A History of Christian Initiation - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

1 / 44
About This Presentation

A History of Christian Initiation


Baptism was not a cause of conversion but a sign of it A History of Christian Initiation The Protestant Reformation Ulrich Zwingli - took Calvin s theology further ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:52
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 45
Provided by: CJ8


Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: A History of Christian Initiation

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Ritual washings are common place in ancient
  • Israel performed ritual purification rites for
    those considered unclean and unfit for religious
  • Gentiles who wanted to become Jews were initiated
    by circumcision, baptism, and sacrifice
  • Circumcision marked a male with the sign of
    covenant with God
  • Immersion symbolically joined them to the
    Israelites who passed through the Red sea
  • Sacrifice showed acceptance of the law given at
  • Essenes practiced regular ritual washings in
    order to purify and sanctify themselves

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Water-Baptism the ancient concept
  • Water first denotes formless abyss, chaos and
    death (Genesis 1)
  • Overtones of destruction death and burial
  • Water also denotes fruitfulness
  • The river
  • waters the garden,
  • delivers the Israelites,
  • Renews in the desert,
  • opens up the promised land

A History of Christian Initiation
  • What force takes the watery chaos and orders it?
  • Ruah - the breath, the wind, the Spirit
  • Spirit makes the difference between life and
  • The breeze brings water, coolness, refreshment
    and welcome rain
  • The breath of the living is joined with the wind,
    spiritualized and developed into the concept of
    life-giving Spirit
  • Life-giving water is equated with the activity of
    the Ruah, the life-giving Spirit

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Johns Baptism of death to sin and birth to new
  • was pre-figured
  • Isaiah 443
  • Psalm 22
  • was different
  • It was a once-and-for-all call to repentance
  • Given immediately to any who asked, Gentile or
  • Rigorous ethical demands were attached
  • A conscious ushering in of the last times
  • Ezekial 3624

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Jesus is the new age.
  • He is Baptized to make the water work
  • His Baptism is the Red Sea crossing
  • His 40 days in the desert is Israels 40 years
  • His three temptations resisted were Israels
    temptations surrendered
  • Where Israel failed he succeeded.
  • Where Israel grumbled he was obedient
  • Where Israel doubted, he put his trust in the
  • Where Israel worshiped idols, he worshiped none
  • While Israel was the figure, he was the reality
    of what God would do for His people
  • Jesus fulfilled the old and brought in the new.

A History of Christian Initiation
  • So Jesus Baptizes the water
  • The Spirit descends like the wind, like the
    flutter a dove makes when its landing
  • Water and Spirit converge as The Father
    concretizes the relationship
  • Jesus conquers the desert temptation and
    immediately goes to Nazareth where he reads in
    the synagogue
  • The Spirit of the Lord is upon me therefore he
    has anointed me. He has sent me to bring good
    tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to
    captives, recovery of sight to the blind and
    release to prisoners, to announce a year of favor
    from the Lord.
  • Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your
    hearing (Luke 418-21)

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Does Jesus Baptize? The jury is still out!
  • John 322-23 41-3
  • Woman at the well
  • The Apostles do!
  • Peters Pentecost address Acts 214
  • Early Baptism was a repetition of the original
    Pentecostal experience of the Spirit
  • Revelations 221
  • Through the water of Baptism Jesus Spirit would
    be poured out.
  • Water and Spirit are interchangeable symbols
  • John 35-6

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Early accounts
  • Samaritan men and women were Baptized
  • Acts 812-13
  • Gentile foreigners
  • Acts 836-39
  • Jewish converts
  • Acts 917-19
  • Entire families
  • Acts 1044-48
  • Acts 1628-34
  • Immersion in water was associated with
    forgiveness of sins

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Imposition of hands was associated with the
    reception of the Holy Spirit
  • Acts 191-6 89-24
  • What did Baptism mean? A dividing line
  • Between old and new
  • Between waiting for the messiah and finding him
  • Between living with guilt and finding forgiveness
  • Between being in a community of law and a
    community of love
  • It was the beginning of the end times when God
    would come and establish his reign over the earth

