Argument for Paedo and Credo-Baptism from the Nature of the New Covenant

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Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
OK, good Will. Let me try to explain it this way then since you understand what a synthetic statement is:

P1: The United States consists of 50 states alone. (The New Covenant consists of the Elect Alone)
P2: The National Ensign is a symbol of the United States. (A Sacrament is a sign and seal of the CoG)
P3: The National Ensign is a symbol of United States Sovereignty flown on U.S Embassies throughout the world. (A Sacrament visibly marks out the Church from the world)

Now, you tell me, is the only logical conclusion I can draw:

The National Ensign is a symbol of the 50 states alone.
 

Hilasmos

Puritan Board Freshman
Semper Fidelis:
OK, good Will. Let me try to explain it this way then since you understand what a synthetic statement is:

P1: The United States consists of 50 states alone. (The New Covenant consists of the Elect Alone)
P2: The National Ensign is a symbol of the United States. (A Sacrament is a sign and seal of the CoG)
P3: The National Ensign is a symbol of United States Sovereignty flown on U.S Embassies throughout the world. (A Sacrament visibly marks out the Church from the world)

Now, you tell me, is the only logical conclusion I can draw:

The National Ensign is a symbol of the 50 states alone.

No, that is not the only conclusion you can draw. However, in my opinion, in P3 you make a category shift which avoids the conflict. Consider the following:

P1: The United States consists of 50 states alone.
P2: The National Ensign is a symbol of the United States.
[first granted conclusion: The National Ensign is a symbol of the 50 states alone]
P3: The [U.S.] National Ensign is a symbol of North America marking it out from the rest of the world.

[conclusion two: we have a conflict in propositions]

I am viewing "Church" in a category of identity -- that is, who is it that is marked out?

This is why one of the first questions I asked was concerning the identity of the Church. That which corresponds to the elect are the U.S. 50 states. It stands to reason, then, that what should correspond to the non-elect would be other non-U.S. states/provinces/etc...

Therefore, the marked out "Church" is North America, the grouping together of the U.S. States and the other geographically corresponding countries/provinces (or something like that). (Unless there is a connection of U.S. Sovereignty to the Church I am not seeing, to me Church is still in the category of National identity). Again, this demonstrates that being synthetic or not is a moot point, it is how you interprete the proposition that makes the difference.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Will,

I really don't have time to explain this any more than I have.

First of all, you keep changing the premises. I didn't write P3 as above.

Secondly, the Ensign is said to serve two functions:
1. Symbolize the United States
2. Symbolize the Sovereignty of the Nation

Within the US are 50 States. The Sovereignty of the Nation is a different concept than the Nation itself. The Church is a different concept than the Covenant of Grace as defined. An embassy is a building that is not one of the 50 states. It is a non-State. Yet, under the National Ensign, it is marked out as under U.S. Sovereignty. A foreign national may, in fact, be free from the authorities breaking down the doors of that embassy if the embassy grants that foreigner sanctuary.

You keep making the error of assuming that if a Sacrament serves to signify and seal something for the CoG that it can do nothing else. I stated carefully and clearly that it serves a dual purpose. It signifies and seals things to the Elect and then signfies things that mark out the Church from the world.

I know you can read what I'm saying. I just put them into sentences and yet, when I put them under notation you continue to insist that this thought cannot be transmitted.

How do you propose I say this: A sacrament signfies and seals spiritual things to the elect alone and it ALSO signifies something visible to the world by marking out the Church therefrom.

Are you not able to read that sentence? Are you unable to make sense of it?

Is God not able to allow a sign to serve one purpose for a specific group and then allow it to serve as a sign more broadly to the community at large?

Am I not able to break that up into sentences that say the same thing without you trying to make them conflict with one another by saying that whatever I say about the purpose of a sign for one group MUST be true of how it serves for another?

I'm at loss on how to make this any clearer Will. If you're convinced that signs can only serve a single purpose then I have no idea how to overcome this as much as I've tried.

In fact, you seem to be denying a tenant of your own theology. What does circumcision signify in RB theology:
P1. Circumcision is a sign of the righteousness that Abraham had by faith.
P2. Circumcision is a sign of the ethnic nation from which the Seed would come.

Which is it Will? It clearly can't be both, can it?

Why of course not.

We MUST, in fact, conclude that the nation from which the Seed would come had the righteousness that Abraham had by faith.

