Friday, December 22, 2006

Reply to Wenxian on the orthodox & reformed doctrine of Infant Baptism (part 2)

[Continuing on with my rebuttal of Wenxian's post.]

3. Roman Catholicism is linked to protestants by the ritual with the same name. This is obvious. Insomuch as we explain ourselves to be different, to new believers, it does not seem so.

And the point is? I can just as easily point out the fact that Roman Catholicism practise adult baptism, and what does that prove? Certain charismatic word-faith churches practise believers' baptism only (In fact, most if not all charismatic and pentecostal churches do that), so does this prove that Baptist churches are therefore indistinguishable from the charismatic word-faith churches, since they are linked by the same practice with the same name? Of course not!

The fruits are also very much the same: a church filled to the brim with unbelievers, although we should not see things for the fruit alone.

Proof? The fact of the matter is that historically, historic Reformed churches in general fare rather well in terms of keeping the faith, at least no worse than baptist churches. Guess which denomination Rick Warren is from? The Southern Baptist Convention, which believes in believers' baptism only. Thus, this statement is manifestly not true.

A road back to rome...

Baptists are also involved in the ecumenical movement, of which the most prominent is Rick Warren.

4. Infant baptism provides false security to young believers and to their parents.

... who do not know what infant baptism is about! And if they are not taught, people who profess to be believers and are baptized as adults could also have a sense of false security with regards to their salvation. This is not limited to infant baptism alone!

Hence many, confused by the evil one or by other means, will take tha [sic the] baptism of the infant as the real thing: they will assume the child is saved and will be lax with their teachings with the child - after all, who is gonna render the child unsaved when the child is already baptised and 'saved'?

Similarly, how many people in nominal baptists churches are assured by the pastor that they are saved because they have at one time or another said the 'Sinner's prayer' (i.e. Decisional regeneration)? How many people who have only made a 'decision for Christ' in a baptist church continue to live in sin, because they believe in a twisted form of 'Once saved, always saved', and thus they can sin as much as they like since they are saved no matter what happens? False assurance of salvation and misunderstanding of doctrine does not only happens in paedobaptist churches; it is common to both!

But my point of contention is: why create an opportunity to create confusion? Why make understanding for the lay masses so much more difficult with all the convental (sic) theology and the far-fetched convenant (sic) of grace?

The doctrine of the Trinity could be said to similarly be 'an opportunity to create confusion', since it is not easy to understand. A Jehovah Witness could use this same form of reasoning against it, so this form of reasoning is moot. As I have said, it would be better to read up more before comments are made about concepts which are hardly grasped (covenental theology and the convenent of grace).

The method of inferrence for infant baptism, is most contradictory with sola scriptura. This is leaning closely to hypocrisy, because some are reformed but in this case they seem to ignore the principle of scripture only.

This is a serious charge, and I challenge you, Wenxian, and anyone for that matter to substantiate it. This only shows the ignorance of the person making the charge to anyone who reads this. Does anyone really wants to make the charge that the Reformers who loudly proclaim Sola Scriptura do not see this 'contradiction' with their doctrine of infant baptism? Who dares claim to be smarter than the Westminster divines, the multitude of Reformed pastors, evangelists and theologians of the Reformation and Puritan ages? If so, prove it! Even Baptist scholars worth their salt do not make this sort of charge against us! They may disagree with us, but nobody would say that we violate the principle of Sola Scriptura, for the simple reason that we derive the doctrine of Infant baptism from Scripture! Whether Infant baptism is implied in Scriptures is disputed between historic Reformed and Baptists, but the fact of the matter is that we believe and can show proof from Scripture for the doctrine of Infant baptism, and as such it is not a denial of Sola Scriptura (which includes all implications from Scripture as well). I have shown this in my previous refutations of the 'evidences' presented that infant baptism is not ruled out from consideration of these passages and the doctrine could in fact be probably derived from some of those scriptures quoted, so the Credo-/Paedo-baptist issue has nothing whatsoever to do with Sola Scriptura.

