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Baptism discuss James White vs Bill Shishko on Baptism in the Theology forums; This was posted on CARM. It is very interesting. Both made good points. I am still on the fence. I have a Sproul vs Macarthur ...

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    Osage Bluestem is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    James White vs Bill Shishko on Baptism

    This was posted on CARM. It is very interesting. Both made good points. I am still on the fence. I have a Sproul vs Macarthur debate to watch when I get time as well.



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    Do you have a link to the Sproul v. Macarthur debate? I have wanted to listen to that for awhile but haven't been able to find it without purchasing it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLCOPE2 View Post
    Do you have a link to the Sproul v. Macarthur debate? I have wanted to listen to that for awhile but haven't been able to find it without purchasing it.
    A friend of mine sent it to me via email. If you want it pm me and I'll forward it along.
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    Also profitable is the Schreiner-VanDrunen debate, found here (among other places):

    Credo-Paedo Baptism Debate: Dr. Thomas Schreiner and Dr. David VanDrunen

    ---------- Post added at 11:20 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:18 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MLCOPE2 View Post
    Do you have a link to the Sproul v. Macarthur debate? I have wanted to listen to that for awhile but haven't been able to find it without purchasing it.
    I have listened to it. Not RC's finest hour by any means, and I say that as one who has a great respect for him.
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    I greatly enjoyed the one with White and found myself drawn to the paedo position as a result of listening to Shisko. And, I say that as a Baptist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcFadden View Post
    I greatly enjoyed the one with White and found myself drawn to the paedo position as a result of listening to Shisko. And, I say that as a Baptist.
    I concur, I enjoyed the White-Shishko debate. Unlike you, I found myself swayed by White's argument. Still, it was a good exchange. Objectivity is lost in these debates. I tried to listen while squelching my presupposition. Didn't work.
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    Here is one of the best debates (not formal) that I've heard on this issue: A Discussion on the Eschatology of Baptism

    Another really good one is: Paedo-Credo Baptism Debate: Dr. Robert Strimple and Dr. Fred Malone: Paedo-Credo Baptism Debate: Dr. Robert Strimple and Dr. Fred Malone

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herald View Post
    I tried to listen while squelching my presupposition. Didn't work.
    Very well put, having experienced the same thing.
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    MacArthur is a Dispensationalist
    Tom Schreiner is either NCT or Dispy (What's the difference between and a NCT and Calvinist Dispy?)

    The only covenantal debates I'm aware of are Malone-Strimple at WCS, White-Shishko, and a very interesting debate between James White and Federal Vision-ish Gregg Strawbridge.
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    Malone-Strimple was characterized by an abundance of fraternal good will and comity. Much briefer than White-Shishko, it was quite well done at WSC. Bill I said that it "drew" me towards the paedo position. I'm still a Baptist, however. So far.
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    Dennis, I understood what you were saying. I concur that the White-Shisko debate was a good one. I simply added that I wasn't swayed by Shishko's argumentation. Part of that is based on my existing presupposition, and part of it is my assessment of how Shishko performed during the debate.

    Debates don't settle issues. I've found that all they do is define those issues better. A debater can be on the right side of the issue but lose the debate because of their personal performance. That happens all the time. The value I find in debates is how each side frames their argument. If I can figure out their belief system I can pretty much understand their position. It's then up to me to accept or reject their premise and conclusion.
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    I am interested in hearing the JMAC and Sproul debate, I like most of you enjoyed the White debate as well. His closing argument was great imo.

