Connection between Covenant Theology and Paedobaptism

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Puritan Board Freshman
Hi all,

I'd appreciate help with better understanding the link between covenant theology and paedobaptism. My question really began from a brief comment during a sermon series by Curt Daniel. When mentioning covenant theology, he spend very little time with it - just one or two sentences in total - and seemed to brush it aside as something developed to support paedobaptism. (Dr. Daniel's series is otherwise excellent - please don't let one minor aspect dissuade anyone interested from listening!)

My question is regarding how strongly covenant theology and paedobaptism correlate. Is covenant theology as central to the theology for credobaptists as is it for paedobaptists? To what extent would credobaptists see covenant theology differently than a typical paedobaptist?

Thanks in advance.

[I chose to post this in the credo-only section as I would prefer to avoid starting a thermonuclear war in the comments, and I could see responses to questions in this thread escalating. I welcome input any paedobaptists wish to make as private messages. Although I'm currently comfortable with my credobaptist position, I do not believe I have carefully considered the paedobaptist position yet, and plan to listen to better understand the support for that position. I've learned some positions (such as amillennialism) need to be considered from within before they make sense to some.]


Puritan Board Doctor
Dr. Daniel was very likely referring to covenant theology as expressed in the Westminster Standards and by subsequent Reformed paedobaptist authors.

Perhaps the best starting place for a Reformed Baptist understanding of covenant theology is here:

Also, if you are on FB, there are a few Reformed Baptist groups, at least one of which has thousands of members with several who have published works on the subject of baptism and Baptist covenant theology. A few of them check in here from time to time, but you're more likely to catch them there.


Puritan Board Junior
I have a close friend who is a reformed baptist and I have spent much time talking with him about his stance. He is covenantal and I wanted to understand how.

From what I have studied, covenant theology is completely necessary when it comes to baptizing babies. Without the understanding of God being covenantally faithful to households and the children of believers, there would be no reason to baptize infants into the covenant. For credobaptists, covenant theology seems to be optional. For credobaptists, the new covenant is made only with the elect and it is not a mixed covenant like the old, therefore, only those who seem to be of the elect would receive the sign of being in the covenant.

Simply put:

Paedobaptism = A mixed old covenant and a mixed new covenant.
Credobaptism = A mixed old covenant and an "elect only" new covenant.

I hope this helps.
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