Surveying the Text/Jonah

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Introduction:
Jonah is a short book that records the famous story of a message being given to the prophet Jonah by God, and he rebels against the idea of delivering it. His motive for rebellion was that he despised Nineveh, and he knew that God was far more merciful than Jonah was disposed to be. So he fled in the opposite direction, and his goal was to get a long way in the opposite direction.

The Text:
“Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here” (Matt. 12:38–41).

Summary of the Text:

The scribes, the ordained men, and the Pharisees, the devout laymen, demanded that Jesus perform for them a sign. Jesus said that to hunt for a sign is an indication of an evil and adulterous generation. So the Lord went on to refuse them, but the refusal was a strange one. He said that no sign would be given to that evil generation except for the sign of Jonah—no sign but the very greatest sign. Resurrection is the sign beyond all signs. As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the ketos (sea monster) so also the Son of man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. After Jonah “rose,” the men of Nineveh repented, and the contrasting implication is that the men of Jerusalem will not repent after the resurrection of Jesus.

Background of the Text:
We don’t know a lot about the prophet Jonah. We know that he ministered during the time of Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14 25), and we know—given the fact that he had to be the source of the information recorded in the book of Jonah—that he had to have a highly developed sense of irony. The prophet Jonah is the butt of the story told here, but we should not forget that it this is, in some way or another, Jonah’s account of it.

The Basic Story:
The book has only four chapters. In the first, Jonah is told to preach to Nineveh. He rebels because he knows how gracious God can be. They might repent, and Jonah didn’t want to risk that. He takes passage on a ship going the opposite direction, heading for Tarshish. Some locate this in Spain, while the Vulgate and the Septuagint render it as Carthage. In any case, it was a long way from Nineveh, in the neighborhood of two thousand miles away. The Lord sent a tempest (Jon. 1:4), and Jonah tells the sailors to throw him overboard. They reluctantly do this, and Jonah is swallowed by a great monster of some sort (Jon. 1:17), a monster prepared by the Lord. The second chapter records Jonah’s prayer for deliverance, and concludes with the fish vomiting Jonah onto dry land. My suggestion here is that Jonah actually died—in 2:2 it says that he cried out to the Lord from the belly of Sheol, the place of the dead. When he comes back to life, he is still in the fish, and then he prays. And then in chapter 3 God suggested that “we try this again.” This time, Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, preaching a message of destruction—“Yet forty days, and Nineveh will be overthrown.” The message was heard with real repentance, from the king down to the livestock. Jonah was furious, and tells God that this is why he fled to Tarshish. He knew that God needed very little excuse to forgive sinners. God was just like that—incorrigibly low standards. God gave Jonah a plant to shade him from the heat, and then sent a worm to destroy the plant. When the heat struck Jonah to the point of fainting, so that he was ready to die, God compared Jonah’s greater pity for the plant than he had for the many thousands of the inhabitants of Nineveh. And there the story ends.

The Presence of the Lord:
Jonah sought to flee from “the presence of the Lord” (Jon. 1:3,10); And so this is lesson number one. It cannot be done. The Lord is as present on the way to Tarshish as He was when He first spoke to Jonah. No doctrine is more self-evident than the omnipresence of God and no doctrine is easier—when in the grip of temptation—to forget.

All Except for Jonah:
This is a book in which absolutely everyone and everything obeys, except for Jonah. God gives Jonah his mission, and so he heads due west (Jon. 1:3). So the Lord sent out a great wind over the sea, and the wind obeys (Jon. 1:4). The prophet tells the sailors to do a hard thing, and they do it (Jon. 1:16). The Lord prepared a great sea monster, and the sea monster was there, right on time (Jon. 1:17). Jonah preaches the Word of God, and the people of Nineveh believe God and obey (Jon. 3:5). The Lord prepared the gourd plant to shade Jonah, and it obeyed (Jon. 4:6). The Lord prepared a strong east wind to destroy the gourd plant, and it obeyed (Jon. 4:8). Everybody honors God in this book except for Jonah.

Greater Than Jonah:
The prophet Jonah slept in the boat in a storm (Jon. 1:5), and so did the prophet Jesus (Mark 4:38). In both instances, the winds and the waves were obedient. In one instance, the prophet slept the sleep of disobedience and in the other He slept the sleep of the righteous. One was supposed to go to a city that would repent, and the other to a city that would not. Both Jonah and Jesus died, and went to Sheol/Hades. Both of them were brought back, one in a type and the other in the great antitype.

