I understand RB confusion on sign/seal/paedo

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BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
We define sacraments as "signs," among other things.

Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter 27, verse 1.

Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized into the visible Church, but also to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace,

While providing us with a nice summary of doctrine (and I largely agree with above), I also understand why credobapists are confused with paedos. The following quote from St Augustine will illustrate:

Augustine defined a sign as "a thing which of itself makes something come to mind, besides the impression that it presents to the senses" (On Christian Teaching, 2.1)

Cool. But this is meaningless to an infant. They probably aren't recalling anything relevant to mind. We are assuming a lot on the definition of sign and then applying to infants, which would strain baptist credulity understandably.

Now, I am hard-line infant paedo. Seriously. More so than most people. But if we consistently hold to the Augustinian definition of sign, shall we always run into these problems? I apologize for giving RBs good ammo.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Jacob

The sign has relevance to the infant as he gets older and is reminded of his covenantal responsibilities. The same was true of circumcision.

While I am also a hard-core infant baptist, I am not a bigot, and understand that many other Christians of greater learning and godliness see things differently.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Jacob

The sign has relevance to the infant as he gets older and is reminded of his covenantal responsibilities. The same was true of circumcision.

That still doesn't do justice to Augustine's definition of a sign. For Augustine (see above) it was a mental recollection. When the Bible uses signs, God is doing something. In biblical use, a sign is an act.

Many uses of "sign" in Scripture, moreover, refer to God's actions, particularly His works of power against Egypt (Deut. 4:34; 6:22; 7:19; 11:3; 26:3; 29:3; 34:11; Ps. 78:43) or Jesus' miracles among the Jews (Jn. 2:18, 23; 4:48, 54; 6:26; 9:16). Again, Augustine's definition of "sign" doesn't easily fit these passages. God did indeed communicate with Pharaoh through plagues of frogs and lice and pestilence. Far more than that, however, God did something to Pharaoh, and by doing that demanded that Pharaoh do something in response.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Jacob

The sign has relevance to the infant as he gets older and is reminded of his covenantal responsibilities. The same was true of circumcision.

That still doesn't do justice to Augustine's definition of a sign. For Augustine (see above) it was a mental recollection. When the Bible uses signs, God is doing something. In biblical use, a sign is an act.

Many uses of "sign" in Scripture, moreover, refer to God's actions, particularly His works of power against Egypt (Deut. 4:34; 6:22; 7:19; 11:3; 26:3; 29:3; 34:11; Ps. 78:43) or Jesus' miracles among the Jews (Jn. 2:18, 23; 4:48, 54; 6:26; 9:16). Again, Augustine's definition of "sign" doesn't easily fit these passages. God did indeed communicate with Pharaoh through plagues of frogs and lice and pestilence. Far more than that, however, God did something to Pharaoh, and by doing that demanded that Pharaoh do something in response.

Yes, but is Augustine absolutely right?
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Jacob, wouldn't a paedo-baptist argue that the sign is being impressed on the senses of the visible church as to the baby being a member of the covenant community; also that since the grace is not tied to the time of the administration the baby might have the benefit of proper impressions about his baptism later on?

I'm actually not a paedo baptist, though Ruben andI have tried to be convinced. It's not this kind of thing that stops us. For us it's a matter of the RPW.
 
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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Jacob, wouldn't a paedo-baptist argue that the sign is being impressed on the senses of the visible church as to the baby being a member of the covenant community; also that since the grace is not tied to the time of the administration the baby might have the benefit of proper impressions about his baptism later one?

I'm actually not a paedo baptist, though Ruben and I have tried to be convinced. It's not this kind of thing that stops us. For us it's a matter of the RPW.

Oh right, you're Ruben's wife. :eek: I really am slow on the uptake. :banghead:

The RPW - when properly understood - allows for good and necessary consequence, valid logical deductions from Scripture, so infant baptism would not - if it is a valid deduction - be contrary to the RPW.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Jacob

The sign has relevance to the infant as he gets older and is reminded of his covenantal responsibilities. The same was true of circumcision.

That still doesn't do justice to Augustine's definition of a sign. For Augustine (see above) it was a mental recollection. When the Bible uses signs, God is doing something. In biblical use, a sign is an act.

