A couple of days ago, I posted the following on the paedo forum. A fellow credo brother requested that it be pasted here so that he could respond. Gladly. Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope. Call me clueless . . . but it FINALLY hit me after all of these Baptism threads, that the issue that separates paedos from most credos MIGHT have more to do with ecclesiology than sacramentology. Duh! For you on the other side, this may be patent and obvious to you. But, believe me that an intelligent credo would seldom have reason to see it that way. We were hammered to believe that credo baptism is self evident and obvious in the Bible. Anything else partakes of Romanism or liberal Protestantism we were told. Except for the few Reformed Baptists, the CT implications are left unexplored. Some of you have become quite exercised bringing up the emotional arguments regarding treating covenant children like "vipers in diapers" or "playpen pagans" in the baptism threads, notions that sounded quite foreign to me. While it may be a logical inconsistency in Baptist thinking, most Baptists I know neither frame it that way nor even contemplate such implications regarding their kids. Today, listening to a MP3 on infant baptism it finally hit me. Paedos see baptism as an outgrowth of the covenant structure to scripture. Of course baptism is viewed as the sign and seal of the New Covenant (just as circumcision was the sign and seal of the Old Covenant). What I was missing, however, was the inner logic of the CT position. Since having the covenant sign did not necessarily make you a member of True Israel neither does baptism necessarily apply only to true believers (there is that promise to "you and to your children"). Ta da! Most of us crredos, however, are stuck on the idea that the church is ONLY to be a regenerate membership, not a combination of saved and unsaved peoples. Unbelievers in the church may be a reality, but it would never be assumed the way it is when using the comparison to the OT covenant. The old Baptist saw is "a regenerate membership safeguarded by believer's baptism." My guess is that credo baptism was adopted as a way of applying "regenerate membership" ecclesiology rather than coming from an inductive study of the Bible and who should be baptized (it certainly did not grow out of a deep understanding of covenant). The deeper goal was not to restrict who you baptized, but to insure that the composition of the visible church comes as close to being coextensive with the number of the elect as possible. Then, when Arminianism swamped the Baptist boat in the 19th and 20th centuries, the democratic emphasis upon volunterism and "choosing" to become a Christian took center stage. Here, believer's baptism made even more sense. If becoming a Christian was simply a matter of choosing, then baptism for "choosers" (aka believers) should be obvious. (This does not, however, explain why Methodists practice infant baptism!) Maybe my bow tie is on too tight this afternoon and my theological acumen has gone out the window. However, here is my question: do you paedo brethren think that the deeper problem with the credo position is the tendency in most Baptist circles to operate out of a flawed notion of the proper composition of the visible church with the sacramentological implications following? In other words, where is the "real" rub, with the proper candidates for baptism or with the ecclesiological understanding of the church as made up only of regenerate persons? I now think I can see why paedos believe that their children should be baptized. Now it makes sense to me! And, it makes even more sense why some of you get so ticked off at the credo position, believing that it implies terrible things about our (and your) children and their spiritual state. Does this line of thought seem to fairly represent what is at stake? If so, my efforts at understanding this subject will require me to dig deeply into the nature of the church and its proper biblical composition rather than merely the arguments for and against infant baptism.