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    The thing I remember most about the White/Shisko debate was a question from the audience: in response to White's insistence that an infant should not be baptized because an infant cannot have faith, someone asked about Psalm 22:9-10 -- "Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb; You made me trust when upon my mother's breasts. Upon You I was cast from birth; You have been my God from my mother's womb." White seemed upset by the question.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eqdj View Post
    MacArthur is a Dispensationalist
    Tom Schreiner is either NCT or Dispy (What's the difference between and a NCT and Calvinist Dispy?)
    Schreiner is most certainly not Dispensational. His NT Theology is based heavily on inaugurated eschatology, which no Dispensationalist would embrace to the extent that he does. He was a-millennial for most of his career but made a shift to pre-millennialism about a year ago when he was preaching through Revelation. Still, he's far from Dispy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieJ View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eqdj View Post
    MacArthur is a Dispensationalist
    Tom Schreiner is either NCT or Dispy (What's the difference between and a NCT and Calvinist Dispy?)
    Schreiner is most certainly not Dispensational. His NT Theology is based heavily on inaugurated eschatology, which no Dispensationalist would embrace to the extent that he does. He was a-millennial for most of his career but made a shift to pre-millennialism about a year ago when he was preaching through Revelation. Still, he's far from Dispy.
    Dr. Schreiner wrote the ESVSB Notes for Romans. This is his note on Romans 14:5 ESV Online Study Bible | Crossway
    What is remarkable is that the Sabbath is no longer a binding commitment for Paul but a matter of one's personal conviction. Unlike the other nine commandments in Ex. 20:1–17, the Sabbath commandment seems to have been part of the “ceremonial laws” of the Mosaic covenant, like the dietary laws and the laws about sacrifices, all of which are no longer binding on new covenant believers (see also Gal. 4:10; Col. 2:16–17).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marrow Man View Post
    The thing I remember most about the White/Shisko debate was a question from the audience: in response to White's insistence that an infant should not be baptized because an infant cannot have faith, someone asked about Psalm 22:9-10 -- "Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb; You made me trust when upon my mother's breasts. Upon You I was cast from birth; You have been my God from my mother's womb." White seemed upset by the question.
    If a person has come to saving faith from the womb, wouldn't it be more appropriate to wait until they are old enough to tell us they have come to saving faith to baptize them as opposed to baptizing them without their profession? If they died baptized or not the end result would be that they were with the Lord forever. The only difference seems to me that we gave them the oppourtunity to respond to the Lord in obedience by following his example in baptism where if we baptize them as an infant we take this choice away from them forever. It seems to me that baptism may be nothing more than a public display of a christians faith by signifying that they died with Christ and are risen with him to walk in a newness of life in union with him. If they are baptized as an infant they can never do this. Perhaps what baptism really is and why it is significant is that it is a witness to others of our faith?
    Last edited by Osage Bluestem; 04-01-2010 at 11:27 AM.
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    One could likewise say that it would have therefore been more appropriate to make David wait until he was a professing adult before he received the covenant sign of circumcision. This is the problem with these matters; in all our well-intentioned musings on these matters, we think we know better than God.

    The quotation from Psalm 22 in no way meant to be a proof text for infant baptism, but is an indication of how different the Lord's way in these matters is different than man's. If Jeremiah was set apart before he was born, or John had the Holy Spirit from birth, or David was made to trust from the knee of his nursing mother, then we need to at least consider that the Lord deals with infants (at least some infants) differently than our modern manmade views that too often insist on man's actions rather than God's grace in these matters.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eqdj View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieJ View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eqdj View Post
    MacArthur is a Dispensationalist
    Tom Schreiner is either NCT or Dispy (What's the difference between and a NCT and Calvinist Dispy?)
    Schreiner is most certainly not Dispensational. His NT Theology is based heavily on inaugurated eschatology, which no Dispensationalist would embrace to the extent that he does. He was a-millennial for most of his career but made a shift to pre-millennialism about a year ago when he was preaching through Revelation. Still, he's far from Dispy.
    Dr. Schreiner wrote the ESVSB Notes for Romans. This is his note on Romans 14:5 ESV Online Study Bible | Crossway
    What is remarkable is that the Sabbath is no longer a binding commitment for Paul but a matter of one's personal conviction. Unlike the other nine commandments in Ex. 20:1–17, the Sabbath commandment seems to have been part of the “ceremonial laws” of the Mosaic covenant, like the dietary laws and the laws about sacrifices, all of which are no longer binding on new covenant believers (see also Gal. 4:10; Col. 2:16–17).
    This is irrelevant. Christian groups, such as Lutherans, have held views like this long before Dispensationalism. Dispensationalism is a specific theological system that should not be equated with "everything that differs from how I view the relationship between the old and new testaments."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marrow Man View Post
    One could likewise say that it would have therefore been more appropriate to make David wait until he was a professing adult before he received the covenant sign of circumcision. This is the problem with these matters; in all our well-intentioned musings on these matters, we think we know better than God.

