Monthly Archives: September 2006

Friday Foto — Dad, I'm Not Too Crazy About All This


This is me with my oldest son David at our July 4th family get-together. I don’t think he’s crazy about what’s going on, do you? My twins turn a year old tomorrow. Time flies far too fast!

(Copyright (c) 2006 by The Perry Six. All rights reserved.)

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Matt Perry Dot Com on the WordPress Growing Blogs List

What a praise!  Matt Perry Dot Com was #51 on the WordPress Blogs of the Day “Growing Blogs” List.  Just pray that this blog would bring honor to Christ and none other.

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You are welcome to take this and put it on your website or blog if you like what God is doing here at  Pray for this ministry as it seeks to reduce the famine of the Word in the world.

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The Argument for Infant Baptism Fails to Persuade

In the Friday, September 29, entry of Ligonier Ministries‘ Tabletalk, the topic is on infant baptism. As a Southern Baptist, I adhere to what is known as believer’s baptism. That is, baptism taking place upon the verbal profession of faith. I hold to the fact that baptism is a sign of a commitment and confession of Christ that has willfully and truly taken place in the heart of the one believing.

In this devotional entry, the writer appeals to a number of items to help uphold his argument.

Church history. “Many Christians follow the majority practice of church history and administer the ordinace to adults and their infant children.” This is truly a poor argument, for many practices have been undertaken throughout church history that are clearly not biblical. The majority of ‘church’ history has held to the validity of the papacy, inquisitions, Mariolatry, the equality of Scripture and Sacred Tradition, etc. — but I do not see where they are biblical.

The argument of silence. “The New Testament nowhere commands us to baptize infants, but neither does it anywhere forbid it” (italics mine). Huh? If this is so important, wouldn’t someone close to Christ have mentioned it at some point? At any point? No! In fact, it’s not even addressed. Friedrich Schleiermacher, wrote, “All traces of infant baptism which have been asserted to be found in the New Testament, must first be inserted there.” Even B.B. Warfield, who advocated infant baptism, conceded that this is not found anywhere in Scripture. John MacArthur states is clearly and boldly (doesn’t he always?):

“It provides no basis for acceptance, certainly no basis for a mandate for infant baptism as some kind of ubiquitous, divinely-ordained ordinance that all children of believers or all children of church members ought to engage in. The fact that it is not there proves absolutely nothing—expect it proves that it’s not valid. It certainly doesn’t prove anything on it’s behalf. To justify that sprinkling of babies should be done because it’s not forbidden in Scripture is to standardize what’s not in the Bible as if it were standard, for the church. It’s to imprint with divine authority something that men invent—to open the way to any ritual, any ceremony, any teaching, any anything that isn’t forbidden specifically in Scripture.”
The connection with Old Testament circumcision. “Circumcision and baptism are linked (Col. 2:8-15), and so baptism, like circumcision, need not be tied to the moment of profession.” But the circumcision of the Old Testament brought them into a community of people known as the race of Israel. But there is nothing of that sort found in the New Testament. The connection is not that of faith that the parents pray that infant has — the connection is that we are not simply to circumcise foreskin, but to circumcise our hearts (Romans 2:28-29). Those ceremonial laws were done away with (Ephesians 2:14) that distinguished Israel from the other pagan nations. But Paul noted, “Not all Israel is Israel.” It was not a circumcision externally, but internally that has always mattered. One could be circumcised on the outside but still have no faith. It is a willful belief worked in them by God.

It marks the child as part of the visible church. “But baptism does mark the child as part of the visible church and liable to stricter judgment if the recipient never trusts God.” So because his parents baptism him without his willful knowledge, he will be held more accountable for the actions of his parents? The use of 1 Corinthians 7:12-14 saying that children are set apart due to their parents I believe deals with influence and the fact that in the providence of God, He gave that child to Christian parents. Will that automatically prove to be key to his salvation? Possibly, but we just don’t know.

As for me, the argument for infant baptism fails to persuade. And just to be clear, my aim is not to Roman Catholics who practice this. Their base of authority is not simply the Scripture but also Sacred Tradition which allows for that in a salvific nature. My desire is to speak to Protestants who hold to this. What do you think? If you hold to paedobaptism, am I missing something?


