A Burden of Proof


“If the Federal Vision got baptism right, they would be demonstrating the biblical dominion pattern in every individual’s life.”

Matt Caslow posted some thinking man’s questions concerning Bully’s broadband brand of credobaptism. Matt, I hope these answers help you understand my assertions. Happy to discuss further. I’ll soon be posting a page at the top of the blog with baptism links.

You say, “The evidence for credobaptism is both implicit and explicit.” I see the implicit but what exactly is the explicit evidence?

Explicit evidence is what we see plainly. What we see plainly in the Scriptures is credobaptism at every single point. Pastor Wilson thinks he sees both explicit and implicit evidence for paedobaptism in the New Testament, but I see none that is explicit, and all his implicit evidence is based on importing Old Covenant definitions into the New, raw and untransformed by Pentecost.

Do you agree with paedobaptists that you have the burden of proof?

PBs think they have it sewn up by importing the concept of “the Covenant children” of “the people of God” as an assumed basic that didn’t need to be reiterated. Baptists have the argument from your first question in their favour, but don’t really understand Covenant. What I believe I have done is shown that the Covenant structure is God’s process of maturity, and it has to be switched off to allow the nature of “Covenant children” to remain untransformed, i.e. fleshly, physical offspring, a genealogical Covenant Succession. The New Testament couldn’t care less about it! So, to answer your question, it may appear that baptists only have the appearance of credobaptism in the Bible to go on. In reality, we have all of the Bible’s structure and its typology screaming it at high volume.

How do you take Matt 18:6 “whoever causes one of these little ones who BELIEVE in me.” ESV

I’ve covered this somewhere, probably on here in a very long comments section or on Pr Wilson’s blog. Basically, if paedobaptism were not looking for support, it would be quite clear that it’s not the issue here. The issue here is those in spiritual leadership. However, the little child in question could walk, and he/she did exactly what Jesus said. Do we baptize believing children? Well, did John? Did the apostles? I think physical maturity to some degree must come first. Under the New Covenant we are not given specifics because we have the Spirit to guide us, with the wisdom of Christ. The picture we are given is that baptism and Table are for Jesus’ martyroi.

In a comment on Doug Wilson’s blog you said children of believers “belong to Satan”. How does a baptist apply that principle in child rearing. This is not a principle in FV child rearing teaching that you highly praise.

Perhaps that seems like strong language , but yes, they belong to Satan, which is why they need the gospel. Isn’t that the entire point of the gospel? However, Satan has his hands tied! We have the joy of preaching the gospel in power to our kids and seeing the results. According to Revelation 20, we have the same joyous privilege with the nations, whom he is bound from deceiving and gathering against the global church.

My point was that those who are “in Jesus’ hands” are the ones that cannot be lost. Babies of Christians don’t qualify. They need to be set free like everyone else does, under the sound of the gospel. PBs seems to equate conviction with salvation. That’s like equating cutting and cooking.

Regenerate parents mediate the gospel to their children. Baptism is for mediators. Every baptized Christian is a god-parent, and their children are spiritual. Teaching unregenerate kids they belong to Jesus is elitism. This is exactly where Israel failed. The Covenant signs point to the promises, not those who receive the signs. Circumcision promised future salvation from the curse of the Law. Baptism promises future resurrection for those who are already saved from the curse of the Law.

In Acts 2:38 do you interpret “Repent AND be baptized” as “Repent SO THAT you can be baptized”? Is “AND” causative or conjunctive? If causative why?

I don’t think it needs to be causative in the text. But no one denies that baptism is always connected to repentance, at least explicitly. As the matrix pattern follows the pattern of the ascension rite, repentance is connected to cutting the sacrifice and baptism is connected to its acceptance by God as a mediator. The cutting is Adamic and the acceptance is Evian, or bridal.

Do you view the new covenant as replacement or extension of the Old Cov.? I get the impression you see it as replacement. Do you think it matters which view or is there another view I’m missing?

It’s not so much replacement (baptistic?) or extension (paedobaptistic?) as transformation. It’s more caterpillar/butterfly. We see this all the way through the Old Testament. Israel went through various death-and-resurrections and each time was wiser, more beautiful, and more prophetic—more bridal. You’ll see this in my new book.

I still don’t understand your view of spirituality in the OT. I find it hard to believe you don’t find something spiritual about circumsision. Perhaps in future posts you can elaborate and clarify.