    The quotation from Psalm 22 in no way meant to be a proof text for infant baptism, but is an indication of how different the Lord's way in these matters is different than man's. If Jeremiah was set apart before he was born, or John had the Holy Spirit from birth, or David was made to trust from the knee of his nursing mother, then we need to at least consider that the Lord deals with infants (at least some infants) differently than our modern manmade views that too often insist on man's actions rather than God's grace in these matters.
    We know that Jesus was circumcised. Why did he give us an example of baptism as an adult? Then God said he was pleased.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marrow Man View Post
    One could likewise say that it would have therefore been more appropriate to make David wait until he was a professing adult before he received the covenant sign of circumcision. This is the problem with these matters; in all our well-intentioned musings on these matters, we think we know better than God.

    The quotation from Psalm 22 in no way meant to be a proof text for infant baptism, but is an indication of how different the Lord's way in these matters is different than man's. If Jeremiah was set apart before he was born, or John had the Holy Spirit from birth, or David was made to trust from the knee of his nursing mother, then we need to at least consider that the Lord deals with infants (at least some infants) differently than our modern manmade views that too often insist on man's actions rather than God's grace in these matters.
    Tim, you make a reasonable request. We certainly should take pre-natal references about David, Jeremiah, and John the Baptist into consideration. It would be theologically and intellectually dishonest not to. Are we able to draw any definitive conclusions from these texts re: pre-natal or infant salvation? In the absence of clear didactic teaching, I think not. The paedobaptist may draw an inference in support of their view, whereas the credobaptist can do the same. That God does something does not necessarily make it normative.
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    The clear reference is that we have at least 3 examples of Scripture (make that 4 if we include Jacob) where the grace of God is upon infants, that is all. Likewise, we have clear teaching that the covenant sign under the old administration was to be applied to infant males ("pre-profession"). Of this there can be no dispute. It just strikes me at how humbling this is when we consider the covenant of grace, and how often it runs counter to conventional human thinking.

    I agree that we cannot take everything in an historical narrative (e.g., the book of Acts) as "normative." I don't know of anyone who thinks the Holy Spirit's transportation of Philip, for instance, is a normative mode of transportation for someone who is functioning as an evangelist. There are adult baptisms that take place in a missionary context in Acts, but there are likewise household baptisms as well. And credos and paedos draw different inferences from each of those examples, and often from within a particular theological rubric (or with certain presuppositions brought to the text, as you stated above, Bill). Perhaps that needs to be our starting point in these discussions. For instance, it has come to my attention recently that in this discussion, it is not so much the sacraments/ordinances that are the issue as it is the nature of the church. Baptists and Presbyterians view the nature of the church differently (and define it different), and the view of the sacraments/ordinances is a fruit of that difference.

    David, with regard to Jesus' baptism, remember that John was administering a baptism "of repentance." Obviously Jesus did not need to "repent" since He was without sin. So there is obviously more going on that a simple public profession, even in this "adult baptism."
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    Osage Bluestem is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    Interesting and insightful. This is such a difficult issue to get a grasp of.

