Baptism and the 2 questions I have

Discussion in 'Baptism' started by Joseph Scibbe, Sep 27, 2010.

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  1. Joseph Scibbe

    Joseph Scibbe Puritan Board Junior

    Ok, as of last night I am reall riding the fene between credo and paedo baptism. I can see either one being a legitimate option. I get paedo from the passage on the Phillipian jailer and his whole family being baptised and its covenantal roots but also in Romans 6 where it says that we are baptized into Christs death and ressurection so I read from there that we are identifying ourselves with the dead and risen Christ and I dont see how we can baptize babies and identify them with Christ if they are not believers. Does that make any sense? Please help.
  2. John Lanier

    John Lanier Puritan Board Junior

    Considering that I see you hold to the London Baptist Confession and you most likely currently believe in credo baptism, let me recommend this book by Gary Crampton who used to be a paedo baptist but is now credo. He answers the question of the Philippian jailer and other questions as well.

    From Paedobaptism to Credobaptism
    Gary Crampton

    From Paedobaptism to Credobaptism
  3. Herald

    Herald Moderator Staff Member

    Joseph, the first thing I would counsel you to do is s-l-o-w down. Baptism, while not determining your salvation, is an important issue. If you're unsure about your position don't feel compelled to make a decision just so you have a position to hold. I say this no matter which side of the baptism position you finally believe.

    This thread has the potential to get out of hand quickly. Baptism threads are prone to this eventuality. But to address the question in your post, I suggest you add some books to your reading list on the subject. From the credo position I highly endorse Dr. W. Gary Crampton's new book, "From Paedobaptism to Credobaptism." It is an easy read and approaches the subject from a unique perspective that is missing in most other treatments. Another convincing credo resource is Fred Malone's "A String of Pearls Unstrung." As you search the scriptures, and read the suggested resources, keep this point in mind; nowhere in the New Testament do we read of infants being baptized. The passage your cited (Acts 16) never mentions infants. It does mention the jailer's household, but it does so in the context of first believing. Acts 16:31 And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household." Belief is the condition of baptism. Just two verses later we read, Acts 16:33-34 "And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household." So, those who were baptized first believed. No one was baptized who did not believe. Keep that in mind.

    May the Lord bless your consideration of this very important Christian doctrine.
  4. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    Joseph, I have pre-ordered John Fesko's book on baptism (you can read the introduction here), but on a recent thread where the book was discussed, one PBer posted a couple of lectures/sermons by Dr. Fesko that help explain baptism from a perspective that is more broadly Scriptural. Go here and scroll down to comment # 6.
  5. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    Bill, this has been discussed before with regard to the jailer and his family, and this is not quite correct. The participle "having believed" in verse 34 is masculine and singular and says nothing of the family with regard the "believing." The end of the verse literally reads, "and [he] was extremely joyful with his entire household, [he] having believed in God."

    I would also add, as Calvin stated many years ago, we also do not have not one example in the New Testament of a woman partaking of the Lord's Supper. Let's be consistent with the discussion.
  6. Howlin' Wolf

    Howlin' Wolf Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm no scholar, but I have found a comfortable niche between the two forms of baptism. I believe that baptism is the new circumcision and have no problem with parents baptizing their children into the covenant. I also have no problem with waiting until faith is confessed to baptize a person. When I was growing up in a Southern Baptist Church, I prayed the sinner's prayer when I was 12 and was then baptized. My faith did not become real and I did not follow the Lord until I was 21. The church I was attending, along with the International Mission Board, told me that I had to be re-baptized. At the time, it made sense. Now, I do not see the need for that.
  7. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Elect infants are saved by Christ, WCF 10.3.
  8. Herald

    Herald Moderator Staff Member

    Tim, we're not dealing with apples and apples here. There is a distinct categorical difference between who is able to partake of the Lord's Supper and who is a valid recipient of baptism. The Lord's Supper is to be partaken by all those who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and who are capable of self-examination. 1 Cor. 11:18-21 deals with this from the negative as Paul addresses the corporate body of believers (male and female).

    The positive injunction is that all who have examined themselves are to partake.

    The use of ἀηθροπος is 11:28 does not men the male gender only. It's simply a term used to describe mankind.

