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Holywarrior
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Joined: 2005/1/17
Posts: 20


 Infant Baptism

I grew up reformed and have been baptized as an infant but I'be been lately challenged on this issue by a book from Dr. James Dunn - UNITY AND DIVERSITY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. A passage from the book:
"For it has to be recognized that infant baptism can find no real support in the theology of baptim which any NT writer can be shown to espouse. And the more we recognize that a primary function of baptism throughout the first decades of Christianity was to serve as a means of expressing the initiate's faith and commitment, the less justified in term of Christian beginnings would the practice of infant baptism appear to be." (Dunn, 1997 : 160)

Any insight into this with scripture verses being used in context (sound interpretation) would be appreciated.

Brother in Christ
Holywarrior

 2005/1/18 15:25Profile
PreachParsly
Member



Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164
Arkansas

 Re: Infant Baptism

And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
[b]Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:[/b] Matt 3:4-8

I understand this is John baptizing people but I belive that this same standard should be held today when someone is baptized. They should have already of confessed their sins and shown fruits worthy of repentance(Luke 3:8). Can an infant do that?


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Josh Parsley

 2005/1/18 16:25Profile
Malachi
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Joined: 2003/12/8
Posts: 11
UK

 Re: Infant Baptism

Hi

I had a similar feeling when I accepted Jesus as Lord and Saiour at the age of forty. Did my infant baptism, and subsequent confirmation have any meaning.
Jesus commands his followers to disciple and baptise all peoples in his name. This discipling and baptising are human acts, but there is a working of God in them. Baptism is a sacrament - a time when the gap between heaven and earth becomes thin - and God acts on the subject. This is an event similar to Holy Communion, which may be celebrated regularly ( I leave it to you to decide how often).
Peter on the day of Pentecost told the crowd who asked 'what should we do?' to repent and be baptised.
Later at Cornelius house, the hearers were baptised in the Spirit and Peter then baptised the whole household with water - presumably including children and slaves.
So I don't think that scripture gives us a hard and fast rule, but allows for a variety of baptism events - after all it's God's work not ours.
Personally I wish I had not been baptised as a baby - but I would probably have been baptised as a teenager and later regretted that I had not waited until I was 40. As it is I do not desire further baptism in water, but require the baptism in the Spirit to be a continual event - I need to be constantly topped up, just as Jesus was regularly ministered to by the Holy Spirit during his life on earth strengthening him to allow his mission to be completed.
On the baptism of other peoples babies - I am glad to say that a blessing service is becoming more popular and allows for adult baptism as believers to be a much more dramatic event.
Lots to think about though - child baptism became popular when infant deaths were very common. More questions than answers.
There is a book called 'Baptise every baby' (Clifford Owen) which describes a ministers struggle to come up with a sound policy and rehearses the arguments for and against.

Only you yourself know what God has done for you and when. Is any further response required?

Grace and Peace

Dave


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David Hargreaves

 2005/1/18 16:33Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re: Infant Baptism

Quote:
I grew up reformed and have been baptized as an infant but I'be been lately challenged on this issue by a book from Dr. James Dunn - UNITY AND DIVERSITY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. A passage from the book:


James Dunn is a brilliant UK academic with charismatic leanings. I have read several of his books including the one mentioned above. Although I agree with this statement on baptism his views on the canon and the inspiration of scripture are certainly not classical evangelical.

As you read the book you will find that his real core of revelation truth becomes smaller and smaller. A writer to be read with extreme caution.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/1/18 17:57Profile
hredii
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Joined: 2004/8/1
Posts: 218
Fresno CA

 Re: Infant Baptism

There is good excerpt about baptism in A.W. Tozer "The Voice of the Spirit" The part that he talks about baptism is at 19:30 to 21:00 min


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Adam Fell

 2005/1/18 18:07Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Later at Cornelius house, the hearers were baptised in the Spirit and Peter then baptised the whole household with water - [u]presumably[/u] including children and slaves.


I think this is an unwarranted 'presumption'; ;-) using your own word. A careful reading of Acts 10:44-48 will show that Peter asked 'can any man forbid water that [u]these[/u] should not be baptized'. The 'these' refers to those who had heard the word and upon whom the HOly Spirit had 'fallen'. 'these' also spoke with tongues.

There is no reference in this account to the mass baptism of Cornelius' household. I think you are thinking of other Acts households; eg Acts 16:15 & 31.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/1/18 18:08Profile
Holywarrior
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Joined: 2005/1/17
Posts: 20


 On James Dunn

Hi Philologos

Thank you for this insight on Dr. James Dunn. It helps me to evaluate him in a better perpsective.

Thanks you also everyone who has responded on my post. It helps me to deal with the issue and think about it objectively.

Greeintings
Brother in Christ
Holywarrior

 2005/1/19 2:30Profile
KeithLaMothe
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Joined: 2004/3/28
Posts: 354


 Re:

I think the root question is something along the lines of "Are the children of Christians members of the New Covenant?"

If yes, then they should be baptized, and there's a good shot that they should be given communion too.

If no, they're short heathen, however cute, and should be regarded thus.

 2005/1/19 10:38Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
I think the root question is something along the lines of "Are the children of Christians members of the New Covenant?"


Is there any other way into the New Covenant than by regeneration?


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Ron Bailey

 2005/1/19 14:20Profile
dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re:

1Cor7:13-14 Infant baptism isn't nessary but after the children reach an age of accountability they have a personal responsibility to know Jesus as messiah and Lord for them selves.Up until that point it can be argued that they are the benefactors of thier parent(s) committment to Christ.


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D.Miller

 2005/1/19 15:03Profile





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