Infant Baptism

This post will be a little diff than my others in that i am looking for feedback and discussion.

Growing up the thought of paedobaptism vs credobaptism never even crossed my mind. In fact i just assumed it was a catholic practice and had no biblical basis behind it.

With me being married and the thought of kids in the future this subject has now come to the front of my mind.

Is there a place for infant baptism within Christandom? is baptism a replacement of circumsicion in the old testament? What is the scriptural basis for or against?

I have read some of both sides of the argument and must say i have not seen anything on both ends that really gives me a definitive answer.

i know this is a non-essential doctrinal point, and that either view could be right or wrong, but i am basically wanting to breath some life into the blog. and what better way than to bring discussion to it.

I was reading this lecture from Dr. Kim Riddlebarger and he gives a couple of credobaptism (belivers baptism) objections and paedpbaptism responses to those objections.
so far this lecture (along with r.c sproul’s sermon)has made teh most sense to me..

here are the objections credobaptist have with infant baptism…

1. “There is a clear command to baptize believers but no command to baptize infants”

2. “The Scriptural order is always believe and then be baptized (see Acts 11:14; 16:15, 31; 18:8; 1 Corinthians 1:16)” [Ryrie, Basic Theology, 423]. According to Nettles, “Every Baptism recorded is a baptism of a professed believer (e.g., Acts 8:12; 35-38)” [Nettles, “Baptists” 22]. “In this infant baptism is expressly contradicted” [Strong, Systematic Theology, 952].

3. “Baptism is the initiatory rite into a believing community; the church. Therefore, it should only be done to believers” [Ryrie, Basic Theology, 423; cf. Also Strong, Systematic Theology, 958; and Nettles, “Baptists” 23-25, and Welty, “A Critical Evaluation of Paedobaptism,” who’s argument about the New Covenant and the character of the church we will view in some detail later–see # 7].

4. When all household passages are taken into view, two significant conclusions can be reached. One, the descriptions given of households never mention an infant and show that a household does not necessarily include infants. Two, every description of baptized households gives compelling evidence that all the baptized people exhibited personal faith before they were baptized. They were instructed, they feared God, they rejoiced, they served” [Nettles, “Baptists” 22-23]. According to Charles Ryrie, “The age of the children is never mentioned in any passage that mentions household baptism. But it is said that all who were baptized in those households believed. This, then, would exclude infants from being included in the baptisms” [Ryrie, Basic Theology, 423; cf Ericksen, Christian Theology III. 1102-1103].

5. A fifth line of argumentation taken by many Baptists is to show the supposedly implausible nature of the logical conclusions of some of proof-texts for infant baptism. Ryrie objects that “If 1 Corinthians 7:14 allows or requires the baptism of children in a household where there is a believing parent, then it would also allow or require the baptism of the unbelieving mate” [Ryrie, Basic Theology, 423]. The same case is made by some that if baptism replaces circumcision, why are females baptized, when baptism was only limited to males? This supposedly proves a basic hermeneutic of discontinuity. Calvinistic Baptist Greg Welty argues that the supposed inconsistency of the fact that paedobaptists baptize their infants but do not serve them the Lord’s Supper is a great problem, since while arguing for continuity, on this point, paedobaptists “smuggle in discontinuities not warranted by the text of Scripture, but required if insoluble difficulties in the practice of infant baptism are to be avoided” [Welty, “A Critical Evaluation of Paedobaptism,” 9-11].

6. According to Tom Nettles, “Baptists also point to the reality that everyone accepts believers baptism no matter what else they may add….Those who accept infant baptism, therefore, must say that it is the same as Believer’s Baptism or it is different. If different then there are two theologies of baptism, one plain in Scripture and one hidden. If paedobaptists…must consider infants as believers capable of giving evidence of their belief, or that the belief of a substitute is in no way inferior to their own, that is a difficult case to prove” [Nettles, “Baptists” 23].

7. Reformed hermeneutics and the stress upon continuity lends itself to the practice of infant baptism. But don’t the Scriptures teach that in the New Covenant [Jeremiah 31:31 ff], “they will all know me,” and therefore, even under covenantal terms, infant baptism is necessarily excluded?

8. What then, according to Baptists, are we to do with our children? Since the Scriptures say they are fallen and sinful, we withhold from them the sign of new life.

are these enough reasons to reject infant baptism all together? seems the crux of their objections is that there is no clear commandment in scripture supporting infant baptism.

Also a side note…not one paedobaptist i have read or heard denies believers baptism. just something to think about..

so let the discussion begin. please be nice, and do not revert to strawmen or Ad Hominem please..and try to use scripture as much as you can…

One Response to “Infant Baptism”

  1. Jeremy Moore Says:

    Thought i would post some scriptures that may help teh discussion along…

    1) And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
    — Genesis 17:7 KJV

    2) But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
    — Matthew 19:14 KJV

    3) And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.
    — Luke 1:14, 15 KJV

    I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou [art] my God from my mother’s belly.
    — Psalms 22:10 KJV

    For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, [even] as many as the Lord our God shall call.
    — Acts 2:39 KJV

    4) Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
    — Acts 10:47 KJV

    5) And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.
    — Genesis 17:14 KJV

    6) In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses
    — Colossians 2:11-13 KJV


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