    The qualifier is different when we discuss baptism. A not-so-obscure paedobaptist, Matthew Henry, wrote about Acts 16:34:

    Using a modern author, Dr. Gary Crampton writes:

    Tim, I wasn't going to defend my statement to Joseph until you inferred I wasn't being consistent in my argument. I'm going to leave it at this so as not to hijack the OP.
  9. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    1 Corinthians 10:2, "And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea." Verse 11, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."
  10. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    Bill, that demonstrates precisely the point I was making about women and the Lord's Supper. You stated, "nowhere in the New Testament do we read of infants being baptized," and I was simply pointing out that nowhere in the NT do you read of women taking the Lord's Supper. Can it be inferred from texts such as the ones you cited? Absolutely. But you are utilizing a hermeneutic principle that allows you to make inference in the case of one ordinance and not in the other. If you do not think that in inconsistent, so be it. We both have attempted to make our point.

    But also understand that this was a very minor comment that I was making in my post. I would not have responded to your comment had you not made the statement about the jailer's family in Acts 16, implying (or so it would seem, since you even went back and highlighted that part of passage!) that the text states the whole household believed, which is grammatically not the case. That was the point I was trying to clarify. I am more interested in what Luke actually says.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  11. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Puritan Board Junior

    Hello Matthew,
    While elect infants are indeed saved by Christ and made partakers of the covenant by Spirit baptism, the Romans 6 passage quoted by unashamed 116 he is speaking on non elect infants. Romans6 cannot be applied to unbelievers. I do not think the language and condition of the persons described by Paul can be applied that way.

    and also here;
    This is speaking of identification with Moses at that time, and the failed example of the many are used as a warning against falsely identifying with the people of God in our time.
  12. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    That the elect only are truly united to Christ is beyond question, but the elect are to be found amongst adults and infants. That there are non elect who are baptised is likewise beyond question, but these non elect are to be found amongst adults and infants; they cannot be confined to infants. The objection to baptising infants on the basis that they are not elect and therefore not united to Christ is unfounded.

    Yes; so we can agree that this text provides a clear scriptural example of infant baptism and of the continued distinction between external and intenral covenanters in the fulness of the ages.
  13. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Well, as usual we will just have to agree to disagree won't we Matthew? We just don't see eye to eye concerning the differences of the Mosaic and the New Covenant. Baptized into Moses is not the same as Baptism into Christ.
  14. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    To the main question (OP),

    There are a couple issues that I see.
    1) if you think that baptism is principally about what the baptized says or does, then you are more likely to question the validity of an infant's baptism. On the other hand, if baptism is principally about what the baptizer says or does, the objection (as it was presented) based on Rom.6 is unfounded.

    Joseph, you have there "...we are identifying ourselves..." This view has the effect of rendering any baptism's validity principally contingent on the correctness of the baptized's will and motive. But, there is nothing (but a prior commitment to an invariable temporal order) that forbids the view that an understanding of union-with-Christ as meaning behind ritual baptism may not follow the application of the sign.

    There is an issue, then, as to the significance of baptism, a theme I've recently addressed on the PB. If baptism portrays a monergistic work of God, then what I have to say about his work is secondary in every case, even to an adult. The union-with-Christ is not effected after my "decision", but the union actually prompts my "decision." So, what I have to say about identifying with Christ's death and resurrection comes after what he says about identifying with me.

    2) The objection that "we" are identifying the infant with Christ is really unfounded, since as men we aren't willing to make so bold that pronouncement. We make a gospel proclamation in baptism, not an "election" proclamation. Furthermore, if the objection were valid, it would militate against the former circumcision (if you agree that it represents the same essential facts as baptism does). That is to say, God made bold to identify infants-in-the-church with Christ in the Old Testament by authorizing the sign, and declaring its rightful recipients. Such is the nature of any and all outward acts of religion.

    Therefore, to state that it cannot be so, is plainly false; if one says that now in this age it shouldn't be so is a bit more defensible, IMO.
  15. Porter

    Porter Puritan Board Freshman


    Yet, unlike paedobaptism, there is support from explicit references (to women in the church), in the immediate context. Also, unlike paedobaptism, the arrival at legitimate distribution of the bread and the wine to women can be deduced by the good and necessary use of good and necessary consequence (that is, it is not arrived at by this interpretive principle - deduction - in the face of contrary witness which is expressly set down - perspicuous and explicit evidence). You cannot compare women and the Lord's Supper with Paedobaptism.
  16. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    I'm not the one who made the original comparison. It was Calvin who originally made the comparison:

    So, obviously one can compare the two, since he does it in 3:16:8 of the Institutes. But the point still remains that we do not have a single explicit reference for women partaking of the Lord's Supper in the NT. Not one.

