PARISH POLICY

FOR THE

SACRAMENT OF

HOLY BAPTISM

 

 

What Is Holy Baptism?

Holy Baptism is a religious occasion, one of the great mysteries of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.  It is not primarily a social event.  So Lutherans teach that baptism "is no human plaything but is instituted by God himself".[i]  This is because "although it is performed by human hands, it is nevertheless truly God's own act."[ii]

As such, Holy Baptism is a sacrament.  Lutherans teach that a sacrament is comprised of a "divinely instituted sign and the promise of forgiveness of sins".[iii]  Water is the primary sign; and the chief promise is that through the water and Word of baptism we will "die to sin".[iv]  This "non-physical" death means that sin's fierce hold on us will be broken and we will be able "to walk in newness of life".[v]

 

Why Do We Baptize?

First and foremost we baptize because Christ told us to.  We are commanded: "Go...and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..."[vi]

Secondly we baptize to make people Christian.  People do not make themselves Christians by their acceptance of Jesus.  Baptism, rather, makes people Christians.  No wonder our Lord taught that "you did not choose me, but I chose you..."[vii]  Therefore the baptismal liturgy faithfully declares that this sacrament "makes us members of the priesthood we all share in Christ Jesus".[viii]  God does this, and as a result, we trust in him.  So in Holy Baptism "you have been cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree!"[ix]

 

How Do We Baptize?

We baptize in the Triune name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit following the historic liturgy and prayers of the church.  In that liturgy we are washed with water and rescued from sin; anointed with oil and the Spirit, marked with the sign of the cross and given every spiritual gift; and commissioned to serve Christ in the world as his burning, shining light among nations.

We baptize with splashing water.  Immersion is preferred historically, but it is not our parish practice.  What matters most is God's Word in this water bringing new life and not the amount of water used.

 

Who Can Be Baptized?

Anyone can be baptized.  This sacrament is God's gift and is not reserved for certain nations, sexes or ages.

However, not everyone can be baptized as soon as they would like.  This is because baptism is closely tied to church membership.  What this means is that if you are a young child, your parents must be members of this parish in order to be baptized here.  If you are an older child, seeking baptism on your own, you may do so under instruction of the Pastor.  And if you are an adult it means that you must first prepare with the Pastor through instruction before you are baptized here.

The reason for linking Holy Baptism and church membership is because Christianity requires regular worship in the congregation of the faithful.  So Christians must do more than be baptized; they must also "bless God in the great congregation"![x]

Since baptism makes us members of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, active members of other congregations may have their children baptized here and then transferred to their own parish.  This is only done after instruction with the pastor and appropriate consultation with the other parish.

 

Where Are We Baptized?

We are baptized in Church by the pastor.  Emergency situations allow for alternate arrangements.

 

When Are We Baptized?

Baptisms are usually celebrated at the Sunday Eucharist when the appointed theme for that day in the Church Year especially reinforces the wonders of Holy Baptism.  By making this clear, baptism's tie to worship is emphasized.  There are five such days throughout the year:  The Vigil of Easter, The Baptism of Our Lord, Pentecost, Holy Trinity, and The Second Sunday in Advent.

In addition to these five days, baptisms may be scheduled with the pastor at other times.  Usually baptisms are not scheduled during the season of Lent.  Whenever the sacrament of Holy Baptism is celebrated outside of the context of Sunday morning Eucharist the congregation will always be notified and invited to participate.

 

How Shall the Baptized Live?

Baptism only happens once in our lives, but its meaning is to live on throughout our allotted days.  This is because we not only are to be baptized into Christ, but also made into his "disciples".[xi]  Here are the chief ways that one can do that.

First all the baptized are to worship week after week on the Lord's Day, thereby remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy. 

Secondly we should make the sign of the Cross on ourselves at the beginning and the end of each day, silently praying:  "In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen."   This blessing reminds the baptized to whom they belong, by repeating the Name of the Triune God in which we were baptized.

Thirdly we should remember the anniversary of our baptismal day with prayers and also through its renewal at the liturgy on the great Vigil of Easter.

Finally we should pursue discipleship in Christ through tithing, daily study of Holy Scriptures and regular acts of charity.

