Puritan Board Senior
Ben,They do claim to have the more historical view, but it is common for people in desperate struggle for an untenable position to try to round up dead guys to support them. I just read a book by a dispensationalist who cited several church fathers to support the claim that dispensationalism was the orthodox view of the early church!...good grief, as Charlie Brown would have said.
However, there are more differences between the Vanilla RB position and Westminster CT than just visible church membership--or rather, that one goes deeper than just "who is a member". It has to do with "Who is in covenant with God?" RBs believe that in the New Covenant (the final expression of the CoG), only those who are regenerate are in covenant with God. While covenant inclusion was by physical birth in the OT, it is by spiritual birth in the NT. The Nation of Israel, you see, while being God's chosen people, was an imperfect representation of what God's chosen people would look like later, when physical birth and nationality mattered not at all; when the New Birth, and to be the spiritual progeny of Abraham is what matters.
Of course, even in the OT, it was the circumcision of the heart that mattered; faith was required for regeneration, and saints were indwelt by God's spirit. But in the NT, the types and shadows--even the type of covenant inclusion by physical birth, which did not avail if God did not grant repentance and faith, have been abrogated. The covenantal sign is now given to infants in Christ--those who have just been Born Again, and are adopted into God's family, the Israel of God.
As to mode, I think immersion is best, but whether to dip, sprinkle or douse with a hose is immaterial. If mode could make or break the sign, then we could really get tied up in knots about the Lord's Supper! (which I understand some people do.....but that's for another thread).
A blessed Lord's Day to you.
The diagram I was speaking of earlier is on the below site.
The 1689federlist call your view “modern”
I am sure you rightly disagree. Anyways just wanted you to see (I like diagrams).