No doubt there’s been a lot of camaraderie at T4G 2010, which wraps up today.   Oh well, now it’s time to go back to the real world and “shepherd” the flock…  What a let down!  If only the attendees could experience this “togetherness” more often…


Sorry guys, but we believe that too much togetherness would lead to division.  Why?


No matter how much T4G leaders pretend to be “Together for the Gospel”, there is a great divide underneath the surface.  After the very first T4G conference in April 2006, a controversy arose among the leaders, as described by Sam Storms on his blog.

Here’s an excerpt from his post:

“It has been the policy of Bethlehem Baptist Church (John Piper), a member of the Baptist General Conference, that in order to become a functioning member one must, among other things, be baptized as a believer. On this scenario, Ligon Duncan and R. C. Sproul, being Presbyterians, could attend but would not be permitted to join Bethlehem Baptist Church.

Piper's desire was to make it possible for individuals who had been baptized as infants, and believed it would be a violation of their conscience to be baptized as adults, to join his church. They would not, however, be permitted to hold a leadership position as an Elder in the local body.”


Obviously, John Piper was addressing this issue because Presbyterians have been coming to Bethlehem Baptist Church seeking membership.  Church policy mandates that in order to become a member of BBC, one must be baptized by immersion.


According to Storms: “Mark Dever, Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, and John Piper each began with a brief statement concerning their view on this proposed policy. Both Dever and Mohler, who are Southern Baptists, oppose it, while Piper and Duncan support it.”


Sam Storms then informs his readers that he is a credo-baptist, not a paedo-baptist. In other words, he believes that only those who believe in Jesus Christ should receive the ordinance of water baptism. He further believes that immersion is the proper mode of baptism.


However, discussing the proper way to baptize was not the purpose of Storm’s post.  He explains that he became extremely concerned with the direction the conversation took.  Storms explains:

“Ligon Duncan, on the other hand, is a Presbyterian paedo-baptist. Because of this, both Mark Dever and Al Mohler made it clear that if Duncan were in attendance at either of their churches they would not permit him to partake of the elements of the Lord's Supper.”

Let me repeat that. Because of Duncan's paedo-baptist convictions, both Dever and Mohler would prohibit his participation in the Eucharist. They would deny to him partnership in the table of our Lord. They would withhold the bread and the cup from him because of his disagreement with them on who are the proper recipients of Christian baptism.

As best I can tell (and I'm open to correction on this point), since Jesus clearly commanded (believer's) baptism, a paedo-baptist (says Dever in his recent blog post) is guilty of "disobedience" and "unrepentant sin" (however unintentional it may be) and is thus disqualified from participating in the Lord's Table”.


Here’s the link to Mark Dever’s article entitled “’The Sin of Infant Baptism’, written by a sinning Baptist”.  (  We HIGHLY encourage you to read it in its entirety.

Dever begins by explaining:

"I have many dear paedo-baptist friends from whom I have learned much. Yet I see their practice as a sinful (though sincere) error from which God protects them by allowing for inconsistency in their doctrinal system, just as he graciously protects me from consistency with my own errors."


In the book Believer’s Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant in Christ, Dever contributed the concluding chapter.  On page 329 he writes:  “Arguments for paedobaptism have been summarized and rejected.”  Dever goes on to explain the fundamentals of baptism: who is to be baptized, who baptizes, how and when it is to be done, etc.   


Back to Sam Storms’ post.   Here is what deeply troubles him:

“I have tremendous respect for both Mark Dever (whom I count as a good, personal friend) and Al Mohler (although I don't know Dr. Mohler personally). Truly I do. They are both an incalculable blessing to the body of Christ. I also agree with them concerning the proper subjects of Christian baptism. But I find it remarkable that they would turn away Ligon Duncan from that ordinance of the church that above all else signifies and expresses the unity of the brethren in the body of Christ.

This may be offensive to some, but the claim to be "Together for the Gospel" rings a bit hollow to me when some would decline to fellowship with others around the Lord's Table because of their disagreement on the proper recipients of baptism.”


Storms goes on to explain what the Eucharist (the elements of bread and wine) represent – “the body and blood of Jesus Christ given on behalf of sinners like Ligon Duncan, John Piper, Al Mohler, Mark Dever, and myself.”  Then he asks the following questions:

“How can we claim to be "together" or "united" for the sake of the gospel and turn away a brother or sister from the very expression and proclamation of that gospel that is so central to the life and testimony of the church? What does this prohibition say to the world around us? What must they think of our professed "togetherness" or "unity" when the elements of the Eucharist would be withheld from a brother such as Ligon Duncan?”


