God's faithfulness...to me and my children?

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C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
[quote:c9d1e6dbcc]but I must confess that I think your understanding of covenant children being "typological" for those people whom we lead to Christ is certainly fueled by an agenda that goes beyond normal grammatical exegesis.[/quote:c9d1e6dbcc]

I would agree. Well put.
 

Goosha

Puritan Board Freshman
Radar wrote
"But paedos have argued that regeneration usually occurs down the line. Someone always suggests John the Baptist, a true example of regeneration in utero."

Actually, if anybody were to use John the Baptist for some sort of covenant regeneration they would be committing an is/ought fallacy. Universalizing any case example in scripture is a hermeneutic error.

Even as a paedo, I would have to knock down any argument from this passage.
 

Goosha

Puritan Board Freshman
Adult Children

I always love these discussions concerning the nature of the term "Children" in the New Covenant prophecies of old testament. This is where circularity becomes extremely evident. How does a baptist know that children spoken in those prophecies are non-literal and refer to those who are already regenerated? Well, because of the nature of the spiritual promises. How do presbyterians know to baptize their children and to expect faith from their children? Well, cuz the New Covenant promises were made to their children! Hahaha!! I laugh really hard every time these kinds of discussions come up with regards to what the term "children" means. Although, this particular thread looks pretty interesting because I'm not sure if all the baptists agree with each other on the term. Good discussion.
 

Philip A

Puritan Board Sophomore
[quote:483e4fb360="blhowes"]With the OT sacrifices, Hebrews clearly helps us understand how the types are to be understood, what they represent, and how they are fulfilled. Are there other passages that help us in this regard regarding covenant children?[/quote:483e4fb360]

Bob,
As far as other passages, Romans 4 & 9 come to mind, and Galatians 3 & 4 are extremely helpful here. The connection might not be obvious, but then again, neither is the case for taking the land promises as typological either. A helpful way to work through this is to study the issue of the land; examine the passages that explicitly include it as part of the New Covenant (see my next post addressed to the others), and go through all the NT evidence for taking the land in a typological way. The case for a typological interpretation of the promises regarding children is identical to it, and based on the same logic and inferences. Ask the question, "œhow can we take the land promises as typological, and the children promises as physical?" The only answer you will ever get is a presupposition of the paedobaptist position, or an appeal to theological tradition.

[quote:483e4fb360]It seems to me that when it says in Acts 2:39, 'to you and to your children...', that it would have been understood by those who heard it to be a reference to other OT promises. I don't know if you agree to this but, if you do, how then should the phrase be understood?[/quote:483e4fb360]

Yes, I do understand Acts 2:39 covenantally, and as a reference to the promises of the OT. This is the main thrust of what Peter is implying by using a phrase that Jews would know quite well. He is identifying Christ as the substance of the promise made to the fathers and their children. As to how this should be understood, we have to be careful to observe that Peter is talking to Jews [i:483e4fb360]as Jews[/i:483e4fb360], and is referring to Christ as the fulfillment of those promises to them and their children [i:483e4fb360]as Jews[/i:483e4fb360]; and that on the basis of this, they should repent, believe, and be baptized. Not all who heard Peter"(tm)s preaching were believers, so to take this as a promise to believers and their children is an theological imposition based on the presupposition that the "œyou and your children" applies to believers in the physical sense. But because Peter is talking to Jews as Jews, both those who would believe and those who would not, the only proper way to interpret the passage is that Peter is identifying Christ as the substance of that promise made to them as Jews. This is why the Gospel went to the Jew first, according to Paul.
 

Philip A

Puritan Board Sophomore
[quote:27c82d89f1="luvroftheWord"]Philip A,

Perhaps you didn't go back and read those passages I referenced, but those are prophecies about the coming of the New Covenant, and they all explicitly include our children. If the NT tells us something different than what the OT said about the New Covenant, then we have a contradictory Bible.[/quote:27c82d89f1]

Actually yes, I did read them. Did you go back and read them over again and notice the land promises? Virtually all of them also contain promises tied to the land as well, and in fact, Ezekiel 37"(tm)s promise regarding children is that they will dwell in the land. So then what are Presbyterians doing in America, or any other place other than that particular land that is part of the promise to them and their children?

