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Thursday
Aug042011

Thankful Thursday

 

I’m thankful that son and I had a safe trip. We put on a lot of miles without incident, if you don’t count the bug goo that I can’t get off the hood of my new car, that is. We found a way around all the closed roads in southern Saskatchewan that didn’t add a whole lot of miles to the trip. I’m thankful that God’s hand worked all that out for us.

We saw my niece married and had a good time with all the wedding activities. I got to see my dad and sister and all my sister’s kids. I’m thankful for my extended family and time spent with them. 

I’m thankful for the produce from the garden. Everything is so much bigger than when we left. We’ve had lettuce and other greens, cauliflower, and broccoli, and there are tomatoes that will be ready to pick in a couple of days. I’m thankful for the rain and the sun and the soil that grows my garden vegetables.

I’m thankful that our God is a benevolent God; I’m thankful that he gives good gifts. I’m thankful that he is rescueing God; I’m thankful that he saves and protects. I’m thankful that he is a trustworthy God; I’m thankful that he keeps his promises.

Throughout this year I’m planning to post a few thoughts of thanksgiving each Thursday along with Kim at the Upward Call and others.

Wednesday
Aug032011

Round the Sphere Again: Sanctification

Through Marriage
Martin Luther on Marriage as a School of Character by Matthew Barrett at The Gospel Coalition Blog.

Life was hard. Family life was hard. Marriage was hard. And yet, Martin and Katie loved each other tremendously. They viewed marriage as a school of character, whereby God uses the hardships of daily family life to sanctify us. 

In Singleness
The point of this next piece is not so different than the point of the one linked above: Living with others helps us learn to live unselfishly (Paula Hendricks at True Woman Blog).

I lived alone for about six months and I loved it. I could have everything just the way I wanted it, and since I’m an introvert, I had no trouble being happy doing things all by myself without interruptions. Now I have two adult children living with me and sometimes I wish I didn’t, but all in all, I think living with others requires that I “look not only on [my] own interests, but also the interests of others.” It forces me to be more Christ-like.

Tuesday
Aug022011

Theological Term of the Week

As you probably know, I’m not a paedobaptist, but a credobaptist, so I’ve included one piece critical of paedobaptism in the links below. But to be fair, I’ve tried to make sure the pro-paedo pieces represent the best of the paedobaptist defenses.

paedobaptism
The view that baptism is appropriately administered to “all infant children of believing parents”;1 also called covenant infant baptism.

  • Scripture used to support paedobaptism: 

    For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself. (Romans 6:2-4 ESV)

  • From The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 28:  

    IV. Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ, but also the infants of one, or both, believing parents, are to be baptized.

    ….

    VI. The efficacy of Baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered; yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongs unto, according to the counsel of God’s own will, in His appointed time.

  • From Systematic Theology by Louis Berkhof:

    a. The Scriptural basis for infant baptism. It may be said at the outset that there is no explicit command in the Bible to baptize children, and that there is not a single instance in which we are plainly told that children were baptized. But this does not necessarily make infant baptism un-Biblical. The Scriptural ground for it is found in the following data:

    (1) The covenant made with Abraham was primarily a spiritual covenant, though it also had a national aspect, and of this spiritual covenant circumcision was a sign and seal. ….

    (2) This covenant is still in force and is essentially identical with the “new covenant” of the present dispensation. The unity and continuity of the covenant in both dispensations follows from the fact that the Mediator is the same, Acts 4:12; 10:43; 15:10,11; Gal. 3:16; I Tim. 2:5,6; I Pet. 1:9-12; the condition is the same, namely, faith, Gen. 15:6; (Rom. 4:3); Ps. 32:10; Heb. 2:4; Acts 10:43; Heb. 11; and the blessings are the same, namely, justification, Ps. 32:1,2,5; Isa. 1:18; Rom. 4:9; Gal. 3:6, regeneration, Deut. 30:6; Ps. 51:10, spiritual gifts, Joel 2:28,32; Acts 2:17-21; Isa. 40:31, and eternal life, Ex. 3:6; Heb. 4:9; 11:10. ….

    (3) By the appointment of God infants shared in the benefits of the covenant, and therefore received circumcision as a sign and seal. …

    (4) In the new dispensation baptism is by divine authority substituted for circumcision as the initiatory sign and seal of the covenant of grace. Scripture strongly insists on it that circumcision can no more serve as such, Acts 15:1,2; 21:21; Gal. 2:3-5; 5:2-6; 6:12,13,15. If baptism did not take its place, then the New Testament has no initiatory rite. But Christ clearly substituted it as such, Matt. 28:19,20; Mark 16:15,16. It corresponds with circumcision in spiritual meaning. As circumcision referred to the cutting away of sin and to a change of heart, Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Jer. 4:4; 9:25,26; Ezek. 44:7,9, so baptism refers to the washing away of sin, Acts 2:38; I Pet. 3:21; Tit. 3:5, and to spiritual renewal, Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:11,12. The last passage clearly links up circumcision with baptism, and teaches that the Christ-circumcision, that is, circumcision of the heart, signified by circumcision in the flesh, was accomplished by baptism, that is, by that which baptism signifies. Cf. also Gal. 3:27,29. But if children received the sign and seal of the covenant in the old dispensation, the presumption is that they surely have a right to receive it in the new, to which the pious of the Old Testament were taught to look forward as a much fuller and richer dispensation. Their exclusion from it would require a clear and unequivocal statement to that effect, but quite the contrary is found, Matt. 19:14; Acts 2:39; I Cor. 7:14.

