Family Personal St Peters Theology

Ten Biblical Reasons Why I Baptised My Granddaughter (and Children).

DSCF3141Baptism is a divisive subject amongst some Christians – which is a shame because it is a sacrament which is supposed to unite.  There is one baptism into the body of Christ.   I accept, understand and empathise with my Baptist brothers and sisters who by conviction think that only those who have come to a saving faith should be baptised (it’s not fair to call it adult baptism because children and teenagers can also be baptised in this way – for example I have baptised a seven-year-old on their own profession of faith).  It is a position I once held with great conviction – but I would make a simple request of my Baptist brothers and sisters – please understand that there are those of us who baptise infants who do so, not because of tradition, or superstition, or ignorance of the Bible; but because we are convicted that this is Biblical.   So here are my ten reasons from the Bible why I rejoiced in being able to baptise my granddaughter, Evie, last Sunday.

  1. Because she is a child of the Covenant – Acts 2:39 “The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”   Peter was addressing a group of people who saw themselves as the Covenant people.  They would not have understood the concept of individuals choosing to follow God, without their children doing so.  It is in that context that we must understand the New Testament teaching about baptism.

2. Because the majority of recorded baptisms in the New Testament were household baptismsThe Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized,b she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.  (Acts 16:14-15) ….

   They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night, the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household. (Acts 16:31-34)

What intrigues me about this is that the jailer is told you (singular) believe and you and your household (plural) will be saved.  Why do we not expect to see household salvations as the norm today?

3. Because the New Covenant is more generous than the old – 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh b was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. (Colossians 2:11-12)

Paul here links the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant – circumcision with the sign of the New Covenant – baptism.  The Passover becomes the Lord’s Supper, the Sabbath becomes the Lord’s Day, and circumcision becomes baptism.  Now if the old Covenant sign was extended to the children of believers, why would the NT one not be?   Why do we have no example in the New Testament of a child born into a Covenant home having to wait until they were of age until they were given the Covenant sign?

4. Because she belongs to the Church –  “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”  (Ephesians 6:1) .  Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is addressed to “God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus.”  As part of that, he addresses the children.  He is not addressing the children outside the Church – he is addressing those who belong to the Church.  If they belong to the Church why should they be refused the sign of belonging?

5. Because she is Holy –  ” For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.” (1 Corinthians 7:14)  Children of believers are holy.  Set apart for God.  They belong to the set apart Covenant community.  They should receive the sign of that community.

6.  Because she needs the Holy Spirit –  “ ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see DSCF3146visions, your old men will dream dreams.”  (Acts 2:17).   Peter on the day of Pentecost cites the prophecy of Joel – a promise that all the Lord’s people would be given the Spirit.   Water baptism is deeply connected with Spirit baptism.  The one is a physical sign of the other.  Water baptism is an initiation into the visible church.  Spirit baptism is an initiation into the invisible church.  Water baptism does not confer the Spirit on a child, just as it does not confer the Spirit on an adult.  But it is a sign.   Who knows when the Spirit will work.  Jeremiah was set apart in the womb.  John the Baptist was filled with the Spirit in the womb.    I pray that the Holy Spirit will even now be working in my granddaughter’s life.

7.  Because she needs Forgiveness – Peter 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.” (Acts 2:38) – This verse also applies to the previous point.  Baptism is for the forgiveness of sins.  Not because it confers forgiveness but because it speaks of the one who does.  Jesus Christ is the sacrifice of atonement – the one who shed his blood that we might be forgiven.

8. Because of Faith –  “Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:3-5).  What is interesting about this story is that when Jesus saw ‘their faith’ (plural) he said to the man ‘your sins are forgiven’ where the your is singular.  You can’t have faith for other people – but you can bring people to Jesus is faith.  And that is what Evie’s parents were doing.   I hope they will bring up Evie in the faith that she will become a Christian, rather than the fear that she won’t!

9. Because Jesus wants us to bring the Little Children to him – People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them.  14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” (Mark 10:13-16) – I know that this verse is not speaking directly about baptism – but it does indicate the attitude of Christ.  Should Christian parents do as many militant secularists want, and keep their children away from the Church until they can make their own mind up? Or should we be like the ‘Christian’ sect who taught that children were part of the world and not the church, and therefore parents should not eat with them?   No – the children of believers belong to the Lord, and we should bring them for blessing to Him.  Whilst it’s not wrong to bring them for an infant dedication (a dry baptism) – surely it is better to bring them through the sacrament that He has ordained?

