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Archive for the ‘Sacraments’ Category

The guys at Reformed Forum have available a helpful podcast looking at the history of credo-baptist or baptism of believers alone.  The podcast looks at the Anabaptist, General Baptist, and the Particular Baptist showing the differences between the three and how you can’t lump all baptist today into the Anabaptist category. They interview James Dolezal who makes a strong argument for baptism of disciples alone from a covenantal reading of the scriptures.  He also makes a helpful distinction on what God is saying in baptism and what man is saying in baptism.  I commend the listening of this podcast to all who believe Christians should be baptized.

Listen here

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Malone, Fred A. : The Baptism of Disciples Alone: A Covenantal Argument for Credobaptism Verses Paedobaptism Revised and Expanded

This was a great book in learning what the bible teaches about baptism.  It was a bit technical in places but for the most part not to bad of a read.  It was helpful in understanding what the differences where between paedobaptist covenant theologians and credobaptist covenant theologians.  It was actually a decent introduction into covenant theology.  It was helpful in understanding the regulative principle of worship also.  He starts by allowing John Murray to speak for himself about baptism so as to prevent forming a straw man.  Malone then helps us understand a biblical hermeneutic and how the paedobaptist is inconsistent with his hermeneutic.  Malone explains the paedobaptist don’t have specific verses they point out necessarily to support infant baptism but rather have a “string of pearls” and teaching and inferences they make when strung together allow them to form the doctrine of infant baptism. Malone takes each pearl of the necklace and refutes it leaving the paedobaptist in my opinion with nothing to hold on to and only to turn to biblical baptism of disciples alone.  I was impressed by the book and am currently working through the appendixes.  I would recommend this to all who are serious about understanding what the bible teaches about baptism, but especially to those who agree with many paedobaptist on their soteriology and may be considering their ecclesiology as well.  Malone was a Baptist, to a Presbyterian, and back to a Baptist so reading his story at the beginning of the book will be of interest to many as well.

Publisher: Founders Press

Binding: Sewn

Boards: Hardback

Pages: 319

Scripture Index: Yes

Subject Index: Yes

Appendixes: Yes. Includes Spurgeon on Baptism, The Proper Mode of Biblical Baptism, Book Review of  “The Biblical Doctrine of Infant Baptism” by Pierre Marcel, the appendix to the 1689 London Baptist confession, Book Review of “The Case for Covenantal Infant Baptism” by Gregg Strawbridge, and Extreme Covenantalism Rejected

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This was an excellent introduction to understanding the Lord’s supper (aka communion, Lord’s table, eucharist) on a little deeper level. This book is great because it looks at the Lord’s supper but it does it at a level that goes into understanding the gospel more clearly because the Supper is a presentation of the gospel for us. Each chapter essentially looks a little bit deeper into what is being taught in the Supper.

In the first chapter he gives a brief introduction into what the Supper is generally and discusses its names and argues against the Roman catholic view of sacrament but uses the terms ordinance and sacrament interchangeably in a protestant view throughout the book.  Jeffery quotes Dr. Ernest Kevan saying “ The Lord’s Supper is a special means of grace, but not a means of special grace.” I found that distinction helpful.

The second chapter looks at what is meant by 1 Cor. 11:25 “This cup is the new covenant in my blood”  This chapter is a small introduction to covenant theology essentially.

The third chapter through fifth chapters look at the phrases “This is my Body” “Do this in remembrance of me”, and “until he comes”.  These chapters are really helpful because you get a little into the discussion of what happens at the supper and the differing views. Jeffery seems to fall into the strictly symbolic view but doesn’t ever teach against Calvin’s “real presence” view when he does teach against The Roman Catholic and Lutheran views.  He gives helpful word of caution not to make the supper more than it is. You also learn what it means to remember the Lord’s death. In the chapter on “until he comes” we get a small overview of eschatology and see how the Supper looks back to what Christ did for us, what he is doing presently, and what he will do in the future when he comes.

The sixth, seventh, and eighth chapters look at what it means to not come in an unworthy manner, what the fellowship or communion aspects of the meal are, and finally who should come to the table.  These chapters were once again very helpful. He argues well that the supper is for sinners and we do not have to be perfect to come to the table but we must be united with Christ. This flows into the communion aspect and how the regular taking of the Lord’s supper promotes unity within the body. If we are to work sins against our brothers and theirs against us out before we come to the table.  The last chapter looks briefly at ways to fence the table and offers a few options arguing that we must all agree to not allow the unbeliever to the meal.

The only critique I offer is that the cover is not so great it has a painting of what looks like lily pads on a pond.

Publisher: Evangelical Press

Boards: Paperback

Binding: glue

Year: 1997

Pages: 96

$: 4.99 +shipping

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