I grew up when Diff'rent Strokes was a popular television show. That's no big deal unless your last name is Willis. To this day I still hear those famous words popularized by Arnold: "Whatchu talkin bout Willis?" Usually they are uttered by someone looking at me as though I may have never heard it before. Yeah, right! Well this blog is what I (Willis) am talkin bout...my thoughts, observations & opinions. Enjoy...

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Bible "Wrong Answer" Man

I recently received some publicity material from Roanoke Bible College (I'm a 1990 grad by the way) promoting "Celebrate Truth 2008" with Hank Hanegraaf. Hanegraaff is president of the Christian Research Institue and host of the Bible Answer Man radio program. Maybe it's just me, but I find a certain irony here: The "Bible answer Man" speaking about truth at RBC. Now maybe you don't see what I see yet, so let me help...

RBC is a school associated with the "Restoration Movement" (aka. christian churches & churches of Christ). One of the distinctives of this movement has been the belief that baptism is the time of pardon = when one is forgiven. Baptism is also frequently spoken of as "essential."

Hanegraaf has written about baptism: "The biblical teaching on this subject would seem to indicate that the extreme positions of baptism as absolutely essential to salvation (as taught by some in the Church of Christ) and as an outmoded ritual that need not be practiced at all (as taught by the Friends) are aberrations that should be rejected as unbiblical and divisive (though many in both those churches may be acknowledged as genuine Christians)." (emphasis mine) Additionally, I have heard Hanegraaf strongly opposing our position on baptism on his radio show. His is the usual "water regeneration" jive that most evangelicals ignorantly toss out about us.

Now it's been almost 2 decades since I was a student, but I'm pretty sure that RBC's teaching on baptism would fall into Hank's "abberation" category. I find it a little humorous that he will be speaking about "truth" at a college that believes baptism as the occasion of salvation to be a fundamental truth.

Now, I know Hank won't be addressing that (although it would quite interesting if he did!) And I support RBC's right to have anybody in they want. I'm sure he will provide some insight about currrent challenges facing the church. Maybe somebody will even share the truth about baptism with him...though I doubt it.

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