10.  Because God is Faithful –  “But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’S love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.”  (Psalm 103:17-18) .  When I baptised my granddaughter I was saying neither the parents nor the grandparents can care for this precious child as much as you can O Lord.  You are faithful.  We entrust her to you.

“You Shall Your Children’s Children See, And Peace on Israel” – Psalm 128

Those are the biblical reasons – you may not accept them, or my understanding of them – (and I don’t intend to have a pointless time-wasting debate about them) but I hope at least you will understand why I baptised my granddaughter.

I could add historical reasons – AA Hodge points out that this was the practice of the early Church – Irenaeus (born AD 97); Justin Martyr (138), Tertullian (160), Origen (185), Cyprian (253) and Augustine (354) all testify to it.  You could, of course, argue that the Church very quickly went wrong- I think it is unlikely!  But I agree that it is better to stick to the biblical reasons:

I leave you with the blessing and psalm we often use at baptisms.

Little child, for you Jesus Christ has come, he has fought, he has suffered. For you he entered the shadow of Gethsemane and the horror of Calvary. For you he uttered the cry ‘it is finished!’ For you he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven and there intercedes – for you little child even though you do not know it.
But in this way the word of the Gospel becomes true; ‘We love him, because he first loved us.

Psa. 117:1    “Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. 2 For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD.”

Baptism – A personal Journey in which it is discovered that infant baptism is Biblical!


  1. I also think the parallel with OT Abraham and circumcision can be strengthened. When he circumcised it is said his household took is parallelled in Acts with baptism

  2. We go for Believers’ Baptism in our Church – not a Baptist Church – because we do believe it is the only true and complete Biblical stance.

    I do respect your beliefs, but surely the Dedication of a child to God by the family of a newborn who cannot yet believe for him/herself (which is what we do) would cover all the points you raise? And wasn’t Jesus dedicated to God as an infant at the Temple?

    1. Thanks Brenda – we don’t have the temple any more. The dedication of a child would not cover most of the points I raise. Not least the question of whether the child belongs to the Church or not.

  3. I would imagine the vast majority of people our age have been baptized as kids.
    My own children are also baptized. That was then … it was the ”done thing”. If it were today it would be highly unlikely we as parents would subject our children to this archaic nonsense.

    Furthermore, it meant absolutely nothing to me as a kid and means nothing to me as an adult, a sentiment I venture would be expressed by most of those who may claim to be Christian solely from a cultural perspective.

    1. I beg to differ, respectfully. Baptism is an act of obedience to to God by the parents, family and congregation to love and support the child by faith and through faith in the God of the Bible. It is a commitment made publicly.

      It grieves my aging heart that we have forgotten and discarded the meaning of commitment in our culture today.

      1. @ Cristine.
        With equal respect: considering,for example, the numbers of children that die every single minute of the day from preventable diseases alone, never mind all the other tragedies, it seems God has no influence or apparent interest in their well being, which doesn’t strike me in any way whatsoever as the type of attitude one would expect from a caring, loving ”father”.

  4. You are mistaken at nearly every point. You think infant baptism is one thing but you don’t really believe it.
    I have copied and pasted some of your words ……

    “ I hope they will bring up Evie in the faith that she will become a Christian, rather than the fear that she won’t!”
    You hope she will become a Christian, this is your unconscious belief. Is she not as an infant?
    So don’t deprive Evie of the opportunity to accept Jesus and obey him for herself by telling her she doesn’t need to do it, I did it for you when you were a baby

    1. Pete – thanks for this. Not because I appreciate either what you say or how you say it – but because it is a great example of the kind of argument that I was asking people not to use. Please don’t accuse me of being a liar if you wish to try and convince me of your position. I do believe what I say. Please don’t misrepresent my argument and then argue against your own misrepresentation. And please don’t make a sweeping generalisation which you back up with nothing more than – you don’t really believe it’. If you are a Christian and wish to engage with other Christians over something you disagree with – please do so respectfully, intelligently and with some humility.

  5. The most helpful thing I have read on this question – thank you. Just one question: is there a variety of practice on infant/believers’ baptism in your denomination?

    1. I’m afraid there is. Most I hope stick to the Westminster Confessions view that we only offer baptism to the children who have at least one parent who is a believer. Some will be a bit stricter (only members – but you can of course have believers who are not members) . Some will offer baptism to adherents who are not believers.