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Paul Christianitys first major theologian
  • Baptism is death and resurrection into Christ
  • Dying to sin rising to to Christ
  • The power of sin is broken (Romans 61-11)
  • Christian Baptism was the Jewish circumcision
  • Stripped off the ways of the flesh and initiated
    into Christ
  • Colossians 211-13 Ephesians 21-6)
  • We are all animated by Christs one Spirit into
    a single body, clothed in Christ, washed clean of
  • I Corinthians 1212-13 Ephesians 44-6
  • Galatians 327-28
  • I Corinthians 69-11 101-4
  • But the gift requires change
  • (II Cor. 516-62 Col 31-46)

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Paul and the Apostolic tradition
  • Jesus speaks of his death as a baptism
  • (Mark 1038 Luke 1250)
  • Being born again through water and the Spirit
  • (John 35)
  • Baptism brings salvation
  • (I Peter 318-22)
  • It is not just for the Jews but for the whole
  • (Matthew 2818-20)
  • Salvation through Baptism is not automatic and
    requires faith and good works
  • (Mark 1615-16 James 214-26)

A History of Christian Initiation
  • By the early second century change begins
  • The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (The Didache)
    A Defense of Christianity by Justin the Martyr
  • Instruction in the Christian way of life was
    added to preaching of the good news
  • The water was sometimes poured
  • It was described more as washing and regeneration
    than death and resurrection
  • It concluded with prayers and the Lords supper
  • With each succeeding century
  • the rituals and practices surrounding them became
    more elaborate

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Patristic practices Third century Roman Empire
    Christianity was still outlawed,
  • persecution still possible
  • Meeting places were not disclosed, little
    doctrinal teaching was done
  • A simple confession of faith no longer sufficed
    because the majority were unfamiliar with the
    Mosaic law
  • The early catechumenate (Greek instruction)
  • They first had to find a sponsor who would guide
    them in moral formation
  • Help find new professions for those that were
  • Assure they were not an infiltrators
  • After two or three years present them to the
    community for Baptism

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Patristic practices Third century Roman Empire
  • The time of Baptism moved
  • From immediately after conversion
  • To any Sunday just before Eucharist
  • To right before Easter Sunday or other special
    feasts like Pentecost
  • Good liturgically and safer but Theologically
  • What about those who died before Baptism?
  • Hippolytus - Martyrdom was a Baptism of blood
  • Most taught a Baptism of desire was adequate for
    those seeking but who died in the process
  • By 200 entire families including children were

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Patristic practices Third century Roman Empire
  • Variations existed but typically the
    catechumenate included
  • Catechumens chosen for annual Baptism entered an
    intensive study a few weeks before
  • They were presented to the Bishop or his
  • Their worthiness was attested to by their sponsor
  • The finality of baptism was explained (no second
  • Doctrinal instruction was given and scripture
  • Weekly exorcisms of past evil spirits occurred
  • They were prayed over, blessed, touched, anointed
    and signed
  • The final week consisted of daily instruction
  • The were taught the Lords Prayer and given the
    apostles Creed
  • They fasted the last two days

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Patristic practices Third century Roman Empire
  • Ignatius of Antioch - The beginning of a union
    with Christ which became more intimate through
    participation in the Eucharist and was perfected
    in the death and resurrection of martyrdom
  • Irenaeus of Lyons - The renewal of all creation
    in Christ receiving the Holy Spirit was the
    beginning of the divinization of mankind
  • Clement of Alexandria - We who are baptized wipe
    away the sins which like a fog clouded the divine
    Spirit and blocked his way.
  • Origen - Baptism is a fire which painfully
    consumes everything that is worldly and purifies
    the soul

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Patristic practices Third century Roman Empire
  • Tertullian, On the Resurrection of the Body
  • The body is washed so that the soul may be
    cleansed, the body is anointed so that the soul
    may be made holy, the body is marked with the
    sign of the cross so that the soul may be
    strengthened, the body receives the laying on of
    hands so that the soul may be enlightened by the
    Spirit, the body is fed by the flesh and blood of
    Christ so that the soul may be nourished by God

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Constantines Edict Fourth Century
  • No longer necessary to be secretive about worship
    or doctrine
  • Catechumens allowed to attend regular Sunday
    liturgy up to the scripture reading and homily
  • Baptisms and Eucharist were celebrated in public
    buildings rather than homes
  • Official religion of the empire 380
  • Difficult to tell if conversions were conviction
    or convenience so lengthy catechumenate remained
  • The intensive preparation time was shortened