    However, since my comment was made in response to another PBer (who has since stepped out of the discussion for the very noble reason that he did not want to hijack the thread) and it was only a secondary comment at that and really has nothing to do with the OP, let us leave it at that and not further derail the thread.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  17. CalvinandHodges

    CalvinandHodges Puritan Board Junior

    Hi Joseph:

    You may want to consider the Great Commission which commands us to Baptize disciples. The question then to ask, "Are the children of believers considered disciples?" I believe that the Scriptures teach that the children of believers are disciples. Because of this we should baptize our children.


  18. Phil D.

    Phil D. Puritan Board Sophomore

    Hello, all. This is my first posting on the PB. As I have done quite a bit of studying on the issue of baptism over the last ten years or so (especially on the issue of mode), I thought I’d chime in on this thread – specifically with regard to the baptism of the Philippian jailor’s household. Personally, when its taken in its full context I don’t find it (or the other household accounts) to provide compelling support for infant baptism.

    First of all, we find the hearing of the gospel expressly attributed to all of the subjects involved in the report (v. 32). It is also true that the only description of personal faith actually having been exercised is individually connected to the jailor (v. 34), as the ESV’s literal translation aptly conveys. Without getting too technical, this rendering is due to the fact that the form of the Greek word for believe (pisteuo) is in the singular and masculine form (pepisteukos). Some have then insisted that this fact, combined with the knowledge that his family was indeed baptized, proves that infants (and apparently others) can and should be baptized by the simple virtue of a head-of-household coming to faith.

    However, such a stringent interpretation goes well beyond what is actually stated, exegetically demanded, or even contextually suggested. Even though only the jailor’s faith is specifically mentioned, there is no logical reason to suppose, let alone to insist that therefore he was the only person saved. Both the explicit fact that all those under consideration had indeed heard the gospel, and the overall account of events strongly militate against such a conclusion. Consider what is necessarily implied in thinking that only the jailer was saved: (1) The whole household heard Paul’s salvation message. (2) The jailer believed the gospel, but the rest of the household didn’t. (3) They were all baptized anyway, regardless of whether they were infants, adolescents or, presumably, other adults. (4) And, the entire family was overcome with joy that only the head-of-household had believed and acted upon a message that the rest either weren’t capable of comprehending, or had willfully ignored or rejected.

    It is far more reasonable to think that while the jailer’s personal salvation may indeed have been the object of the household’s joy that is most specifically referenced by Luke, this could have been on account of his instrumental role in the rest of the family having then been introduced to and ultimately accepting the gospel as well. (Or maybe, given the nature of his occupation, the jailor had been a “rough” individual, and the family realized that through his conversion he was a changed person—who knows). Notably, even some very literal translations plainly prefer the “household conversion” perspective, such as the NASB, where verse 34 reads: “And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.” (See also NKJV.)

    With all things considered I tend to agree with Pierre-Charles Marcel concerning this particular vein of evidence: “We state here with all desirable precision that these [household] passages have never served and still do not serve, in good Reformed theology, as a basis or justification of infant baptism.” (The Biblical Doctrine of Infant Baptism, p.196)

    Even if one believes in infant baptism, we have to be careful and consistent in the evidence we present as support for our position. In my estimation, by far the strongest, and perhaps the only substantial scriptural support for the practice is that derived from the continuing-covenant and corresponding circumcision-to-baptism motifs.
  19. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    Phil, thanks for the comments. I would say that I agree that the Philippian jailer passage cannot be used as a "proof text" for infant baptism for the simple fact that infants are not mentioned (if they were, the matter would be largely settled!). The reason the text is often raised is because it presents a problem for the antipaedobaptist in the sense that only the faith of the Philippian jailer is mentioned (as you mentioned, a masculine singular participle is used) but an entire household (or family) is baptized. Luke was perfectly capable of using the plural form of the same participle (e.g., Acts 15:5) and yet did not do so in this passage. Had he done so, that part of the debate would perhaps be settled. But he did not, and it is not sound exegesis to import something into the verse that is clearly not there. We instead need to ask why it is not there and seek to determine the reason why.

