How has the CT (and baptism) position of PB members changed - and why?

Discussion in 'Covenant Theology' started by kainos01, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. Non-Reformed Baptist to Presbyterian (or other Reformed paedo-baptist church)

  2. Reformed Baptist to Presbyterian (or other Reformed paedo-baptist church)

  3. Presbyterian (or other Reformed paedo-baptist church) to Reformed Baptist

  4. No. I have always been a credo-baptist.

  5. No. I have always been a paedo-baptist.

  6. Other?? (Please explain)

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. kainos01

    kainos01 Puritan Board Junior

    Over the past weeks, there has been quite a number of threads dedicated to the differing views of covenant theology, and the related question of the proper recipients of baptism. These discussions have gotten a bit intense at times, as proponents of the different views defended what, I am sure, they (we) believe to be the proper biblical position.

    Some of us come to our beliefs simply because we accept the tradition in which we were raised at face value. Others have grappled with the meaning and significance of the relevant texts and either formed - or changed - their positions. Several people on these CT threads (myself included) shared that we moved from a credo- to paedo-baptist conviction. I wonder how widespread this move might be - and whether there is a corresponding move in the other direction. In other words, after seriously considering the matter, have people been inclined to maintain their "family tradition," or have they moved to the other side of the debate?

    Please share how you arrived at your position.
  2. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

  3. hammondjones

    hammondjones Puritan Board Sophomore

    I was raised Southern Baptist with no explicit covenant theology as far as I can tell (altar calls, emphasis on "decisions", etc.) Actually, my pastor growing up wrote an anticalvinist book. However, after some wandering and even flirting with Open Theism, I joined a PCA church with my wife after college because it was a good and welcoming church. I wasn't Reformed in any sense of the word, big R or little r.

    The next year we went to South America to teach in a Christian School, where we attended a local church, which was, of course, in Spanish, which I did not know. So, I was getting very little from Sunday services. I turned to this new-to-me "podcast" technology, and knowing very little about him, started listen to Dr. Piper. It was through his preaching through John that I was convinced of the truth of the doctrines of grace.

    At that point, I would say I was TULIP-only baptist, but I started listning to R.C. Sproul's podcast. Those, plus a growing undertanding of the unity of scripture (provided by especially Genesis, Galatians, a few books by modern-day theologians, and this board also), eventually got me (and in time my wife) over the hump to a more fuller Reformed (Westminster) position.

    I think a another significant factor which helped my wife and I embrace household baptism was our both having been MKs in Africa, and being exposed to less individualistic cultures, which helped us become comfortable with the idea of covenantal headship within the family.
  4. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I was introduced to Christianity through the witness of 2 Southern Baptist Christians, but from there went on to the Assemblies of God, being trained in their institute, and became a teaching Elder. The Lord revealed to me just how wrong some of their position were regarding the work and person of the Holy Spirit, such as in the sign gifts still operating and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, so moved to a Free will Baptist church. The Lord them moved me to seeing the scriptures from the perspective of His sovereignty in all things, especially in regards to salvation, so became a Calvinist in the mode of a Dr MacArthur. Now, have accepted the viewpoint of Covenant Theology, but from the perspective of the Reformed Baptist position, as still do see the bible supporting believers baptism and the Church being founded by Jesus Himself. I still see myself as being an ongoing work in progress on theology.
  5. Joshua

    Joshua pilgrim

    All good paedobaptists are also credo-baptists. :D
  6. Jake

    Jake Puritan Board Junior

    Raised SBC. Understanding Covenant Theology led me to embrace paedo-baptism as well. I may have called myself Reformed Baptist somewhere in the middle, but I never actually adopted a particularly Reformed Baptist view of Covenant Theology. I simply was reformed/reforming and still credo-baptist.
  7. Parmenas

    Parmenas Puritan Board Freshman

    I am not sure if I was converted then, but I began my Christian walk as a four-point Arminian Molinist credobaptist, a disciple of William Lane Craig, in the latter half of 2016. As I began to read A Puritan's Mind and lurk about the Puritan Board, my sympathy for Calvinism grew until the Lord God granted me understanding and I accepted the doctrines of grace. I was a Particular Baptist for a relatively short time until I became a paedobaptist (and Presbyterian) this year, before I joined the Puritan Board.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  8. BGF