And in the final contrast, the greater Jonah is delighted with our repentance, not furious. There is joy in the presence of the angels over just one sinner who repents (Luke 15:10). Who is this referring to? What is God actually like? We call it the Parable of the Prodigal Son, and some who want to be able to condemn somebody, call it the Parable of the Elder Brother. We really ought to call it the Parable of the Running Father, or the Father Who Jumps Fences.

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doug sayers
doug sayers
7 years ago

Q: If, as it appears, those who repented, apart from the knowledge of Jesus, before the coming of Christ, will enjoy God forever, (via the cross) should we think that those who humble themselves before the glory of God as seen in creation and conscience, could also be saved by Jesus, without hearing about Him… post incarnation?

bethyada
7 years ago
Reply to  doug sayers

Yes.

bethyada
7 years ago
Reply to  doug sayers

BJ, Queen Sheba; Ninevites. I see no reason for the precedent to change.

I also think that the sheep and the goats is not about the church.

DW Horton
DW Horton
7 years ago

Hi Mr Wilson. Have you listened to Jim Jordan on Jonah? I’m interested in your comments. Thanks for your time.
DW

bethyada
7 years ago

This is interesting. Though I knew Jonah called out from Sheol I had viewed this metaphorically: he was good as dead so the comment of being in Sheol (ie. close to it) is reasonable even if he is not quite dead. Rising from the dead has precedence in the OT so no problem there. Your stance makes the sign of Jonah more meaningful.

The problems with this is that Jesus states Jonah was in the sea-monster (not Hades), and we have Jonah praying from Sheol after death which may suggest post-death repentance?

bethyada
7 years ago

Tangentially, could Tarshish be Tarsus? I am not convinced about it being Spain.

The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. From these the
coastland peoples spread in their lands, each with his own language, by their clans, in their nations. (Genesis 10:4-5 ESV)

Javan is Greek Ionians (near Aegean Sea).
Elishah is Greek Aeolians (near Aegean Sea).
Kittim are Cyprians
Dodanim are Dardani (Dardanelles near Aegean Sea)

Cyprus is close to the Aegean Sea and closer to Tarsus but very distant from Spain, or even Carthage

andrewlohr
andrewlohr
7 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

I think Velikovsky, in stuff I read online, located “Tarshish” in the eastern Med; before you mentioned Tarsus (southern Turkey), I was thinking MAYbe Crete.

Mike Bull
7 years ago

Good stuff. I like the idea that Jonah actually died, but even if he did not, he talks of the fish as though it is the prison of Sheol. Jordan suggests that Jonah was angry because he knew Deuteronomy. When the Lord started sending prophets to the nations, it was to provoke Israel to jealousy, meaning imminent judgment for Jonah’s flock, which is why he was angry. The book structure recapitulates Israel’s feasts, with the shelter of the gourd at Booths, a feast for the nations. This seems like a stretch until we read Paul’s words concerning his own mission.… Read more »

Seth B.
Seth B.
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Mike, so you don’t think baptism by sprinkling is legitimate?

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  Seth B.

I think God is merciful and loving, and works with us even when we mess up the sacraments in ignorance. But baptism is about death and resurrection, about voluntarily undertaking a humiliating act. Sprinkling a bit of water on an adult just doesn’t cut it. Unless a new earth comes up out of the water there ain’t no new heavens either. So you’d better get yourself a flood and make all things new. :)

katecho
katecho
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Mike Bull is a true son of thunder, and that’s rather refreshing in the current Christian fog. Maybe he’s just trying to sharpen us here in the few remaining areas where we still disagree, but I do wish he’d pick some more edifying doctrines on which to wave his flag. Mode of baptism just doesn’t seem like the right hill to be dying on. “For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the… Read more »

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Hi Katecho Israel was baptized as a single body into Moses, a body of flesh. Christians are baptised individually, because now all the Lord’s people are prophets like Moses. Likewise Israel followed the pillar of fire, but at Pentecost each saint had his or her own tongue of fire. Israel was flesh. The Church is a swarm, a fragrant cloud. Besides the Red Sea, the Jordan and Euphrates are spoken of as parting to allow God’s people to cross. And we see the same thing with Elijah and Elisha. But the New Covenant is not about the “dry Land” of… Read more »

katecho
katecho
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Mike Bull wrote: Israel was baptized as a single body into Moses, a body of flesh. Christians are baptised individually … Israel was flesh. The Church is a swarm, a fragrant cloud. Mike is a master of overstating his case. He tries so hard to divide old and new covenants in ways that Scripture draws comparisons. Regarding a single covenant body, we have the image of the olive tree; one tree, and one Root, with natural and wild branches together. We also read directly that the Church is the Bride and body of Christ. It is one body, with Christ… Read more »

