Wednesday, September 07, 2005

missiology and baptism

I'm a baptist minister right who finds himself working in an anglican context, and having to wrestle with anglican/baptist issues. a few weeks back i had a discussion with an Anglican theologian about Communion, our theoligcal understanding were almost identical - i was quite shocked - the more i chat with anglican's about this the more i becme aware that i might actualy be more anglican than i thought -
there is still one issue to overcome - infant Baptism. While i think biblicaly the jury is our over the practice, theologicaly and missiologicaly i have always had an issue with it, but the tide is turning.
The Baptist movement grew out of the Church of England during the age of Christendom, one of the missiolgical issues was over when is a person a Christian - clearly faith, and a decision must coem inot play soemwhere??? From my reading of things - and i have done quite a bit while at uni - the first baptist decided that adult baptim was the only appropriate way of seperating and identifying - while there are a lot of theological nuances behind that it very practicaly came down to we don't baptise infants because to do so would baptises a life style that may or may not be Chrisitan. I think for the time it was avery appropriate missiological stance
times do change we no longer live in Christendom, but i suspect that the baptism of infants my be a stronger witness to the world of the pressesnce of Christian community (firstly through the family secondly through the church), than Adult believers Baptism, and since baptism is an symbol of something that God does it may be more than appropriate to baptise the children of Christian families - and then confirm the vows as adults

Need to think a lot more about this but i think my views may be shifting

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