Now, after showing forth the fallacious reasoning in these so-called evidences, some people may noticed that I have not as yet proven the doctrine of Infant baptism from the Scriptures. Yes, I have not done so, and that was not my intention. What I have intended to show is that these so-called evidences cannot be taken to prove or disprove infant baptism or credobaptism. The credo-baptist may be correct, and we wrong, but the proof must lie elsewhere, not in this type of superficial reading of the Scripture and fallacious reasoning. This is why I would ask people who are interested on the topic to read and think more before coming to their own position on the issue, and to think about the relation between the Old and New Covenents. Dr. James R. White, himself a Reformed Baptist, is moving in the correct direction when he defends his baptist position by looking at the relation between the Old and New Covenant. Whether he is right or not remains to be seen, but the fact of the matter is that his position at least engages the position correctly, unlike this type of superficial reasoning which has been refuted here.

P.S.: Since Wenxian came out from Anglicanism, I can probably understand a bit where he comes from, and thus his desire for a pure church is a mitigating factor in his case. But doctrine must be derived from the Scriptures, not from our personal preferences or previous church experiences.

PPS.: For especially Wenxian's benefit, and also since he does not allow comments on his blog on the topic anymore, the person whose website he learns the regulative principle of worship from, Dr. C. Matthew McMahon, is a former Reformed Baptist turned Presbyterian. Here is a page from his website on the topic of infant baptism. Also, looking at his last comment in reply to Vincent here, I would really ask him to exhibit more humility and stop acting so ... , for lack of a better term, juvenile. Stop condemning your borthers in Christ, for a start, by using less polemics and addressing the issue proper.


Evangelical books said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Affy said...

Hello Daniel,

I have read your posts. I have stated clearly that there is no biblical proof for paedobaptism in the new testament.

Act2:39 is not proof because the term 'children' is implying descendants. BY the way, the apostole was addressing NON-believers' children. NOT CHILDREN OF BELIEVERS. Why?

[ 38Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. ]

IF peter is CALLING them to repent, they are non-believers. He then promises the NON-believers the verse you quoted. You have just quoted out of context. Very unbecoming of you.

Baptism is a new testament term only. All the cases of baptism are either classified as (credo)baptism OR are unclear (e.g. the use of the word household). There is no clear cut proof at all that baptism was conducted for an infant.

The Lord is 'silent' about many things which we know are incorrect. The command against the 'strange' fire offered was also slient until the person had offered it. But the Lord killed the person anyway isn't it? So the silence arguement stands.

Your arguement does NOT stand because you are basing your arguement on immersion baptism , something which is controversial and not stable. Your arguement would be correct if lets say (hypothetically) you use (e.g.) the concept of trinity and you say that the Lord is 'silent' about it. A lousy strawman arguement daniel!

Its like saying that you replace it with a immersion baptism with amillenialism/premillenialism etc, a term that is not yet confirmed, disputed etc. Why are you basing your arguements on a weak unstable foundation?

Hmmm... I would refrain from adding onto the church sacraments what is not there. There is no faith in practicing something that is not commanded.

Your quote:['Sinner's prayer' (i.e. Decisional regeneration)...]

You are slandering me by putting words into my mouth and making me out to be a liar: Did i not clearly say that the person must understand his/her faith CLEARLY before baptism? [Read my post]. So is my baptism a decisional baptism as you have said? Does not clarity of knowledge nulify your arguement? You put me to be a liar to put yourself at moral high ground to give your lousy arguements credit! I can stand rhetoric a bit but i cannot be stand being made out to be a liar!

[ Show me one verse in Scripture whereby Jesus or the Apostles explicitly commands that baptism must be done only via immersion. You can't! It is the most implied in Scripture, not explicitly commanded.]