  6. David, I do so enjoy most of the content you write, I learn from it, grow as a result of it and find I agree with a vast amount of it. I am not always sure about the ‘style’ you employ as it seems almost perpetually confrontational, containing ‘too much certainty’ and I am not sure it really serves your intentions well, but it is your choice.

    This content however does not bring forth agreement, rather disappointment and concern. I would have liked to respond to your 10 points, most of which I find misleading, but you wrote – (and I don’t intend to have a pointless time-wasting debate about them) but I hope at least you will understand why I baptised my granddaughter…. based on what you wrote, I don’t understand the basis for baptising your lovely granddaughter.

    There must be a verse missing from my bible in John 3: 3 – In reply Jesus declared “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again”. (Unless you were baptised as a baby by a minister from a denomination that is into that! It doesn’t matter that as an infant you were not a believer or could not repent, you are covered).

    I recently had the priviledge of praying with a lady of 80 who was born again after our sunday service. She has gone to this church all her life and because she was baptised as a baby, didn’t realise she needed to be born again, or indeed that she could receive the Holy Spirit. The revelation and her response made it (her words) “the most exciting and rewarding day of my life”, which of course it was. How many others sit in our pews or chairs thinking they have received all that God has to offer because some well meaning minister wrongly believed in infant baptism?

    And what about the word ‘baptism’ itself, the transliteration from the Greek meaning total immersion, either through dunking or drenching, not water sprinkled on the forehead? We had the priviledge of seeing 6 people receive this last Sunday during the service. Their resposes were a joy to behold, as in their obedience they knew what they were doing and receiving, praise God.

    1. Thanks Ken – but your post is a wee bit confusing – you complain about my being confrontational and containing too much certainty in a post in which you are way more confrontational than I usually am – and all based on your own absolute certainties! But perhaps you were having a bad night when you wrote this so I forgive you!

      Can I also advise that if you wish to appear irenic rather than confrontational you don’t accuse people of being misleading )om effect lying and being deceitful)? I do however accept that you don’t understand why I baptised my granddaughter. That is clear from your post. However again a word of advice – it’s probably better not to condemn an opinion which you admit you don’t understand. Once you understand it, it is easier to put right. Otherwise you just run the danger of putting people’s backs up.

      Also try to avoid the sarcasm (even though there is biblical precedent for it!). John 3:3 does not have a verse which says anything about infant baptism – nor does it say anything about adult baptism.

      And another bit of advice – make sure when you enter an argument in such a confrontational all guns blazing style that you know the argument you are answering again and that you represent it fairly. I was not arguing for either baptismal regeneration or that merely by the fact of being baptised ‘you are covered’.

      It’s great to hear about the lady who was ‘born again’ after your Sunday service (although to be accurate you cannot know if she was born again or not – the Spirit blows where he wills – by their fruits you shall know them). But I don’t think that it was BECAUSE she was baptised as a baby that she didn’t realise she needed to be born again – after all she was a baby when she was baptised so would have known nothing. I suspect that its more likely she didn’t realise she needed to be born again was because she was dead in sins and trespasses and because she had never heard, rather than it being anything to do with her baptism…

      There are doubtless those who sit in their chairs and pews who think that they have received all that God has to offer – but I have never met anyone who did so BECAUSE a minister wrongly believed in infant baptism. There are many reasons why people will sit in chairs and pews and not be converted. Some may rely on their baptism. Others rely on their having gone forward at a rally or saying the sinners prayer, or many other reasons. It is only faith in Christ that saves us – not our baptism or anything else that we do.

      Your point about baptism meaning immerse has some validity – although that is also a matter of dispute.

      You do realise that the church you are currently going to practices infant baptism as well as adult (as do all Presbyterian, Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran, Orthodox and many independent churches)?” Given that you are so vehemently against it I wonder how you can countenance it! I do hope however that you will treat the minister and elders with a bit more respect and kindness than you have shown on this post. The irony is that I wrote my post to help those who disagree with their Christians brothers and sisters on this secondary issue – precisely so that we can avoid these kinds of responses.

