Just a brief post before I dump several thousand words about baptism on you...
I've been pondering some exciting things that have happening in my neck of the woods, mainly an increased and increasing sense of unity amongst various different churches and organisations involved in student ministry. My pondering has led me to realise something. I have always believed that unity should be (indeed, can only be, if it is to be Christian unity) confessional. I still believe that, and I still think that in an ideal world Christians who unite together should publish a common confession.
But I've realised that isn't nearly enough.
Really a brief reflection on salvation history should have taught me this: God never works in abstract truth. He works in people, and to be a person is to be a person-in-relationship. (The incarnation is the most obvious example: God did not send a Qu'ran-like text; he sent the Truth-as-a-man). And so Christian unity is not just about gathering around a set of abstract truths. It is about seeing those truths lived in relationships with one another as we set about our common goal of knowing the Truth and making the Truth known, because knowing the Truth is knowing the Lord Jesus and making the Truth known is making the Lord Jesus known.
Note to self: anything - anything - that abstracts from real, living persons in real life situations is at best a distraction, and at worst an idol.