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  katecho

katecho, the church is a resurrection body. Ain’t no babies in the resurrection. The difference between the old and new covenants is the difference between sacrificial flesh and fragrant smoke. The child and the man might be the same person at different times in his history, but a child is not a man. I’ve dealt with the silliness that is “prophetic babies” elsewhere. Reciting stuff by rote is not prophecy. Psalm 8 alludes to Deuteronomy. Talk about desperate. The Covenant is not about your children. It is about the children of God. Totally different. Paedobaptism appeals to the flesh in… Read more »

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Israel was a cell. The church is a virus. You can’t charge a virus with individualism. Dumb argument that misses the point of the fellowship of the Spirit.

andrewlohr
andrewlohr
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

The Spirit told me Israel was baptized when the Egyptians were immersed (I Cor 13); the clouds poured out water in those days. He told me Noah and his crew were “saved by water” (KJV) when the world was immersed, and this is like our baptism (I Pet 3). He told me the church was fire-baptized on the day of Pentecost with tongues of fire on the head (Acts 2), but death and Hell get dumped into the Lake of Fire (Rev 20). Jesus didn’t go down to enter the tomb, but sideways; Jonah wouldn’t go down into any fish… Read more »

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  andrewlohr

Wow, this is like a game of poison chair. Water baptism can mean basically anything except what is most obvious. Jesus was put in sideways!!? So what. He wasn’t buried with his head in the ground like an ostrich. Or a paedobaptist. So much for “the baptised body.” I guess it’s OK to ignore the obvious and resort to the Reformed Christian Talmuds to avoid admitting that you’ve been doing it wrong for centuries. How embarrassing. But think of the blessing when all those wrongly baptized people get immersed and tell you about their Lord! What a day that would… Read more »

katecho
katecho
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Mike Bull wrote: Wow, this is like a game of poison chair. Water baptism can mean basically anything except what is most obvious. Misrepresenting the paedobaptist position doesn’t accomplish anything productive. No one here has suggested that baptism *can’t* mean immersion. Immersion is fine. We just note, Scripturally, that baptism can refer to similar kinds of rituals and events that do not involve water immersion. Baptism can even refer to fire. This is what Mike Bull is ignoring in order to force-fit his position. Mike Bull also wrote: Israel and Noah came out of the waters like Jesus did. The… Read more »

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Katecho, yes, Israel walked on dry ground, but it was a corporate baptism. They were, together, in the sea. For your argument to stand you would have to explain why everyone who is not sprinkled will one day be drowned. Claiming that a sprinkling is as effective as a submersion is refusing to see the difference between a spring or mist watering the ground and the Great Flood. Yes, there is a baptism by fire, but that is not the same thing, just as the water in the Laver and the fire of the Lampstand were not the same thing.… Read more »

katecho
katecho
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Israel’s circumcision was also a corporate circumcision, which happened one individual at a time. The corporate/individual distinction still doesn’t serve Mike Bull’s baptistic model. Mike Bull wrote: Claiming that a sprinkling is as effective as a submersion is refusing to see the difference between a spring or mist watering the ground and the Great Flood. Effective? John said he baptized with water, but One *greater* would baptize with fire. So is Mike Bull then claiming that Christ’s baptism with fire was not as “effective as a submersion” in water? Even assuming that John baptized only by immersion, John is still… Read more »

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  katecho

“Israel’s circumcision was also a corporate circumcision…” Yes, and circumcision was only for males (not infants) and was fulfilled in the death of Christ, which finished any idea of “Covenant children.” Fire and water: Presence of the Spirit is required, discernible by the fruits of the Spirit, the first of which seems to be a legal profession/confession of allegiance. I don’t see that in any paedobaptism. John certainly wouldn’t have baptized babies, being a Levite. Levites did not wash or sprinkle babies. It was a baptism of repentance, as all baptisms are. Except yours, which isn’t a baptism at all,… Read more »

katecho
katecho
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Mike Bull seems to be resorting to dodging and epithets rather than carefully address the biblical difficulties with his model.

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  katecho

That might be how it looks from inside your paradigm, but I think you need to get more familiar with sacred architecture.