  7. With respect, David, dedication (blessing, dry baptism, whatever you choose to call it) does cover all your points. To say that we have to baptise a child to enable God to pour out his Spirit on them seem to me to merely perpetuate a conceit of the established church – I am sure He can do it without any procedural intervention by us… are we to believe that Jesus didn’t “belong” to the Church until he was Baptised by John?
    But surely the biggest problem with infant Baptism these days must be that – not always but certainly in the majority of cases – it encourages parents, God-parents, and whole congregations, to make promises which they have neither the ability or intention to keep.

    1. Thanks Charles – the only difference is that infant dedication is not mentioned in the Bible – covenant baptism is. And I didn’t say that we have to baptise a child to enable God to pour out his Spirit on them – any more than we baptise an adult for the same reason. Jesus did not receive Christian baptism in his own name! He received the baptism of John which was different from Christian baptism.

      Finally your ‘biggest problem’ is also unfair…All of us should have the humility to realise that we cannot keep promises without the help of the Holy Spirit (including those who are being baptised as adults promising to follow Christ….) But it is wrong of you to say that those who promise to bring up their children in the love and fear of the Lord have no intention to keep their promises.

  8. I’m baptist but you put your views with warmth and graciousness and I appreciated your post. Thanks

  9. Careful reading of Acts 16 v 31/34 would seem to indicate that the Philippian jailer and his household were saved and baptised because they believed. “They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house” (v32). “He was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God – he and his whole household” (v34). Is it really being suggested that an infant can “hear” the word of the Lord and “believe”?

    Spurgeon comments in his usual pithy fashion – “If we could find infant baptism in the Word of God, we should adopt it. It would help us out of a great difficulty, for it would take away the reproach which is attached to us – that we are odd, and do not as other people do. But we have looked well through the Bible, and cannot find it, and do not believe that it is there; nor do we believe that others can find infant baptism in the Scriptures, unless they themselves first put it there.”

    1. And an even more careful reading would suggest that the household believing does not exclude infants. You will also note that the jailor is promised if he believed his whole family would….that to me is very significant.

      1. That sounds like household salvation to me. Where is that taught in scripture?

  10. Baptism is baptism into the death of the Lord Jesus and it speaks of our burial with Him (Rom. 6:3&4). Peter’s instruction (quoted above under point 7) is to people who have been convicted of their sin by the power of the Spirit. The point of baptism is that we are turning from our old lives, recognising our sinfulness, and identifying with the Lord Jesus and what He has done for us as our Saviour. With all due respect, that is not a decision that most infants are capable of making and certainly not in the various cases of infant baptism I have witnessed throughout my life as a Christian.

    1. Thanks Douglas – You are right to cite Romans 6:3-4 as the strongest text for believers baptism. If it were the only text – but it does not answer the points I raised and it is not obvious that it is just talking about the mode and subjects of baptism – and it does not exclude infant baptism. The point of baptism is that it is Gods covenant sign upon his people – as was circumcision. It is not just our witness to our faith.

      1. You are right, David, that Romans 6:3,4 is not the only text on baptism. But it does speak directly about baptism. Several of the scriptures in your original piece say nothing about baptism and are not being used in that context where they originally appear e.g. Mark 2:3-5 under point 8; Mark 10:13-16 under point 9 (which you acknowledge); Ephesians 6 under point 4. I don’t think taking scripture out of its original context and using it to build a case for a particular stance is how we should use it.
        It also does not address point of sinners recognising their need of a Saviour and turning from their old lives to newness of life in Christ, something which infants who are baptised are largely incapable of doing.

  11. Certainly an interesting post, persuasively and graciously arguing a case that I believe to be flawed. To put my own cards on the table, I come from a background where credo-baptism was stressed (among the Brethren), am now part of a Presbyterian congregation, where I find the baptisms to be very poignant expressions of faith, and I have a daughter who was baptised as an adult into the Church of Ireland, while another was baptised as an adult in a Baptist church. I have every reason for wanting to be truly ecumenical about these matters, and I have a lot of respect for church tradition in the Reformed constituency. But having said all that, I can’t, hand on heart, endorse paedo-baptism. The NT examples are in a sense arguments from silence, or arguments by (seeming) necessary implication. The normative NT position does seem to be baptism on confession of faith. But the one thing that I have never had satisfactorily explained to me is the circumcision analogy. This is not at all explicit in the NT, certainly not in the passage quoted, where the contrast is with circumcision of the heart etc. But my point is more fundamental than that. I think that if David is right here, then it would have been very easy for Paul in Galatians to rebut the teaching of the circumcision party by saying, “you foolish Galatians (or words to that effect) don’t you remember me teaching you that circumcision in the flesh is done away with and the outward sign of membership of the New Community is baptism?” But that is not his approach at all. And we forget that baptism was not at all an unusual feature of NT Judaism, or indeed present day Judaism. Proselytes were baptised. Jerusalem at Pentecost was full of ritual baths. Ritual cleansing was an is a big thing. It ran in parallel with circumcision. No: according to Paul, circumcision is gone, done away with, like animal sacrifices etc. It hasn’t metamorphosed into something else. Circumcision was a discrete thing. It is now gone for good (unless of course for good and valid medical reasons).

