Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Moltmann on Baptism

In an interview I found online while reaquainting myself with Moltmann- and not wanting to dig through my closet for his books I have not read since grad school (seminary is getting smaller and smaller in my rearview mirror), comes this quote from an interview Mirslov Volf had with Jurgen Moltmann. As a Baptist, with Reformed tendencies* I enjoyed what he had to say.

Volf: You are a Reformed theologian. Yet you unhesitatingly identify believerÂ?s baptism as the correct model of baptism. How did you come to this conviction?

Moltmann: I am neither the first nor the only Reformed theologian to have difficulties with infant baptism. Karl BarthÂ?s reservations about it are well known. I do not think that infant baptism is well supported either by the New Testament or by theological considerations, although it has become tradition here. But this tradition is gradually losing its sway. In the big cities of Germany, the number of infant baptisms in Lutheran churches is declining by more than 50 per cent. A great number of children growing up in these cities are not baptized. Thus our church is being forced to change over to believerÂ?s baptism, even though it does not accept the theological and biblical grounds for it. I have arrived at my position both on biblical and on theological grounds, and because of the movement from the established state church to communities of faith, a movement that is now in full swing.

From http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1689

* Even though I have reformed (yes, Calvinist and Lutheran) tendencies, I am no longer wedded to a closed belief system (any closed theological system actually) which interprets everything in Scripture and elsewhere for me instead of allowing me to find what I think Scripture is saying through study apart from what somebody just as wedded to a 16th Century modern view rebelling against his own upbringing and all its baggage as I am to my postmodern western baggage.

Whew. It feels good to get that off my chest.

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