    Could you elaborate of the differences of how Baptists and Presbyterians view the Church? I thought they looked at it the same way, that only the elect are the church.
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    David, take a look at the statements on the church in documents such as the London Baptist Confession and the Westminster Confession. There are distinctions drawn when it comes to "the visible church." There are other differences as well.
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    Osage Bluestem is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marrow Man View Post
    David, take a look at the statements on the church in documents such as the London Baptist Confession and the Westminster Confession. There are distinctions drawn when it comes to "the visible church." There are other differences as well.
    LBCF 1689
    Chp 26
    Paragraph 2. All persons throughout the world, professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it, not destroying their own profession by any errors everting the foundation, or unholiness of conversation, are and may be called visible saints;2 and of such ought all particular congregations to be constituted.3
    2 1 Cor. 1:2; Acts 11:26
    3 Rom. 1:7; Eph. 1:20-22
    Link: http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html

    WCF 1646
    Chapter 25
    II. The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the Gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion;[2] and of their children:[3] and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ,[4] the house and family of God,[5] out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.[6]
    Link: Westminster Confession of Faith

    Is this the difference that you are referencing? The LBCF states that only professing believers are in the Church. The WCF states that professing believers and their children are in the Church.

    My question in regards to this that has been on my mind is this. We know that God's regenerated elect are indwelt by the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of truth. God has used these people to preserve his word and uphold the gospel throughout the history of the Church. God inspired Paul (1 Tim 3:15) to call them "the pillar and ground of the truth." In the very next passage (3:16) Paul references the truth they hold up which is the gospel of Christ. How can the Church be the pillar and ground of the truth if many of it's members are not professing believers?

    1 Timothy 3:15-16 KJV
    [15] But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
    [16] And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

    It is interesting that he calls the Church the pillar and ground of the truth instead of the bible. It is indeed God's people he uses to preserve and pass on the bible and preach the gospel contained within. Why would God refer to non elect children that haven't professed belief as the pillar and ground of the truth?
    Last edited by Osage Bluestem; 04-01-2010 at 02:38 PM.
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    Who said this:?
    Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, thou hast ordained praise."
    Does the Bible mean what it says or not?


    Further, is the "church" (the pillar and ground of truth) essentially all the members collected into some body? Is that how the Bible invariably speaks of it? Or, does it speak of it also under a variety of perspectives: from the thing considered as a whole, to the government alone, to the membership, etc?
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    Tim, inference certainly does abound. Does David's statement in Psalm 22:9 qualify as a proof text of infant salvation? Could that verse have all to do with God's providential hand on David's life, and David confessing that fact? We know that Jeremiah was called to be a prophet (Jer. 1:5), but we are not told he was regenerate pre-natal. John the Baptist lept at the presence of Jesus, but only Elizabeth is said to be filled with the Holy Spirit. John 18:6 displays the reaction to Christ's glory, even in the presence of unbelievers. Household baptisms are seen in the book of Acts, but we do not see evidence of baptism administered apart from faith. Tim, but as we both noted, our presuppositions taint our objectivity.

    I agree that the nature of the church is the central point of disagreement. The substance and administration of the New Covenant is at the heart of each baptism debate whether or not is said so. The nature and application of the sacraments are a consequence of our view of the New Covenant, not a material cause.
    Last edited by Herald; 04-01-2010 at 03:51 PM.
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    Osage Bluestem is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contra_Mundum View Post
    Who said this:?
    Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, thou hast ordained praise."
    Does the Bible mean what it says or not?
    God said this through David:

    Psalm 8:1:2 KJV
    [1] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
    [2] Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

    Jesus said this as recorded under inspiration by Matthew:

    Matthew 21:15-16 KJV
    [15] And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased,
    [16] And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

    It appears that Jesus fulfilled an Old Testament prophecy and he was making the chief priests and scribes aware of that.

    Further, is the "church" (the pillar and ground of truth) essentially all the members collected into some body? Is that how the Bible invariably speaks of it? Or, does it speak of it also under a variety of perspectives: from the thing considered as a whole, to the government alone, to the membership, etc?
    Matthew 16:18 KJV: The Church will prevail.
    [18] And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    Matthew 18:17 KJV: The Church has authority.
    [17] And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

    Acts 2:47 KJV: People God selects to be saved are added to the Church.
    [47] Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

    Acts 8:3 KJV: The Church is made havoc of, men and women are thorown into prison. No mention of children.
    [3] As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

    Acts 9:31 KJV: Church is spoken of in plural to indicate that church fellowships are local and under the central rule of God.
    [31] Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

    Acts 14:23 KJV: Elders are ordained in each local Church.
    [23] And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

