May The Paedobaptist Fairly Appeal To Matthew 19:13–15?

It was a wonderful day yesterday at Escondido URC. In the morning we had two baptisms, one of an adult convert who had never been baptized. So, like the adult baptisms we see in Acts, he received the sacrament, sign, and seal of baptism as a sign of his admission to the Christ-confessing covenant community. My Baptist friends rejoice with us. We also, however, baptized the infant of professing believers. We did so because we are convinced from God’s Word that is what God commands. The pattern begins in Genesis 17 and continues to the book of Acts (2:38–39; ch. 16 [all]). In his sermon our pastor, Chris Gordon, argued for the propriety of infant baptism on the basis of Matthew 19:13–15. Was he right to do so? Continue reading →

One Great Difference Between A Covenantal Piety And The American Conversionist Alternative

Make no mistake. No one comes to new life and true faith apart from the sovereign, gracious, mysterious, wonderful work of the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit who hovered over the face of the deep (Gen 1:2) also gives new life to dead (Eph 2:1–4) sinners. You must be born again (or from above). The mistake comes when we identify that fact with a particular experience of praying a prayer, walking the aisle, or making a decision for Christ. We should all rejoice when someone is brought to new life, even if through irregular means (e.g., a Billy Graham Crusade or the like). It is not our business to tell the sovereign, free Holy Spirit where and when he may work. It is our business, however, to pay attention to what he has told us, in Scripture, to do and say and he tells us to pay attention to the “revealed things” which are “for us and for our children forever” (Deut 29:29). Scripture tells us that the Spirit ordinarily operates through the preaching of the gospel. Continue reading →

Baptists And Federal Visionists Together?

Let us define our terms. A Baptist is someone who believes that baptism is only validly administered to professing believers. He denies that the infant children of believers are the proper subjects of baptism. A Federal Visionist is someone who, among other . . . Continue reading →

Engaging With 1689

Recently I had opportunity to engage in a friendly dialogue with some Baptist academics over the merits of the project proposed in Recovering the Reformed Confession. That project is, as they say, wending through the publication process. Because of space limitations I was unable to do a couple of things, namely, to engage more fully with some of the texts and approaches to Baptist covenant theology (as distinct from Reformed covenant theology). Continue reading →

A Really Short Case For Infant Baptism (117 words)

There are about 60 million evangelicals in North America. Most of them assume or hold a Baptist interpretation of redemptive history, a Baptist hermeneutic (way of reading Scripture), and consequently, a Baptist view of the sacraments or signs and seals of the . . . Continue reading →

What’s The Use Of Infant Baptism?

Rob writes to say that one a loved one is emerging from one of the Baptist traditions into a Reformed/Presbyterian church setting.1 In addition they are expecting a covenant child and are, of course, thinking through infant baptism. As he’s tried to . . . Continue reading →

Moses Was Not Abraham

In March I had the privilege of contributing to the 9 Marks blog. The point of my post there (and here) was not to argue the specifics of the paedobaptist (infant baptizing) case but, nevertheless, in response to that contribution a correspondent . . . Continue reading →

Baptism, Election, And The Covenant Of Grace Available

After a summer re-model, the seminary bookstore is back online, which makes it again possible to order copies of Baptism, Election, and the Covenant of Grace more easily. Click on the image for your copy. It’s $1.50 plus shipping. You can also . . . Continue reading →

Untangling Webs Of Assumptions About Baptism

Wendy writes, I remain confused as to why God in being ‘more generous’ has actually also made it ‘more ambiguous’. Wheras under the Old Covenant the command (and its benefits) were explicit, under the New they must be deduced by inference…. I . . . Continue reading →

Ishmael and Infant Baptism

We heard a sermon from Genesis 17 this morning, and I couldn’t help but draw some conclusions relative to the current discussion about infant baptism that is ongoing at Together For the Gospel and at Between Two Worlds. Of course this is . . . Continue reading →

Circumcision and Baptism

In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith . . . Continue reading →

Does the FV Really Accept the Existence of NECMs?

Over at Green Bagginses, Reed raises the question of the status of NECMs (non-elect covenant members) and how the FV views them. There’s much good there, particularly in the quotations from Turretin on temporary faith and the like. That distinction, between true . . . Continue reading →