We found Storms’ concluding remarks to be very thought-provoking and are including them here in their entirety:

In effect, this is the message that is sent: "Ligon, we agree with you on the nature of the gospel. We agree with you that we must faithfully proclaim and preach the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and salvation by grace alone through faith alone in what he has accomplished on Calvary. But you cannot share with us the table of the Lord or the elements that represent and proclaim that gospel."

I'm sorry, but that doesn't sound to me like "together" or "united" or any such thing for the sake of the gospel. It sounds rather like a narrow sectarianism that fails to consider the unity of the one body as represented by the one bread (1 Corinthians 10:17). It sounds like the colossal loss of an excellent opportunity to deepen and strengthen Christian fellowship and bear witness to a lost and dying world both of the gospel itself and our unity that is grounded in it.

For some brethren to look at Ligon Duncan (or others in his camp) and say, "We believe the same gospel, we preach the same gospel, but we refuse to express that belief and proclaim that gospel with you by means of the ordinance that Jesus commissioned as an expression of our unity and our confident hope in its capacity to save," calls into serious question the significance of the word "together".

I hope none will conclude from this that I think the conference was a failure or was not beneficial to those in attendance. As I said, I plan on attending again in 2008. I hope none will think that Al Mohler and Mark Dever do not love their Christian brother, Ligon Duncan. Indeed, they would no doubt contend that it is precisely because of their love for him (among other reasons) that they feel compelled to hold firmly to their position. True love is never served by compromising the truth. There is no greater expression of love for another than the willingness to make painful and unpopular decisions for the sake of bringing an errant brother into the light.

One more thing should be noted. In his recent post, Dever indicated that he planned on having an Anglican and a Presbyterian preach from his pulpit in the near future. In the comment section of his blog, one person said: "The implication . . . is that there are people whom you are happy to have in your pulpit but not at the Lord's Table. That seems a little odd." Yes, it does.

In a similar vein, another comment asked: "Why would you let someone in unrepentant sin be teaching the flock at Capitol Hill?"

Finally, more directly to the point of this article, the question was asked: "If your Anglican . . . friend were preaching in your pulpit on a Sunday where the Lord's Table was observed, would you exclude him from participating?" The answer, clearly, is that Dever would indeed exclude him from participating.

In fact, let's suppose, just for the sake of argument, that the Lord's Table is celebrated every Sunday at Capitol Hill Baptist Church (although I don't think it is). This would mean that Dever's Anglican or Presbyterian friend might conceivably preach a profoundly biblical message on the gospel of the dying and rising Christ and salvation through him alone, only to be told (if not in words then surely by the actions then taken) that he must sit to the side and refrain from receiving the elements that symbolize and embody the very dying and rising Christ whom he only moments before so faithfully and biblically proclaimed.

In this not unlikely scenario, the visiting paedo-baptist might even reinforce the truth of the gospel message by pointing to the elements on the table before him, articulating with passion and humility how the sacrifice of Christ's body and blood, here symbolized by the bread and wine, have secured for all Christians forgiveness of sins and eternal life. He would then, I suppose, be led away from the elements and told that although he is no less trusting in what they represent than are his credo-baptist brothers and sisters, he cannot partake with them in the supper.

Does anyone see anything askew in this picture? I'd love to hear your comments.



This controversy seems to explain why Amanda would make the following comment on TWW under the post “Together for the Gospel – Really?”:

“I’m a member of a PCA church and haven’t heard a word about T4G from anyone there. I get the sense that T4G (and other favorites of the “New Calvinists”) have a much stronger following among Baptists and other Calvinistic baptistic groups (e.g., SGM, Bible churches, etc.).”


As we asked in the Together for the Gospel  – Really? post:  How many other than Reformed Baptists attend T4G?  What is the breakdown between denominations represented at the conference (Southern Baptist, PCA, SGM, etc.)?

It sounds to us like in actuality there’s not as much "togetherness" among Reformed Christians as one might think. 



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    Ironically, Dever and Mohler would be welcome both to partake of the Lord’s Supper and join Duncan’s church, despite their differing views on the Lord’s Supper and their baptism by immersion.

