Tag Archive | Baptism

The Baptism Debate is About Presuppositions

(c) Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Jason A. Van Bemmel on the debate between credo- and pedo-baptists:

“The New Testament does not offer us a clear verse or passage to allow one side to prove the other side wrong. So much of the argument hangs on what presuppositions and what framework you bring to the text. We all know what the Bible says, and we have some ability to figure out what it means, but we disagree because we assume different things a priori.”

Read about the presuppositions here: http://theaquilareport.com/baptists-and-presbyterians-why-we-disagree/


A Sign of Membership in the Visible Community of Grace

Sola Scriptura:

Heinrich Ewers Heimweg von der Taufe“The key foundation of paedobaptism is the unity of the Old Testament and the New Testament… Abraham’s male descendants, and all the Old Testament nation of Israel, received circumcision in infancy, even though some among them were reprobate and would apostatize from the faith of their fathers. Therefore, circumcision signified membership in the visible community of grace…by virtue of parents, even though the physical act was no guarantee of salvation. Likewise, for Christians, baptism signifies membership in the visible community of grace…even though the act of water baptism is no guarantee of salvation. Though tied to regeneration – like circumcision – in the actual conferring of grace promised (to the elect to whom that grace belongs), baptism is nevertheless not tied to regeneration in the time and place of its administration.”

Read more: https://solascripturachristianity.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/in-defence-of-infant-baptism/

If There is Any Dedication

(c) Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Larry E. Ball explains why he never dedicates babies to God:

“Infant baptism is not primarily a promise of parents to God, but first and foremost a promise of God to the parents.  If there is any dedication, God is dedicating himself to his oath to be a God to both the parents and to the child.  It is true that parents are bound by oath to raise the child according to the principles of God’s word, but this is not a dedication.  It is a conditional covenant promise on the part of the parents.”

Read more: http://theaquilareport.com/why-i-dont-dedicate-babies-in-the-pca/

Baptism is a Covenant Sign, But it Doesn’t Regenerate

Kevin DeYoung:

Trinitatis Kirke Copenhagen fontRemarkably, though, this deeply spiritual sign was given to Ishmael as well as Isaac, even though only Isaac was the continuation of the promised line… Circumcision … didn’t automatically mean the recipient of the sign was in possession of the thing signified. Circumcision, like baptism, also pointed to belonging, discipleship, covenant obligations, and allowed for future faith that would take hold of the realities symbolized. Just as there were some in Paul’s day who were circumcised but not really circumcised (Rom. 2:25-29), some children of Abraham who were not truly children of Abraham (Rom. 9:6-8), so in our day there are some who are baptized who are not truly baptized. Children should be marked as belonging to the covenant, but unless they exercise saving faith, they will not grab hold of the covenant blessings.

Read more: https://thereformedmind.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/why-would-anyone-baptize-a-baby/

A Sound Paedobaptist Argument

Bautizo“. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Reformed Apologist offers a sound Paedobaptist argument:

1. An Old Covenant precept was that whenever possible the sign of entrance into the covenant was to be placed upon all who were to be regarded as God’s people

2. Children of professing believers were to be regarded as God’s people under the Old Covenant

3. Children of professing believers whenever possible were to receive the sign of entrance into the Old Covenant by way of precept (1, 2)

4. God’s precepts may not be abrogated without explicit instruction or good and necessary inference

5. God never abrogated the Old Testament precept regarding who was to receive the sign of entrance into the Old covenant

6. The sign of entrance into the New Covenant is water baptism

7. God’s precept is that children of professing believers receive the sign of entrance into the New Covenant (3, 4 and 5)

8. God’s precept is that children of professing believers receive water baptism (6, 7)

Read more: http://reformedapologist.blogspot.ca/2006/07/primer-on-covenant-theology-baptism-3.html

Baptism of Infants is Commanded by Scripture

From Reformed Layman:

The Covenant of Grace

Presbyterian: “Very well then, I give you the following biblical principles. If each of these be accepted, then my burden is met and the matter resolved.

Batismo Davi Bergstedt1st God entered into a covenant with Abraham. This covenant was the Covenant of Grace. In it, God established a visible, discernable, body of people that would be his peculiar possession (Genesis 17).

2nd This body of people, the nation of Israel, was in fact the Church in Old Testament times.

3rd In those times, the sign and seal of the Covenant of Grace was circumcision. This ceremonial rite was administered as a rite of initiation into the membership of the Church (Genesis 17:10, 11). This outward circumcision of the flesh was symbolic of spiritual circumcision of the heart, or regeneration.

4th The Church was explicitly commanded to administer this rite of initiation to their infants.

5th In New Testament times, God having removed the shedding of blood from our worship, has replaced circumcision as the sign and seal of the Covenant of Grace with baptism. This outward washing speaks of inward cleansing and renewing of the Spirit, in short, regeneration. Both Baptists and Presbyterians agree that this is now the ceremonial rite of initiation into Church membership.

6th Throughout Old Testament times, the Church was required to administer the sign and seal of the Covenant of Grace to their infants, and thus receive them into Church membership. And so, unless it can be shown from scripture that our Lord or his Apostles purged the Church of infants, or barred Church membership to Gentile babies that had long been granted to Jewish babies, we must assume that the obligation to receive them through the rite of initiation still exists. For, just as we cannot add to the command of the Lord, neither can we diminish from it.

Read more: http://reformedlayman.com/Baptism/BaptismConversation.htm

Israelite Children Were Baptized in the Red Sea

Batismo Davi Bergstedt [A]ll of Old Testament commands and principles are still in effect unless they have been positively rescinded in the New Testament (Matthew 5:18, II Timothy 3:16). …The principle of covenant headship…has never been rescinded. …Christian parents have always been required to place God’s covenant sign on the children under their authority and rear them in the fear of God. Baptism… is the visible mark of such service to the Lord (Colossians 2:11-12). Just as the visible people of God of all ages were symbolically baptized when they crossed the Red Sea (I Corinthians 10:2), so the people of all ages today are commanded to be baptized and serve the Lord (Matthew 28:19).

Read more: http://www.puritans.net/tracts/baptism.html