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4 years ago  ::  Jun 21, 2010 - 7:11PM #1
Kimball
Posts: 984

Article XXVII ---"Of Baptism--- Baptism is not only a sign of profession and mark of difference whereby Christian men are discerned from other that be not christened, but is also a sign of regeneration or new birth, whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive baptism rightly are grafted into the Church; the promises of the forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God, by the Holy Ghost are visibly signed and sealed; faith is confirmed, and grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God. The baptism of young children is in any wise to be retained in the Church as most agreeable with the institution of Christ."


Has anyone ever reflected upon this particular article (#27) from the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion?  It is still done to babies in our churches and a large number of parishes seem to have a notice in the Sunday bulletin that all "baptized Christians" are welcome to partake of the Eucharist.  But just what is the ontological value of baptism?  Article 27 seems to want it both ways, for it uses the words "sign" and "promises" when referring to baptism but later it also uses the words "sealed", "increased" and "grafted."   Which way is it---symbolic or actual?  I am not denyinhg the scriptural mandate to baptize but am asking if anyone has any thoughts on what its purpose is.  Don't want to sound cynical but ARticle 27 appears to want to split the difference.  Any thoughts?

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 21, 2010 - 9:16PM #2
kurnell
Posts: 309

According to the Prayer Book, a Sacrament has two parts to it..1) visible sign and 2) inward and spiritual grace (or seal).


Thus, the outward sign for baptism is water, in which to person is baptised in the name of the Trinity.


 


The inward and spiritual grace ( seal) is, a death to sin and a new birth to righteousness. Because human nature is sinful, a new birth is needed to make us children of God.


 


Taken from A Prayer Book for Australia ( Anglican).

Treasure your experience of God,however it comes to you.Remember that Christianity is not a notion but a way.
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4 years ago  ::  Jun 22, 2010 - 8:16AM #3
Kimball
Posts: 984

Kurnell,


Thanks for the response, but let me ask you if you believe that the act of water baptism actually conveys any sanctifying or saving merit or it is simply an outward sign as you posted. 


If it is an outward sign only, then we Anglicans are no different in many ways than Baptists, for example.  If, on the other hand, there is some sort of actual grace conveyed, then we are in the line of the Roman Church and Eastern Churches.


My concern was with the wording in the 39 Articles; this wording seems to want to have it both ways.  Any thoughts on that?

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 22, 2010 - 9:37AM #4
slu_magoo
Posts: 1,003

Of course it's both.  Anglicanism is the via media.


Compare to the Eucharist:  When we partake, we are indeed doing so--to some extent--as an ordinance of remembrance; we're following an example, following directions.  However, we also believe collectively in the Real Presence, that something very real occurs within us as individuals and as a community when we partake.  Both ways.  We have it both ways.


'Sign' and 'seal' are not mutually exclusive.  There's no reason for them to be.  It's regrettable that our Baptist friends among others have chosen to make them so.

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 22, 2010 - 10:49AM #5
Dutch777
Posts: 9,136

Old Dutch agrees with Jeff and Slu.


The posted link is directly relevant to this discussion.  Furious fustigations are not unknown to Anglicanism. WinkComments and analyses are eternally welcomed.


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Cornelius_G...

The Path
To Moon Lake
Doesn't Go
There.

So Walk
Your own Dharma*Path
And Be
Mindful

Dutch
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4 years ago  ::  Jun 22, 2010 - 4:51PM #6
Kimball
Posts: 984

Slu and Dutch:


 


  Thanks for your meaningful input.  Don't want to be presumptuous here so let me summarize what I think you are saying. Please correct me if I am not following you.


 


  Slu: You seem to be saying that sacraments contain an element of mystery which is best expressed by ambiguity in language.


 


 Dutch: Your link to the Gorham case in England seems to be saying that classic Anglicanism advocates baptismal regeneration and that the true Anglicans were not happy with the work of the Privy Counsel which supported a cleric who felt otherwise.  Dutch, do you believe in baptismal regeneration or is your view closer to Gorham's? 


 


I have less difficulty accepting the real presence (however that is defined) in communion than I do in accepting the salvific efficacy of infant baptism.  The difference is that the first  sacrament is mixed with the faith of the communicant whereas the latter is not. Of course, the view on the Eucharist which Slu mentions seems to hint at "receptionism" which might not sit well with Oxford Movement types.


