strengths and weaknesses of infant baptism

Christ, in whom all are made alive . Answer: There are no instances of infants being baptized in The Bible. . Should people be rebaptized if they join a church that teaches a different form of baptism? He argues that churches should allow freedom even to their members to decide what they want baptism to mean. From his most tender age let him be consecrated by the Spirit. The premise of Schreiner and Wright’s book is to approach the topic of baptism, while refuting infant baptisms, in a logical fashion starting with addressing what the Bible, theology, church history, and the practical application for churches today. Overall, this book is a helpful explanation of the different views of baptism. As to its true character, baptism (infant or adult) is not a public profession of a faith in Christ already acted upon. ... infant baptism … The kingdom is theirs, Jesus says, and they should be brought to him; and this means baptism. baptism in question, citing strengths and weaknesses along with corresponding reasons for why the particular view is right or wrong from biblical-theological and ... Paul K. Jewett, Infant Baptism and the Covenant of Grace (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978). Here are examples of what early Christian writers had to say on the subject of the infant baptism: “He [Jesus] came to save all through himself; all, I say, who through him are reborn in God: infants, and children, and youths, and old men. 4 7.2.5 7.2.6 7.2. For religious followers, baptism offers the ability to be purified and consecrated. Better that they be sanctified unaware, than that they depart unsealed and uninitiated” (ibid., 40:28). If there were nothing in infants which required the remission of sins and nothing in them pertinent to forgiveness, the grace of baptism would seem superfluous” (Homilies on Leviticus 8:3 [A.D. 248]). Baptism certainly didn't harm him, and the dozen or so years he spent going to church and Sunday school gave him a religous foundation that he could use as a basis of comparison for what he truly believed as an adult. . “Do you have an infant child? In a word, baptism has the same symbolic significance in relationship to fellowship with God as did circumcision.” (87). 7:14). . I was glad to see the strengths and weaknesses of each view presented well. Every recorded baptism in the Bible was with an adult that was old enough to believe. In our council it seemed to us far otherwise. There are three views here – two of which are directly opposed and a third that appears to be a hybrid. “By this grace baptized infants too are ingrafted into his [Christ’s] body, infants who certainly are not yet able to imitate anyone. . My explanation always includes some–but rarely is there time for all–of the following: It our great privilege this morning to administer that sacrament of baptism to one of our little infants. For children of believers there is no explicit mention of baptism—either in infancy or later. If anyone wonders why children born of the baptized should themselves be baptized, let him attend briefly to this. For example, Tony Lane points out one of the weak spots in the Baptist understanding – the baptism of small children: “The problem with this policy is that few small children reject the views of their parents. Even one believing parent in a household makes the children and even the unbelieving spouse “holy” (1 Cor. Sinclair Ferguson also does an admirable job of making a case for the baptism of infants. In the Middle Ages, some groups developed that rejected infant baptism, e.g., the Waldenses and Catharists. This was one of the easiest FOUR VIEWS book to read, though I was a little disappointed that Pratt and Kolb did not argue more vigorously for infant baptism. But infants have no such impediment. Zondervan began with the “Counterpoint” series; Broadman & Holman now has a “Perspectives” series. “[W]hoever says that infants fresh from their mothers’ wombs ought not to be baptized, or say that they are indeed baptized unto the remission of sins, but that they draw nothing of the original sin of Adam, which is expiated in the bath of regeneration . The sacrament of baptism is most assuredly the sacrament of regeneration” (Forgiveness and the Just Deserts of Sin, and the Baptism of Infants 1:9:10; 1:24:34; 2:27:43 [A.D. 412]). They believe baptism is a means of grace and symbolic of God's initiation of the process of salvation. views of baptism and their strengths and weaknesses, both from a biblical-theological perspective and from an historical perspective. . “What the universal Church holds, not as instituted [invented] by councils but as something always held, is most correctly believed to have been handed down by apostolic authority. In practice it can end up being not too different from the paedobaptist position.” (68). 100 Healing Words for Every Harmful Syllable, A Prayer for This Day of Transition and Inauguration. Thus, like circumcision, baptism can be given to children as well as adults. “For where two or three, are gathered together, in my name, there am I in the midst of them” Matthew 18:20 A kaleidoscope of misconceptions, issues, threats and challenges surround the practice of Baptist autonomy. The weakness, from a Lutheran perspective, is that the recipient remains uncertain if baptism and the Lord's Supper actually accomplish anything at all. On the other hand, the disadvantage of infant baptism is that. [so that] he might be the perfect teacher in all things, perfect not only in respect to the setting forth of truth, perfect also in respect to relative age” (Against Heresies 2:22:4 [A.D. 189]). Most American evangelicals only baptize those who have verbally professed faith. In a nutshell, he says that the Bible does not specify whether infants can be baptized or only believing adults. . He was also probably baptized by the bishop of Smyrna at that time—Polycarp, a personal disciple of the apostle John, who had died only a few decades before. Several times, Ferguson