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From the article:
It sounds like the beginning of a joke or a support group introduction, but it’s true: some of my best friends are Baptists. I speak at conferences with and to Baptists. I read books by Baptists (both the dead and the living). I love the Baptist brothers I know–near and far–who preach God’s word and minister faithfully in Christ’s church. I went to a Baptist church while in college and know that there are many folks of more credobaptist persuasion in my own church. I imagine the majority of my blog readers are Baptist. You get the picture. I have thousands of reasons to be thankful for my brothers and sisters in Christ who do not believe in baptizing infants.
And yet, I do. Gladly. Wholeheartedly. Because of what I see in Scripture.
One of the best things I get to do as a pastor is to administer the sacrament of infant baptism to the covenant children in my congregation. Before each baptism, I take a few minutes to explain why we practice infant baptism in our church. My explanation always includes some–but rarely is there time for all–of the following:
It our great privilege this morning to administer that sacrament of baptism to one of our little infants. We do not believe that there is anything magical about the water we apply to the child. The water does not wash away original sin or save the child. We do not presume that this child is regenerate (though he may be), nor do we believe that every child who gets baptized will automatically go to heaven. We baptize infants not out of superstition or tradition or because we like cute babies. We baptize infants because they are covenant children and should receive the sign of the covenant. Read the rest of it here
Many credo-baptists (CB) are familiar with the standard route of argument of the paedo-baptist (PB). Gen 17 to the relationship between baptism and circumcision in Colossians 2:11-12 then bam you’re in paedo-baptism land. Children receive the covenant sign because they are still in the covenant according to the PBs.
The question then becomes however for many CBs, “If we are in the ‘New Covenant’, are children part of the New Covenant or not?” There looks to be different promises in the New Covenant than those in the Old Covenant. The New Covenant looks to be distinct because it is made up of regenerate people where as the Old Covenant had both. Based on this understanding it makes it difficult to place children of believers in the covenant the way they were in the Old Covenant administration because all the members of the New Covenant are regenerate. (more…)
This is to serve as a brief overview providing biblical support for why God has said to initiate our children into the covenant with baptism. Starting with Galatians 3:
Gal 3:29 “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”
Believers are considered children of Abraham because we have faith in Jesus. Not because of our ethnicity. Therefore we look to the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant:
Gen 17:9 And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations.
Gen 17:10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised.
Gen 17:11 You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.
Gen 17:12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring,
Gen 17:13 both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant.
Gen 17:14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
An article out of Baptist Press entitled “Scripture dislodged prof from infant baptism” was posted discussing how Professor John Yeo left his denomination (PCA) over the issue of paedo-baptism.
In the article Professor Yeo recounts the text that helped convince him that in the New Testament baptism was for believers. The text?
But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:33-34).
My Retraction: A 15-year Baptist turns Paedobaptist and Becomes Reformed.
A little bit about my journey in understanding how Covenant Theology is the overwhelming thesis of God’s Redemptive plan, and how God sanctified me further. A Baptist turns to be a theologian of Covenant Theology. How could such a thing happen?
My Retraction: A 15 Year Baptist Turns Paedo-Baptist and Becomes Reformed By Dr. C. Matthew McMahon (September, 2002, and updated December 2006)
In the latter years of Augustine’s life, after sifting through his literary works as a whole, in book 2 of his Anti-Pelagian Works, we find him writing down a number of “retractions.” What are retractions? Augustine revisited certain topics on which he had previously written, and much to his dismay, there was much that he knew he had written in error. In desiring to be as biblical as he could, he mentioned the errors in a “retraction” of their validity and then explained what his position had become. He recanted of what he had written, and then revisited the topic under a more thoroughly biblical view. For instance, he withdrew his ideas concerning the Platonic view of the pre-existence of the soul to accept a biblical view. This was quite honorable for Augustine to do so in keeping with being a faithful steward of God’s Word. (more…)