Scriptural Support for Paedobaptism

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eqdj

Puritan Board Freshman
I have books on the history of baptism, but I would like to read the scriptural supports for paedobaptism.

I've only been here for about two months, so please forgive me if this has already been addressed in another thread.

Thank you.

Oh, and i'm referring to the historic orthodox paedobaptist view - not interested in folks who are also pro Federal Vision/NPP or paedocommunion (i.e., Strawbridge)

Thanks!
 

nicnap

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Brother, even if Strawbridge is paedocommunion, his treatment on baptism is excellent. Don't toss the baby out with the...well, that would have been a BAD one, glad I caught it. :lol:
 
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Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
I have books on the history of baptism, but I would like to read the scriptural supports for paedobaptism.

I've only been here for about two months, so please forgive me if this has already been addressed in another thread.

Thank you.

Oh, and i'm referring to the historic orthodox paedobaptist view - not interested in folks who are also pro Federal Vision/NPP or paedocommunion (i.e., Strawbridge)

Thanks!

Junior,

The basic argument is from the overall context of Scripture:

1. There is one covenant of grace, with the same means of justification (by faith alone, in Christ alone), sanctification (God's Spirit in us), etc.

2. Man lives by every word which has proceeded out of the mouth of God; when Christ said this, He was referring to the Old Testament.

3. Christ didn't come to destroy Moses or the Prophets, but to show us how to obey them.


From these, paedo's derive the conclusions that:

1. God included infants of believers in the covenant of grace in the Old Testament, according to His free promise of mercy.

2. God never revoked this promise anywhere within the New Covenant.

Therefore, this promise stands in the Better Covenant made on better promises.

There are more details on this, and a good book would be:

Standing on the Promises by Doug Wilson

As noted above, don't throw the baby out with the baptismal font :lol:

Wilson wrote this book before his later distortions of covenant theology took place.

Cheers,

Adam
 

eqdj

Puritan Board Freshman
Ha!

I have seen Strawbridge's book referenced in this area, guess i'll go ahead and check it out.

I've never heard of Doug Wilson - i'll look into it.
Thanks!
 

Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
Ha!

I have seen Strawbridge's book referenced in this area, guess i'll go ahead and check it out.

I've never heard of Doug Wilson - i'll look into it.
Thanks!
No worries.

I doubt he would employ all of the same arguments today, but the book itself is good.

Also, Calvin's section on the Sacraments and Baptism in his Institutes may be helpful.

Cheers,

Adam
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
Michael Horton puts it well...

We should baptize our children because...

1. God has brought us into a covenant of grace and although not all members of this covenant will persevere (i.e., they are not elect), they enjoy special privileges of belonging to the covenant people of God. This was true of Israel (the church in the Old Testament), and the New Testament simply applies this to the New Testament church (Hebrews, esp. 4:1-11 and 6:4-12; Deut. 4:20 and 28:9 with 1 Pet. 2:9,10; Gal. 6:16; Hos. 2:23 and Is. 10:22 with Rom. 9:24-28). Also the parable of the Vine and the Branches. 2 ways of being in Christ: visibly and invisibly.

2. Even though bringing someone under the protection of God's covenantal faithfulness does not guarantee that every member possesses true, persevering faith (Heb. 4:1-11), but that does not mean that it is unimportant as to whether a person is in Christ and his covenant of grace.
3. Children were included in the covenant of grace in the Old Testament, through the sacrament of circumcision, and in the New Covenant (called the "better covenant"), God has not changed in his good intentions toward our children (Ac. 2:38-39) and circumcision has been replaced with baptism (Col. 2:11-12). Therefore, our children must be brought into the covenant of grace and united to Christ through baptism as the people of God in former times were brought into the covenant through circumcision.

4. The children of unbelievers are unholy, but the children of believers are set apart unto God. This is a distinction not only of the Old Testament (see the Passover, Ex.12:1; also the distinction between the "house of the wicked" and the "house of the righteous," especially in the Psalms), but is continued in the New Testament as well (1 Cor. 10:2). How are they marked or distinguished from unbelievers? By the sign and seal of the covenant.

5. Household baptisms in the New Testament are common (see esp. Acts 16:15, 33; 1 Cor. 1:16), and when the jailer asked how to be saved, Paul replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household." We are told that this same night "he and his family were baptized" (Ac.16:31-34).

6. There is an unbroken record in church history of the practice of infant baptism. Although tradition is of a secondary value, it is especially important here for this reason: We know for a fact that the earliest Christians after the death of the apostles were practicing infant baptism, with the command of those who were trained by the apostles themselves. Where was the debate, assuming these immediate successors to the disciples were departing from the apostolic practice?

7. Baptism is the work of God, not man. It is not a sign of the believer's commitment to God (which would, therefore, require prior faith and repentance), but the sign and seal of God's promise to save all who do not reject their baptism by refusing to trust in Christ. For the nature of baptism, see Mark 16:16. The references to believers being baptized are to those who have first believed. The first converts, obviously, were adults when they believed, but they evidently baptized their children. The same was true of Abraham, who believed before he was circumcised, but then had his children circumcised as infants.
 

discipulo

Puritan Board Junior
Joachim Jeremias Infant Baptism in the First Four Centuries
Joachim Jeremias The Origins of Infant Baptism with a response to Kurt Aland
Oscar Cullmann Baptism in the New Testament

These «borderline» guys have a lot of great insights into the cultural and historical contexts, and Cullman was teaching consistent Redemptive History against the liberal criticism of Rudolf Bultmann or Werner Kummel

Also Strawbridge is CREC and has some FV people on board, Wilson and Leithart, but has very good articles too, like Joel Beeke and Cornelis Venema.

Also

John Murray – Christian Baptism
David Engelsma – The Covenant of God and the Children of Believers

online

http://www.the-highway.com/InfantBaptism_Warfield.html B B Warfield

A Contemporary Reformed Defense of Infant Baptism by R. Scott Clark

http://www.wscal.edu/clark/baptism.php
 

eqdj

Puritan Board Freshman
I've seen Jeremias referenced in my historical theology of baptism.

I love John Murray! I'll have to order that one from WTS Books

Thanks for the online links - i think the Clark paper is what i was looking for - he had me at the title alone :)
 
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Rocketeer

Puritan Board Freshman
I'll give you two texts that support peadobaptism, though indirectly. In the first one Peter draws a parallel between Noah and the covenant of grace:

1 Peter 3:18-22 (ESV) said:
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.
Note here that Noah was saved with his children, who where not all quite godly, as evidenced by Noah's drunkenness and the cursing of Ham and Canaan.

The other, an in my mind much stronger passage can be found in Romans:

Romans 4:1-25 (ESV) said:
1 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes inhttp://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=Romans+4#f2 him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:


7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
and whose sins are covered;
8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”



9 Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.


13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.


16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. 20 No distrust made him waiver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
Read carefully here: Abraham was justified by faith, and then circumcised: it even says, verse eleven, that he got the sacrament of circumcision to seal his faith. But his children did not; they got it to seal the promise God made to them; and in this very way my first forefathers who came to Christ were baptized to seal their faith, whereas their children were baptized to seal God's promise.

You asked for texts; here are my :2cents:.
 
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