Many thanks to Bro. Robin Foster, pastor, blogger, and one of the proprietors over at SBC Today (he's not the one who looks a lot like Michael Bolton). Robin hosted a Baptist Distinctives Conference this weekend, and I was privileged to play a part. The people of Immanuel Baptist Church in Perkins, OK, are a warm and hospitable people, and I greatly enjoyed my time with them.
Speaking of Baptist Distinctives, can we take a moment to consider believer's immersion? I believe that the Bible is abundantly clear regarding how to baptize someone. Other people advance arguments in favor of affusion (pouring) or aspersion (sprinkling) as appropriate modes of baptism. They also advocate the baptism (by aspersion, generally) of infants against their will as a biblical practice. I think that they make these arguments not out of biblical fidelity but out of blind denominational loyalty. They, doubtless, think the same of me. Which is the case?
Here's one bit of evidence (not proof, but at least strong evidence). What do people decide who have otherwise rejected denominational loyalty? In other words, of the new denominations formed since, say, 1641, how many are immersionist and how many are not?
By the way, we're not counting the subdivision of groups that represent no significant change in theology. So, for example, the PCA and the PCUSA only count under the broader heading of "Presbyterians." And, of course, Presbyterians were around before 1641.