Thursday, February 08, 2007
"it's all due to the chickpeas"
So tonight, I was grading some papers and, sorry to say, despite the extremely riveting essays I was reading, my mind wandered a bit. I was reading all these summations of Calvin's view of baptism, all of which kept mentioning that baptism is initiation into the church. It suddenly occurred to me to wonder why it was that the Church of Christ so vociferously opposes this view of baptism. Given that the basic, broad theological concern of the Churches of Christ is ecclesiology (I mean, what are we supposed to be restoring in this Restoration Movement, anyway?) it seems like, systematically speaking, one would actually expect a theology of baptism that reflects this strong ecclesiological emphasis. And yet we repudiate it. So, I wondered, why is that? At first I couldn't think of any good reason, and so I tentatively concluded that our hermeneutics had once again triumphed over any systematic impulse in our theologizing...But a few hours later, after having gone to precept and returned to my ever-present though slowly dwindling stack of exam papers, I realized that it was probably that Alexander Campbell just really hated the Calvinist doctrine of election. Baptism is the means by which one is saved in the Churches of Christ because it is the means by which one knows one is saved.