Ez 37:25
[i:27c82d89f1]They shall dwell [b:27c82d89f1]in the land[/b:27c82d89f1] that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. [b:27c82d89f1]They and their children and their children's children shall dwell there forever[/b:27c82d89f1], and David my servant shall be their prince forever.[/i:27c82d89f1]

Jer 32:37-41
[i:27c82d89f1]Behold, I will gather them from all the countries to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation. [b:27c82d89f1]I will bring them back to this place[/b:27c82d89f1], and I will make them dwell in safety. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of [b:27c82d89f1]their children after them[/b:27c82d89f1]. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them [b:27c82d89f1]in this land [/b:27c82d89f1]in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.[/i:27c82d89f1]

Zech 10:9
[i:27c82d89f1]Though I scattered them among the nations,
yet in far countries they shall remember me,
and [b:27c82d89f1]with their children they shall live and return[/b:27c82d89f1].[/i:27c82d89f1]


[quote:27c82d89f1]All your catechism does is lay out Baptist theology.[/quote:27c82d89f1]

Yes, Craig, I am still a Baptist!


[quote:27c82d89f1="Webmaster"]This is not only in error from a Covenant Theology perspective, but even from a basic biblical perspective. The ONLY covenant Head between God and man in the CoG is NOT Abraham, but Christ"¦.
To begin on a faulty premise is to make the rest of the syllogism go "kaploowey." (Which it does with a nuclear explosion)"¦.
Phillip A., I really don't understand why you would say that. Do you have ANY other Baptistic quotes who say the same thing? I would like to see those if you do. (Or references to works - Gill, Bunyan, Howell, Shirreff, Tomes, etc - that would be helpful).
[/quote:27c82d89f1]

Matt,

First of all, I don"(tm)t identify the Abrahamic covenant as THE Covenant of Grace, so, since you base all of your following arguments on this faulty premise, all of your following arguments suffer the same nuclear fate (I must say though, that was very well put, even if misdirected, and gave me a good laugh, which is quite healthy in these kinds of conversations).
Secondly, no, I won"(tm)t quote you a Baptist that says the same thing, but rather a Scottish Presbyterian, the man who literally wrote the book on typology:
[quote:27c82d89f1]The Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob may be classed together on account of their being alike [b:27c82d89f1]covenant heads[/b:27c82d89f1] to the children of Israel; yet we are not to lose sight of the fact, that Abraham was more especially the person with whom the covenant took its commencement, and in whom it had its more distinctive representation.
(Fairbairn: Typology of Scripture, I:297)[/quote:27c82d89f1]
Your usage of Matthew goes contrary to the clear meaning of the parallel passages in the other gospel accounts, and in particular, your usage of Acts 21 is a textbook example of eisegesis. I honestly was shocked to read that in a post of yours.

[quote:27c82d89f1="SolaScriptura"]Even if you want to say that they all believed, it is still interesting that God effected belief in the entire unit at the exact same time, which still maintains the normative principle that God works through families.[/quote:27c82d89f1]
This too is a fallacy of the universal application of a particular.
Again, let me quote from Fairbairn"(tm)s Typology:
[quote:27c82d89f1]The difference in external form was in each case conditioned by the circumstances of the time. In circumcision it bore respect to the propagation of offspring, as it was through the production of a seed of blessing that the covenant, in its preparatory form, was to attain its realization. But when the seed in that respect had reached its culminating point in Christ, and the objects of the covenant were no longer dependent on national propagation of seed, but were to be carried forward by spiritual means and influences used in connection with the faith of Christ, the external ordinance was fitly altered, so as to express simply a change of nature and state in the individual that received it. Undoubtedly the New Testament form less distinctly recognises the connection between parent and child - we should rather say, does not of itself recognise that connection [b:27c82d89f1]at all[/b:27c82d89f1]; so much ought to be frankly conceded to those who disapprove of the practice of infant baptism, and will be conceded by all whose object is to ascertain the truth rather than contend for an opinion. (Fairbairn: The Typology of Scripture, Vol I, 313-314)[/quote:27c82d89f1]
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
[quote:0170c745b1]Matt,

First of all, I don"(tm)t identify the Abrahamic covenant as THE Covenant of Grace, so, since you base all of your following arguments on this faulty premise, all of your following arguments suffer the same nuclear fate (I must say though, that was very well put, even if misdirected, and gave me a good laugh, which is quite healthy in these kinds of conversations). [/quote:0170c745b1]

:D Always willing to throw in an ad hominem or two to liven things up!