    BGF Puritan Board Sophomore

    I may be the only "other" vote so far. I don't know where or in what church, but I was baptized as an infant. I was raised primarily in a PCUSA church but was an unbeliever the entire time. In my early twenties I was converted in a Southern Baptist church (imagine your typical evangelical, seeker sensitive congregation) and was baptized again. This second baptism was done more out of ignorance than conviction. At the time of my conversion, even though I was decidedly not in a reformed atmosphere, I came under the influence of reformed thought through the ministry of Dr. R.C. Sproul. I was introduced to him by my father who had some time earlier started down the path of reformed thought. A couple years later we left that church, partly due to schism, partly to theological conviction. We went to my parent's PCA church and have been there for 17 years now. Further study into CT and baptism have thoroughly convinced me of the covenant baptism position.

    So I kind of went paedo to credo and back to paedo.
  9. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    I was raised in a classical dispensationalist home, and my father was an SBC minister (though recently retired). I came to the doctrines of grace through Piper's preaching, my wife's and father-in-law's patience with my wrestlings, and the help of a godly PCA pastor.

    At that point, I transferred from NOBTS to SBTS in Louisville in order to study under Calvinistic men, and there trained in PC/NCT under Dr. Wellum. Upon graduating with my MATS, we moved to take a pastorate in NC, I enrolled in MDiv work online, and I finally had time to process the data dump that is seminary.

    I began reading some of the Puritans Dr. Nettles and Dr. Wright were always quoting in class and they were like water to my soul. Catechesis began after our first child was born, and I stumbled across the PB just as PC/NCT was crumbling for me.

    The truth and beauty of the COG and confessional Reformed theology began to shine on the pages of Scripture. Several years of baptismal wrestling ensued, but I can say that I am conscientiously a 1689er credobaptist.

    I'm thankful for our paedobaptist brethren, though; y'all have taught me a lot!
  10. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Puritan Board Junior

    Plymouth Brethren to Reformed Baptist
  11. Edm

    Edm Puritan Board Freshman

    I was baptized as an infant in the Episcopal church. Left it in HS and started attending Southern Baptist churches. Struggled with wondering if I should be rebaptized. Never did it because it just never seemed right...left the SBC and started attending and joined a PCA church. Still wasn't studying much at any deep level, but the baptism question wasn't being asked anymore. Moved somewhere wher there was a strong lack of ANY good churches. Found the PB and started reading, looked into a lot of denominations and realized that I was reformed by anyone's standards. Learned a ton on here and in reading all I could and listening to as many good podcasts, sermons etc. I am now committed to Paedobaptism and understand it. Not just a tradition thing.
  12. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    So moved from a pre trib Rapture to historical pre mil, or now A mil?
  13. Romans5eight

    Romans5eight Puritan Board Freshman

    I was raised in the Roman catholic church so when I came to Christ I rejected their whole theology. I became a dispensationalist. I then slowly realized that I may have overreacted in my theology as I read through the whole Bible a few times. Eventually I came to the conclusion that all of the reformers and most puritans couldn't all have this one blind spot in their theology of baptism.

    Trying to figure out what the biblical phrase "In Christ" means helped me toward a covenantal view of scripture. Reading through Galatians 3 one day sent me on a path of understanding the unity of the covenant of grace and the biblical case for infant baptism.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  14. Southern Presbyterian

    Southern Presbyterian Moderator Staff Member

    Independent, Fundamental, Pre-Trib, Pre-Mill, Believers Full Immersion, Old Scofield KJV, No Tobacco - Alcohol - Dancing - Card Playing - Movie Going - Mixed Swimming, etc, Southern Baptists are going to hell (don't ask me why, they just were), You better be in church every time the doors are open, Casserole Eating Baptist to Presbyterian.

