Here I Stand Nervously

During seminary, I was invited to serve as interim pastor in a church whose position on baptism differed from mine. Accepting this call was a difficult decision (for a reflective pastor, most decisions are).

But the process I went through illustrates one way to balance conviction and honest self-doubt.

Until I received this invitation, I never thought through my theology of baptism, much less defended it. Now with a job interview quickly approaching, I had new motivation to ask, "What do I believe about the mode and subjects of baptism?" Reflective pastors are uncertain about many things, but of this I was certain: my answer to this question would determine whether or not this seminarian, with a young family to support, would be hired.

I prayed, studied the relevant Scripture passages, and read my systematic theology looks. After I had applied my skills of analysis, deduction, and research, the best I could come up with was "I wish the Scriptures were more clear!" Both views had scriptural ...

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