[Ed: email the author of this blog entry at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will reserve personal comments on this entry for a future blog posting.]
TO REFORMULATE CREDOBAPTISM
I am proposing that our view of baptism must be reformulated. If we say that we don't baptize infants, only people who have been able to make, and have made, a confession of Christ, then I believe we must reformulate our understanding of baptism.
It does no good to repudiate Paedobaptists because they are baptizing infants who cannot make a confession, and yet allow for the fact that people can be baptized who are not saved themselves. The Credobaptist argument is that only those elected can be baptized, yet we can't say that if we allow for the fact that we CAN, even if by accident, baptize non-elect people.
The reason, I think, is that we are using baptism to be a sign of a prior conversion. How can it be a sign of someone's already having been converted if: A) We can't know that the said person has indeed been born again-for it's an invisible work. B) Someone can lie and say they have and get baptized-yet not having been born again.
It seems to me that under these auspices a Credobaptist has no reason to argue against a Paedobaptist that is baptizing infants that can't make a confession of faith, and therefore have been born again. For if we argue that one can't know if the baby is elect, then the logical rebuttal is that the Credobaptist can never KNOW if the recipient of baptism is truly regenerate either.
So, what did baptism mean in the New Testament, and for us today? I am proposing that it must mean something more than an acquiescence to a creed! What is what I want to work out and formulate. With God's grace I can come up with something that is at least Biblically provable,and hopefully Biblically grounded. So now I set out to reformulate baptism in a way that eliminates the need for infant baptism, and allows for the baptism of only believing people.
I think that one place we must look at is the difference between the "Old Covenant" and "New Covenant." Also, we must find a way in which these two are found to be connected to the Covenant of God to Abraham to bring about "the" seed, Christ. In so doing, I want to formulate a doctrine that allows for continuity between the Old and New testaments within the Abrahamic Covenant of Election through Christ; and one that makes a distinguishing between the Old and New Covenants from the Old to the New Testaments, and the difference that Christ's ascension to his long awaited and prophesied place of Glory and rulership.
Another place we might look at is not only the beginning of God's covenant with Abraham, but also the continuity between the protoevagelion of Genesis 3:15 and the Abrahamic Covenant. This would show that Christ has always been the plan throughout the Bible, from the beginning. And therefore, our understanding of NT baptism can in some way be influenced by the fact that God has always planned to bring about the work of Christ on the earth, and that the elect were chosen in Christ before the foundation of world.