Perspectives on infant baptism

A gracEmail subscriber requests some larger perspective on the differences among Christians regarding infant baptism. In the following answer, we will distinguish between Christians holding two points of view and practicing accordingly. PEDO- Baptists baptize babies; CREDO-Baptists baptize only professing believers. * * * In the Book of Acts, Luke tells how the Holy Spirit empowered the … [Read more...]

churches’ actions show real beliefs (2 parts)

Part 1 The good news is that in 2013, autonomous congregations affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) did what their name suggests and baptized more than 300,000 new converts by total immersion. The bad news is that the SBC baptismal tally during 2013 is down more than 100,000 from the number reported in 2009. The decline represents a 26% drop in yearly baptisms, and the lowest … [Read more...]

CHARISMATIC ‘PURITANS’

California fundamentalist pastor John MacArthur recently sponsored an anti-charismatic conference. His promotion of the event included MacArthur's blanket condemnation of Pentecostals and charismatics in general. Not only are charismatics the fastest-growing element in the global Church, they (and their sympathizers) are some of the most highly-respected evangelical pastors, teachers and other … [Read more...]

THE OLD PATHS

A brother in Singapore hears some persons urge that we should "follow the old paths" and resist changes in the church. He asks what Scripture says that and in what context. "Is there an 'old path' for us Christians today?" * * * "Ask for the old paths and walk therein" is a quotation from the King James Version of Jeremiah 6:16. By saying that, the prophet was calling the people of Judah back … [Read more...]

REFORMED AND NON-REFORMED

Several gracEmail subscribers have asked for some explanation of the difference between "Reformed" and "non-Reformed" theologians as mentioned in a recent piece. * * * "Reformed" sometimes means "Calvinistic" but I use it in the broader sense to refer to the general framework of understanding held by the principal reformers Luther, Calvin and Cranmer as well as Augustine long before them. It … [Read more...]

THE ANGLICANS

1. The Christian Church began in England: a. About 200 years after the apostles died; b. During the Norman Conquest of William the Conqueror; c. In the reign of Henry VIII; d. With American missionaries after World War II. 2. The Archbishop of Canterbury preaches in: a. Canterbury Church of England; b. Cathedral Anglican Church; c. Canterbury British Cathedral; d. Cathedral Church of … [Read more...]

SOMETHING AGAINST CHURCHES OF CHRIST?

A dear gracEmail subscriber writes, "I have been receiving your mail for almost a month now. I get the picture that you have something against the churches of Christ. Is that so? If it is, why?" * * * If by "churches of Christ" you mean the congregations of those who trust Jesus as Savior and who follow him as Lord, those assemblies mentioned in Romans 16:16, then I certainly hope not to be … [Read more...]

SECTS, DENOMINATIONS AND CHRIST’S CHURCH

A brother suggests that the mainstream of congregations calling themselves Churches of Christ are either a "sect" or "denomination," but that his associates (whose sign says "church of Christ") escape both those categories and any identification with founding fathers Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone. * * * Whether we spell "church(es)" with a capital or lower-case letter isn't nearly so … [Read more...]

WHY RELIGIOUS DIVISIONS?

A gracEmaiI subscriber writes: “I am a Psychiatric Social Worker and an avid reader. Only a few years ago did I learn of so many branches in our Restoration Movement heritage. That grieves me severely because it is contradicts Jesus' prayer for unity in John 17. Can you tell me how these divisions started?" * * * The Restoration Movement, like most tribes within the Christian church, began with … [Read more...]

THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT VISION

A gracEmail subscriber notes the divisions among Churches of Christ, a contemporary wing of the back-to-the-Bible movement led by 19th-century reformers Thomas and Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone. This subscriber asks whether the vision of this particular Restoration Movement is even viable, or if it is inherently self-destructive and doomed to failure. * * * Modern descendants of the … [Read more...]