Yesterday, in responding to the straw-man representation of “Baptists” presented by Jonathan Bonomo, I replied to the assertion that Baptists have separated themselves from “Christendom” (I used the term Christianity, since as a good Baptist I don’t believe it is appropriate to dub something “Christian” that lacks the gospel and the Spirit and, also as a good Baptist, I’m not a sacralist) with these words:
No RB would view himself as having “broken away” from Christianity because he is convinced the Bible teaches that baptism, like the Supper, is for believing, repentant people. When I join with my Presbyterian brothers in defending the gospel against the heresies of Rome, I will try to remember we are not fellow Christians.
To my shock and dismay, some folks have failed to catch the clear, obvious, contextual meaning of these words. They are found in an article pointing out all the mischaracterizations in Bonomo’s description. So it is painfully obvious that the last line is pure sarcasm: I even refer to my Presbyterian brothers, with whom I join in the struggle for the gospel, in the sentence. I am replying to the assertion that I have somehow separated myself from them because of my views of baptism so that we are no longer part of the same Christian faith. I’m mocking the idea that I could join with someone in fighting for the gospel who isn’t a fellow Christian. Yet, some have so completely missed the point they actually think I’m saying Presbyterians are not my brothers in Christ! Please, folks, read in context! I was saying just the opposite about my Presbyterian brothers with whom I have true koinonia (fellowship) in the gospel!
Ironically, there are some Presbyterians who are not my brothers in faith. Those who denigrate the authority of Scripture, who promote a different gospel, promote homosexuality as a God-accepted lifestyle, etc., are not the first on my list of those with whom I feel koinonia. But this again brings us to the point: it is fellowship in the gospel that matters for me. I don’t call those who have a false gospel Christians. I call them pseudadelphoi, false brethren, (Gal. 2:4). Paul used this language of baptized professors. To call those who preach a false gospel “Christians” simply because they underwent a religious ceremony “properly” in your viewpoint is to sow the seeds of the crop of utter confusion that exists all around us today. Such is the reason we have a “Christendom” that has no message, no cohesion, no voice. Once the gospel is lost as the central unifying definition of the faith, all you have is…human religion. That is what my debate with Doug Wilson came down to: Christianity defined by baptism vs. Christianity defined by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Now, to try to get back to a positive note, it has been a very long time since I uploaded a fractal! This one turned out especially nicely. In fact, I converted the non-buttonized version and loaded it on my BlackBerry 8830 and it makes an awesome background on that small screen. Since it has been a long time since I last posted one of my fractals, let me explain what a “fractal” is to those who might be a bit confused as to why a bald apologist from Arizona would be posting colorful graphics. Fractals are the result of plotting the results of hyper-complex mathematical formulae and assigning color definitions to the graph. The resultant plots are…well, glorious! If you search on “fractal” on this blog you will see that I have posted many before, and they are all found here. Many have found my fractals useful desktop backgrounds, and as long as you don’t pass them off as your own, or try to copyright them, please feel free to download, use as backgrounds, pop them in your PowerPoint presentations, use them on your PDAs or BlackBerrys, or whatever you’d like. I have much I could say about the theological implications I find in fractals and the like, but I have a debate to prepare for, and more of the Ray response, Ataie response, etc., to get to. I’m sure for some, fractals prove I’m not Reformed, too! I mean, Calvin would not have approved of fractals (way too colorful). Enjoy!