    Because it was predestined.
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  15. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable Staff Member

    My vote was "always a paedo-baptist". Actually, I came out of Romanism and to Presbyterianism with a short stop in anti-paedo baptism while a So. Baptist. ;)
  16. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    I was born a Calvinist reading the scriptures in a Navy Barracks. I just didn't know that. LOL
    I wrote a shorty blog about it here.

    My conversion to Reformed Theology after having been a Reformed Baptist happened around 2010 and 2011.
    The Mosaic Covenant Republication discussion turned me and I wrote about that here. https://rpcnacovenanter.wordpress.c...nced-republication-and-mosaic-covenant-study/

    And here.

    I have always tried to understand the scriptures as a whole. I struggled with the congregationalism and Independent spirit of local Churches. The Church of the Bible always seemed to have more Union and Unity than the accountability that was exhibited by Congregationalism and Independency. So I have always thought the Presbyterian form of Government was more scriptural in the New Covenant. Especially since the Judicial law was abrogated in the New Covenant as the Gentiles were grafted into the Church as they came from many Nations. The Church seemed somewhat Hierarchical and Presbyterian in some sense in the Nation of Israel as I saw it.

    But the main push for me was when I started to see that the Mosaic Covenant was gracious and not like the Covenant of Works at all. It was so much like the New Covenant. A lot of other Scriptures started to become more clearer to me also after I moved to a Reformed understanding and hermeneutic. Things just seemed more obvious and jelled together in a scripturally self explaining way. As I was always told, the Scriptures are the best interpreter of the Scriptures as the Holy Spirit illumines. The whole Bible for the Whole Church.
  17. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Just a piece of advice for those who are considering a theological change. Please listen.

    I have not had many theological changes in my life. And you should always consider those around you as you seek first His Kingdom. I didn't make my change without seeking advice and listening to it. I really treasure the advice and guidance of my Elders and those in whom have been given authority. After all, God did give us Pastors and Elders to help us and to mature us so that we may all come into the unity that Christ has in mind for His Church. They are given their positions and wisdom to perform a task. And they are gifts to us from God. It takes a lot of humility to listen to them. They may seem incorrect in their conclusions at times but if we listen God does give grace to the humble even if they don't understand things. Because I did listen to my Eldership at College Park Baptist Church I got to raise my 3 boys alone without interference from my departed ex-wife in a State that overly favors women in divorce cases. That was because I did what my Baptist Elders told me to do. God protected us.

    When I thought I became convinced of my theological change I conferred with my Elders and the leadership of the Puritanboard. I didn't make an announcement as I was cautioned to not do for a period of time. I had a lot of reading and learning to do. I had a lot of reflecting to do. I had a lot of Reformed Baptist ties and they would be confused if I did it in a rash unthinking manner. The move would also cause some hurt because I had been a defender of the Particular Baptist position and it might have been viewed as a move motivated by wrong motives.

    So I did what my Leaders asked me to do. I also was able to reveal my change in a way by inquiring here on the Puritanboard challenging both sides and praying about things as I learned. My RB friends did not get as offended as they could have been. I have maintained my friendships with them. I still have strong ties to the RB Church and I am even supporting work here for RB Churches. I equip them with their theology and support them. Our Reformation Society here has more Reformed Baptist presence than Presbyterian by my estimation. And we have a very good strong African American presence in the group. In fact, now our yearly conference has been put aside and we support a Conference hosted by one of their Churches.

    My point is that we need to proceed with caution and listen to our Eldership. Hebrews 13:7,17 are very important when considering a major theological shift.

    (Heb 13:7) Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

    (Heb 13:16) But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
    (Heb 13:17) Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
    (Heb 13:18) Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.

