Why I Pour!

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TylerR's picture

Editor

Either Jones hasn't read a Baptist defense of immersion, or he's being deliberately silly. I prefer to believe he's just ignorant. He seems to believe the only thing Baptists have is etymology. He keeps bringing up the "baptism" of a mattress. He is a smart man; can't he do better than this? It's almost not worthy of a response!

I read Robert Reymond's ecclesiology in Seminary because I was forced to . . . (gasp!) deal with what the other side actually believed!  I wish Jones would actually interact with real arguments. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

TylerR's picture

Editor

Because Jones evidently isn't willing or able to actually represent what Baptists believe, I'll help him along and give you all one of Reymond's arguments so we actually have something to talk about:

First, a bit from Bauder:

“The meaning of water baptism is connected to the death of Jesus for our sins and to His resurrection from the dead. Therefore, baptism is a picture of the gospel. It is a symbolic reenactment of Jesus’ death and resurrection . . . In other words, people who submit to water baptism are symbolically stating that they have received Jesus Christ – Who died and rose again – as Savior,” (Bauder, Baptist Distinctives, 39). See also Paul R. Jackson, The Doctrine and Administration of the Church, 3rd ed. (Schaumberg, IL: Regular Baptist Press, 2014), 59.  

Reymond disagrees. He feels it is folly to single out one aspect of our union with Christ, and seize upon it at as a picture of salvation at the expense of others:

“[w]ith respect to the alleged pattern of baptism in Romans 6:2-6 and Coolossians 2:11-12 as being that of burial and resurrection, a careful analysis of these passages will show that Paul’s basic thesis is the believer’s union with Christ in his crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection as the antidote to antinomianism,” (Systematic, 934).

The ordinance of Baptism, Reymond continued, should not be used to signify the accomplished phase of Christ’s work at all – the Lord’s Supper does this. Rather, he argued, baptism signifies the applicational phase of Christ’s work; namely, the sprinkling of His blood for the remission of sins (935). 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Andrew K's picture

7:1 Concerning baptism, you should baptize this way: After first explaining all things, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in flowing water.

7:2 But if you have no running water, baptize in other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, then in warm.

7:3 If you have very little, pour water three times on the head in the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit.

7:4 Before the baptism, both the baptizer and the candidate for baptism, plus any others who can, should fast. The candidate should fast for one or two days beforehand.

Pouring is clearly not the preferred method here.

Andrew K's picture

Btw, when you look at images of first-century Roman dining couches, the practice of immersing the thin cushions into a tub of water suddenly doesn't seem so ridiculous.

Bert Perry's picture

One of the strongest arguments against paedo-rantism and paedo-spendism (?) is that koine Greek does indeed have words that mean sprinkle or pour.  So if the proper mode for immersion is to sprinkle or pour, wouldn't that word be used?

Regarding Jones' argument, I've seen it before--I believe in Zondervan's pictorial encyclopaedia of the Bible, as well as probably in the "Evangelical Dictionary of Theology" (Elwell) in much more detail, and suffice it to say that I'm not that impressed.  The fact of the matter is that the other uses of "baptizo"--washing, dipping, dyeing fabrics, etc..--would all necessarily involve the immersion of one object into a liquid.  You see this with the very archeological evidence--vats for dyeing fabrics and leathers, jars for washing, and the very fact that Jerusalem is at the top of the mountain and is therefore not amenable to the classic Roman aquaduct.

One of the most hilarious arguments against proper immersion, IMO, is the claim that in desert villages, there wasn't enough water.  Fact of the matter; most desert peoples earn a living as herdsmen.  Are we to believe that a village of even a few families with a few hundred animals, each needing a gallon or so of water per day to survive, didn't have access to a well sufficent for immersions?  For that matter, with that many animals to water, it's likely that not only did that village have enough water for immersions, but also had a facility--the watering trough--well designed for the same.

But I guess that all I've got is etamology.  Oh well.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

TylerR's picture

Editor

The familiar account of the baptism of the Ethopian eunuch:

And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing (Acts 8:38-39)

Reymond actually suggests that the reason why they went out "into" the water was so that it would be easier to pour water on the Ethopian's head (Systematic, 933). Philip's arm had less distance to travel if the eunuch were already in the water up to his knees, waist, etc. How ridiculous!

Bauder retorts,

“This suggestion might be believable if the people who make it ever took their own converts out into a river to sprinkle water on them. That they never do is an indication of how preposterous their suggestion actually is," (Baptist Distinctives and New Testament Church Order [Schaumberg, IL: Regular Baptist Press, 2012], 47).

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Bert Perry's picture

Andrew K wrote:

Btw, when you look at images of first-century Roman dining couches, the practice of immersing the thin cushions into a tub of water suddenly doesn't seem so ridiculous.

Never mind that given the wretchedness of Roman parties, there doesn't seem to be enough detergent in the world to get all the glippety-glop-glup off of them.  The only question, really, is whether one immerses them, or just burns them.

Come to think of that, that's not too far from the choice that Peter gave in Acts 2:38.....  :^)  (no, I am not pushing baptismal regeneration here, just making a joke....)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

josh p's picture

if I remember correctly Chafer argues that "into" means within the banks. That seems to be stretching it a bit too. 

TylerR wrote:

The familiar account of the baptism of the Ethopian eunuch:

And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing (Acts 8:38-39)

Reymond actually suggests that the reason why they went out "into" the water was so that it would be easier to pour water on the Ethopian's head (Systematic, 933). Philip's arm had less distance to travel if the eunuch were already in the water up to his knees, waist, etc. How ridiculous!

Bauder retorts,

“This suggestion might be believable if the people who make it ever took their own converts out into a river to sprinkle water on them. That they never do is an indication of how preposterous their suggestion actually is," (Baptist Distinctives and New Testament Church Order [Schaumberg, IL: Regular Baptist Press, 2012], 47).