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Perhaps this will help: Covenant history follows the pattern established in Eden. Circumcision corresponded to the cutting of Adam and building of Eve that Adam might be physically fruitful. Baptism, however, is about Adam’s legal confession before God concerning his conquest of the serpent – a personal, Covenant oath. The former is about an inheritance on earth – sons of man. The latter is about mediating as a legal representative of heaven – sons of God. Very different. This is why the unbelieving Jews could be sons of Abraham (earth) but also sons of the devil (heaven). Baptism *is not*… Read more »

katecho
katecho
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Mike Bull gives us no Scriptural references for his notions about baptism being “Adam’s legal confession before God concerning his conquest of the serpent”. Mike Bull wrote: Baptism *is not* about earthly fathers at all. Scripture presents a clear exception to Mike’s reasoning: and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. What is this about baptism into an earthly father if baptism *is not* about… Read more »

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Israel was not baptised into Abraham the father but into Moses the prophet, and the Covenant oath by the men and women followed. Now all the Lord’s people are prophets like Moses, able to see Christ without veiled faces. Babies are not prophets. To claim they are is ridiculous. So is giving them wine to drink. You know your paradigm is off when it starts making you say and do dumb things. Circumcision was indeed a boundary of blood. Foreigners could join Israel, but even that was about intermarriage with the tribes. The Church is nothing like that. It transcends… Read more »

katecho
katecho
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

So now Moses is not an earthly father? Mike said earthly fathers, but conveniently switched to covenant fathers instead. I get the impression that Mike invents his distinctions on-the-fly in order to dance away from exceptions and contradictions in his pronouncements about baptism and covenants. Nowhere has Mike supported his assertion that baptism is only for prophets. He has utterly failed when confronted with this request. He seems to have invented this requirement from thin air. All of Israel was baptized into Moses, were they all prophets? Was the Ethiopian eunuch a prophet? What about the Philippian jailer? All they… Read more »

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Baptism is about legal witness – prophetic testimony, you know, Gospel witness, the kind that gets you killed. If you can’t wrap you head around that, there’s no point continuing. Cheers.

john k
john k
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Baptism is two-directional. It does display our testimony to God and to others, but it deals as much (or more) about God’s testimony and work toward us. To die and be raised with Christ through baptism expresses the work of God, not our own achievement, regardless of the fact that we submit to it (Rom. 6:3-4). Even in secular law the witness of a child may well be admissible legally, depending on the circumstances. The line between immaturity and maturity is not so clear-cut that we should base a definition of “Gospel witness” on it. Children from Christian families can… Read more »

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  john k

Sure, but we are talking about the courts of God, not the courts of men. Yes, children can be slain, but they are collateral damage, like the children in Adam’s loins when he sinned. That’s different. Israel’s children suffered when their parents were disobedient. Jesus commended childlikeness before our heavenly Father. If Adam was a faithful son, God would make him a father. But Adam’s sons are not God’s sons until they trust God for themselves. When Jesus blessed the children, Jesus was the baptised one – unlike Herod, who did not submit to John’s baptism of repentance. The children… Read more »

katecho
katecho
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Mike Bull wrote: Yes, children can be slain, but they are collateral damage, like the children in Adam’s loins when he sinned. … But Adam’s sons are not God’s sons until they trust God for themselves. Once again Mike Bull’s unsupported assertions run directly afoul of Scripture. Mike seems to be blissfully ignoring the fact that the children in Matthew 21:15-16 were in danger specifically *because* of their testimony, even if it was rote. Mike seems to think that a declaration of God’s praises from the mouths of nursing babies could never upset a tyrant who felt threatened by it.… Read more »

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  katecho

“You slaughtered My children…” Yep – all Israel was God’s firstborn, but then within Israel, the Levites were God’s firstborn. God works in layers, which is why you are so confused. You are only thinking in 2 dimensions. The Seed came, was born of a woman, grew up, was murdered, and rose again, and then ascended to heaven. So there’s no need for a mark on the firstborn, or any offspring. Paedobaptism tells the world that Christ has not come in the flesh. Baptism is not about the firstborn from the womb, but the firstborn from the dead. Which is… Read more »

katecho
katecho
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Mike Bull wrote: Baptism is about legal witness – prophetic testimony, you know, Gospel witness, the kind that gets you killed. If you can’t wrap you head around that, there’s no point continuing. This is apparently the kind of legal witness and Gospel witness that the Ethiopian eunuch didn’t give prior to his baptism. I don’t recall the Philippian jailer giving any witness to anyone prior to his baptism either. His life-threatening witness came after his baptism. Again, Mike Bull offers us no Scriptural references to support this notion whatsoever. Whatever Gospel testimony Mike thinks is required, perhaps he can… Read more »

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Sorry, this is getting ridiculous. You baptise somebody when they believe and express a desire to be baptised in the name of Jesus. His name on our lips is our oath.
A Christian baby is not a baby Christian.
I have better things to do. See ya bro.

katecho
katecho
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Simply reasserting the baptistic talking points is not the same as offering a biblical case to address the questions presented.