 


Appreciate your thoughts.  I am not being polemical herre but just trying to sort out some of my own thinking with input from others.

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 22, 2010 - 6:15PM #7
Dutch777
Posts: 9,136

Jun 22, 2010 -- 4:51PM, Kimball wrote:

 Dutch: Your link to the Gorham case in England seems to be saying that classic Anglicanism advocates baptismal regeneration and that the true Anglicans were not happy with the work of the Privy Counsel which supported a cleric who felt otherwise.  Dutch, do you believe in baptismal regeneration or is your view closer to Gorham's? 




Kimball:


I've already stated my position in point #3 of my Seven Life Principles in my B-Net profile.

The Path
To Moon Lake
Doesn't Go
There.

So Walk
Your own Dharma*Path
And Be
Mindful

Dutch
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4 years ago  ::  Jun 22, 2010 - 7:11PM #8
Bevo
Posts: 561

The Anglican view on baptism is virtually identical to that in Methodism, whereas Wesley adopted the Anglican Article on baptism into Methodism's Articles of Religion.  The issue, for me anyway, boils down to this:  Who baptizes?  Does Man baptize, or does God baptize?  For those from  a sacramental tradition, we would say it is God who baptizes.  Does our baptism require that we have full understanding of what is taking place?  If it does, then no person would qualify for baptism, regardless of age or maturity of faith.


In our tradition, baptism simply seals that God's grace is upon this person, and in the case of infants, that they might grow in maturity of faith until they are able to receive the gift of salvation on their own.


The evangelical tradition runs into difficulty when it makes persons, in part, responsible for their salvation.  It sets up a set of criteria that a person must meet in order to receive the gift of salvation.  As Calvin would argue, under these conditions. salvation is composed of "works righteousness" and salvation is therefore not solely the gift of God, but something that must be earned in some measure. 


In Scripture, does "household" include children when a whole household is baptized?  There's another passage of Scripture where Jesus points to this group of children and says "...whom already believe..."  I seriously doubt these children had any cognitive knowledge of what it means to believe, yet Jesus claimed that despite this, they did indeed believe.


Wesley was clear when he said a person is not saved through baptism.  I think he was exactly correct.  However, through baptism, marked by God's grace, a person's journey of salvation has begun.  That journey will go on until that person's final breath is breathed.

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2010 - 3:11AM #9
kurnell
Posts: 309

Jun 22, 2010 -- 8:16AM, Kimball wrote:


Kurnell,


 


Thanks for the response, but let me ask you if you believe that the act of water baptism actually conveys any sanctifying or saving merit or it is simply an outward sign as you posted. 


 


If it is an outward sign only, then we Anglicans are no different in many ways than Baptists, for example.  If, on the other hand, there is some sort of actual grace conveyed, then we are in the line of the Roman Church and Eastern Churches.


 


My concern was with the wording in the 39 Articles; this wording seems to want to have it both ways.  Any thoughts on that?




As to the 39 Articles, they are (IMHO), not relevent to the 21st century.They are the remains of a theological fight of by-gone years.


As to baptism, I believe the Anglican Church stands in the Catholic/Orthodox position of baptismal regeneration.This is clearly seen in the words of our various Prayer Books.


Let the Evangelicals protest if they will.It is there in plain black and white.


Pax


Jeffrey

Treasure your experience of God,however it comes to you.Remember that Christianity is not a notion but a way.
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4 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2010 - 8:02AM #10
Kimball
Posts: 984

Jun 22, 2010 -- 6:15PM, Dutch777 wrote:


Jun 22, 2010 -- 4:51PM, Kimball wrote:

 Dutch: Your link to the Gorham case in England seems to be saying that classic Anglicanism advocates baptismal regeneration and that the true Anglicans were not happy with the work of the Privy Counsel which supported a cleric who felt otherwise.  Dutch, do you believe in baptismal regeneration or is your view closer to Gorham's? 





Kimball:


 


I've already stated my position in point #3 of my Seven Life Principles in my B-Net profile.


 Thanks Dutch.  I took at look at your principle #3.  Accordingly, it appears that you see this whole matter of baptism as a thing of mystery.  Hope I am not misinterpreting you on this.





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