Tuesday, January 4, 2011


James Chaney, republication (P&R Publishing) of WILLIAM the BAPTIST, 19th century classic. See sample of the Erasmus-like dialogue below. Here's what I wrote about this imaginative book on the Reformed view of baptism:
“With warmth and imagination, Chaney uses an engaging story-telling method, winsomely guiding readers through the Bible’s teaching on baptism. William the Baptist is an enlightening read for all who assume the Bible teaches credo-baptism and immersion. Chaney’s persuasive book also provides a confessional corrective to hyper-covenantalism, poised to infuse baptism with medieval efficacy. With editorial and theological integrity, Ron Evans has breathed refreshing life into this important 19th century volume, making the Reformed doctrine of baptism understandable to all Christians. An invaluable resource for exploring the meaning of baptism.”

Douglas Bond, author of THE BETRAYAL, a novel on John Calvin, and GUNS OF PROVIDENCE

William: “And these three agree.”
Rev. Cowan: Do you see the connection between verse eight here and verse seven from the first chapter, where it says, “the blood of Jesus cleanses [or purifies] us from all sin”?
William: I do see it. Both blood and water represent or symbolize the work of the Spirit. I agree with all this. But where does it lead us?
Rev. Cowan: Wait and see. First we must examine a few sections where the work of the Spirit is addressed. I will choose a few passages from the concordance and ask you to read them. Here is one, Isaiah 32:15.
William: “Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high.”
Rev. Cowan: Isaiah 44:3.
William: “For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.”
Rev. Cowan: Ezekiel 39:29.
William: “‘I will not hide my face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord God.’”
Rev. Cowan: Joel 2:28–29.
William: “‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days, I will pour out my Spirit.’”
Rev. Cowan: John 1:33.
William: “‘I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.”’”
Rev. Cowan: Mark 1:10.
William: “And when he [Jesus] came up out of the water, immediately he [Jesus] saw the heavens opening and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.”
Rev. Cowan: Titus 3:5b–6.
William: “By the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.”

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