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    The insistence of many Baptists on baptism by immersion as a prerequisite to taking communion (aka the Lord’s Supper) reflects some degree of old Landmark Baptist theology. In Landmarkism, both baptism and the Lord’s Supper are viewed as only properly administered under the auspices of a local church (that is, by an officer, such as a pastor or deacon, or by someone appointed to the task by an officer and/or by the congregation). As such, the only proper participants in communion are viewed as members of a New testament (NT) church, and, in the traditional Baptist view, since a person cannot be a member of a NT church without having first been immersed, anyone who is not immersed is in essence not a church member and thus not a proper recipient of the Lord’s Supper.

    But then, this really isn’t any different from what almost all other denominations teach. Presbyterians, Methodists, Anglicans, Catholics, and other paedobaptists also teach that church membership is a prerequisite to taking communion. They just happen to have different views about what constitutes a NT church and NT baptism. So they would accept a Baptist to communion, but not a person who has never been baptized at all.

    In my view, admittedly not common among Baptist, or most other denominations, both baptism and communion are Christian ordinances, rather than church ordinances. That is, although the normal practice for both in the NT would naturally have been as part of a local church, the commands that Jesus gave to baptize, make disciples, and to teach them to obey His commands were given to all believers, not just to the apostles or to their successors or to “official” church leaders. And nowhere does the NT directly teach that baptism is a requirement for church membership (since membership in the institutional sense is never mentioned), nor does it teach that church membership is required for communion.

    So, in my humble opinion, almost all denominations have wrong doctrine and practices regarding both baptism and communion because they are focusing on a traditional and institutional view of the church rather than an organic and spiritual view. I consider it a holdover in Protestantism from Catholic doctrine and practice, much the same way that Catholic practices have influenced assumptions in most Protestant denominations regarding things like paid professional clergy, church buildings, pews, and even what should go on during a typical worship service. (Lydia will back me up on that, I’m sure, even if no one else does.) 🙂

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    Another thought: they allow for disagreement on secondary issues such as baptism and the Lord’s Supper, while raising tertiary issues such as complementarianism to the level of primary issues (see Article XVI of the T4G Affirmations & Denials:

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    “In my view, admittedly not common among Baptist, or most other denominations, both baptism and communion are Christian ordinances, rather than church ordinances.”

    As I understand it, that is the view underlying the practice of open communion, as is practiced by Presbyterians, Methodists, (some/many?) Anglicans, some Baptists, and others. I agree with you that they are Christian ordinances (or, in my case, sacraments) given by Christ, though I would nuance it a bit to say that they were given to believers, members of the invisible, universal church. I’m ambivalent on the idea of church membership, having heard arguments both ways, but I would definitely agree that membership in a local expression of the universal church should not be a prerequisite to participation in the Lord’s Supper.

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    I can identify with this. I have lots of friends who are strong believers from other traditions. I wouldn’t prohibit them from taking communion, but I can see how people like Dever and Mohler would.

    I am just not that big on this stuff. But I understand how Mohler and Dever would be.

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    From a worldly perspective, I can see it. Not from a Christian perspective.I thoroughly condemn this and can’t see Jesus liking this too much either. But, guess I might not be one of the elect….

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    PS Annonymouse

    Wait until they start denying communion to old earthers and partial preterists. And then they will seek out men who have been taught something by a woman and punish them as well.

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    Several years ago my daughter’s high school choir (in a non-denominational Christian school) held its retreat at a Presbyterian camp over a weekend. The camp was situated on the grounds of a small Presbyterian church.

    The choir director arranged for her students to sing during the church service on Sunday morning. I was one of the chaperones, and they did a wonderful job! Although I was a member of a Southern Baptist church at the time, I thoroughly enjoyed the worship service. I’ll never forget how receptive the minister and the entire congregation were to us during communion. At the time I thought only Catholic churches had closed communion. This revelation about churches like Capitol Hill Baptist is indeed shocking to me.

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    Anonymous said:
    “I wouldn’t prohibit them from taking communion, but I can see how people like Dever and Mohler would.”

    Dever and Mohler – leaders of “Together for the Gospel” huh? What a joke!

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    “In my view, admittedly not common among Baptist, or most other denominations, both baptism and communion are Christian ordinances, rather than church ordinances.”

    This is dead on. I had never heard of closed communion in an SBC church until the last 10 years.