Many uses of "sign" in Scripture, moreover, refer to God's actions, particularly His works of power against Egypt (Deut. 4:34; 6:22; 7:19; 11:3; 26:3; 29:3; 34:11; Ps. 78:43) or Jesus' miracles among the Jews (Jn. 2:18, 23; 4:48, 54; 6:26; 9:16). Again, Augustine's definition of "sign" doesn't easily fit these passages. God did indeed communicate with Pharaoh through plagues of frogs and lice and pestilence. Far more than that, however, God did something to Pharaoh, and by doing that demanded that Pharaoh do something in response.

Yes, but is Augustine absolutely right?

I don't think so but his definition is largely foundational for the Western church.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
That still doesn't do justice to Augustine's definition of a sign. For Augustine (see above) it was a mental recollection. When the Bible uses signs, God is doing something. In biblical use, a sign is an act.

Many uses of "sign" in Scripture, moreover, refer to God's actions, particularly His works of power against Egypt (Deut. 4:34; 6:22; 7:19; 11:3; 26:3; 29:3; 34:11; Ps. 78:43) or Jesus' miracles among the Jews (Jn. 2:18, 23; 4:48, 54; 6:26; 9:16). Again, Augustine's definition of "sign" doesn't easily fit these passages. God did indeed communicate with Pharaoh through plagues of frogs and lice and pestilence. Far more than that, however, God did something to Pharaoh, and by doing that demanded that Pharaoh do something in response.

Yes, but is Augustine absolutely right?

I don't think so but his definition is largely foundational for the Western church.

Largely, but not absolutely is probably the best way to look at it.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Jacob, wouldn't a paedo-baptist argue that the sign is being impressed on the senses of the visible church as to the baby being a member of the covenant community; also that since the grace is not tied to the time of the administration the baby might have the benefit of proper impressions about his baptism later on?

I'm actually not a paedo baptist, though Ruben and I have tried to be convinced. It's not this kind of thing that stops us. For us it's a matter of the RPW.

Greetings Heidi,
That could work, and no doubt many use that argument. I would answer that the confession implies the sign being placed on the recipient (which would certainly be the case of an adult conver) and not on the church.

but also to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace,
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Yes, but is Augustine absolutely right?

I don't think so but his definition is largely foundational for the Western church.

Largely, but not absolutely is probably the best way to look at it.

I'm assuming, and I am not familiar if Williamson et al deal with the Augustinian definition, that the writers of the confession presupposed the definition. I am saying that said definition is functional. This can be seen, with some variations, in Turretin.

As Keith Mathison has put it in his fine recent study, Given For You, "For Turretin, the connection between the signs and the things signified is a connection that occurs in our minds." (I can get source info later).
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Jacob, wouldn't a paedo-baptist argue that the sign is being impressed on the senses of the visible church as to the baby being a member of the covenant community; also that since the grace is not tied to the time of the administration the baby might have the benefit of proper impressions about his baptism later on?

I'm actually not a paedo baptist, though Ruben and I have tried to be convinced. It's not this kind of thing that stops us. For us it's a matter of the RPW.

:up: As Jacob just noted in another thread, often we try to be convinced due to not wanting to have to deal with perceived problems that sometimes seem insurmountable in Baptist life today. But as we have seen on this board and as some of us have realized through our experiences, there are significant problems in Presbyterian churches as well, (what church doesn't have its problems?) and some presbyteries are in practically as much need of "reform" as are many Baptists.

Of course I totally agree on the RPW.
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
First, i think the baptism part that you quoted is from chapter 28 verse 1, not chapter 27.

verse 6 of the same chapter tells us that the efficacy of the sign is not tied to the moment of time in which it is administered.

And looking at Gen 17:7 we see that what is to be brought to mind is the covenant between the believer and their children. So certainly the idea of something being brought to mind doesn't have to be for the child himself, but for the parent to bring to mind that promise.

taking that together with the Confession's statement...
"but also to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace"

We need not tie the "unto him" with the specific time of the administration of the sacrament.
:2cents:
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
First, i think the baptism part that you quoted is from chapter 28 verse 1, not chapter 27.

verse 6 of the same chapter tells us that the efficacy of the sign is not tied to the moment of time in which it is administered.

