Merrit asks this question: “Two friends and I have been talking about this verse (1 Peter 3:21) and passage for quite some time today. The more we seem to talk about it the more confused I seem to get about it.
Scripture does not say that baptism is the instrument of salvation any more than the Noahic flood or the Red Sea were the instruments of salvation. No, faith is the sole instrument of salvation. We were delivered through, i.e., out of of the flood and the Red Sea. Continue reading →
Q327 M. Do you think that the water is a washing? of the soul? S. By no means; for it were impious to snatch away this honour from the blood of Christ, which was shed in order to wipe away all our . . . Continue reading →
They were saved (διεσώθησαν) “through the waters” (δι᾿ ὕδατος). What Peter says is that it was in the midst of the circumstance of the flood or from the flood that Noah and his congregation were saved. Peter is not saying that the water was an instrument of their salvation. He has already said that the ark was the instrument or means of their salvation. If you have ever been whitewater rafting or found yourself in rough waters in a canoe, you understand. The rapid waters do not save anyone. No one was saved by the rising flood waters in Hurricane Katrina. They were saved in the midst of them by clinging to a rooftop or by a brave member of the Coast Guard (known affectionately as “Coasties”) dangling from a helicopter. Continue reading →
HB reader Mike asks whether this language requires Reformed believers to confess that baptism necessarily regenerates, i.e., is new life necessarily conferred at the moment of administration. It is widely claimed that “the ancient church taught baptismal regeneration.” In this context “regeneration” . . . Continue reading →
A Preface On Paradigms As Baptists and Reformed folk engage each other’s theological traditions two things need to happen to make that engagement productive: 1) They need to realize that each tradition is theologically distinct. Some Baptists have historical and institutional relations . . . Continue reading →