Credobaptism and Paedobaptism: Difficult Questions to Answer.

RobertPGH1981

Puritan Board Sophomore
Hello All,

A group of friends from both Presbyterian and Baptist circles are looking for an organized discussion around Paedo and Credo baptism. I thought it would be great to have a list of targeted questions to ask from both sides to answer. Some may be more difficult than others to answer. The questions would be used to drive definition and discussion. What questions would you ask to stump the opposition or create clarity in this type of forum. Here are a few ideas that I created off the top of my head:

1. Define the meaning of Baptism
2. How do you view the relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament
3. Who is included in the New Covenant?
4. What is the relationship between Circumcision and Baptism?
5. How would you interpret 1 Cor 7:14?
6. How would you interpret 1 Cor 10:1-4?

Thanks,

Rob
 
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Ethan

Puritan Board Freshman
Would you sing Jesus loves me with your children and if so is it consistent with your views on baptism?
I've never tried to ask the question in an unbiased manner quite like this so its not the best but I do think it's something worth considering.
 

Matthew1344

Puritan Board Freshman
1) Is baptism the sign for the local visible church?

2) Is (insert church name here) a local visible church?

3) Do you believe your children are part of (insert church body here)? [If "yes", move to question 4. If "no", ask why?

4) If they are part of (insert church name here), then should they be baptized? If "no", ask why. And be prepared for the gymnastics.
 

SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
Q: "How is the New Covenant better than the Old?" (Hebrews 8:6).

If they answer, "it is enacted on better promises", then ask, "what are those promises and how are they different and better than the promises of the Old Covenant"?
 

CovenantWord

Puritan Board Freshman
I have garnered the impression over the years that the fundamental difference between Baptists and Presbyterians is not so much the administration of baptism, but rather the understanding of the import of public worship, namely, a voluntary gathering of like-minded believers to worship God versus God's sovereign calling together of His people to worship Him. Each view of baptism is simply a logical conclusion therefrom. Perhaps, then, a revealing discussion could be stimulated by a question such as: How does your view of baptism reflect your view of the nature of public worship (or of the character of the Church)?
 

Phil D.

Puritan Board Junior
In my experience these kinds of exercises are rarely profitable, and sometimes unnecessarily hurtful. Too often they tend toward or devolve into a mere reiteration of simplistic talking points - which have already been responded to ad nauseam - and trying to come up with clever gotcha moments. Both Reformed paedos and credos plausibly base their positions on sound scriptural information. The differences are real and consequential, yet one should be very contemplative and conscientiously respectful in the way they are addressed.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
In my experience these kinds of exercises are rarely profitable, and sometimes unnecessarily hurtful. Too often they tend toward or devolve into a mere reiteration of simplistic talking points - which have already been responded to ad nauseam - and trying to come up with clever gotcha moments. Both Reformed paedos and credos plausibly base their positions on sound scriptural information. The differences are real and consequential, yet one should be very contemplative and conscientiously respectful in the way they are addressed.

Well said.

I posted in here not meaning to be taken too seriously. Probably not wise.

Good discussion means understanding and comprehending both sides competently. It’s at least respectful to those whom you disagree with, rather than immediately firing witty one-liners or trap questions. Those end up making one more defensive, and telling the other party you haven’t thought much or long about their position.
 

RobertPGH1981

Puritan Board Sophomore
Good discussion means understanding and comprehending both sides competently.

That really is the goal. The guys I am doing the study with are gracious and are only looking to understand the opposing sides view. After I spent some time trying to understand both views to me it comes down to the rules of interpretation. I am wrestling with both views at the moment and I newly started attending an RPCNA church near my house. Its something I genuinely want to understand better and need people from both sides to share in on their perspectives. many other men in my group are wresting with the same topics. So it won't turn into a Rhetorical battle of wits.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
After I spent some time trying to understand both views to me it comes down to the rules of interpretation.
That is, indeed, the case. The argument is not fundamentally that we are agreed on 90% of things, and one side or the other is simply "inconsistent" on the last ten percent. Wrong. That's a mistaken impression of the comparative situation. The historic moment that produced the LBC1689 notwithstanding, it is simply false to see it as a perfection or finishing of what the Reformation produced in the WCF.

