Friday, September 09, 2005

Mark Dever on Bunyan, Baptism, and Open Membership

For those who are curious as to what Mark Dever thinks about the notion of Baptists allowing principled paedobaptists to join their churches, you may want to listen to Dr. Dever's address from 2002 at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary: "The Spiritual Church, John Bunyan and Baptism."

Dr. Dever does a great job of summarizing Bunyan's position on baptism and church membership. He finds himself powerfully attracted to Bunyan's position and confesses that nothing pains him more than turning away paedobaptists from membership. Nonetheless, he thinks that Bunyan was seriously mistaken on this, and argues that we must retain conceptual categories to have space between the "essential" and the "unimportant."

During the last 10 minutes of the audio, Al Mohler asks Dr. Dever some clarifying questions.