Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Great Debate over Baptism and the Covenant (11 CDs)

The Great Debate over Baptism and the Covenant (11 CDs)

Linking this CD series by William Einwechter here as I felt this was a very convincing (and influential) series on the Scriptural foundation for believers baptism. This is an issue that, as a former Presbyterian, I've become strongly convinced is what Scripture defines Baptism is to be.

I was baptized as an unrepentant 3-month old in a liberal Presbyterian church in Philadelphia roungly 37 years ago, and in thinking back, I have to wonder where was the blessing of observing/experiencing this ordinance directly? I knew nothing of the joy of sharing a testimony and experiencing the waters of baptism, or of experiencing the symbolic death of the old self ("having been buried with him in baptism" Col. 2:12) and being raised up by the pastor out of the water, the pastor symbolizing Christ's redemptive role lifting me out of sin and into a newness of life. I loved my adult baptism, and the richness and symbolism of that ordinance has such importance in my love for God.

I just don't see infant baptism in scripture. I don't see how a man on a desert island could find a Bible, read it, learn it, and then somehow find the principle of sprinkling babies in this text (well, unless an R.C. Sproul Study Bible washed up on the shore...)

But most foundational, I can't see how infant baptism isn't a gross violation of the regulative principle. How can a practice that isn't explicitly defined in Scirpture be taken and instituted - and then even further, be called a sacrament? How can paedobaptists even know that God's grace will be imparted to a sinful, unrepentant infant? Isn't that somewhat akin to a Landmark church saying that they will host a "revival" on a certain day of the week - in other Words, just like paedobaptists, how can they know when and where the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit will take place? And I for one have known quite a number of people who, baptized as infants, have had no issues with walking away completely from their faith, with only a "half-sacrament" in place.

Anyhow, The Great Debate over Baptism series by William Einwechter is exceptional and informative and I would urge anyone who is divided on the issue to look into this series.

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