Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Today's theme is interesting articles I read today - sorry this seems to be mostly controversial items but it just so happens.   Hopefully tomorrow's post is a little more constructive.

The Rise of the Papacy

Especially interesting given the election of a new pope last week.  I for one had a renewed curiosity about the history of the Pope and had found several Catholic sites which traced the Pope all the way to the Apostle Peter.  I was a little skeptical and found this article to be helpful.  Hopefully nothing to rile up my Catholic brothers and sisters here; love you all in the Lord folks.  That said, I do have issue with the Pope seemingly claiming a role that is Jesus alone.

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.    1 Timothy 2:5,6

Anyways - on a lighter note, have a look at this.  The Pope-mobile through the ages, nice!

Why I Changed My Mind About Baptism

The Gospel Coalition has been doing a series on baptism and presenting the arguments for and against believers-baptism vs. paedo-baptism.  The latest entry has a reformed Presbyterian minister speaking about why he converted to a paedo-baptist position.  I found the arguments rather week as is typical for a good Baptist, lol.  Have a look at my comment below.

Interesting that of he three texts mentioned in the second to last paragraph none explicitly support infant baptism.

In my opinion this is a poor reading of Acts 2:38,29 - the promise is "Repent and believe and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit". ie. if your Children repent and believe they will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

This promise is valid for "everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself”, but it is contingent on belief and repentance (also gifts of God, but that is another issue).

Colossians 2:10-11, The circumcision of our heart coincides with our regeneration by the power of the Holy Spirit - baptism merely symbolizes the death of the old man and resurrection to a new life with a new heart that desires to follow God's commands.
(see Jeremiah 9:25 & Ezekiel 36:26,27

1 Corinthians 7:14 - Seems silly but on the theme of households I would have to ask if the wife should baptize her unbelieving Husband as well if he consents?

Anyways, interesting topic.  I am a proud big "C" Christian, small 'b' baptist - so I hope that this issue being recently brought to the forefront will not hinder the Church's ability to work together for the common purpose of lifting up the name of Jesus.

"They say you don't have to be Baptist to get to heaven, but I figured 'What take the chance?'"  - Tony Campolo (That's a joke people, lol)

Prisoners Sue Over Lack of Non-Christian Chaplains

Interesting Article in the Post today about government sponsored Christian chaplains.  Imagine, Christian chaplains being paid by the state.  Of course the rowdy secular crowd is up in arms, but the article does bring up some interesting questions regarding the state's role in sponsoring 'religions'.  I don't have time to get into that one today, but I thought the story of warden Burl Cain and America's (formerly) bloodiest prison 'Angola State Pen' is related and interesting, so have a look -->

 Cain's Redemption

"Formerly known as America's bloodiest prison, the 18,000 acres that comprise Louisiana's Angola State Penitentiary are now home to 5,000 inmates, a full range of seasonal crops, a 9-hole golf course, yearly rodeos, a Bible seminary, a museum, and much more. All of this came into being at the behest of Warden Burl Cain, who is now the longest-standing warden in the history of Angola prison. Under his leadership, the inmate population of 5,000 has gone from regular knife fights to Bible studies. Cain is a strong believer in the ability of the gospel to turn the most incorrigible of sinners into productive, moral citizens."

Say what you will re: church / state separation but it is pretty hard to argue with results! 

Apparently there is also a documentary on this one, I am hoping to find it somewhere online, if I do I will be sure to post if for your edification.

That's all for today folks.


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