I believe it was spiritual, but again, it is part of a process, like cooking, like the sacrifice, like the Creation week. Circumcision to repentance was to be a didactic process, type-to-reality. It was moral training. It ended in the Israelite robe, the office of a mature Israelite, a prince of God. Adam stuffed the process and was covered in a bloody robe instead of a robe of office. Baptism is the process of resurrection, from type-to-reality. It is the moral career of the saint.

Is it accurate to say you believe that infants and young children as a class are beyond salvation?

Elsewhere I have written that I believe they are under the Law and under sin. Legally, they are by Covenant and by nature condemned. That is the Succession Adam gave to us. Yet we have a merciful God. We have a God who goes in to bat for the helpless and the oppressed, and are given a few hints that infants (and, say, the mentally retarded) are shown special mercy. And yet we are to preach the gospel to them, which means that the judicial process cannot be subverted, at least by us.

If repentence is the only requirement for baptism which only adults and older children can do which reflects and conforms to the maturity of the new covenant why is there so much “children” talk in the N.T.? Why are adults refered to as children instead of adults on occasion?

As mentioned above, there are two parts to the process: physical maturity and spiritual maturity. Adam was not a child, but he was spiritually immature. We are like houses. God forms us, then He fills us. God formed Adam, then filled him. God formed humanity (marriage), and then commanded it to fill the earth. God formed a Covenant mediator by giving Adam the Law, and Adam was to fulfill the Law, and develop wisdom.

So, the simple faith of physical children in adults is a picture of an adult’s faith in God. The birth of an infant is a picture of the second birth. Dr. Leithart recently tweeted, “All who are baptized are still called infants, whether they are old men or young.” – Caesarius of Arles. This conflates physical and spiritual immaturity. It makes nonsense of the difference between first and second birth, the difference between the first Pentecost and the second, between flesh and Spirit-filled flesh, between the Law and the Spirit of the Law.

Why is there so much covanental language from the OT carried over into the NT like “unto you and your children”?

I’ve covered this one, too. Peter’s message was to the last generation of Old Covenant Israel. In His mercy, Jesus gave them 40 years to cross into the New Covenant house before the Old one was torn down. The definitions of “children,” “Succession,” and “Land” were all transformed. Even eunuchs can have New Covenant children and serve in God’s court. All the genealogies were destroyed with the Temple.

Now, this doesn’t mean that our children don’t matter. What it means is that the Covenant Succession is about bringing in new blood, all the nations, into the house.

You have mentioned Finland as an example of the problem of Paedobaptism. Could it not be an example of the problem of paedobaptism with baptistic views of child rearing (children belong to Satan).

I think the problem is failing to preach the gospel to our children, which anyone can do, regardless of their view of baptism. But this is compounded when an entire nation thinks it has some special standing before God when it is actually not regenerate.

I’m not arguing for a move to baptist practice but a correction of the Federal Vision’s use of baptism. The FV emphasis on rearing godly children is sorely needed. But, being paedobaptists already, they’ve let their skewed doctrine on this issue mess with what baptism actually means, and it also ends up skewing the gospel and causing confusion.

I personally think you do not take serious the history of baptist cultural legacy.

I do. I think modern credos have everything wrong except the mode and requirements for baptism and Table. They have a wheel but no car. The Federal Vision has everything right except the mode and requirements for baptism and Table. Their car is missing a wheel. Now, if we could only put that final wheel on the FV car! By the way, I have heard Pr Steve Wilkins speak about the strange inability of Reformed churches to last longer than a few generations. But what does last is the strong doctrine. If the Federal Vision got baptism right, they would be demonstrating the biblical dominion pattern in every individual’s life, and perhaps cement the work they are doing more permanently by following the entire biblical plan.

You dismiss it by saying that baptists need to show greater discernment. Don’t you think there is some inherent problem here?

We should follow the apostolic example. If someone desires baptism, and we think they understand the gospel rightly, we should baptize them, as Philip baptized the Eunuch. Church discipline takes over from there. If they were not regenerate then, it will become apparent later. That’s the pattern we are given, and it doesn’t mess up the requirement for repentance, it enforces it.

You think your 9 year old son is ready for baptism right? He repented right? But yet you still hesitate. You have to make sure. Another baptist says “maybe he’s immitating you. Your son is not really owning his faith. You better wait a few more years.” You can see that repentence isn’t enough for the children of believers. And thats just the beginning of the baptist history.