The truth is: we find our way to some common "high ground" by different routes. We each arrive, and stake out our survey of the heights; but our respective starting points and landing zones have an impact on our results. We end up with overlap, (for which we can be thankful) and not simply following one another as we attend our perimeters and admire the views. "How did we get here?" is an integral part of what it is we've achieved.

I won't make a similar claim for the Baptist; I'll let one of them state their view. But for this Presbyterian, I believe the determination of proper subjects of baptism (adult, with or without his offspring) is properly a theological conclusion. The opposite idea would be, that one decides what should be done (for example based on observations of history or on examples/events in the Bible), and then supplies reasons and justification, even if drawn from acceptable authority. A theology of baptism in the Presbyterian context, systematically and biblically derived, produces the conclusion that certain adults and children should be baptized. Scripture-history is then compared for examples (which we think validates our expectation).
 

TheInquirer

Puritan Board Freshman
In my opinion, everything flows from what you believe is the nature and participants of the New Covenant.

Problem is most are very weak on covenant theology so you can get sidetracked on all kinds of issues without really understanding the core issue itself.

Added: agree with what Bruce said
 

Stephen L Smith

Moderator
Staff member
Problem is most are very weak on covenant theology so you can get sidetracked on all kinds of issues without really understanding the core issue itself.
This is an important point. My observation is that a number of Particular Baptists are quick to defend Believer's Baptism without first looking at ch 7 of the 1689 Baptist Confession.
Added: agree with what Bruce said
Agreed? So you are now paedobaptist? ;)
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
I found it interesting that nobody thought this question should be posed:

1. What is a disciple?

After all, it is disciples that we are commanded by Christ to baptize.

One needs to define thoroughly what a disciple is. While I agree there are differing understandings of Covenant Theology the Reformed Baptist assumes some things about the nature of what a disciple is.

For instance, there is nothing inherently different in the conviction that the CoG is made with Christ and, in Him, all the elect.

Thus, what a disciple is underlies the major differences. Presbyterians think the children of believers are disciples. Why do they think this and why do Baptists think they are not?
 

TheInquirer

Puritan Board Freshman
One needs to define thoroughly what a disciple is. While I agree there are differing understandings of Covenant Theology the Reformed Baptist assumes some things about the nature of what a disciple is.

I think the RB understanding of what a disciple is is intrinsically related to what we think the New Covenant is and who is in it. I would answer your question by saying that disciple = professing believer = those confessing to be a part of the New Covenant in Christ through their faith.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
I think the RB understanding of what a disciple is is intrinsically related to what we think the New Covenant is and who is in it. I would answer your question by saying that disciple = professing believer = those confessing to be a part of the New Covenant in Christ through their faith.
This leads then to follow-up questions on whether a person is actually a disciple when you baptize them based on profession and, if false profession was made, were they ever a disciple. That's the point of why I ask the question.
 

SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
Well, the dictionary (Merriam Webster anyway) says that a "disciple" is a "convinced adherent of a school or individual".


Looks like Reformed Baptists get THAT one right. :)
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Well, the dictionary (Merriam Webster anyway) says that a "disciple" is a "convinced adherent of a school or individual".


Looks like Reformed Baptists get THAT one right. :)
I'm more interested in what it means to μαθητεύω or to be a μαθητής.

Not all who followed Jesus (and were denoted as μαθητής) were convinced nor were they adherents. Some of them left Him.


