The controversy that has flared up recently regarding the Lutheran Doctrine of Baptism has inspired many brothers in the Reformed Camp to send me emails and point me to the writings of the Reformers outside of the Lutheran stream of the Reformation in order to note how similar their understanding of the Biblical texts that teach the efficacy of Baptism sounds to the Lutheran understanding of these same texts.
Below, are posted several quotes without their author's name next to them. (None of them are Lutherans).
Here is the list of authors/sources for the quotes posted below:
Martin Bucer, Calvin’s mentor
Nicholas Ridley, an English reformer & martyr
Second Helvetic Confession
Richard Hooker, English Reformer
See if you can match up the authors to their quotes without looking at the bottom of this post, where the answers are listed.
"How do you know yourself to be a son of God in fact as well as in name?”
Answer: “Because I am baptized in the name of God the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
“And so we utterly condemn the vanity of those who affirm the sacraments to be nothing else than naked and bare signs. No, we assuredly believe that by baptism we are engrafted into Christ Jesus, to be made partakers of his righteousness, by which our sins are covered and remitted.”
Quote 3: (Taken From a liturgy for Infant Baptism)
“Almighty God, heavenly Father, we give you eternal praise and thanks, that you have granted and bestowed upon this child your fellowship, that you have born him again to yourself through holy baptism, that he has been incorporated into your beloved son, our only savior, and is now your child and heir…”
“Water in baptism is sacramentally changed into the fountain of regeneration.”
“Is baptism nothing more than a mere symbol [i.e., picture] of cleansing?”
Answer: “I think it to be such a symbol that the reality is attached to it. For God does not disappoint us when he promises us his gifts. Hence, both pardon of sins and newness of life are certainly offered and received by us in baptism.”
Quote 6: (Taken from a prayer to be prayed before & after baptizing an infant)
“Grant that this child now to be baptized, may receive the fullness of thy grace and ever remain in the number of thy faithful and elect children through Jesus Christ our Lord….[Then, following the baptism:] Seeing now, dearly beloved, that this child is regenerate and grafted into the body of Christ’s church, let us give thanks unto God Almighty for these benefits, and with one accord make our prayers unto him, that this child may lead the rest of his life according to this beginning…We yield hearty thanks, most merciful Father, that it has pleased thee to regenerate this infant with thy Holy Spirit, to receive him as thine own child by adoption, and to incorporate him into thy holy church…”
“In baptism, besides the hand seen that casts the water, is the virtue of the Holy Ghost there, working, without hands, what here was wrought.”
“But the principal thing that God promises in all the sacraments and to which all the godly in all ages direct their attention (some call it the substance and matter of the sacraments) is Christ the Savior…by whom all the elect are circumcised without hands through the Holy Spirit, and are washed from all their sins.” ... “Now to be baptized in the name of Christ is to be enrolled, entered, and received into the covenant and family, and so into the inheritance of the sons of God,…to be cleansed also from the filthiness of sins, and to be granted the manifold grace of God, in order to lead a new and innocent life…All these things are insured by baptism. For inwardly we are regenerated, purified, and renewed by God through the Holy Spirit; and outwardly we receive the assurance of the greatest gifts in the water, by which also those great benefits are represented, and, as it were, set before our eyes to be beheld.”
It would appear from these quotes regarding baptism that the early reformers from the Calvinist stream of the Reformation also believed that God was at work in Baptism delivering what the scriptures promise in the waters of Baptism.
That being noted, I have a personal request. Would those who are Reformed Baptists please stop calling Lutherans heretics. As I see things, if Luther is a heretic for his doctrine of Baptism then so were Calvin, Knox and others in the Reformed stream of the Reformation.
Quote 1: John Calvin
Quote 2: John Knox
Quote 3: Martin Bucer, Calvin’s mentor
Quote 4: Nicholas Ridley, an English reformer & martyr
Quote 5: John Calvin
Quote 6: Thomas Cranmer
Quote 7: Richard Hooker, English Reformer
Quote 8: Second Helvetic Confession
For more quotes like these and the works referenced in these quotes - Click Here