[S]ince the Second Great Awakening, this same zeal [to isolate baptism from conversion] has permitted "new measures" of various kinds, such as the "mourners' bench," the "invitation system," or a recited "sinner's prayer" to displace baptism as the rite of conversion, thus shirking and even marginalizing Christ's command to the church. Zeal to avoid "baptismal regeneration," which many perceived to be the necessary consequence of Alexander Campbell's teaching, actually spawned another error, "decisional regeneration."
This was an error rooted in revivalism that is now a traditional element in American evangelicalism. If the former error is to relegate regenerating efficacy to the rite of baptism itself, the latter error assigns the same efficacy to the human decision to act upon whichever measures preachers may use. [p. 325, emphasis original]
Monday, June 15, 2009
From Ardel Caneday's intriguing chapter, "Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement" in Believer's Baptism, edited by Tom Schreiner and Shawn Wright:
Posted by Ben at 6/15/2009