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Tag: Infant Baptism

R. Scott Clark: I Will Be a God to You and to Your Children

“And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.” (Genesis 17:7 ESV)

“And Peter said to them, ‘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. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.’” (Acts 2:38-39 ESV)

Defining Baptism

One of the problems when dealing with defining who the proper recipients are in baptism is the very definition of baptism itself. The standard “on the street” definition in Baptist circles, which is the predominant view in evangelical churches, is “the outward sign of an inward reality.” And this makes great sense to people who aren’t familiar with the Reformed perspective on baptism (which is drastically different from the Roman Catholic Church in which the Reformed view denies baptismal regeneration).

As For Me and My House, We Will Serve the Lord

In working through infant baptism and children in the covenant (not, mind you, whether adult converts should be baptized; yes they should), trying to find proof texts (“go ye forth and baptize thy children, or… not”) is the wrong way to go about sifting through the data. MacArthur’s arguments against Sproul, for instance, are unhelpful to me in defending against it. He says, “I don’t see it, it’s just not there,” or “show me a specific text” and then proof texts’ the New Testament, wrongly conflating the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 17) with “Old Covenant” (Mosaic Covenant). So much of that has to do with presuppositions underlying “not seeing it” though. In other words, it’s reductionist to just say “it’s just not there” which ignores volumes of theology related to the larger story of scripture, starting way back in Genesis going forward, and the necessary outworking of that story, carrying over into the NT. (MacArthur may be a bad example though given that he’s a staunch classic dispensationalist which sees division in the unfolding of redemption that I don’t hold to, but I hope you see the point.)

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