52 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 2-28-20

  1. Good morning to all. Nice to have husband and daughter home. Sounds like twenty two is doing well with the two babies. One year old adores his little sister but is sure unsure if she is coming in to replace him. Mommy is getting lots of snuggles. And little boy must have gotten mad at his sister getting out first as he has suddenly plunged into eating. No gtube for him!

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  2. Good morning! Beautiful header with the stained glass. I am sure it is lovely from the inside, too.

    Does anyone have special plans for the weekend? I will still be working toward getting all my contest entries ready for Sunday’s deadline for the Kidz Lit conference. I am so thankful that a lady from my church Bible study will be my roommate for the conference. And one of the ladies in my Word Weaver’s group has just signed with an agent for her nonfiction book about nonprofits.

    Kizzie, since you like to write, you might enjoy joining a writer’s group through Word Weavers. There are online groups, too. You can meet some very nice Christians through Word Weavers. I have not done an online group, but I think it could work for you. You can probably try it out for one or two meetings before joining. It has a cost of $40 annually but may be different for online. If you try it and decide to join, I offer to pay for your first year membership. Find it on the web at Word Weavers International.

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  3. My husband is playing with his music group at an assisted living Leap Year event. They only play for an hour, so that will not take up a lot of time. Otherwise, just a normal weekend here.

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  4. I’m having one of those blue light dermatology treatments today—it’s just awful— and will look like a fright when I attend the 10-year-old birthday party tonight. As well as meeting the potential new pastor and his wife tomorrow night.

    I have to avoid sunlight for 48 hours, too, so I’m off for my final walk of the weekend soon.

    Skin cancer in the family requires special care. 😦

    I have plenty to read.

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  5. I’ve never heard of a blue light skin treatment.

    I’m off today but need to get Cowboy to the vet for an 11:15 appt — meaning we’ll need to leave here at around 10:15 or 10:30. My friend from the Valley comes over tomorrow so I’ll have cleaning and picking up to do (and a “Christmas” gift to buy — might be a gift card to Lowe’s or Home Goods again). And I need to get to the credit union today.

    I had a dream that my garage door opened (I was just walking buy it) and there was this whole second level inside with strange boxes of “things” I couldn’t reach. I also dreamed I was in a bookstore & saw an old movie star, not sure which one but he had very long hair — john wayne? kirk douglas? — shopping.

    I could have slept longer but the cat was pouncing all over me and I could not get her to stop.

    It’s been a long, exceptionally busy week and I feel completely out of steam.

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  6. Good morning. I am sitting at my desk, which is in front of my window. It is a dormer window, so the roof outside forms a small flat ledge, the closest thing the house has (or at least so it always seemed in my childhood mind) to a balcony. Today, the ledge is drifted high with snow, as we have had snow for the last two days. The snow against my windows, piled about 6 inches high, looks like a cross section of sedimentary layers.

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  7. Morning! Dj that young man should audition for America’s Got Talent or something! 😊
    Our temps are to reach 50 today! I am going to open the windows for a bit and let some fresh air in this house because Sunday evening it is supposed to snow! 😑

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  8. I did have tentative plans for the weekend. But I do not think I can carry them out right now. I was considering going to visit the city church. But, perhaps that will have to wait until the snow has finally stopped, as the road are interesting right now. Yesterday, driving to and from my doctor’s appointment, I alternately drove over packed snow, a fairly safe surface so long as ice does not lurk underneath, or road surfaces swept clear by the constantly blowing snow. For those who live in southern climes and have not experienced the many moods of winter driving, blowing snow is beautiful – in one place, the column of blowing snow arced over the road from one side to the other in a perfect crescent wave – but treacherous, as it often conceals ice sheets beneath the constantly shifting surface of snow, leaves high drifts across an otherwise cleared road, and, when the blowing snow is high and dense enough, can make the cars in front completely vanish from sight as they drive into a blowing cloud.

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  9. today someone has asked me over for dinner, tomorrow is a funeral, and then on Sunday there is church and then out to lunch with some wonderful older gals.

    No snow here, nothing but sunshine….

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  10. I very diligently cleared all the new-fallen snow from our sidewalks and driveway yesterday morning.

    Then the wind blew a layer of snow all over. And the sun melted it.