Erm did i say that i promote immersional baptism? But if Scripture shows that only, yes i promote it. You are again making me out to be a liar again by your useless strawman arguement: since when did i write/say/claim a person must be immersed fully? You are being ridiculous.

Since you mention it here (i did a little check after you posted this), the root word to baptise is to IMMERSE FULLY. Sprinkling is another word altogther. So it IS explicit. Another poor arguement.

As for your previous posts, i did get the source of the 'liberty issue' thing from you. Did you not say:

[I regard paedobaptism as an issue over which individual Christians should be allowed to have liberty to embrace or not (without using the H-word)]

You clearly state that it IS a liberty issue, yet an important doctrine. You are agreeing yet you say you say that it is NOT what you said? Are you disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing? I see that is likely what you are doing. If i were any harsher with you, i call that hypocrisy: you agree but you disagree to show high moral ground. This is what i call juvenille.

[Due to the complexity of the issue, and the fact that it is important but not vital, individual Christians in my opinion should be allowed to have the liberty to decide which position they would like to embrace.]

Important doctrines are vital doctrines. Who are you to say that impt doctrines are not vital? You better show me some scripture to prove that, since you, by implict logical deduction, know it so well. I said scripture only. Not rheotric. So what doctrines shall we ignore in liberty?

For your information, ALL Christians (real or otherwise) possess the liberty to embrace anything! But what they do will have consequences in future judgement. So your arguement of liberty makes no sense.

Anyway, if anyone wants to stand with God, the person must submit that liberty of choice and choose what God had choosen for us. God had in the Bible, as i have also mentioned, had clearly shown that credobaptism is confirmed correct (transparent of infant baptism). Since that is sufficient, i do not see a need to add an additional baptism and henceforth have 2 types of baptisms occuring simultaneously. If you disagree, you must show that credobaptism is NOT affirmed by Scripture. i assure you, you will have a very hard time.

Remember the Lord says when reasoning for unity that there is

[3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.]

Since there is ONE baptism, i do not at all like 2 types of baptism: One for for children who at point of baptism haver no faith and the other for those of faith. I hope you understand that paedobaptism and credobaptism are fundamentally very different.This is an 'implied' anti-warrant against paedobaptism.

[Since such is the case, this objection to paedobaptism by saying that it would be filled with unbelievers is false. This could occur with Baptist churches as well! If one says that paedobaptism would give rise to a higher probability for the church to be filled with unbelievers, then that would be more valid. This obviously has happened to Presbyterian and Reformed churches before, where there is laziness in enforcing proper procedure and church discipline for children born to believers who are actually not born again. However, this problem is not unique to paedobaptist churches. Aren't Baptist churches also susceptible to the problem of a formerly admitted member who later apostasized? And how many Baptist churches actually practice church discipline against recalcitrant sinning members? And do Baptist churches sometimes practice more leniency when examining the membership application of the children of members, and especially the pastor's children? I rest my case.]

My terms in this was absolute, perhapos too absolute. But since you agree with me that baptist churches might have a higher proportion of believers, that is the main point i wish people to agree with. Good. The rest is useless rhetoric that can be similarly appplied to you. Since it happens both sides and you have no arguement to say that infant baptism is any better.

At the end of the day, i am very much disgusted by your rhetorical answers to my posts (all 3 replies). While yes i may commit these mistakes, at least at YOUR level you should not commit them for ~ 90% of your replies.

Since you say that there is a time for rhetoric, i tell you the truth that your standard for 'when to use rhetoric' is

1) Your own: because you never state when where how and why. If the standard was set, perhaps then i am at fault. But you did not: instead you say that i am and your standard is.

[There is a place for everything, including polemics and rhetoric, but one place where they shoudn't show up is in disagreements among brethren when the issue involved is not a soul-endangering one.]

