September Adult class at 9:30: Baptism and Original Sin

Greetings to All! This class is for anyone interested. Those who want to attend 10:30 worship do not have to attend the class; and those who want to attend the class do not have to come to worship at 10:30. (But in my opinion the two go together beautifully!)

There is widespread confusion about our sacraments, baptism and communion. Do you have to receive these to “be saved?” Does the water of baptism and the bread and juice of communion somehow do something to you or change you? If not, aren’t they merely expressions of our “inner faith”–and so why do them?

Questions about baptism came up in our “Christianity 101” class. And the best anyone could come up with was, baptism is necessary to remove original sin. That’s a wonderfully traditional answer, for those who understand and believe in original sin. But many find the idea that all infants are damned to be unbelievable.

We’ll spend four weeks looking at some contemporary theologians talking about baptism, and on the Scriptures that are foundational. We’ll also go back and see why Augustine in the 4th century found it necessary to link baptism and original sin. And at the end, as a contemporary theologian myself, I’ll suggest we totally rethink the whole mess. Lots of discussion and fun!

Here’s the plan and the readings:

Week 1: We’ll talk about how we understand baptism and explore the questions and doubts we have about it.

Week 2: Go back to Pelagius and Augustine on Original Sin and baptism.

Pelagius-You can do it!

Augustine’s reply to Pelagius

Week 3: An overview of baptism and relevant Bible passages

Gerrish on Baptism

Bible passages TBA

Week 4: Rethinking baptism as a communal, not just individual, rite

Jenson-Church and Sacraments

Please join us for edifying and thought-provoking fellowship!