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Roger Olson: What Baptists get wrong about the Sacraments

Roger E. Olson, “Why I Think Baptists (and ‘baptists’) Have It Wrong about the Sacraments” Patheos (May 27, 2016).

[M]any baptists/Baptists have forgotten their own theology of the sacraments/ordinances and have practiced them inconsistently with our history and theology.  – Roger Olson

I have found this article by Dr. Olson, professor of theology at Baylor University, most interesting. It is specifically limited to his fellow Baptists, but has much to commend it to a broader audience. Dr. Olson’s insights into receiving Holy Communion are particularly useful. He correctly shows that there is no biblical warrant to demand baptism prior to receiving Communion.

Olson’s main thrust is about the decline in Baptist churches to remain true to their theology of the sacraments and either not think about the issue, or think about it sloppily. Let me reinforce the point with my own observations as I have witnessed a variety Baptist or “non-denominational” (ex-Baptists) churches do baptism. One church in particular really stunned me when the minister immersed the teen aspirant, but said no words, as in the classic Trinitarian formula, or even the United Pentecostal “Onto the name of Jesus.” Nothing. That is an extreme case, but points to what Olson complains about. I hope many people read Olson’s article and give more thought to their sacramental ministry.

Roger Olson

Reviewed by William De Arteaga


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Category: Ministry, Summer 2016

About the Author: William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D., is known internationally as a Christian historian and expert on revivals and the rebirth and renewal of the Christian healing movement. His major works include Quenching the Spirit: Discover the Real Spirit Behind the Charismatic Controversy (Creation House, 1992, 1996), Forgotten Power: The Significance of the Lord’s Supper in Revival (Zondervan, 2002), Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal (Wipf & Stock, 2015), and The Public Prayer Station: Taking Healing Prayer to the Streets and Evangelizing the Nones (Emeth Press, 2018). Bill pastored two Hispanic Anglican congregations in the Marietta, Georgia area, and is semi-retired. He continues in his healing, teaching and writing ministry and is the state chaplain of the Order of St. Luke, encouraging the ministry of healing in all Christian denominations. Facebook

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