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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Infant Baptism

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seanjol
Member



Joined: 2004/11/12
Posts: 55
Charleston, SC

 Infant Baptism

I was looking for feedback from people on the practice of infant baptism. I grew up baptist and now attend a Presbyterian church that believes in this practice. I am somewhat reformed, if that is possible, but the infant baptism part really bothers me as some standard bearers of the reformation embraced infant baptism, namely Augustine, Luther and Calvin. I believe that the scriptures show a pattern of believe and be baptized and in my thinking, an infant cannot believe. I know that I have my mind pretty well made up on the subject but was hoping for insight to the contrary, or am I missing the boat. This is a subject that my pastor and I have talked about a great deal. Thanks in advance for your input.

Sean


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Sean

 2008/12/8 19:10Profile
TaylorOtwell
Member



Joined: 2006/6/19
Posts: 927
Arkansas

 Re: Infant Baptism

If you have spoken to your pastor about this, you are probably aware of the covenantal framework from which paedobaptists approach this topic. But, I'm just curious what you have learned about paedobsptism so far? I went to a PCA church my senior year of college and the pastor of that church is a dear friend.

Grace to you,
Taylor


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Taylor Otwell

 2008/12/8 19:21Profile
seanjol
Member



Joined: 2004/11/12
Posts: 55
Charleston, SC

 Re:

Likewise my pastor is a dear friend who I have a great deal in common with, just not paedobaptism. ;-) He really uses the argument that you alluded to in the covenental framework. The argument goes that the bible is really congruent from the old testament to the new and that baptism was symbolically linked to circumcision. The thinking goes that there are several households mentioned where they believed and were baptized, although that is no guarantee that there were infants involved. I'm pretty sure that you have heard similar reasoning. Looking back on early church father quotes on the subject, it is almost as if they associate salvation with the practice which really bothers me. Thanks for the reply. I would be interested to know where you stand and if I am missing something. I have read a lot of MacArthur and Piper on the subject and they are well against it, not that they are the final authority on the subject. I just struggle to see it in the scripture.

Sean


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Sean

 2008/12/9 9:37Profile









 Re:

Scripture is clear... "repent and be baptised for the remission of sin".

An infant can not repent. Repentence preceeds baptism. Therefore infant baptism is unscriptural. All this talk about covenental whatever means nothing. Baptism is symbolic of dying to the old life and being raised up a new creature in Christ. Period.

Krispy

 2008/12/9 10:22
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

I have never been able to get a grip on the Reformed view of Covenant Theology. Even if baptism were an equivalent of circumcision how would this play out? The descendants of Abraham were clearly identifiable and circumcision therefore could be seen as an embracing of the covenant relationship.

However, how would this work out in practice? How would you identify one of the 'elect'? and if they cannot be identified would not infant baptism be a massive presumption?


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Ron Bailey

 2008/12/9 10:43Profile
TaylorOtwell
Member



Joined: 2006/6/19
Posts: 927
Arkansas

 Re:

I believe they would baptize the children of church members in good standing, as those are the spiritual seed of Abraham.

In the paedobaptist view, baptism is given an emphasis of God's promises to us "and to our children" to be our God and theirs. Thus, the children are baptized into the covenant community with hope in those promises.


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Taylor Otwell

 2008/12/9 11:07Profile









 Re:

Taylor... thats all fine and good, but there is no scriptural basis for this, is there?

Sounds like "traditions of men". As I stated before, in scripture repentance precedes baptism.

Krispy

 2008/12/9 11:22
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Thanks Taylor
although I am not much the wiser. (that's not your fault)
Isn't this making 'election' hereditary?


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Ron Bailey

 2008/12/9 11:32Profile
TaylorOtwell
Member



Joined: 2006/6/19
Posts: 927
Arkansas

 Re:

Philogos - the paedobaptist does not equate infant baptism with necessarily meaning that the infant is elect, yet at the same time, they do trust God for the promises to "them and their children". Therefore, they appeal to passages that warn against spurning the covenant or apostasy from the covenant (see Hebrews) as warnings to those who have been baptized into the covenant community, because there is greater condemnation for those brought up under the spiritual care and admonition of the church.

Krispy - the paedobaptist would appeal to the fact that for the majority of redemptive history, God has dealt with believers and their children. Therefore, they place the burden of proof on the credobaptist to show why God stopped including the children of believers in the covenant. Also, regarding repentance preceeding baptism. The paedobaptist would agree in the case of adults (which is who was being evangelized in the example you cited), as adult proselytes to Judaism would have had to surely repent of false religion before being circumcised.

I am not a thoroughly convinced paedobaptist myself, however, I am studying the subject and have read some on the topic.


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Taylor Otwell

 2008/12/9 11:36Profile
BeYeDoers
Member



Joined: 2005/11/17
Posts: 370
Bloomington, IN

 Re:

I'm confused on the spelling...is it "paedobaptism" or "pseudobaptism"? :-P

I'm with Paul Washer when he says, "Infant baptism was the golden calf of the Reformation"


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Denver McDaniel

 2008/12/9 12:31Profile





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