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Constantines Edict Fourth Century
  • Tertullian - Anyone who realizes the importance
    of Baptism will be more hesitant to receive it
    than postpone it.
  • Teaching about Baptism was taken literally
  • One time Baptism was the only avenue available
    for forgiveness of sins
  • Life after Baptism must then be exemplary
  • Penance for lapses in faith were severe

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Two Extremes Fourth Century
  • Forgiveness of Sins
  • Converts often remained catechumens until their
    deathbed hoping for death-bed Baptism or that
    their desire would be enough
  • Some parents held their Childrens baptisms off
    until after the teen years when
    giving-in-to-temptation would be less likely
  • Doctrine of Necessity
  • Children who died were lost forever with no
    chance of salvation
  • High infant mortality rate prompted parents to
    want Baptism more often than annually
  • Northern Africa baptized within one week
  • Bishops saw moral danger in holding off Baptism
  • Baptizing infants became widely accepted

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Why Babies? Fourth Century
  • Origen of Alexandria - If baptism is for
    remission of sins why baptize babies who have
    never sinned?
  • Cyprian of Carthage -(Romans 512-21) Baptism
    washes away the guilt contracted by the human
    race in Adams fall. Thats why we Baptize
  • How was the sin of Adam inherited?
  • 150 years later

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Why Babies? Fourth Century
  • Donatists - Whenever a person sins they may be
  • Augustine - In baptism a person receives a
    spiritual seal which was the image of Christ. The
    seal was permanent
  • Western Church - The Holy Spirit is passed
    through the Bishop when he lays-hands on the
  • Eastern Church - The Bishop calls the Holy Spirit
    on the water. Holy Spirit comes through the
  • Augustine the minister of the sacrament was
    irrelevant because the Seal belonged to Christ
    not the minister

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Why Babies? Fifth Century
  • Augustine - Without Gods grace received in
    baptism and the other sacraments people could not
    avoid falling into sin.
  • Pelagius - People were born originally graced
    and did required only grace of pardon from the
    sacraments. Children born innocent had no need
    of Baptism.
  • Augustine - Baptism is necessary for salvation.
    Original sin was in the soul from birth an
    inheritance from our first parents passed on to
    all generations
  • Un-baptized must go to limbo. (Never official
  • By the end of the century infant baptism is
    universal as soon as possible after birth.

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Infant Baptism Sixth Century
  • Catechumenate gradually disappears
  • Doctrinal instruction fades away other than brief
    training during the rite
  • Exorcisms and anointing remain since they were
    believed to be effective even without the babies
  • But what about the faith needed for salvation?
  • Sponsors and Parents supplied the faith until the
    child was able on its own
  • They were responsible for seeing that the child
    received religious instruction
  • Now rather than the sponsor bring those converted
    for instruction the sponsor was instructing a
    child to assure conversion

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Infant Baptism Sixth Century
  • Initially immersion rather than pouring became
    common place because it was easy with babies
  • In the west pouring gradually returned and became
  • The agreed upon baptismal formula became Matthew
  • The entire ritual became something an individual
    did to the infant rather than a community
  • Eventually in Roman Catholicism initiation would
    split into distinct sacramental steps
  • Confirmation the anointing was done later by the
  • Eucharist dropped completely out

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Middle Ages 5th century
  • Rome Falls to Germanic tribes
  • Monks sent out as missionaries concentrated on
    tribal leaders
  • If the leader was Baptized the entire tribe was
  • Leaders were impressed by the advanced
    civilization which made them open to new
  • Often 100s converted at a time with no moral
    catechization or religious instruction
  • Little if any effect was felt from the minimal
    initiation ritual
  • Charlemagne, king of the Francs was baptized
  • Sends to Rome and bases all rites on Sacramental
    books of Rome

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Roman Initiation Rite
  • Children received three exorcisms on the Sundays
    before Easter (scrutinies)
  • Holy Saturday the baptismal water and font were
  • Children were dipped in three times while a
    confession of faith in the Trinity was said
  • A priest anointed their head with oil
  • The bishop laid his hands on them and made the
    sign of the cross on their forehead with another
  • They were given communion at the liturgy of the
    Easter Vigil

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Roman Initiation Rite
  • Since the second anointing was limited to the
    Bishop they also had to wait for the Bishop to
    have their baptisms confirmed
  • Spain continued to have the second anointing done
    by the priest until the 13th century
  • Only Milan defended its right to preserve its own
    liturgical custom that dated back to the 4th
    century Bishop Ambrose which were just as ancient
    as Romes
  • Baptism became gradually known as just that part
    of the initiation rite which could be done by the
    local priest.
  • Rural areas often waited years for the bishop