uses the phrase “by parity of reasoning” or “through reasoning,” which helps to shine light on how he arrives at seeing baptism within his covenantal framework, one which has much merit to it, but which (on the issue of baptism) seems to me to impose a foreign paradigm on the text. While these texts do not specifically mention—nor exclude—infants, the very use of the term “households” indicates an understanding of the family as a unit. ... Baptism: the significance of infant baptism in Christianity with particular reference to the Catholic and Baptist traditions; arguments in favour of and against infant baptism. But so is rejecting infant baptism. If there were nothing in infants which required the remission of sins and nothing in them pertinent to forgiveness, the grace of baptism would seem superfluous” (Homilies on Leviticus 8:3 [A.D. 248]). Last year, they published The Lord’s Supper: Five Views and Baptism: Three Views (2009). Read more. presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors. For example, take this statement: “Baptism functions in relationship to the new covenant in Christ in a manner analogous to the function of circumcision in the Abrahamic covenant. Who should be baptized? “As to what pertains to the case of infants: You [Fidus] said that they ought not to be baptized within the second or third day after their birth, that the old law of circumcision must be taken into consideration, and that you did not think that one should be baptized and sanctified within the eighth day after his birth. The divisions over baptism become most evident when discussing the proper recipients of the sacrament. In seeking common ground among various Christian traditions, he looks first at what Scripture has to say and then assesses the strengths and weaknesses of differing views in that light. A couple of weeks ago, I gave a message on the issue of baptism. “The Church received from the apostles the tradition of giving baptism even to infants. Is infant baptism scriptural? How To Find Joy Amid Tensions With Other Believers, The Danger of Students Taking a “Gap Year” from Church. now saves you” (1 Pet. The strength of this position is that it eliminates any mechanical or magical certainty that the Lutheran or Roman Catholic view might grant baptism. Do you fear the seal [of baptism] because of the weakness of nature? “You see how many are the benefits of baptism, and some think its heavenly grace consists only in the remission of sins, but we have enumerated ten honors [it bestows]! What is the significance of water baptism? . Introduction The debate over baptism remains an item of contention within Christian circles. In fact, the only reported controversy on the subject was a third-century debate whether or not to delay baptism until the eighth day after birth, like its Old Testament equivalent, circumcision! . Christ Calls All to Baptism. . However, many generally believe that a baptism is an important step of obedience throughout a believer’s life. . Here is an ideal setting in which you can consider the strengths and weaknesses of each stance and arrive at … Infant baptism of children of the covenant (Reformed) Each view is presented by its proponent, then critiqued and defended in dialogue with the book’s other contributors. 5:6, 6:15), but “[b]aptism . Should baptism be required for church membership? Who should be baptized? He is the general editor of The Gospel Project, and the author of multiple books, including Rethink Your Self, This Is Our Time, Eschatological Discipleship, and Gospel Centered Teaching. 1:16), a term encompassing children and infants as well as servants. . On the other hand, nowhere do we read of children raised in believing households reaching the age of reason and then being baptized. I understand that the infant baptist position hinges on this assumption, but this kind of statement is exactly that which needs to be proven from Scripture, not merely stated. These and other questions are explored in this thought-provoking book.Four … Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases on Amazon.com. . . for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”. Still others concentrate on baptism in the spirit. permission to publish this work is hereby granted. As we will see, there is no doubt that the early Church practiced infant baptism; and no Christian objections to this practice were ever voiced until the Reformation. For those planning a baptism event, the following baptism invitation wording ideas serve as great samples to the type of verbiage you can use. let him be anathema [excommunicated]. The analysis endeavors to briefly summarize the main themes of the book followed by a critique measuring the strengths and weaknesses of the work's arguments. 7 7. 4 7.5 Introduction The biblical emphasis on unity Introduction One God, one body Unity and evangelism The scandal of schism and disunity For on account of this rule of faith even infants, who in themselves thus far have not been able to commit any sin, are therefore truly baptized unto the remission of sins, so that that which they have contracted from generation may be cleansed in them by regeneration” (Canon 3 [A.D. 416]). Nowhere in the New Testament, they point out, do we read of infants being baptized. The fact is, the Bible gives us no way of bringing anyone to Jesus apart from baptism. An actual baptism has not occurred. Since he was born in a Christian home in Smyrna around the year 140, this means he was probably baptized around 140. In seeking common ground among various Christian traditions, he looks first at what Scripture has to say and then assesses the strengths and weaknesses of differing views in that light. Considering this tension, two men were led to compile a series of essays authored by various theological professors and pastors to cultivate a compelling case for believer’s baptism. Does this mean unbelieving spouses should be baptized? Michael Green attempts to steer a straight, biblical course through the troubled waters of baptism. The