    The practice of “Lord’s Supper” in the NC is an actual meal where they would remember our Lord.

    Note, They are treating it as a sacrament. The SBC has been heading toward Rome for quite a while now. Yes, Junk is exactly right about what is tradition and not modeled in the NC at all.

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    “The Guy Behind the Curtain” added a hit counter two days ago, which is located at the bottom left corner. It’s set up to ignore Dee and me when we log in, so the number of hits are strictly from our loyal readers.

    Looks like we’ll hit “2,000” in a matter of hours. Just thought you’d like to know that if you’re reading TWW you have LOTS of company!

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    Closed communion is the norm in the Landmark fundamentalist Baptist churches I grew up in. I agree with what Junkster said earlier; it’s a characteristic of Landmarkism. If that’s where churches in the SBC are heading that is *not* a good thing.

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    Would Landmarkers be associated with the IBF?

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    Just talked to one of my friends who attended T4G this year. He went with 3 staff people and a lay leader from his church. A former intern and a current intern also attended.

    He had a great time. No controversies over the ordinances or other matters.

    If I find out additional details, I’ll let you know.

    Maybe some reader here who attended will have some insights from this year’s conference.

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    If you mean IFB (Independent Fundamentalist Baptist), yes. Landmarkism is held to by a subset (IMO most) of IFB churches:

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    I just read the Wikipedia article on Landmarkism. I had to chuckle at the following:

    “Thus, Landmark Baptists have declined to allow non-Baptists to preach in Landmark Baptist churches and have required prospective members who have received “pedobaptism” or “alien immersion” to be baptized by a Baptist church before receiving them into membership.”

    ALIEN IMMERSION – that a new one on me! Are these people for real?

    I read the Wikipedia article on Closed Communion yesterday and found it very interesting.

    Blogging has opened up a new (and scary) world for me.

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    The term “alien immersion” is common in Landmark circles, but I’ve also always been amused by it. It means a person was immersed, but not as part of church that holds to the same doctrine as Southern Baptists. That would include a church that allows both immersed and non-immersed members, or a church that practices immersion and also believes that baptism a part of how a person is saved (Christian churches/churches of Christ), or one that practices immersion but holds to a different view of salvation (particularly the doctrine of eternal security, such as Assembly of God or Free Will Baptists). I suppose it could also include being baptized by a Vulcan, Romulan, or Klingon.

    The First Baptist Church in the town where I went to college would accept “alien immersions”, which loed the other Baptist churches in that county’s association to disfellowship that church (and thus refuse to accept their members unless they were re-baptized. It was a very Landmark area. Since I was saved while attending college and had not been raised with any church background, I sought to base my beliefs on what could be found in Scripture — and I could never see the support for Landmark views. I respect their opinions, and I know the verses they use to try to support their views, but I am not convinced that their interpretations are correct.

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    I have a friend who attended T4G this year, too. He raved about it. I commented to him that it seems that he likes celebrity preachers. He responded that he likes good, expository preaching, and that if someone gets famous for it, that’s God’s business. I guess I ruffled his feathers a bit. But he has a point.

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    Yes, many denominations practice “open communion”, but their offical church doctrines define baptism and communion as church ordinances. That is, almost all (maybe all, I’m not sure if there is an exception) denominations teach that baptism should only be administered under the authority of a local church (by its officers or persons appointed by the church to the task), and they likewise teach that baptism (of whatever form they practice or allow) is required for church membership, and that baptism and church membership are required for participation in the Lord Supper.

    So while baptism and church membership (somewhere) are almost universally considered prerequisites to communion, the main difference for Baptists is that they have specific views of what constitutes baptism and church membership. The most thoroughly Landmark position is that communion should be “close close” (os “closed closed”), meaning that it should only be taken by members of a specific local church, and that it should not be taken by anyone visiting, even if a member of another church with the same beliefs and practices (called “of like faith and order”). The less strict Landmark view is that communion should simply be “close” (or “closed”), meaning it can be taken by anyone present who is part of a church with the same beliefs and practices, but not by members of churches with different beliefs and practices. (This is probably the most common view in Southern Baptist churches.) The “open communion” view is that it should be open to any baptized believer, regardless of the mode or doctrine of baptism. (This is the common view in many denominations, and in some Southern Baptist churches.)