    No infants are mentioned in the text; that much is equally plain. Would infants have been considered part of the household? I do not see how that can be denied. It would seem that if infants were present, then they would have likewise been baptized (being part of the household). But they are not specifically mentioned. However, since the majority of the Christian baptisms mentioned in the NT are of the household variety (excusing the instances when families were obviously not present -- Pentecost, the Ethiopian eunuch, Paul, the disciples of John), it would seem unlikely that every such case would have been a household sans infants. Since Scripture would seem to indicate that children are part of the covenant promises of God (e.g., Deuteronomy 30:6; Jeremiah 31:36-37) as well as included in the church (Ephesians 6:1ff) and part of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 19:14, et al), it would seem odd and unexpected to exclude them in this respect. Of course, I am reading that with Presbyterian eyes, but they are also former Baptist eyes as well.

    I say all that, however, to point out that there is one other possibility that I think you may have not considered. In the pagan Roman world, it was customary for the entire household to adopt the religion of the head of the household. So if the head of the household converted, it would not have been usual for others to have done the same (and I would guess even on the spot). This may be the reason that only the faith of the jailer is mentioned, even though the others present obviously would up receiving baptism as well. And note that nothing is said of Paul and Silas correcting this understanding of how this practice worked (I have not looked at this part in depth, but I don't think this would be radically different from conversion to Judaism with the head of a household -- i.e., the entire family would be expected to come along). You do have exceptions to this, of course. For example, if a wife converted while her husband remained a pagan, she was not obliged to follow her husband's practice (this is part of the background for Peter's statements in 1 Peter 3:1ff). This may also be behind Paul's statement about the husband and children in 1 Corinthians 7:14; in some sense the spouse's faith "sanctifies" the other members of family (as opposed to making them unclean, which seems to have been the supposition of the Corinthians). Looking at 1 Corinthians 7, there certainly were situations where a spouse may have refused to convert but yet remained with the believing spouse.
  20. Phil D.

    Phil D. Puritan Board Sophomore

    Rev. Phillips,

    Thanks for your interaction. You do bring up some interesting and valid points.

    Nonetheless I still think that Luke's explicit notation that "all" in the jailer's household heard the gospel has direct and significant bearing on the connected point that this household was subsequently baptized and rejoiced. This is in line with what we also find with respect to other household accounts, when all of the information related to them is considered. (Acts 10:1, 44-48; Acts 18:8; 1 Cor. 1:14-16, 16:15)

    It seems pretty clear to me from all of these instances that only those old enough to comprehend, receive, and experience the transforming effects of the gospel are specifically in mind, i.e. being talked about. In other words, it appears that the defining point of commonality in all these household accounts is indeed personal faith in Jesus Christ. This theme is especially brought out in Acts 18:8, where both Crispus’ collective household and the generic term “many others” are assigned the common denominator of belief, followed by baptism. I would go so far as to say that this is almost certainly Luke’s intended point in all of his household narratives—that is, to the glory of God, entire families were converted to the saving gospel of Jesus Christ, upon which their baptism naturally followed.

    If it had been Luke's intent to convey the idea that even unbelieving members (of any sort) in these families were included in baptism, then he could very easily and directly have made that point (cf. Acts 8:12). This seems especially germane in that, as most scholars deduce, Luke's initial target readership would largely have been Gentiles, and thus they wouldn't necessarily have been as familiar with the inclusion of children under the covenantal ordering of things as the Jewish people were.

    It is also interesting to consider the historical usage of these household accounts. While most modern presentations supporting infant baptism prominently employ them as a confirmation of their practice, as I researched the subject I found that more often than not earlier paedobaptist writings don’t assert them as evidence. Very notable in this regard is that no pre-modern Protestant confession or catechism mentions any of the household passages, either as part of their main comments on infant baptism, or in the Scripture proofs they offered as supporting that practice. While I certainly wouldn’t claim to know all the reasons behind such an omission, two possibilities must surely be considered here: (1) Perhaps these early writers simply, yet somewhat remarkably (considering the intense disputations they had with the Anabaptists of their day) missed the possibility that these cases would have been good biblical examples with which to support their position, or, (2) perhaps they indeed concluded that considerable difficulties are created if infants are presumed to be involved in all the cognitive themes, circumstances, and actions that these household passages revolve around.

    Of course all this is just my humble and honest opinion.