[quote:0170c745b1]I don"(tm)t identify the Abrahamic covenant as THE Covenant of Grace[/quote:0170c745b1]

Well, not THE as if ONLY, but certainly part. Each one of the covenant progressions in the OT are the continuation of the COG.

[quote:0170c745b1]Secondly, no, I won"(tm)t quote you a Baptist that says the same thing, but rather a Scottish Presbyterian, the man who literally wrote the book on typology:
Quote:
The Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob may be classed together on account of their being alike [b:0170c745b1]covenant heads [/b:0170c745b1]to the children of Israel; yet we are not to lose sight of the fact, that Abraham was more especially the person with whom the covenant took its commencement, and in whom it had its more distinctive representation.
(Fairbairn: Typology of Scripture, I:297) [/quote:0170c745b1]

I don't like the use of terms and will check Fairbain as to his greater context there. If he means "the person with whom the covenant took its commencement" I'm fine with that. If that is ALL he means. Is that what YOU mean?

[quote:0170c745b1]Your usage of Matthew goes contrary to the clear meaning of the parallel passages in the other gospel accounts,[/quote:0170c745b1]

Not at all if you are looking at the Bible from a Covenatal vantagepoint. What would your exegesis of that passage mean? HEre we have covenantal mothers bringing thier children to the Rabbi who is inuagurating the Kingdom "which is upon you" and they want their children in it. Christ says the Kingdom belongs to them. Now if you say they are unsaved, then that presses you to say what you said. If you believe in Presumptive Regeneration (the Reformed View) then you continue to have clear texts that propagate the doctrine seen through the entire OT and into the NT.

[quote:0170c745b1]and in particular, your usage of Acts 21 is a textbook example of eisegesis. I honestly was shocked to read that in a post of yours. [/quote:0170c745b1]

Don't be shocked. Explain why James would have Paul demonstrate to the Jews that they SHOULD NOT stop including their children in the covenant. The case there is VERY clear and often neglected by baptist commentaries on it. Please don't say that they were just "appeasing the Jews" or soemthing. That is NOT Paul's track record - shall we go over Galatians? Acts? The Pastorals? int he way Paul deals with heresy and error? Paul would have NEVER allowed this practice to go on if it was not right for them to do so.

Talk about Eisogesis on a passage:
"saying, that they ought not to circumcise their children; [b:0170c745b1]though this does not appear; it is true the apostle taught that circumcision was abolished[/b:0170c745b1], and that it was nothing; yea, that to submit to it as necessary to salvation, was hurtful and pernicious; but as a thing indifferent, he allowed of it among weak brethren; and in condescension to their weakness, did administer it himself; in which he became a Jew to the Jew, that he might gain some" (John Gill)

It doesn't appear but that is what he taught?!

Then in verse 24 he says it means, "that there is no truth in them" (i.e. that Paul did not say it!) Gill must have been sick the day he wrote this because he contradicts his own "ideas" here. First he says Paul did teach this, then he says "that there is no truth in them." That he did not. Huh? This is typical (Jewett does the EXACT same thing uin his work page 230).

This passage is not only negelcted by Baptistic Writers, but majorly misunderstood in the context of its force to the contrary fo their position. For if, AT ANY POINT the apostles sanctioned infant inclusion in the covenant, the Baptistic position is over.

How do you see the passage?
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
[quote:6b43bfb3e8]Actually yes, I did read them. Did you go back and read them over again and notice the land promises?[/quote:6b43bfb3e8]

Yes Philip, the prophecies do speak of the land. But the problem is that the land promises have not been abolished. They still apply today, but they have been made better.

Matthew 5:5--
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit [i:6b43bfb3e8]heaven?[/i:6b43bfb3e8]" Nope. They shall inherit [i:6b43bfb3e8]the earth[/i:6b43bfb3e8].

Revelation 21:1-5--
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with him as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."

The promise that God's people will one day inherit the whole earth is implicit even in the Abrahamic Covenant.

Romans 4:13--
"For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be [i:6b43bfb3e8]heir of the world[/i:6b43bfb3e8] did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith."

The New Covenant does give us better promises. I'm not waiting for a piece of land in Palestine. I'm waiting for the whole world.

[quote:6b43bfb3e8][quote:6b43bfb3e8]All your catechism does is lay out Baptist theology. [/quote:6b43bfb3e8]

Yes, Craig, I am still a Baptist! [/quote:6b43bfb3e8]

And the point is that your catechism begs the question, so why did you use it to try to prove your position?

