Monday, December 15, 2008

Some thoughts on Infant Baptism

I was recommended this book some time ago by Vincent as being one of the better books by a Credobaptist defending Credobaptism from the viewpoint of Covenantal Theology. There are many many books to be read, so I would always love to read the best on the subject so as to encounter the best arguments for or against whatever position they are arguing for. I have therefore recently gotten myself a copy of the book and have read the book. Here is a short review of the book (as for a comprehensive review I might as well just write a book on the topic, which I have no interest in as of now):

As a Pedobaptist, I must say that I am impressed with Dr. Jewett's work on this subject. Though his Baptist bias shines through the work at various places, and there are some of the typical Baptist errors in argumentation throughout (ie attempting to find evidence for infant baptism instead of looking at it correctly from the direction of Infant inclusion in the Covenant), the work as a whole attempts to analyze the subject of Infant Baptism in a holistic manner. I must say that if your view of Pedobaptism cannot pass the muster of Jewett's work in a consistent biblical manner, it is not worth holding onto.

I have read about both Schreiner's and Malone's works promoting and defending Credobaptism, which I will get in the future. Obviously, I have my own thinking on the subject, but I am open to any arguments from Scripture that does successfully disprove my view, but I haven't seen any yet, though Jewett's work does come close at certain points.

P.S.: Just in case you are wondering, my view is not one of the Reformed views critiqued by Jewett. My current opinion on this topic as it works out in the practical arena lies somewhat along the reasoning similar to the ones I have advanced against Neo-Amyraldism in terms of federal/corporate collective-ness versus individuality.

P.P.S.: For the reading comprehension-impaired, this post does not state anything with regards to pedobaptism or credobaptism, except my opinion of Jewett's book. Contrary to the view of my critics, not everything that I post is prophetic (as in forthtelling prophecy). Lighten up!

13 comments:

Greg said...

What do you think is the best book representing the Pedobaptist position?

PuritanReformed said...

Greg:

I don't know whether there is a "best book representing the Pedobaptist position". Robert Reymond's section in his New Systematic Theology (pp. 935-950) is indeed a good start. From what has ben recommended, Joachim Jeremias and [John] Murray seems to be the better ones, but I have yet to read them.

As an aside, since I am a pedobaptist, and have come to my own take on the subject from my own study of Scripture along the lines of Covenantal Theology plus some reading along the way, I am generally more interested in what the opposing view has to offer. I don't need much convincing of pedobaptism, but of credobaptism. If any Baptist apologists can best Jewett's arguments, I would really love to see them. I have heard Dr. White's debate with Billl Shisko on the topic, plus John Piper's defence of believer baptism, and I couldn't say I was convinced (though Dr. White did win the debate with Dr. Shisko IMO).

markbark said...

Eh … Chew, may I learn from you?

How would you draw the (age) line between an “infant” and a “non-infant”? As you would realize, paedobaptists baptize infants (without creedal affirmation) and not non-infants. Non-infants, if I’m not wrong, would need to profess faith first prior to baptism.

How would you scripturally show that this “age” defines the infant as opposed to the non-infant?

How would you show that the household baptisms in the NT were those involving these infants (before they exceed the non-infant age)?

Why are only infants baptized in paedobaptism? Aren’t all CHILDREN – and not just infants - in the covenant? Since you concede that children are in the covenant, why aren’t paedobaptists baptizing ALL children irrespective of age? Again, how and when do you draw the line between an infant, child, and non-infant and non-child?

I’m in my fifties; my son is in his twenties. I was recently converted to Christianity; how would you argue from Scripture that my son is not a child in my family and thus does not qualify for “infant baptism?” Why should/shouldn’t my son be baptized together with me (even though he does not – as yet – profess faith)? Don’t you believe that my CHILD is in the covenant as well???

Joel Tay said...

Interesting questions Markbark. Interested to see how a pedobaptist would answer that

PuritanReformed said...

