What the Order of Melchizedek Means For Baptism
Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, and all His works are chiastic. Because of this, a solid understanding of any Covenant requires us to identify its “bookends.” According to Hebrews, the Melchizedekian bookends are crucial for a comprehension of the limitations of the Abrahamic Covenant.
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.
Although it claims to make “children of God,” paedobaptism in reality is the spiritual version of Abraham’s sin with Hagar.
or Polygamy and Paedobaptism
Arguing for Christian morality in a modern secular society is difficult. Besides the fact that any culture which accepts evolutionary dogma has no foundation for absolute morality, the Bible itself does not give us a timeless list of absolute commandments. Cherrypicking laws from Leviticus that apply today from those that do not is clearly just as arbitrary, especially to those without any love for the Word of God. But all the commandments are rooted in a history which grows like a tree. To understand the commandments, we must understand the history. Only when we do this can we proclaim with authority what the Lord demands of us today, and the results can be surprising.
“Just as Circumcision made impossible a global corruption,
so paedobaptism makes impossible a global Gospel.”
Part 1 here.
With so many young people leaving the Church, it is no wonder that there is a push to renew an understanding of biblical Covenant. Giving our children a profound sense of their “Covenant identity” is a crucial means of re-establishing the Covenant framework which has been neglected. Unfortunately, those pushing for these things are going about it in entirely the wrong way, because they are re-establishing the wrong Covenant.
“Modern commentators seem to overlook the promise of children in Genesis 1, and how these unmentioned ‘innocents,’ yet in Adam’s loins, are silent but crucial characters in Genesis 3.”
When Paul refers to Abraham as the father of all who believe, the one through whom all nations would be blessed (Romans 4:9-22), we must be prepared to interpret his inspired words through the lens of the House of God, the ever-present architecture of Eden.
The Name of the Father
God’s household in heaven was a tent of servants—the angels—but there was only one Son, through whom came all Creation. This means that the first verses of John’s Gospel, which describe the pre-incarnate Word, can tell us a great deal about God’s intentions for Adam, the incarnate image of God. All that Jesus was in heaven, Adam was to be on earth:
Many of the obscure and apparently obsolete details in the Torah are hints of events later in the Bible. Some of these details are not what is said but what is not said. And some of these unspoken hints are discernible only through identification of common structures. One example is a line missing from Genesis 1.
or Baptism into Baal
Then you shall say to Pharaoh,
‘Thus says the Lord,
Israel is my firstborn son,
and I say to you,
“Let my son go that he may serve me.”
If you refuse to let him go,
I will kill your firstborn son.’”
My Federal Vision friends believe baptism is an important subject, from both theological and pastoral points of view. I agree, but for me it is also an issue of aesthetics. The Bible has a wonderfully consistent internal logic, and paedobaptism crunches the gears at every turn.
Peter Leithart just posted something concerning baptism, and it’s worth answering, not only “because somebody on the internet is wrong,” but also because it is an issue I’ve just finished dealing with in The Shape of Galatians. It should be noted that Trinity House is hosting some lectures on sacraments by a baptist, so Dr Leithart and his colleagues have a spirit that should be imitated by theologians everywhere. My own posts here are always bait in the hope of a bite, a friendly disputatio, so don’t take them the wrong way. If a friend has soup on his tie, or wax in his ear, or a fertility rite in his sacrament, what sort of friend isn’t going to point it out!?
or Semina Divina
And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” (Mark 5:30)
We aren’t told in Genesis 9 what Ham’s intention was when he “uncovered” his father, Noah. Peter Leithart and James Jordan both present some fascinating insights (which differ from each other), but perhaps there is a solution elsewhere in Genesis, which, combined with both these possibilities, offers something new.
Born from Above
I’m currently working hard on Bible Matrix III: The House of God. This third volume is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. It really is. Being so engrossed in the shape and processes of the Bible (yes, even more than usual), it has struck me how foreign the various theological schools’ thinking and speech is to the actual text.
The debates about “Pauline Theology” are the perfect example, especially the focus on narrow (yet important) topics such as justification. An academic divides and redivides the text in the way an expert in any science overspecializes. He ends up knowing everything about nothing. After spending a few hours each day wandering and describing the halls of biblical architecture, I am more convinced than ever that the only way to fully understand Scripture is architecturally. This is because, for our glorious God, architecture is ethics, and ethics is architecture. Divorced from the biblical mud map, the Edenic grid, modern theologians are discussing less than a dim distorted reflection of the book God has given us. They are feeling their way around the house with their eyes shut. Continue reading