    Then the sun went down and the melted snow froze.

    When I got home last night, my diligently-cleared sidewalks had turned into skating rinks. Good thing I had stopped on the way home for a supply of (pet-safe) ice melt.

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  11. Blue light treatment is to clear the blemishes off the top layer of skin and penetrate to lower layers to deal with potential cancer-concerns (which is why I go through this horror).

    I had it done 10 years ago. They spread a chemical all over my face, let it “set” and then I placed my face in what felt like an oven for 16 minutes.

    The hardest part was psychological. All these years we’ve been told to wear sunscreen and avoid intense sunlight–and here I was baking my face.

    I then had to spend 48 hours out of the sun–I don’t recall now how bad I looked.

    This time I’m going to take my phone and earbuds and hopefully I can listen to calming music or an interesting podcast. Otherwise, I’ll be praying for me, you and anyone else who comes to mind!

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  12. Roscuro, I read your comments last night at 6:10 and 6:50, and also discussed them with my husband. You were responding to the Bill Godfrey link at https://agradio.org/should-christian-practice-lent

    You started out by saying you found the link “annoying” and you say it used a very “tired” argument, both of which suggest you didn’t take it very seriously. For the record, Pastor Godfrey is the son of Robert Godfrey, an expert in church history; his arguments may be familiar ones, but that doesn’t make them irrelevant or untrue. You say (using a Chesterton phrase) that the Reformers “knocked down fences without understanding they were first built.” And you point out that Lent is a very ancient tradition (as Godfrey says clearly as well).

    In your 6:50 comment, you point out various Old Testament memorials (such as picking up stones from the Jordan River).

    You mention a couple of sidenotes, such as that the Reformers took marriage out of the church and made it a purely civil affair. To that, I say they were right to do so, as marriage is not a religious sacrament, but an institution given to all people. It is not wrong for pastors to marry couples (my husband and I were married in a church building, with both pastors involved), but neither is it a uniquely religious element. You also mention the Reformers accepting tradition because of their belief in election, which is erroneous: The Reformed see election as an important biblical doctrine, not at all a manmade tradition. It was under apostolic authority that the Lord’s Day was moved to the first day of the week, not just something that churches decided to do, and it does have biblical authority–it is from Scripture itself that we know the first day of the week is the proper day for Christian worship.

    In none of your comments do you address the actual argument, which Godfrey nicely summarizes thus: “As Christians, we recognize no authority but God’s Word as expressed in the Bible. We also heartily believe that the Bible teaches us all we need to know in matters of doctrine, life, and worship. So when we come up with our own ideas for worship and devotion, apart from what is commanded in Scripture, we find ourselves on dangerous ground.”

    Memorial stones are not a new worship practice. Celebrating that your people weren’t slaughtered wholesale is not a new worship practice. There is nothing wrong with setting up a memorial (as long as it isn’t an idol) or instituting a new cultural holiday, even today. Reformed people have no problem, for instance, with the holidays of Mother’s Day or Father’s Day (though they don’t tend to make any mention of them in the worship service); that is simply a cultural celebration. It’s when something is given religious merit and encouraged by pastors that we say, “Wait a minute! Is this biblical?” So, Reformed people say no to such practices as indulgences, penance, and Lent. By the way, under the Reformed understanding of Scripture, it really isn’t necessary for people to understand the history of a practice, just whether or not it is biblical. The historical argument is helpful up to a point; for instance, if it could be proven that the whole church in AD 40 was baptizing infants, it would clearly be doing so under apostolic authority, and that would be determined an irrefutable argument that the practice is correct. But it doesn’t actually matter why a church teaches indulgences and Purgatory, or the spiritual benefit of Lent, or when it started teaching such things, or even what percentage of the church teaches them, if they are extrabiblical additions. The only relevant matter is that they are extrabiblical additions.

    It doesn’t matter to me at all if someone decides to give up TV for 40 days, or M & M’s, or any other thing. It doesn’t matter if they want to try it for a month and after three days decide not to do it anymore. It doesn’t matter if someone decides to spend 40 days writing their life story or working out every day. It may be the case that 40 days without TV and chocolate allows you to sleep better and allows your mind to be better focused, and your family benefits and you have more time to read the Bible and pray. That’s wonderful if that’s the case. Just let it be something you decide to do for better health or better self-control or whatever. If you’re a pastor or a church leader, don’t be encouraging your people to make such choices–there is no biblical warrant for it as a spiritual practice.

