When Is My Child Old Enough to Get Baptized?

My daughter has never known a time when she did not believe in Jesus, she loves going to church, and she isn’t shy about telling people that she loves God. As far as she can tell, she’s always been a Christian.

But she hasn’t been baptized.

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Our Journey

My wife and I have had many conversations about when we should encourage her to get baptized. Those of you who are from traditions that baptize infants may not appreciate the significance of this issue. But those of us who believe that baptism is for those who have made a personal confession of faith, it gets a little tricky.

What is faith?

What makes it personal?

How do you know?

Questions like these defy easy answers.

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Top Posts for September

Wheaton’s Next Theology Conference Is Getting Spirit-ual

Wheaton Theology Conference 2014

Every spring, Wheaton hosts one of the best theology conferences around. And this year should not disappoint: “The Spirit of God: Christian Renewal in the Community of Faith” (April 3-4, 2014). Registration is now open, so make sure you check it out.

“New developments in global Christianity, including the spread of the Pentecostal movement, challenge Christians to renewed attention to the Spirit of God. The 2014 Wheaton Theology Conference examines the person and work of the Holy Spirit in the Christian community and in the world. The conference explores various ways that God’s Spirit searches, teaches, leads, and empowers the community of faith. With special attention to biblical and historical perspectives, the conference develops theological insights to support, educate, challenge, and encourage pastors, teachers, and informed laity.”

As usual, the conference will be bringing together a pretty amazing group of speakers, including people like Timothy George, Geoffrey Wainwright, Oliver Crisp, Michael Welker, and Kevin Vanhoozer, as well as Wheaton’s own Jeffrey Barbeau and Gregory Lee. Check out the entire list of speakers to see who else will be there.

So, if you can free up a couple days in April and want to come join us, please do! It should be a great time.

Flotsam and jetsam (9/30)

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Good Reads

  • A Global Slaughter of Christians, but America’s Churches Stay Silent: Christians in the Middle East and Africa are being slaughtered, tortured, raped, kidnapped, beheaded, and forced to flee the birthplace of Christianity. One would think this horror might be consuming the pulpits and pews of American churches. Not so. The silence has been nearly deafening. (The Daily Beast)
  • How to write a theological sentence: I have the sense…that few of us have thought about the conditions necessary to write a theological sentence that has the potential to make a reader stop and rethink what they thought they think. (Stanley Hauerwas)
  • Born in the Wrong Body: This is an interesting summary of the growing transexual movement, the reasons behind it, and some of the concerns with it. It’s brief, so don’t expect compelling analysis. But as an overview, it’s useful. (The Week)

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17 Things You Didn’t Know about Coffee

I almost missed the fact that it’s National Coffee Day today. It may be too late for you to celebrate with a free cup of coffee, but here’s an interesting coffee infographic. Enjoy!

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Saturday Morning Fun…The Real Allegory of the Cave

The Mystery of Being In Christ: A Review of Paul and Union with Christ

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You can’t read more than a few paragraphs of Paul’s letters without bumping into something about Christians being “in Christ.”  It’s so prevalent that many would say that it’s the most important theme in Paul’s theology, a concept you must grasp if you’re going to understand anything Paul says about salvation, the Christian life, or God’s plans for creation itself.

But there’s just one problem. No one seems to know what it means.

Thanks Paul.

paul and union with christIn steps Con Campbell with his book Paul and Union with Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study (Zondervan, 2012). Campbell’s goal is to take another look at the biblical texts and see if we can work out what Paul means with this pivotal idea. And in the process he offers a thorough and insightful study of what it means to be “in Christ,” why that matters for how we read Paul, and, more importantly, how that shapes our view of salvation itself. Campbell’s book is a must-read for anyone looking to wrestle with these central issues.

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/27)

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Good Reads

  • Creativity Is Really Jut Persistence, and Science Can Prove It: When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete. (Fast Company)
  • Why Aren’t More Ph.D.’s Teaching in Public Schools? Despite this surplus of teachers, though, individuals with years of graduate school education and years of college classroom experience should be snapped up by public schools. They have far more classroom experience and deeper knowledge of their content than most graduates from education programs. (The Atlantic)
  • Leading in a world of unreliable information: Yet the sort of tacit and systemic knowledge for which CEOs are yearning is the bread and butter of a theological education. Theological thinking involves seeing the whole and the parts within the whole. It is the ultimate in tacit and systemic. Christians have a picture of God’s reign from scripture that guides us, no matter the current circumstances. (Call & Response)

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The Name of God, an Audible Sacrament

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What’s in a name? Is a name just an arbitrary collection of letters, a pragmatic tool for distinguishing one thing from another? Or do names run deeper, capturing something essential about the thing named? Do names matter?

Does it make a difference if we’re talking about God’s name?

That’s the question R. Kendall Soulen raises at the beginning of his book The Divine Name(s) and the Holy Trinity: Distinguishing the Voices. Before he spends an entire book looking at God’s name in the Bible, Soulen wants to know if names even matter all that much.

Can we just call God whatever we want?

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The Innovation of Loneliness

lonely sillouhette (200x200)A central problem of the modern world, according to many thinkers, is that we are lonely. And although you might think that technology is helping solve the problem, bridging the gaps between people and helping us connect, many say that it’s doing exactly the opposite, isolating us in our own little worlds, driving us further apart, and making us more and more lonely.

That’s the central thought of this excellent video, which suggests that technology helps us “connect” while leaving us more lonely in the process. As the video claims,

We’re collecting friends like stamps, not distinguishing quantity verses quality, and converting the deep meaning and intimacy of friendship with exchanging photos and chat conversations. By doing so, we’re sacrificing conversation for mere connection.

Regardless of whether you agree with the video’s central premise – that modern technology contributes to our growing isolation and loneliness — it’s worth watching. So check it out.