I think the issue is more church discipline. Repentance puts us into the Head and baptism puts us into the Body. The issue is when my son is ready to answer to the authority of the Church for himself, rather than to his parents as mediators. Baptists don’t think like this, and they should. Baptism is a commission by the Church. It confers a basic authority, privilege and responsibility.

On the other hand, perhaps we should just baptize them when they express the desire, after having seen baptism and Table in action, and having been taught the rites’ significance as signs of New Covenant priesthood.

For sure, this needs further thought, but it corresponds with the structures of maturity we (or at least, I) see in the Bible, rather than distorting both them and the gospel as paedocommunion is doing.

It may appear to some paedobaptists that the burden of proof rests upon credobaptists. But the New Testament examples (explicit) and the typological significance given to baptism (the Creation/dominion/feasts/Tabernacle matrix — implicit) shift the burden firmly back to those willing to baptize unrepentant, unregenerate and immature flesh and present it to God as justified. The Covenant boundary is no longer flesh but a “bridal warrior priesthood,” mature individuals who walk on water with Jesus and pass through the veil. If this issue were to go to court, I believe the judge’s deliberation on the matter would be simple and swift.

Thanks for the questions!

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16 Responses to “A Burden of Proof”

  • Doug Roorda Says:

    Wow, Mike, I was going to lay off for a while; did in fact, but “children belong to Satan”?

    Other than generally saying “it doesn’t mean that any more” You haven’t discussed Genesis 17 – God says he will be God to Abe and to his children. He never stops saying that. Those Israelites that foolishly thought that meant they didn’t have to repent – daily – were laid low in the wilderness, but those Israelites who laid hold of that promise in faith (which God kept repeating over and over, not the least of which in the Decalogue, and likewise not the least of which in Peter’s sermon on Pentecost, and which Paul repeats in Ephesians) – well, as Paul puts it, it “went well with them” as in Sutton’s quoting the oft repeated “that you may prosper.”

    Yes there is More, More, More in the New Testament but that doesn’t mean Less at the same time.

    Back in my baptist days, I used the same arguments (though not as well polished). But at that time I failed to understand that Israel was not (as Calvin put it) a herd of swine, fattened for destruction. True, many rejected the promise and the God who sanctified them, but even the generation that was laid low in the wilderness partook of Christ; how much more those faithful Israelites (cf. Heb 11) who laid hold of the promise.

    Mike, you’re missing a big part of the Bible – take a breath, brother, and get back to the text.

    With brotherly greetings and Christian affection,
    Doug Roorda

  • Mike Bull Says:


    Israel was a nation of flesh that belonged to God because he called them out from the nations Satan had hijacked. Yes, many came to faith, but many were destroyed.

    All nations now belong to Jesus and He is claiming them back from Satan. But “belonging” and “possession” are different things. Only the regenerate are actually possessed by Jesus in that sense. If we tell our kids they belong to Jesus because we sprinkled some water on them and said some magic words, we are lying to them. They are most certainly being called out from the world, but until they come, they are not actually a New Covenant possession. As I keep hammering away on this keyboard, the “flesh” boundary is now the whole world. All nations are now being called out, and under the “circumcision” of the gospel. The only difference for our own children is that they are most definitely hearing it right now.

    Hope that makes sense.

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Doug (again!)

    Based on what you said, Pentecost made little or no difference. 3000 died at the first Pentecost, in the wilderness. 3000 believed and were filled with the Spirit at the second. It’s no longer a Covenant with flesh, with physical offspring.

    Do we tell our children they belong to Satan? I don’t know. We certainly tell them about hell being the punishment for all who don’t believe. That’s the same thing in my book.

    I agree that the NT is more, more, more, and it doesn’t mean less. But you simply can’t have a spiritual Succession that is also genealogical. Yes, we preach the gospel to our kids, and faith does follow family lines, but we are called to so much more, and baptizing babies limits the gospel and tells a false story to the world. I don’t think I’m missing anything. But you’ve all missed — or minimised — the significance and power of Pentecost and the AD70 (genealogical) holocaust.

  • Matt Says:


    Explicit evidence/ burden of proof
    I don’t think you answered this question. You answered “What we see plainly in the Scriptures is credobaptism at every single point.” What is it that is plain to see? You say there are “New Testament examples (explicit)”. Adults being baptized are not examples of a credobaptism only view. Do you agree with PB that there is no examples of a child of a believer that was baptized as an adult? Do you agree that there is no verse that says Infants are not to be baptized? Is O.T. typology your explicit evidence?