    Jas_4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

    1Pe_5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  18. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Don't Reformed Baptists hold to Reformed theology though? Just kidding , as you posted that about moving from reformed baptist to now Reformed theology.
  19. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    You are a good natured funny guy. Love ya.
  20. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Puritan Board Junior

    Yes, Dispensational, then Historic Premill, now Amill
  21. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    I grew up Roman Catholic (paedobaptist) and then joined a non-denominational Church in the Campbellite tradition in 1994 and was immersed. I never really was a very convinced antipaedobaptist but was ambivalent about it. Even when I joined the PCA in 1998 and then attended an OPC Church for a few years, I sort of thought about paedobaptistism in a sort of purely elective way that didn't really correspond to an understanding of Covenant Theology. That said I became more firmly convinced of it from about 2002 onward.
  22. Rich Koster

    Rich Koster Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I was raised in a Congregational setting that was an offshoot of a Presbyterian congregation founded after a stir/split about Freemasonry. Went through confirmation class, etc. and drifted away. Fourteen years later, I started from a Fundy local congregation, to Arminian SBC, to 5 point Baptist, to 1689er. The journey from Fundy to 1689er took about 10 years, with a shift toward Reformed thinking around the end of 1998.
  23. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I have moved now to a historical pre Mil viewpoint in regards to eschatology.
  24. jwithnell

    jwithnell Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Went from a liberal presbyterian church to real presbyterian church, so no change, really, in baptism.
  25. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Were both you and your Husband raised in a liberal church?
  26. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    Roman as a child, non-denom Willow Creek wanna-be from 21ish to 23ish and a variety of other pop-Evangelical from there, all Baptist. When I heard Covenantal Theology explained, minus the caricatures, the switch to a Reformed church was natural, though going from various forms of Antinomianism with regard to regulation, to the OPC was a system shock. That's one system shock I'm very grateful for!
    Baptism was not the issue for me but, rather, Covenantal Theology and the fidelity therein. Randy's and Rev. Buchanan's advice is sound: don't be rash in leaving a church and listen to wise counsel......
  27. jwithnell

    jwithnell Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    "Were both you and your Husband raised in a liberal church?"

    Brian was reared Episcopal and came to Christ in Baptist circles as a young teen.
  28. kainos01

    kainos01 Puritan Board Junior

    Thanks, all, for the responses so far. I realized that I didn't share my transition!

    I was raised in a non-Reformed Southern Baptist family (though they have all moved, by God's grace, to a deeper appreciation of God's sovereignty - and I have never met a man more committed to Christ than my father). In my late 20's, I began to see the evidences of God's sovereignty as I read through the Bible quite intensely - at the rate of four times a year for several years.

    Then, a friend recommended, first, Pink's Sovereignty of God, which did not so much reveal new truth but rather confirmed what I was seeing in scripture. Thus, I became a "reformed Baptist," though I didn't have opportunity to join a like-minded church before the same friend introduced me to B.B. Warfield, whose works led me to embrace the theology of the WCF and Presbyterianism, which I have held for more than 20 years now.
  29. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Senior

    I have read so many posts here on this subject that I now consider it to be a non essential, and one where Reformed and Covenantal theologians both have good and valid biblical arguments. I see it as a Romans 14 matter of conscience where we need to accept one another. So many great old dead guys on both sides. (Plus Lloyd-Jones who called himself a church of one- he believed in believer baptism by sprinkling, not immersion.)

    The fact is, both camps generally have a two stage process for full participation of children in the life of the church. Paedos baptize infants but forbid them communion until they are older. Baptists often dedicate them, but reserve baptism until they are older.

    Personally I am swinging towards the position that both sacraments should go together, and even a little baptized child can examine their heart to some degree, enough to take communion. And if the Baptist lets the little kid take communion, why are they not baptized? ( I realized the Reformed Baptists at PB probably do not have unbaptized child communion).

    So anyway, I am "other" in your poll. Either position is biblical, but I think sacraments should be consistent. Baptism and communion go together.....babies ate the Passover meal for paedos; children partaking of communion need to be baptized for credos.

    I'm still thinking about it when these threads come up, and my opinion is probably not set in stone, which I guess is a good thing......
  30. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Senior

    While I have no doubt that this happens, the Baptist Faith and Message, which is decidedly not reformed, specifically states that baptism is a prerequisite for partaking of the Lord's Supper, and so this should not be happening in any Baptist church.
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