A few months ago the topic of infant baptism sprang up on the theoblogosphere and quickly died. I was able to save a few of the posts that I saw in order to return to them later, but with it being so busy this past month or so, I simply didn’t have the time. Now, this subject has come up in our personal life for various reasons, so this week, I will examine the subject lightly and would ask for your input as you see fit. This belief system is not new, and is not only practices by Catholics. It is historic, and more historic than some of the other doctrines espoused as orthodox by many Christians.
The post which started it (as far as I can tell) is one by a former Baptist turned Reformed Christian. It is on the occasion of the baptism of his daughter. Forgoing his own doctrinal explanation, he writes,
Rather than try to explain to all my Baptist friends something that is quite honestly difficult to understand from within a Baptist framework and worldview, let me offer Richard Pratt’s excellent explanation.
Pratt’s view is a covenantal view, as is most paedobaptists as far as I can tell. If they aren’t, then at the very least the doctrine is.
In the end, for many, it comes down to seeing baptism as the sign and seal of the New Covenant mirroring circumcision as found in the Old. Further, they point to the jailer and his family in the book of Acts. Just as in the Old when the Covenant could be extend through the male to the household (and in Abraham’s case, it included slaves) so too can the covenant of the parents be extended to the children. Or, something like that.
Contrary to some, I believe that Baptism is a primary doctrine, since it is a central act for the Christian community (Romans 6), along with the Eucharist. By clicking the Baptism category below, you can get a better sense of my views here, and although those views might have been tweaked, I do hold Baptism in a central light.
R.C. Sproul, in this link, lays out the case for infant baptism which is challenged by MacArthur who takes the common Baptist position. I am no Baptist. Tim has a case for infant baptism in Galatians 3.
This week, I will be posting several items on this subject. This is meant for discussion, of course. This is the machine gun topic of the week.
As always, please feel free to correct my views here, or aid me in understanding where you are at.
- “Covenant Theology: A Reformed Baptist Perspective” (eardstapa.wordpress.com)
- What We Say at a Baptism (kathrynleighaz.wordpress.com)