I got a followup email this week that let me know my review copy of Peter Leithart’s new book, The End of Protestantism: Pursuing Unity in a Fragmented Church, is due to be sent out by the end of the week. I’m looking forwarded to reading the book and engaging with the ideas through a review here on the blog. I wholeheartedly agree with Leithart’s concern about the fragmentation in the church—the unity of the church is essential to our mission (see e.g., John 17:21-23). However, I’m not sure I’ll agree with his suggestions for pursuing that unity.
In anticipation of the book’s release next month, the folks at Brazos Press have developed a great website for the book and are featuring the following videos to give you an idea of what the book will be about.
The first explains the wordplay in the title. Leithart doesn’t just seek to explore the “end” of Protestantism as its conclusion, but also its goal or purpose.
The second explains the rise of denominationalism, as well as the signs that he believes indicate its losing steam.
I have the privilege of contributing to an awesome podcast, “So What?”, and our newest episode went live this week.
Dave, Kyle, Matt, and I have been working line-by-line through the Apostles’ Creed, discussing the meaning of the historic confession of the Christian church, its biblical foundations, and its implications for our lives today.
This is the first part in a pair of episodes on the most important belief of Christianity—the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. I encourage you to listen to it and see if our discussion encourages you as much as it did me.
One note—Early on I bring up Aslan’s “resurrection” from C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in The Chronicles of Narnia. Here’s the scene from the recent film of the same name—
I’m preaching from Romans 6 this week in a series called, “Why?: Answers to the Basic Questions of the Christian Faith.” I’m addressing the question, “Why Should I be Baptized?”
I won’t be covering them all on Sunday, but here are ten biblical reasons believers in Jesus should be baptized by their local church:
- Jesus was baptized, so imitate him (Matt 3:13-17; Mk 1:9-11; Lk 3:21-22).
- Jesus commands his disciples to be baptized (Matt 28:18-20).
- Baptism publicly identifies you with Christ (Gal 3:27).
- Baptism visibly demonstrates your death to sin and birth to a life lived for God (Rom 6:3-4; Col 2:11-12).
- Baptism foreshadows the Christian hope of a future, bodily resurrection (Rom 6:3-5; Col 2:11-12).
- Baptism visibly demonstrates the cleansing work of the Holy Spirit in your life (Acts 22:16; 1 Cor 6:11; Eph 5:25-27; Titus 3:4-7).
- Baptism is the normal culmination of your conversion experience (Acts 2:38, 8:12, 16:15; 16:33, 18:8; 1 Pet 3:21).
- Baptism is a prerequisite for church membership and participation in the Lord’s Supper (Matt 28:19; Acts 2:41).
- Baptism is a foundation of unity in the church (Acts 10:47; 1 Cor 1:10-13, 12:12-13; Eph 4:4-6).
- Baptism is an ongoing reminder of the life of holiness to which God has called you (Rom 6:1-14; 1 Cor 6:11).
“St. Paul saw in Baptism the normal but not necessary, the helpful but not indispensable sign and seal put upon the act of faith appropriating the gift of God in Christ.
—Charles A. Anderson Scott, Christianity According to St. Paul, 114.
Let Adolf Schlatter answer that for you:
There is no gift or power which the apostolic documents do not ascribe to baptism.
– Theologie des NT, II, 495.