H&S: Paedocommunion

All right, Hoagers & Stogers, the Paedocommunion debate is now in the can. I’ve got a lot of requests already for the audio, and I appreciate that there’s a lot of interest in this topic, and I also appreciate all the hard work our speakers Glen Gundert and Josh Brisby put into their presentations.

So here are the links to the audio:

Note that with our special afternoon time slot, we were feeling especially loose with the timing of each speakers’ sections; I hope you enjoy all the extra discussion that resulted! (And I apologize for all the chatter between segments; I had an audio editing failure, and decided to just post these as-is rather than spend time trying again)

Mark your calendars now for the next H&S; Sat Apr 14, we are very privileged to host prominent Reformed author T. David Gordon, who will be speaking to us about his book Why Johnny Can’t Sing Hymns: How Pop Culture Rewrote the Hymnal. (Also, if you’re interested, you can hear him on Friday night Apr 13, at this venue.)

And as always, please help our gratitude to Hess Brewing for continuing to provide excellent beer. As I always say, you can’t spell H&S without Hess! (Or is it the other way around, I forget…) In addition to regular tasting room hours (watch hessbrewing.com and their Facebook page), the next F.A.C. is Feb 17.

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Paul McCartney, Watch Your Back!

I present, for your enjoyment, a brand new song composed by #3. Not only are the music and the lyrics original, so is the spelling!

This is what it sounds like, and this is what it looks like:

#2 is #1!

Well, SoCal Pinewood Derby has come and gone. #2’s car took 1st place in Group A (1st/2nd grade)!

As promised, here is a picture of all of our cars (click to enlarge).

#2’s car is there again in the middle. #1’s car — the gold bullion on the right — which took 1st in our club derby, wasn’t up to the stiffer competition in Group C (5th/6th). He was one of the last cars that got eliminated on the way down to the final 4, so he was probably 8th or so, out of probably more than 50 in this largest group. My car is the oiled-wood one on the left. Although I was fastest overall in our club meet, I placed only 3rd in the counselor class, behind a winner from another club, and one of my own junior counselors (the #1 son of Blogorrhea’s good friend Kazooless — but I taught him everything he knows, so that’s OK!)

Speaking of, these amazing photos were taken by Kazooless with this technique — any serious photographer will want to try it out! You can reach two slideshows of Kazooless’ pictures from the derby, as well as links for downloading full-res originals, from the Council webpage.

Dare to be a Nathan

Last Sunday, I came into possession of a note with the distinctively good penmanship of my #1. Upon opening it, I found a clever little poem that ended with a sentiment something like “…you are sick in bed/the world would be better without your big fat head”.

Turns out he had written that note for a girl in his Sunday School class (actually, one of Pooka‘s daughters). Strangely, this was a mere hour after an excellent sermon from visiting preacher John Fesko on Psalm 41, in particular verse 5:

My enemies say of me in malice,
“When will he die, and his name perish?”

So when we are home for lunch on Sunday afternoons, we try to remember to take some time to go over the boys’ copywork or notes. #3 read his verse, #2 read his verses, and then it was #1’s turn to review his notes. He demonstrated a solid understanding of the sermon, especially when I asked him at the end, “What about this verse 5, where he is on his sickbed and his enemies are wishing he would just die?” He responded, “if those were my enemies and they were wishing I was dead, I would probably just despair and die.”

And so the timing is perfect to spring the trap, 2 Sam 12-style. “Why don’t you tell us about this note?” I pulled it out of my shirt pocket and handed it over. With just a glance at it, he turned ashen, “Where did you get this?”

And so we dealt with it, including reinforcing Fesko’s great point that we tend to want to read ourselves into passages like Psalm 41 as the beleaguered victims, those who deserve to be upheld because of our integrity (Ps 41:12), but it is more appropriate to cast ourselves as the enemies, those who betray Christ like Judas (see John 13:18 for the fulfillment of Ps 41:9).