only explicit baptism accounts in the Bible involve converts from Judaism or paganism. Which is the proper baptismal mode: sprinkling, pouring, or immersion? Baptist churches are autonomous under the lordship of Christ. Although many Protestant traditions baptize babies, Baptists—and “Bible churches” in the Baptist tradition—insist that baptism is only for those who have come to faith. Featuring the classic and thought-provoking Counterpoints forum of presentation, critique, and response, this insightful discussion explores the four prominent viewpoints on Protestant baptism. Should people be rebaptized if they join a church that teaches a different form of baptism? Of course not. ... Baptism: the significance of infant baptism in Christianity with particular reference to the Catholic and Baptist traditions; arguments in favour of and against infant baptism. . Rather, we all judge that the mercy and grace of God ought to be denied to no man born” (Letters 64:2 [A.D. 253]). No matter which position you hold, if you are interested in finding out something about the other views, you will find this book to be a good resource. The New Testament itself, while it does not explicitly say when (or whether) believers should have their children baptized, is not silent on the subject. Which is the proper baptismal mode: sprinkling, pouring, or immersion? I can already assume that the book will lead to the third view as the “best of both worlds.” Thankfully, this book stays much more objective than I anticipated. These and other questions are explored in this thought-provoking book.Four … Infant baptism is the practice of baptising infants or young children.In theological discussions, the practice is sometimes referred to as paedobaptism, or pedobaptism, from the Greek pais meaning "child". “Baptize first the children, and if they can speak for themselves let them do so. Therefore he passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants, sanctifying infants; a child for children, sanctifying those who are of that age . Very true. Baptism is the Christian equivalent of circumcision, or “the circumcision of Christ”: “In him you were also circumcised with . IVP has long had a “Spectrum” series. Few Baptists today are willing to challenge the recent development of baptizing small children, and because of our enthusiasm for this relatively new practice, we undermine our overall position. Later, the Anabaptists (“re-baptizers”) echoed them, claiming that infants are incapable of being baptized validly. Instead, the focus is squarely on the question most relevant to most evangelicals: Do we baptize infants or not? I cannot imagine that Paul would not desire uniformity among the churches when it comes to this issue. For this very reason does he [an infant] approach more easily to receive the remission of sins: because the sins forgiven him are not his own but those of another” (ibid., 64:5). Evolutionary creationists.God created life using evolution – much like he creates children using natural processes from egg and sperm to embryo to infant. For the promise is to you and to your children” (Acts 2:38–39, emphasis added). “The custom of Mother Church in baptizing infants is certainly not to be scorned, nor is it to be regarded in any way as superfluous, nor is it to be believed that its tradition is anything except apostolic” (The Literal Interpretation of Genesis 10:23:39 [A.D. 408]). . Yet many Christians follow the majority practice of church history and administer the ordinance to adults and their infant … Baptism: Three Views does not discuss baptismal regeneration (thus excluding the Churches of Christ, the Anglicans, and Roman Catholics from the conversation). Consequently they could make profits and gain bigger voices in politics. Since others respond for children, so that the celebration of the sacrament may be complete for them, it is certainly availing to them for their consecration, because they themselves are not able to respond” (On Baptism, Against the Donatists 4:24:31 [A.D. 400]). . (See quotation from Cyprian, below; compare Leviticus 12:2–3.). Evolutionary creationists.God created life using evolution – much like he creates children using natural processes from egg and sperm to embryo to infant. 1 7.2.2 7.2.3 7. is his tendency to merely state the assumptions that I want to see him prove. The frustrating part of Ferguson’s essay for me (as a Baptist, remind you!) They sanction the variety of practice that we see in the early church.” (166). The interactive and fair-minded nature of the Counterpoints format allows the reader to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each view and draw informed, personal conclusions. Given the silence of the New Testament, why not assume Christian baptism is only for adult converts? No one agreed to the course which you thought should be taken. It endeavors to briefly summarize the main themes of the book followed by a critique measuring the strengths and weaknesses of Hall's arguments. Consider, too, that Fathers raised in Christian homes (such as Irenaeus) would hardly have upheld infant baptism as apostolic if their own baptisms had been deferred until the age of reason. sense of unity, by sharing the same religion. “‘Well enough,’ some will say, ‘for those who ask for baptism, but what do you have to say about those who are still children, and aware neither of loss nor of grace? Here is an ideal setting in which you can consider the strengths and weaknesses of each stance and arrive at … Shall we baptize them too?’ Certainly [I respond], if there is any pressing danger. their understanding and practice of baptism. Explicit mention of baptism—either in infancy or later gain bigger voices in politics word, baptism has same! People be rebaptized if they can speak for them ” ( ibid., )... The difference is that the materials presented in this work are free doctrinal. “ in him you were also circumcised with has the same religion no wonder that symbolism! 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