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Infant Baptism 11th century -
  • The Roman sacramental books provided an
    abbreviated rite for infants in danger of death
  • Bishops noted that infants were always in danger
    of death so infant baptism soon after birth was
  • By the 13th century infant baptism became allowed
    anytime during the year
  • In the 14th century it became canon law that an
    infant be baptized anywhere from a day to a week
    after birth to be protected from the perils of
    dying in original sin
  • The baptismal ceremony all but vanished from the
    Easter Vigil only the blessing of the water and
    the font remained
  • The ancient catechumenate was reduced to a short
    service at the door asking the childs name
  • Immersion was totally replaced by pouring
  • The words of Christ in Matthew 2019 were used

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Other Changes in the Middle Ages
  • Eucharist was gradually eliminated from the rite
    of Baptism
  • Baptism was reduced to a water ritual and other
    attendant ceremonies of exorcism and anointing,
    administered without Episcopal confirmation and
    without Eucharist, to infants soon after birth,
  • Once Christianity became the sole religion of
    Europe adult baptisms became the rarity and
    special adaptations had to be made for them
  • The experiential concepts of the patristic
    Fathers explanations of the sacraments were lost

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Other Changes in the Middle Ages
  • Limbo -A workable solution to a sticky problem
  • Augustine and others contended that infants who
    did without baptism suffered eternal damnation
  • Anselm of Canterbury agreed this was consistent
    with belief that baptism was necessary for
    salvation but wondered that God could be so cruel
    to the innocent
  • Logic deemed that he was not. Anselm proposed
    that the souls of unbaptized infants did not get
    to heaven but they were not tortured either
    their only punishment was that they would never
    see God, other than that they were in a state of
    natural happiness.
  • Thy must be in a place on the border of heaven
    (in latin Limbo)

A History of Christian Initiation
  • The Scholastic Period -
  • Cleansing the soul from sin
  • Peter Lombard - a dipping or external washing of
    the body together with a prescribed formula of
  • Hugh of St. Victor - water made holy by the word
    of God for washing away sins
  • The sacramental reality (sacramentum et res) was
    that of washing the soul free of original sin
  • Aquinas - Baptism is a spiritual regeneration and
    incorporation into Christ, but it is a hidden
    regeneration occurring in the soul of the
    baptized infant which manifests itself only later
    in life, it was an incorporation into Christ
    which occurred through the reception of spiritual
    powers known collectively as the baptismal

A History of Christian Initiation
  • The Scholastic Period
  • Aquinas - Baptism was the first step in the
    Christian walk of life
  • It was normally given to infant but could also be
    given to adults
  • Its matter was the water. Its form was the words
    if either was lacking the ritual was invalid
    everything else was non-essential
  • Priests were the normal ministers but anyone
    could baptize in an emergency because of the
    necessity of the sacrament for salvation
  • Children should be baptized right away but adults
    should be instructed first and wait until Easter
    Vigil. If they died a Baptism of desire was
    sufficient because they accepted the message of
    Christ as adults
  • He regarded martyrdom as the most excellent form
    of Baptism

A History of Christian Initiation
  • The Decline of Scholasticism
  • Post-Black Death
  • William of Ockham - 14th century Argued that none
    of the effects of Baptism, including the
    forgiveness of sins, could be proven
  • Baptism was just a name for what happened when
    the ritual washing was performed
  • What really happened depended solely on the
    authority of the Church
  • Baptism sank into the mire of magic

A History of Christian Initiation
  • The Protestant Reformation
  • Protestants rejected the Catholic theology of
    Baptism as they knew it
  • Luther still felt sinful after Baptism and
    Penance. They lacked the advertised effect.
  • He did however feel forgiven after his own
    interior conversion in 1513
  • This experience fed his sacramental theology,
    what Baptism brought was not removal but
    forgiveness of sins
  • He rejected concepts of indulgences and penance
    and embraced ideas of grace and faith
  • Grace was a heart-felt confidence in God and His
    love not an intellectual conviction
  • Faith like grace is a gift from God in baptism
    which remains dormant until later life