    Best regards,

    Phil D.
  21. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    Phil, thanks again for the comments. First, this still does not explain why only the faith of Philippian jailer is mentioned. That is a grammatical construction of the text that must be dealt with. To say that it must mean "all believed" is special pleading and question begging. That is not to say that Luke (and the Holy Spirit!) did not have a good reason for writing as he did; I just think reading a modern notion of individualism into the text is not the way to go.

    You mention that Gentiles "wouldn't necessarily have been as familiar with the inclusion of children under the covenantal ordering of things as the Jewish people were." Perhaps not in the same way, but community and corporate principles would not have been that much different, would they? I've already mentioned the expectation of household conversions within pagan religions (attested in ancient sources); do you not think that would play into the Gentile mindset? You mentioned Marcel's book in your previous post; if you have the same edition I do, then you have read the story about the missionary who comments on how completely different the understanding of those cultures would have been different from our modern western notions. I really think we read too much of that into these accounts.

    I am somewhat confused by your later paragraph as I am not certain of the precise time frame to which you refer. You are correct, for example, in that the Westminster Confession does not make use of the passages (and not only is that a good point, but it is likely because infants are not specifically mentioned in the text) as proof texts, but in the quote from Calvin I posted above, he clearly does make reference to these accounts. Perhaps I am not understanding your exact reference, though.
  22. Phil D.

    Phil D. Puritan Board Sophomore

    Rev. Phillips,

    In my first post I actually did posit a couple of possible reasons why the jailer's faith might be specifically referenced. Evidently the translation teams involved in versions like the NASB and NKJV also had their reasons for rendering it as they did. I also stated several contextual reasons why I think it is reading more into the account than is actually there (and thus intended) when the assumption is made that infants must be in view. My point regarding the relative lack of pre-modern (pre-18th century) usage of these accounts is that if they were in such fact strong evidence on which to build the case for infant baptism, then why wasn't this done more often than it was? And as I said, I find the lack of their use in consensus documents like our confessions and catechisms to be especially notable.

    I guess we've both stated our reasons for thinking that these passages either do or don't provide solid evidence for infant baptism. With neither one of us having apparently convinced the other, I am content to leave it at that.

    Best regards,

    Phil D.
  23. Leslie Koster

    Leslie Koster Puritan Board Freshman

    Wow now I understand why my husband likes this board so much..I appreciate the comments on this thread and that it has not go to the negative.
  24. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    Phil, I do appreciate your insights, and thank you for bringing up the info about the confessions. That was really a very interesting point.

    Yes, you did come up with some possibilities in your earlier post; I was simply pointing out there may have been another possibility (the expected adoption of the religion of the head of the household in the Greco-Roman world).

    I think at this point two conclusions would need to be conceded on the passage from Acts 16: 1) only the faith of the jailer is mentioned, which would mean that insisting upon only adult believers, each of whom demonstrated faith, is an assumption that is not rooted in the text; 2) infants are not mentioned in the text either, which would make insisting on this particular passage as proof of infant baptism to also be conjecture. There may have been all adults (or near-adults) in the household, or there might have been infants, but there is not enough evidence either way to be definitive with a conclusion. And it is at this point that both sides begin reading their presuppositions into the text.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  25. Calvibaptist

    Calvibaptist Dallas Cowboys' #1 Fan

    I find it odd that the same group of people who argue for the RPW in almost all aspects of Congregational life argue against the RPW when it comes to Baptism. Paedobaptists can't point to one positive command to baptize infants (who, by definition are unbelievers) but rely on supposed principle that Baptism = New Covenant circumcision and also rely on conjecture that there were probably infants in the household baptism texts.
  26. steadfast7

    steadfast7 Puritan Board Junior

    one cent: looking at the practice of the earliest churches is key for me. There is no evidence of infant baptism prior to the 3rd century. The catechesis for new converts was rigorous, suggesting adult only baptism. Stander and Louw, both paedobaptists, mind you, wrote a book arguing that infant baptism was NOT the practice of the ancient church (why they are still paedos, I'm not sure).

    two cents: the RPW demands that explicit command be given in scripture for the worship of God. It's always struck me as strange that infant baptism slides through unnoticed.


