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How do credo-baptists explain "baptism for the remission of sins" in the Nicene Creed? Is this phrase interpreted in some way as being symbolic?

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  • Most credo-baptists subscribe to the creed, others don't. I've edited to just ask about those who do. – Mr. Bultitude Oct 23 '15 at 13:29
  • If this question is about how they justify a symbolic non-regenerative understanding of baptism then it should really ask for the Protestant interpretation of the creed. I don't think there'd be any real difference between Protestant credo and paedobaptists on this. Except for Lutherans maybe... – curiousdannii Oct 23 '15 at 15:13
  • @curiousdannii Many Baptists I know claim to affirm the early ecumenical creeds and yet hold that baptism is simply a symbolic ordinance. I understand their theological justification for credo-baptism but not how they explain the Nicene-Creed in light of it. Hence why my question is framed as specifically as it is. As an aside, I am becoming a Lutheran and we definitely affirm that grace is given in baptism by the Word and received through faith. Some confessional Calvinists and many Episcopalians share a sacramental view of baptism so Protestantism is definitely divided here. – JRystedt Oct 23 '15 at 15:32
  • Sacramental understandings of baptism are very very different from beliving in baptismal regeneration though! But maybe it's best to keep this scope to keep the question simple. – curiousdannii Oct 23 '15 at 15:34
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The Credo-baptists that affirm the Nicene creed, would argue that "baptism for the remission of sins" need not be interpreted as "baptism accomplishes the remission of sins", but more along the lines of "baptism witnesses the remission of sins" eg:

... The phrase, “We confess one baptism for the remission of sins,” does not mean that baptism leads to forgiveness of sins but that the Christian gospel depicted by baptism is the only gospel that truly saves. This creed was an appropriate response to false teaching of the past, and it remains a useful means to guard against false teaching that might occur in the future. - (Delray Baptist Church, Alexandria VA, "in friendly cooperation with the Southern Baptist Convention")

Further background information on varying Baptist responses to creeds can be found at Baptist Theologian (Gardner-Webb University, NC) Stephen Harmon's post "Do real Baptists recite creeds?".

  • Too bad that the Greek itself and the bishops who actually wrote the Creed wouldn't support such a reading in the slightest. – Sola Gratia Nov 8 at 15:50

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