    1 Corinthians 12:27-31 KJV: The Church has members with different gifts yet all are of the body of Christ.
    [27] Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
    [28] And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
    [29] Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
    [30] Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
    [31] But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

    Revelation 22:16 KJV: Jesus works in all of the local Churches.
    [16] I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

    Galatians 3:24-29 KJV: Once we have come to faith we are no longer under the law, then we are children of God. All who have been baptized have put on Christ, yet we weren't children of God until we came to faith. This appears that baptism happens after one has come to faith and that all in the Church are baptized because all in the Church have faith.
    [24] Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
    [25] But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
    [26] For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
    [27] For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
    [28] There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
    [29] And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

    John 3:36 KJV: The Church is believers in Christ.
    [36] He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
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    Marrow Man's Avatar
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    Actually, Bill, Luke 1:15 does say John would be filled with the Holy Spirit while in his mother's womb. The texts say what they say; David trusted from his nursing mother's knee, Jeremiah was set apart before he was even born, John was filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb. Perhaps one might argue figurative language is in use in some cases, but it should be indisputable that God's grace was upon these men while they were infants.

    With regard to household baptisms, what is often missed is that there aren't that many instances of baptism actually recorded in the book of Acts. If you remove the obvious "male only" references (e.g, the men gathered at Pentecost, the Ethiopian eunuch, Saul/Paul), a significant portion of the baptisms recorded are of the household variety. The ages of the members are not mentioned, but neither is the faith of each member (rather, the faith of the head of household). Just as a side note, one interesting case in the book of Acts is Timothy. He is never mentioned as being baptized (we would have to infer that), but he is mentioned as being circumcised (post-conversion and post-Jerusalem council)!
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    I am always afraid to watch these videos as I am sure I will turn Credo...
    Rev. Benjamin P. Glaser, M. Div, ARP
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    ‎‎"Ministers of the Gospel, when dispensing the truths of God, must preach home to their own souls, as well as unto others. Sir's, we do not deliver truths or doctrines to you, wherein we ourselves have no manner of concern. No, our own souls are at the stake, and shall either perish or be saved eternally, as we receive or reject these precious truths which we deliver unto you. And truly, it can never be expected that we will apply the truths of God with any warmth or liveliness unto others, unless we first make a warm application thereof to our own souls. And if we do not feed upon these doctrines, and practise these duties, which we deliver to and inculcate upon you, though we preach unto others, we ourselves are but castaways." -- Ebenezer Erskine, "The Assurance of Faith", pg. 8

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  30. #30
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    Tim,

    You're right on John the Baptist. That was a huge miss on my part. Not good practice to be Puritan Boarding via iPhone during lunch. Thank you for the correction.
    Last edited by Herald; 04-01-2010 at 11:02 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backwoods Presbyterian View Post
    I am always afraid to watch these videos as I am sure I will turn Credo...
    Never Fear if you are in God's stead. Just look at my blog on the PB. I am still credo. I still hold to may Presby holds. Don't think I ever left them. But on this matter I have always remained what I know to be true. I hate videos and debates because they depend on the presenters. What doth the Scripture and inference say? I think I have remained true to the scripture as many peado's do.

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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backwoods Presbyterian View Post
    I am always afraid to watch these videos as I am sure I will turn Credo...
    It's not so bad. Come on over to the other side.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by PuritanCovenanter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Backwoods Presbyterian View Post
    I am always afraid to watch these videos as I am sure I will turn Credo...
    Never Fear if you are in God's stead. Just look at my blog on the PB. I am still credo. I still hold to may Presby holds. Don't think I ever left them. But on this matter I have always remained what I know to be true. I hate videos and debates because they depend on the presenters. What doth the Scripture and inference say? I think I have remained true to the scripture as many peado's do.
    Rev. Benjamin P. Glaser, M. Div, ARP
    Pastor, Ellisville Presbyterian Church, ARP
    Ellisville, Mississippi

