The Baptized Body – 1


Recently, I’ve been re-reading Rich Lusk’s Paedofaith: A Primer on the Mystery of Infant Salvation and a Handbook for Covenant Parents. This reading was with the intention of blogging through it and dealing with the main points, as is the helpful practice of Doug Wilson with certain books.

The problem is that Lusk makes some enormous, illogical and unbiblical assumptions in his preface and introduction, and these assumptions are based on arguments found elsewhere.

These include:

  • the unfounded concept of “Covenant children,” being the physical seed of Christians;
  • the confusion of the Abrahamic Covenant and its promises with the New Covenant and its promises;
  • the errant idea that New Covenant Succession is automatically conferred upon physical seed;
  • the belief that the physical helplessness of infants is the same as the ethical helplessness (depravity) of sinners;
  • the doctrine that “Covenant children” are believers before they hear and understand the Gospel of Christ;
  • the implication that the primary mission of the Church is Christian parenting.

If Lusk’s assumptions are true, then his chain of logic based upon these assumptions is true. But if his foundation is faulty, then his entire construct is erroneous. To blog through his book without dealing first with what he takes for granted would be a waste of time. So Bully’s crosshairs move to the one upon whose shoulders Lusk stands. I’ll be doing a Doug Wilson on Peter Leithart’s The Baptized Body.

I respect the intentions of Dr Leithart and Rich Lusk, but their errors in this area are profound. The Federal Vision simply takes paedobaptism to its logical conclusions. Faced with these conclusions, non-Federal Vision paedobaptists do understand that there is something wrong, yet they are unable to deal with the problem because they refuse to amputate the source of the infection: paedobaptism.

Baptists are generally unable to deal with the problem because they do not have the grip on the Old Testament that these skilled theologians possess. However, being a kind of “doctrinal hybrid” gives me a unique view of the issue.

I hope this venture will not be offensive but a blessing. Of course, I might be out on a limb, sawing off the branch of theology which supports me. And this venture might actually lead to me changing my mind (as some such ventures do!) But over the past few years I believe I have presented some very sound and logical objections to the best and brightest paedobaptists in the world, and they have repeatedly failed to answer them satisfactorily.

The Bible cannot teach both views, and what it does teach will be consistent with everything else the Bible says about Covenant, salvation, history, the nature of Man and the nature of God. If we are misusing baptism, we are misrepresenting everything the Bible says about Covenant, salvation, history, the nature of Man and the nature of God, and misrepresenting it to the nations.

The reason I keep harping on about baptism is twofold: firstly, the process of maturity in the Bible is “musical,” and paedobaptism is a wrong note that gets played repeatedly and very loudly and misrepresents the intent of the Author of Life. Secondly, dissecting paedobaptism and exposing its disease makes biblical baptism and the glory of the salvation it represents shine all the more brightly.


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