From Credo to Paedo: Your Decisive Turn

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eqdj

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm reading "The Case For Covenantal Infant Baptism" edited by Gregg Strawbridge, published by P&R.

In his Introduction, Strawbridge writes of his coming to Paedobaptism from Credobaptism. On page four he writes, "My study of the issue took a decisive turn when I began to see that the new covenant includes warnings of apostasy (Heb. 10:28-30)." He continues the paragraph by expanding this.

If you're currently a Paedobaptist who was at one time a Credobaptist, what issue was your "decisive turn"?

I'm not looking to a debate, just want to know what turned you.
(Current Credobaptists need not respond)
 

Kevin

Puritan Board Doctor
For me it was reading Heb 9. It hit me that the OT was full of baptisms AND they were NOT by immersion!

At that time understanding of the doctrine required several things, NT origins, believers only, immersion only, etc. So this was a huge paradigm shift for me. When I began to read about the nature & signifigance of OT baptisms I found that my belief that baptism signified the "death, burial, and ressurection of Christ" and that we were "buried with him in his death..." as the only possible meaning challenged.

So I began a process of examining what the other side said about baptism. I started by reading several Anglicans (Green was especially helpful). Then I began to read the presbyterians. 20 some years on I have had all 5 of my children baptised, all 13 of my neices and nephews after my sisters & their husbands were convinced & I have seen several other families come into the reformed faith after doing bible studies on the topic in small groups & one-on-one.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
Coming out of a mainline Presbyterian background, infant baptism seemed natural to me. However, it was the overall teaching on Covenant Theology that most persuaded me. It made no sense that covenant children in the New Testament would be excluded after their inclusion in the Old Testament.
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
:agree: It was teaching on covenant theology that sealed the deal for me. It was quite the contrast from the quasi-dispensational understanding of the Bible that I had come out of.
 

CharlieJ

Puritan Board Junior
A big tipping point was realizing that God, in general, works through covenantal arrangements of all sorts: All Egypt is punished because of Pharaoh's hard heart; Ham is delivered by Noah's faith. So, even the infant baptism question was part of a larger framework of understanding God's ways.

Another factor was a change in my understanding of the sacraments. Following Zwingli's shift, I moved from baptism primarily saying something about me and my faith to baptism primarily saying something about Christ and his covenant.
 

torstar

Puritan Board Sophomore
I'm reading "The Case For Covenantal Infant Baptism" edited by Gregg Strawbridge, published by P&R.

In his Introduction, Strawbridge writes of his coming to Paedobaptism from Credobaptism. On page four he writes, "My study of the issue took a decisive turn when I began to see that the new covenant includes warnings of apostasy (Heb. 10:28-30)." He continues the paragraph by expanding this.

If you're currently a Paedobaptist who was at one time a Credobaptist, what issue was your "decisive turn"?

I'm not looking to a debate, just want to know what turned you.
(Current Credobaptists need not respond)

Reformed soteriology led to

Reformed eschatology led to

Reformed covenant theology

and then the sacraments, while difficult to grasp at first, fell into line.

Game over.
 

SemperEruditio

Puritan Board Junior
I'm reading "The Case For Covenantal Infant Baptism" edited by Gregg Strawbridge, published by P&R.

In his Introduction, Strawbridge writes of his coming to Paedobaptism from Credobaptism. On page four he writes, "My study of the issue took a decisive turn when I began to see that the new covenant includes warnings of apostasy (Heb. 10:28-30)." He continues the paragraph by expanding this.

If you're currently a Paedobaptist who was at one time a Credobaptist, what issue was your "decisive turn"?

I'm not looking to a debate, just want to know what turned you.
(Current Credobaptists need not respond)

Reformed soteriology led to

Reformed eschatology led to

Reformed covenant theology

and then the sacraments, while difficult to grasp at first, fell into line.

[-]Game over[/-].
:ditto:

Game on!!
 

Willem van Oranje

Puritan Board Junior
I was skeptical about paedo-baptism until I read Calvin's chapters on baptism from the Institutes, where he effectively points out the link between circumcision and baptism, and considers Collosians 2:10-12. This cleared it up for me. (Calvin has helped to clear up a great many things for me in general. He makes difficult doctrines easy to understand.)
 

torstar

Puritan Board Sophomore
I'm reading "The Case For Covenantal Infant Baptism" edited by Gregg Strawbridge, published by P&R.

In his Introduction, Strawbridge writes of his coming to Paedobaptism from Credobaptism. On page four he writes, "My study of the issue took a decisive turn when I began to see that the new covenant includes warnings of apostasy (Heb. 10:28-30)." He continues the paragraph by expanding this.

If you're currently a Paedobaptist who was at one time a Credobaptist, what issue was your "decisive turn"?

I'm not looking to a debate, just want to know what turned you.
(Current Credobaptists need not respond)

Reformed soteriology led to

Reformed eschatology led to

Reformed covenant theology

and then the sacraments, while difficult to grasp at first, fell into line.

[-]Game over[/-].
:ditto:

Game on!!

Survey says...

DING DING DING DING #1 answer!