And looking at Gen 17:7 we see that what is to be brought to mind is the covenant between the believer and their children. So certainly the idea of something being brought to mind doesn't have to be for the child himself, but for the parent to bring to mind that promise.

taking that together with the Confession's statement...
"but also to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace"

We need not tie the "unto him" with the specific time of the administration of the sacrament.
:2cents:

My point is that the Augustinian definition of a sign is lacking. It is for mental recollection, which an infant cannot do. Even if the "unto him" is later, the problem remains: he won't remember the sign.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
There is another thing that holds us to our position. It is the fact that we see the Covenant Children of the New Testament as being spiritual Children of Christ's. They are spiritual Children who can call God Abba Father. They are the ones whom Baptism is a sign for. Baptism is a statement about one being in union with Christ already having had his heart circumcised by Christ. When Paul speaks about Baptism, he speaks about it as someone who puts on Christ as a reality in the persons life when it happens.

(Gal 3:27) For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.


(Rom 6:3) Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

(Rom 6:4) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.


A person who puts on Christ has a union with him having their sins forgiven. I can't get over this fact. Covenant Children in the New are spiritual children of Christ.
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
My point is that the Augustinian definition of a sign is lacking. It is for mental recollection, which an infant cannot do. Even if the "unto him" is later, the problem remains: he won't remember the sign.

If the Augustinian definition is...

"a thing which of itself makes something come to mind, besides the impression that it presents to the senses"

then it doesn't necessitate the actual event being brought to mind. An adult who was baptized as an infant will have "something" come to mind as he thinks on his baptism, and it will present an impression to the senses, though it is not of the actual event.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
There is another thing that holds us to our position. It is the fact that we see the Covenant Children of the New Testament as being spiritual Children of Christ's. They are spiritual Children who can call God Abba Father. They are the ones whom Baptism is a sign for. Baptism is a statement about one being in union with Christ already having had his heart circumcised by Christ. When Paul speaks about Baptism, he speaks about it as someone who puts on Christ as a reality in the persons life when it happens.

(Gal 3:27) For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.


(Rom 6:3) Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

(Rom 6:4) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.


A person who puts on Christ has a union with him having their sins forgiven. I can't get over this fact. Covenant Children in the New are spiritual children of Christ.

Except that you don't baptize those who have union with Christ, you baptize those who profess. Profession does not equate to union with Christ any more than being the infant child of a professing believer does.

This, in fact, is the standard RB confusion.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
There is another thing that holds us to our position. It is the fact that we see the Covenant Children of the New Testament as being spiritual Children of Christ's. They are spiritual Children who can call God Abba Father. They are the ones whom Baptism is a sign for. Baptism is a statement about one being in union with Christ already having had his heart circumcised by Christ. When Paul speaks about Baptism, he speaks about it as someone who puts on Christ as a reality in the persons life when it happens.

(Gal 3:27) For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.


(Rom 6:3) Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

(Rom 6:4) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.


A person who puts on Christ has a union with him having their sins forgiven. I can't get over this fact. Covenant Children in the New are spiritual children of Christ.

Except that you don't baptize those who have union with Christ, you baptize those who profess. Profession does not equate to union with Christ any more than being the infant child of a professing believer does.

This, in fact, is the standard RB confusion.

I am not confused about it. While I acknowledge that there may be hypocrites that claim to be something they are not, Confession is important and a general rule for equating something with conversion and salvation as per Romans 10:9-11.

(Rom 10:9) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

(Rom 10:10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

(Rom 10:11) For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.


Doesn't sound confusing to me. I am not confused about it.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
There is another thing that holds us to our position. It is the fact that we see the Covenant Children of the New Testament as being spiritual Children of Christ's. They are spiritual Children who can call God Abba Father. They are the ones whom Baptism is a sign for. Baptism is a statement about one being in union with Christ already having had his heart circumcised by Christ. When Paul speaks about Baptism, he speaks about it as someone who puts on Christ as a reality in the persons life when it happens.

(Gal 3:27) For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.


(Rom 6:3) Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

(Rom 6:4) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.


A person who puts on Christ has a union with him having their sins forgiven. I can't get over this fact. Covenant Children in the New are spiritual children of Christ.