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Do You Trust Your Great Physician? (Ephesians 2:1-10)

In light of the events of my father’s injury last week, I preached this sermon on Ephesians 2:1-10 (this sermon will be up for the next four weeks).  Here’s the introduction (much of this is a repeat of the previous blog entry).

September 18 was a day that changed everything for my family.  My father sustained some life-threatening injuries after falling off a scaffold from twelve feet in the air.  After falling on the scaffold brace, then having some of that scaffolding fall on him, they airlifted him to the hospital where they saw his main artery to his heart crushed, aneurysms that cut off the majority of his blood flow to the kidneys, numerous perforations in his bowel — plus I’m sure many other issues that could develop.

The surgeon, a trusted physician in his 60s, told mom and my sister that they had never seen anything like it.  Once Dad pulled through the operation, they told him they did not think he would make it off the table.  But he did.  And they were concerned whether he would make it through the night, but he did. 

I did not know what to expect.  It took me a few hours to process the news.  When I went in to see him on Tuesday, I walked in first and I remember as I walked through the Trauma Center looking for my dad, my mom tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to him.  You see, I saw him as I walked through, but walked on past.  Why?  It just didn’t look like Dad.  I did not recognize my own father.   My initial reaction was that I cried — I cried like a little boy needing his dad.  Few things shake you quite as fiercely as seeing a smart, emotionally and physically strong man who just happens to be your father and friend strapped to a table with scrapes and bumps and tubes and wires and machines hooked up to him. 

Yet, I also remember clinging to every piece of news that those doctors and nurses gave us.  How did he do last night?  How’s his blood pressure?  Should his temperature be that high?  When’s the next surgery?  Why are his feet so hot?  Why are his hands so cold?  We clung to whatever they could tell us.  Whatever those doctors and nurses told us would happen, we hung on every single, solitary word they said. 

Before I left, one of the members who happens to be online periodically reminded me of how the Great Physician has us in his care and that we are to appeal to him.  I treasured that comment because, to be honest, I was fretting so badly about my dad’s injury and wondering if (if!) he would make it, I forgot about my Great Physician.  And I immediately had a choice in whom I would place my trust! 

We have our thoughts about the kind of trust we place in physicians when we are under their care.  But what about our Great Physician?  Do we trust him?  I have noticed:  the more dire the condition, the more helpless we feel and the more we lean on what our Physicians have to say?  Is that how we are with our Great Physician?

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Prayer for my father

I have not blogged in a few days because of a bad accident my father was in this past Monday.  Here are bits and pieces of a letter I sent out Wednesday.


My father was painting my brother’s house and the scaffolding fell on him, and he bore a great deal of the weight of that scaffold on his head.

Dad made it through the night all right, but he’s still got a long ways to go.  The extent of his injury as he fell is still being explored.  Turns out due to the 12 foot fall where he landed on some scaffolding and some landed on him, there were many perforations in his bowel, aneurysms in his aorta (which itself was mangled and almost split, needing a graft from a vein in his thigh to keep it mended) that cut off the blood flow to his kidneys, as well as a concern about the fluids they are giving him coming into his lungs.  Considering that they did not expect him to make it off the surgery table, the fact that he is “stable” and that they are “cautiously optimistic” is news I’ll take any day!

But he made it through the night and they will wait about another day to reconnect his small intestine to his large intestine, followed by weeks and weeks of rehab.  This will be difficult for most, but especially for dad who though being 72 (73 in January) is especially active.  He always has to have some project to undertake, some mission trip to go on, some golf game to play, or some grandchildren in Kentucky to go see.

The hardest part for me was when we went back to the trauma area, I was looking for him and almost walked past his bed.  I didn’t recognize my own father — he was swollen and scraped with bruises and tubes and tape and wires and machines all strapped to him.  I cried like a little baby for five solid minutes.