μαθητεύω (s. μαθητής) 1 aor. ἐμαθήτευσα, pass. ἐμαθητεύθην.
① to be a pupil, with implication of being an adherent of the teacher
ⓐ intr., be or become a pupil or disciple (Plut., Mor. 832b; 837c; Ps.-Callisth. 2, 4, 4 τινί; Iambl., Vi. Pyth. 23, 104 μ. τῷ Πυθαγόρᾳ; schol. on Apollon. Rhod. Proleg. A a) τινί (Orig., C. Cels. 2, 9, 60) of someone (Ἰωσὴφ) ἐμαθήτευσεν τῷ Ἰησοῦ Joseph had become a disciple of Jesus Mt 27:57 v.l. Likew. as
ⓑ pass. dep. (Just., A I, 15, 6; Hippol., Ref. 1, 2, 16) μαθητεύομαι become a disciple τινί: (Ἰ.) ἐμαθητεύθη τῷ Ἰησοῦ Mt 27:57. γραμματεὺς μαθητευθεὶς τῇ βασιλείᾳ τ. οὐρανῶν a scribe who has become a disciple of the kgdm. of heaven or who has been trained for the kgdm. Mt 13:52 (γραμματεύς 2b). Abs. IEph 3:1. μᾶλλον μαθητεύομαι I am becoming a disciple more and more IRo 5:1. This gave rise to a new active form (B-D-F §148, 3; Rob. 800)
② to cause one to be a pupil, teach, trans. (AscIs 3:18 καὶ μαθητεύσουσιν πάντα τὰ ἔθνη καὶ πᾶσαν γλῶσσαν εἰς τὴν ἀν[ά]στασιν τοῦ ἀγαπ[η]τοῦ; Just., D. 53, 1 Χριστὸς … ἐμαθήτευσεν αὐτούς) make a disciple of, teach τινά someone Mt 28:19. ἱκανούς make a number of disciples Ac 14:21. Abs. ἃ μαθητεύοντες ἐντέλλεσθε what you command when you are instructing or winning disciples IRo 3:1.—ὑμῖν μαθητευθῆναι become your disciples, be instructed by you IEph 10:1 (cp. pres. subst. ptc. οἱ μαθητευόμενοι = οἱ μαθηταί Did., Gen. 69, 24; 245, 17; aor. ptc. αἱ δὲ τοῦ θεοῦ Χριστῷ μαθητευθεῖσαι ἐκκλησίαι Orig., C. Cels. 3, 29, 24; Πολύκαρπος … ὑπὸ ἀποστόλων μαθητευθείς Iren. 3, 3, 4 [Harv. II 12, 4]).—DELG s.v. μανθάνω. M-M. EDNT. TW. Sv.


