Monthly Archives: June 2009

  • The Lord’s Prayer

    Honestly, I feel a little weird defending the practice of reciting the Lord’s Prayer in our services. No one seems to mind when an elder prays one of Paul’s prayers or when we recite the Psalms, but when the Lord’s Prayer comes out, the Catholic meters start going wild. This was driven home to me recently when I heard a message wherein the preacher mocked churches that pray the Lord’s Prayer.

    Our Father, Who Art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name…

    Hopefully, this will not only explain why we do what we do, but also encourage you and infuse your prayer life with freshness.

    Jesus instructed us to use the Lord’s Prayer as a model for our own prayers. On one occasion, the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Lk. 11:1). He neither give them … Read More »

  • Infant Baptism – Part II

    Last week we took up the question of infant baptism and suggested that it flows out of the covenantal nature in which God deals with his people. It is important to note that the emphasis of the Bible is corporate not individual. Of course, God deals with us individually, but even that is in the context of the corporate, the church. Thus, we believe that God includes in his church believers in Jesus Christ and their children.

    Thus, it is important to note that, historically, the vast majority of the church has practiced padeobaptism.

    Further, we suggested that while our practice is similar to that of the Roman Catholic Church, Lutherans and Anglican/Episocopals, our reasons for applying the covenant sign to infants are quite distinct. Thus, it is important to note that, historically, the vast majority of … Read More »

  • Infant Baptism – Part I

    Infant baptism is usually the last doctrine to be embraced by those wrestling though Covenant Theology. (Reformed practice and understanding of the recipients of baptism and why they receive it separates our theology from other competing systems.) Rome, Lutherans, and Anglicans/Episcopalians suggest that baptism is to be administered to infants either for the purpose of regeneration and/or that their sins might be washed away. While we agree babies should be baptized, we disagree about why the sign is applied. Anabaptists (literally “re-baptizers”) reject any form of infant baptism, choosing rather to insist on faith from their children before they receive the sign. Ironically, since they are not content to embrace the implication that their children are no different from the pagans outside, an unbiblical “sacrament” is created: baby dedication. While we appreciate the insistence … Read More »

  • Baptism – Part II

    Last week, we learned that through baptism God is actually at work, signing and sealing his covenant of grace to us and adopting us into his family. The language of signs and seals may be foreign to the 21st century reader. Let’s unpack them. First, though, let’s state the obvious. By applying the scriptural language of signs and seals to baptism, the Reformed tradition emphasizes that it is God doing something in the sacraments, not us.

    Seals highlight the trustworthiness of God and give us tangible, visible Words that his promise is sure.

    He is giving us a sign of something he has done or promises to do, things we cannot see with the naked eye, and He is sealing us. In the sacraments, then, we are pointed away from anything that we have done or … Read More »