    1. Thanks Stephen,

      I appreciate your response….I don’t accept that the NT arguments for infant baptism are just based on silence. And the silence goes two ways – there is complete silence about a child being brought up in a Christian family and NOT being baptised.

      I don’t disagree that the normative position on baptism is baptism on confession of faith. That’s not the issue….the issue is whether that profession can be a family profession or is it just individualistic? The question is also whether the sign should always follow the thing signified.

      I think Paul did rebuke the Galatians – their big issue was not an argument about circumcision but the return to the works of the law/flesh against the life of faith and the Spirit. In that sense outward baptism could just as much be a ‘work’ of the flesh, as circumcision. What counts is the baptism of the Spirit! I think that it is clear that the Passover morphed into the Lord’s Supper, the Sabbath into the Lord’s Day and circumcision into baptism….

      1. I would struggle to see circumcision morphing into baptism. Note that the way things happen with the Lord’s Supper is that Jesus takes the actual passover event and explicitly makes it about him. On the other hand, John and then the apostles tell circumscised and uncircumcised people alike that they need to repent and be baptised.

  12. Thank you for articulatimg your position David. I don’t think to be honest that the issue for many of us who take the believers’ baptism position is that we don’t know why you baptise infants. We know the arguments, have heard them many times but disagree. We don’t think the arguments hold water! See Stephen Kneale’s article which responds. I personal find that the paedo-baptist position requires special pleading of the type that you would be quick to refute in other contexts. I suspect that in fact your article is as much for people within paedo- baptist traditions who baptise their children but are not sure why 🙂
    I hope that in discussing the question we will all stick fairly to what the real arguments are. Just as baptists do tend to know the actual paedo-baptist position because we have heard it, so too most paedo- baptist interloceturs should have heard a Baptist Biblical argumenr now. So it is good that you emphasise that we baptise believers not adults because often arguments Ive heard miss and even refuse to acknowledge that point.
    There is a further, pressing question now which is about how we treat each other’s baptisms. My tendency is to say that I disagree with the mode and timing but there needs ro be some recognition of baptism validity if we recognise each others churches as true churches. This is important to the question of membership

  13. I was baptised as a baby and I have never gone through another baptism ceremony as an adult after my conversion. My baptism as a baby, without my conscious decision, symbolises for me that my conversion was not my achievement but something initiated by God before I moved towards him. I was dead in my sins and unable to resurrect myself. It was the Holy Spirit who chose me and regenerated me before I desired him.

    I think full immersion is a rich symbol of death and resurrection. But sprinkling is also a rich symbol – of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the person being baptised. Ultimately I don’t think the quantity of water used or the method it is applied is crucial. The water is only a symbol. In the same way, we don’t insist that the bread used in the communion service must be white unleavened bread, even though that was what was used in the Last Supper.

    About 16 years elapsed between my baptism and my conversion. But I don’t think the difference in time matters. My Christian friends who were baptised as adults also had a time lapse between the two events. In their case, their baptism did not accompany conversion but followed weeks or months later. In the book of Acts repentance, faith, receiving the Spirit, being incorporated into Christ, and being baptized in water all belonged together conceptually, though they rarely all occurred simultaneously. Despite being asynchronous and in varying chronological order, it was perceived as a single multi-faceted event.

    1. I think there is a difference between recognising that a baptism may be valid even if the order is different or that we can see something symbolicly rich is different from saying that this is the right or a valid form of doing things. I see a case for graciously saying ” okay you got the order of things wrong and we can learn something from that” but that is different from teaching it as the norm and continuing to encourage it. There seems to be a steong paedobaptist emphasis on baptism being passive and a symbol of something done to us but the NT speakers and writers from John onwards tie it in to repentance

    2. “I was baptised as a baby and I have never gone through another baptism ceremony as an adult after my conversion. My baptism as a baby, without my conscious decision, symbolises for me that my conversion was not my achievement but something initiated by God before I moved towards him. I was dead in my sins and unable to resurrect myself. It was the Holy Spirit who chose me and regenerated me before I desired him.”