    Matt. 18:6
    If leadership is the issue couldn’t the passage be teaching that leaders should receive anyone with faith despite the physical limitations. Do you think Jesus is relating adult faith in God to a child’s faith in parents even though parents are not mentioned or hinted to in the passage? Is “child” in v. 5 and “little ones” in v.6 figurative or literal? Why do you think the child could walk and talk?

    “children belong to Satan”
    I don’t think you answered this one either. Do I not need the Gospel now that I am a baptized Christian. Was the child in Jesus’ hands in Mark 9:36 saved for a moment?

    “Every baptized Christian is a god-parent, and their children are spiritual. Teaching unregenerate kids they belong to Jesus is elitism.”
    How can their children be spiritual? Now you’re really confusing me or is that a typo? Elitism is saying you don’t qualify. Elitism: the belief that society should be governed by a select group of gifted and highly educated individuals (Dictionary.com). I think CB falls into that category. And you do use the “education” analogy a lot.

    Acts 2:38
    “But no one denies that baptism is always connected to repentance”
    I agree and I’m a PB. Is Acts 2:38 explicit proof for you? I don’t see how if it’s not causative.

    Spirituality of Circumcision
    “I believe it was spiritual.” Great! Now what do you mean by “spiritual”. You called children of believers in the N.C. spiritual as I mentions above. Do you understand my confusion??

    “physical maturity and spiritual maturity.”
    I don’t think you are consistent with this. Adam was created physically mature with spiritual immaturity. They don’t coincide. Abraham was mature when he received the sign of the covenant – a sign of immaturity that was given to infants. Now, in the N.C. only the physically mature receive the spiritually mature sign. Why do you equate the maturity of the new covenant with the maturity of its members but not the immaturity of the old covenant with immaturity of it’s members?

    Covenantal Language
    You say, “Peter’s message was to the last generation of Old Covenant Israel.” It was also the first generation of the New Covenant. So why would Peter use common Old Cov. language. My question still stands unanswered

    “Now, this doesn’t mean that our children don’t matter. What it means is that the Covenant Succession is about bringing in new blood, all the nations, into the house.”
    Do you deny that Israel had a duty to nations in the O.T.?

    Why do you think this is support for you? You admit, “the problem is failing to preach the gospel to our children which anyone can do.” This has nothing to do with baptism.

    “They’ve let their skewed doctrine on this issue mess with what baptism actually means, and it also ends up skewing the gospel and causing confusion.” That’s a serious claim. You claim baptism is a vow. Something we do. Something we earn. We need to qualify to be a servant of Christ (knighthood). Baptism to you is something for going out not for welcoming in.
    Now what confuses you about “promises to you and your children”?

    Baptist history
    How do you account for 500 years of Anabaptist failure? You’re skirting the question. The “strange inability” Wilkins speaks about is probably do to the influence of the Baptist theology. That the doctrine survives speaks for itself.

    “I think the issue is more church discipline.” No, the issue is repentance. When is he ready to submit to the authority of the church? When he repents at 9 or sometime later? He repented right? But does he really understand or is he just giving you the answers you expect. Is he imitating you? This is an inherent dilemma Baptists can’t answer.

    In your response to Doug Roorda
    you say “If we tell our kids they belong to Jesus because we sprinkled some water on them and said some magic words, we are lying to them.” If that is what you think PB’s do then it is no wonder you are against it. I would be too.

    “Do we tell our children they belong to Satan? I don’t know. We certainly tell them about hell being the punishment for all who don’t believe. That’s the same thing in my book.” You’re going to hide this truth from children? You’re going to tell them about hell and punishment but in a general way so they don’t get any ideas? It’s not the same in the FV book (a.k.a. Bible ha:).

    “I agree that the NT is more, more, more, and it doesn’t mean less”
    except when it comes to children then it’s less, less, less, not more.

    “But you simply can’t have a spiritual Succession that is also genealogical”
    The O.T. debunks that claim. In fact the birth of Christ proves you wrong.

    “faith does follow family lines.” Interesting concession. Perhaps you’re closer than you think.

    God bless your zeal and passion for truth.
    Your PB brother in Christ,
    Matt Caslow

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Thanks Matt. I’ll try to be brief.

