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Questions and Answers

July 1, 2009

This month Matt and Shaun once more answer your questions.  Topics include discussion on how to encourage an ordinary means ministry, how the covenants relate to the ordinary means, and worship.

Let your friends know you can listen here, download directly from this link (right click and save), or as always subscribe to our iTunes feed.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Robert permalink
    July 5, 2009 8:46 pm

    Thanks for taking my question on worship this month. First let me apologize for taking the definition of worship out of context; I was really just trying to keep the question brief.

    The reason I asked was that using a definition of worship that is largely about /my/ (or our) feelings leads to the conclusion that the elements and style of worship should be dictated by the preferences of the worshippers. (This was the conclusion my church reached, and I think it makes sense). I guess you could say we should worship in a way that makes us feel worshipful. Maybe that is in line with what Edwards advocated through his argument that we sing because music affects us. But that seems to be at odds with the idea of worship as covenant renewal, the regulative principle, the ordinary means, and liturgical worship in general. So I’m still a bit fuzzy on this.

    It’s a moot point for me now anyway, as I now attend a PCA church with traditional, liturgical worship. I just wanted to understand how those things worked together. I will take a look the books you mentioned. Thanks for the podcast and God bless you.

  2. July 22, 2009 3:34 am

    Great stuff guys. I’ll be listening every month now.

  3. Ashwin Ramji permalink
    August 10, 2009 11:29 pm

    Hi guys, I come from a Baptist background and took awhile to be convinced about the validity of infant baptism. I was discussing this with my wife earlier today and she raised an objection that I couldn’t yet answer. Perhaps you can help me. If we baptize infants as part of baptizing one’s “household,” do you also baptize the older unbaptized members of the family? That is, let’s say a person comes to faith in Christ and brings his family to begin attending a Reformed Church. Presumably the church would baptize the infants of the family, but what about other members who haven’t come to faith (yet are old enough to know?). To my knowledge, no church (Presbyterian, Congregational or Baptist) baptizes adults who do not believe, or do they?

  4. ordinarymeans permalink*
    August 11, 2009 3:21 pm

    That is a great question deserving more than a quick comment. We will include it in an upcoming podcast.

    Short answer to whet your appetite: you don’t see household baptisms today [in America — other countries DO have them] because of a fundamental breakdown in our understanding of authority. In an era where you “took your father’s/master’s God to be your God” — nay, you were required to do so to remain in the house — you can have something like we see in Acts or even back with Ruth and Naomi. The idea of a covenant household is completely lost on us today. We live in an age that cannot abide the idea of doing something because you were told to or because that is what you are supposed to be doing. A great illustration of this is arranged marriages. While I personally prefer the idea of being able to choose a “believing” spouse, it is striking that in some cultures they are willing to happily live with someone assigned to them as a spouse. All this is to say that the argument which proceeds from “We don’t have them today” to “They must be wrong” is a logical fallacy used by many churches when they should rather be asking, “Why don’t we believe in authority any more?” We don’t believe in the authority of the moment, but in the authority of God’s Word.

    Thanks for listening,
    Pastor Shaun

    • Ashwin permalink
      September 23, 2009 7:20 pm

      As I’ve read several passages in Acts, Romans 6, Colossians 2, etc., I am struck that not only does baptism occur prior to a person actually “being saved,” but also that baptism follows proclamation of the Word. While the first point seems to support infant baptism, the second seems to cause some issue (how can you proclaim the Word to an infant?). As I dug around various extrabiblical literature about baptism, I learned about convert baptism, which appears to straddle the line between believer baptism (baptize prior to belief) and infant baptism (baptize when able to repent). Can you discuss the merits/weaknesses of this position on a future episode or in a reply?

      • ordinarymeans permalink*
        September 23, 2009 7:44 pm

        We will address your question in an upcoming podcast. Thanks for asking.


  1. Books and Baptisms « Ordinary Means

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