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September 27, 2007


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I salute your power metaphor. In the context of naturalization, new birth and citizenship take on very rich meanings beyond the usual sin-soaked rhetoric.

It's about time our pastors stop treating baptism as a metaphysical act, and instead emphasize the radical community meanings of the experience. Like a cotillion or an inauguration, baptism provides an individual a public (and therefore accountable) integration into a social group. It doesn't mean they quit sinning, or that they become super nice (although both are pluses) but it does mean that they now are creating Adventism from an position of identity.

Thus, let's stop talking about sinlessness when we baptize and let's start talking about community ethical obligations as citizens of the kin-dom of God.


Thanks, Ryan, for sharing your perspective of baptism as naturalization. I appreciate thinking of baptism in this way.

Chad Stuart

That'll preach!

Jared Wright

This is a powerful metaphor; I echo the applause for this reworking of baptism. (I finally got it linked from my blog too.) Thanks for providing challenging, fresh, and insightful theology!

Jared Wright

I also appreciate Alex's introduction of the idea of the Kin-dom of heaven. That little verbal shift has provided me with a new paradigm for Christian living.

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  • Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.... The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
    - Martin Luther King, Jr.
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