3 articles Articles posted in Thoughts

Context, context, context… First Steps to Understanding Baptism

What does the New Testament say about baptism and what does it mean for us today?

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t sounds a straightforward question to approach: find the relevant verses, go back to the original Greek text, pour over commentaries and look at the passages the verses appear in. Then stir it all together and ‘hey presto!’, you’ve a theology of baptism to apply to our church life today.

Not so much…

When Jesus addressed his disciples telling them to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” [Matt 28:19], he didn’t explain what he meant. Nor do we usually have to explain every word or concept we use in conversations. Communication is based on (in fact, is only possible because of) a shared set of understandings, concepts and experiences. Continue reading →

Baptism: Why it matters so much

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aving written in my first post on here about why CofE clergy in similar churches to ours can feel so jumpy about preaching on baptism – or really engaging with it in church life – I want to explain some of the reasons why I’m so passionate about restoring baptism to the very heart of Christian discipleship and church life.

[An aside – I’m not trying to ‘prove’ anything here and this blog is primarily a place for me keep track of my thinking, so there’s no claim being made for completeness… I reserve the right to change my mind on any of this stuff.]

What makes baptism – its practice and theology – so rich, powerful and dynamic if it’s taught and practiced biblically? Continue reading →

Baptism: Elephant in the Room?

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iven that I’ll only have one more period of Study Leave (if I’m lucky) before I retire – and given that I’ve never managed to set aside time in the course of ‘normal’ life to ‘read and write’ – why focus on the area of Baptism?

[If you’ve not read my intro page about the site, do go read it before you plow on…]

Do you want the good news of the bad news first?

Continue reading →