    1 Infant baptism is inferred. There are no explicit examples of it in Scripture. Not a single one. And every adult baptism required a circumcised heart in the individual, which is not possible for an infant. The reason is that circumcision concerned the womb, and baptism concerns the tomb. Circumcision symbolically concerned the “firstborn.” Baptism symbolically concerns the firstborn from the dead. The difference should be obvious, and I think that all those in the households baptized in Acts would have understood this plainly, not messed with the repentance and faith requirement. As I’ve written here before, a friend who was a missionary in New Guinea said that whole tribes were converted in one go, yet even they understood baptism was for those who personally responded. This FV concern for “corporate” is a harmful overcompensation for modern individualism.

    Most of these questions are coming from a position of looking for evidence for something that was never commanded and never demonstrated, hence, you can try to fit it into the supposed cracks. My point is that, when you do, you skew and distort the gospel, and make baptism’s testimony a carnal one.

    OT typology is my implicit evidence, and it is a full freight train. I’ll get around to that links page soon, so you can see where I’m coming from.

    2 Jesus’ use of a child to illustrate faith is a perfect one. The first birth does correspond typologically to the second. A child’s trust in adults is the model for our trust in God. But they are not the same thing. And even if they were, then all children have an automatic trust in God that is somehow corrupted later on by sin. But this is not the case, is it?

    The whole “Jesus blessing the children” thing has been so etched into PBs minds as proof that they can’t see straight any more. They can’t see it as anything but obvious proof for paedobaptism. “Was the child saved for a moment?” is an obtuse question.

    3 Sorry, I meant that the offspring of saints is not physical children, but converts. Yes, we still have physical offspring, but that will pass away.

    4 Adam. No, they don’t coincide. Circumcision began the process of Law and baptism (or robe) begins the process of Rule. Abraham was mature when he received bread and wine. These made him a qualified mediator but of a physical succession. This physical genealogy was set apart from the rest of the nations by the cutting of flesh. We no longer need to set our infants apart because all flesh is now under the claim of God. The confusion comes because we are dealing with fractals. Abraham was mature, but the Covenant wasn’t. So, yes, good point about the Covenant versus the individuals within it. But in the big picture, the requirement for OC membership was blood. The requirement for NC membership is faith, Spirit.

    5 The opening of the seven-sealed New Covenant made possible the end of the Old. Peter’s message was to Old Covenant members. “Gents, your boat is going under. You have one more generation.” Check the use of generation in the New Testament and it hammers it home. Peter is also building a new Tabernacle with his speech, and his phrase “you, your children, and those afar off” is a three-level ark, or a three-level Temple. He was announcing the fulfilment of a heavenly country for the descendants of Abraham, and the end of the Abrahamic Covenant, i.e. circumcision. The linear benefit to physical seed was gone after AD70.

    6 Israel’s duty to the nations did not require the nations to be circumcised. The heart of Israel’s ministry is now centred in heaven, in Christ. That’s where the blood is. The house is finished, and it’s time to fill it with what the incense and plunder pictured for us.

    7 Baptist history. How do you account for the relative sterility of Reformed churches, who see their physical offspring as Covenant Succession? They have the strength that good doctrine and Bible teaching brings, but as far as the New Covenant harvest goes, they are pretty barren. New Covenant converts don’t come from the womb but from the tomb. This is not hard to understand. We weren’t commanded to convert the world by out-breeding it. As I’ve written elsewhere, PBs are celebrating in the maternity ward like Old Covenant midwives. You guys are behind the times. By the power of almighty God, we now dance in the graveyard. Get with it.

    8 Discernment. My son actually brought the subject up with me. I think far too much emphasis is placed on this issue by paedobaptists. When it comes to regeneration, it takes one to know one. Usually, it’s not that hard. The benefit is that my children know what a Christian is, as defined by the New Testament. I think that’s a pretty good answer.

    9 Belonging to Satan. Israel belonged to Pharaoh, a man of flesh. Israel according the flesh was rescued from that strong man’s house, in the flesh, and on foot. These things were written for our instruction. New Covenant Israel is not rescued from Pharaoh but from the one he pictured for us. We are rescued from slavery to sin and Satan and brought into slavery to Christ. We preach the gospel to our kids to rescue them from slavery to sin and to Satan. If you want to call that “belonging to Satan” (and I would certainly choose less misleading terms) then that’s what it is. But we can surely tell them that we belong to Christ and they belong to us. We mediate the gospel to them. They are sanctified (i.e. set apart from the world) under the Law until they are regenerate. This follows the sacrificial pattern. You cut the meat before you put it in the fire.

