[#] Is there a menu?

I was combing through the meta at the Welty blog post, and I ran into a comment from a young lady who wondered if the debate could actually be resolved over paedo vs. credo. I have an answer to her question, but it has to start from the place that much of the debate is actually resolved.

For example, the paedos we're dealing with here aren't Catholics or Church of Christ, right? They don't believe in baptismal regeneration, so there's one thing resolved: baptism doesn't actually save anybody -- it's not th way by which our sin nature is thwarted or anything like that.

Another thing that's resolved, I think, is that baptism is the moment of initiation into the church. What we mean when we say "the church" is not quite resolved, and we may be talking about apples and oranges in the end on that matter, but superficially we agree that baptism brings a person from outside the boundaries of the church to inside the boundaries of the church.

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So what's left?

I think the most important thing that's left on the table is who is a candidate for baptism? LBCF, meet WCF. Can that question be resolved? See: I think it can in a couple of different ways without sacrificing either "presbyterian" or "baptist" distinctives. Each way deserves its own post, but there's a larger issue that has to govern the matter: rebaptism.

How big a deal is it to "rebaptize"? What counts as a baptism? How many baptisms should you get -- or take? At what point have we cheapened baptism to less than a sign and seal and only to a ritual of initiation?

For example, do we have to rebaptize free will baptists when they figure out that God is sovereign over salvation? Do we have to rebaptize wobbly evangelicals who realize that Christ is Lord over All? What is the nature of baptism, and when do we take it as valid or invalid in order to maintain the lines of the church which it indubitably draws?

At the end of all this blogging about baptism is the matter, which we roasted Abanes over months ago, of rebaptism and whether baptism means anything specifically or if it only means something generally and vaguely.

That is ultimately where I am going to take this discussion, and I hope you're all coming along for the ride. You, too, Welty.