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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Baptismal Regeneration & Church Fathers

As seen from the Roman Catholic blog "Called to Communion" by Bryan Cross

Quote:
"According to PCA pastor Wes White, the doctrine of baptismal regeneration is “impossible in the Reformed system.”1 By noting this, he intends to show that we should reject the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. But if the evidence for the truth of the doctrine of baptismal regeneration is stronger than the evidence for the truth of the “Reformed system,” then the incompatibility of the doctrine of baptismal regeneration and the Reformed system serves as evidence against the Reformed system. Here I present both Patristic and Scriptural evidence for the truth of the doctrine of baptismal regeneration

. Introduction

The only sacrament mentioned by name in the Creed is baptism. We confess in the Creed: “I believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.” Because Protestants and Catholics share the same Trinitarian baptism, we share a certain real but imperfect unity. But baptism is also a point of disagreement not only between Protestants and Catholics, but also between various Protestant traditions. The Catholic Church has always believed and taught that the grace by which we are born again comes to us through the sacrament of baptism. A small percentage of Protestants agree with the Catholic Church that through baptism we are regenerated with the life of God, cleansed of all our sins, and brought into the Kingdom of God. But many other Protestants think that justification is not through baptism, but by “faith alone,” or by some kind of “sinner’s prayer.” Some Protestants believe that baptism is only a symbol, something not to be done until a person is old enough to understand the gospel for himself. Other Protestants believe that like circumcision in the Abrahamic covenant, not efficacious for rebirth and the reception of the grace of divine life but only a ‘confirmation’ or ‘seal’ of faith through which one is brought into the New Covenant family.

One way that we resolve these disagreements about what baptism is and what it does, is to consider what the Church Fathers believed and taught about baptism. Here I am only focusing on what the Church Fathers say about the relation between baptism and regeneration. I have kept my commentary to a minimum, providing only needed explanatory notes. After examining what the Church Fathers say about this subject, I then offer a brief summary of the New Testament teaching regarding the relation of baptism and regeneration.



To read the rest please visit Called to Communion.







ICXC NIKA

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