And for that matter, to say "The land was typological, therefore covenant children were too" is a [i:6b43bfb3e8]non sequiter[/i:6b43bfb3e8].

And also, Fairbairn was a paedobaptist himself, so I'm pretty sure he'd take issue with the way you are applying him here.

You said to Ben:

[quote:6b43bfb3e8]This too is a fallacy of the universal application of a particular. [/quote:6b43bfb3e8]

If you understand that this is a fallacy, then why does your catechism say this:

[quote:6b43bfb3e8]
Q: When does one receive the sign of the New Covenant?

A: After one enters it by spiritual birth.
Acts 2:41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
[/quote:6b43bfb3e8]

You just universalized a particular!

So why are you a Baptist? Because all of Baptist theology falls by this fallacy, unless you can give me the principle that Baptism is to only be administered to those who have first professed faith. Where is the passage of Scripture that gives us this principle?
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
O. Palmer Robertson on the land of Israel

O. Palmer Robertson has given us tremendous insights into the theological significance of the land of Israel. All of the following quotes are taken from his excellent book, [u:ca7b3945ca]The Israel of God[/u:ca7b3945ca]. I couldn't resist posting these quotes since the subject of the land has been brought up. Robertson has shown masterfully that although the Promised Land in Palestine is a shadow that has its fulfillment in the New Covenant, this does not mean that the land promises have passed away. God has indeed made promises to us concerning the land in the New Covenant, and the land of promise today is greater than that of the Old Covenant. I encourage everyone to get this book and read it in its entirety. It is one of my primary OT hermeneutical resources.

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The concept of a land that belongs to God's people originated in Paradise. This simple fact, so often overlooked, plays a critical role in evaluating the significance of the land throughout redemptive history and in its consummate fullfilment. Land did not begin to be theologically significant with the promise given to Abraham. Instead, the patriarch's hope of possessing a land arose out of the concept of restoration to the original state from which man had fallen. The original idea of the land as paradise significantly shaped the expectations associated with redemption. As the place of blessedness arising from unbroken fellowship and communion with God, the land of paradise became the goal toward which redeemed humanity was returning. (p. 4)

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...the covenant promise of land made to Abraham takes on much greater significance when it is viewed from the perspective of fulfillment in the age of the new covenant. Now the patriarch's promise is understood to imply that he is heir of [i:ca7b3945ca]the cosmos[/i:ca7b3945ca], not merely the land of the Bible (Rom. 4:13). Because God is Lord of the whole universe, he will fulfill his covenant promise of redemption by reconstituting the cosmos. In this way, paradise will be restored in all its glory. The blessing of the land that humanity first experienced will finally be graciously given back to him. (p. 10)

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Yet with all the emphasis on the distinctiveness of this land in comparison with all other lands, the reason for its selection must not be overlooked. From the beginning, it was declared that God had committed himself in covenant oath to Abraham, not that the patriarch might indulge himself with God's blessings, but that Abraham would be a blessing to all the nations of the world. (p. 11)

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Like all old covenant shadows, these glorious prospects have been realized in the days of the new covenant, when people worship neither in Jerusalem nor in Samaria, but wherever in the world the Spirit of God manifests himself (John 4:21-24). The redemptive reality that the old covenant city could only foreshadow finds it consummate realization in the "Jerusalem above," which is the "mother of us all" (Gal. 4:26 KJV). This "Jerusalem above" is not merely a "spiritual" phenomenon that has no connection with the "real" world in which we live. Its reality injects itself constantly into the lives of God's people. Every time Christians assemble for worship, they join with the host of "heavenly Jerusalem" (Heb.12:22). (p. 17)

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So how does this long development of the concept of the land under the old covenant translate into the categories of the new covenant fulfillment? It must be remembered at the outset that any transfer from the old covenant to the new covenant involves a movement from shadow to reality. The old covenant appealed to the human longing for a sure and settled land; yet it could not compare with the realities of new covenant fulfillment.

This perspective is confirmed by a number of references in the new covenant documents. Abraham is declared to be heir, not of "the land", but of "the world" (Rom. 4:13). By this comprehensive language the imagery of land as a picture of restored paradise has finally come of age. No longer merely a portion of this earth, but now the whole of the cosmos partakes of the consummation of God's redemptive work in our fallen world.

