Monday, March 31, 2008

A Biblical Critique of Infant Baptism

A Biblical Critique of Infant BaptismMatt Waymeyer has begun a study @ on the topic of infant baptism. It is based on the introduction of the newly released A Biblical Critique of Infant Baptism by Matt Waymeyer (The Woodlands, Tex: Kress Christian Publications, 2008), which can be purchased either through Amazon or KCP.

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In his first argument, he deals with Infant Baptism and Acts 16:31-34

He begins: "The absence of a direct command to baptize babies would be easier to overlook if the Bible contained clear evidence that the New Testament church practiced infant baptism. After all, what we do not find mandated in Scripture, we sometimes find modeled there. In an effort to support their view, many paedobaptists point to the baptism of the jailer’s household in Acts 16:31-34 as an example of infants being baptized on the basis ofInfant Baptism and Acts 16 their father’s faith".

As Greg Welty explains,

it would be exceeding strange if (1) the whole household heard the gospel, (2) the jailer believed the gospel but the others rejected it, and (3) the whole household rejoiced that the head of the household believed while they themselves rejected the same message! Only the Baptist view avoids such absurdity.

His summary is that "Taken at face value, Acts 16:31-34 sets forth a hearing, believing, and rejoicing household which was baptized in response to its profession of faith, and therefore this passage fits much better with believer’s baptism than infant baptism".

From chapter 3 of A Biblical Critique of Infant Baptism by Matt Waymeyer (The Woodlands, Tex: Kress Christian Publications, 2008), which can be purchased either through Amazon or KCP.

Matt Waymeyer deals with Infant Baptism and Acts 2:39

Apostolic PreachingHe begins: "Perhaps the most common argument for infant baptism is found in the climax of the apostle Peter’s sermon at Pentecost in Acts 2. Peter has just set forth the redemptive work of Jesus (vv. 22–35) and proclaimed that He is both Lord and Christ (v. 36), and his Jewish listeners are cut to the heart, asking, “What shall we do?” (v. 37). Peter responds in Acts 2:38–39:

Repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself (Acts 2:38–39).

The argument follows that "According to paedobaptists, the promise that Peter refers to in Acts 2:38–39 is the same promise that God made to Abraham and his descendants in Genesis 17:1–8. As Robert Booth explains:

This was a promise that [the Jews] would have heard of and talked about many times. Since they were now entering the new covenant era of the church, the question of their children’s relationship to the church would naturally have been on their minds. Being a Jew, Peter was certainly aware of their concern and immediately moved to address the issue. He assured them that the promise was still for them and their children. . . .

Therefore, writes Booth, “If the children of believers are embraced by the promises of the covenant, as certainly they are, then they must also be entitled to receive the initial sign of the covenant, which is baptism.”

The structure of his argument deals with:

What Is the Promise?

Who Are the Recipients of the Promise?

Who Was Baptized?

His summary notes: "In the end, the corresponding parallel that paedobaptists are looking for between Genesis 17 and Acts 2 is simply not there. Consider the differences: In Genesis 17, the covenant is “between Me and you and your descendants after you” without qualification (v. 10); but in Acts 2, the promise is for you and your children, but only for as many of you and your children as the Lord shall call to Himself (v. 39). In Genesis 17, the eight-day-old males are to be circumcised (v. 12); but in Acts 2, only those who repent are commanded to be baptized (v. 38). In Genesis 17, infants are circumcised; but in Acts 2, only those who received Peter’s word are baptized (v. 41). The account in Acts 2 actually provides better support for believer’s baptism than it does for infant baptism".

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