    One of the big differences between the Roman Catholics and the rest of us is that they see tradition as being equal with Scripture. We don’t.

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  13. A member of our church just returned from Uganda and he said the locusts were a concern as they were the worst as they’d been in 10 years and the were heading towards the area of the school he supports (but latest news was the swarm had turned north and away from them)

    Worst in 10 years doesn’t sound like a Biblical plague just yet.

    But again, I don’t know how factual he was or if it was hearsay.

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  14. Michelle, I don'[t know if prayer had anything to do with it, but the Battle of Midway was definitely a miraculous act of God. Our navy lost all but the last ten minutes of that battle.
    .
    I’m sure your husband knows all about this.
    The Japanese planes shot down all of our torpedo bombers. But their planes were on the deck when our dive bombers arrived.

    A Japanese general, who had been in the US, predicted this.

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  15. Michelle about 8 or 9 years ago I had a chemical peel. I think on Day 2 I went my my friend’s house. Her husband, an attorney, took one look asked what happened and WHO did he need to sue!

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  16. Hi. Since I am not sure if I will catch up today, I am jumping in now. If anyone replied to my comments on yesterday’s prayer thread, I will reply on today’s prayer thread, if I need to.

    Okay, so anyway. . . In one of my comments last night on the prayer thread, I said that not all of our Christmas stuff has been taken down and put away, because Nightingale is in charge of most of that, having her own way to deal with it and store it, and prefers to take care of it herself in her own way. Lying in bed last night, after praying, I gave that some more thought, and decided to see what more I could do on that today.

    One thing I had not attempted was taking down the faux evergreen garlands over our two big windows (one in the dining room and one in the living room), because I had had a hard time with them in the past, especially being short and not well-balanced enough to risk standing on a chair to reach them. (We have a proper stepladder but I’m not sure where it is.)

    With some effort, and at a couple points thinking I was stuck, I managed to get them down and put them in a box I found. There were a couple little things I had overlooked, so I got those out of the way, too. Then I put out a couple springy (as in springlike, not “boing boing”) decorations, particularly being happy with the simple centerpiece I put on the table. Doing this seems to be refreshing to the house and to me.

    However. . .Nightingale may not be pleased with the boxes that are now in her “hallway” upstairs. (“Hallway” with quotation marks because it is wider than a usual hallway. All the rooms come off of it on every side.) But I am hoping that she will understand that it is past time to deal with it. Although I only casually mentioned it once a couple weeks ago, she knows that it was getting to me.

    Had I told you that sometime back in January I had placed my red satiny tablecloth over the boxes that were still in my living room? Pushing them over to the area that is right in front of the bookcase and closet door, with the boxes making an L in that area kinda made it look like a low couch. 🙂 It was really time for that to get out of here.

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  17. Forgot to say that I had squished all the mess on the table down to the last quarter of the table. So I try to ignore that part as I look at how nice the rest of it with the centerpiece looks. 🙂

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  18. Kizzie, speaking of boundaries, which you were: it would be reasonable for her to keep her stuff in her part of the house. It was big enough for the other family, it is big enough for her and her son including Cub Scout supplies. You are both contributing members of the household. Presumably, you do not keep stuff in her part.

    i have a grown daughter here, I babysit her baby. They only have one room and it is easy for her to drift. Knowing her propensity to hoard, I intentionally don’t let her spread. Even removed the table by the chair she frequents. She understands and cooperates but I need to be consistent or we would be overrun.

