"Moreover, Ambrose took the moment of baptism as itself a teaching exercise, showing how in baptism the whole of redemptive history centers on Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection. He showed them the typological themes of redemption through judgment in the Flood, in the Red Sea Exodus, in the crossing of Jordan, and, of course, in the baptism of the Lord Jesus himself. This way of reading the Bible, Wills argues, formed the core of Augustine’s own method of biblical interpretation. He learned it, Wills contends, not in a classroom but in a baptistry.
In a day when, at least in my circles, baptism has become reduced to merely the person’s individual testimony, we ought to recover the drama of baptism as placing us in the story of Christ, a story told ahead of time in countless canonical life-stories and told, in the water, in our own life-story: death, burial, and resurrection as we are joined to the life of Another. And, of this Other, the voice of God himself once thundered over his wet head (and, yes I would argue, his entirely wet body, but, again, that’s another debate): “You are my beloved Son, and with you I am well-pleased.”
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