(2003; updated 2008)
In his article, “The Bible’s Teaching on Baptism: Contradictory or Complementary?” Eric Lyons states the following:
- “According to numerous skeptics, the Bible contradicts itself regarding whether or not water baptism is essential for salvation (e.g., Drange, 1996; Morgan, 2003; cf. Wells, 2001).”
- “According to these men, Jesus and Paul were confused regarding the purpose of baptism–was it necessary, or not?”
Lyons cites my Biblical Inconsistencies as the source of the claims that he alleges that I make regarding baptism.
To put it plainly and succinctly, he is simply and completely wrong. I make none of the claims he alleges that I make. He is engaged in a blatantly obvious straw man “argument.” Even worse, when Lyons was asked to either point out exactly where in the cited article I make the claims that he alleges–or else remove my name from his article–Lyons refused to do either.
Inasmuch as I do not make the claims that he alleges that I make, there is nothing in his baptism article that I need to rebut. With regard to his personal position on the necessity of water baptism, however, suffice it to say that there are many Christian apologists and teachers who disagree with Lyons. One of many such examples that can be found on the Net: Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?
A valuable source regarding the generally inconsistent nature of denominational doctrine related to the necessary elements of Christian Salvation is Christian Salvation? by B. Steven Matthies. These inconsistent positions on the requirements for salvation are based on the Bible. The fact that the Bible itself is inconsistent regarding such matters is, of course, the underlying factor in these inconsistent interpretations.
[NOTE: Lyons provides several articles that allegedly rebut something that he claims that I claimed with regard to contradictions in the Bible. He is mistaken. I do not use the word “contradictions” with regard to my position on alleged biblical “inconsistencies.” By “inconsistencies” I mean “lacking harmonious uniformity, regularity, steady continuity, or agreement.” I do not claim that inconsistencies are necessarily contradictions, though in some cases they may be. Thus, it is up to the reader to decide for him/herself if any given “inconsistency” cited is actually a contradiction.]