 

X                X                X

 

 

 

No photographs or video taping during the liturgy.

 

 

Approved:  October 9, 1990.

Revised:  September 13, 1994.

 

First Lutheran Church of West Seattle

 

 



[i]  The Book of Concord, [1580], p.437

 

[ii]  The Book of Concord, [1580], p.437

 

[iii]  Luther's Works 36.124

 

[iv]  Romans 6.2

 

[v]  Romans 6.4

 

[vi]  Matthew 28.19

 

[vii]  John 15.16

 

[viii]  LBW, p.121

 

[ix]  Romans 11.24

 

[x]  Psalm 68.26

 

[xi]  Matthew 28.19

 

 
     

 

Image:Vasnetsov Bapt Vladimir.jpg

Poisoning Baptism

By Pastor Marshall

 

[This article is reprinted from The Bride of Christ, Lent-Easter, 1991. The Rev. Dr. Martin J. Heinecken (1902-1998), Professor of Systematic Theology at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, PA (1945-1972), wrote to Pastor Marshall on May 10, 1992, about this article, saying: “I think your article… is magnifico and deserves the widest possible distribution. And how thoroughly it is based on Luther!.... I marvel at your knowledge of Luther’s Works…. What you write about the “baptismal battle” fits well with what I… have to say… about “spiritual warfare,” as a real battle against the personified powers of sin, death, and the devil.” In 1984 Dr. Heinecken received The Joseph A. Sittler Award for Theological Leadership from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus , OH .]

 

W

Can we ruin our baptism? Can we poison our baptism? If not, then how could Martin Luther write:

 

Baptism has made the repose, ease, and prosperity of this life a very poison and a hindrance to its work. For in the easy life no one learns to suffer, to die with gladness, to get rid of sin, and to live in harmony with baptism. Instead there grows only love of this life and horror of eternal life, fear of death and unwillingness to blot out sin.[1]

 

Because Blessed Martin Luther knew that baptism could be ruined, he was obligated to tell the church just how it is that we poison this blessed sacrament. His analysis is strikingly relevant to contemporary American life. Be that as it may, we are still obligated to understand his teaching on this for as Lutherans we regard Blessed Martin Luther as our “most eminent teacher.”[2]

 

Bound By Baptism

If baptism had no regulations, then it might well be impossible to poison it. Well, we surely know about the water and the Word. Those are regulations. These days the water is quite constant. The Word, however, is getting less certain. Pastors are more and more regularly baptizing in the name of Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier in order to avoid sexists exclusivity. It has even been proposed by an eminent Lutheran pastor to baptizer in the name of “the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit; Mother, Lover, Friend; Wisdom, Word and Breath of Life. Amen.”[3] This makes it look like the regulation instead is water and some word. Or more exactly, some equivalent of an older word that may or may not express the same idea. Regardless of this debate and its outcome, Lutheran have steadfastly affirmed throughout the years that both water and the specific word, “Father, Son and Holy Spirit,” were needed.

            Furthermore, baptism is non-repeatable. Unlike the sacrament of the Altar, baptism occurs once. Coming to a mature faith years after baptism is not sufficient reason for wanting to be re-baptized. For as Blessed Martin again taught, “if a thing is in itself correct, you do not have to repeat it even though it was not correctly received.” His reason for this general observation is that “faith does not exist for the sake of baptism, but baptism for the sake of faith. When faith comes, baptism is complete. A second baptism is not necessary” (LW 40:246). So if baptism were practiced as a repeatable sacrament it would be ruined.

            Baptism is also regulated by the promises made in baptism. When a young child is baptized, the sponsors and parents promise “to faithfully bring her to the services of God’s house, and teach her the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments.”[4] When that baptism is affirmed she will promise to “hear his Word and share in his supper.”[5] This means that baptism is not some sort of ancient and esoteric talisman that works regardless of the attention paid to it. Since, therefore, that baptism is “for the sake of faith,” baptism requires faithful attention. Now this “faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ” (Romans 10:17). This is the favored method because “it puts out the eyes of all wisdom of the flesh, causing men to know nothing, to be prepared to be taught and led and to hear promptly and to give in” (LW 25:407). Also, this faith is only alive if we “eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood” (John 6:53). This is because “merely hearing, reading about, reciting, or thinking of these things… is not enough.” Therefore, “if I wish to be saved, I must attach and bind myself and my soul to the flesh and blood which died for me.” If I do not, “I am an apostate Christian at heart” (LW 23:146, 139, 142). So if baptism is not tethered to the assembled worship of Christians around the Word and Sacrament, it would be ruined.