Joel:

actually I was wondering whether to even attempt an answer. Markbark does not have a very illustrious history here, teaming up with an apostate in assassinating my character in a similar manner to Antithesis. I think I will skip the question. If you want to discuss the issue, we can do it privately.

markbark said...

Chew,

That's a logical fallacy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_herring_(logical_fallacy)#Red_herring


Besides, when and where did I team "up with an apostate in assassinating [your] character"?

Please show me your evidence.

Otherwise, you ARE slandering me.

Thank you.

Just as I have thought, you haven't given the issue of baptism any deep "thought." :)

markbark said...

Dear Chew,

Since you have studied this issue, I trust that you can AT LEAST quote us or give us some useful references or works that had address THESE questions.

Thanks brother!

Mark Chan Kim Chye

PuritanReformed said...

Markbark:

>Besides, when and where did I team "up with an apostate in assassinating [your] character"?

Your comment on my post, which I have withdrawn due to severe misunderstanding, states:

>>
Dear Watchman Chew (author AND apologist as well),

Your humble commentator here acknowledges your spiritual authority in pronouncing oracles against those whom you deem as heretics and deviants-in-Christ.

Watchman Chew (can I call you WC for short?), yours is a position of great responsibilities. As the uncle of Spiderman (in Spiderman fame) has said, "with great talents come great responsibilities."

So, WC, may you be encouraged as a Watchman to watch over and guard the universal church of God against deviant pastors, elders, bishops, and archbishops from every denomination, church and diocese on this planet.

What an awesome responsibility, WC!

yours-in-agreement,
Watchman of Watchmen,
Mark B.
>>
Originally found at http://puritanreformed.blogspot.com/2008/03/name-card.html?showComment=1205631840000#c6852727661893473136


Is that not "assassinating my character"? Or maybe you think mocking is not the same as assassinating me?

I could find others if I wanted to, in which you ganged up with apostate Edmund of Jeremiah Blues but this IMO is sufficient. And just so you know, my name card post is withdrawn from public view because of ignorant heretics who misunderstand the term and weaponize it against me.

markbark said...

Hey Chew,

It's your blog; if you want to say this and that was slander or "assassinating your character," we can't do anything about that, can we?

After all, it's STILL a red herring.

Fallacy.

I asked a genuine question; you don't have the answers?

So this is the best you can offer us readers.

You have my sympathy. :)

PuritanReformed said...

Markbark:

It's not a red herring, because that was not an answer. I don't think you want an answer anyway, otherwise you wouldn't exhibit such an attitude here.

markbark said...

Dear Chew,

Chew: It's not a red herring, because that was not an answer.

Mark: Really? So your answer to my comment is not an answer; that's a good tactic to avoid the question. Another red herring.

Chew: I don't think you want an answer anyway, otherwise you wouldn't exhibit such an attitude here.

Mark: Then you think wrong; I want an answer ... or are you pretending to know me like a god? Stop giving us red herrings; if you know the answer then just say it, or just give us the references which address my question. Otherwise, just admit that you haven't studied the issue.

Thank you.

We keenly await your educated answers, Mr Chew.

Tartanarmy said...

Daniel, this person does not appear to be genuinely asking anything. I do not know this poster but as soon as I read his post I knew he was more interested in having a swipe at you than any question he was asking.

I wish people would be more honest than many are. I can respect even those who simply hate me, because I know where I stand with them, but these people with a bee in their bonnet, you can never trust nor respect.

That's how I see that.

Anyway, coming from a rather passionate reformed Baptist "Credo" view just a few years ago, to now a more reformed Paedo view, I am willing to answer genuine questions, but keep in mind, I know all of the good Credo arguments as I used to debate online against some heavy hitters in the Paedo camp.

Just when I thought my arguments were getting through to them, God decided to shake me up using Old Test scriptures mind you!, and within days I gave up the credo position. It was an interesting transition for me to say the least.

Mark

PuritanReformed said...

Mark:

I agree with your assessment of Markbark. Thanks for sharing =)