Is Spirit baptism a separate concept from water baptism?
What does the New Testament mean by the word “baptism”? It at least means a ritual involving water, but scriptures also seem to apply the word to an act of the Holy Spirit. Is the ritual performed by Christians also an act of the Holy Spirit in some sense? Or are these two different but related things?
A twitter follower asked for my opinion on this podcast episode, wondering if I thought they represented Dispensationalism fairly. Here are a few notes in response:
The podcast guest kept saying, “Gentile church and Jewish Israel,” when describing our view of the distinction between the Church and Israel. It is true that this present church age is characteristically Gentile, but it isn’t fair to call the church a Gentile entity. The remnant of Israel in this age is within the church, according to Dispensationalism. The church is neither Jew nor Gentile but is a unique body made one from the two.
All knowledge comes to us via the senses (let’s leave aside direct revelations from God at the moment). So, when I observe the natural world, I use my senses, and when I read a book I use my senses. The problem for the “scripture is my axiom” folks, as I often point out, is that if you completely distrust the senses as a source of knowledge (an epistemology)… if you can’t trust any knowledge you get from your senses, then you can’t trust the Bible either, since it comes to you via the senses.
But does that put our senses on par with scripture? Do you mean, my senses are as authoritative as scripture? A friend claimed this is what I was saying: “Since we can trust our senses to read scripture we can trust them for observations on the natural world, and the conclusions that come from it.”
I watched Dr. Jordan B. Cooper’s video from a couple of years ago titled, “5 Problems with the Rapture.” Why did I watch a two year old video on the rapture from a Lutheran and write about it, you ask? I wanted a writing exercise. I also like Dr. Cooper. He’s a good follow on twitter, and a smart resource for church history topics, justification controversies, and whether someone is semi-Pelagian.
I took the audio from my talk at Thrive last year and synced it to the presentation I prepared with it. I think the visuals help. Check it out and let me know what you think. Hopefully, more video content is on its way.
My humble first video message. I got to teach for the local young adults ministry last week to finish out their study of 2 Peter. If you’re in the area, consider giving to this awesome ministry: http://www.thriveharbor.com/
Psalm 19 says, “the heavens declare the glory of God.” And Paul declares in Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead…” But how are God’s attributes seen by the things that are made? And how do the heavens declare the glory of God?
A very common objection to God’s existence is that there is no evidence, and never has been any evidence for his existence. “I’m waiting! I’m open to the idea,” the skeptic claims, “but no one has ever presented evidence!” This objection, however, is either spawned from pure ignorance, or a terribly narrow definition of “evidence.” Most of the time it comes from people who define evidence as direct empirical measurement. In other words, something a physics lab could detect – evidence that in principle could be seen, touched, tasted, smelled, or heard. But that means to count as evidence, “God” would have to be physical, material, a force, a field, a body. Whatever else God might be, he wouldn’t count as God if he were any of those things. So, claiming that evidence must fit the criteria of physics or chemistry just begs the question. Continue reading →