            Also, baptism requires a specific setting that disallows “baptisms on demand.” If baptism were to be celebrated for anyone, anytime, anywhere, then it too would be ruined. Therefore baptism is regulated by the following circumstances:[6]

 

1.      Candidates for Holy Baptism are infants born to members of the congregation or those for whom members assume the responsibility of nurture, and older persons who, after adequate preparation and instruction, declare their faith in Jesus Christ and their desire for Baptism.

2.      Baptism should be celebrated within the chief service of the congregation. When extraordinary circumstances require Baptism at other times, a public announcement should be made at the service the Sunday following.

3.      Sponsors should be practicing Christians.

4.      It is appropriate to designate such occasions as the Vigil of Easter, the Day of Pentecost, All Saints’ Day, and the Baptism of our Lord for the celebration of Holy Baptism. Baptismal celebrations on these occasions keep Baptism integrated into the unfolding story of salvation provided by the church year. Such baptismal celebrations allow full attention to be focused on the matter of initiation in a way which is impossible when a Baptism is celebrated every few Sundays.

 

These regulations are regularly dropped. Baptisms are planned to accommodate visiting relatives and friends rather than the church year. Baptisms are celebrated on demand as a form of evangelism by ingratiation. Sponsors are not selected for their discipleship by rather to bestow a familial honor. And baptisms are celebrated in private to spare the parents or the baptized the embarrassment of “standing up in front of people.” None of this is adiaphora. For by dropping these restrictions, baptism is ruined.

 

In the Baptismal Boat

Now you might think this talk about what binds baptisms actually is what ruins them! Or more exactly you might say that Baptism is so divinely durable that even such inattention as that cited above could never hurt Baptism. It is holy after all! It is granted by God who is a Mighty Fortress, after all! Therefore is it not simply wrong to render Holy Baptism so fragile and disgustingly puny as to allow the baptized to ruin it?

            This complaint comes from what could be called Lutheran baptismal dependability. It is based on the famous Lutheran ejaculation: “But I am baptized!” (BC 442).[7] Around this exclamation, Blessed Martin Luther taught:

 

To appreciate and use Baptism aright, we must draw strength and comfort from it when our sins or conscience oppress us, and we must retort, “But I am baptized! And if I am baptized, I have the promise that I shall be saved and have eternal life, both in soul and body.”

 

This guarantee seems to displace every worry about poisoning or ruining Baptism. It seems to assert that under any condition of oppression, Baptism remains vibrant and effective enough to rescue us from doubt and misgivings with the lasting power of Baptism. This reading, however, misses the point of the passage. The teaching hinges on the phrase, “I have the promise…” This means I can always return to the promise, regardless of what I have done. That baptismal home is never lost. The baptized can always go home again. But that truth does not also guarantee that the baptized will never be prodigal. Blessed Martin grants that point equally certainly. We can and do “abandon” and “resist” our own baptism (BC 446, 445). When we do, our baptisms are rendered “mere unfruitful signs” (BC 445).

            In order to catch this more profound dialect, Blessed Martin crafted the image of a sailing ship. We can jump overboard and lose the ship, but by so doing we do not also sink the ship! We can always return and board the ship again. This image thereby combines two things: the guarantee and the risk:

 

The ship does not founder since, as we said, it is God’s ordinance and not a work of ours. But it does happen that we slip and fall out of the ship. If anybody does fall out, he should immediately head for the ship and cling to it until he can climb aboard again and sail on in it as he has done before. (BC 446).

