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|Q:||Why is WELS not agreeing with the following biblical arguments against baptismal regeneration?: |
|A:||Thank you for your interest in what we believe and teach, and for your apparent desire to learn more. The limited purpose of this Q & A service does not allow us to offer a detailed answer to the many specific questions posted by Mr. Jason Engwer at the web site you directed us to. For that you are pointed to the archived answers and discussions already made available to you as well as essays posted and available at our theological seminary's website. |
I am able to give you a perfectly adequate and accurate answer, however, even without replying to each of the questions Mr. Engwer has written. I attempt to do so here:
(1) None of the Bible passages cited by Mr. Engwer "refute baptismal regeneration." They simply do not address that issue directly -- and at the same time they ignore those Bible passages that clearly do teach the truth of baptismal regeneration.
(2) Mr. Engwer is laboring under a misconception of what Lutherans actually believe and teach regarding baptism. He is therefore either attacking opponents we are not aware of, or he is setting up a "straw man" argument simply to knock it down, but is accomplishing nothing. His major assumptions, reflected in his questions, is that baptism is (a) considered a human work and a meritorious work at that, and (b) that we teach baptism is an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY for God's people. Since we teach neither of these aberrations, his arguments become meaningless when directed at us.
I took a few moments to examine other things posted after the series of questions that you pointed us to. It seems appropriate to mention that we really appreciate his emphasis on grace alone and his efforts to keep human works out of the matter of the sinner's justification and salvation before God. It's too bad that he fully misunderstands the sacraments and erroneously classifies them as human works rather than instrumental means graciously used by God to create and strengthen saving faith.