Since when is ignorance of doctrine not a soul-endangering one? I assure you that everything the bible says is important and good for the soul. All godly doctrines are founded on Scripture. To prove me wrong you have to show credobaptism is a wrong doctrine. You will have again, a hard time because you all also practice it with conjunction to infant baptism.

I think the issue of baptism IS an important issue, as you do, but it is also vital as well. For this and the other, communion, were 2 sacraments given to us by the Lord. The proper administration of sacraments, as defined by Calvin, and quoted by you, is a mark of a 'saved' church.

2) Hypocritical: because throughout the 3 replies all have used rhetoric almost exclusively. Since you say that my use of rhetoric is wrong/ inappropriate, do you think that yours is any better? For we are on the same subject matter!

I think you have just acted hypocritically because your anwswers are in rheotoric. In addition, you imply that i actually affirm immersion when i am still thinking about it.

Another concept of your arguement is highly flawed. i don't know how to put it into words but the idea is like this:[If a christian does bad things, therfore his God is lousy and not correct] You use this line of arguement against me quite often

You state that

Daniel, at a personnal level, i see why God made me choose credobaptism. If i had chosen infant baptism, i would be in fellowship with you. Your replies in your posts have shocked me enough to see your character - and it is something i do not want to be with. It may not be necessarily bad but i choose to keep it personnal. I regret posting because of what i see but if i had the chance to do it again, i would do it: for it was necessary.

Let us be separate.

Daniel C said...


I suggest you cool down. I see that I have made a mistake when I tried to correct you. I ask you to exhibit humility on things you are just beginning to even hear of, and this NOT for NO reason. All the examples I have used are not things which you may be or are saying, but I am just using these examples to prove that the arguments you have put forth cut both ways. You can't have your cake and eat it! All your arguments you have used to support credo-baptism can be used against it or other vital doctrines of the Bible somehow. And this is what I am driving at. If you are not familiar with that type of reasoning, it is called redutio ad absurdum. This is the form of argumentation I am using to refute your points. Your treatment of my two posts show you DON'T even have an inkling what I am driving at.

And please, don't bother replying until you can even articulate well my arguments. As for the other new arguments you are putting forward here, I don't see any need to respond to them until you are willing to listen to what I am trying to say and not just having a one-sided dialogue. As I have said, calm down! In the hope that you will listen, let me share with you what I have seen, through my observation so far: You are smart, but the way you go about learning doctrine is precisely the idea that Jenson is guarding against in his article here (, point 5. Let me put it here so that we can all take heed and remember:

(On the dangers of blogging)
5. Many Christians are unwittingly sucked into these novel ideas and/or heresies due to a lack of discernment. I remember a person on a discussion board who learnt his Covenant Theology from another person on the board, instead of going to the Bible and sound Christian books. Soon after, he took his Covenant Theology too far and ended up with the Federal Vision Theology group - with presumptious regeneration, paedocommunion and all of that. Today he is advocating the use of incense in church worship- I think he will soon find his way back to Rome.

Now, I sincerely hope that you are not going in that direction, but this is my worry for you. When I go about learning theology, it was a slow process for me and I did not do it in such a quick and contentious manner; to seperate yourself immediately from everyone who holds a diffent set of beliefs from you. Whether right or wrong, the fact of the manner that we are to be charitable in everything we do. Vincent himself expresses his concern in his post here (, and I concur with him. In fact, when I call Rick Warren a heretic, you will note that I did not do it hastily, even when it was rather obvious; I only did it after there is overwhelming proof. As Christians, we are to be slow to pass judgment, cause we know the gravity of judging wrongly (Jas 2:13; 4:11). In fact, I would call on you to repent on your blog for the false accusations you have made against us when you accuse us of denying Sola Scriptura.

With this, I end my post. I will allow you to have one last say on this blog post, if you want to do so, and I will let God and the readers judge for themselves who is addressing the issue and who is having a one-sided conversation (as examplified by your refusal to let anyone disagree with you on your blog, which is why I responded here)