What other choice do we have?
 

Iconoclast

Puritan Board Junior
What I'm wondering is what word to insert into the title of your mixed assembly that you worship with as I'm charitably assuming it is the purest of {insert word here other than churches}. ]

Rich,
When any local assembly,assembles it can be called by the name of the church in that location.
If even in the purest assemblies there is a mixture of true and false professors,that fact does not negate the reality the the church has also assembled in that location.

When your local church assembles, you might have visitors,guests, inquirers also meet with you. If a church vote was to be taken,you might it needful to ask these persons to step out because they are not members.

Now among the professed members of this "purest" of churches.......lets say 30 out of 160 are:
false professors , and truly deceived persons,devoid of the Spirit....
That they attend the weekly meetings does not change the reality that the church..[the 130 faithful,born from above,regenerate members] have assembled in that location.

I know my view is a bit off the path as far as the accepted writings go concerning visible/invisible church. These terms existed before I did,I try and use them, but am not comfortable with how they are mis-used.
My view is that as the blood bought church of God assembles visibly in a local assembly,.....others assemble among them who are not part of the church of visible saints that will visibly assemble on the last day.

In other words.....I acknowledge a mix can come together in a local place...but I maintain that the mixed multitude portion is in no way the church of God. To speak of the goats as the church,when the scripture speaks of them as false brethren,spots in our love feasts,etc. I just cannot do it.
When scripture gives warnings and tells us to examine ourselves whether we be in the faith, I think this clearly shows this distinction and that such a disctinction needs to be maintained.
When in love we try to encourage someone whose walk,or manner of life seems suspect we are concerned that they might be in danger of coming short of salvation rest. Not being able to see the heart of any other person we attempt to help them think out some of these self examination scriptures not as if we can take the place of the Holy Spirit, but in the sense of Gal 6;
1Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

2Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
16These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.

17But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;

18How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

19These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

20But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,

21Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

22And of some have compassion, making a difference:

23And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

24Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

Thats what I was trying to get at with the example of counterfeit money mixed with the true.
Mixing the false with the true,does not change the reality of the true, or make the false true.

We do not have to have a knowledge of the hidden things of God,just that which is revealed.
p1] We know God has a called out people who are to assemble locally.

p2] We call those God called people who assemble,the church

p3] Others who assemble with them,guests, visitors, unsaved family members,if not yet called of God can not be rightly said to be the church.

p4] Persons who make a false profession, yet are not "called out" by the Spirit of God are in truth not the church of God.

5] if such persons manifest their reprobate condition,they are put out of the meetings of the church,as never having been actually a living part of it.

6] other such persons will be discovered on the last day in the language of Mt 7:21-24....depart from Me, I never at anytime knew you.

Thats what I mean by what I have posted.
 

Hilasmos

Puritan Board Freshman
Rich,

Thanks and I apologize for inducing you to spend time on this. I will end my contribution with this post, as we have obviously reached the end, please don't waste any more time as apparently we are not connecting.

First of all, you keep changing the premises. I didn't write P3 as above.

Yes, I know. I changed it to paint the picture of how I am viewing the situation differently than yours.

You keep making the error of assuming that if a Sacrament serves to signify and seal something for the CoG that it can do nothing else...

Is God not able to allow a sign to serve one purpose for a specific group and then allow it to serve as a sign more broadly to the community at large?

I never asserted that it cannot serve two purposes. What I have been trying to get to the bottom of is the implications of the two purposes being a "both/and" and not an "either/or," although I have proceeded poorly. I clearly articulated and asked if my interpretation of P2 was correct (that baptism serves as a sign and seal of belonging to the CoG). Then I also ask, in P4, what does it mean for the Church to be marked out?

The only responses I get is that I am confusing analytic with synthetic, and the issues I am dealing with are not addressed.

Anyways, there is no need to respond or proceed from here. But, to try and clarify for anyone that reads the thread in general, a simplification of my point could be based on this:

A.A. Hodge: The sacraments being seals of the covenant of grace -- at once pledges of God's faithfulness to us and of our obligation to him -- they of course (1.) Mark us as the divine property, and bind, us to the performance of our duty; and hence are (2.) Badges of our profession, and, putting a visible difference between those who belong to the Church and the rest of the world...