A History of Christian Initiation
  • The Protestant Reformation -
  • Anabaptists (Greek re-baptize)
  • Luther taught that when Gods forgiving grace was
    accepted in faith, they were justified in the
    sight of God
  • Anabaptists took pushed it further
  • The New Testament spoke only of baptism of adults
    a profession of faith was required
  • Infant baptism must be a Roman invention
  • The church was meant to be a place of the saved
    into which people came not by birth but by
    decision before Baptism
  • Baptism by pouring was unscriptural so only
    immersion was valid

A History of Christian Initiation
  • The Protestant Reformation
  • John Calvin - Embraced predestination (Romans
    828-34) to mean that God saved those whom he had
    elected, this was a direct work of the Holy
    Spirit and occurred whether one was baptized or
  • The Bible made it clear that none could profess
    faith in Jesus as Lord except by the power of the
    Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 123).
  • A profession of faith then was enough to make one
    part of the elect.
  • Moral conversion worked hand in hand with a
    profession of faith.
  • Immorality was a sign of damnation.
  • Baptism was not a cause of conversion but a sign
    of it

A History of Christian Initiation
  • The Protestant Reformation
  • Ulrich Zwingli - took Calvins theology further
  • Baptism is not an infallible sign of redemption
    nor does it have any effect after Baptism
  • It was merely a sign of faith that people brought
    to the sacramental ceremony
  • The Holy Spirit did not need to work with any
    ritual instruments and acted on people totally at
    Gods disposal
  • He saw Baptism simply as an expression of belief
    in Christ

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Trent 1554, The Catholic Reaction
  • Original Sin -
  • It declared that through Adams sin
  • He lost his original justness and had been
    punished with death
  • that this sin was transmitted to the whole human
    race and put all under bondage of the devil
  • that Baptism removes this sin though it does not
    remove all inclination to evil.

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Trent 1554, The Catholic Reaction
  • Justification -
  • A passing from the state in which a person is
    born a son of the first Adam , to the state of
    grace and acceptance as sons of God through the
    second Adam , Jesus Christ our Savior.
  • Even though the children of Adam must physically
    die, they could be spiritually reborn through
    baptism and if they sinned mortally after being
    baptized, they could regain spiritual justness
    through the sacrament of penance
  • Justification was a result of Gods mercy,
    merited for mankind by the passion and death of
    the son and effected in mens souls by the power
    of the Holy Spirit

A History of Christian Initiation
  • The council based its conclusions in scripture
    and the general experience of the church and
    Catholics who tried to live morally just and
    upright lives in the church. It declared the
    following heretical
  • that the roman church does not teach the true
    doctrine of baptism
  • that baptism is not necessary for salvation
  • that baptism administered by heretics is not a
    true baptism
  • that baptized persons can not lose Gods grace
    through sin but only through lack of faith
  • that those who are baptized may obey their own
    conscience rather than the laws of the church
  • that the grace of baptism covers sins the sins
    after Baptism and need only be remembered for a
    person to receive forgiveness
  • that anyone should be re-baptized or that infants
    should not be

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Trent missed the point of most reformers
  • Sacraments had lost their effect
  • Trent implemented reforms in clergy hoping strong
    leadership could be a good foundation
  • Christian instruction was still to take place
    after sacraments
  • A catechism of official church teaching was
    published for education purposes
  • When missionaries entered the new world thousands
    were brought into the church with little or no
  • Baptism as the magic key to salvation was the
    focus of bringing the faith
  • Only one change occurred during this missionary
  • Baptism of desire came to mean a desire to lead a
    good and upright life, a desire to live like a

A History of Christian Initiation
  • Contemporary Catholicism
  • 1950s-60s - Theologians on both sides of the
    reform reexamined the scriptural and historical
  • Catholics conceded New Testament spoke only of
    adult Baptism
  • Protestants conceded that infant Baptism dated as
    early as the 2nd century
  • Both sides realized baptismal practices were much
    different from modern rites
  • Both sides came to realize that New Testament
    theology of baptism differed drastically in
    richness and complexity from scholastic theology

A History of Christian Initiation
  • The past was revealed in the 1960s through
    Vatican II
  • The council returned to the more scriptural and
    patristic approach to Baptism
  • Revised rite of infant baptism was written
  • A new rite of adult Baptism was composed
  • The catechumenate was reinstated
  • Baptismal themes became more predominate in the
    lenten season
  • It took a major step in reversing the necessity
    of Baptism
Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
About PowerShow.com