Learn more:

  1. Jay Wetger: An Examination of the Rationale Behind Paedobaptism
  2. Robert Rayburn:The Presbyterian Doctrines of Covenant Children, Covenant Nurture and Covenant Succession
  3. Robert Reymond: Baptism
  4. Nathan Pitchford: Baptism - Categorized Scripture List (pdf)
  5. John Owen: Of Infant Baptism
  6. Greg Welty: A Critical Examination of Paedobaptism
  7. Joel Beeke: Why We Baptize Our Children (Video)

Related terms:

1From Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem

Filed under Ecclesiology.

Do you have a term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms in alphabetical order.

Monday
Aug012011

Status Report: August

Sitting…on the couch in the living room.

Drinking…nothing, but I did just finish a bowl of vanilla ice cream topped with hot chocolate mint sauce. 

Feeling…tired from the big road trip. We ended up driving for 9 of the 14 days we were gone,  travelling over 6000 miles (9500k). If you ask my son, he’ll say he drove nearly half of those miles. If you ask me, I’ll tell you I drove at least 3/4 of them. We attended my niece’s wedding in Pella, IA and visited with my dad, my sister, and her kids in Minnesota. 

Finding…it hard to get back to regular life. (Do you find it difficult to return to normal after a trip?) There’s so much to catch up on, like mowing the lawn and weeding the garden. And laundry. So much laundry. I wake up wondering where to start!

Listing…a few of the things I learned on the trip: 

  • The best food on the Alaska Highway is at the Toad River Lodge.
  • There are lots of bears around this year. We saw at least ten, including a mama grizzly with two cubs walking on the side of the highway. 
  • Tourists can be dumb when it comes to wildlife viewing. Rule number one is don’t get out of the car to take photos of a mama grizzly.
  • In southern Saskatchewan there are still major roads closed due to flooding and one that is open is covered with water 4 inches deep for a 1/4 mile section. 
  • You can’t always trust Google Maps directions.
  • Pella IA has 9000 people and 11 Reformed Churches, including a First, Second and Third Reformed Church. The Second Reformed Church is across the street from the First Reformed Church. What do you think happened there?
  • My son’s dog David is easy and fun to travel with. He ended up doing everything we asked of him except riding an elevator.
  • It can get so hot and humid that my glasses fog up when I exit the air-conditioned car. I’ve never had that happen before.
  • Minnetonka moccasins are the most comfortable shoes i’ve ever worn. 
  • If the front yard doesn’t get mowed for two weeks, it grows twenty or thirty 12 inch saplings. If the backyard doesn’t get mowed for 2 weeks, it turns into a jungle. 

Asking…myself why I bothered to bring books on the trip. When did I think I’d have time to read?

Planning…to make jam: Raspberry-peach jam tomorrow and strawberry-rhubarb jam on Wednesday. I love the steaming kitchen and the popping lids of jam making. 

Also planning…to get back to regular blogging. A status report is perfect for resuming gently. And let’s see, tomorrow is Tuesday, so I need to come up with a theological term. Any ideas?

Anticipating…being a Grandma. 

Forseeing…the end of summer.

Wishing…I lived somewhere with summers just like ours—no heat and humidity, and no dark, either—only twice as long. No, that’s not quite right. I’m wishing the summers right here were twice as long because I’m not going anywhere else.

Copying…Lisa.

Sunday
Jul312011

Sunday's Hymn: O Splendor of God's Glory Bright

O splendor of God’s glory bright,
From light eternal bringing light,
Thou Light of light, light’s living Spring,
True Day, all days illumining.

Come, very Sun of Heaven’s love,
In lasting radiance from above,
And pour the Holy Spirit’s ray
On all we think or do today.

And now to Thee our pray’rs ascend,
O Father glorious without end;
We plead with Sovereign Grace for pow’r
To conquer in temptation’s hour.

Confirm our will to do the right,
And keep our hearts from envy’s blight;
Let faith her eager fires renew,
And hate the false, and love the true.

O joyful be the passing day
With thoughts as pure as morning’s ray,
With faith like noontide shining bright,
Our souls unshadowed by the night.

Dawn’s glory gilds the earth and skies,
Let Him, our prefect Morn, arise,
The Word in God the Father one,
The Father imaged by the Son.

— Ambrose of Milan, translated by Lou­is F. Ben­son.

Other hymns, worship songs, sermons etc. posted today:

Have you posted a hymn (or sermon, sermon notes, prayer, etc.) today and I missed it? Let me know by leaving a link in the comments or by contacting me using the contact form linked above, and I’ll add your post to the list.