μαθητής, οῦ, ὁ (s. μανθάνω; Hdt.+; ins; BGU 1125, 9 [I B.C.]; POxy 1029, 25. In LXX only in two places in Jer [13:21; 20:11], and then as v.l. of codex A; AscIs 3:17, 21; Philo, Joseph., apolog. exc. Ar.) gener. ‘learner, pupil, disciple’
① one who engages in learning through instruction from another, pupil, apprentice (in contrast to the teacher [Ath. 17, 3 μ. Δαιδάλου]; Did., Gen. 66, 25) Mt 10:24f; Lk 6:40 (TManson, The Teaching of Jesus, ’55, 237–40).
② one who is rather constantly associated with someone who has a pedagogical reputation or a particular set of views, disciple, adherent (Pla., Apol. 33a; X., Mem. 1, 6, 3; Dio Chrys. 11 [12], 5; Lucian, M. Peregr. 28 al.; Diog. L. 7, 7, 179; 8, 1, 3; 10, 11, 22; Iambl., Vi. Pyth. 35, 254 οἱ μ.; SIG 1094, 5f αὐτὸς καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ; Jos., Ant. 9, 68; 13, 289), oft. w. an indication of the pers. whose disciple one is, mostly in the gen. (Jos., C. Ap. 1, 176 Ἀριστοτέλους μ., Ant. 9, 33; 15, 3; Just., A I, 26, 4 τοῦ Σίμωνος; Tat. 39, 3 Ὀρφέως; Iren. 1, prologue 2 [Harv. I 4, 7] Οὐαλεντίνου; Theosophien 66 Φορφυρίου μ.).
ⓐ μ. Ἰωάννου Mt 9:14a; 11:2; 14:12; Mk 2:18ab; 6:29; Lk 5:33; 7:18f; 11:1; J 1:35, 37; 3:25. τ. Μωϋσέως 9:28b τῶν Φαρισαίων Mt 22:16; Mk 2:18c τοῦ Πολυκάρπου MPol 22:2; EpilMosq 1.
ⓑ esp. of the disciples of Jesus (of Paul: Orig., C. Cels. 1, 48, 70)
α. of the Twelve οἱ δώδεκα μ. αὐτοῦ his twelve disciples Mt 10:1; 11:1; οἱ ἕνδεκα μ. 28:16. οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ (or w. another gen. of similar mng.; cp. Just., A I, 67, 7 τοῖς ἀποστόλοις αὐτοῦ καὶ μαθηταῖς; Just., D. 53, 1 al.; Did., Gen. 38, 21; Orig., C. Cels. 2, 2, 10.—Yet it is somet. doubtful whether a particular pass. really means the Twelve and not a larger [s. β below] or smaller circle; EMartinez, CBQ 23, ’61, 281–92 [restricted to the 12, even in Mt 18]) Mt 8:21; 12:1; 15:2; Mk 5:31; 6:1, 35, 45; 8:27; Lk 8:9; J 2:2; 3:22 and oft. Also without a gen. (but freq. vv.ll. + αὐτοῦ) οἱ μ. Mt 13:10; 14:19; 16:5; Mk 8:1; 9:14; 10:24; Lk 9:16; J 4:31; 11:7f and oft.—LBrun, D. Berufung der ersten Jünger Jesu: SymbOsl 11, ’32, 35–54; SvanTilborg, The Jewish Leaders in Mt, ’72, 99–141; ULuz, Die Jünger im Mt, ZNW 62, ’71, 141–47; on the ‘beloved disciple’ of J 13:23 al. s. FFilson, JBL 68, ’49, 83–88; ETitus, ibid. ’50, 323–28; FNeirynck, The Anonymous Disciple in John 1: ETL 66, ’90, 5–37.
β. of Jesus’ disciples, male and female, gener. ὄχλος πολὺς μ. αὐτοῦ a large crowd of his adherents Lk 6:17; ἅπαν τὸ πλῆθος τῶν μ. the whole crowd of the disciples 19:37. οἱ μ. αὐτοῦ ἱκανοί a large number of his disciples 7:11 v.l. πολλοὶ ἐκ (v.l. om.) τῶν μ. αὐτοῦ J 6:66.—Papias (2:4).
γ. Even after Jesus’ resurrection those who followed him were called μ. (generations later, as Socrates is called the μ. of Homer: Dio Chrys. 38 [55], 3ff) οἱ μ. τοῦ κυρίου Ac 9:1; μ. Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ IMg 9:2 (opp. ὁ μόνος διδάσκαλος, who also had the prophets as his μαθηταί vs. 3; 10:1). Ac uses μ. almost exclusively to denote the members of the new community of believers (Just., D. 35, 2; s. Rtzst., Erlösungsmyst. 127f), so that it almost=Christian (cp. 11:26) 6:1f, 7; 9:19; 11:26, 29; 13:52; 15:10 al. τῶν μαθητῶν (without τινές) some Christians 21:16 (cp. X., Cyr. 1, 4, 20, An. 3, 5, 16; Herodas 2, 36 τῶν πορνέων; Polyaenus 5, 17, 2 καὶ ἦσαν τῶν Μακεδόνων).—καλοὶ μαθηταί IPol 2:1. Individuals (Aberciusins. 3: Ἀ., ὁ μ. ποιμένος ἁγνοῦ): Ananias Ac 9:10; Mnason 21:16b; Timothy 16:1.
δ. The martyrs (s. on μάρτυς 3) are specif. called μ. κυρίου MPol 17:3. Also absol. μ. IEph 1:2; ITr 5:2; IRo 5:3; IPol 7:1. As long as a Christian’s blood has not been shed, the person is only a beginner in discipleship (IRo 5:3), not a μαθητὴς ἀληθῶς Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ IRo 4:2.—For lit. s. on ἀπόστολος and s. also JWach, Meister and Jünger 1925; ESchweizer, Lordship and Discipleship, ’60, 464–66; GBornkamm, Bultmann Festschr., ’64, 171–91 (Mt 28:16–20)—B. 1225. DELG s.v. μανθάνω. M-M. TW. Sv.


Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., pp. 609–610). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
Do you believe that a father who believed the covenant promises (Gospel), didn't teach his children the faith?
 
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