My Take: Immersion
So I got another great question. This one dealing primarily with the mode of Baptism. So let's read the question,
I have a question regarding the two ways of performing a baptism. In his lectures William Shishko puts a constant case between the baptism of immersion vs the baptism of pouring/sprinkling. I am still struggling to understand why he is emphasizing this so munch. Is it because many churches, like Baptist, uses this method or is it because baptism is not to clean nor to proclaim the birth of a "new man"?
I think if the baptism is in the name of the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit, so they can be identified with what is clean and pure, then it will be ok. If you do this by immersion or pouring over it should be of such importance? Or I am missing something?
I simply was thrilled to receive this question. It really is fun and exciting to evaluate some of these topics. First I'll say that the William Shishko lectures are a set of lessons defending Infant Baptism. They are pretty intense so I don't recommend any person of Baptist belief jump into them blindly.
Having listened to the lectures in question, I can say that Shishko's main desire is to show that baptism by immersiononly is one of the false doctrines that Baptist have bought into. This isn't a layman only problem. There have been many Baptist scholars who continue to propagate the false conclusion that the Greek words for "baptism" and "baptize" must always mean immersion. More thorough word study has proven these Baptist researchers to be incorrect in their conclusions but that teaching hasn't found its way through the Baptist seminaries and churches.
Shishko moves to defend that the mode does not matter. And really doesn't matter as long as the meaning of baptism is correct. Well Baptist and Reformed folk don't agree on the meaning of Baptism either. You begin to see why there is a great divide between the two camps and why it caused denominations.
With immersion behind me now, I want to highlight one of the very interesting things in this question. The topic of Trinitarian Baptism. I personally hold the view (along with John Calvin, R.C. Sproul and Doug Wilson) that all Trinitarian baptisms are legitimate baptisms. This includes Roman Catholic Baptisms. Now I don't think the RCC baptizes correctly. In fact they are far away from what is correct. But it is a valid baptism.
This is very different and new for a lot of people. I know many ex-Catholics who find a good Baptist church, "convert" ("get saved") and then seek to be baptized. I understand the reasons for this. Their perspective is that only now their baptism means something. To this I couldn't disagree more strongly. But I believe this helps to show the vast difference between the meaning of baptism held between Baptists and Reformed folk. Hopefully in the future we can discuss the subject more and help to bridge some gaps.