Just because a sacrament also serves a second purpose of visibly marking out the Church does not mean the former truth of the sacrament sealing their obligation to God is negated. Those under obligation are under covenant. So, is the Church of P4 held to any covenant stipulations. If it is, than it is under the covenant (and, as the argument starts, this is with the elect alone).

P1. U.S birth certificates are a sign indicating subjection to laws/regulations of the U.S.
P2. U.S birth certificates are a sign marking out Americans from the rest of the world.

Apart from some unknown exception, those marked out as Americans are still under the "covenant" of the United States, if P1 is true. Anyways, I am done and I apologize that I just can't get it, I will keep thinking about it on my own.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Just because a sacrament also serves a second purpose of visibly marking out the Church does not mean the former truth of the sacrament sealing their obligation to God is negated. Those under obligation are under covenant. So, is the Church of P4 held to any covenant stipulations. If it is, than it is under the covenant (and, as the argument starts, this is with the elect alone).

First, I apologize for getting exasperated. It was a long day when I replied. I had taught twice that day and was exhausted. In one sense my sin is compounded having taught on sin that very morning and I proved myself to be chief of sinners.

Next, I think our interaction has kind of moved beyond the point of the thread. What's difficult in this scenario is that I'm not working within paedobaptist theology in this case but a theoretical theology of a credobaptist reading of Jer 31 and Heb 8 (P1) and then making an argument for paedobaptism on the basis that the same person who concludes P1 also sees the command in P9.

That said, let's take you mind off of this particular problem for a second and look at what your own confession says as you really need to wrestle with the same question you just asked for your Confession:

P1: 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;3 of remission of sins;4 and of giving up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.5
3 Rom. 6:3-5; Col. 2:12; Gal. 3:27
4 Mark 1:4; Acts 22:16
5 Rom. 6:4

P2. Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance.6
6 Mark 16:16; Acts 8:36,37, 2:41, 8:12, 18:8

Notice the spiritual aspects in P1 that can only be true of the elect and the visible aspect of P2 with which the Church decides to baptize. (Incidentally, if you want to complete your syllogism in the other thread, this is the "regulative principle" that you would need to shore up your argument to make it valid).

Now, do you want to say this in conclusion by connecting the two:

Conclusion: Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, have fellowship with Christ, in his death and resurrection; are engrafted into him, have their sins remitted, and are given up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.

Do you see it?

In other words, in your own Confession, the ordinance serves as a "hinge". On the one hand the ordinance signifies everything in P1 for the party baptized and P2 notes that the ordinance belongs to credible professors.

We both understand, however, that the ordinance can serve a spiritual purpose for the elect (by the power of God) while the sign may be applied and the person baptized may possess none of those realities but he is baptized because, from all outward appearances, the Church makes the best spiritual judgment it can make.

As I noted as well, if we look at the way the Covenant of Circumcision operates in the 1689 LBCF (see especially the Appendix), circumcision serves a dual purpose. On the one hand, it is both a sign and a seal of the faith that Abraham had by faith while still uncircumcised AND it is said to be a national marker to separate out a people through which the Seed would come. It fulfills the "Two Nation" promise that the framers of your Confession envision in it.

Furthermore, if you look at the way the Sacrament operates in my arguments above notice something important:

1. It is a sign AND seal for the elect.
2. It is a sign to the rest of the world.

The benefits of the Sacrament are not sealed in the second aspect but it only serves a signatory function. I don't know if that helps but it is not operating at the same level in the visible marker category as it is for the elect with spiritual things. The connection is made sovereignly by the Holy Spirit to those He knows.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
What I'm wondering is what word to insert into the title of your mixed assembly that you worship with as I'm charitably assuming it is the purest of {insert word here other than churches}. ]

Rich,
When any local assembly,assembles it can be called by the name of the church in that location.
If even in the purest assemblies there is a mixture of true and false professors,that fact does not negate the reality the the church has also assembled in that location.

When your local church assembles, you might have visitors,guests, inquirers also meet with you. If a church vote was to be taken,you might it needful to ask these persons to step out because they are not members.
When your local "assembly" meets, what is the proportion of true to false professors?

How do you know that you're not the only elect person in the entire assembly?

If 51% of the assembly is false professors is it a Synagogue of Satan at that point? A lower percentage?

