Sunday, October 15, 2006

Baptism Debate, Long Island New York (Thursday, Oct. 19)

I plan on going to this upcoming debate on Thursday. The great thing about this debate is it is a debate between two Pastors devoted to Reformed theology. Thus, this is a debate between friends. I expect it to be an excellent evening of fellowship.

BAPTISM: For INFANTS or BELIEVERS ONLY?
(A Baptist vs. Presbyterian Debate)


For centuries, Baptists and Presbyterians have shared in common nearly identical core doctrines and practices, which both have faithfully drawn from the same well of Holy Scripture. Particularly foundational to both traditions are the glorious truths of Free and Sovereign Grace, which both groups have guarded tenaciously and preached passionately, even when it cost them their very lives. In recent history, Baptists and Presbyterians have enjoyed an increasingly richer and deeper level of friendship and fellowship with one another. Today, seeing Baptists and Evangelical Presbyterians exchanging pulpits, co-authoring books and cooperating in evangelistic and scholastic efforts with one another is, thankfully, commonplace. There are, however, a few teachings and practices that always have and continue to separate these two Christian groups to this day, whose members have long labored side-by-side in Christ's vineyard. Chief among these differences involves the biblical ordinance of BAPTISM.

We cordially invite you to witness two friends and brothers in Christ, one a Baptist and one a Presbyterian, engage in a fraternal and collegial debate over the question of who are the proper candidates for SCRIPTURAL BAPTISM.

THE BAPTIST: "Baptism is ONLY for those who have personally repented & believed in Christ."

JAMES WHITE is the director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, a Christian apologetics organization based in Phoenix, Arizona, and is an elder of the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church. He is a professor, having taught Greek, Systematic Theology and various topics in the field of apologetics. He has authored more than twenty books, including The King James Only Controversy, The Roman Catholic Controversy, The Same Sex Controversy, The Forgotten Trinity, The Potter's Freedom, The God Who Justifies, Dangerous Airwaves: Harold Camping Refuted & Christ's Church Defended and the soon-to-be-published Pulpit Crimes: The Criminal Mishandling of God's Word. He is an accomplished debater, having engaged in more than fifty moderated, public debates with leading proponents of Roman Catholicism, Liberal Protestantism, Islam, Jehovah's Witnesses, Oneness Pentecostalism and Mormonism.

THE PRESBYTERIAN: "Baptism is NOT only for those who have personally repented & believed in Christ."

BILL SHISHKO has served as Pastor of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Franklin Square, NY, for over 25 years. During his time as pastor there the church has been blessed with significant numerical growth, and has overseen the formation of 2 mission churches (Mount Vernon & Bohemia, NY). He is also one of the instructors for the Ministerial Training Institute, OPC, and an Adjunct Faculty member of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Taylors, SC, where he teaches in the dept. of Applied Theology. He has written numerous articles for the OPC publications NEW HORIZONS and ORDAINED SERVANT, as well as magazines such as The Banner of Truth. His public ministries have taken him to such foreign mission fields as Suriname, Cyprus, Egypt, Uganda, China, Eritrea, and Wales, and his conference ministries have been carried out in a number of states in our own nation.

DATE & TIME: Thursday, Oct. 19, 7:30pm

PLACE: Full Gospel Christian Center
415 Old Town Road, Port Jefferson Station, Long Island, NY
(For DIRECTIONS ONLY call 631-928-6100)

ADMISSION: FREE!!!
For more details call
1-866-DEBATE-1

(Dr. James White is also scheduled to preach Wed., Oct.18, 7:30pm on "ISLAM" at the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Corner of Franklin & Sobo Avenues, Franklin Square, NY. Call 516-437-3210 for directions)

6 comments:

FM483 said...

I would encourage readers to review the treatise by Uuras Saarnivaara on this topic:

"Scriptural Baptism - A Dialogue Between John Bapstead and Martin Childfont", which can be located at

Scriptural Baptism

Frank Marron

FM483 said...

The link to an excellent treatise on Baptism by Uuras Saarnivaara is:

Scriptural Baptism

Saarnivaara provides a very interesting treatise on Baptism, illustrating the historical and Scriptural basis for this powerful work of God. I would be interested in hearing the upcoming debate on Baptism. The debate should discuss whether Baptism is God’s work or reflects the obedience of mankind. The dominant Anabaptist position has been that Baptism is merely an “ordinance” by which believers demonstrate their obedience to the Sovereign God. The historical position of the Christian Church is that Baptism is a Sacrament – a connection of a physical element, water,with the specific words and promises of Jesus Christ, by which God Himself adopts a person into His Kingdom. Baptism is the clearest expression of the passivity of sinful man in His redemption: it is all God’s’ work from start to finish, Grace alone through faith alone. The position of one on Baptism determines whether a man is a theologian of self-glory or a theologian of the cross of Christ.

Kevin Davis said...

For centuries, Baptists and Presbyterians have shared in common nearly identical core doctrines and practices, which both have faithfully drawn from the same well of Holy Scripture. Particularly foundational to both traditions are the glorious truths of Free and Sovereign Grace, which both groups have guarded tenaciously and preached passionately, even when it cost them their very lives.

I wouldn't put the similarities so strongly. I grew-up a Baptist in the South (N. Carolina to be specific) -- all of my friends were Baptists and Presbyterians. While there are indeed strong Calvinists among Baptists, most would hardly subscribe to the Westminster Confession (like the PCA and OPC). In fact, my friends and I would debate predestination (my Baptist friends and I took the Arminian position, while the Presbys took the TULIP position). I would say that Baptists, for the most part, are a mixture of the Calvinist and Arminian positions in soteriology. They are Calvinist in that they believe salvation cannot be lost, and, of course, it is appropriated by faith. They are Arminian in that they disagree that God has chosen some people for salvation based on nothing whatsoever in or done by that person, such that the saved and reprobate have no choice or influence in the matter. We all know of the staunch (and they are always staunch) Reformed Baptists, but they are a minority, albeit strong and vocal. I would say that the greater similarity between Baptists and Presbyterians is their "low" ecclesiology and sacramentology, contra Lutherans and most Anglicans (of course, there are "High Church Calvinists"/"Reformed Catholics" among Presbys, but these are very much a minority), though certainly Presbys are not quite as far left as the Baptists in this regard. It is this common "low church" vision that has allowed a common culture among Baptists and Presbys in the South.

sig14 said...

Jim,

I doubt I'll be in the audience, unfortunately. I'll be grabbing at the MP3, though! Have an awsome time!!

Sam

FM483 said...

I would encourage readers to review the treatise by Uuras Saarnivaara on this topic:

"Scriptural Baptism - A Dialogue Between John Bapstead and Martin Childfont", which can be located at

http://www.geocities.com/resourcesforlutherans/infantbaptism.htm

Frank Marron

Anonymous said...

Hi James,

Would you give us a recap of the debate on Friday? I'm anxious to hear this debate. Dr White is a good debater, but Pastor Shishko is well studied on the issue of baptism and he also has the truth on his side ;)