    ‎‎"Ministers of the Gospel, when dispensing the truths of God, must preach home to their own souls, as well as unto others. Sir's, we do not deliver truths or doctrines to you, wherein we ourselves have no manner of concern. No, our own souls are at the stake, and shall either perish or be saved eternally, as we receive or reject these precious truths which we deliver unto you. And truly, it can never be expected that we will apply the truths of God with any warmth or liveliness unto others, unless we first make a warm application thereof to our own souls. And if we do not feed upon these doctrines, and practise these duties, which we deliver to and inculcate upon you, though we preach unto others, we ourselves are but castaways." -- Ebenezer Erskine, "The Assurance of Faith", pg. 8

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  34. #34
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    Tim,

    Well, if I was being generous, I would say that Acts is not the best place to establish a case for paedobaptism. Most of the paedo arguments I've read center on the continuity of the Abrahamic Covenant, independent of any positive commands in Acts. If anything, Acts seems to emphasize faith before baptism (2:38; 8:12-13; 9:18 (regeneration assumed in Saul's case); 16:31-33 (c.f. 16:15*); 18:8; 19:4-5).

    *The story of Lydia and the Philippian jailer have striking similarities. Whereas Lydia and the jailer clearly believed; belief is assumed of their family. Not a strong proof text, but one worth mentioning.

    Even though Acts is a transitionary book, for the credobaptist it provides a positive model for baptism that is not countermanded anywhere else in the N.T. But as I said earlier, it seems that the strongest paedo argument is based on the continuity of the covenant, which does not depend strongly on a positive command given in the N.T.

    Back to David, Jeremiah, and John the Baptist for a moment. I don't know what worth we place in determining a baptismal position regarding these three characters. Did the Holy Spirit come upon John in the womb? Certainly. Was it salvific in nature? I don't know. Was it normative? Based on the perspicuity of scripture, I'm not convinced. Jeremiah? I believe he was simply writing that God had ordained him for his work from eternity past. David? Was his trusting upon his mother's breast sign of regeneration? Possibly. I just don't see where there is a strong case to be made for pre-natal or infant salvation being normative.

    Brother Tim, but of course, my presuppositions are pretty thick.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by DD2009 View Post
    It seems to me that baptism may be nothing more than a public display of a christians faith by signifying that they died with Christ and are risen with him to walk in a newness of life in union with him. If they are baptized as an infant they can never do this. Perhaps what baptism really is and why it is significant is that it is a witness to others of our faith?
    David, I don't mean to enter this debate in any way, but I really think that if you look at the way that Paul speaks of baptism you will find it impossible to think that baptism is merely a human display of faith. I think that would tragically reduce the significance of this ordinance that God has given us as a means of grace.
    Last edited by py3ak; 04-02-2010 at 06:15 PM.
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  36. #36
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    I concur with Ruben.

    David, since you are evaluating your baptismal stand, consider what the 1689 LBC says about baptism:

    1. Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party baptized, a sign of his fellowship with him, in his death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into him; of remission of sins; and of giving up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.
    Baptism is just a sign, but it's the significance of the sign that makes it important. Fellowship, His death burial and resurrection, remission of sins, and our engrafting into Him that makes possible
    our walking in newness of life. Baptism is a permanent reminder of who you once were and who you now are, in Christ. Baptism becomes a means of grace because it causes us to be strengthened in our faith through remembrance of what Christ did for us.
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    Osage Bluestem is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marrow Man View Post
    Actually, Bill, Luke 1:15 does say John would be filled with the Holy Spirit while in his mother's womb. The texts say what they say; David trusted from his nursing mother's knee, Jeremiah was set apart before he was even born, John was filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb. Perhaps one might argue figurative language is in use in some cases, but it should be indisputable that God's grace was upon these men while they were infants.
    What I notice that all of these men have in common other than God's grace in their lives from infancy is that God inspired the authors of scripture to know that. Without the inspiration of God to know the facts would it have ever been possible to determine this? So, giventhe fact that we are neither prophets nor apostles under divine inspiration wouldn't it be prudent to wait and see what the child says about his relationship with the Lord before we decide to give him the sign of being in union with him?