Except that you don't baptize those who have union with Christ, you baptize those who profess. Profession does not equate to union with Christ any more than being the infant child of a professing believer does.

This, in fact, is the standard RB confusion.

I am not confused about it. While I acknowledge that there may be hypocrites that claim to be something they are not, Confession is important and a general rule for equating something with conversion and salvation as per Romans 10:9-11.

(Rom 10:9) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

(Rom 10:10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

(Rom 10:11) For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.


Doesn't sound confusing to me. I am not confused about it.

The confusion is assuming that, because you know that the Elect and Hypocrites exist, that the practice of baptizing professors somehow relates to the fact that the Elect alone belong to the New Covenant in your thinking. At best you can speak of the nature of the Elect on the one hand from a didactic principle but, in the visible administration, you can only administer on the basis of profession and perceived sincerity. Profession and perceived sincerity are indications that a person has true faith in Christ but, as you note, they are also indications of hypocrisy. In the end, you can only baptize on the basis of profession and Baptists regularly convince themselves that the knowledge of an invisible elect informs the baptism of actual individuals. This is a regular point of confusion that does not follow. The identity of the Elect does not inform the administration of baptism or you would not admit to the presence of hypocrites in those baptized. You may re-read the thread of Pilgrims sea change to see this confusion manifest.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
We define sacraments as "signs," among other things.

Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter 27, verse 1.

Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized into the visible Church, but also to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace,

While providing us with a nice summary of doctrine (and I largely agree with above), I also understand why credobapists are confused with paedos. The following quote from St Augustine will illustrate:

Augustine defined a sign as "a thing which of itself makes something come to mind, besides the impression that it presents to the senses" (On Christian Teaching, 2.1)

Cool. But this is meaningless to an infant. They probably aren't recalling anything relevant to mind. We are assuming a lot on the definition of sign and then applying to infants, which would strain baptist credulity understandably.

Now, I am hard-line infant paedo. Seriously. More so than most people. But if we consistently hold to the Augustinian definition of sign, shall we always run into these problems? I apologize for giving RBs good ammo.

Jacob,

At the heart of this issue is what the sign itself signifies. I don't disagree that the sign provides an existential point of contact to the thing signified but the Reformed Baptist and I could agree on that all day long but what we really disagree on is materially different as to what the sign itself points to. I believe the material confusion is what the sign itself represents.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Except that you don't baptize those who have union with Christ, you baptize those who profess. Profession does not equate to union with Christ any more than being the infant child of a professing believer does.

This, in fact, is the standard RB confusion.

I am not confused about it. While I acknowledge that there may be hypocrites that claim to be something they are not, Confession is important and a general rule for equating something with conversion and salvation as per Romans 10:9-11.

(Rom 10:9) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

(Rom 10:10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

(Rom 10:11) For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.


Doesn't sound confusing to me. I am not confused about it.

The confusion is assuming that, because you know that the Elect and Hypocrites exist, that the practice of baptizing professors somehow relates to the fact that the Elect alone belong to the New Covenant in your thinking.

Not so. The New Covenant Member is defined as those whose sins are forgiven per Jeremiah 31:34. And the children of the Covenant are defined as those who are in Christ by faith per Galatians.

(Gal 3:7) Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

The Covenant children are the offspring of Christ.

(Joh 1:12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

(Joh 1:13) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Profession and perceived sincerity are indications that a person has true faith in Christ but, as you note, they are also indications of hypocrisy.

I never said that they were also indications of hypocrisy. I said there may be hypocrites.

I think the confusion lies on your side. I am not confused about it. I commend you back to Paul and the references I laid out.

Be Encouraged.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Semper Fidelis said:
The confusion is assuming that, because you know that the Elect and Hypocrites exist, that the practice of baptizing professors somehow relates to the fact that the Elect alone belong to the New Covenant in your thinking.

Not so. The New Covenant Member is defined as those whose sins are forgiven per Jeremiah 31:34. And the children of the Covenant are defined as those who are in Christ by faith per Galatians.

Would you care to explain how it is "not so" that the Elect alone belong to the New Covenant in your thinking and then you actually state that only the Elect are in the New Covenant? Now I really am confused.

Profession and perceived sincerity are indications that a person has true faith in Christ but, as you note, they are also indications of hypocrisy.

