Oct 2 2013

The Case for Covenantal Animal Baptism

A Guest Post by Chris Wooldridge

Hi Mike,
I’ve been looking at the usual places in the Old Testament from where Paedobaptism is normally defended and I think I’m leaning fairly solidly in the credobaptist direction now. Here’s why:

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Sep 12 2013

The Baptized Body – 6


And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained upon him.” (John 1:32)

“Efficacious paedobaptism is maintained at the tragic cost of the efficacious work of the Spirit…”

Chapter 1 continued

See the Baptism links page for all articles in this series.

Dr Leithart says that the sign of baptism is not merely symbolic of a personal encounter with God, but is actually the personal encounter. I concluded, based on the process of maturity found throughout Scripture, that although his observation is correct as far as it goes, what he has observed goes even deeper. “The sign” is not merely the baptism, but actually includes the human being in personal relationship with God. The one being baptized is the sign, and the sign is ethical maturity.

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Sep 1 2013

The Baptized Body – 5

“Leithart’s real problem is that one can tell the difference between a circumcised boy and an uncircumcised one, but a sprinkled baby looks no different to an unsprinkled one.”

Chapter 1 continued

See the Baptism links page for all articles in this series.

Sacraments Are Not Signs, Means Of Grace, Or Symbols

In the next section, Dr Leithart deals with three errors:

1) The tendency to treat signs rationalistically, as nothing more than a means of communicating ideas from one mind to another mind; and,

2) Talking about sacraments as “means” tend to mechanize them, turning the sacraments into machines that deliver grace rather than moments of personal encounter with the living God.

3) Symbolic exchanges (such as language) are not the “real relationship,” which is invisible and could occur just as well without them.

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Aug 28 2013

The Baptized Body – 4

“…if everyone in a culture is baptized, and that baptism is simply an ‘efficacious call,’ then everyone is a grub with great expectations, and there is no celebration of butterflies.”

Chapter 1 continued

See the Baptism links page for all articles in this series.

Do Baptists talk to their babies?

The question of infant faith is not: “Are infants capable of receiving this jolt of divine power?” The question is: “Can infants respond to other persons? Do infants have personal relations?”

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Aug 25 2013

The Baptized Body – 3

“At every paedobaptism,
earthly kingdom trumps heavenly priesthood,
and the blood of the prophet Abel cries from the ground.”

Chapter 1 continued

See the Baptism links page for all articles in this series.

The Social Contract

Dr Leithart continues by pining for the Middle Ages, the days when baptism defined both religious and civil membership for every member of society, both great and small, men and women, adults and infants. He states that the Anabaptist idea that baptism was a purely religious rite was “novel and revolutionary.” Perhaps it was novel in the Middle Ages, but it wasn’t new. We must ask, what inspired it? The answer is not history or tradition but the Scriptures. I have come to understand the relationship between Church and State from other writings of Jordan and Leithart, so I don’t understand Leithart’s failure to apply those definitions here.

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Aug 23 2013

The Baptized Body – 2

“…when mud is slung, few mud-slingers can rival Reformed mud-slingers.” (p. viii)

In my experience, arguing with a paedobaptist is like arguing with an evolutionist. The assumption that paedobaptism is biblical is the lens through which everything gets interpreted as evidence. As one paedobaptist friend put it, “I like to argue from a position of truth.” But if the eye (or its lens) is full of darkness, so is the entire body, especially the baptized one.

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Aug 20 2013

The Baptized Body – 1

Introduction

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.

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Aug 6 2013

Except Ye Repent

You Shall Likewise Perish

Peter Leithart has posted a response from Joe Rigney concerning the meaning of Luke 12-13. We had a look at the structure of these chapters here recently (See 666 in the Gospel of Luke), so I thought it would be interesting to see how these two approaches “speak to each other.”

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Jul 5 2013

Supernatural

or A Kingdom Mind

The best part of the Avengers movie for me was the infighting among the super heroes, and how the conflict disappeared once they had a common enemy. Each hero was unique, with his or her special skills. As in any relationship, marriage, community or committee, the differences are misinterpreted as sources of conflict and competition instead of complementary strengths. Once the heroes were out on the ground, the comical infighting (and misuse of gifts) ceased, and they started operating like the well-tuned orchestra they were designed to be.

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Jun 24 2013

I Will Kill Her Children With Death


or Who Is The Real Jericho?

Atheists love to embarrass Christians with a snide reference to the story of Elisha setting two bears upon some helpless children. What nobody, even Christians, seem to get is the “Covenant significance” of all the players in the story, harking back to Moses. The prophets were, after all, God’s “repo men.” [1]

[This post has been refined and included in Sweet Counsel: Essays to Brighten the Eyes.]
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