The denizens of the Boar’s Head Tavern have recently been answering a questionnaire, a questionnaire that has also been taken up by some off the list, including Joel, Kevin and Louis (who is a new blogger, but a long time reader on the blogosphere). I thought that I might quickly give answers to some of the question here:
Baptism: Properly administered to all who have faith (which, IMHO, includes the infant children of believers), but does not derive its efficacy from the faith of the baptizand. Baptism brings one into the regeneration brought in through the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. The ideal mode of Baptism is full immersion by affusion (not submersion).
Lord’s Supper: A real participation in the body and blood of Christ. Celebrate it regularly and joyfully.
Emerging Church: Mixed feelings. Some really messed-up theology in the movement, but also a lot of genuine people thinking through some important issues in provocative and faith-enhancing ways. The movement seems a bit adolescent to me at the moment. I think that they should be given a bit of space to think things through at this stage. Hopefully a stronger commitment to the orthodox tradition and a greater appreciation of the strengths of traditional conservative evangelicalism will develop in time. Wait and see.
Young Earth: I really don’t know. I have yet to be fully persuaded by either side’s arguments. Although I lean towards an older earth view, I still don’t feel comfortable that I have satisfactory biblical answers to the arguments against the position. I don’t want to commit myself until I feel that I do.
Cessationism: Soft cessationist. Signs and wonders usually occur at the beginning of a particular covenant order and then gradually disappear. Signs and wonders are the initial scaffolding that God puts up when building His Church. I believe that there are occasions when God reveals things to people and performs ‘miraculous’ wonders in ways that are similar to those that took place during the initial establishment of the new covenant. However, there is no longer a regular prophetic ministry within the Church, for good theological and biblical reasons.
Abraham Lincoln: I would like to think that a truly great leader would have been able to address the problem of slavery without a bloody civil war. However, I have not studied the history enough to feel that I have the right to have an opinion.
Gender Issues: We are far more alike than many complementarians would suggest; we are far more different from each other than many egalitarians would hold. The ordaining of women ministers is a deep and serious error and should be resisted strongly. The marginalization of women in the Church is a problem that needs to be addressed on the other side.
Inspiration of the Bible: Down to every jot and tittle. However, this does not mean that I feel comfortable with the way that many conceive of the ‘Bible’ and its authority, nor does it mean that I believe that the text of Scripture conforms to what many of us expect from historiography. I think that ‘inerrancy’ is an unhelpful word, although I agree with the idea in principle.
Gay Marriage: Oxymoron. However, I find it hard to get that worked up about stopping gay unions. I believe that we would be far better devoting our efforts to living as a distinct culture within the Church, rather than trying to force our apostate societies into shape.
Education: (Home, public, private, none): I would probably lean in favour of education co-ordinated by the Church community. I believe that the strength of home schooling, in getting more actively parents involved in the training of their children, can also be a weakness if it is taken too far and encourages familialism. I believe that the Church is the new family and that the Church should mediate our relationships to the state, the natural family and that it should be the central setting out of which character is developed. Home and state schooling are not necessarily wrong in principle, but I am not sure that they are ideal.
Who is TR on the BHT: Josh S?
Sanctification: In principle, we are already sanctified in Christ. As we receive Christ by faith as He comes to us in the Word and the sacraments we will be transformed to His image through the work of His Spirit.
BHT Comments: If you want to comment, start your own blog. However, that said, perhaps some sort of shadow discussion blog could be set up.