Friday, February 10, 2012

Three Thoughts on Holy Baptism . . .

These are excerpts of three Facebook posts I wrote that say a lot about my theology of Holy Baptism, which I hope is well within orthodoxy:

What I tell my adulto-baptist friends: There ain't no water baptism, there ain't no paedo-baptism, there ain't no believer's baptism. There's only one baptism and the Scriptures call it -- guess what? -- baptism. Whether it's done to babies, kids or adults, it's all the same baptism. Oh, and to the prissy, fussy types I say there ain't no "christening," only baptism, in which we kill whoever's being baptized and raise him or her in Christ to new life. It's a tough pill to swallow, but it's also glorious. . . .

Walt, what you described as christening I've heard called "dedication." I think it's interesting how adulto-baptist parents are eager to dedicate their child to God, but seem unwilling or unable to give, in faith, their child entirely to God in Holy Baptism. In my world, "christening" seems to be used pretty exclusively by higher-caste folk -- Episcopalians, Presbyterians, UCCers, some few RCs -- who, in my opinion, think the word and concept of baptism are too coarse for their darling little (screaming, squalling, self-centered) little baby and look instead on "christening" as a naming ceremony that coincidentally involves getting a wee bit wet and having to endure a few sin words: "What did you think of little Chauncey's christening, my dear? Wasn't it horrid that thing about sin parson threw in there? The bloodies were good and spicy, though."

From the stooppidd "dedication" link Pr. Snyder offered. Awful! Totally awful! Witness: "God honors their purity and until they understand the meaning of salvation and personal sin, water is not administered. Few argue the purity of a newborn child." I will argue it! "Purity," my you-know-what. A noted Anglican archbishop once said, "Show me two babies in a crib with one ball, and I'll show you original sin." A knowledgeable Anglican he.


  1. You are a damn fine theologian.

  2. You are a damn fine theologian.

  3. Jon, you are most kind. John