    Just as a side note, one interesting case in the book of Acts is Timothy. He is never mentioned as being baptized (we would have to infer that), but he is mentioned as being circumcised (post-conversion and post-Jerusalem council)!
    Acts 16:3 KJV
    [3] Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.

    Paul did this so that the Jews would listen to Timothy apparently. He basically made him socially acceptable.

    ---------- Post added at 08:34 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:28 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Backwoods Presbyterian View Post
    I am always afraid to watch these videos as I am sure I will turn Credo...
    Your fear is warrented brother! You never know what might happen.

    It would seem that we all have to deal with these issues at one point or another or we couldn't really be said to worship in truth. I am having a tough time with this. I know that it doesn't effect salvation, but baptism is indeed an expression of worship. If I am to go before God in worship with a clear conscience that I am worshiping him in truth I must deal with these things discerning from the word and considering the discernment of Godly men who have more years in the word than I through dialog and study.
    David Doss
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herald View Post
    Tim,

    Well, if I was being generous, I would say that Acts is not the best place to establish a case for paedobaptism. Most of the paedo arguments I've read center on the continuity of the Abrahamic Covenant, independent of any positive commands in Acts. If anything, Acts seems to emphasize faith before baptism (2:38; 8:12-13; 9:18 (regeneration assumed in Saul's case); 16:31-33 (c.f. 16:15*); 18:8; 19:4-5).

    *The story of Lydia and the Philippian jailer have striking similarities. Whereas Lydia and the jailer clearly believed; belief is assumed of their family. Not a strong proof text, but one worth mentioning.

    Even though Acts is a transitionary book, for the credobaptist it provides a positive model for baptism that is not countermanded anywhere else in the N.T. But as I said earlier, it seems that the strongest paedo argument is based on the continuity of the covenant, which does not depend strongly on a positive command given in the N.T.

    Back to David, Jeremiah, and John the Baptist for a moment. I don't know what worth we place in determining a baptismal position regarding these three characters. Did the Holy Spirit come upon John in the womb? Certainly. Was it salvific in nature? I don't know. Was it normative? Based on the perspicuity of scripture, I'm not convinced. Jeremiah? I believe he was simply writing that God had ordained him for his work from eternity past. David? Was his trusting upon his mother's breast sign of regeneration? Possibly. I just don't see where there is a strong case to be made for pre-natal or infant salvation being normative.

    Brother Tim, but of course, my presuppositions are pretty thick.
    Bill, the point about the examples of David, et al, is simply that they run counter to the presuppositions of certain credos (in this case, White). They must be considered, not simply dismissed. If we were dealing with logic, we would term these as counterexamples to show that the premise is false. Do they prove the paedo position outright? Of course not. But they do draw into question some of the assumptions that credos sometimes put forward.

    With regard to Lydia and the Philippian jailer, the faith of their households (despite certain poor translations in the case of the jailer) is not mentioned, but must be assumed or inferred by the credobaptist. You are correct in that the continuity of the Abrahamic covenant is probably the strongest argument in favor of the paedo position. The point of mentioning the household baptisms in Acts is to show that this practice is consistent with with mode of the Abrahamic covenant, not a radical departure from it in terms of continuity.
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    Bill, the point about the examples of David, et al, is simply that they run counter to the presuppositions of certain credos (in this case, White). They must be considered, not simply dismissed. If we were dealing with logic, we would term these as counterexamples to show that the premise is false. Do they prove the paedo position outright? Of course not. But they do draw into question some of the assumptions that credos sometimes put forward.

    With regard to Lydia and the Philippian jailer, the faith of their households (despite certain poor translations in the case of the jailer) is not mentioned, but must be assumed or inferred by the credobaptist. You are correct in that the continuity of the Abrahamic covenant is probably the strongest argument in favor of the paedo position. The point of mentioning the household baptisms in Acts is to show that this practice is consistent with with mode of the Abrahamic covenant, not a radical departure from it in terms of continuity.
    Tim, you are exactly right about the household baptisms. They say MUCH more about the situation than credos want to admit to.