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  katecho

I’ve presented a ton of stuff. All you’ve come up with is verses picked out centuries ago to support a medieval superstitious rite, most of which have nothing to do with baptism. Your case is no better than the “Scriptural support” for the worship of Mary. You are starting with an assumption and then looking for proof. Not the best approach for anything. As I said, there’s a reason your baptism is nothing like the baptisms in the New Testament. It’s because yours isn’t. There’s no Scriptural or logical reason for paedobaptism so it has to be merely emotional or… Read more »

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  katecho

“In what sense, specifically, does Mike Bull assign himself more of a prophet than an infant of believing parents?” I don’t know why this verse keeps coming up. It’s the fraudulent embryo diagram of paedobaptism – still in the textbooks because there’s nothing else available. The children were reciting stuff by rote. Psalm 8 alludes to Deuteronomy, the song of Moses which the children were to learn and recite, that their parents might be convicted by it when they disobeyed God. That’s not a legal testimony. That’s recitation. Instead of digging up half baked and irrelevant proof texts, how about… Read more »

katecho
katecho
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Mike Bull wrote: The children were reciting stuff by rote. Psalm 8 alludes to Deuteronomy, the song of Moses which the children were to learn and recite, that their parents might be convicted by it when they disobeyed God. That’s not a legal testimony. That’s recitation. So Mike Bull is suggesting that nursing infants are memorizing the song of Moses from Deuteronomy 32:1-43? Let’s suppose that nursing infants can pull off this feat, and suppose they do it merely by rote. This would be far more than the Ethiopian eunuch did, or the Philippian jailer. Has Mike Bull managed to… Read more »

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  katecho

There’s literary reason for the inclusion of nursing infants there – it has to do with Abrahamic Covenant succession. If you want to know more you can check my blog regarding Psalm 8. But if we have to haggle about an obscure and poetic verse to support this practice because there’s no evidence of it anywhere in the New Testament, that really should be enough. You’re building an ape man out of a pig’s tooth, if you get my drift. Perhaps Jesus’ point was that the Sunday School lessons were more biblical than those preaching in the church? Wouldn’t be… Read more »

john k
john k
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Children can participate as a virus. They can receive an obligation to service without their consent, and before they have the mature ability to serve. They can also serve while growing in service. If baptism is into service, that is not inconsistent with the state of a child. All the children in Israel were born into an obligation to serve the Lord. Some had additional obligation–Samson, Samuel, the children of priests and Levites, and our Lord. So also Christian parents do not give instruction to their children (Eph. 6:4) merely as “mental preparation” for the Spirit to use to accomplish… Read more »

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  john k

Hi John Yes, I really appreciate the focus on nurturing our children in the Lord, but that’s not what baptism is about. Baptism corresponds to the Covenant oath, and offspring to the Covenant sanctions. That’s how it was in Eden, and how it was at Sinai. So that level of service (by birth) is no longer merely Israel but all nations. Everyone is born with an obligation to Jesus. That is the “objective” facet of the New Covenant. Everyone is already in it, under the rule of Christ. There is no need to for any “entrance into the Covenant.” That… Read more »

john k
john k
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Your typology seems to be confusing you. Covenant Oath is not inconsistent with childhood and immaturity. That is what my post was demonstrating.

If you want to dissociate Church and Covenant, we can do that for the sake of discussion. But there is still a need for the nations to enter the Church, in order to be saved, and then serve. The wall between Jew and gentile is gone, but the boundary between “my people” and “not my people” persists.

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  john k

John, Jesus didn’t knock down the wall and put up another one. The blood boundary was taken away but the water boundary (for sacrificial mediators) remains as baptism. In New Covenant terms, this is the martyroi. So the New Covenant “not my people” is not a horizontal division of flesh (Jew vs. Gentile) but the vertical one between believer and non-believer which always existed — personal repentance and faith. These are quite different. It’s baptism was for both believing Jew and believing Gentile. Babies can’t take oaths. They need representatives (i.e. parents, guardians) and baptism is clearly about being a… Read more »

john k
john k
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Babies can have an oath imposed on them. They can be trained from infancy to exercise responsibility.

