How should Christian parents best prepare their children for marriage? Is dating the only way? What should they tell them about the American institution of dating?
At issue is the question of warrant. Is the dating institution morally neutral — an innocent cultural expression? Or is it a product of a pagan culture and thus Scripturally unjustifiable?
This booklet is particularly suited for older children still living at home. Its purpose is to guide both fathers and mothers as they raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and provide them with an alternative that is more in sync with the letter and spirit of the Bible.
It zeroes in upon the father's responsibility in the courtship process. Also covered are both theology and biology, as there is a great deal of ignorance about the way that God has made us.
Who is to be baptized? The answer is that the people of God are to be baptized. But who are the people of God? To understand this, we must understand that the people of God are defined in the Bible as the covenant people. We must understand the covenant if we are going to identify God's chosen people.
Next to the doctrine of the Trinity, the covenant is the most basic teaching of the Bible. The Old and the New Testaments of which we so often speak, are really the Old and the New Covenants (Jer. 31:31 ff). The covenant is so important that we cannot even be Christians unless we believe in it. It is the blood of the covenant that saves us from sin (Heb. 13:20)
In The Covenant Baptism of Infants we discuss what a covenant actually is. We consider such things as covenant continuity and children under covenant law. We also consider several arguments for infant baptism.
Eschatology, the doctrine of last things, is also the doctrine of first things because it is concerned with the goal of history. Of necessity, goals determine present-day action. We are not motivated to action unless we know the purpose for our action. Specific goals motivate us. If we believe that the main and final goal of the Christian life is heaven, or the salvation of our souls, we will be indifferent to history and the world around us. But, if in terms of Matthew 6:33, we believe the Kingdom of God and his righteousness or justice must have priority in our lives, then we will not have a self-centered view of salvation.
Our personal salvation is not the focus and goal of the Gospel but simply the starting point. The goal is God's Kingdom, His purpose for humanity and the world. The essence of man's fall is his will to be his own god, his own source of law and morality (Gen. 3:5). All too often men retain aspects of this original sin in insisting that their salvation is the center of God's plan. God seeks His own glory and purpose, our place in His plan is not at the center.
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