[The best kept secret is that the Lord's Supper was the far more difficult concept to grasp...]

:lol:
 

Austin

Puritan Board Freshman
I was swayed by three things:

1) Studying dispensationalism led me to look into the doctrine of the Covenant, which led me to see that it was wrong because,

2) Throughout Redempitive history there is one plan for one people, in a progressive revelation of one Covenant of Grace,

3) Which led me to see that there is a Reformed hermeneutic of reading the OT as being about me.

Also, as someone noted above, this Covenant is about Christ, not me, and so I came to understand that Baptism cannot be about MY faith, but rather about what Christ has promised and accomplished.

As My 5 year old son said recently, he knows that he is a part of Israel b/c he was baptized. He knows that the promise of his baptism is true b/c Jesus made him love Him and thus fulfilled the promise of redemption.

Really, my son's sentiments reveal what was my turning point. The decisive turning point for me was Luther's comment regarding driving away the devil. He once said, "Begone from me, Satan, for I am a baptized Christian." My son's comment reminds me of this: "Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger."

SDG,
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
Almost forgot -- one compelling book that I read early on that convinced me of the validity of modes other than immersion as well as paedobaptism (though it really deals primarily with modes) was William the Baptist. An online copy can be found here.
 

louis_jp

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm reading "The Case For Covenantal Infant Baptism" edited by Gregg Strawbridge, published by P&R.

In his Introduction, Strawbridge writes of his coming to Paedobaptism from Credobaptism. On page four he writes, "My study of the issue took a decisive turn when I began to see that the new covenant includes warnings of apostasy (Heb. 10:28-30)." He continues the paragraph by expanding this.

If you're currently a Paedobaptist who was at one time a Credobaptist, what issue was your "decisive turn"?

I'm not looking to a debate, just want to know what turned you.
(Current Credobaptists need not respond)

Reformed soteriology led to

Reformed eschatology led to

Reformed covenant theology

and then the sacraments, while difficult to grasp at first, fell into line.

Game over.
I get the move from soteriology to covenant theology to the sacraments, but how does eschatology fit into that?
 

torstar

Puritan Board Sophomore
I get the move from soteriology to covenant theology to the sacraments, but how does eschatology fit into that?

I was a child of the 70s, and of course the world was ending by nuclear war (at the latest 1984) and a pre-trib pre-mill world was only seconds away.

(If you missed this you are quite fortunate.)

Not quite the same view for the confessional Reformed faith...
 
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CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi:

I was convinced of Baptism by sprinkling, then I saw that we are to Baptize Disciples, then I saw that the children of believers can be considered Disciples.

Volia!

Blessings,

Rob
 

Barnpreacher

Puritan Board Junior
Another factor was a change in my understanding of the sacraments. Following Zwingli's shift, I moved from baptism primarily saying something about me and my faith to baptism primarily saying something about Christ and his covenant.
:ditto:

This, and when I stopped ignoring the continuity of the Old and New Covenant.
 

Dearly Bought

Puritan Board Junior
It's hard for me to identify just one issue/realization. As others have shared, I too was led through a process of first recognizing Reformed soteriology and then Reformed covenant theology which led to a Reformed ecclesiology/doctrine of the sacraments. One particular passage that proved important was Romans 4:11. I came to understand that circumcision was a Gospel sign and seal. Furthermore, I realized that I had been reading that passage as though Paul wrote that Abraham "received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the faith he had while he was still uncircumcised". Rereading the text, it became apparent what is signified and sealed: the imputed righteousness of Christ. Again, I echo others in stating that the gift of Christ is central in the sacraments, not the response of man (not to minimize it in any way).

He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised.
(Romans 4:11, ESV)
 

Augusta

Puritan Board Doctor
For me it was the decisional nature of credobaptism. It smacked of arminianism to me as new Calvinistist. My understanding has since grown much more sophisticated, but at first the fact that it is up to the receiver of baptism to say when they should receive it didn't seem right, it seemed synergistic whereas, baptism belonging to God to be made effectual and given as a sign that one is in covenant seemed more monergistic and in line with God's sovereignty in salvation and the whole analogy of faith.
 

TexanRose

Puritan Board Sophomore
Copy and paste from an e-mail I wrote to family after figuring it out:

I finally get it!...The key was a pamphlet entitled "Covenant Baptism" by Peter Bloomfield...He explained the Covenant of Grace in such a way that I could finally understand the continuity between the Old and New Testaments: the Covenant of Grace=salvation (explaining the Galatians verses I was confused about), but since only God deals with the heart, we also have an outward, visible form of the covenant, which would be the nation of Israel in the O.T., and the visible church today. And he correlated the circumcision of the heart with the baptism of the Holy Spirit, i.e. regeneration. As I read this I felt the light bulbs going on!

I understood infant baptism once I understood the covenants. It was really a profound paradigm-shifting experience when everything finally "clicked."
 

Austin

Puritan Board Freshman
For me it was the decisional nature of credobaptism. It smacked of arminianism to me as new Calvinistist. My understanding has since grown much more sophisticated, but at first the fact that it is up to the receiver of baptism to say when they should receive it didn't seem right, it seemed synergistic whereas, baptism belonging to God to be made effectual and given as a sign that one is in covenant seemed more monergistic and in line with God's sovereignty in salvation and the whole analogy of faith.

