301-305) James Jordan writes:
Who was Darius the Mede? This question has vexed interpreters since the beginning of the Christian era. It is simplest to say that Darius the Mede is just another name/title for Cyrus the Persian, and to read Daniel 6:28 as follows:
Sweet Counsel: Essays to Brighten the Eyes is now available on amazon. It is a collection of very polished and reworked blog posts along with some new material. Here is the introduction…
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
If, in the language of biblical symbols, gold is solid light and oil is liquid light, then honey is liquid gold.
As the golden Ark contained the Ten Words, and the oil of the Lampstand lightened the path of the king, so honey is the Word of God in edible form. In the wilderness, manna tasted like honey wafers. In Canaan, the law of the Lord was even more desirable than its precious honey (Psalm 19:10; 119:103).
After describing to an older Christian friend what happened in Jerusalem during the Jewish war, he replied, “Why have I never been taught this?”
Without their Covenant context and historical bearings, the pointy words of Jesus become so “generalized” that they seem inconsequential. In the wisdom of God, the tragic events of AD70 were recorded that we might understand the consequences of ignoring Jesus. They nail the New Testament Scriptures to the ground.
If you are a regular reader, you will have some idea of how I feel about the practice of paedobaptism. But that is only half the story. I have just as much distaste for “baptist” Christianity without a spine. I myself need a Church with a spine, a Church full of grace and light because vows are not only made by baptizands but also understood.
I believe baptists get the “vow” part right, but neglect solid accountability to that vow. Paedobaptists, on the other hand, get the accountability right, but allow the priestly vow to be taken by proxy. This is why I have used the analogy of knighthood to describe New Covenant baptism. Although paedobaptism truncates the New Covenant “boundary,” I’m in agreement with my Federal Vision friends on just about everything else.
So, with that understanding, here is a guest post by a reader, Sarah Culbertson, who, like me, has learned a great deal from the Douglas Wilson camp, where the “front end” of the Christian vow is skewed but the “back end” is right on target.
Some excerpts from Ben Witherington’s long summary of William A. Johnson’s short book, Readers and Reading Culture in the High Roman Empire:
Let me be clear that this book focuses on people like Pliny or Aulus Gellius or Galen, or Fronto or Lucian, but there is much to be learned from this book that can be applied, mutatis mutandis to literate Christians, their scribes, and early Christian communities of reading and writing…
“If the creed is not considered dangerous, divine worship is emasculated.”
A creed is either worthless or worth everything we have. Here’s a classic quote from an essay by Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy entitled “The Peace of the Pirates” in Planetary Service (1978).
I have had the honor to have been considered a public danger more than once in my life. The first time was in 1912 when I wrote, “Language is wiser than the person who speaks it.” My thesis almost foundered on this disturbing reality of the Holy Spirit which I had perceived. Balaam’s ass was considered unscientific!