Baptismus ubique et semper: Some reflections on Baptismal motifs in the Gospel narratives

There is surely some justice to the accusation (made in jest and in earnest) that whenever Lutherans see a reference to any trace bit of moisture in a Biblical passage, we immediately think it’s a reference to the sacrament of Baptism. Though I suppose this tendency could lead to silly eisegetical gymnastics, it’s actually a […]

Can Someone be Saved Without Being Baptized?

When speaking about Baptismal regeneration, the question is often asked: What about someone who isn’t Baptized, but believes? Can they be saved? There are some important distinctions we need to make when answering this question. There is a difference between something being a relative necessity and an absolute necessity. A relative necessity is something that is necessary in […]

Does Baptism Save?

For the first 1500 years of the church’s existence, the answer would have been a unanimous “yes” to this question. However, since the Reformation, especially in the contemporary evangelical church, baptism is viewed primarily of a symbol, rather than a sacramental act of God. There are, broadly speaking, two different views of what the Sacraments […]

Infant Faith

One of the most contested aspects of Lutheran theology when talking to people tends to be the concept that infants have faith. Luther vigorously upheld the ancient practice of infant baptism against the anabaptist movement, and also sought to uphold baptismal efficacy. An objection which he often encountered was that since salvation is by faith […]

A Review of “The Baptized Body” by Peter Leithart

Peter J Leithart’s “The Baptized Body” is a fascinating read. Coming from the controversial “Federal Vision” movement, Leithart seeks to infuse a high sacramental theology into Reformed Christianity. His argument comes primarily through exegesis, though with a strong dose of Calvin references. Leithart argues that contemporary Reformed Christianity has deviated from both the Biblical and […]

Baptism with the Holy Spirit and with Fire

In non-sacramental church traditions, there is often a distinction made between baptism of the Holy Spirit and water baptism. Baptism with water, beginning with John’s baptism prior to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, is a symbolic act wherein one’s conversion is symbolized through immersion. It is a sign of dying to the old self and […]

What is the Lutheran View of Baptism

I have been asked to give a brief overview of the Lutheran doctrine of baptism. I have done many posts on the topic but none which includes a comprehensive explanation of the Lutheran view. I will attempt to do so succinctly if possible.The best place to go for the Lutheran view of baptism is Martin […]