If Dad stays stable, I’ll be back on Friday and be there for the conference and for Homecoming — and plus now I have a little girl in school!  But I may be periodically going down to North Carolina in the weeks ahead to check on him and just to be there.  God is still faithful and, last I check, the Great Physician.

Props go out to Nancy Baesler’s class.  Betty Jo’s relative lives here in Charlotte, so Nancy’s class through them provided us with a ton of food and snacks for the kiddos and for mom.  Plus, Mom and Dad’s Sunday School class is providing meals for us as we’re here.

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Yes, Thabiti, everyone does have an opinion about Mark Driscoll!

Thabiti Anyabwile in his excellent Pure Church blog wrote an excellent article about Mark Driscoll entitled “Everybody Has An Opinion About Mark Driscoll.”  As you all may remember, I had my own opinion about Driscoll in an earlier blog entry.

While I do have severe reservations about recommending Driscoll to my 221 year old traditional rural church, I do appreciate his passion for the Gospel, his theology, his desire to preach without compromise, and his guts.

Read Thabiti’s article and let me know (and let him know while you’re at it) what you think!  It’s very good and thought-provoking.

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Why Join a Church? (Tim Keller)

Tim Keller gives a great two minute rationale for joining a church (it’s an mp3).  As has been seen in a past post in the comments section that many do not believe requirement for joining a local church.  But Keller does indeed give some great practical reasons that are, at the end of the day, quite biblical in helping you live out your Christian life.  In essence, we do not join based on what we get out of it, but on what we can put into it!  Wow!  Amen!!

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The God-Side of Salvation (A Look at the Sovereignty of God in Salvation)

One day not too long ago, I heard Mark Driscoll who pastors the Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, noted how he received a phone call one day from a woman who was frantic. She told Mark, “My husband physically restrained me and I don’t think that is right. I need your help. Could you talk to him?” After getting some more details about the matter, he did feel compelled to go and talk to this husband.

He asked him, “Your wife called me and asked me to talk with you. Is she right? Did you physically restrain her?” “Yes, I did,” replied the husband. “Did she tell you why?” “Well, no, she didn’t.” “She grew upset at me, turned a glass of water over on my head, hit me with a pan, then she went for the steak knife. It was then that I physically restrained her hand to keep her from stabbing me.” It helps all of us a great deal to receive both sides on an issue.

If it is so crucial to have both sides of an issue presented in earthly relationships, how much more important it is to have both perspectives when it comes to spiritual matters?

Recently, I had a privilege of having a conversation via e-mail of a Reformed Baptist pastor in Trinidad and Tobago. After speaking through some pleasant introductory remarks, we began talking about this issue to which they hold so closely and that is of God’s work of salvation on the believer. Without going into the entire conversation, I remember one statement he made about what they believe. He said, “It is sad that so many do not want to hear about God’s side of salvation.”

Yet when we look at the Apostle Paul, he seems to have no trouble at all proclaiming God’s side of salvation. The Apostle Paul begins by lifting up praise and honor to God the Father . He begins, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3, ESV). Paul here reverts to his Jewish upbringing by pronouncing what is known as a berakah, which takes the form of “Blessed be God, who has …” followed by the reasons for this outburst of praise.[1] Again, Paul desires to show God’s side of salvation and to show us the blessings He has lavished upon the “saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1b, ESV).

(The text for this sermon in Ephesians 1:3-14. To listen to the rest of this sermon, click here. It will only be up until Saturday, October 7, so if you would like to download it now, just right click the link and click “Save Target As” (IE) or “Save Link As” (Firefox). Otherwise, you can simply e-mail us and we will e-mail you the sermon. You will need RealAudio to listen. To download a free version, log on to

(Preached by Bro. Matthew Perry at the Boone’s Creek Baptist Church, Lexington, KY, on Sunday, September 10, 2006.)


[1] Peter T. O’Brien. The Letter To The Ephesians of The Pillar New Testament Commentary.

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Great Site on Kentucky Baptist History

I met Jim Duvall in the lobby of the Southern Seminary library early last month and he introduced me to his Kentucky Baptist History website.  It has a lot of good resources (plus a link to other state histories he has put together.

Click here to peruse!

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