 

Therefore, in order for Baptism to be sturdy, stable and steadfast, it need not be so in all matters pertaining to it. Luther’s abstract way of making this same point was with his distinction between the validity and the benefit of Baptism. By validity Luther means that “misuse does not destroy the substance” of Baptism (BC 444). And by benefit he means that “the heart must believe it” so that “you may receive in the water the promised salvation” (BC 441). Therefore the summary follows that “where faith is present with its fruits, there Baptism is no empty symbol, but the effect accompanies it; but where faith is lacking, it remains a mere unfruitful sign” (BC 445).

            So if we abandon ship we have not lost our Baptism. Instead, when that happens we have lost our use of it. Does this mean that the baptized could suffer eternal damnation? Yes, it does certainly mean that! In a case like that, one indeed, would have been “baptized in vain” (LW 29:138). If that were true, baptism would then be only some sort of ancient and esoteric talisman. But instead of that it is the trustworthy gift and commandment of God.

            Because of these distinctions based on Luther’s revision of Saint Jerome ’s image of the sailing ship, Blessed Martin could craft this careful statement about Baptism:

 

What else it is but believing in God as the one who has implanted his Word in this external ordinance and offered it to us so that we may grasp the treasure it contains? (BC  440).

 

All rolled up in this rhetorical question is the stability and instability of Holy Baptism! “implanted,” “external ordinance,” “offered,” “treasure,” and “contains” are all words of stability and certainty. But “believing… as,” “so that,” “may” and “grasp” are all words of instability and uncertainty. To explain away or eliminate one or the other set of words would be to poison Holy Baptism. By so doing Blessed Martin’s grand image of the sailing ship would also be destroyed.

 

Balancing Baptism

Luther, therefore, dramatically insists that Baptism is lopsided if it is not linked to “the third sacrament.” For “Baptism, both by its power and by its signification, comprehends also… Penance, which is really nothing else than Baptism” (BC 445). In light of current baptismal practice, these words are breathtaking! They also are upsetting. That is because while we like the childish aura we have concocted around Baptism, we definitely do not like anything that has to do with penance or repentance. This is because repentance seem so violent, demanding, uncompromising, strident, stringent and unflattering.

            Indeed we have it right, for Blessed Martin agrees! “What is repentance,” after all, “but an earnest attack on the old man and an entering upon a new life?” (BC 445). In repentance we struggle to “suppress” and “subdue the old man” (BC 446). Because we like our old self, with its “take your ease, eat, drink, be merry” (Luke 12:19), we deeply dislike repentance. In fact, repentance has become an enemy of the Christian in our time if not also always before.

            We also dislike repentance because it trades on the Law of God. We know that the Law is “employed in its true use when it disciplines, vexes and saddens Christians constantly as long as they live” (LW 26:341). We, of course, think we could easily do without such life long vexation! But that would only spell our ruin. For our old self is nothing but “the presumption of righteousness.” As such it is a “huge and horrible monster. To break and crush it, God needs a large and powerful hammer, that is, the Law, which is the hammer of death, the thunder of hell, and the lightning of divine wrath” (LW 26:310).

            If Baptism is not balanced with repentance, then we are deprived of our baptisms. For “if you live in repentance… you are walking in Baptism, which not only announced this new life but also produces, begins and promotes it” (BC 445). Without such repentance we cannot walk in our baptisms and Baptism becomes unbalanced. Ruin then sets in. “We quickly understand whatever benefits us, and we grasp with uncommon ease whatever in the Gospel is mild and gentle. But such pigs… are unworthy to appear in the presence of the Gospel or have any part of it” (BC 457). We therefore must come to believe that we cannot have Baptism without Repentance. Any attempts to try to do so will only end in ruin.

 

Our Baptismal Battle

Baptism, therefore, is not some sort of easy chair into which we flop. Dropping baptismal regulations would indeed make it so, but then God’s voice in Baptism would not be heard. We would miss the call not to love the world but to love Christ with an undying love (1 John 2:15, Ephesians 6:24). We would miss God’s love which “is not idle, but… continually crucifies the flesh” (LW 27:290). Otherwise we will “love God with a covetous love,” where we love God only in order to gain “salvation and eternal rest or… escape from hell, and not for the sake of God Himself” (LW 25:380). Blessed Martin even once said that when this covetous love goes unopposed we end up loving “God as lice love a tramp; far from being interested in his welfare,” our “one concern is to feed on him and suck his blood” (LW 23:30).

