Luther: Immersion the Best Mode of Baptism

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Andrew35

Puritan Board Sophomore
Well dear brothers, I think we all agree the only proper and orthodox way to eat an Oreo is full immersion (in milk). Anything less than full immersion in milk (unfermented :rofl:) is a “second class” Oreo experience. Surely there can be no debate there.:flamingscot:
:detective:

...but are you paedo?
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Kinghezy

Puritan Board Sophomore
Well dear brothers, I think we all agree the only proper and orthodox way to eat an Oreo is full immersion (in milk). Anything less than full immersion in milk (unfermented :rofl:) is a “second class” Oreo experience. Surely there can be no debate there.:flamingscot:
:detective:

Sip it, don't dip it
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Graduate
I have been pushing back against the unsupported assertion that "in the 16th and 17th centuries everyone basically agreed, so they had no problem saying immersion was in the Bible".
Who are you quoting? I can't find that statement in the discussion. I didn't say it. If you are going to use quotation marks, it should be an actual quote. Otherwise you risk mischaracterizing your opponents.

But that aside, as Grant has already said, how big a debate it was or not is something of a distraction from the main discussion. I think it would be profitable to move on.
 
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Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
Who are you quoting? I can't find that statement in the discussion. I didn't say it.

See Post #91:
It seems to me that these men (Reformers, Puritans, Nadere Reformatie) were not in a context where the mode of baptism was a subject of any great debate. They all practiced afusion or aspersion. This, I think, is why they felt more freedom in admitting—"The Lord Jesus was baptized by immersion (Matt 3:16), as was the eunuch (Acts 8:38). The apostle also refers to this: 'Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death' (Rom 6:4);"—while also saying, "It is not of the least consequence" (Calvin, Institutes, IV.15.19).

And again Post #97:
I'm fully aware of the history of the Reformation and the role the Anabaptists played. What I said was, "the mode of baptism was not a subject of any great debate." That's a fact. The principle men of the era rejected Anabaptist views of baptism. Anabaptist were a radical fringe group and they were esteemed as such by most Christians of that time. None of the Reformers espoused baptistic convictions and only very few of the Puritan era. So no, it was not a subject of any great debate for them. They lived in time when the vast majority were all of the same mind about the matter. And that is why I think, they felt a greater measure of liberty in admitting that the mode of immersion is that described in Scripture and employed by the early church.

If you are going to use quotation marks, it should be an actual quote. Otherwise you risk mischaracterizing your opponents.

If you were trying to say something else in Posts #91 and #97 then the problem does not lie in my one-sentence summary.

But that aside, as Grant has already said, how big a debate it was or not is something of a distraction from the main discussion. I think it would be profitable to move on.

I simply aim to correct a factual error.

If you're going to begin a thread by quoting Luther speaking positively of baptism by immersion, if you're going to ignore the historical context of his words that immersion is not a necessary thing, and then if you're going to the same for Calvin and the Puritans, you should receive some pushback.

I am saying, plainly, that the Reformers were not silent about immersion. The Puritans were not silent. (I again direct you to Michael Harrison.) Their comments about immersion baptism -- especially with the qualification that immersion is not a necessary thing! -- ought to be considered in their historical contexts. They did not favour immersion baptism because it was more biblical but they hadn't thought it through or debated it.

Yes, the debate today is different. In the period of the Reformation and afterwards, the conversation surrounding immersion took place within the broader one of Anabaptism. (Indeed, any comments about mode of baptism are bound up in baptism generally. Luther, Calvin, etc. are speaking of infants as well as converted adults.) But I repeat myself.

Further, you have said that Presbyterians today are unwilling to admit immersion baptism in the Bible and the early church, because such an admission would compromise their view. So I will not be accused of mischaracterization, here is a quotation:

I think some Presbyterians today are not as willing to make the same admissions (if at all) for fear of it compromising their own view.

I hope you would consider that there are Presbyterians whose convictions are not held merely due a risk of approaching a Baptistic view of baptism. There might just be a little more to it.
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Graduate
I'm sorry but you quoted me as saying,
"in the 16th and 17th centuries everyone basically agreed, so they had no problem saying immersion was in the Bible".
That is your summary of my argument. Not my actual comments, as the posts you have now actually cited from me make clear.
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Graduate
If you're going to begin a thread by quoting Luther speaking positively of baptism by immersion, if you're going to ignore the historical context of his words that immersion is not a necessary thing, and then if you're going to the same for Calvin and the Puritans, you should receive some pushback.
I have not ignored it. I do disagree with it being something of no consequence. But I have profitably discussed that with others in this very thread! Saying I have ignored it is false. Again, you are again misrepresenting me and my statements.
I am saying, plainly, that the Reformers were not silent about immersion. The Puritans were not silent. (I again direct you to Michael Harrison.) Their comments about immersion baptism -- especially with the qualification that immersion is not a necessary thing! -- ought to be considered in their historical contexts. They did not favour immersion baptism because it was more biblical but they hadn't thought it through or debated it.
I never said the Reformers were silent! But I can see you are uninterested in debating anything other than straw men.
Further, you have said that Presbyterians today are unwilling to admit immersion baptism in the Bible and the early church, because such an admission would compromise their view. So I will not be accused of mischaracterization, here is a quotation:
You have a bad habbit of missing key qualifying words in sentences. Here, while caliming you do not want to misrepresent my words, you misrepresent them anyway! Pay careful attention. I said "SOME PRESBYTERIANS." Yet notwithstanding, you claim I have said as much about all Presbyterians in general. Read my words!
I hope you would consider that there are Presbyterians whose convictions are not held merely due a risk of approaching a Baptistic view of baptism. There might just be a little more to it.
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If you can't discuss things with the care that is required to not misrepresent the words of those with whom you discuss them, then I would suggest Facebook or Twitter would be a better venue for that kind of exchange.
 
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Herald

Administrator
Staff member
OK. This is where the moderator-on-call jumps in. Let's bring the discussion back on point without pointless bickering or cease discussing altogether.
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
That is your summary of my argument. Not my actual comments, as the posts you have now actually cited from me make clear.

Help me out, then. What were you saying?

I have not ignored it. I do disagree with it being something of no consequence. But I have profitably discussed that with others in this very thread! Saying I have ignored it is false. Again, you are again misrepresenting me and my statements.

Perhaps you have not ignored the historical circumstances. Perhaps you simply do not understand them.

I never said the Reformers were silent! But I can see you are uninterested in debating anything other than straw men.

I didn't say that you said the Reformers were silent. It is a figure of speech meaing that they discussed it.

You have a bad habbit of missing key qualifying words in sentences. Here, while caliming you do not want to misrepresent my words, you misrepresent them anyway! Pay careful attention. I said "SOME PRESBYTERIANS." Yet not withstanding, you claim I have said as much about all Presbyterians in general.

I said that you said "Presbyterians". I did not say that you said "all Presbyterians". The absence of any quantitative adjective does not mean that a total is being discussed.

Consider:

1. "I like fish."

2. "I like some fish."

3. "I like all fish."

The first sentence need not be understood identically to the last. While the first does not specify a portion, it is not necessarily to be read as a total.

If you can't discuss things with the care that is required to not misrepresent the words of those with whom you discuss them, then I would suggest Facebook or Twitter as better options for you.

I will be charitable and assume that your misrepresentations of my words are out of genuine misunderstanding in communication.
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
I have just seen the Moderator's note.

I am withdrawing from this conversation. I do not wish to carry on a conversation in which there are repeated accusations of mischaracterizarions while no substantial discussion is taking place.
 
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