Faith and Practice #4

In this fourth edition of the “Faith and Practice” segment Dr. Joseph Pipa sits down and interacts with questions from our listeners.  This is a new monthly feature of the podcast and you can get more information about this feature here.

In this edition we dealt with the following questions:

Hello Gentlemen,

My question is a very touchy one in reformed and Presbyterian circles.
I want to preface myself by saying that I am very thankful for my
particular baptist family and friends, and I do not want to impugn
their character at all. However, it appears that it is now almost
heretical to call baptists out on their anti-paedobaptism, and those
of us that do are often called hateful and divisive. It seems to me
that while we can have some fellowship with baptists, we cannot
pretend that they do not have a deficient view of the sacrament. I
think that many Presbyterians do not have a high view of
paedobaptism.

So, how should we approach this subject, when many feel it should just
be ignored?

— Michael from Grand Rapids, MI

What advice would you give a member of a “mission” church who is entertaining pursuing a seminary education in the next decade or so but cannot right now due to enormous debt & lack of funds?

What advice would you give to someone who has unintentionally “burnt a lot of bridges” in the past few years … as a result of changing churches? How might one go about restoring these relationships?

— Jessica from Burlington, NC

Dr. Pipa, what would you say to the Christian who objects to the Westminster Confession of Faith’s doctrine of the Sabbath on the basis that Romans 12:1 warrants worship in all of life? In other words, what is your biblical argument for distinguishing between the worship in Romans 12:1 and the corporate, family and private worship of the Sabbath day? Is it not true that Romans 12:1 tells us that all of life is to be worship? How would you deal with this type of reasoning?

— Sam from Taylors, SC

Head coverings for women: what is a right understanding and application of Paul’s instructions for women to cover their heads?

— Hilary from Germany

Love the podcasts! I am a 1st year part-time MDiv student at RTS Charlotte and member at Church of the Redeemer PCA in Monroe, NC. Last week I was teaching on Justification and Adoption and made the statement that “these benefits are ours by virtue of our Union with Christ.” This came out quite naturally because I saw that statement frequently in my preparatory reading and listening. A member asked, “Wait, what do you mean, union with Christ?” I fumbled around for a couple minutes trying to explain how believers are united to Christ in such a way that we are in him and he is in us by the Spirit and how the NT is full of references of us being “in him, in Christ, with Christ, etc”. I knew I had a lot to cover in the topics we were covering that day and had to keep moving a long; however, my weak explanation didn’t do this loci justice. When I got home, I read up more on Union with Christ and think I have a better grasp now, but I am interested in hearing how Dr. Pipa would answer that question, “Wait, what do you mean, union with Christ?” 

— Daniel

What is history of ordinary means of grace ministry and why did it fall out of favor?

— Ryan from Ottawa, KS

Thank you for the Confessing Our Hope podcast in general, and for the Faith and Practice episodes in particular. 

 My question has to do with the term “Common Grace,” as used (by at least some) in the Reformed Tradition.

 Some people I have talked with vehemently reject use of the term “Common Grace,” and insist on the term Providence to name the same concept / doctrine. They argue that Grace is particular to God’s salvation of His elect, and does not apply to His patience with and providence for the Reprobate during their natural lives. Others I know, whose Reformed “credentials” are impeccable, use the term Common Grace without hesitation.

 Is it proper to use this term Common Grace as a label for God’s dealings with all of mankind? That is, His patience in prolonging lives of sinners even though we deserve swift judgment, providing for needs, causing the sun to shine and the rain to rain on just and unjust alike. 

— Mark from New Mexico

I have had several conversations with people recently on whether or not a Roman Catholic baptism should be considered valid. Since most Presbyterians (or at least ones I am familiar with) wouldn’t recognize Roman Catholicism as a church, should we accept their baptism? 

— David from Sanford, FL

In light of the RPW, is it appropriate at all for churches to observe the “church calendar?”; Is there a difference between the church’s freedom to observe the church calendar and the freedom of families or individuals to do so in their daily lives?

— Drew from Clearwater, FL

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