    The view that there is no connection at all between baptism or church membership and communion, and that any Christian should be allowed to participate in communion, could be called “open open” communion. This is my view, and it is what I meant when I said that my view is not all that common (at least not in the official doctrine of most denominations, though some may practice it), and what I meant when I said that I see both ordinances as “Christian” (meaning open to being performed and shared by all Christians) rather than as “church” ordinances.

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    Let me also add that I think that the incidence of someone who is a Christian and has never been baptized at all, either as a child or upon profession of faith, is likely a relatively rare occurance. Most likely it would be a recent adult convert who was not raised with a church background and has not yet been baptized or joined a church. I just don’t think that the Bible teaches anywhere that communion should be withheld from such a person, as our fellowship with each other in Christ is based on our salvation, not on our baptism.

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    I just did some more research, and apparently United Methodists so practice what I called “open open” communion — they officially invite any Christian to the Lord’s table, regardless of baptismal status. I learned somethingn new today. Guess that makes me part Methodist — to my everlasting shame. Hahaha.

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    This is so true. Crazy, isn’t it?

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    Even if you’re not one of the elect, you’ve still got my vote! 🙂

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    I would be heartbroken if you weren’t one of the elect. Come to think of it, I hope I’m included in God’s elect…

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    Could you imagine anyone attending T4G and then saying they had an awful time? Of course not!

    I have no doubt that those who went heard good expository preaching from most of the speakers. We will have more to say about it in the upcoming post.

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    Gotcha. Having grown up in churches that practiced close close communion, I am very familiar with that practice, though I’ve long since abandoned that view myself for an open (or maybe “open open”) communion position.

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    Junkster is right; Wikipedia isn’t making that up. Of course, then there are the IFB types who see Southern Baptists as apostates and would not accept someone’s baptism because it was done in a Southern Baptist or even the wrong kind of IFBs.

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    I believe that God has elected every one, but only a few have accepted election and become an adopted child. To me, it is another way of saying that salvation is by grace, which is a free gift, but you have to accept a gift to complete the transaction. So God did all the work, as Father in heaven, as Jesus on the cross and being resurrected, and as the Holy Spirit. We just have to say yes to the gift of salvation by repentance and proclamation that Jesus is Lord.

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    Entrance into heaven by proclamation,eh….Reminds me of Mark Twain who said something like that “if living a good life were a prerequisite for getting into heaven, my dog would make it and not me!!!!

    Glad for your vote-there are a few out there who would definitely cancel out your vote. But, I think a Junkster vote would be worth 10 of one of their votes, so there!!!

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    Which just goes to show why we all need Jesus. Unfortunately some in that crowd would think that, all they they are the “worst sinner in the world”, we, the little guys so affected by sin that we can’t think straight, need it more.

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    John Wesley was a great guy.His conversion story is fascinating. Did you know that he came to evangelize the Indians in America, went back to England and then discovered that he wasn’t a Christian?

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    As always, I agree with you.The moment we add more to what constitutes our salvation and adoption into the body of Christ, we are in danger of making this a works based salvation, something that the Reformed crowd purportedly despise. But wait, why are they adding this???

    However, I believe that baptism is an act of obedience and follows the example of Jesus. However, it is merely an outward expression of an inward reality.

    My own story is interesting. I was baptized as an infant. Believed my conversion at 17 was a confirmation of said baptism. But, over the years, I felt this was a hindrance to others. Also, we chose not to baptize our own children since we believed, in general, with believers baptism.

    So, 20 years after my conversion, I was immersed baptized in the Jordan….well, Jordan Lake, here in NC. However, I felt saying I was immersed baptized in the Jordan should take care of all objections except by a few crazies out there.

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    I am with you.I have read all of the Reformed big guys, including the Puritans, Calvin, Edwards, and this small brain of mine cannot comprehend why what you have just said means that we have any glory on our own salvation. And before any of the Reformed crowd jumps in, I promise you, I’ve heard it and read it all.

    When a ravenous, dying dog, comes upon some food and swallows it, we don’t say, “Congratulations dog, you have authored your own means of escape from death. You are such a smart dog and deserve adulation for your wise decision.” We realize that the food was put there by a loving person who didn’t want dogs to suffer.We also understand that the dog’s creator put the hunger in the dog to seek food.

    Yep, the Reformed crowd is going to really believe I am not one of the elect now!

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    You are very well informed. Thanks for your input on this matter.

