Why You Should Be Listening To This Series (And Stay Tuned For Part 6 Tomorrow)

I want to contend that we can have earnest and vigorous disagreement and yet have earnest and vigorous disagreement in a manner that honors Christ and that is eager to maintain the unity that we have in the Spirit. I know that we live in a cultural moment where important cultural moments seem to mean that we have to be divisive and in disunity. We personalize all truth claims, subjectivize them, and every time you disagree with me, you’re attacking me. That is a fundamentally deep misunderstanding of the nature of truth. We can disagree earnestly and vigorously and not attack each other doing it, not take it personally if you will. I want to contend that we can important doctrinal disagreements and eagerly maintain the unity of the Spirit.

…I want to look particularly at the agreements and the disagreements between the, if you will the Presbyterian and Reformed world, P&R…and the Baptist world…because we have members of our church from both of those schools of thought, from both of those views.

…For many years I just knew, in my bones, that the Baptists were right…I’m not saying that all Baptists are this way. I’m saying that I was this way. I want to be really clear. I knew it in my bones that they were right. I thought they P&R…were basically Papists or Roman Catholics. Not all Baptists think this but I initially did. I said things like this: “Have these people ever read their Bibles?” Now, some of you were around when I was young enough pastor to remember hearing me say that, some of you in this room. “Too bad the P&R kept these Papist superstitions rather than reforming all the way.” Some of you remember me saying that. Or, how about this one: “You know what the Bible says about baptizing infants? Nothing.” Now, I want to be clear. Not one of those statements was charitable nor thoughtful to any of our brothers. In fact, that is not the attitude the original Baptists had toward their P&R brothers…Rather, they were quite desirous to hear from their P&R brothers about their disagreements.

…I want to be really clear—I’ve had the question asked of me, “When will we get into the historical issues?” and I just want to say this: …just because the church practiced something the majority of its history doesn’t make it biblically right. And just because the church explained their practice incorrectly for the majority of the history doesn’t make the practice wrong. The fact is that history is descriptive of what happened but history is not the authority we have for what we are to believe and practice. And so I want to make the case from the Bible and not from history.

…For the last two weeks I have provided a syllogism of my argument for baptizing believers and their children and the syllogism goes somewhat like this:

Premise one: all those who are members of the new covenant people receive the covenant sign of baptism. Now, Reformed Baptists or Baptists in general and Presbyterian and Reformed folks all agree on that premise.

Premise two: Believers and their children are members of the new covenant people…this is where we disagree.

Conclusion: Thus, believers and their children receive the new covenant sign of baptism.

…Tonight I begin to make the argument that the children of professing believers are members of the new covenant visible church even prior to professing faith and thus the children of professing believers ought to receive the sign and seal of entrance, of welcome, into the visible new covenant church.

Chad Vegas | Heidelcast Series: Chad Vegas On Covenant And Baptism


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