Thursday, August 23, 2007

Storms on Dever

Sam Storms:
If you haven't yet read Believer's Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant in Christ, edited by Thomas R. Schreiner and Shawn D. Wright (B & H Academic), you are missing out on what is, in my opinion, the finest and most persuasive case for credo-baptism yet written. One need not agree with every point of interpretation in this book to recognize the remarkable accomplishment of these authors (contributing to the book, in addition to the editors, are Andreas Kostenberger, Robert Stein, Stephen Wellum [his chapter on "Baptism and the Relationship between the Covenants" is alone worth the price of the book], Steven McKinion, Jonathan Rainbow, Duane Garrett, Ardel Caneday, and Mark Dever).

I mention this book not only to encourage you to read it but also because of the excellent chapter by Mark Dever concerning how baptism is practiced in the context of the local church. One thing you can be assured of, Mark is never boring! His insights are penetrating and, most of the time, persuasive. When one hears that we evangelicals lack a credible ecclesiology, I immediately point to Mark Dever and his voluminous writings on the subject. No one is more serious about the centrality of the local church in God's kingdom purposes than is Mark. I highly recommend all his books on the subject. No, you won't agree with him on every point, but you will be challenged, instructed, and encouraged in a way that I find rare in the evangelical world today.Sam goes on to repost his disagreements about Dever's point that paedobaptists occasionally may partake of the Lord's Supper at a Baptist Church. But I draw your attention again to Sam's commendation of Mark's writing on ecclesiology:

Even though I end up differing with Mark on this point, I have probably learned more from him on the nature of local church life than any other author. And I look forward to learning even more as this dialogue continues.
I agree with Sam's comments here, especially regarding the book on Believer's Baptism. I'll have more to say about Wellum's chapter by the end of the week (Lord willing).