baptism, new covenant, and the unregenerate

Status
Not open for further replies.

ajdesau

Puritan Board Freshman
i have recently been rehashing my position on credo-baptism and my understanding of it within a covenantal framework (which i do). and i suppose my primary objection to the paedo-baptist position was that the "israel of god" or the people of God, from all eternity, are meant to be spiritually authenticate. furthermore, it then seemed to me that the new covenant, inaugurated and realized in Christ and his blood, consummated that reality. however, as has been brought to my attention, the new covenant realities (i.e. jeremiah 31:31-36) may be more eschatological in nature (i.e. the fulfillment of the new covenant is at the second coming of Christ, and thus it is possible for there to be unregenerate people in this new covenant period, who will be weeded out completely at the end of the age).

not only this but there has been scriptural support for the reality of unregenerate existing in this dispensation (i.e. hebrews 10:26-30, john 15:1-7, hebrews 6:4-6), thus indicating the meaning of jeremiah 31 is eschatological in its fulfillment and not at Christ's first coming. furthermore, the new covenant, as spoken of in jeremiah 31, is specifically relating to the mosaic covenant, and not the abrahamic covenant, which still then stands.

now, i'm still not sure about what i think about this, but i am having a tough time seeing how, if all this is true, infants are not then included. for if they are included in the old covenant and if the new covenant does not discount them, but rather speaks in eschatological terms (when it talks about the law written on the heart in jeremiah 31), why not baptize them?

in short, texts such as hebrews 10:26-30, hebrews 6:4-6, john 15:1-7, seem to demonstrate that there are those in the new covenant that are unregenerate, and that jeremiah's exposition of the new covenant is eschatological. therefore, why not baptize unregenerate infants in adherence with old covenant practices that are not abolished in the new?

i hope this question makes sense :um:
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Aaron,

Welcome to the PB. First thing - please establish your signature per the these instructions: The PuritanBoard - Signature/Profile Reqts

why not baptize unregenerate infants in adherence with old covenant practices that are not abolished in the new?
You seem to have the paedo reasoning down pat. If you are convinced about all the things you have said earlier in your post, then you should follow your convictions. I'm an unusual type of Baptist in that I don't spend much time trying to talk people out of their paedo convictions. I would rather scripture and plain reason affect that change.

Before I get too far into this post, I want to recommend some good resources for you to consider. They will present a more scholarly response to your question.

Covenant Children Today by Alan Conner

A Reformed Baptist Manifesto by Sam Waldron

The Baptism of Disciples Alone by Fred Malone

There is also an online booklet by Fred Malone titled, "String of Pearls Unstrung." It is suggested reading.

Aaron, I am writing from a Reformed Baptist perspective. This is an important distinction from most mainline Baptists. RB's approach scripture from a covenantal understanding, albeit different in some aspects than our Presbyterian brethren. When I refer to "what RB's believe" I am using that phraseology to separate what we believe from the majority of Baptists.

RB's concur that there is an eschatological component to the New Covenant. The NC is perfected in the eternal state by the mere fact that all prophecy has come to fruition and Christ's rule is without opposition. The enemies of our God and Christ have been judged. It certainly is the blessed hope that all God's children look forward to. However, the fact that the New Covenant is perfected in the eternal state does not change it's present composition. Impostors (false brethren) are counted within the ranks of the visible church; but the visible church does not necessarily constitute all those who are part of the NC. Impostors may claim to be part of the NC, and even be self-deceived into thinking they actually are. They may talk the talk, and even appear to us as being brothers or sisters in Christ. But just because someone is a professor doesn't mean they are a possessor.

The NC is made up of all those who have received Christ by faith. The NC was ratified by the shedding of blood -- Christ's blood. Without the blood applied, through faith, there is no covenant between God and man. RB's believe that receiving the sign (baptism), in the absence of faith, is an illegitimate application of the sign, because the sign is reserved for those who believe. The fact that certain persons may "creep in unnoticed" (Jude 4) does not change the substance of the NC and who it is made with.

I just concluded a rather lengthy participation in a thread on this topic, so please don't be offended if I don't hang in here with you for more than a few posts. I recommend you read the resources I provided. You can start with String of Pearls Unstrung immediately since it is available online.

Blessings.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
CORRECTION:

This statement:

The NC is made up of all those who have received Christ by faith.
should read:

The NC is made up only of those who have received Christ by faith.

It's not that my first statement was wrong, but in conversations such as this precision is necessary.
 

ajdesau

Puritan Board Freshman
thank you. yes i have previously read those things. and i'm not exactly, as you said, convicted of the paedo-baptist position. i am still fairly confident in maintaining my reformed/covenantal baptist position. however, when coming across this in link from monergism, i was interested in what others thought. the author of the monergism article seemed so swayed by this information that he later posted a retraction on monergism of his previously held baptistic view to a paedo-baptist view. so i wondered why it was such a heavy argument for him. and furthermore, i wished to know what fellow baptists thought of the issue. so i am simply seeking some thoughtful considerations of this information. so...thanks again.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
thank you. yes i have previously read those things. and i'm not exactly, as you said, convicted of the paedo-baptist position. i am still fairly confident in maintaining my reformed/covenantal baptist position. however, when coming across this in link from monergism, i was interested in what others thought. the author of the monergism article seemed so swayed by this information that he later posted a retraction on monergism of his previously held baptistic view to a paedo-baptist view. so i wondered why it was such a heavy argument for him. and furthermore, i wished to know what fellow baptists thought of the issue. so i am simply seeking some thoughtful considerations of this information. so...thanks again.

I hope the resources I linked will help you in that regard. And please, fix your signature -- The PuritanBoard - Signature/Profile Reqts

Thanks.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top