Well, ol' Liddy (Elizabeth) bumped her tooth and it slowly turned grey. Then she got an abcess and we had to take her to the dentist today. She was stone cold. Not a peep and out the tooth came without a tear.
It is a common argument that is put forth by Baptists that the first baptism of the church, Acts 2:41 is only adults: “So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” Aha! They say. The account contains no mention of children. Well, first of all, the account mentions no women either. In fact we have an account of only one woman being baptized in the entire New Testament. Following the Baptist train of thought, the early church contained thousands and tens of thousands of men…and one woman.
The Reformation churches dealt with these objections in the 16th Century when the Anabaptist movement was its peak. Perhaps one of the strongest arguments to emerge was that of “synecdoche”, or family representation under the male head of the family, clan, or even nation. This was a common way of accounting groups in the ancient world. Don’t forget that “Israel” was the God-given name of the patriarch Jacob.
Ulrich Zwingli, the Swiss Reformer, makes an insightful argument based on 1 Corinthians 1:14 which reads: “I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,.” Did Paul only baptize Crispus as an individual? The answer is a resounding “no” as we read in Acts 18:8: “Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized.” So there were others baptized and there is every reason to assume that children were included.
As Dr. Jack Collins is fond of saying, “Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!”
I highly reccommend this article on Islam by Peter Leithart. He posits that Islam is actually a heretical movement that arose from Nestorian Christianity in the 7th Century. Whether you like Leithart or not this is must a read.
Colossians 3:11 says, “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” And it is set in a pericope that speaks of the Christian’s life of putting off the old man and putting on the new. Christ has created, via the church, a new humanity that is a restoration of fallen humanity in the Garden. Note the various divisions: religious, ethnic, socio-economic, that are healed in Christ. Pay particular attention to slave vs. free.
Colossians is written after the book of Philemon and the two cross over each other. In Philemon in verses 1 and 2 we find that Philemon, a slave owner, has a church in his home which is apparently in Colossae. In the letter Paul urges Philemon to set Onesimus, a slave, free. Colossians is likely written several years later and in it we find that this very Pauline letter is being brought to the Colossian church by a certain likely former slave. Colossians 4:9 reads “and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you.”
So there is very distinct possibility that Onesimus, the former slave is sitting in the Colossian church that meets in the home of the former slave owner, Philemon. They may be sitting side by side as the letter, with it’s declaration of the new humanity, is read. That’s how radical the kingdom of God is.
We took our kids to the St. Louis Zoo on Saturday (it's fantastic and free) and they ended up cornering and tormenting an escaped turkey. It was so traumatic as I was having a flashback to the 70's movie "Sooner." "Fly bird fly! Fly bird fly!"
Often in evangelical circles we tend to focus on the theocentric (on/to God alone) nature of singing in worship to the exclusion of all else. But notice where the focus is in Colossians 3:16 (ESV):“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
The focus (even more explicitly in the NAS) is on teaching and admonishing one another through singing. Furthermore, there is nothing exotic about the three forms of singing in the Greek: (1) Psalmas (Psalms) (2) Humnos (Song/Hymn of Praise) (3) Odace (an ode). So, if this is the focus, how should we do it? We should do it clearly and well. It should be glorious. After all when we are taught and admonished through the preached word should the pastor roll in unprepared and say whatever comes to his mind?