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  19. Cheryl, as you note in your post, the Reformed pedobaptisits do use church tradition to argue for the practice, since there is nothing in Scripture to prescribe the practice. So, yes, they do pick and choose from church tradition. My point on election was that Augustine and other early church writers were quoted as authorities on doctrine, but when it came to other practices recommended by those early writers, such as celibacy for church leaders or the use of the church calendar, the Reformers ignored them. The Reformers did tore down the fence of church tradition in several areas without understanding. I have before mentioned that even Reformed writers admit the Reformed view of Sunday as the new Sabbath is not something held to by the early church, whose early writers instead held that a temporal Sabbath was abolished because Christ is our Sabbath. There is no command in the New Testament to meet on Sunday, as opposed to any other day in the week. Luke mentions meeting on the Lord’s Day as a matter of course; as does Paul in his letters, saying “when you meet on the first day of the week”, not that they should meet or have to meet, indicating that it was already being done. The claim of Apostolic authority for the use of Sunday as the day to meet (there is a command to meet but not when to meet) is merely a claim from inference. The Apostles obviously did not disapprove of the habit of meeting that day, but neither do they command that day as Moses commanded the Sabbath.

    As to Lent, as I said in my first remarks on the subject of Lent and the Church calendar, the construction of the church calendar can serve as a continual memorial of the Life of Christ. Therefore, the Scriptural examples of people setting up memorials and days of remembrance of the works of God without express command by God via one of his prophets, would indicate that the use of a Church calendar to memorialize God’s greatest work cannot be said to be unbiblical, contrary to Godfrey. The Bible expressly gives that freedom to observe or not observe days, as Kevin pointed out. I have already said that I do not do anything for Lent, other than remember, but, as Paul said in the passage Kevin quoted from, the same freedom that allows one to ignore Lent allows another to observe it. Since none of us are pastors here, our talking about what we do or not do at Lent, or any other Church calendar day, can in no way said to be compelling any other person to do or not do as we. But compelling them to stop talking about what they do or not do during Lent is invoking more spiritual authority than any of us carry.

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  20. The attitude of Godfrey, and others like him is – with the exception of pedobaptism – the tradition is not in the Bible, therefore, it is unbiblical. Others take a different approach, one drawn from the criticism of Christ of the tradition of the scribes and Pharisees. Christ had no objection to observing human tradition, as his presence in the temple during the feast of Hannukah demonstrates. What he excoriated the Pharisees for doing was violating the law of God, namely the command to honour parents, by their tradition of Corban. So, the approach to tradition should be to ask if there is anything that violates the word of God in the tradition. If there is not, it can be continued, if there is, it should be discontinued. If the following the Church calendar is compelled, that would be a violation, but if it is voluntary, then it is not. In this day, the practice is voluntary, and those who attach themselves to churches which follow the traditions can do so voluntarily. The history of the Catholic Church compelling the observance of the Church calendar on all people within its domains is a thing of the past, and the mingling of the Eastern churches with the Western churches, with their slightly different dates and emphases of focus, has dwindled the liturgical calendar to an interesting and optional historical tool.

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  21. I am thankful I feel free to do some activities of Lent or not. I do not feel more holy in myself in the years I do more activities and look down on myself if I don’t do activities another year. We are so blessed to have freedom in our styles of worship and remembrance of what Jesus did for us.

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  22. Jumping in again (sorry, still behind) to re-ask a question I had asked on the prayer thread yesterday that must have gotten lost among all the other comments. The man from my church whom I had mentioned had used the expression: “cut a fine point”, as in (from his comment) “By all means, let’s cut a fine point on my assessment that the majority of people commenting on . . .”

    I cannot remember what that may mean. My assumption, based on his other comments as well, is that it may mean that he is minimizing his assessment (which was a negative one). Am I correct on that, or am I mistaken?

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  23. Kizzie, “cut a fine point” sounds like a mangling of the expression “not to put too fine a point upon it…” The meaning of that expression is ironic, as the person using it is signaling that they are going to be very specific and pointed in what they say next. I am really not sure what the man commenting on your article meant, but it sounds as if he was being belligerent and dismissive of something you said; but I cannot say much for his powers of rhetoric, judging by his awkward and essentially meaningless alteration of a common expression.

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  24. Kizzie, I have heard the term, enough to understand it, but not for a good number of years, and I would have to look it up if I wanted to explain what it means. I assume others are also not familiar enough with it to explain it, either.

