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Liam Goligher – How I Changed My Mind About Infant Baptism

waterLiam Goligher writing for Tenth Presbyterian in Philadelphia, PA gives an account here describing the journey that led him to changing his mind from being a baptist to paedobaptist. Raised in a Baptist church he was baptized at 15 then became a pastor of his own church at the age of 22. His journey took time because of his numerous responsibilities that limited his time to research. Yet the questions he had still loomed in the background. His questions point out some of the problems with the baptistic system as a whole.

He states:

What were my problems? I wanted to understand where baptism stood in the context of biblical theology, how did it fit into the flow of the bible’s story line? I could not understand why, given the Old Testament emphasis of God’s working through families, the New Testament did not signal a change in that policy; it seemed passing strange to me that the new covenant sacrament included women and Gentiles but excluded the children of believers; it seemed that in that respect the new covenant was less generous than the old. There were too many questions surrounding the family baptisms in Acts and Corinthians, Paul’s “holy” children, the warning passages of Hebrews, and the nature of the church that I could not resolve from a Baptist perspective.

He would ultimately find that the Nature of the Church, Continuity of the Covenant of Grace, and The Signs and Seals of the Covenant of Grace pointed to an inclusion and not exclusion of children of believers into the church through baptism. In his words

Only this biblical theological trajectory explains why the New Testament gives no detailed apologetic for baptism leading some to dismiss baptism (as I once did) as secondary or inconsequential. The Bible does not need to enlarge on that which it has already taught.

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