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    You are very well informed on this matter. Having become a Christian during Star Trek, as you know, I am most open to “alien” immersion.Here is a question for you. If there is life on other planets, are they saved through jesus’ sacrifice here or not? Also, is there life on other planets?And, if s, how do you think that enters into the big picture of things? Sorry folks, but there are some some sci fi lovers on this blog (and i am one of them). BTW, I plan to answer your question from last week today.

    Seriously, can you imagine Jesus standing at a door, keeping people out due to their manner of baptism? Isn’t He more interested in the inward reality? I would never, ever join a church that would restrict people from communion due to their baptismal status.

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    What a clever thought! That the baptism/communion practices are holdovers from Catholicism.I think you may have a point here. That point is enough to give some Reformed types heartburn!

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    That is irony at its best!

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    I finally answered last weeks question for you. Please feel free to respond under that comment. we have a new system that lets us see any new comment that is posted, no matter how far back.

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    Even a hungry dog won’t eat something that it doesn’t think is food. 🙂

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    I’ve wondered about those things, too. It’s not inconceivable that God could have created the entire universe just for humanity’s sake, so to speak, and not put life (any life, or perhaps just sentient life) on other planets. Nor is it inconceivable that the universe could be teaming with life of all kinds.

    Contact with a sentient species elsewhere would certainly raise interesting theological problems. Such beings might be like angels, in that they are not part of the plan of sin and redemption. Or, if all of the universe was impacted by Adam’s fall on a cosmic level, perhaps they are all covered by Christ’s sacrifice, or perhaps none of them are. Or, God could have played out the same redemption story on other worlds, with each alien race falling into sin and God coming in their form to them just as He came in human form to us. Or maybe there are beings out there totally unaffected by sin — sinlessly living in full harmony with the Creator. So many possibilities …

    And then there’s the theory of an infinite number of parallel universes … popular in the realm of quantum physics. (I used to love the Could there be one or more universes in which Adam never sinned? I think that some very cool science fiction could be written delving into all these “what ifs”. A whole new genre of biblical sci-fi is just waiting to be developed!

    Though it isn’t sci-fi, this reminds me of a book I read years ago called “A Skeleton in God’s Closet” by Paul Maier. I think both you and Deb, with your focus on thinking evangelicalism, would enjoy it.

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    Here is one for ya: After we are saved, do we choose to sin?

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    Amanda wrote:
    “Another thought: they allow for disagreement on secondary issues such as baptism and the Lord’s Supper, while raising tertiary issues such as complementarianism to the level of primary issues”

    AMEN and AMEN!!!

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    I just ordered A Skeleton in God’s Closet for my Kindle and will read it while traveling. It sounds like it might be similar to another book that affected me called Wil’s Bones I actually think it is spelled with one “l”. The premise is they find a tomb that says it is Jesus’ tomb and there are skeletal remains. It was an interesting study on people’s reactions and helped me to see that my own faith is pretty secure.

    I have thought the same things as you. Are you watching Fringe? It is dealing with a parallel universe this year and is on now. I’m really enjoying it. You can catch old episodes on Hulu, etc.

    I had a bunch of friends at DTS, profs and students. One prof told me that he doubted Jesus would die multiple times in multiple planets or universes due to something in the Bible that God only needed to make one sacrifice. He was for the theory of other planets not falling into sin ala CS Lewis space trilogy “Out of the Silent Planet.” (awesome-have you read it?). The other one he bought was that somehow the entire universe was redeemed by Jesus’ sacrifice and other civilizations knew about it- not sure how but wouldn’t I love to be a space missionary 🙂

    By the way, have you read any of Alton Gansky’s stuff? He plays around with time lines merging ,etc with some great sci fi. “A Ship Possessed” and “Vanished” are a couple that I enjoyed.I did a search on amazon for Christian science fiction and have read some awesome books- a favorite was The Lamb Amongst the Stars Trilogy and The Ingathering-The Complete People Stories-promise you’ll love them if you haven’t read them.


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    “Yep, the Reformed crowd is going to really believe I am not one of the elect now!”

    Not all of us. 🙂

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    Well there you go again, messing things up for those of us who are concrete thinkers!

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    So is the thinking process now a demonstration of our own will? Actually, I think (therefore am now guilty of doing things under my own will, arghhhhh) you point is well taken. Who put these instincts in us anywho?