Paedobaptism Resources

Lately I find myself pasting the same links into emails, as I meet lots of new guys at church or Hoagies & Stogies who are at various places along the one-way-road from credobaptism to paedobaptism. Also, Blogorrhea has seen an exceptional dearth of posts , so I figured it would be a good idea to put all my references here, so in the future I can just hand out one link.
First off, there’s Josh Brisby’s blog. He gives the fairest presentation I have seen of the plusses and minuses of both sides. I would start with this post, way back from when even he was still on the fence. You can read in his blog how he finally cracked a few months later; here and here. And you might be interested in downloading his contribution to H&S: open mic night, it’s about half an hour.
Probably the biggest contributor to Josh’s credo->paedo conversion was another friend of mine, Paul Manata. Paul is kind of a logical bulldog, while Josh has a much more irenic personality, so I recommend Josh to others first. But if you are the mp3/debate type, this is a very good debate that Paul did.
I’ve blogged a fair bit about baptism myself; I think my three best posts are The Threat of Baptism over at the Outhouse, and a matching pair of posts here at Blogorrhea: Father Abraham had many sons……and one of them was Ishmael (incidentally those are in response to the Manata/Cook debate linked above).
You can’t go wrong with Dennis Johnson, Infant Baptism, How My Mind Has Changed. It’s a letter that he wrote to his daughter, and later turned into an article/pamphlet, that has become very popular. It is the first thing my pastor gave when I was going through this (I showed up at New Life a little before Brian Tallman, when George Miladin was still the pastor).
There’s Danny Hyde’s book Jesus Loves the Little Children, and if you go to the MP3 download page for The Academy (a lecture series from Kim Riddlebarger’s church), you can search for “Hyde” and find him lecturing about the book. He says there that the book is his attempt to popularize Meredith Kline’s work on baptism (see By Oath Consigned and Kingdom Prologue).
I haven’t read Fesko’s new book Word, Water, and Spirit, but for a more in-depth academic work, I think this is the place to turn. There are at least two interviews out there, at Office Hours and Christ the Center.
[Update:] Below Jeff Downs links to a series of classes by Bill Shishko, and Pooka takes up his analogy of the Ring (or rather analogies) over at his blog

Hoagies & Stogies: Baptismal Regeneration

Hoagies & Stogies: Baptismal Regeneration is now in the can, and all kinds of guys have told me they thought it was the best one yet (check out this review)! Thanks especially to Court for stepping in as interim braumeister while Mike Hess had to be out of town. Thanks also to Jack Attack for bringing his recorder for backup, because I forgot I started my recording, and then in the middle of my opening statement “remembered” to turn it on, which actually turned it off, which I did not discover until the Q&A! Jack didn’t start recording until after the moderator’s statement, but that’s no loss because I pasted the full text below.

Here are the .mp3:

For further examination, you could look up Understanding Four Views on Baptism, in which Lutheran, Reformed (and Baptist and Church of Christ) theologians all state their views and interact with each other.

If you want to read about the Lutheran view of Baptismal Regeneration, here are some resources:

And here are some resources from the Reformed side:

And here’s my opening statement:

Continue reading

Catechism Walks

These past (final) three days of Christmas vacation (for me from work, and the boys from school), I’ve walked up and down the mountain near our house with #1 — an enterprise which takes about an hour and a half.  The first time, we just chatted about erosion and why the sun is in the south.  Yesterday and today, however, I brought my shorter catechism for some competitive Q&A.  #1 is only up to Q28, so we went head-to-head on those.  The first day, #1 beat me 21-18 — with a criterion of absolute perfection.  The second day (today), we decided to adopt a more lenient “three-letter” criterion, which would allow insignificant errors such as “in” vs. “by”, “continues” vs “continueth”, a missing “and”, etc.  With that leniency, and lessons learned from yesterday, we both improved, and I beat him 26-25.  Combined, #1 edged me out with a 2-day total of 46-45.   Sometimes it feels good to lose.