            Baptism is instead a battle. Therefore, Blessed Martin taught regarding infant baptism that “it is no joke to take sides against the devil and not only to drive him away from the little child, but to burden the child with such a mighty and life-long enemy” (LW 53:102). But think of most of the infant baptism in which you have participated! Has there been this sort of seriousness and earnestness? Or has there been joy, smiles, small laughter, and endearing looks? We indeed, in most cases, reduce the baptismal battle to social christenings. Thereby we turn the event away from a sacrament and into a “coming out” party. Infant baptism is the way we introduce our children to the church community. There is no “taking sides against the devil,” nor is there any “burdening with a life-long enemy.” Therefore it is true that we mostly profane Baptism when infants are baptized!

            Now it is precisely because of this battle that “this cursed life is nothing but a vale of tears, in which the longer a man lives, the more sin, wickedness, torment, and sadness he sees and feels” (LW 49:270; 28:122). In our sinful self, of course, we would much rather “waltz to heaven on velvet cushions and on roads paved with silk” (LW 23:362). We would like to skip over the suffering. However, Blessed Martin faithfully teaches:

 

The life of a Christian is as hard as if he were walking on a narrow path, in fact, on nothing but razors. Beneath us in the world is the devil, who is continually snapping at us with his jaws in order to bring on impatience, despair, and murmuring against God. In addition, the world is advancing on us, and it refuses either to yield to us or to let us pass. And around our neck lies our own flesh. Thus we are hemmed in on every side…. So if you want to be a Christian, then be one. It will never be any different. (LW 21:245).

 

Christianity is and must be suffering. To make it into anything else would be to render it demonic, for it would then “move along softly and peacefully, just like a serpent slithering along” (LW 23:291). Christians instead are driven into battle by their baptisms against the world, themselves and the devil. If this is not stressed, then Baptism is ruined. Then, also, we must rewrite Christianity, “declaring a God without wrath brought man without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”[8]

            But there is a battle, and it is not simply the listing of abstract categories. We do battle within ourselves. Our hearts are “deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupts” (Jeremiah 17:9). Out of it comes “evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness” (Mark 7:21-22). Now the Spirit of Christ within us is “opposed” to all of this corruption and is “against” it (Galatians 5:17). Nevertheless, it remains true that even if “I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self…. I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me  captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members” (Romans 7:22-23).

            We also battle with our fellow Christians. We are to “exhort every day” those who have “drifted away from such a great salvation” (Hebrews 3:13; 2:1). And we are to “curse” those who “desert Christ and pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:9, 6, 7). Exhorting and cursing are in order because “fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:29-30).

            We will do battle as well with the world. “For we are contending… against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of darkness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Therefore, we cannot woodenly follow a superficial reading of Romans 13:1-2 and require of ourselves to do whatever our government asks of us. Instead, we should rather follow Blessed Martin’s word that “you will certainly have to entrust duties to somebody else and take a chance on him, but you should trust him only as one who might fail you, whom you must continue to watch with unceasing vigilance” (LW 45:123).

            Then we battle the devil also. The devil is not sitting in hell but “prowling” after us, “seeking to devour” us. But we are also told to “resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9).

 

Satan as a Bad Comedian

            Battling the devil means little to the church today. That may well be in part because we do not know exactly what to think about the devil today. Robert W. Jenson[9] has provided some help with conceptualizing the devil which may in turn enable us to wage our baptismal battle with the devil.

            First the devil, or “evil as a person,” seems necessary for the faith. It is not enough just to recognize evil alone. This is because of a “mere symmetry that seems demanding.” And the symmetry is this: “If God has humor, as the subject that loves all things, must not the subjectivity that hates all things have also its humor, and therefore be understood as person?” The difference in humor is this: that for God “humor is joyous” because God “always sees the joke on himself.” However, the “devil’s humor is always mere wit; he is never truly funny…. He is a ‘sour spirit,’” for the “devil’s jokes are never on himself.” That is because, in part, the devil is only a “parasite-person,” a “sort of negative, mirror-image person.” As such, the devil is “a sort of universal hatred,” because as “a disembodied spirit,” he has no “object to give to others, or to see himself in.”

