John Gill's Infant Baptism: A Part and Pillar of Popery

Discussion in 'Credo-Baptism Answers' started by CalvinandHodges, Mar 6, 2011.

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  1. CalvinandHodges

    CalvinandHodges Puritan Board Junior

    Hi:

    After reading it - here are my thoughts:

    Little to no Scripture references; no substantive interaction with paedo-baptist arguments; and harsh rhetoric.

    Does this pass for credo-baptist scholarship? Would credo-baptists actually hold this book as a model of Christian thinking?

    What are your thoughts on it?

    Blessings,

    Rob
     
  2. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Never seen it. I believe you would do better to reread Gary Crampton's work maybe by your assessment. BTW, I really think you know better what is good scholarly Baptist thought on the subject. Have you read Covenant Theology from Adam to Christ by Nehemiah Coxe? Rob, you know there is scholarly work out there. Beasley-Murray? What are you really asking? Thomas Schriener? What do you want? You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him thirsty.

    Rob,
    If you really want to interact with something I would recommend you interact with Dr. Mike Renihan's work he did for his (Ph.D.) which was supervised under Alister McGrath. “Antipaedobaptism in the Theology of John Tombes.”

    http://www.solid-ground-books.com/search.asp?searchtext=Antipaedobaptism
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  3. JM

    JM Puritan Board Professor

    You read one? lol Try: 65. An Answer To A Welsh Clergyman's Twenty Arguments in Favor of Infant-Baptism.

    more titles below:

    * BAPTISM: A PROFESSION OF THE FAITH OF THE GOSPEL

    58. Baptism, A Divine Command to be Observed.
    59. Baptism, A Public Ordinance of Divine Worship.
    60. The Ancient Mode of Baptizing by Immersion, Plunging, or Dipping into Water, Maintained and Vindicated.
    61. A Defence of a Book entitled, The Ancient Mode of Baptizing by Immersion, Plunging, or Dipping into Water, &c.
    62. The Divine Right of Infant-Baptism, Examined and Disproved.
    63. The Argument From Apostolic Tradition, In Favor of Infant-Baptism, Considered.
    64. An Essay on Scripture Baptism . . . Infant-Baptism is Destitute of Proof . . . To which is prefixed an address to Micaiah Towgood.
    65. An Answer To A Welsh Clergyman's Twenty Arguments in Favor of Infant-Baptism.
    66. Antipedobaptism; or Infant-Baptism, an Innovation.
    67. A Reply to a Book, entitled, A Defense of the Divine Right of Infant-Baptism.
    68. Some Strictures on a late Treatise, called, A Fair and Rational Vindication of the Right of Infants to the Ordinance of Baptism.
    69. Infant Baptism: A Part and Pillar of Popery
    70. A Dissertation concerning the Baptism of Jewish Proselytes.

    John Dagg's work is solid as well.

    :pilgrim:
     
  4. Phil D.

    Phil D. Puritan Board Junior

    Regardless if one ultimately agrees or disagrees with Gill's position on baptism, I would suggest a couple of things for consideration here.

    First, you need to understand the specific purpose and intended scope of this particular work. The title explains it pretty well - Gill wanted to examine what he believed were various historical links between infant baptism and the development of Roman Catholicism. This explains the relative lack of considering specific scripture passages. Some of Gill's other works on baptism focus on that aspect of the dispute, and directly engage specific paedo arguments. A good example of this would be his The Divine Right of Infant Baptism, Examined And Disproved.

    As for harsh rhetoric, Gill was hardly the only writer of his era to engage in such while discussing the topic of baptism. History has produced plenty of polemical works on both sides that are overly harsh. A good example from the paedo side would be an infamous work (many have called it a diatribe) by the Westminster Divine Daniel Featley, entitled, Katabaptistai, Kataptystoi: The Dippers Dipt; or, the Anabaptists Ducked and Plunged over Head and Ears, [etc., etc.]. The fact that this activity is a two-way street certainly doesn't excuse it, but like many things in church history, it must be considered and judged in light of the age that produced it. Civil discourse among disputants on this topic is a relatively recent (and welcome!) development - although there are certainly still some exceptions to this moderating trend.
     
  5. CalvinandHodges

    CalvinandHodges Puritan Board Junior

    Hi:

    This inquiry was precipitated by a discussion concerning mode with a credo-baptist. He cited Gill's work as definitive in repudiating what he labeled as "Baby sprinkling." I was wondering if this form of argument by Gill is more prevalent among credo's than is generally understood?

    Blessings,

    Rob
     
  6. JM

    JM Puritan Board Professor

    I'm not sure what you're asking...are you asking if credos tend to be jerks when discussing baptism, moreso than paedos? Calling it baby sprinkling, since Baptist deny paedobaptism as a valid form of baptism, is just how we (maybe just me a few others) see it. No matter how sincere the parents or minister is it's an empty rite...
     
  7. CalvinandHodges

    CalvinandHodges Puritan Board Junior

    Hi:

    The term "Baby Sprinkling" is a term used by Gill in his work to refer to all types of infant baptism as "popish." What I am asking is that is there a fear among Baptists that if they become "Baby Sprinklers" that such a change in their theology will ultimately lead them to become "papists"? A slippery slope type of fallacy? Such a fear would cause one to place emotional walls up when discussing the Bible in regards to infant baptism.

    Blessings,

    Rob
     
  8. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    I guess it depends on what kind of Baptist you are asking Rob. While I tend to believe that immersion is the biblical mode I am not going to discount the reality of an Adult who was baptized by sprinkling.

    I have seen other forms of theology tend to lead others into the RCC more so than baptism. Of recent that would be the federal vision. Baptismal regeneration is another danger.

    For those of us who understand Covenant Theology from a Reformed Baptist position today, I would say that Gill is probably battling a different foe. Romanism and biblical Christianity had a lot of tugs and pulls. A lot of the battle was over ignorance in the laity and the pulpit back then. There was a lot of superstition tied up in the sacraments. Does that same thing exist today? I would say yes.

    I attended a Lutheran Church and witnessed a Baptism in the Missouri Church about 10 years ago. There was an announcement made during the sacrament that the Child was no longer under the power of the Devil because of his baptism and entrance into the Church. I just don't buy it. That does sound Roman Catholic. Is there a slippery slope? There might be. I guess it would depend on the participants and their understanding. I have seen staunch Independent Fundamentalists even cross the Tiber. Should there be a fear? I think you can judge that on your own.
     
  9. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't know if I've ever read this work by Gill all the way through and I've read very little of Gill's writings overall. That being said, I'm fairly confident he would acknowledge that some justifications for infant baptism are more Romish than others. No doubt he would argue that the practice is a holdover from Rome, which is true from a historical standpoint. (Whether the practice is justified or not and on what grounds is another issue.) Remember also that he was writing in the context of a religious landscape dominated by a Church of England in which many held to baptismal regeneration.
     
  10. CalvinandHodges

    CalvinandHodges Puritan Board Junior

    Hi:

    Chris: The problem with this type of argumentation is that the doctrine of the Trinity is a "holdover from Rome" as well as all other Orthodox doctrines. Infant Baptism is not necessarily a "Romish" doctrine even though it is practiced - in an odd way - by the Church of Rome.

    Blessings,

    Rob
     
  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    Quite right WRT the Trinity and many other orthodox doctrines. That's why I added "Whether the practice is justified or not and on what grounds is another issue." Obviously the disagreement is that Gill thought it was unbiblical and "Part and Pillar of Popery" and Reformed paedos argue that it is biblical.
     
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