I think you really need to wrestle with what you're trying to get at. Quoting to me the fruits of a regenerated heart in terms of what is expected out of an assembly that calls itself by Christ's name doesn't solve the dilemma. You can quote every text that talks about what you and everyone else should be in your local assembly but if it is *not* then you have no way of knowing. You might be reasonably sure but if you were really consistent on this point then you really shouldn't have the name "Church" in your tagline regarding your local assembly. You might want to put an asterisk next to the name like:

Church*

*-As near as we can tell but, for all we know, they might all go out from Christ and they were really never of us.
 

Hilasmos

Puritan Board Freshman
P1: 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;3 of remission of sins;4 and of giving up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.5
3 Rom. 6:3-5; Col. 2:12; Gal. 3:27
4 Mark 1:4; Acts 22:16
5 Rom. 6:4

P2. Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance.6
6 Mark 16:16; Acts 8:36,37, 2:41, 8:12, 18:8

Notice the spiritual aspects in P1 that can only be true of the elect and the visible aspect of P2 with which the Church decides to baptize. (Incidentally, if you want to complete your syllogism in the other thread, this is the "regulative principle" that you would need to shore up your argument to make it valid).

Now, do you want to say this in conclusion by connecting the two:

Conclusion: Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, have fellowship with Christ, in his death and resurrection; are engrafted into him, have their sins remitted, and are given up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.

Thanks Rich. I completely understand your point above. And it was through the other credo exercise it was impressed upon me that the NC/elect argument doesn't work (at least from how I can formulate it now).

This is why, in part, after making my syllogism I said I didn't like it. In order to arrive at my conclusion I didn't argue in line with what is stated in the LBCF (meaning, I didn't argue that baptism was a sign of belonging to the NC/union with Christ). I ended up saying baptism was nothing more than an external mode of confession/faith/appeal to God; or, the act of baptism itself is virtually synonymous with a confession of faith. I just used P1 as a point to get the ball rolling, but I could have arrived at the same conclusion with the same steps if the NC included elect and non-elect. Thus, even if my argument is valid, it doesn't prove anything.

Furthermore, if you look at the way the Sacrament operates in my arguments above notice something important:

1. It is a sign AND seal for the elect.
2. It is a sign to the rest of the world.

Thanks again, this helps differentiate our two different modes of thinking. The original premise said it is a "sign AND seal of the CoG." Based on what you put above in (1.) are you saying that your original premise means: "It is a sign AND seal for the elect concerning the CoG?" Which, if that is the case, this is not how I was interpreting it at all, which resulted in my circles of argument.

My interpretation was: "It [to be baptized] is a sign AND seal for the objects of Baptism that they are under covenant" (not that grace is necessarily conferred). I guess I was reading it this way since nothing was established yet in regards to who are the objects of sacraments yet.

So, if we say:

1. It is a sign AND seal for the elect that they are under the CoG.
2. It is a visible sign for professors marking them out from non-professors.

There can be two different objects of baptism to meet the two different purposes of baptism, and, therefore, they don't conflict.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
I would modify 1. and 2. just a bit but you're closing in on it.

Remember, if you see above, the sealing is done by the Holy Spirit for those who are elect. It is a sign of all the benefits of the Covenant for everyone who witnesses it but the graces are only sealed to the elect. They only belong to them. Perhaps I could write it as this:

A sacrament:

1. Signfies the grace of the CoG to everyone who witnesses it and these graces are truly sealed to the elect alone by the Sovereign work of the Holy Spirit. (P3, P5, P6)
2. Marks out the visible Church from the world. (P4)

You can actually see the same idea communicated in the LBCF if you replace the word Sacrament with Ordinance.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Incidentally, at the risk of confusing you, one could point out that a Sacrament is a sign of the Covenant of Grace to the non-elect but not a seal to them. I just want to make that clear. In other words, through a visible act it directs the attention of the receiver to something about the CoG, but that's different than saying that it is both a sign and a seal for all who receive it.

Thus when we say that a Sacrament is a sign and a seal of the CoG, I think you were interpreting to mean that it is a sign and a seal in every case it is adminstered when the sentence merely says that it is a sign and a seal where further propositions demonstrated in what ways (and to whom) it signified things and in what ways (and to whom) it sealed things.
 

Hilasmos

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks for clarifying, I was thinking by witnesses you should be able to include non-elect. Hopefully I am on the same page now that I understand the meaning of the premise, thanks again.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Phew! I'm glad we could finally understand one another. It definitely demonstrates how even seemingly obvious language isn't always so obvious.
 
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