Sacramental Theology

Like A Dove II

In the previous article in this series, I drew attention to the threefold meaning of the Spirit of God descending as a dove on Jesus at His baptism. On a related note, I also argued that 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and Titus 3:3-7 were parallel passages that addressed the same issues in very similar language. One […]

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Like a Dove

Peter Leithart’s book, The Priesthood of the Plebs: A Theology of Baptism, argues that baptism is parallel to and the fulfillment of the old covenant rite of priestly ordination. But this is not something explicitly stated in the New Testament. Why, then, should we believe it? Leithart shows in detail that new covenant baptism does […]

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Strange and Glorious New Rites

At the last supper, Jesus took bread and, having given thanks, He broke it and gave it to His disciples while saying, “Take, eat, this is My body given for you. Do this for My memorial.” What Jesus did was recognized by the disciples, because it took place every morning and evening. It was the […]

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Baptism Unto Priesthood: Historical Notes

In a recent article in Biblical Horizons , I argued that the imagery of James 1:21 alludes to baptism, and particularly to baptism as an ordination and incorporation into the holy priesthood. This understanding of baptism as ordination to priesthood is not, I have since discovered, original, but in fact was widely recognized in the early church. […]

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Sacramental Efficacy

Protestant-Catholic debates about the sacraments have usually taken the form of debates about sacramental efficacy. Protestants claim that Catholics believe that sacraments work ex opere operato, virtually a magical view of the sacraments. A priest goes through the motions and says the hocus-pocus and ‘ presto! ‘ the sacraments confer grace. By contrast, Protestants insist that […]

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