Friday, October 19, 2007

Baptism Debate Developing Details

Garret Boyer and I spoke yesterday for a couple of hours. During that time we worked out some details for the debate, and then we had some friendly conversation about the subject matter of baptism (and a bit off track we also talked about election, human will, limited atonement and eternal security). All in all it was a helpful conversation for me to gain a better idea of where Mr. Boyer will be coming from. I'm equally certain it was beneficial for him.

The date of the debate is officially set for November 10, 2007 at 2:00 pm. The question that is under debate will be: "Is baptism a necessary condition for salvation?"

Garret Boyer is a part of the Church of Christ and will be defending the position that baptism is a necessary condition for salvation.

Jacob Allee (me) is a reformed Southern Baptist and will be refuting baptism as a necessary condition for salvation and affirming that faith alone is necessary for salvation.

This is the format we will be following:

20 min. opening statement -Garret Boyer

20 min. opening statement -Jacob Allee

10 min. rebuttal -Garret Boyer

10 min. rebuttal -Jacob Allee

2nd 10 min. rebuttal -Garret Boyer

2nd 10 min. rebuttal -Jacob Allee

(Short break)

15 min. cross-examination -Garret Boyer (asks Q's)

15 min. cross-examination -Jacob Allee (asks Q's)

20 min. closing statements -Garret Boyer

20 min. closing statements -Jacob Allee

Audience questions.

For those who might be able to attend, I would plan on being there until about 5 pm. I would love for everyone who can be there to be there. Mr. Boyer is an intelligent individual who is sure to put a good argument on the table, the debate is sure to be a good one. I hope to see you there!

I'm trying to make arrangements for both audio and visual recordings of the debate so I can make them available as a resource from Reformation In Progress for those who are unable to attend.

God Bless!!!!!!!



Nath @ Reformed Geek said...

It'd be great if you get could it recorded. I would love to fly over and see it live, but that just isn't going to happen. ;)

risen_soul said...

Awww, c'mon. It's just a short hop from Australia to Kansas. You can even stay with me and the fam and save the hotel expense ;-)

Anonymous said...

What do you mean by "necessary condition?"

risen_soul said...

by "necessary condition" I mean something that must occur in order for a person to be justified.

In other words it could be stated this way:

Must a person be baptized to be saved?

Does that clarify?

Anonymous said...

Not really. What I mean is that Luther and Calvin would have argued that baptism is necessary to be "saved", but in a way that would've made it a necessary effect of faith. Calvin was a big believer of the motto "there is no salvation outside of the Church" and baptism was the initiation of the person into it. His contention with the papacy of his day was concerned with whether or not God could freely use those sacraments or whether He was bound to them (this in itself has many practical and theological outcomes, but not among them is whether or not baptism is necessary as both would've required it as a condition of salvation). So again, the issue of necessity can mean a few different things. I'm simply asking if you're debating necessity in terms of baptism as a part of faith or baptism on its own in addition to faith. Those are two very big distinctions.

risen_soul said...

The issue we are debating is whether a person can enter heaven without being baptized. My answer is yes, his is no. It's that simple. that is what we are debating. I don't believe that you have to be baptized to be saved.

I haven't read as much of Luther and Calvin as I'd like, and plan to do, but I have read some of their works and I've read much about them.

I would be shocked to say the least to find that either of them actually believed you had to be baptized to be justified before God.

I would think that Calvin's taking up the motto of "no salvation outside the church" is not in the sense of the church as an institution but rather the invisible body of believers, "the elect."

In that sense I agree with the statement that there is no salvation outside the church, because to be a part of the true church is to be saved, not to be faithful to a set of sacrements set up by an institution.

Martin Luther and Calvin both stress the fact that there is no act that we can do that is conditional for our salvation, faith alone, which is a gift from God itself, is the only condition for salvation.

Since God chooses to save man by His own power and righteousness the works of man are of no account to him. Therefore a person who trust in Christ but dies before baptism is still saved because the agent of justification is faith not obedience or works.

I would wonder why a person who professes Christ would choose not to be baptized, that may be a sign of the fact that their faith isn't genuine, "faith without works is dead", but their salvation is not wrapped up in the act of being baptized.