Document Type


Publication Date




I did not choose the three terms of my assignment: "initiation", "ethics" and "eschatology." It would take a degree of arrogance that I do not have, to select the universe for one's subject in this fashion. While I did not choose them, I am fortunate in your committee having chosen them. For in fact, as it turns out, the three terms nestle beautifully together and define a field of reflection that I have found enjoyable. Baptism is initiation into the Christian church, an ethical community. And baptism is initiation into the kingdom of God, the eschatological community. And it does both these things at once, thereby setting up a dialectic. What more could any systematic theologian ask for? That baptism does doubly initiate, is, I take it, dogma. It could be argued; but on this occasion I will assume it, and go on.

Included in

Christianity Commons