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  john k

That’s cultivation, not representation. It’s why there are no baby ambassadors. Adam was “cultivated” that he might represent God not only physically (Genesis 1) and socially (Genesis 2) but also ethically (Genesis 3), dividing between ethical light and dark, truth and falsehood. If he qualified, he would inherit the promises, including offspring, where he could cultivate his own children. But baptism is about God’s children, not Adam’s. Baptism is about you representing God to your children, a robe of office once you qualify concerning the truth of the Gospel. Gospel witness = representation Gospel hearer = cultivation Peadobaptists need to… Read more »

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Thanks for the response. :)

katecho
katecho
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Mike Bull wrote: Everyone is born with an obligation to Jesus. That is the “objective” facet of the New Covenant. Everyone is already in it, under the rule of Christ. There is no need to for any “entrance into the Covenant.” We’ve addressed this error before. The difference between New and Old Covenant is not that gentiles suddenly have obligations to God that they never had before. That’s absurd. Recall Sodom and Gomorrah, and Ninevah. Why, as non-Israelites, were they being judged if they had no obligations? Obligation is a given. The New Covenant didn’t change the boundaries of man’s… Read more »

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  katecho

“Mike Bull’s view suggests that an unbeliever, acting in ways that are blasphemous and unrepentant, ought to be excommunicated *as a covenant member*” You are judging my position from within your own assumptions. This is an entirely different paradigm, and other paedobaptist friends do understand it. There are no “Covenant members” or “Covenant children” since circumcision was removed (and I would argue that these terms are imposed upon the Abrahamic Covenant anyway to some degree). This means that it is you who are excluding infants from the Covenant. I believe all infants are already included, and thus need to hear… Read more »

katecho
katecho
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Mike Bull plunges headlong into the reductio. He asserts that excommunication is not from the covenant, but from knighthood status (a subclass of covenant members). Mike Bull gives us zero biblical support for this invention. He doesn’t even bother to address the Olive Tree of Romans 11. But whatever that Olive Tree is, it excludes infants. This Olive Tree has one Root supporting both natural (Israelite) and wild (gentile) branches. So we know that the Olive Tree didn’t pop into existence with the New Covenant. What is it still doing in Mike Bull’s New Covenant landscape, dividing those in the… Read more »

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Hi Katecho – You’ve missed the point. Israel’s blood boundary define the audience, and the water boundary (the priesthood) defined the speakers. Same goes today. The audience is all nations (those “under” the rule of Christ, and thus “in” the Covenant”) and the speakers are those “in” Christ, the baptised, sacrificial witnesses. If that’s too hard to comprehend, I can send you a diagram. Jeremiah 31 was fulfilled after the exile. Hebrews alludes to it to explain that Jew and Gentile were being united in the way north and south were reunited – by death. But all the Jewish connotations… Read more »

katecho
katecho
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Mike Bull is simply incorrect. Blood relation was not a boundary to Old Covenant membership. I already refuted that notion in another thread. Rahab is one example. Mike Bull simply waves off Jeremiah and the Olive Tree. Here is what Hebrews says: “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” — Hebrews 12:24 There’s that sprinkling again, but notice that Jesus is a mediator. Why a mediator if everyone is automatically included in the promises? Remember that covenants have promises for those who are party… Read more »

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Hi Katecho – I’ve got quite a number of paedobaptist friends who do understand my position, and some of them are no longer paedobaptists. If you can’t understand it, I’m sorry.

katecho
katecho
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Persuasiveness isn’t the same as truth.

Mike Bull
7 years ago
Reply to  katecho

“Does Mike really think the Root of the Olive Tree is earthly?”
The Old Covenant put the plane on the runway, and in Christ it finally took off. And here you are wandering around on the ground complaining that you can’t see my shiny white airplane.

katecho
katecho
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bull

Is this supposed to be an answer to my questions? I’m trying to be serious. The airplane metaphor isn’t one I recognize from Scripture.

Dave
Dave
7 years ago

“Ain’t no babies in the resurrection.” Mike Bull

Mike would you clarify that thought for me. What about babies that die before they are raised to full understanding in Christ and meet your baptism requirements? Are they sent to Sheol for good or are they raised from the dead to meet our risen Lord?