This perspective provides insights into the return to the land as described by Ezekiel and the other prophets. In the nature of things, these writers could only employ images with which they and their hearers were familiar. So they spoke of a return to the geographical land of Israel. Indeed there was a return to this land, though hardly on the scale prophesied by Ezekiel. But in the context of the realities of the new covenant, this land must be understood in terms of the newly recreated cosmos about which the apostle Paul speaks in Romans. The whole universe (which is "the land" from a new covenant perspective) groans in travail, waiting for the redemption that will come with the resurrection of the bodies of the redeemed (Rom. 8:22-23). The return to paradise in the framework of the new covenant does not involve merely a return to the shadowy forms of the old covenant. It means the rejuvenation of the entire earth. By this renewal of the entire creation, the old covenant's promise of land finds its new covenant realization.

The same perspective can be seen in Jesus' reference in the Sermon on the Mount to the promise in the Psalms of inheriting the land. What did Jesus mean when he spoke of the meek inheriting "the earth" (Matt. 5:5)? Although the Greek term found in the Beattitudes for "earth" is the same as that which is used in the Septuagint for "land", the context of Jesus' statement requires a larger frame of reference than the land of Palestine. Jesus teaches not that the Jewish race will inherit the Promised Land, but that in the new covenant the "meek", regardless of their ethnic background, will inherit the "earth", wherever in this world they might live. (p. 25-27)

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In his letter to the predominately Gentile church in Ephesus, Paul applies the promise of the inheritance of the land to a circumstance that reaches far beyond the typological experiences of the people of God under the old covenant. He relates that promise specifically to children of Christian believers who are obedient, not to people who are simply Jewish by birth. The fifth commandment of the Decalogue had promised that children who honored their father and mother would live long on "the land" the that Lord their God was giving them (Ex. 20:12). Now Paul applies the same promise to children of Christian parents. If they submit willingly to the authority of their parents, they will enjoy long life on "the earth" (Eph. 6:3). Clearly, the concept of the land has expanded in its new covenant fulfillment to include the entire Gentile world. It now extends, as does the Great Commission, to the uttermost parts of the earth (Matt. 28:19; Acts 1:8). (p. 28-29)
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
[quote:e5470ebb57="Philip A"]But because Peter is talking to Jews as Jews, both those who would believe and those who would not, the only proper way to interpret the passage is that Peter is identifying Christ as the substance of that promise made to them as Jews. [/quote:e5470ebb57]
I agree that Peter is identifying Christ as the substance, or fulfillment, of the promise. I'm not sure I'm following the distinction you're making about Peter talking to Jews as Jews, believers and unbelievers.

The promise spoken of in Acts 2:39 seems to me to be more like Peter is talking to Jews as believers. The focus seemed to change from a sermon to the multitudes to a message zeroing in on believers. In verses 38 and 39, Peter responds to the question ([i:e5470ebb57]Men and brethren, what shall we do?[/i:e5470ebb57]) of some Jews whose hearts God had pricked. Although of course both believers and unbelievers could hear what was said, the focus is on believers.

Do you agree?
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
Bob,

Has this thread been helpful for you? I hope it's helped your understanding. I'd also like to keep this thread from dying off, because the discussion has been quite good.
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
[quote:1069062ae5="luvroftheWord"]Bob,
Has this thread been helpful for you? I hope it's helped your understanding. I'd also like to keep this thread from dying off, because the discussion has been quite good.[/quote:1069062ae5]
Yes, I appreciate all those who shared their thoughts/scriptures in this thread. It was very helpful.

I don't particularly like to admit that I was wrong about a verse (Acts 2:39) for so many years, but it sure is a blessing to see it in a new light. I can't help but think, "Now that I see this verse differently, I wonder if there are others NT verse(s) that I should consider next that I may not be seeing as clearly as I should?"
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
Bob,

Whenever your worldview changes, you always see things differently. It will just be a matter of time as you read the Scriptures of the NT (and even the OT) that things will jump out at you that you never saw before. A covenantal understanding of Scripture is very different from an individualistic approach, and you will probably see this difference most clearly as you study Hebrews and all of the various warning passages of Scripture.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
I can understand where Bob is coming from. As a former Baptist, the promises of God meant very little to me. I mean, I knew that God would be a God to me because I am a Christian, but all the good stuff would have to wait until I got to heaven. Seeing the BIble in a covenantal light and, understanding that children are included in the promises, has totally changed my worldview.
 
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