Calvin and Baptismal Regeneration

Discussion in 'Church History' started by Grillsy, Oct 19, 2009.

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  1. Grillsy

    Grillsy Puritan Board Junior

    Some members of my church recently attended a seminar at a local Baptist church dealing with John Calvin.

    There, much to the shock and dismay of my fellow Presbyterian churchmen, they claimed that Calvin believed in Baptismal regeneration.

    It is true that some of his statements do seem to lean toward a type of baptismal remission of sins.

    What do you think, did John Calvin teach baptismal regeneration?
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2009
  2. eqdj

    eqdj Puritan Board Freshman

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2009
  3. Grillsy

    Grillsy Puritan Board Junior

  4. eqdj

    eqdj Puritan Board Freshman

    This is from the second paragraph
    and this is from the fourth paragraph
  5. Grillsy

    Grillsy Puritan Board Junior

    Exactly. I think that the professor making the presentation may have been thinking of certain statements from Calvin's treatises on the Sacraments. But Institutes seem to really make it clear what Calvin's views are.
  6. eqdj

    eqdj Puritan Board Freshman

    I apologise for their error
    please don't hold it against all of us
  7. eqdj

    eqdj Puritan Board Freshman

    I noticed the "John Calvin Exposed" used Rich Lusk as it's source. That's too bad. Unfortunately there are some [-]Reformed[/-] Calvinistic Baptists who think the Federal Vision is just a logical (non-heretical) form of Covenant Theology.

    There's also one who thinks no self-respecting Calvinist is Amil.

    I sincerely wish more of these new Reformed, New [-]Calvinists[/-] Amyralidans would subscribe to the White Horse Inn podcast and pick up some Church History
  8. Grillsy

    Grillsy Puritan Board Junior

    Oh and don't think that since those links are to a Jack Hyleish Independent Baptist church goer's website that I am in any way associating them with Reformed Baptist :D
  9. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Baptismal regeneration usually means that baptism always regenerates those who receive it, but that said regeneration may be lost later. Calvin's view was that baptism has no effect on any but the elect, and that only by faith in the promise of God, not by some kind of magic. Some call his view "baptismal efficacy" rather than "baptismal regeneration".

    This is one of the better articles I've read on the subject:

    Stafford Carson : Presbyterian Pastor Calvin on Baptism
  10. Poimen

    Poimen Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    “The schools of the Sophists have taught with remarkable agreement that the sacraments of the new law (those now used in the Christian church) justify and confer grace, provided we do not set up a barrier of mortal sin. How deadly and pestilential this notion is cannot be expressed — and the more so because for many centuries it has been a current claim in a good part of the world, to the great loss of the church. Of a certainty it is diabolical. For in promising a righteousness apart from faith, it hurls souls headlong to destruction... Hence, any man is deceived who thinks anything more is conferred upon him through the sacraments than what is offered by God’s Word and received by him in true faith. From this something else follows: assurance of salvation does not depend upon participation in the sacrament, as if justification consisted in it. For we know that justification is lodged in Christ alone, and that it is communicated to us no less by the preaching of the gospel than by the seal of the sacrament, and without the latter can stand unimpaired.”
    -John Calvin, Institutes Book IV Chapter 14

    Besides, we carefully teach that God does not exert his power indiscriminately in all who receive the sacraments, but only in the elect. For as he enlightens unto faith none but those whom he hath foreordained to life, so by the secret agency of his Spirit he makes the elect receive what the sacraments offer.
    By this doctrine is overthrown that fiction of the sophists which teaches that the sacraments confer grace on all who do not interpose the obstacle of mortal sin. For besides that in the sacraments nothing is received except by faith, we must also hold that the grace of God is by no means so annexed to them that whoso receives the sign also gains possession of the thing. For the signs are administered alike to reprobate and elect, but the reality reaches the latter only.
    It is true indeed that Christ with his gifts is offered to all in common, and that the unbelief of man not overthrowing the truth of God, the sacraments always retain their efficacy; but all are not capable of receiving Christ and his gifts. Wherefore nothing is changed on the part of God, but in regard to man each receives according to the measure of his faith.
    -John Calvin, Mutual Consent in Regard to the Sacraments
  11. eqdj

    eqdj Puritan Board Freshman

    Calvin on The Sacraments is great.
    I wish more American Covenantal Baptists would read that chapter (unlike their British counterparts, they seem to be afraid of the term)
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