Saturday, June 13, 2009

IS THE BAPTIST VIEW CLEAR IN SCRIPTURE? part 2

More from me on the Baptist view and whether the credobaptist view is clearly found in Scripture. --Josh Brisby
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First, I want to address brother -----'s request of showing him an infant in Scripture that was baptized. We want our reasoning to be good reasoning, and I have to confess that this was one of the reasons I left the credobaptist view. (I don't mean that in any derogatory way.) I could respond to this request by demonstrating its fallaciousness in several ways:

(1) Brother -----, please show me just one example of a female President of the United States. I don't see any. Therefore, only males should be President of the United States.

(2) Brother -----, please show me just one example of a woman partaking of the Lord's Supper. Most seem to agree, after all, that they did not partake of the Levitical Passover (especially the unclean ones on their period).

(3) Brother -----, please show me one example in Scripture of a child professing faith first, and then being baptized. After all, Baptists believe that children can be baptized if they profess faith. So can you show me just one example of a child professing faith and then being baptized in Scripture? This would be the perfect way to demonstrate your view.

(4) What if I were to define "sleeping" by pointing to an example of a horse sleeping? I would surely conclude that the definition of sleeping included the posture of standing up.

I could give more to demonstrate why this kind of reasoning is not sound. It is quite clear to me that the credo view commits the "descriptive equals prescriptive fallacy": namely, taking examples of baptisms (description) and saying that this must be the command of *how* and *who* (prescription). You cannot take an example of something and make it the command or prescription for the definition of something. Otherwise, we would be forced to conclude that sleeping includes standing up from our sleeping horse example.

Both sides use inference. I *do* believe I can point to examples of infants being baptized. The problem is, brother ----- won't accept those examples because they are not clear to him. It is likewise not clear to me that *only* believers should be baptized, even on -----'s own grounds.

Both sides use inference. The question is, which side uses "good and necessary" inference, to quote the WCF? It is clear to me that the Baptist side does not.

Blessings in our Savior!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

IS THE BAPTIST VIEW CLEAR IN SCRIPTURE?

As my Reformed Oasis readers know, I was a Reformed Baptist for nine years, and I became a paedobaptist (believer in infant baptism) just last year. Recently, a Baptist brother asked me to share with him a text "clearly" demonstrating an infant being baptized. I wanted to share my response, and I invite readers to comment. -- Josh Brisby
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Brother ---------,

I would like to keep this short, since ---------'s Facebook account is not the proper place to dialogue/debate about this. I would love to dialogue with you about this by e-mail, if you wish. You may e-mail me at solaschristos@yahoo.com. I will be happy to respond and dialogue in a brotherly and cordial fashion.

Since you asked a question publicly, I will answer publicly, but then I hope you will e-mail me so we can continue. You asked if I could show you one verse showing an infant baptized.

Respectfully, I don't think that's a helpful question to ask. I could ask you to show me one verse showing me that *only* (key word "only") professors should be baptized. Neither side is clear in an explicit sort of way. Both sides use inference. For example, the credo side looks at the texts which speak of people believing and being baptized, and they assume that we can draw an inference from that that *only* believers should be baptized. (I will digress at this point
to say why I believe that is fallacious reasoning.) These brothers look at the household passages and believe that in every case (or every except perhaps one case), people believed first. They also look at the various texts which speak of God's view of our children, and they consider those texts as not proof for the paedo side, or they interpret them differently.

The paedo, on the other hand, looks at the various texts which show God's view of our children, both in the OT and NT, the meaning of both baptism and circumcision, etc., and then takes that model and is not surprised when he/she sees household passages, Jesus' blessing of babies, Paul's calling of our children as holy as opposed to unclean, etc.

So, both sides use inference. I am convinced that it is simply not true that the Baptist side is so clear, b/c there is not one text that says that *only* believers should be baptized; nor is there even one example of someone being born into a Christian home, growing up,
professing faith, and then being baptized.

So, perhaps we can continue from there by e-mail. My e-mail is solaschristos@yahoo.com.

I wish you every blessing in our Savior!