08 December 2006

bht poll

So, Boar's Head Tavern is polling its contributors on a range of issues. Even though I'm not a BHT guy, I love those folks over there (yes, even though most of them are Baptists) and I thought I might as well jump in. Besides, this has been an exhausting week and I need an easy way to do a blog entry.

Sorry these are not "short answers." My general bias is that if it can fit on a bumper sticker, it's probably not worth saying.

Baptism - Christ, present by his Spirit, gives himself to us in a promise made with water. Credobaptism? If we allow that kids profess faith through baptism. Regarding other churches' baptisms as invalid is a scar on the face of catholicity.

The Lord’s Supper - We receive the body and blood of Jesus by sharing bread and wine in the power of the Spirit, a memorial of his death enacted by his gathered Body. When we receive Christ, we receive all his benefits. Weekly eucharist is normal.

Emerging Church - Difficult to generalize, but they are good Christian folks, well-intentioned, trying to make the Gospel tangibly seen and known within the communities they inhabit. Some need to grow up and a few flirt with heterodoxy, but we've all got our in-house problems.

Young Earth Creationism - I can respect young earthers who uphold what they believe to be biblical truth, but don't try to convince me of "creation science" or "creationism."

Cessationism - The Spirit gifts himself to his people, coming to diverse expressions, including pretty surprising ones at times. I don't think some gifts have the same purpose or shape today as in the apostolic era, but I can't biblically rule out analogous expressions of them today.

Abraham Lincoln - His use of our founding documents to deconstruct the Constitution's presumption of slaveholding was a brilliant rhetorical re-reading of the American narrative. He also looked better once he grew the Amish beard.

Gender Issues - Still a soft complementarian since there are biblical reasons why the Minister of word and sacrament is male. Sexual differences are real even if we can't articulate them. I don't think another's egalitarianism makes it impossible for me to work together for the Gospel. We do need to encourage women to develop and use all their gifts for the sake of the Body.

Inspiration of the Bible - Plenary, verbal inspiration, authoritative, etc. But I have no axe to grind with Pete Enns, Tom Wright, or John Webster, whatever D.A. Carson might have to say about that.

Gay Marriage - I'm not going to advocate it, but I'm not going to get my knickers in a twist over it. Christian marriage before God and unions sanctioned by the civil government describe two distinct, even if overlapping, spheres of human relationship. Maybe it's time for the church to regain a sense of her identity as an alternative polis.

Education (Home, Public, Private, None) - I'm an educator and favor education any way you can get it. Besides, the civil government has a legitimate interest in an educated citizenry, so long as it doesn't subvert Christian nurture.

Who is TR on the BHT? - No one. Any TR worth his salt would say those BHT folks are all a bunch of heretics - just look how they're answering these questions.

Sanctification - By grace, through faith, repentance, and diligent use of the means of grace, learning to become who we already are in Christ.

BHT Comments - Why ask for trouble?