            Now “as society or my friend or my own inner voice suggests evil,… I am tempted because there is really no one there to respond to, no identifiable enemy to arouse my suspicions, with whom to discuss or argue the suggestion.” So the devil has power on us as the “contrary sly suggestion.” As such, the devil gives us nothing. Instead he “can only suck reality into the vacuum at his own heart.” The way we battle this “contrary sly suggestion” is to “identity” it. The devil, after all, is “protean in his emptiness…. Because he has no self of his own,… he speaks always in the person of someone else.” By uncovering, then, the mistaken identity, the devil is exposed and rendered “ridiculous” and “stupid.”

            This combat is waged through the “struggle” which is called “theology.” This is because theology “attempts to identify God, to say who God is, and just so, to unmask Satan.” So the “uncommon apprehension: is just this: “Theology is the struggle with a personified liar for the truth.” The test for determining whether it is God or the devil is this:

 

When the preacher tells me, “You are acceptable just as you are,” on whom is the joke? If the joke is on me and the speaker, then the preacher’s voice is God’s voice. But if the joke in on everybody around me, in that now they can no longer rely upon my good works, then it is that same bad comedian on the stage again, even is the stage is in the church.

 

This combat is also waged with death. “Satan’s power of death is the power to make us be like him. Death left to itself takes my self from me…. To be a mere subjectivity hanging around watching the rest of you, with no way to be there for you, would only increase the torment.” We fight this threat through “Christ’s resurrection,” for now “our life, despite death, is with him whose wounds we will touch and whose bread we already share.” But that “contest continues, for we who are one body with him must each enter that battle of wits that is death and be brought through it.”

            We, therefore, can battle with the devil by clinging to Christ’s resurrection in our own struggles with death, as well as by theologically clarifying the differences between God and the devil.

 

Captured By Conflict Avoidance

What does all of this mean fore the church today? One thing it can mean is that the ELCA’s plan for renewal through “ Mission 90” is confused. Thinking that a plan based in seeing, growing and serving will renew the Christian spirit is foolhardy! Why did the ELCA not promote instead, a refurbished baptismal practice based on the battle inherent to Holy Baptism? Such a practice would naturally depend on Word and Sacrament ministry, fed on Law and Gospel. It would uncover the monster in us all and fill us with the power of God to make us new.

            But such a plan, in the place of “ Mission 90,” would necessarily bring conflict and turmoil into the church. In 1962, Gibson Winter wrote about the “suburban captivity of the church.” This seems to be one of the ELCA’s chief captivities. “The sanctification of ‘getting along,’” Winter wrote, “is generalized in American culture, but particularly pronounced in the white-collar world – seen clearly in the suburban church. This shows the great difference between white-collar association  and a blue-collar union – the former ostracizing those who engender conflict, the latter thriving on it.”[10] New life will come to the ELCA when the conflict born of baptism is allowed to make it thrive.

 



[1] Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, 55 vols (St. Louis, MO and Philadelphia, PA: Concordia and Fortress, 1955-1986) 35:36. Hereafter all references to this work will be included in the text, listed as LW.

[2] The Book of Concord : The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (1580), ed. T. Tappert (Fortress, 1959) p. 576. Hereafter all references to this work will be included in the text, listed as BC.

[3] Barbara K. Lundblad, “Baptizing in the Name....,” Word & World 9 (Fall 1989) 384.

[4] Lutheran Book of Worship ( Augsburg , 1978) p. 121.

[5] LBW, p. 201.

[6] LBW: Minister’s Desk Edition ( Augsburg , 1978) p. 30.

[7] See also Martin E. Marty, Baptism (Fortress, 1962) p. 63.

[8] H. Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America (Harper & Brothers, 1937) p. 193.

[9] Robert W. Jenson, “The Evil as Person,” Lutheran Theological Seminary Bulletin 69 (Winter 1989) 33-42. All the quoted material in the next four paragraphs is from this article.

[10] Gibson Winter, The Suburban Captivity of the Church (New York: Macmillan Paperback, 1966) p. 68.

 

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