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  25. Roscuro, not sure how much you have studied paedocommunion, but this suggests that in addition to disagreeing with it, you misunderstand it: “Cheryl, as you note in your post, the Reformed pedobaptisits do use church tradition to argue for the practice, since there is nothing in Scripture to prescribe the practice.” Arguing that since Pentecost, the church as a whole has always understood baptism to include covenant children (as circumcision did) is not arguing from tradition instead of Scripture, but presenting an interpretation of Scripture. Your argument is similar to that of those who say that the Trinity is not taught in Scripture but is a later addition. No, we believe that both paedobaptism and the Trinity could be spelled out more explicitly if the Bible were a systematic theology text, but that they are clear enough to be understood; the church merely systemitized what had already been taught, Had the primary original audience been Gentile, infant baptism might have been spelled out more clearly. Since most were Jewish believers, with a solid understanding of the covenant, it isn’t as direct as we today might like. But only a small fraction of the church has ever questioned it.

    BTW, we aren’t really told the details of how the Lord’s Day got changed to Sunday, but clearly it met with God’s approval and wasn’t random. It would, in other words, be improper today for a church simply to come up with its own meeting days for the convenience of its people. (Now, if a church is meeting a temporary problem finding meeting space, and temporarily can only meet on a different day of the week, that’s a different matter. But a church can’t just decide Saturday is more cool, or the disciples got it wrong.)

    Again, I don’t care if people privately decide to observe something similar to Lent (as long as they don’t see it as having some spiritual significance, some extra mark of holiness), though I do care if pastors or churches promote and encourage it. And what I was seeing on here the other day seemed close to promoting it, and so I posted a contrary opinion so that people know there is more than just one view on it.

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  26. Just reading over the latest of conversation and Kizzie I laughed out loud at your “springlike..not boing boing…decorations…..”…. 😂 and I do hope Nightingale is in a good frame of mind when she sees all the help you have been with last season’s decorations….

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  27. Cheryl, you did much more than express a contrary opinion. You got someone to apologize for talking about their personal practice and promise they wouldn’t bring it up in future. You didn’t convince them of your view, just made them stop talking about theirs.

    Pedobaptism is not in the Scripture. Inferring it from the statement “he was baptised and his household” is a stretch and one only inferred by imposing later tradition onto the text. Presbyterians cannot say they were not influenced by prior tradition in this. They interpret it differently. The Neither can the question of baptism of infants be compared to the Trinity. I have read the early church writers of the century after the Apostles. They never use the term Trinity, but they argue for the concept nonetheless. Justin Martyr’s ‘Dialogue with Trypho’ alone is a textbook of all the pre-incarnation appearances of God the Son in the Old Testament, with Justin even delving into the unity and yet distinct personhood of the Father and the Son in his debate with a Jewish philosopher about the deity of Christ. By contrast, there is nothing in those earliest writings mentioning the baptism of children, though Justin gives an account of belivers baptism – in which he specifically says that, in contrast to our birth, we need to be conscious in order to partake of baptism – in his Apology to the Emperor. Infant baptism is not mentioned until the 200s, a century later. The earliest church writers after the Apostles read like a Barrett’s quotation of the Bible, with layer upon layer of Scripture reference. The Bible is full of references to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, so there are ample references to what would eventually be termed the Trinity. There is nothing to quote from Scripture regarding baptizing children. The use of pedobaptism is based on traditional practice, not Scripture. That has always been the contention of Baptists, and the very earliest church writings back us in this.

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  28. Roscuro, I didn’t ask anyone to stop talking about it, merely expressed frustration we go over the same ground every year. I was also dealing with a cold and overall just not wanting to go over the same path.

    Have you read paedobaptists’ explanation of the practice? You don’t have to agree with it, but it is only fair to read writers who believe in it explain it. I myself never heard it addressed at all (except in much the same terms you used) until I was in my twenties, never heard any kind of detailed explanation until I was in my thirties. But I can assure you that it is not solely based on explaining away the way we want to do it anyway. There is a biblical case to be made for it. You are likely to continue to disagree with it, but I don’t think you can fairly challenge it until you understand it.