I never said that they were also indications of hypocrisy. I said there may be hypocrites.
I never stated that you said this. I made this observation. The point is that you baptize them and, yet, you do so because they are indistinguishable from the Elect by your perception when you do. Again, the admission that you baptize the hypocrite makes the point that the identity of the Elect cannot inform the practice of baptism or no hypcrites would be baptized.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
The "sign" was ordained by God for infants under the Old Testament. "It shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you," Gen. 17:11. Hence if RBs have some confusion concerning it or argument against it, they should take it up with the Sovereign administrator of the covenant of grace. This idea of calling into question the propriety of something which God Himself ordained, and which all Christians agree that He ordained under the Old Testament, indicates a lack of appreciation for the Creator-creature distinction.

I think the concern expressed in the OP is easily cleared by keeping in mind that the sacrament is specifically "a token of the covenant." The sign therefore derives its importance and efficacy from the benefits of the covenant which it represents, seals, and applies to believers. The fact that infants may not subjectively grasp the importance of those benefits is irrelevant; the fact is they stand in desperate need of them as sinners fallen in Adam, and unless they are saved by Christ they shall surely perish. To be sure, no believer fully grasps the significance of what Christ has done for them in the covenant of grace; which makes it clear as day that the administration of the covenant of grace does not depend upon the powers of human apprehension but on the fidelity of God.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Jacob is correct in that we do not believe a sign means anything unless it can be 'seen'. In the Old there was a sign (for males anyway) that you could see every day of your life that could "make something come to mind". However in the New, which is supposed to be better, the paedo argues that many should receive a sign that they will never be able to see. Those of you who were baptized as infants, are you absolutely sure you were baptized? On top of that, how do I know for sure I wasn't baptized as an infant? If God wanted infants to receive a sign, doesn't it seem like he would want some kind of sign that would be 'seen' and not just taken on faith?

I know paedos are not necessarily convinced by this argument, but Jacob does hit on one of many things about the paedo argument that confuse.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Semper Fidelis said:
The confusion is assuming that, because you know that the Elect and Hypocrites exist, that the practice of baptizing professors somehow relates to the fact that the Elect alone belong to the New Covenant in your thinking.

Not so. The New Covenant Member is defined as those whose sins are forgiven per Jeremiah 31:34. And the children of the Covenant are defined as those who are in Christ by faith per Galatians.

Would you care to explain how it is "not so" that the Elect alone belong to the New Covenant in your thinking and then you actually state that only the Elect are in the New Covenant? Now I really am confused.

I misunderstood what you said I was assuming.

I will get back on later. I am being sidetracked right now. As you can probably tell.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Jacob is correct in that we do not believe a sign means anything unless it can be 'seen'. In the Old there was a sign (for males anyway) that you could see every day of your life that could "make something come to mind". However in the New, which is supposed to be better, the paedo argues that many should receive a sign that they will never be able to see. Those of you who were baptized as infants, are you absolutely sure you were baptized? On top of that, how do I know for sure I wasn't baptized as an infant? If God wanted infants to receive a sign, doesn't it seem like he would want some kind of sign that would be 'seen' and not just taken on faith?

I know paedos are not necessarily convinced by this argument, but Jacob does hit on one of many things about the paedo argument that confuse.

With respect, Ken, this post alongside Matthew's indicates the point that the material difference is on the nature of the sign itself.

How, precisely, did Isaac "see" his circumcision at 8 days old? My kids don't even discover their hands until a few months much less other more delicate parts.

Does the person with dementia, who forgets the details of his baptism altogether, lose the significance of his baptism when he loses this mental capacity?
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Jacob is correct in that we do not believe a sign means anything unless it can be 'seen'. In the Old there was a sign (for males anyway) that you could see every day of your life that could "make something come to mind". However in the New, which is supposed to be better, the paedo argues that many should receive a sign that they will never be able to see. Those of you who were baptized as infants, are you absolutely sure you were baptized? On top of that, how do I know for sure I wasn't baptized as an infant? If God wanted infants to receive a sign, doesn't it seem like he would want some kind of sign that would be 'seen' and not just taken on faith?

I know paedos are not necessarily convinced by this argument, but Jacob does hit on one of many things about the paedo argument that confuse.