    10 Magic words. Well, that’s what it looks like to the world. All I see to get around this conclusion is sophistry, particularly with FV. Normal PBs realize they are committing to raise their kids in a Christian home, and mistakenly use baptism to signify this. FVs realize what baptism means, but then this makes it somehow a transfer of Spirit that is not simply conviction. Baptism is for those who have submitted to the Law and have chosen to live under it by the Spirit. Baptism is the end of the training, not the beginning. Again, this is not hard to understand.

    11 No, the New Testament is more, even when it comes to children. We have the Spirit of God now, and the power of the gospel.

    12 Genealogical succession. The birth of Christ was the end of the physical Succession. When Hebrews quotes, “I and the children you have given me”, what sort of children is He talking about? Spiritual offspring. Pure and simple. Jesus didn’t need to marry to have New Covenant children. Jesus’ celibacy puts paedobaptism in the bin.

    13 Family lines. Not a concession but a qualification. Faith follows family lines simply because we preach the gospel to our kids. But we are called beyond that Old Covenant responsibility now. If that’s all we are doing, we are failing in our New Covenant duty. However, if we are failing to preach the true gospel to our kids (as many baptists are doing) we are also failing in our duty.

    Thanks for the replies.

  • Matt Says:

    Thanks Mike,

    Your responses have been helpful.



  • Mike Bull Says:

    So have your objections!

    I’ve put that link up top:

  • Doug Roorda Says:

    Well, “If we tell our kids they belong to Jesus because we sprinkled some water on them and said some magic words” doesn’t describe anything I’ve said. So I wouldn’t really know how to respond to that.


  • Mike Bull Says:

    Hi Doug – it’s as perverse an overstatement in one direction as telling kids they belong to Satan is in the other. Both directions want to call the match before it’s over, but the paedobaptistic one is the most easily understood, i.e. “What is a Christian?”


  • Doug Roorda Says:

    I’m still not following; maybe I misunderstood. I thought you said that the kids belong to Satan. I’m not understanding where the magic words thing came from. Are you saying “we Baptists say (hah hah)’the kids belong to Satan’ (but we’re really just sayin’ that they need to get saved) — and you PBs say (hah hah) just a few magic words and a sprinkle of water and everything is ok (but you’re really just saying that God promises to be God to your children just like He is to you)”?

    If not, I don’t get what you’re saying.


  • Mike Bull Says:


    All the unregenerate will perish, including those of our children who remain unregenerate. I wouldn’t tell anyone they belong to Satan unless I also told them that Jesus has paid the price for their redemption.

    You can’t import the promise to Abraham’s physical seed into the New Covenant era. It finished in AD70. Under the New Covenant, God is only God to our children as we preach the gospel to them. If you want to publicly vow (dedicate) that you will raise them as unto the Lord, so be it, but it is not mandatory. When they repent and believe, we baptize them, and only then. Baptism is for the second ‘hatch’. It is no longer about physical descent. I’ll say that again, it is no longer about physical seed and physical descent. That is an entirely carnal idea and foreign to the New Testament.

    The New Covenant is a Lamborghini and you guys insist on hitching it up behind a horse.


  • Doug Roorda Says:

    [Mike, you didn't answer my question. I can't follow what you're saying. I'm trying to understand where the comment "If we tell our kids they belong to Jesus because we sprinkled some water on them and said some magic words" came from. I never said anything like that. What was that comment about? When I don't recognize my own arguments in what you say, we're not getting anywhere, right?]

  • Mike Bull Says:


    My point was when can we say someone belongs to Jesus? Is it when we are preaching the gospel to them, or after they are converted?

    The FV view of paedobaptism seems to be that even if a child is unregenerate, baptism somehow makes them “belong to Jesus,” hence the “magic words” that give the child a sort of halfway house between spiritual life and spiritual death until we see how they turn out.

    This is not New Testament doctrine. That’s not what baptism if for.

    Hope that helps.


  • Doug Roorda Says:


    That helps me to understand what you’re thinking, and what you see as the PB position. I agree with you that it’s not New Testament doctrine nor what baptism is for. But . . . I don’t recognize it as what I or other PBs believe, either.

    If you would like to investigate why I don’t recognize that as my position, and would be willing to try to understand to the extent that you can restate my position in words I can agree with, I think it would be a fruitful discussion for both of us.


  • Mike Bull Says:

    Yes please!
    Post away…

  • Doug Roorda Says:


    I’ll be mostly off line until Monday or so. Stay tuned.