Years ago a small book surfaced in Holland. It contained a list of all the contradictions in the Bible. The author shared his skeptical and critical remarks with the readers. Can't blame him, since he is not a Believer. I am sure books like that have surfaced in the USA as well. My question is: how do Christians handle scriptures that seem to teach an opposite lesson?
From time to time I stumble upon such contradictions in the Bible. However, they do not give me a reason to be cynical or skeptical. On the contrary, they give me reason to dig deeper into the Word in search for explanations. Baptism is such a topic; for centuries people have debated and argued about this, which has resulted in church splits and family feuds. The Bible seems to add to the confusion by proclaiming one baptism, There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Ephesians 4:4-6) and several baptisms as mentioned in Hebrews 6:2, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
So, what's the deal here? One baptism or more? There is no doubt in my mind that the scholars and educated of our time have figured out an answer... However, I would like to share a fresh look regarding this subject on my blog, not from a theological or doctrinal point of view, but from a biblical point of view. I will do so in a series of short posts on:
- the baptism into the body of Christ
- the baptism in water
- the baptism in/with the Holy Spirit, and
- the baptism in/of suffering