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    Glad to hear it! I need a stroke every now and then:)

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    Thanks for the info. I’ve always wonder if anyone but me thought about these things.

    It sounds like the premises (premesii??) of “Wil’s Bones” and “A Skeleton in God’s Closet” are similar. Let me know what you think of “Skeleton” after you read it. I read it a long time ago and can’t really remember whether the writing is all that good or bad, but I enjoyed the questions it raised and how people deal with intellectual challenges to their faith.

    Yes, I never miss Fringe. Love it. And Lost, V, Flash Forward, Stargate Universe, and Dr. Who. Gee, I watch too much TV. And I’m quite the geek.

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    Well, I sin, and I don’t think anyone else is choosing it for me… unless I want to go with Flip Wilson theology (“The devil made me do it!”).

    I like the categories that Augustine used:

    Posse peccare – able to sin
    Before the Fall, Adam had not sinned yet but was able to sin.

    Non posse non peccare – not able not to sin
    After the Fall, Adam (and everyone) was unable to break free from sin.

    Posse non peccare – able not to sin
    After regeneration, the tyranny of sin has been broken for believers

    Non posse peccare – not able to sin
    In our final glorified state in God’s presence, believers will not be able to fall back into sin

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    I had never seen those categories in that way before. Thanks. I have a question. What do you think it means be “the tyranny of sin has been broken for believers?” Both, in myself, and others I see the daily struggle with sin. In fact the longer I am a Christian, the more aware I am of my sin. I know Jesus has forgiven me and that His righteousness is imputed to me, but, unfortunately, I do not see less sin in Christians. However, I do see a wish to sin less. Thoughts??

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    I have never seen Flash Forward. Is it on the Sy Fy channel? I need to catch up on V. I have watched it in the past and haven’t yet watched this new series. Heard it is pretty good. I think Stargate U has finally picked up after a slow start. I am having trouble getting into some of the characters. I very much enjoyed the characters in the first two Stargate series.They definitely need an O’Neil character in the Universe one.

    I am a geek by adoption. I am not particularly good a science, math and computers. However, I have many geek friends. I like their sense of humor-kinda like yours!! I just did a talk at church on understanding scientists. I called it an Oprah look at the science world. I am very concerned about the view of science that Christians who are outside the sciences hold. My church is made up of a bunch of professors and scientists from UNC-Chapel Hill. I think some of the nonscientists are both intimidated and suspicious of scientists having been told by folks like Ken Ham that they are all (except for his small group)Biblical compromisers and deniers. Nothing could be further from the truth for many Christian scientists.After my talk, a well-known medical researcher came up and thanked me for my explanation for nonscientists.

    I used to date a bunch of scientists types. One day, during church, a scientist friend sent me the following poem. I laughed so hard I interrupted the speaker. “She is the fairest of her sex and I would be her hero.My love for her is like 1/x as x approaches 0!”

    Blessings and long live geeks!

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    I think “the tyrany of sin has been broken” means that, before regeneration, a person can’t help but sin (they are “not able not to sin”), but afterwards they have the power (by the indwelling Holy Spirit) to overcome sin and chose not to do it (able not to sin). It doesn’t mean we don’t sin, or that we sin less than others, just that we don’t have to. And we should expect that, over time, as the Spirit continues His work of sanctification, we will sin less than we used to.

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    Flash Forward comes on ABC and has several people who used to be in the cast of Lost. (Not playing the same characters, just some of the same actors.) It’s about an event that caused the entire planet to back out at the same time for a couple of minutes, during which time they all had a vision of the same moment in time several months into the future. The main characters are FBI agents searching for the cause and how to prevent it from happening again. (It’s evident some people did it on purpose, but not who or why.) Interesting premise. Might not make a lot of sense to jump into it without seeing it from the start.

    Stargate:Universe is way darker than the previous series — probably an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Battlestar Galictica (the new series), which was also dark. But Start Trek tried that, too, with Deep Space Nine, and it just never worked as well as their usual formula. I’m giving SG:U a chance but hope they move it forward soon. The last couple of episodes have been better. You’re right, they definitely need an O’Neil. It’s hard to care about any of the major chacacters so far as they have been mostly jerks. That is intended to intensify conflict, but you gotta have at least one hero to look up to in a series.

    I know more about scifi than real science. I can’t tell you how a rocket works, but I can talk about warp drive theory. Go figure.