    So, look at the example of Lydia. The text clearly states that the Lord opened HER heart to the things being spoken. It then states "and when she and her HOUSEHOLD were baptized." The text says nothing about the other members making a profession of faith; the credos assume this by inference because of their existing presuppositions.

    But further in the passage, she says something interesting: "if you have judged ME to have been faithful, then come and stay at my house." Note carefully she does not say US, but rather ME.

    This is very peculiar. Why would she emphasize only herself? Did not the professions of the other members of her household matter? What if Paul or Silas had said "well, Lydia, we have judged you to be faithful, but I'm not sure about the other members of your household." Wouldn't that have mattered? These are not inconsequential considerations.

    The case of the jailer is very clear. In the greek, the participial phrase "having believed in God," is masculine singular, and refers to the jailer based on the grammatical context. In fact, I have even seen credo commentaries that interpret the passage "and his household rejoiced with him in that HE believed in God."

    In his 1978 book "infant baptism and the covenant of grace," which promotes the credo position, Paul Jewitt readily admits this is what the text says. But being backed into a corner, Jewitt then says "well, how is it then that the household rejoiced? How could an infant do that?"

    But one can easily refer to a household generically without necessarily referencing every single member of the household. One could refer to several members without including every single member and still say "household." This is commonly done in everyday language.

    If I come home and announce to my family that I got a raise (I know, rare these days), they can REJOICE with me, while my infant may not know what is going on. The younger children rejoice because they see my wife and I rejoicing while not really understanding what a raise is. But the fact is I ALONE received the raise; I can tell others that my household rejoiced with me without meaning that the infant provided a rejoicing cackle as acknowledgement. So Dr. Jewitt's argument is simply a red herring.

    Hope this is helpful.
    Last edited by R Harris; 04-02-2010 at 11:13 AM.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by DD2009 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Contra_Mundum View Post
    Who said this:?
    Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, thou hast ordained praise."
    Does the Bible mean what it says or not?
    God said this through David:

    Psalm 8:1:2 KJV
    [1] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
    [2] Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

    Jesus said this as recorded under inspiration by Matthew:

    Matthew 21:15-16 KJV
    [15] And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased,
    [16] And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

    It appears that Jesus fulfilled an Old Testament prophecy and he was making the chief priests and scribes aware of that.
    Is Jesus proclaiming a "fulfillment" of a prophecy? I think not. He's applying a text of Scripture, and silencing his opposition. If God calls forth his praise from the mouths of infants, then a fortiori, these youngsters in the crowd are well within their rights.

    The point of my reference to the text was to answer the prior assertion that in a wrong view of the church there are all these non-elect children (how does anyone know that?) who--not having professed belief--are nontheless declared to be a part of the church, declaring the truth. Well, Ps.8 tells us (without informing us as to the elect status of the persons at all) that God calls forth his praise (truth) from the mouths of babes and sucklings! What babes are these? They are covenant-babes, possessors of the promises.

    And under what biblical expectation are we to hold those children? (even just assuming the OT context; forget for a moment about whether the text has any present day application). Does not God promise to be God to Abraham and to his children? So, is our default stance that the children are elect, or not? Please do not intrude a question of presumptive regeneration here. The question has to do with whether or not we are going to believe and act upon God's promises from the outset, or only after we have held those promises in abeyance for a while, and corroborated his Word with an outside source of authority that can "validate" the Word.

    The point is, that it IS the praise of the elect (!) that God is calling forth from the mouths of infants. There may be non-elect who also praise, however, there are non-elect adults in the church who also join in singing, etc. So what?


    Your references to the church appear to be a cut-and-paste from a baptist set of definitions, whereby they carefully exclude anything that will challenge both individualism and independency. I've no use or time to turn this thread into a debate on ecclesiology. Either you do or do not accept the proposition that the NT speaks of the church under a variety of expressions, and that what it says about the church under one expression may not in every case be accurately expressed under another. That is to say, the church as "pillar and ground of truth" is not predicable of "the church" under any and every consideration whatsoever.
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