Friday, August 24, 2007

A Debate on The Proper Recipients of Christian Baptism


On Sunday Evening August 19th, 2007 about 150 people gathered in Murrieta California to hear a debate between Pastor Gene Cook, Jr and Paul Manata on the question of "Who are the proper recipients of Christian Baptism? The debate was one of the best to date, having two reformed men that were able to clearly articulate and defend their position. Over all it was a victory for the credo-baptist position, not because credos are smarter than paedos, but because of the clarity of the New Testament scriptures on the constitution of the New Covenant i.e. consisting of believers only. Of note was Gene’s exegesis of Hebrews 8; proving that the New Covenant is entirely salvific, consisting only of true believers. Paul’s counter argument that there is an eschatological aspect to the covenant failed to convince since it lacked contextual consistency with the already- fully-enacted nature of the New Covenant.

Secondly, the hermeneutic that the New Testament is the interpreter of the Old Testament was consistently applied by Gene, whereas Paul interpreted the Old over the New on this issue, and hence failed to remain true to this hermeneutical principle.
It was this that gave Gene the upper hand in the debate and ultimately the victory for the credo-baptist position. Have a listen below to see if you agree with this evaluation.

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