    ---------- Post added at 08:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:50 PM ----------

    Correction, 3rd century is perhaps a little late. I think Tertullian mentions it. apologies.
  27. steadfast7

    steadfast7 Puritan Board Junior

    Rev. Phillips, if I might get in on your intesting discussion here, you're making the point (rightly) that the text cites only the jailer's faith, leading to the subsequent baptism of his entire household (regardless of faith). If this is the case, let me ask: is this something that would ever be sanctioned in a presbyterian church? - ie. baptising the entire family based on the faith of the male head? this action is not only problematic for the credo, but also for the paedo as well, wouldn't you say?

    In fact, this scene is not so far removed from our experience. I've actually seen this before, having come from a Korean presbyterian background, parents converting later in life and forcing their 30-something year old son to join the new faith and get baptised together as a family - no evidence of any conversion or commitment yet to be seen on the part of the son ...

    Was this a legitimate baptism, rightly administered, according to the Standards? Would you have performed this baptism in good conscience, considering how close this parallels the jailer and his family?

    What I'm trying to get at here is WCF 28.4 speaks of professing believers and their infants. What about the pagan teenager or 40 year old idol-worshipping half-brother who are willing to be baptised as a show of family solidarity but isn't about to trust Christ any time soon? Are they to be included in the covenant?

    earnestly looking forward to your thoughts, cheers.
  28. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    In Suk, you ask a good question, but two things: 1) this question has been discussed before (for example, here); 2) this (along with the discussion of the RPW) seems to go beyond the OP (other than it involving the Philippian jailer). My advice would be to read the previous thread, and if that does not answer the question, start another thread dealing specifically with that issue.

    Calvibaptist, I find it even more odd that someone who chooses "Calvin" as part of his username who be so "un-Calvinistic" in his view of baptism. But that's just me. At any rate: 1) you seem to have a misunderstanding of the RPW, and I would advise to go back and review the statements in both the WCF and the LBC and see how even 17th century Particular Baptists understood the different enough to state the matter in a different way (e.g., 1:6 -- "by good and necessary consequence may be deduced" v. "necessarily contained"); 2) the thread is not intended to venture into a debate on baptism itself; the OP mentioned two specific passages of Scripture, and the discussion needs to be confined to that area; 3) please fix your signature (it is entirely missing); instructions for doing so may be found in my signature below. :judge:

    Let me also add one other thing: Raising questions about infant baptism is valid enough, in the proper context. However, also understand that many of the concerns raised have been raised many times before. A search of the various baptism threads will see many of these things have already been discussed. Also, they have been discussed throughout church history. For instance, I referenced Calvin above, and he deals with many of the exact same suggestions in the Institutes of the Christian Religion. Another excellent source is the chapter on objections in Samuel Miller's Infant Baptism: Scriptural and Reasonable (available online here).
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010
  29. Phil D.

    Phil D. Puritan Board Sophomore


    The first undisputed reference to infant baptism in the patristic authors (in the negative, just to be factual) was indeed in Tertullian's work, On Baptism, which scholars generally date to about 202-206 AD (3rd Century).

    Best Regards,

    Phil D.
  30. CalvinandHodges

    CalvinandHodges Puritan Board Junior


    Phil D: Tertullian actually believed that water baptism cleanses away sins. Therefore, he argued that you should be baptized later in life - almost before you die - so that you do not sin against your baptism.

    As far as the jailor goes: I, also, do not believe that the household baptisms in Acts are direct evidence of Infant Baptism. What they illustrate is that the Federal headship that was in place in the Old Testament is now relevant to the Gentiles as well. If Covenant Theology was now an individualistic "free for all" that the Credo-Baptists claim, then the emphasis in these household baptisms would have been on the individual. What we see, however, is the pattern of the head of the household coming to salvation and being baptized, and then the rest of the household being baptized. The question then is: Would the rest of the household have been saved/baptized if the head of the household was not? The pattern in the Book of Acts is following the pattern given in Genesis 17: Abraham believed God, chapter 15, and then he and his household were given the sign of the Covenant, chapter 17. Now that the New Covenant is given to both Jews and Gentiles alike - the demonstration of the application of Federal headship was given to the Jews through these household baptisms, Acts 11:15-18. These household baptisms, therefore, are indirect evidence of Infant Baptism, and they explain Paul's statement in 1 Co 7:14 rather well. Consequently, the Covenant headship given to the Jews in the Old Testament is now given to both Jews and Gentiles in the New Testament. This headship extends to the whole household, and would include infants if there are any in such a household.


    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010
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