      ….and what of all the babies who weren’t baptised? God just forgot about those did he? Why on earth wouldn’t he have “initiated” their baptism?

  14. @ John

    ….and yet you had your children baptised Ark?

    How very strange.

    Yes, baptism is quite strange, I agree. However, as I mentioned in the previous comment – that was then and this is now.

    I also got married in a Catholic Cathedral. Although I realise that, you, as a Protestant, yes? probably don’t consider Catholics to be Christian.

    Truly beautiful building. Didn’t think twice about it, and the priest, Father Peter Docherty was a really nice bloke.
    In those days I was nothing more that a Cultural Christian and as my wife and in-laws are all Catholic and my folks were overseas, I had no problems getting married in this fashion. Besides, it was the ”done thing”.
    Even people like me succumb to tradition at times, you know?

    These days I would never bother with baptism for my kids and neither would I marry in a church, but rather a nice garden wedding. Still have all the pomp and ceremony, but without the god stuff.

    1. I’m an atheist Ark.

      I only expressed mild surprise at the baptism of your children because I understand from your posts on this blog that you are an atheist too – or at the very least agnostic.

      I don’t know what a “cultural Christian” is.

  15. Top notch stuff. I liked in the replies that you pointed out how John 3:3 in “my” bible does not contain the contain “you must be born again and baptised” or “her whole household but obviously not her children, unless they were about fiteen, usually, were saved”. With great inferrence comes great errancy.

    I had a chat with a Hebrew roots movement (non?) believer who was adament my baptism wasn’t the issue, I had to be circumcised! There is always someone out there who can say of you “the real mark of a believer is…” usually something other than Jesus’ blood.

    But lo! I told him I already had been circumcised anyway for medical reasons but also, if you like, it 3rd place Premier Leagues my FA cup victory into Europe, both Champions League and Europa (Is this right? Ed.): which matters less? My being baptised as an infant or getting circumcised as an adult for medical reasons? Both, one or neither?

    He told me my circumcision didn’t apply because it wasn’t for spiritual reasons so it IS baptism in the spirit or a daily mental mivkah. I’d get both done on my children to out smarm anyone. If I had to pick which you should think about doing as an adult I’d get circumcised and if you start arguing against that, then why would baptism be much more impressive? Put some skin in the game (that’s enough, Ed.).

  16. Is part of the question in practice: do we consider children of Christians to be members of the covenant community? & would we bring them up to call God “Father”?

  17. I support David’s position on baptism as the most logical. The Bible says to go and baptise people. If it was required to only baptise people of age then the Bible would just say “only baptise people of age”. But it doesn’t say this and therefore I can’t see how anybody can argue against baptising people of all ages.

    David is right to highlight that the early Church leaders (Augustine etc) administered child baptisms. Even from a non-biblical perspective, adult baptism beliefs has become popular during an era when infant mortality rates have been decreasing.

    The vast majority of humanity since the early Church was established received a child baptism. Are Anabaptists actually saying they weren’t baptised after all?

    It seems to me that Anabaptists argue for a clear separation of the New Testament to the Old Testament despite Paul’s continued reference in the NT about the promise made to Abraham. If you are a believer in the Bible then you must believe that it is the same Christ in the NT and the OT. Therefore I can’t see how you can logically argue for clear separation. There has to be a degree of continuity for the whole thing to make sense. It simply doesn’t make sense for the covenantal sign to be administered to infants in the OT but not in the NT. That would imply a God who doesn’t really know what he’s doing and is just making it up as he goes along. Continuity is the key! The main reason for the NT is for salvation to be offered to the Gentiles and Jews alike. It was not to nitpick about how we administer sacraments.

    Christ did not come into this world to make sure we only baptised people of age. Christ came into the world to save us from our sins.

  18. Thanks David for this post, I helps me to clarify in my own mind how precious a thing it was to be baptised even though I cannot remember it, and even though my Baptist friends are not persuaded. I also found this very powerful, Dr SInclair Ferguson on the topic.
    (Union with Christ: Mind Renewing Foundations Desiring God Conference 2014 if the link does not work).

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