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In some ways, PDI is a great place to work. There are about 15 people on the email list. They range from ex-presbyterian to KJV-only fundamentalist baptist to moderate baptist. It is an interesting group. The hardest thing right now is getting my work done while emails discussing inerrancy, etc are flying by. We are going to start a discusion group that meets at lunch soon, so maybe the email traffic will die down.

You did understand correctly about baptism being a sign. It would probably be helpful if I posted some of the email replies I wrote. Baptism does not produce salvation, but, in scripture, the sign is often spoken of as the covenant. In literary terms, it is a synedoche.

Does this allow for credobaptism? In a sense, it does, but if you were in a good Presbyterian church, the elders would strongly exhort you to baptism you child. Basically, I would consider all children of Christians to be in the convenant, so they should be baptised just like a new adult believer should be baptised. However, it is better to be a baptist in a presbyterian church because you are, at least, allowed to practice it. I, as a presbyterian in a baptist church am not able to unless I sneak some water up during the baby dedication.

On the relationship between circumcision and baptism: I'd probably say the relationship is like option a or b. I have been reading a book that refers a lot to the hard drive industry, and you're a techie, so maybe the best analogy is a hard drive and flash memory. They serve the same function for the most part, but operate differently. This is really the crux of the argument. Basically, because the Gospel opens up a relationship with god beyond racial and cultural lines, God replaces a culture specific sign with an a-cultural sign. In addition, it also has some different associations. Circumcision was bloody like sacrifices and pointed forward to Christ. Baptism has links to washing and points to Christs washing us clean from sin. However, it still functions the same with respect to marking the people of God.

Finally, my reference to "experts" was more about pastors and Sunday school teachers and not to real experts. There is definitely a resonable case for believer's baptism. In fact, a couple of the teachers at RTS, the seminary I went to, were baptists. One was probably one of the most important evengelical theologians of the last century.

Thanks for the good questions.


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