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With reference to its biblical and theological foundations, critically evaluate how one particular practice of the church contributes to the identity of the church as the church, and evaluate the contribution of scholarly discussion of this practice** - Essay Example

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Baptism features heavily and centrally in the list of ordinances to the point that it is referred to as the first ordinance of the Gospel, in the United and Uniting Church. The phrase United and Uniting Church is used in the discourse to mean, a union of several Protestant…
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With reference to its biblical and theological foundations, critically evaluate how one particular practice of the church contributes to the identity of the church as the church, and evaluate the contribution of scholarly discussion of this practice**
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Extract of sample "With reference to its biblical and theological foundations, critically evaluate how one particular practice of the church contributes to the identity of the church as the church, and evaluate the contribution of scholarly discussion of this practice**"

Download file to see previous pages This is because most members of the United Church believe that baptism is a Christian rite of adoption or admission which involves the immersion of the believer into water, or sprinkling water on the believer. The execution of this rite is always accompanied by a declaration of a statement of faith by the believer and the declaration of the Person(s) into whom the believer is being baptized, with the Person(s) either being the Father, the Son and the Holy Sprit. While there are several ways in which baptism is carried out depending on the standpoint that a given denomination takes, the spiritual significance of baptism remains too profound to be discounted as a mere ritual, as shall be seen in the discourse which ensues forthwith.
Nee1 contends that water baptism contributes greatly to the identity of the United Church. By this identity, it is meant behavioral identity. While the United Church believes that the Church has been called to live a holy life as the salt and light of the world (Matthew 5: 13 and Matthew 5: 14, respectively), this holiness is not to be achieved through the observation of prescriptive behavior as is the case with other religions2. Instead this holiness is attained through knowing that the old man (the flesh, or the carnal man or the natural man) was crucified and died with Christ in His Passion and death, and that the new man of the spirit was raised together with Christ in His resurrection (Galatians 2:20).
Carson3 postulates that baptism plays a crucial role in the development above, since it is the acknowledgement and a demonstration of the knowledge that the believer in Christ had his carnal nature crucified with Christ and that his spiritual man was raised with Christ, by the very power that resurrected Jesus Christ. In this case, when partaking of baptism, when the believer is immersed in water, the symbol of the carnal nature of the ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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