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  29. Chreryl, I have read the early church fathers’, in later centuries, quotes on why they thought it was a good idea. Here is what John Chrysostom, one of the 4th century Greek fathers (c.349-407), had to say, in his ‘Baptismal Catecheses’: “You see how many are the benefits of this baptism, and some think its heavenly grace consists only in the remission of sins. For this reason we baptize even infants, though they are not defiled by sins, so that there may be given to them holiness, righteousness, adoption inheritance, brotherhood with Christ, and that they may be his members.” Chrysosotum, was not necessarily denying original sin here, rather saying an infant couldn’t have yet willfully sinned. Yet what he has to say about the benefits of baptizing infants looks an awful lot like baptismal regeneration. My Presbyterian family members assure me they do not believe in regeneration, but what they do believe in seems to be a third state, between being unregenerate and being a Christian, a state only accessible apparently to those with Christian parents. Baptists are naturally democratic – we were the ones who advocated for separation of church and state, not the Protestant reformers, whose followers often engaged in religious wars with their Catholic political rivals – and it does not sit well with us to think children of Christians should be any different than any other human child when it comes to terms of salvation and church membership. Pastor A was all for engaging with folk of different denominations, and I remember him talking about the debates he had with a pedobaptisits pastor friend of his. He recalled how this friend would insist their church did not believe in infant baptism providing regeneration. One evening Pastor A attended a service held by his friend and there happened to be an infant baptism. Pastor A chuckled as he recounted as his pastor friend read out from the baptismal service the words “of regeneration” and then paused and looked over at Pastor A. As Pastor A saud, sometimes people really aren’t aware of what their church actually does believe about baptism.

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  30. Roscuro, does it “sit well with you” that only Jewish children received the covenant sign? We don’t believe in baptismal regeneraion, but we do believe that the thread of covenant is all the way through Scripture–including a NT reference to a child who has one believing parent and one unbeliever being “holy.” What sits well with us, or doesn’t, doesn’t matter. Twenty-five or thirty years ago Mom and I had a discussion in which I mentioned Jesus drinking alcohol, and I still remember her response: “I cannot picture my Lord drinking alcohol.” Well, what we can picture, or what we are comfortable with, isn’t the measure of truth.

    And yes, there was a lot of error mixed in with the church fathers. We have some of the same, and some different, errors today.

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  31. BTW, I regularly read and listen to Presbyterians and other Reformed, so I am familiar with the terms “visible church”, “means of grace”, and of course, the concept of baptism being a substitution for circumcision, all of which I find questionable. I listen regularly to the Mortification of Spin podcast, so I have also heard Carl Truman (whom my relatives have heard in person, they bring OPC) give the same recommendation to actually read what the pedobaptisits have to say for themselves. I’ll read it when I get there as I am working chronologically through the historic church writings. But, I have yet to agree completely with any of the writers I have read. I have read some Bunyan already of course, he being the most famous of the Baptists, but I don’t even fully agree with him. As my mother says, no church leader will ever be completely right, because God does not want us to follow them, but him. So, I am not afraid of the pedobaptists, just haven’t got there yet, although I strongly doubt they have much more to offer on the subject that I haven’t already read or heard in briefer expositions.

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  32. Cheryl, yes, I would consider the practice of infant baptism to be merely a part of a larger doctrinal error, that of not interpreting the covenantal divide between the covenant of works and the covenant of grace as being between the law of Moses and the law of life in Christ, which is the divide laid out in Galatians and Hebrews. The Reformed say the covenant of works was the command given to Adam in the garden of Eden, and join the law of Moses to the covenant of grace in Christ. Hence the substitutions of infant baptism for circumcision, and Sunday for the Sabbath, since the law of Moses and the law of Christ are perceived as being on a continuum. The Presbyterian pastor my mother and I were listening to constantly refers to Israel as the Church of God in the Old Testament, once again part of that perception of a continuum. Pastor A, while holding to a five point Calvinism, deliberately eschewed the wider Reformed interpretations when he preached through Galatians and Hebrews, but his short lived successor in the family church, the pastor who resigned, was a Reformed Baptist, and it always irked my mother when he callef Israel in the Old Testament, the Church. She puts up with it in the sermon series, because she knows what to expect, and the rest of it is solid biblical truth that any denomination would agree upon.

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  33. Also, “it does not sit well” was a light reference to what I see to be a manifest contradiction in Reformed theology between claiming to believe in total depravity and sovereign election and then to turn around and say that if one is born to and baptized by Christian parents, one stands in a different spiritual position to God than the rest of depraved humanity. To put my objection in short quip form, “God does not have grandchildren.”

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