With respect, Ken, this post alongside Matthew's indicates the point that the material difference is on the nature of the sign itself.

How, precisely, did Isaac "see" his circumcision at 8 days old? My kids don't even discover their hands until a few months much less other more delicate parts.

Does the person with dementia, who forgets the details of his baptism altogether, lose the significance of his baptism when he loses this mental capacity?

I knew I ran the risk of someone bringing up the ubiquitous "what if" argument but I believe the point still stands. Ordinarily, a male (like myself) who was circumcised as an infant (like myself) can 'sees' that circumcision every day of his life. A man who was baptized as an infant does not 'see' anything, not even in a distant memory.

Look, Rich, I understand that we have 'material differences concerning the nature of the sign.' I was simply agreeing, from a credo point of view, that Jacob is correct. The credo sees the the NC itself as well as its sign as not only new but better. It is a sign that everyone, including females, can 'see' without the aid of a certificate or video tape.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Jacob is correct in that we do not believe a sign means anything unless it can be 'seen'. In the Old there was a sign (for males anyway) that you could see every day of your life that could "make something come to mind". However in the New, which is supposed to be better, the paedo argues that many should receive a sign that they will never be able to see. Those of you who were baptized as infants, are you absolutely sure you were baptized? On top of that, how do I know for sure I wasn't baptized as an infant? If God wanted infants to receive a sign, doesn't it seem like he would want some kind of sign that would be 'seen' and not just taken on faith?

I know paedos are not necessarily convinced by this argument, but Jacob does hit on one of many things about the paedo argument that confuse.

With respect, Ken, this post alongside Matthew's indicates the point that the material difference is on the nature of the sign itself.

How, precisely, did Isaac "see" his circumcision at 8 days old? My kids don't even discover their hands until a few months much less other more delicate parts.

Does the person with dementia, who forgets the details of his baptism altogether, lose the significance of his baptism when he loses this mental capacity?

I knew I ran the risk of someone bringing up the ubiquitous "what if" argument but I believe the point still stands. Ordinarily, a male (like myself) who was circumcised as an infant (like myself) can 'sees' that circumcision every day of his life. A man who was baptized as an infant does not 'see' anything, not even in a distant memory.

Look, Rich, I understand that we have 'material differences concerning the nature of the sign.' I was simply agreeing, from a credo point of view, that Jacob is correct. The credo sees the the NC itself as well as its sign as not only new but better. It is a sign that everyone, including females, can 'see' without the aid of a certificate or video tape.

You didn't answer my question. Does the sign lose its significance when a person's mental capacity diminishes with age or brain injury causes the event itself to be forgotten?
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
With respect, Ken, this post alongside Matthew's indicates the point that the material difference is on the nature of the sign itself.

How, precisely, did Isaac "see" his circumcision at 8 days old? My kids don't even discover their hands until a few months much less other more delicate parts.

Does the person with dementia, who forgets the details of his baptism altogether, lose the significance of his baptism when he loses this mental capacity?

I knew I ran the risk of someone bringing up the ubiquitous "what if" argument but I believe the point still stands. Ordinarily, a male (like myself) who was circumcised as an infant (like myself) can 'sees' that circumcision every day of his life. A man who was baptized as an infant does not 'see' anything, not even in a distant memory.

Look, Rich, I understand that we have 'material differences concerning the nature of the sign.' I was simply agreeing, from a credo point of view, that Jacob is correct. The credo sees the the NC itself as well as its sign as not only new but better. It is a sign that everyone, including females, can 'see' without the aid of a certificate or video tape.

You didn't answer my question. Does the sign lose its significance when a person's mental capacity diminishes with age or brain injury causes the event itself to be forgotten?

You're right. I didn't answer your question. I am not talking about exceptions. That is why I used the word 'ordinary'. :)
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
You didn't answer my question. Does the sign lose its significance when a person's mental capacity diminishes with age or brain injury causes the event itself to be forgotten?

You're right. I didn't answer your question. I am not talking about exceptions. That is why I used the word 'ordinary'. :)

I'm sorry, I don't understand. It is not "extraordinary" for elderly people to experience dementia. The wife of a Baptist minister who just passed away yesterday is suffering this in fact. Does her baptism still retain any significance?
 
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