Wednesday, July 20, 2005

PDX and back in 2.5 hours.

Last night Nate and I drove up to Portland and back and had the most awesome discussions. I am a process salvationist, which I'm not sure what that means, but it's where all of my suspicions about Jesus' teachings lead me. Nate is even more suspicious than me.

Nate and I have the kind of relationship where we are allowed to make observations about each other and each other's lives. It's really valuable to me - and it helps us to form sound theology as we wrestle through postmodernism and Christianity.

Last night we processed a bunch more of the theology of process salvationism in light of the redemptive movement hermenuetic and Nate's thoughts on the circle of eternal life returning to the garden (as it was in eden so it will be - ish stuff).

Anyways, we decided that one thing we'd like to see return to the church is the marker of baptism as the marker of a decision to follow Christ permanently. I had been taught that people should be given doctrinal classes before being baptized, but I really think the people who taught me were wrong. I think in a post-God society, baptism is an experiential way to show one's commitment to following the ways and teachings of Jesus.

For Nathan and I, we think people should be allowed to try out Christianity before having to say the "sinner's prayer." In fact, we kind of think baptism shoudl replace the sinner's prayer.

Put that in your denominational report and smoke it.

1 comment:

Court said...

Hello James,

I stumbled across your blog accidentally. Your comments on baptism are very interesting. I have no clue what "the sinner's prayer" is....I can't remember ever reading anything about that in scripture.
But I can definitely relate to what you're saying about baptism. I wouldn't necessarily call it something "experiential," but it's definitely *the* marker of the decision to give one's life to Christ. Everything in the New Testament describes it so. No first century people had to go through "doctrine classes" or anything like that in order to become Christians. They heard the Good News about Jesus, they began to understand who he was, they decided that they wanted to follow him, and they were baptized for the forgiveness of sins and to receive the Holy Spirit.
It was that simple. No reason to make it complicated. I believe that with all my heart.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!