Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Baptism and Eternal Security

A couple of years ago there was some controversy concerning alien immersion. Should a baptism administered in a church that does not affirm that a true believer cannot loose their salvation be considered valid--even if it is by immersion as a believer with no understanding that baptism in any way is salvific.

This issue was brought up in my class last night and I think I've had a change of mind. Earlier I would have accepted a baptism as valid as long as it met the other qualifications I listed above. However, Dr. Patterson described the qualification for a valid baptism is that it be administered by a New Testament church. The thing that he maintained was necessary for a New Testament church was that they be clear on salvation by grace through faith alone.

I'm not exactly sure that drawing a line at eternal security is necessarily the right place to draw a line. However, there is one thing that makes me think it is probably a good place for SBC entities to draw the line: "Perseverance of the Saints" is probably the only one of the 5 points of Calvinism that Southern Baptists can almost all agree on. If a church rejects perseverance, chances are they don't clearly teach salvation by grace alone either.

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