Okay, let me preface this by saying I AM NOT TRYING TO BE INFLAMMATORY, but I have a question. (Perhaps it deserves its own thread, but I can't figure out how to do that since I'm technologically challenged.)

Here it is: Is there a connection between credo-baptism and Arminianism? In my reading of history, Baptists almost invariably move toward Arminianism (the majority, it seems), or toward hyper-Calvinism (what we from the South call "Hard Shell" Baptists). If the paedo-baptistic, Covenantal doctrines are correct, this would tend to make sense (as Traci's comment alludes). I would really be interested in y'all's thoughts.

Shalom,
 

kainos01

Puritan Board Senior
I was raised in a fundy, Dispensational church. (Like Traci) After I became convinced of Reformed theology, the problems I had with the decisionalism to which I was accustomed bled over into my understanding of baptism, and it seemed incongruous with my new perceptions of soteriology, covenants, etc. The idea that baptism was about Christ, not me, hit me like a ton of bricks. As I began to read every book I could find on the subject, and as I applied my newly-acquired hermenuetic to Scripture, I became a convinced PB (though letting go of so much personal history defending CB was tough!)
 

Ne Oublie

Puritan Board Sophomore
A friend handed me a book by Herman Hanko and said that I had to read it. I was only a christian for about 6 months at the time, and had just left a Super Fundamental Baptist church that hated everyone but the Mormon's ( I was in Salt Lake City ). There was no way I was gonna be a baby sprinkler! So, I put the book in a good hiding place, underneath my Unauthorized Version.

After sitting under the strongly Reformed teaching of the Rev. Jason Wallace, I decided to look deeper into Reformed Theology. And about 6 months later and 1400 miles a way in North Carolina, I realized that I was a Reformed Baptist. About the same time my friend had asked if I had read the book that he gave to me by Hanko. He was still not sure which side he was on, but he could see the arguments well for both. He gave me advice in which I will never forget, he said to learn the Paedobaptist position as if I were going to teach it to convince others of the viability of the position.

So, intrigued as I was, I began to read the book, until Herman said that Reformed Baptist was an Oxymoron, and that offended me and I put down the book and have not looked at it but a little sense. I had not yet read Calvin in any manner, as I was seriously afraid because of the bad and evil predestinator to hell, anabaptist burner, straw man built by my Fundy Friends. After many more conversations with my good friend, I decided that I had to do a study on baptism.

(I had at this time read my Bible through 4 times and was studying the Old Testament extensively, along with Church History and Sytematics. Yay! no more Solo Scriptura for me!)

I started with John Calvin on one side and Fred Malone on the other, with the Bible in the middle. John Calvin was convincing to say the least, Malone seemed to have great points too. I went on to every Systematic Theology text I could find, and then through the debates online, and nothing could convince me really of standing on either side firmly. The only thing that kept coming to my mind is that most my friends were Baptist, and some family members too, and I knew they did not understand the Reformed side. I was afraid they might think I was drinking with Calvin out of the baptismal and they would probably not speak to me knowing that I had even read anything from the murderer of Servetus! I did not want to be a baby sprinkler! Especially, knowing the reputation of the Baptist Boxing Club! If you only knew!

It was not until that I heard a wonderfully learned and godly man(Rev. Brent Bradley) explain to me, in short summary, the WCF, in a membership class, the Covenant of Grace. By that time I was aware of the new covenant arguments, and I thought the baptist side was pretty strong. And then, when he had shown how Abraham asked that the Promise be through Ishmael, and God told Abraham that it would be through Isaac and then God gave the sign of the covenant, circumcision, and being that Ishmael received that sign even though the promise was not through him but through Isaac, I was struck and it was at that time that the God of Promise was real to me! And as I had gone to Scripture yet again, and I had to go back to John Calvin again, and it was then that I began to read on Covenant Theology. Which "sealed" the deal for me.

(Since then, I think the best arguments and best debates have been right here on the PB.)
 

CharlieJ

Puritan Board Junior
Here it is: Is there a connection between credo-baptism and Arminianism? In my reading of history, Baptists almost invariably move toward Arminianism (the majority, it seems), or toward hyper-Calvinism (what we from the South call "Hard Shell" Baptists). If the paedo-baptistic, Covenantal doctrines are correct, this would tend to make sense (as Traci's comment alludes). I would really be interested in y'all's thoughts.

Shalom,
I don't think so. Every denomination/group/church is going to change over time. Some will stay about the same, some will go off in one direction, some in another. You can see this in all bodies. The Presbyterians too fought hyper-Calvinism and neo-nomianism in Scotland, and in the United States many have been Arminian or worse.

There is, however, a connection between our prayerful devotion to training up the next generation in the Lord and their faithfulness. If our Calvinism becomes disconnected from the glory of God, the free offer of the gospel, and joyful, holy living, the next generation will either abandon Calvinism in disgust or languish within the hollow shell of its disfigured doctrines.
 
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